ZION NATIONAL PARK – A 24-year-old Las Vegas man died Saturday after falling 100 feet into a canyon in Zion National Park.
Around 11:30 p.m., Zion National Park was alerted to an injured man who had been canyoneering in Heaps Canyon, according to a Zion National Park press statement issued Sunday afternoon.
The man had apparently taken a 100-foot, unroped fall into a side canyon at approximately 7 p.m.
The man’s three canyoneering companions descended to him, park officials said. One companion stayed with the man, while the other two members of the party continued on through the rest of Heaps Canyon to get help.
Heaps Canyon is a strenuous, challenging technical canyon with an approximate 3,000-foot descent, park officials said. It usually takes 12 to 20 hours to complete, consists of a number of rappels into cold water, and ends with a final 280-foot rappel to the Upper Emerald Pool area.
Rescue efforts started early Sunday.
A helicopter from Grand Canyon National Park was sent to Zion to assist in the rescue. Two Zion Search and Rescue team members were short-hauled into the canyon above the victim, officials said. They rappelled down and found the man deceased.
The name of the deceased man is being withheld at this time pending notification of next of kin.
As of July 6, Zion has had 175 EMS calls, a 34 percent increase over last year, Zion National Park Public Information Officer Aly Baltrus said Sunday.
There have been 57 Search and Rescue calls in 2015 versus 32 for the same time frame last year, a 78 percent increase, she said. Over the past week, the park has responded to at least 16 EMS calls, including 3 carry-outs from The Narrows on Wednesday.
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