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Canyoneer Dies In Fall In "Subway" At Zion National Park


An Ohio woman has died in a fall in the "Subway," a popular canyoneering route in Zion National Park. NPS photo.

A 47-year-old Ohio woman has been killed in a fall in the "Subway," a popular canyoneering route in the Left Fork of North Creek in Zion National Park in Utah.

Park officials say Cheri Hass was killed Thursday in a fall of more than 100 feet.

The Left Fork of North Creek is a popular canyoneering route, accessible only with a wilderness permit. The 7-9 hour route requires navigating past numerous boulders, ledges, and waterfalls, as well as wading and swimming through several miles of the creek’s cold water, according to park officials.

The victim was completing the approach hike (approximately 2.5 miles) to the Subway with friends and was leading the group.

"It appears she missed a hard right turn down a steep, 4th class scramble and instead went towards a cliff edge, when she slipped and fell from view," a park release said. "The woman’s boyfriend rappelled down to her while the other two members of the group hiked out and phoned for help."

Due to the difficulty in accessing this particular part of the canyon, park officials were seeking assistance from the Grand Canyon National Park’s helicopter search-and-rescue crew in recovering the woman's body.

This is the second incident in a week of a visitor getting too close to a cliff edge, slipping and falling. On Monday, September 2, a 33-year-old man fell in Behunin Canyon. Although not in the process of rappelling, Clark Proffitt was wearing a helmet, which likely saved his life. He is in the ICU at the University Medical Trauma Center in Las Vegas.

“In both instances, we strongly suspect that these events were caused by getting too close to the edge of a cliff,” said park Superintendent Jock Whitworth. “Loose sand on slickrock may have been the cause of the falls. Given the topography of Zion National Park, these accidents could have occurred anywhere, even popular trails in the main canyon, including Angels Landing and Observation Point. All of us need to maintain situational awareness and be extremely careful anytime we are near an edge.”

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