Taking Risks for the Adventure: The Corona Arch Tragedy

On the Sierra SocialHub we talk a lot about outdoor adventures and taking risks to gain new experiences. Obviously, we all want to get outside and have fun. We ride our mountain bikes on tougher terrain, climb challenging rocks and paddle raging rivers searching for that ultimate high. We wear helmets, practice dangerous parts of our chosen sport and try to be prepared for the worst, however sometimes things go wrong on that search for an adrenalin rush.

A little over a week ago, I was camping and hiking in Moab, UT near Corona Arch. Sadly a week before I was there, a 22 year old man died trying to rope swing the 140 foot high arch. He and his group of friends were trying to recreate a popular YouTube video titled 'World's Largest Rope Swing'. The YouTube video was posted on the SocialHub about a year ago and has over 20 Million views.

Corona Arch is a beautiful arch located on state land and it is legal for people to climb and jump off of the arch. The recent accident was due to a miscalculation of the rope length which cost Kyle Stocking his life. What he was doing was legal, had been promoted in a YouTube video and appeared to be safe.

On my recent trip to Moab, I hiked to Corona Arch with my family where we enjoyed the quiet morning sunshine in beautiful Bootleggers Canyon. At the base of the arch we found a bouquet of flowers tied together with climbing webbing as a memorial to Kyle.

Taking Risks Corona Arch Corona Arch photo by Andy Hawbaker

I reflected on some of the crazy things I've done for adventure like jumping off bridges and backcountry snowboarding. It is scary to think about how a slight miscalculation could turn a thrilling adventure into a life ending accident.

What do you do to stay safe on your adventurers? Do you like to push the limits or are you extra careful when it comes to taking risks? Tell us in the comments below.
Andy Hawbaker
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Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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