Ammon McNeely Death : Climber Who Fell Backwards Off The Cliff

If you are someone who keeps up with the world of adventure and extreme sports, you might have come across the prominent name of Ammon McNeely. He was a legend in the extremely demanding and physically challenging sport of rock climbing.

He certainly made his name amongst the best rock climbers in the history of the sport. His famous adventures and highly challenging spirit made him the legend that he is known as today. In the community of adventurers, he will always be known for how gracefully he accepted challenges thrown into his face and how he worked hard for the love of his sport.

This makes him an inspiration for so many generations of rock climbers of the next generation. That is quite a remarkable career. Throughout his audacious and remarkable career, McNeely was known for being someone who is curious and ready to explore despite the risks involved around his brave attempts and willingness to prove himself worthy each time.

As saddening as it sounds, questions like “How did Ammon McNeely die?” or “Cause of Ammon McNeely death” are frequently searched by people on the internet. It is a tragedy to lose an adventurous person like him.

In this article, we will take a deeper look at the life of Ammon McNeely and we will see what actually makes him the legend he was and unfortunately some details on his untimely and tragic death!

Ammon McNeely’s Early Life

Ammon McNeely's Early Life

Ammon McNeely was born into an American family in the year 1970, the date was 8th October. The city he was born in is called Grass Valley in the state of California. Grass Valley is a city in Nevada County and it is situated at roughly 2,500 feet high in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Ammon McNeely’s fascination for mountains started early and it is obvious why! His hometown is situated at quite a high elevation and in rocky terrain. These mountains sparked curiosity in him, which later manifested as a great career in the laps of mountains. According to sources, McNeely spent countless hours in the Sierra Nevada Mountains exploring its nooks and corners.

To add to his fascination for climbing, his parents themselves were avid climbers and they always supported his passion for mountains.

But it was during his teenage years that he became so sure about changing his passion into a lifelong career. On the cliffs of Yosemite National Park, he started climbing, especially on the iconic and famous routes. The rugged cliffs filled with granite of Yosemite sparked even more bravery to face challenges.

Achievements of Ammon McNeely

Achievements of Ammon McNeely

Ammon McNeely truly had a remarkable career. He was able to receive and complete various achievements and milestones due to his hardwork and most importantly love for what he did. Some of these remarkable achievements are listed below.

First Free Ascent of El Capitan’s Dihedral Wall

As a not-so-experienced climber, Ammon McNeely decided to embark on the journey of El Capitan’s Dihedra Wall. It was the year 1994, he decided to set himself up for such a difficult challenge.

The journey of El Capitan’s Dihedra Wall is renowned for being difficult and physically challenging for climbers. But despite how difficult it was, it put him on the map. The risk was worth it because after this success, he became quite renowned amongst the community of climbers.

Reticent Wall of El Capitan

Reticent Wall of El Capitan

It was the year 2001 that McNeely decided to complete his first ascent of Reticent Wall homed in the El Capitan of Yosemite. El Capitan region seems to be close to his heart as he decided to embark many journeys there and successfully climbed them.

Not to forget that The Reticent Wall is famous for being particularly challenging as it is of an overhanging nature and filled with thin cracks which is a nightmare for every climber. Climbing the Reticent Wall was quite an achievement for any climber and so for McNeely.

Speed Records on “The Nose”

The Nose is a climbing route up El Capitan. It is a huge wall climbing route. In the modern day, with modern equipment, it is still a huge flex to have successfully attempted The Nose but back in the prime days of McNeely, it was a huge challenge.

In the year 2008, along with his another famous climber friend Hans Florine, Ammon McNeely not only successfully ascended the challenging route but he shattered speed records. It took him just 2 hours and 45 minutes of immense hardwork and bravery to face the challenge accompanied by Florine.

These climbers set the new record for the fastest climb success of the Nose on El Capitan.

First Winter Ascent of Denali

Along with another climbing friend Leo Houlding, Ammon McNeely decided to attempt the first winter ascent of Denali which used to be formerly known as Mount McKinley and is located in Alaska. It was the year 2003 that they decided to challenge that region.

Sadly they could not successfully reach the summit, it was obviously an attempt of great audacity and grit. This represented their commitment to their commitment.

Climbing In Greenland

Throughout his audacious and remarkable career, McNeely was known for being someone who is curious and ready to explore despite the risks that involved around his brave attempts and willingness to prove himself worthy each time.

This character trait of him allowed him to take a chance at many climbs in Greenland. In Greenland, he explored many new routes, in fact ended up establishing them in the remote areas of Frigid Fjords. He embarked on so many untouched routes and rock faces. Explorations like these made him a prominent name in the community of rock climbers.

Well all rock climbers have a challenging and demanding job, no doubt about that ! but what sets one rock climber apart from the other is the curiosity to explore one shows. Ammon McNeely was one of them, he was always curious about new challenges across the world. He wanted to climb more and more, in famous places, in the unchallenged terrains. If we look back at his career journey, we can know that he was deeply involved in his sport and rock climbing is a career he never regretted.

Various Scottish Climbs

Various Scottish Climbs

Scotland is a beautiful country and in fact it is the most mountainous country in the entirety of the United Kingdom. It has rocky terrains and difficult mountains to climb which are extremely challenging but it is not a surprise that McNeely definitely loved challenges.

McNeely was super drawn to the extremely difficult world of the mixed climbing. In mixed climbing, a climber has to make their way through elevated and frozen waterfalls and icy rock faces.

