Tradgedy at Horseshoe Bend near Page, AZ

Discussion in 'Landscape' started by Douglas Sherman, May 17, 2018 at 4:19 PM.

  1. Douglas Sherman

    Douglas Sherman Staff Member

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    A Greek tourist stood on a thin sandstone ledge at the edge of Horseshoe Bend positioning himself for the perfect image. The ledge gave way and he fell 800 feet to his death about a week ago.

    The National Park service has been in the process of building a railing to keep people away from the edge because the crowds have been growing dramatically over the past few years. As a result, people have been jostling for position at the edge of the beautiful overlook. The image below was taken during a much more peaceful time. In fact, I don't remember anyone else being there when I took this image at sunset.

    (STRE11) Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River, an entrenched meander, Page, AZ.jpg
     
  2. AlanLichty

    AlanLichty Moderator

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    Sad event but it wasn't the first time this has happened and unlikely it will be the last.

    Treasure the memory of what it was like when you shot this - not likely that is going to return......
     
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  3. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I think the image I made there years ago will just be my only one. I took one glance at the parking lot one day last summer and realized I could never function in that crowd, and turned right around. Same experience with the Antelope Canyons. I won't even go into Lower, which used to be the sane one when Upper became a daily zoo. Glad I made some good ones there over ten years ago. After leaving the HB parking lot, I drove straight to the North Rim. Found a nice isolated camp spot in the forest before Jacobs Lake. The next day, the crowds at the Rim were fairly reasonable. I camped at Cape Royal to get the sunrise easily. I feel sorry for young photographers trying to capture the icons like this.
     
  4. Bart Carrig

    Bart Carrig Well-Known Member

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    Yes, very sad for that family and the people who were there. Hard to imagine how to handle something like that.

    I agree with you Al, that's a good thing to keep in mind for many of the places we go.

    Jeffrey, very good call on heading to the Rim and picking those great spots.

    Bart
     
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  5. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    That is sad news. I hate to see anyone die like that. We do have to be careful no matter what about the edges of places like that.
     
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  6. Vieri

    Vieri Well-Known Member

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    Very sad news. However, I have to say that after seeing a guy holding his girlfriend in his arms and rotating her over the abyss at the Grand Canyon, both laughing like it was a fun thing to do, I am not surprised that sometimes things can go wrong...

    Fences and such might be Ok for such a popular spot as Horseshoe, but you cannot fence off the whole world, perhaps educating people with signs, posts, brochures, etc would held a better result while ruining the landscape less...

    It's a tough balance act, I know, but I believe that a fence can still be jumped by someone unaware of the risks, while an educated person will never put himself or herself into unnecessary risks in the first place.

    Best regards,

    Vieri
     
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  7. Joe Colozzo

    Joe Colozzo Well-Known Member

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    great photo, but a sad story to go with it! it's a shame that because of bad luck, over popularity and a lack of common sense we will lose some very beautiful scenery .
     
    #7 Joe Colozzo, May 20, 2018 at 3:46 AM
    Last edited: May 21, 2018 at 2:10 AM
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  8. Mike Mancil

    Mike Mancil Well-Known Member

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    Definitely a tough IQ test for the stupid and the careless and sad for the thousands of careful viewers who will miss the optimum view.
     
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  9. Douglas Sherman

    Douglas Sherman Staff Member

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    Lots of intelligent comments here. The saddest part is that his loss of life affects all of us for the rest of our lives, not only here but ultimately in many of the other places we love to photograph. Thank you all for your comments.
     
  10. ckcarr

    ckcarr Founding Member

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    To be statistically correct, falls account for one of the top three ways people die in and around the west. Drowning, car accidents, and falls. It happens every week, flight for life is always coming and going. Although dramatic, and unfortunate for the guys friends and family, a fall from there, or Dead Horse Point (like a couple years ago), or Angel's Landing is no different than the more common fall from 15-40 feet up when scrambling on rocks. There's some pretty sad stuff that happens around here all the time, and you don't hear about it unless it's sensational.

