Comments for: Survivor recalls screaming as she fell 65 feet off Camden cliff; fellow climbers thought she was dead

Posted Dec. 21, 2012, at 5:32 a.m.
Last modified Dec. 21, 2012, at 10:52 a.m.

CAMDEN | Maria Millard scrambled up the cliff face of a challenging climb on Mount Megunticook in Camden Hills State Park on the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 2, with three of her friends waiting below. It was a beautiful afternoon, and the 28-year-old Millard, a two-time former All-American track …

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  • Anonymous

    Cliff climbing ??
    Sounds exciting !!
    I love to read about it while sitting on my couch.
    Both feet planted firmly on the ground.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t care how high I get, so long as iv’e got atleast one foot on the ground….

  • Rocky4

    Foolish…….no sympathy.

    • Anonymous

      Hey,wait.. Ah,never mind.

    • Anonymous

      wow, you are really ignorant. Millions of people rock climb safely. There are risks in many outdoors activities — people die every year skiing, snowboarding, biking, swimming. It doesn’t make them foolish.

      There is one thing I don’t understand — when things like this happen it is usually because you think your belayer is going to lower you, but they think you are going to rappel so they take you off belay, you lean back, and fall since they no longer have the other end of the rope running through their belay device to control your decent. If she was planning on rappelling, then she was not depending on her climbing partner, and the mistake was completely hers. She must have rigged her rappel device incorrectly (such as only threading one strand of rope through it).

      • melibusa

        I have read that the most dangerous places for personal injury, are in your home.

    • Anonymous

      Why so negative?

      • Rocky4

        I’m not so sure it is negative. What irks me is that lots of these stories
        about a “personal tragedy” are written in a way to evoke sympathy
        for the perceived “victim”. Ther is is NO victim here. Somebody
        suffered severe trauma admittedly by their own stupid mistake so
        why should I “FEEL” or really even give a hoot. Lots do, I don’t.
        Just an opinion & comment on something that CLEARLY was
        self inflicted pain. And do I want her to suffer? Of course not!
        I hope she recovers well.

    • Anonymous

      meat head,, you are much more then ignorant,, but BDN won;t allow me to say what should happen to you!!

      • Rocky4

        And you don’t know the difference between then & than.
        Makes us even ole boy.

  • jerrymyx

    SUGGESTION .. while recouping, you could .read a book on” How To Value Your Life! ” and put priorities into perspective! research has also revealed the darker side of risk taking. High-risk takers are easily bored and may suffer low job satisfaction. Their craving for stimulation can make them more likely to abuse drugs, gamble, commit crimes, and be promiscuous; warns, high-risk takers may “have a hard time deriving meaning and purpose from everyday life.”

    • Anonymous

      No “Glad she’s ok, etc.”?

      • Anonymous

        Im glad she is ok,and Especially glad that she was out rock climbing and not on the internet being snarky…

        • Anonymous

          I’m here just like you are my friend.

      • jerrymyx

        why would I care, if someone chose to take UNNECESSARY risks with their life?

    • Anonymous

      Suggestion — get a life. People have this part of their personality/being called willpower. High-risk takers may also have the ability to stay away from drugs, gambling, and crime by using that energy and drive through exercise and sports instead. Couldn’t that high-risk taker also do very well at jobs that require high energy and risk taking in another manner? Someone aware of themselves will figure out how to keep their ‘need’ for risk taking going while still staying away from the darker side of things.

      • jerrymyx

        Silly person……Does Lance Armstrong … a risk taker, come to your mind ? in the “light” of course!

  • David Douglas

    Only caving (spelunking) sounds like a worse sport …..

    • FELT

      Hardly, it’s an exercise in pure terror…dark, cold, wet, slippery, lost….adrenaline junkies are addicted to it. Once was enough!

  • FELT

    Read OUTSIDE MAGAZINE and you’ll find out Maine is touted as a mecca of ‘high risk’ sports like cliff climbing, ocean kayaking, white water canoeing, off trail mtn. biking, atv’s, etc. Very diff. type of tourism; one with expensive consequences and a price I feel we all pay for.

    • Anonymous

      I think if you do your research, you will find that most of these “high risk” sports have a statistical safety record that is much safer than driving a car. Accidents can and do happen, but with climbing in particular, you are far more likely to be injured or killed driving to the cliff than you are while climbing. Yep, if you screw up the consequences are severe, just like we see anytime someone crosses the center line of the road at the wrong time.

      • FELT

        Got a independent cite for this or are you quoting ‘industry sources’?

        Urban Bike riding is now the most unsafe ‘sport’…Montreal now records biking injuries in ER reports and that’s what they show. Many outback injuries don’t get treated or get first aid only. When I wrenched my knee crossing a river in Baxter, it wasn’t treated, and the consequences plague me today. Carabassett valley is now lined with orthopedic surgeons and emergency services….they’ve got plenty of customers too!

        I really don’t mind if you want to risk your life on ‘my’ mountain, but I do mind when health care and emergency resources are used to cover your foolishness and risky behavior. Why should I be taxed so you can have ‘fun’?

        When you remove responsibility from the risk taking people only repeat their mistakes or make new ones since there are no consequences….another feature of Liberal America.

