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The 500-foot granite cliffs of Cathedral Ledge in North Conway are frequented by climbers who scale the sheer faces and by tourists who drive to the summit on the winding auto road. (MIKE CHERIM/ISTOCK)

Veteran climber dies in fall from cliff

NORTH CONWAY — An experienced rock climber fell to his death at Cathedral Ledge on Saturday afternoon, apparently after preparing to descend a cliff he had just climbed solo, a state official said.

Brian Delaney, 56, of Scarborough, Maine, fell about 65 feet from the top of Barber Wall, a well known part of Cathedral Ledge, said Alex Lopashanski, a conservation officer with New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Lopashanski said several members of the Mountain Rescue Service recognized Delaney when they answered the rescue call. He had climbed in the region for decades, and one of the older guidebooks of Cathedral Ledge gives special thanks to Delaney.
Lopashanski said the accident took place shortly after noon.

Delaney had climbed the Wall, and people on the cliff saw him top out. He climbed while rope soloing, meaning he was attached to a rope if necessary to arrest his fall. He was probably preparing for a descent when he fell, the conservation officer said.
Lopashanski said there was nothing suspicious about the fall.

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