A young hiker is lucky to be alive after falling approximately 50 feet off of Bridal Veil Falls in Utah on Monday, August 23. The hiker, Tanner Perren, 19, of Idaho was hiking with his friends at Bridal Veil Falls in Utah’s Provo Canyon, when he slipped, fell, and plunged to the ground.
Perren was with three other friends during the incident when he lost his footing while crossing a wet creek bed. After Perren fell, he managed to use his flashlight to signal to his friends that he was okay.
One of Perren’s friends managed to climb down to him and call 911. After successfully placing a call for help, Perren’s friend, Mariah Miller, waited with him for approximately two hours before a helicopter dispatched by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office arrived.
The helicopter team managed to extract and airlift Perren to a local hospital. Miraculously, Perren escaped from the incident with only minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.
Bridal Veil Falls is a 607 foot (185 m) waterfall with two main tiers located in the southern part of Provo Canyon. The falls are a popular ice climbing destination in the winter and a common hiking spot in the summer months.
Perren and his three friends went hiking at Bridal Veil Falls late in the day on Monday, August 23rd. They didn’t begin their descent until after the sunset, at which point, they started climbing down the waterfall.
Perren told local news sources that he “realized how dangerous it was,” but that he “thought we could get off the mountain safely.” He and his friends now recognize the severity of the situation that they got themselves into.
According to Justin Gordon of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Perren “stopped about four feet short of tumbling off of another cliff, which probably would have been a fatal fall.” Unfortunately, Bridal Veil Falls has already seen at least one hiking death so far this year, after a man fell to his death on the falls in July.
While Perren and his friends are lucky to have made it out of the mountains relatively unscathed, their experience underlines the importance of preparedness outside.
Multiple members of the hiking group were wearing sandals or tennis shoes, rather than proper hiking footwear. Additionally, hiking down a steep, wet slope at night adds an additional layer of hazard and heightened risk to the situation. Whenever possible, start hikes earlier in the day, bring the appropriate gear, and recognize your own personal limitations in the mountains.