It was not one time that McNeely challenged Scotland, he decided to take the challenge multiple times and tackle the difficult climbing routes.

Climbing in Patagonia

In South Americas, lies Patagonia. It is a geographical area that is made of the southern end of South America. The region is officially governed by Chile and Argentina. The region is a home to the southern part of the famous Andes Mountain. It comprises fjords, glaciers and rocky terrains that is a difficult task to be challenged by.

Ammon McNeely was known for his various brave attempts in the region of Patagonia. He attempted to climb challenging peaks like Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy. The journey here was not easy or forgiving. It was formidable. He had to face various extreme weather conditions and challenging geography.

Big Wall Climbing in Yosemite

Big Wall Climbing in Yosemite

Yosemite was not unknown to McNeely, in fact he returned time and again to challenge the region. Throughout his renowned career, McNeely challenged many big wall routes under the Yosemite National Park region.

Some of those walls were the Salathe Wall and the North America wall. These climbs of his were a multi day climbs. Climbs like these added to his reputation and proved his credibility as a climber.

Climbing in the Cochamo Valley

It seems that the continents of North America and South America were closer to his heart. Not just because it being his home continent but also how much he explored there.

He once decided to venture to the remote Cochamo Valley. Cochamo Valley lies in the country of Chile. Cochamo Valley is often compared with Yosemite. It is not surprising that they are usually compared. Each of them have towering granite walls, equally challenging and a difficult task to climb.

In the Cochamo Valley, he became an establisher of various new routes. In fact, many people give some credit to Ammon McNeely for contributing to the rise in numbers of climbers and tourists in the Cochamo Valley.

The major achievement that stirred up a lot of fame for McNeely was his very first climb to the Sol De Mayo. Sol De Mayo is a difficult and challenging climb that presents his curious and brave spirit to the world. It showcased the dedication that McNeely put into his work and how adaptive to the surroundings he was.

Valle de la Rocas in Venezuela

Located in the hearts of Venezuela lies the astonishing sandstone towers of Valle de las Rocas. This was an equally challenging climb for McNeely but we know by now, how much he was willing to take risks.

The towers in Valle de la Rocas are steepy. If one decides to take the challenge, one must be precise with their climbing techniques and must be accurate with it. McNeely aced the challenge. He not only successfully climbed in the challenging terrain of Valle de la Rocas, he did them with bravery adding another successful climb to his long list of legacy.

Various First Ascents

Along his career, McNeely challenged himself more and more by each climb. Ammon even established various first time ascents to various locations not just in the USA but across the world, ranging from Yosemite to Patagonia.

These climbs established him as an adventurous mountain rock climber filled with immense bravery. He explored more and more uncharted and unchallenged routes.

Adventure filled with Controversies

Adventure filled with Controversies

At this point of the article, it is already established how adventurous and brave Ammon McNeely actually was. He was someone who liked to challenge himself more and more as his career went by.

He used to explore new places, at least he desired to do so. He wanted to challenge the world. He looked for new challenges and new routes in his to – be – next – climb. He constantly sought after new and uncharted terrains in order to push his own boundaries and tickle his own caliber each time.

This trait of his was extremely admired by his fans across the world, no doubt about that but that also led him to receive many backlashes and questions to be answered. As inspiring as his career was, we can not forget to mention that it was controversial at times.

Many skeptics questioned whether he was actually so hardworking and diligent or whether he was just famous, thanks to his luck ! Many times his fans and well wishers questioned and doubted his decisions of willingly wanting to embark on such challenges.

Many questioned his intelligence, calling him a foolish person to put his life on such dangers and hazardous challenges for mere passion.

His thirst for adventure was quite questionable amongst critics but he always acknowledged how challenges made him famous and established.

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How did Ammon McNeely die?

It was the year 2018 that the world had to lose a brave rock climber Ammon McNeely. After his crazy big career, his tragic death on April 29, 2018 left his fans sad and mourning. The rock climbing adventure sports communities lost a prominent name.

His death and its details have been a common interest of the subject among his fans on the internet. Some of the most prominent searches about him being “Ammon McNeely death”, “How did Ammon McNeely die?” and “Ammon McNeely cause of death”. It is not a surprise why people were so curious.

Ammon McNeely death

The tragic end of Ammon McNeely’s death was led by his participation in BASE jumping. BASE jumping is an extreme sport that involves various risky activities such as leaping off cliffs, buildings or other highly elevated points.

BASE is an acronym for Building, Antenna, Span bridges and Earth cliffs. These are the four categories that the players jump from.

Here are some further details of Ammon McNeely death :


Ammon McNeely was a participant in a BASE jumping expedition in the rough terrain of Moab, Utah. This is a location not unknown to extreme sports lovers. The beauty of this area is mesmerizing. The canyons and cliffs are a major site of tourism.

The Deadly Jump

The tragic jump initiated by McNeely was supposed to be a jump from a high cliff in Moab. The exact height of the cliff has not been disclosed yet but it is not unknown how high altitude the cliffs are in.According to sources, the jump went extremely wrong. Apparently his parachute might have failed to save him from tragic fate which dis allowed him the safe landing that he was expecting.

Ammon McNeely truly was a legend in his field. His loss was tragic. He still remains a prominent figure in the sport.


Traveller, Travel Blogger and SEO Expert who combines his love for exploration with his talent for writing and digital marketing.

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