An unidentified 20-year-old man from Florida plunged to his death Tuesday after venturing out on a rocky cliff edge inside the caldera along West Rim Drive in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.
Park supervisory ranger Alec Chapman said witnesses saw the man walk out to a rocky point along the rim of the collapsed volcano; while he was standing on it, the rocks gave way, sending him 50 to 70 feet below, according to CNN and The Oregonian.
Rangers rappelled down the cliff and found him dead. The incident, which occurred about 5:45 a.m., is under investigation.
“Park staff reminds visitors that climbing or hiking within the caldera is prohibited due to extremely hazardous conditions encountered inside the collapsed volcano,” the park service release said, according to The Oregonian.
“Patches of late snow can also contribute to hazards in the caldera and on other high elevation slopes. The majority of the higher elevation hiking trails are still partially or fully snow-covered and should be avoided.”
In May, a 22-year-old man slipped on snow near the park lodge and plummeted 1,000 feet into the caldera but survived. Rescuers in a helicopter saved him.
The Watchman and Garfield Peak trails remain closed because of heavy snow and dangerous conditions, though the Cleetwood Cove trail to the lake is open, according to KTVZ.
Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. at 1,943 feet, and sits in the belly of a dormant volcano. The lake is surrounded by cliffs.
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