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Canyoneering Fatality in Zion National Park

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Date: June 5, 2007
Contact: David Eaker, 435-772-7811
Contact: Ron Terry, 435-772-0160

Keith Beidermann, 48, of Garden Grove, California, fell to his death while canyoneering in Heaps Canyon in Zion National Park on Monday evening, June 4.  The fatality is currently under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the National Park Service.   

Upon completing the 285 feet last rappel out of Heaps Canyon, Beidermann’s two companions were at the Upper Emerald Pools waiting for him to descend.   For unknown reasons, Beidermann fell to his death.   Once his companions determined that Beidermann had not survived the fall, they hiked down the trail to Zion Lodge and reported the incident to Zion Dispatch at 11:34 p.m.  Park Rangers responded to the scene and confirmed that it was a fatality.   Beidermann and his two companions had a valid permit for Heaps Canyon on Monday, June 4.   

Superintendent Jock Whitworth warns that Heaps Canyon is a very difficult and technically challenging route.  It should only be attempted by skilled and experienced canyoneers.   Heaps Canyon is temporarily closed to canyoneering while the incident is under investigation.

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