    Of course, then you have animal attacks, which are quite rare... Until they happen. The two guys on mountain bikes yesterday, where the cougar killed one. Or the little six year old girl in Grand Junction on Mothers Day where the bear came up, sniffed her, and then grabbed her by her butt and tried to make off with her. Fortunately she survived, and no facial scars... I attribute some of these to the encroachment on the animal's habitat by increasing populations, mountain bikes, ATV's, Jeeps. Way's for people to get into the back country when before they had to work for it.

    My fear here, and I'm starting to see it happen, is that there's an attemp now by some to make "Wild Utah" into "Safe Utah" as more and more unqualified people try their hand at experiencing the west, and outsiders continue the Kalifornication of formerly wild places.

    The weird thing is, I used to work for a high rise hotel in the Denver Tech Center many years ago and would go up on the roof once in a while to survey the scene. There would have been no way I would walk along the edge of that roof one-foot from disaster and a straight down fall to hard pavement way below. Yet out here, people nocholantly walk six-inches from a 1,500 foot sheer drop, which is about the equivalent of a 100 story building... I've always tried to get my head around that one.

    It doesn't say "Greek Tourist" here though. Rather, an Arizona local.

    http://ktar.com/story/2054752/arizona-man-falls-to-death-off-horseshoe-bend-glen-canyon/
     
    #10 ckcarr, May 20, 2018 at 2:37 PM
    Last edited: May 20, 2018 at 3:04 PM
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  11. Douglas Sherman

    Douglas Sherman Staff Member

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    It turns out that I was quoting a news report from 2010 which was the first one that came up in my Bing search. Unfortunately I didn't look at the date because I assumed it was of the recent event. It is eerie that the men were about the same age. The recent man was 33 and the 2010 one was 32. Here is the link: https://azdailysun.com/news/local/m...cle_b23910ea-98db-11df-b755-001cc4c03286.html Thanks for putting this one up, Craig. I apologize for the error.
     
  12. Douglas Sherman

    Douglas Sherman Staff Member

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    While talking to two volunteers at Kayne Gulch Ranger Station on Cedar Mesa about the shrinking of Bear's Ears National Monument they informed us that making Bear's Ears a National Monument increased visitation to the area by 100%. They did not have the staff to protect the area with that much traffic and were hoping the shrinkage would reduce visitation. However, I think that the cat is out of the bag and its too late to stop the traffic. I have already seen websites touting the ruins and Indian art found in the area which will assuredly attract continuing attention and the risk of more damage. It is so sad what is going on with nature in this country.
     
    #12 Douglas Sherman, May 20, 2018 at 8:57 PM
    Last edited: May 20, 2018 at 9:07 PM
  13. ckcarr

    ckcarr Founding Member

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    The age and gender are right there with statistics.

    Actually from what I just read, two people have fallen off Dead Horse Point in the last few years. Both male, in their 20's.

    As far as Bears Ears that’s the real tragedy. But it’s all of Utah.
    And like a lot of these things it's the after effect that destroys the area. It's suddenly on the radar, people start moving there, real estate goes sky high, motels get built, staff is overwhelmed. Right now it can take over an hour to drive from the Potash road back into Moab on a Friday afternoon. And leaving on Sunday morning, heading north, is even worse.

    I went down to Hovenweep several years ago, was the only car in the lot. When I walked in the ranger station the guy says "You're the first person I've seen in three days!" I guarantee that doesn't happen anymore.
     
    #13 ckcarr, May 20, 2018 at 9:03 PM
    Last edited: May 21, 2018 at 5:49 AM
  14. Zeph

    Zeph Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for a simplistic view, but I won't participate in a world where all the rules are formed to the lowest common denominator. Rules are important, but they don't replace common sense, as it should be.
     
  15. Douglas Sherman

    Douglas Sherman Staff Member

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    I learned long ago the rules are for when brains run out.
     
  16. AlanLichty

    AlanLichty Moderator

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    Sad how widely applicable this has become.....
     

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