        Given the way these people drive, I can see why they’d be injured or killed before they get to the cliff. Unsafe at any speed!

        Canada’ single payer system exempts high risk sports, and you are required to have special insurance to cover all expenses. Maybe its time to regulate cliff climbing and require certificates of comprehensive insurance? You want socialized health care and a single payer system run by the govt? This will be the price you pay.

        • Anonymous

          Given the way these people drive, I can see why they’d be injured or killed before they get to the cliff. “Got a independent cite (double sic) for this or are you quoting”……yourself?

          “another feature of Liberal America.” Hmmm, I didn’t realize that George H.W, Bush was a lib, or is that just while he’s skydiving? At our expense, of course. The Secret Service isn’t exactly inexpensive, you know. But you’re ok with that, right? And I do mean right, as in far.

          • FELT

            Compared to caving, skydiving is a pretty safe sport. Watched a guy land on his feet like he jumped off a couch.

            Watched hang gliders once on the edge of the Catskills…. Flukey winds, but one guy had to go, jumped off , hit dead air and went splat on a large boulder about 50′ below the cliff edge.. Just laid there….People watching gasped and some wanted to call an ambulance immediately, but the ‘club’ members refused and climbed down to remove their member before any police showed up. One got very vocal that they’d ‘take care of their own’.

            This is risk taking to the extreme.

            Too bad you missed my point that Liberal America takes the risk and passes on the responsibility to the rest of us for their mistakes. G H W Bush fully assumed it. Go sponsor legislation to abolish secret service protection for ex-presidents.

        • Anonymous

          The challenge here is that there are a number of ways to look at the data and it is also a challenge to compare unlike activities. You also have to separate out types of climbing, where ice climbing on Katahdin is likely much riskier than climbing a small roadside crag in Camden. I have seen CDC data in the past, but I cant turn it up now. I did find the these examples:

          http://www.hse.gov.uk/education/statistics.htm

          http://www.summitpost.org/mountaineering-accident-statistics/658474

          http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/booth/risk/sports.html

          I have also seen statistics that put common high school sports as being far riskier than basic crag climbing. I would also wager that in terms of healthcare costs, the occasional climbing accident pales in comparison to the cost of our sedentary. and obese population.

          • FELT

            Yeah, I know the devil is in the details and we can argue endlessly, but the growing body of evidence is that the push to market high risk sports is quickly followed by a variety of injuries…..try girls contact sports injuries for running up the cost of health insurance.

            As much as you rationalize climbing skills, even experienced climbers will concede you can’t cover every risk and some mistakes you don’t recover from esp. when you’re tired, cold, or need to get back home by nightfall. One of my worse skiing falls was when I was taking a last run, sun was setting and wet snow was freezing. The snow turned into ice and I didn’t catch on in time…wheeeeeeeee into a tree.

            There are a bunch of guys who started serious running in Maine about 30 years ago; most now have artificial knees and one, a new hip. And this is just distance running!

            You have a point about sedentary lifestyles and their costs….why just my chocolate bill……….

    • Anonymous

      How do we all pay for them?

  • Anonymous

    Sound like Maine Parks are Dangerous!! Time to ban the Parks and shut them down!! How many more people must fall off cliffs before people realize this.. Do whats good for society close the gates.. Save the innocent hikers from themselves!!!

    • Anonymous

      Your comment is relevant how?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, it should be the law that everyone who chooses to stand up on their own two feet be fully protected with an approved helmet and body armor. Falling in the home is a major cause of injury and death but this ongoing tragedy could largely be averted if people were required by law to take these safeguards. Those irresponsible individuals who not only fail to observe these simple precautions in the home but carry their recklessness into the great outdoors should be permanently incarcerated to ensure their safety.

  • Anonymous

    glad you are okay, Maria!!!

  • Anonymous

    Glad your on the road to recovery with hopefully the worst behind you. I bet this will be the Merriest of Christmas’ and the most joyous New Year that you are still with all those who love and care about you. Best wishes to you all and I hope the rest of your recovery is swift and a full recovery at the end of this long hard road. Happy Holidays.

  • Anonymous

    Great story! I remembered when this happened and have often wondered how you were!

  • Anonymous

    Very glad this young woman’s recovery is going well!

    To those criticizing her decision to rock climb as foolish, I suggest taking a look at this peer reviewed article on PubMed:

    “Evaluation of injury and fatality risk in rock and ice climbing”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20632737

    “Rock and ice climbing are widely considered to be ‘high-risk’ sporting
    activities that are associated with a high incidence of severe injury
    and even death, compared with more mainstream sports. However, objective
    scientific data to support this perception are questionable…Overall, climbing sports had a lower injury incidence and severity score
    than many popular sports, including basketball, sailing or soccer.”

    Of course there are risks inherent to climbing. But to feel no sympathy and to complain about participants wasting your tax dollars is cold and misguided. As another poster mentioned, sedentary habits, poor dietary choices, and associated illnesses are costing our nation far more than the occasional outdoor recreation accident.

    Having gotten that out of the way, again I’ll say good luck with the continuing recovery, Ms. Millard!

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