UVM Student Dies In Rock Climbing Accident in Bolton

BOLTON, Vt. - A 20-year old University of Vermont student died after falling off a cliff while rock climbing in Bolton Saturday evening, police say.

According to police, Rebecca Ryan, 20, of Knoxville, TN, was rock climbing with friends at the Lower West Bolton Climbing Area when she fell off an estimated 90 foot cliff as she tried to descend.

Ryan, an experienced rock climber, died at the scene.

The investigation is ongoing. Police do not suspect foul play.

A statement was released Sunday morning by Vice Provost for Student Affairs at UVM Annie Stevens. It read:

It is with great sadness that we inform the University community that Rebecca Ryan, a junior in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, from Knoxville, Tennessee, passed away during a tragic rock climbing accident on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Rebecca was studying to be an athletic trainer and was actively involved on campus with the Rock Climbing Club and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, among others. Rebecca’s mother describes her as “an adventurous young woman, deeply committed to her faith.”

We extend our deepest condolences to Rebecca’s family. Our sincere thoughts of care and sympathy are also extended to Rebecca’s friends, classmates, and to faculty and staff who were close to her.

Information about family and/or campus services will follow as soon as it becomes available.

As is the case when any member of our community passes away, we are bound to feel a profound sense of loss, and reactions are felt in a variety of ways. If you or someone you know is in need of additional support please do not hesitate to contact UVM’s Counseling and Psychiatry Services at (802) 656-3340 (for students) or Invest EAP at (802) 864-EAPØ (3270) or toll free at 1-866-660-9533 (for employee assistance).


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