All's parents already were on their way to Maryland as part of a trip they had planned to visit friends when they got a phone call learning of their son's accident, Marjorie All said.
While family friends went to the hospital to speak for the family, the two parents drove through the night and arrived in Baltimore at 10 a.m. Saturday. Marjorie All said her friends warned her about Matt's condition, but she still wasn't prepared to see her son.
Matt All was unconscious, and his head had swelled to the size of a basketball, his mother said.
"That was the hardest part ... I've been through a million pictures because that's not what I want the last image to be," Marjorie said. "There was nothing we could do for this kid."
Matt was pronounced dead later that day, and several organs were able to be used in transplant surgeries before his remains were cremated.
Matt All's mother and girlfriend said they believe Matt's death was a strange twist of fate, but they're not sure anything could have been done to prevent it.
"I would have thought that my kid would have been one of the most prepared to go on a trip, and would have been the least likely to have something like this happen," Marjorie All said. "Matt had good, common sense."
"I've had conversations with God where I've told him he got the wrong kid," she said later in the interview.
"It was a freak accident," said Mindermann, who saw the accident unfold. "I couldn't have changed anything."
Both Mindermann and All's mother said Matt had plenty of hiking experience, but his mother said he was not an experienced rock climber.
Robb MacGregor, who owns a rock climbing guide company in Point of Rocks, Md., said he has taught climbing at Annapolis Rock and said that while the danger might not seem apparent, no one should be climbing rock walls without proper training and equipment.
"I don't care what anybody says, responsible climbers don't go out and solo unless you have years and years of experience," MacGregor said. Solo or free climbing is rock climbing without the aid of ropes and other devices.
"This isn't a sport you want to learn by trial by fire," MacGregor said.
There was no indication that Matt All had been drinking at the time of the accident, according to park officials who looked into the accident.
Nevertheless, there's an inherent risk to being outdoors, said Tammy McCorkle, a Maryland park ranger and assistant manager for the South Mountain Recreation Area.
"You can get hurt anywhere, but you don't want to put yourself more at risk by doing something ... you've not trained for or prepared for," McCorkle said. Many injuries or emergencies happen because people didn't properly prepare.
McCorkle said campers along the Appalachian Trail often have a false sense of security at the recreation area because it seems close enough to help. But cell phones don't necessarily get a signal along the ridge line, and medics can be a long way away.
"They think that replaces having a map and knowing where you're going," McCorkle said.
An eye on caution
Heisig, the ridgerunner, said he is scheduled to continue his work along the Appalachian Trail through October.
Part of his job through the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is to stay at the Annapolis Rock campground, which means he undoubtedly will see more people seeking the fantastic view off the rocks, and seeking the thrill of scaling the nearby walls.
Two weeks after All's accident, Heisig said the memory of the lifesaving effort still was clear, and he has made an effort to talk to visitors about it.
One group of climbers was scaling a set of rocks with no ropes and Heisig said he approached them. He said he asked if they had heard someone fell.
The group of young climbers paused, Heisig said, "and they backed off."