St George News

Mount Kinesava at sunset, taken from Grafton, Utah, March 25, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

Update: Search teams locate body of Zion BASE jumper

ZION NATIONAL PARK — The body of the woman who recently fell to her death in Zion was found Sunday morning. The woman reportedly fell 1,500 feet Saturday when her parachute didn’t deploy during a BASE jump in Zion National Park.

The woman was 28 years old and from Salt Lake City, Zion National Park spokeswoman Alyssa Baltrus said, she was an experienced BASE jumper.

Her body was located at approximately 10:05 a.m. Sunday using a helicopter from Grand Canyon National Park, Baltrus said. Now, the rescue team is starting to devise a plan for recovering the body. This plan will most likely use a short-haul method, depending on what the terrain looks like.

Mount Kinesava, where the BASE jumper reportedly jumped from, is a well-known formation near the entrance of Zion National Park. BASE jumping in Zion is illegal.

A short-haul is when a helicopter carries  something a short distance, Dave Nally said. Nally is the author of the book “Deaths and Rescues in Zion,” which chronicles every reported death that has occurred in Zion National Park. Nally has hiked to the top of Mount Kinesava a handful of times.

Kinesava is a plateau, approximately 3,000 feet from top to bottom, with a 1,000 foot sheer cliff on its east-facing side, Nally said. This cliff ends at a sloping shoulder which continues down to the the valley where the town of Springdale is located.

There is no real trail because the area is backcountry and not maintained by the park, Nally said. However, there are some cairns here and there to guide hikers to the top. “It’s a lot of loose scrambling.”

The hike to the top of Kinesava takes approximately half a day, Nally said. In his experience, cell service is available for the majority of this hike, he said.

Nally, who recently almost went and hiked Kinesava said that it was covered in approximately 10 inches of snow a week ago.

Death statistics from Dave Nally:

  • This is the first BASE jumping death ever reported in Zion National Park.
  • Before this death, there have been a total of 73 accidental deaths in Zion to date.
  • However, there have been 28 deaths in Zion from people falling.
  • There has been one other reported death in the Kinnesava-West Temple area of Zion. It occurred in 1979 when a 42-year-old man stepped on a large, wet, sandstone boulder that shifted and collapsed.
  • A death recently occurred from a BASE jumping accident near the Grand Canyon a little over two weeks ago on January 24.

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Email: dallred@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.
Mount Kinesava at sunset, taken from Grafton, Utah, March 25, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

Mount Kinesava at sunset, taken from Grafton, Utah, March 25, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

 

 

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  4 Comments
  1. Kenneth Carlton February 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm · Reply

    Short haul is having a Ranger hooked into a rope underneath the helicopter, the helicopter lifts the Ranger to the scene and secures the load to the rope. then the helicopter returns to where they can land and lowers the rope, Ranger and cargo to the ground. This is called short haul and is one of the more difficult helicopter operations, for both the Ranger and helicopter Pilot. A lot of BAD THINGS can happen to the Ranger while being flown throughout the air.

  2. Bub February 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm · Reply

    I respect these guys. Recovering a body is not something I’d want to do.

  3. Willy February 10, 2014 at 9:16 am · Reply

    The man needs to be billed for all the expenses of recovery and cleanup. I didn’t pay all these taxes and federal park fees to aid these illegal activities.

  4. Joanna February 10, 2014 at 9:27 am · Reply

    I don’t fault someone for having extreme hobbies, even though I don’t understand the appeal. And I’m sorry a young woman lost her life. But I have a HUGE problem with the fact that they were doing this in an undesignated area. How incredibly selfish. This recovery costs thousands upon thousands of dollars, and more importantly, puts the rescuers in a terribly dangerous situation. It’s a big world, people. Can you not find another place to jump off a cliff??

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