Family: Climber died 'doing what he loved' after fatal fall on Crowders Mtn

Published: Mar. 12, 2014 at 2:37 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 9, 2014 at 10:51 PM EDT
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Mark Byers (Photo source:
Mark Byers (Photo source:

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Family members of a climber killed in a fall from Crowders Mountain say the man was an avid climber before his death.

WBTV has learned that 53-year-old Mark Byers  - a husband and father of two - was killed after falling nearly 70 feet down Crowders Mountain and being found unconscious on Monday.

"He died doing what he loved" his wife says.

"He climbed since he was young. Since he was a teenager" says his daughter, Mary.
"He climbed with his brother since he was a teenager. It's something he's been passionate about his whole life."

Byers' daughter says "he went after work. He just texted us and told us he going climbing but..."

The family never heard from Byers again.

Rescue crews were called to Crowders Mountain after Byers was seen dangling from the side of the mountain unconscious around 6:25 p.m. Monday night.

Officials say firefighters repelled down the cliff and found him near the backside trail of the facility.

Paramedics attempted to save him as he was being taken down the mountain, but Byers died from his injuries.

The Byers say a Sheriff's deputy came to their house and told them Byers was in the hospital.

His daughter says they rushed to meet him.

"It took all night until someone told us that.. I mean they still didn't tell us it was him until the next day."

Mary Byers says her father "was very loved and had lots of friends. I'd like to thank his friends for being there for us. They've really been a big help top my family."

His daughter says emergency crews have not yet told them what happened.

The family doesn't know why Mark Byers fell while climbing.

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