Experienced climber’s fall death ruled accidental

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Staff reporter

AN experienced climber might have slipped after completing a climb at his favourite spot, an inquest heard.

Other climbers watched in horror as Adrian Bridge tumbled backwards, falling about 60 feet to the ground.

The 65-year-old suffered multiple head and chest injuries in the accident, which occurred at Pot Hole Quarry in Maeshafn, near Mold, on April 8, and he died despite the efforts of people who rushed to his aid.

Yesterday’s hearing in Prestatyn was told Mr Bridge, of Hendy Road, Gwernymynydd, Mold, was a fit and experienced climber who was safety-conscious and kept his equipment in good condition.

His wife, Felicity, said he went climbing about once a week – including on a climbing wall when the weather was unfavourable – and regarded Pot Hole Quarry, which was only a couple of miles from their home, as his “gym”.

On April 8, when the weather was fine, he went there alone and members of other groups saw him complete several climbs.

George Bradford, of Millbank Road, Rhyl, who was with friends, told the inquest: “He seemed very confident, very slick and very precise. In my opinion he was a very experienced climber.”

Mr Bradford said he watched as Mr Bridge reached the top of the crag, then looked back. As he then turned to face forward again he tumbled backwards over the edge.

Climbing instructor Daniel Garnett, of Rhuallt, who was with Mr Bradford, said there was a slight grassy bank at the top and it was possible that Mr Bridge, who was wearing specialist climbing shoes, had slipped.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, John Gittins, acting coroner for North Wales Central, said no criticism could be levelled at Mr Bridge, who was technical manager at Nice Pak in Flint.

“He was a very experienced and competent climber who took safety very much to heart and was not one to take risks,” he said.

“All the evidence points to him slipping at the top while he was doing something he enjoyed.”

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