Monday, December 7, 2009

Over the Edge: Another Canyon Visitor Falls to Death

Flagstaff, AZ -- Last week the body of a Grand Canyon National Park visitor was found 200 feet below the canyon's rim. National Park Service rangers rappelled down to the body located between Mather Point and Pipe Creek Vista on the South Rim. The body was transported out of the canyon by helicopter.

Unfortunately death has not been that uncommon in canyon country this year.*  Although warnings are posted on Grand Canyon National Park websites, brochures and newspapers, many ignore precautionary advice. Since the November 28th death has been ruled accidental, it sounds as if the visitor ignored warnings to keep back from the edge, or advice to "stay on the trail."

Vagabonding Lulu's travel tips for a safe Grand Canyon experience:
  • keep pets on leash - jumping pets can create unbalance
  • avoid hiking alone
  • tell people where you will be
  • it takes twice as long to hike up than down
  • start physical conditioning months before your hike

The accident happened on a Saturday, a high-visitation day, and there were plenty of other visitors to help and call in reports to the Park Service. However, after a fall of 200 feet onto rock surfaces, there was not much more that anyone could do to help. Last Friday a memorial service was held in Broomfield, CO for the 62-year old man who fell to his death.

Hiking the Grand Canyon is unlike hiking anywhere else on this planet

*Related articles:  Canyon Hikers Dropping Like Flies, Park Service Investigates Hiker's Death ,
Canyon Adventurers Find Loose Footing Deadly.

Stacey Wittig, "Vagabonding Lulu" is an Arizona travel writer who publishes free travel tips and free travel advice. Subscribe to her blog - it's free - on the right side of this window. Learn more about northern Arizona, Africa, Spain and other fascinating travel destinations.

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