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View Full Version : Woman dies of a fall, in the Grand Canyon



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Vash01
03-18-2012, 07:56 PM
Normally I would not post a thread for an accident that took place at the Grand Canyon, but I was so touched by the story and pictures of this young woman that I just had to share it with others. I hope you can open the link below, and don't forget to click on the photos link in the article. There are some gorgeous pictures in it.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2012/03/10/20120310love-affair-canyon-remembered.html

skatesindreams
03-18-2012, 08:29 PM
Deepest sympathy to Mr. Holycross.

zippy
03-18-2012, 09:05 PM
This girl was a friend of a friend; I used to very often see her comments on my friend's statuses on facebook and was really sad when this happened. The last thing I saw her write was something to the effect of "I'm going backpacking this weekend, but next weekend I am free!" and afterward I wished I could write back under that post and tell her not to go. She seemed like a happy person who lived a full life. One of those things that reminds how random and tenuous life can be; that said, I always found the Grand Canyon a pretty scary place to hike. So many things that can kill you.

Vash01
03-18-2012, 09:25 PM
Here is the link to just the pictures. There are some amazing pictures of her hiking in the Grand Canyon.

http://www.azcentral.com/photo/Community/Tempe/21924#phototop

I have been to the Grand Canyon a dozen times and I was mesmerized every time. I have never hiked into the canyon, and never will. I am not very adventurous, but I can see the allure of the canyons to some who love taking risks. My boss has been an avid hiker of the Grand Canyon and he even published a guide book for hiking there. I am glad that he is safe.

Aussie Willy
03-18-2012, 09:39 PM
I have been to the Grand Canyon a dozen times and I was mesmerized every time. I have never hiked into the canyon, and never will. I am not very adventurous, but I can see the allure of the canyons to some who love taking risks. My boss has been an avid hiker of the Grand Canyon and he even published a guide book for hiking there. I am glad that he is safe.
The main path of the canyon is not that bad. The most dangerous thing is the possibility of stepping and slipping on mule pee and poo. Plus you do have to be pretty fit as whilst going down is okay it is the coming back up that is a bit of a slog and your legs will pay for it for a couple of days. I am absolutely shit scared of heights and walked as far as Pinacle Point. Regardless of my fear, if I hadn't walked into the Canyon I would have regretted it for the rest of my life. It is a truly amazing place.

Not long after I was there a woman died riding a mule down the canyon. That is something I would not have done.

Holley Calmes
03-18-2012, 11:34 PM
I have traveled and hiked a lot around the western US in my life, and I have been struck many times with the obvious dangerous conditions at many places. Not particularly the famous places like Grand Canyon, but out of the way places with trails that go up huge mountains and back down steeply, with little warning and very dangerous rocky climbs. You know, those very enticing, out-of-the-way places just barely on the map, and yes, I know I'm responsible for my own safety wherever I am.

Actually, going down is more troublesome to me than going up. After awhile, my knees give way going down. Once I was climbing back down from a 4 mile hike up to some "high country lakes" just west of Vail, CO, and I had to jump off a boulder. My legs were so spent and my knees so wobbly that my jump turned into a bad fall. I could've broken my neck. People need to plan ahead and be careful-unlike me!!

The same could be said for many roads out west that wind up thousands of feet in altitude with NO BARRIERS to line a ledge that leads to a definite fatal fall. I remember a road just north of Sante Fe - a dirt road - that some of us very unwisely took a Ford Explorer up to about 8,000 feet to a remote horse farm. We thought it was fine until we found ourselves trapped on this dirt road which the melting JUNE snow had turned into mud, causing us to have absolutely no traction on the road surface. (I mean, to a bunch of Easterners....snow in JUNE?) And, there was a 1,000+ foot drop-off with no railing on one side, and a sheer cliff face on the other. I asked my husband "Are we going to die?" and he said frankly, "I don't know." Obviously, we made it, but it was really scary. However, the view from the horse farm was one of the most breathtaking experiences of my life. I guess it was worth it since I lived to tell the tale.

Vash01
03-19-2012, 07:02 AM
Some people climb Mount Everest. Some want to go down into the canyon. Both are dangerous and some lose their lives doing it. I guess they have the spirit of adventure which not many have. Our director recently went to Africa and climbed Mount Killamanjaro (I am butchering the spelling here; too lazy to look it up).

cholla
03-19-2012, 09:32 AM
Some people climb Mount Everest. Some want to go down into the canyon. Both are dangerous and some lose their lives doing it.

You can hardly compare climbing Everest with hiking in Grand Canyon. I've been a mountaineer and a rock climber all my life, I climbed McKinley for instance, and I hiked in Grand Canyon countless times. There is absolutely nothing in common between the two risk and physically-wise. It takes someone physically fit to hike down and up Grand Canyon and accidents can happen of course but McKinley is already several worlds apart so Everest or any other 8000er is another universe entirely. My significant other who is a professional mountain guide and who climbed Everest in 2001 (and 6 other 8000ers including K2) would drop dead reading your post ;)

Holley Calmes
03-19-2012, 01:01 PM
Wow Cholla! My hat's off to you! Letme ask you a question....what do you think about that commercial that has the woman going on a trip with her SO, and she says something about "we discussed getting a rock, but this was the rock I wanted..." or something like that. And at the end as she is saying this, they show her standing on top of a very narrow, incredibly high up pinnacle....and without any safety measures, or so it looks. Do people actually do that? I am all for well-planned climbing by conditioned athletes who know what they are doing, but this commercial gives me the willies. A good gust of wind could blow this girl right off that rock! Bad example for the public IMHO....Of course, I figure it's all faked for the camera, but still...

