After death in Zion National Park, canyoneering pro shares do’s and don’ts

Local News

SPRINGDALE, Utah (ABC4) – The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a recent death, 26-year-old Cassidy Brown of Springdale, after she fell in Zion National Park, while canyoneering in Mystery Canyon on Sunday.

Brown was a local guide for an adventure company. She fell between 50 to 80 feet while canyoneering alone in Mystery Canyon, according to Zion National Park Authorities.

“She was alone, it’s really difficult to be able to clearly make calls, and it’s very very difficult to keep yourself safe if anything terrible happens,” said Guru Stu, a canyoneering expert at Zion Rock & Mountain Guides in Springdale.

He says it’s vital, no matter how experienced you are, to never go out alone.

“It’s important that when we go canyoneering, when we go to the mountain, that we go together as a team, and without our team, our safety goes down really really quickly,” said Stu.

Mystery Canyon is only about a mile from Angel’s Landing, labeled as one of the most dangerous trails in Zion.

“It’s hard to keep track of everything going on in Mystery Canyon, because of the variety of rocks, the variety of trees, things that fall from up above, other people that are moving through, so with all of those variables, again, the more eyes we have on the situation, the better off we’re going to be,” said Stu.

And not only communicating with your group, but with others around you.

“Start small, and start slow. With our culture right now, everything is super fast and as you said, real quick and mountains, they don’t like real quick,” says Stu.

Friends are now remembering Brown in an appreciation thread, sharing experiences they had with the avid explorer. One comment reads, ‘we lost a good one, life is precious, cherish our time here together.’

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