A 65-year-old rock climber was found dead Wednesday afternoon dangling from a rope off rocky terrain on Mount Lemmon, officials said.

The climber was identified as David Webster.

A hiker in the area, who knew Webster, saw him earlier in the day and they greeted each other, said Deputy Tracy Suitt, a Pima County Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

When the hiker returned to the area, he saw Webster “dangling from a rock,” Suitt said.

He called 911 shortly before 1 p.m. and reported the incident, Suitt said.

Fighters with Rural/Metro Fire Department responded to reports that the victim “appeared not to be breathing or conscious,” said Battalion Chief Willie Treatch, a Rural/Metro spokesman.

In addition to Rural/Metro, Mount Lemmon firefighters and deputies of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department were sent to the scene and found Webster’s body at milepost 15.8 off the Catalina Highway, near Willow Canyon, Treatch said.

It took rescue crews several hours to retrieve Webster’s body.

Webster was an avid rock climber who rappelled often in the area, Suitt said.

His body was turned over to the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office. An autopsy will determine the cause of death, said Suitt.

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