Man Falls & Dies While Rock Climbing in Yosemite - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Man Falls & Dies While Rock Climbing in Yosemite

FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

The rock-climbing community is mourning the death of a beloved friend.  Richard Copeland, an experienced rock climber, died in Yosemite National Park on Sunday afternoon.  A park spokeswoman said Tuesday that Copeland fell off a 300-foot ledge of Liberty Cap.

Copeland was known to his friends at "The Dude".  Friends say he also enjoyed teaching the next generation of climbers' proper techniques.

Scott Deans says "The smile he had was one of the most amazing things about him, and he was always full of energy."

Deans worked with Copeland at Montecito Sequoia Lodge in Kings Canyon National Park.

Deans says Copeland loved the sport of climbing but also just loved nature and lived life to the fullest.

Deans says Copeland left his white-collar job in Chicago and fell in love with nature in the Sierra Nevada.

Deans says it's hard for him to believe that he died while climbing, because safety was Copeland's first priority.

Deans says, "He'd pack it all up to where he wouldn't even have to look at what he was grabbing. He'd know what he needed for doing this climb. I mean you are packing for a number of days on the face of a cliff."

Richard Copeland, a man who reached for the sky with every step.  You will be missed.  Details on his death are still coming in at this time.

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