ZION NATIONAL PARK — The name of the woman who fell to her death BASE jumping in Zion Saturday was recently released, along with a statement from her husband.
The woman was 28-year-old Amber Bellows, who was with her husband of two weeks, 29-year-old Clayton Butler. According to the report, both individuals were from Salt Lake City and were experienced BASE jumpers.
The report also stated that the couple hiked up Mount Kinesava that morning, and Bellows jumped first, but her parachute did not open properly and she fell approximately 2,000 feet, according to Butler.
According to his statement, Butler followed, but was unable to reach her. He then hiked out to get help and notified park officials at approximately 6:30 p.m.
Zion reached out to Grand Canyon for helicopter support. Since it was a recovery and not a rescue, the teams decided to wait until daylight in order to reduce unnecessary risk, according to the report. The area that Bellows fell in is fairly remote and surrounded by difficult terrain. Her exact location was also unknown.
Two National Park Service rangers were short-hauled directly to Bellows’ body by helicopter and then hoisted her a short distance to a waiting ambulance.
The accident is currently under investigation; BASE jumping is illegal within Zion National Park.
“It is just really sad and our condolences go out to her family and friends,” the park’s acting superintendent, Jim Milestone, said. “BASE jumping is so dangerous, even for those that are experienced, like Amber Bellows. That is one of the reasons it is not allowed in the park.”
- Update: Search teams locate body of Zion BASE jumper
- News short: BASE jumper’s chute does not deploy, fatality in Zion
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