Cheylana
03-19-2012, 03:25 PM
Hiking down the Grand Canyon was on my bucket list, but I might just scratch it. I thought GC had guard rails and such. :(

suep1963
03-19-2012, 04:07 PM
Here's the commercial--she is roped

Citi Accessories (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE4bcq8Plzk)

nubka
03-19-2012, 04:17 PM
I suppose one could say that at least she died doing what she loved.

Doesn't change the fact that she is gone now... :( :( :(

Vash01
03-19-2012, 05:13 PM
You can hardly compare climbing Everest with hiking in Grand Canyon. I've been a mountaineer and a rock climber all my life, I climbed McKinley for instance, and I hiked in Grand Canyon countless times. There is absolutely nothing in common between the two risk and physically-wise. It takes someone physically fit to hike down and up Grand Canyon and accidents can happen of course but McKinley is already several worlds apart so Everest or any other 8000er is another universe entirely. My significant other who is a professional mountain guide and who climbed Everest in 2001 (and 6 other 8000ers including K2) would drop dead reading your post ;)

No offense, but I was only talking about personalities - there are some that truly love adventure and risk. I was not saying mountaineering and hiking into the Grand Canyon are the same thing. BTW my boss has hiked into different and unknown parts of the Grand Canyon, using equipment that I never heard of, and he created maps for others to get there. That's the adventurous kind. There are people that just go down a well known trail at the South Rim and there are the adventurous kinds that want to explore areas that have not been visited.

Vash01
03-19-2012, 05:17 PM
Hiking down the Grand Canyon was on my bucket list, but I might just scratch it. I thought GC had guard rails and such. :(

It depends on where you go. The Grand Canyon are 270 miles long. The guard rails are only at the rim, and the various tourist points. There are no guard rails into the Canyon even if you go down the most familiar Bright Angel trail into the Canyon. At the North Rim there are some ranger guided hikes that I hope to do some day. Majority of the Grand Canyon is unexplored and very difficult though. People have gotten lost and some lost their lives. I am too timid to go exploring.

zippy
03-19-2012, 05:26 PM
You can hardly compare climbing Everest with hiking in Grand Canyon. I've been a mountaineer and a rock climber all my life, I climbed McKinley for instance, and I hiked in Grand Canyon countless times. There is absolutely nothing in common between the two risk and physically-wise. It takes someone physically fit to hike down and up Grand Canyon and accidents can happen of course but McKinley is already several worlds apart so Everest or any other 8000er is another universe entirely. My significant other who is a professional mountain guide and who climbed Everest in 2001 (and 6 other 8000ers including K2) would drop dead reading your post ;)

I mean, I totally get your point and agree that mountaineering is overall generally more risky than hiking in the Grand Canyon, particularly when you're talking getting up into the death zone on 8000-m peaks, of course. And for those that strictly stay in the front country (i.e., South Kaibab and Bright Angel trails), this is totally true. On the other hand, risk is risk, and both places have some. I know you know all this since you've been there, but if anyone is interested, the GC is no joke as far as backcountry hiking goes, and it's compared to a mountaineering expedition turned upside down, with extreme heat and dehydration being the main danger versus extreme cold and altitude sickness on mountains. Both can turn into really dangerous situations quickly and can lead to brain addling and even experienced people making horrible/fatal decisions. And it's easy to get to really exposed places once you're off those main trails. Then the flash floods, getting cliffed out/lost searching for water, snakes, hypothermia, hyponatremia, etc. Even for the non-backcountry people, the wilderness rescue guys are kept pretty busy with people who got in over their head, since it's easy and tempting to hike down further than their ability to hike back up.
And you have, on the whole, a less experienced bunch of people exposing themselves to the dangers of the GC than (hopefully...) on serious mountains (although I've seen a few groups setting off for Denali that I've wondered about; like one group that didn't have any sort of lighter/matches with them, and another that thought they could drag their sled across the tundra for 3 days on the Muldrow Glacier route). Overall it's something like six times as many people have died in the Grand Canyon compared to Denali - of course so many more people go to the GC that it's kind of a stupid comparison, and I know you know all this anyway, just wanted to say that as far as risk goes, the end result is pretty much the same, you're safe until you're not, etc.


Hiking down the Grand Canyon was on my bucket list, but I might just scratch it. I thought GC had guard rails and such. :(

Um, I know I just made the worst sales pitch ever for the Grand Canyon :lol:, but I wouldn't be discouraged if you want to do it. No guard rails, but the two main trails are really wide and feel totally safe, speaking as someone who hates cliffs. I wouldn't like to be on one of those mules, though. It does take reasonable fitness to haul yourself out of there, and be sure to consider the time of year (summer is way too hot, but dead winter might involve ice and crampons - April is nice). It's definitely worth it!