Virginia man dies while canyoning in Zion National Park | Utah News

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SPRINGDALE, Utah (AP) – A man from Virginia has died while canyoning in Zion National Park in southern Utah, authorities said.

Andrew Arvig, 31, of Chesapeake, Va., Was traveling with two other people at the park known for its spectacular red rock cliffs, officials said in a statement. The group began the journey through Heaps Canyon on Saturday, but struggled to negotiate the final rappels.

Arvig accidentally rappelled past a small rocky ledge where he had to land and re-anchor his rope before rappelling the remaining distance to the ground, authorities said.

His two companions used their “pull line” to abseil down to the perch, but Arvig was stuck, unable to ascend 20 feet (6 meters) to the ledge.

The group tried to call search and rescue, but the calls were unsuccessful due to poor reception. A search and rescue operation began Sunday morning with more than 30 people and two helicopters.

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Crews lowered Arvig to the ground, where he was pronounced dead. They also helped the other two people get off the cliff.

The popular Upper and Middle Emerald Pools trails were closed for approximately a day to allow for rescue operations.

Arvig’s cause of death is under investigation.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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