Sunday, July 18, 2010

18 Year Old Boy Scout Falls to His Death from Utah's Gemini Bridges

You are looking at a biker crossing one of the Gemini Bridges, 250 feet above Bull Canyon, on a popular mountain bike trail near Moab, Utah.

Gemini Bridges is in the news today due to an 18 year old Boy Scout from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Anthony Alvin, falling to his death, Saturday around 9:30 am, when he tried to jump the 6 foot gap between the twin natural arch bridges.

The news reports are saying Alvin jumped the gap and then fell backwards, landing 100 feet below Gemini Bridges.

I don't quite understand what Alvin landed on only 100 feet below Gemini Bridges. The Gemini Bridges are about 250 above Bull Canyon. Maybe Alvin landed on a ledge of some sort, 100 feet below.

Grand County Search and Rescue, Grand County emergency medical technician, plus National Park Rangers from the Islands in the Sky unit of Canyonlands National Park rappelled off the Gemini Bridges to confirm Alvin was killed in the fall.

The fact that emergency workers rappelled down, sort of confirms Alvin landed on a ledge. Had he fallen all the way to the bottom there would have been no doubt about the fall being fatal, and the rescue workers would have reached his location by driving up Bull Canyon, not by rappelling from the Gemini Bridges.

Rescue workers lowered Alvin's body to the bottom of Bull Canyon. Which further confirms he somehow landed on a ledge.

Alvin was with a group of fellow scouts and scout leaders, when he fell.

As you can see from the pictures, Gemini Bridges is very popular and at time there are a lot of people there. My one and only visit my nephew Joey, 13 at the time, was supposed to come on that trip. But he didn't. When I saw Gemini Bridges I was glad my nephew was not along.

At one point soon after arriving at Gemini Bridges I was sitting off to one side. One of my co-bikers hollered at me, asking me if I realized what I was sitting on. I walked over to where they were and looked back to see I had been sitting on a thin ribbon of rock, cantilevered out over the edge of Bull Canyon.

I can see where a kid might think it a fun doable thing to jump between the bridges. I can also see where it would be, obviously, very dangerous.

Even grown men, who maybe should know better, do goofy things on the Gemini Bridges, like the guy with the jeep, driving out on one of the spans. That was unnerving to watch.

Go here for more about the Gemini Bridges and Gemini Bridges Trail, plus more pictures, including a picture of the thin ledge I was accidentally sitting on.

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