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Climbers stranded at Taughannock Gorge rescued in nighttime operation

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Emergency responders swiftly acted Monday night after receiving a call at approximately 9:15 p.m. concerning two climbers stranded on the steep terrain of the gorge in Taughannock Falls State Park.


According to first responders, the duo began their climb from the base of the gorge wall but found themselves trapped on an almost vertical section, unable to continue due to the diminishing light and treacherous conditions.

Upon arrival, the Trumansburg Fire and EMS, noting the complexity of the situation, enlisted the assistance of the Ithaca Fire Department. Teams from both departments effectively coordinated their efforts, establishing positions on both sides of the gorge to pinpoint the climbers’ location and strategize the best extraction route.


With the aid of a rope lowering system set up by Ithaca Fire personnel and additional support from Trumansburg downstream, rescuers managed to secure the stranded male and female climbers with harnesses, and safely lower them to the gorge’s base.

Remarkably, within 90 minutes of the initial distress call, both climbers were safely guided out of the hazardous terrain. Both fire departments, well-trained in rope rescue techniques, collaborated seamlessly to ensure the climbers’ swift and safe rescue. Additional support was provided by the Seneca County Technical Rescue Coordinator and New York State Park Police.