University of Georgia student dies after falling 90 feet while mountain climbing

University of Georgia student dies after falling 90 feet while mountain climbing

Zoe Wells

A student attending the University of Georgia fell 90 feet to her death last week on her second climb at the Cherokee Rock Village in Alabama.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Yutong “Faye” Zhang, 18, died Saturday from falling 90 feet while climbing in the Cherokee Rock Village around noon.

Paul McDonald, the county coroner investigating her death, told the paper that emergency responders were notified around 12 p.m., right after the fall. They quickly responded and worked on Zhang. However, attempts to revive her were unsuccessful.

According to Climbing magazine, the fall is a popular climbing route at Cherokee Rock Village with a steep overhang. People with her at the climb believe the rope was in a position so that it came unclipped when it had tension from her weight.

Zhang was a member of the University of Georgia’s Foundation Fellowship, which is the school’s top academic scholarship, according to

Zhang was also a part of Active Climbing, an indoor rock climbing gym near UGA, says WSB. Her father, Pingchuan Zhang, explained that this was only Zhang’s second time climbing outside.

Cherokee County is a top rock climbing destination with large rocks and a mountainous terrain for climbers to enjoy.

Tributes to Faye

Support and love from family and friends immediately started coming in this week and the University of Georgia released a statement.

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“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy that took the life of University of Georgia first-year student Faye Zhang. Our deepest sympathies go out to the student’s family, and we will continue to provide counseling and support to members of our community who have been affected by her passing.”

Active Climbing also posted a statement on all their social media pages, telling the world how they will remember her forever.

“Faye, your spirit will forever be a part of our community. Rest in peace.”

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