PROVO, Utah – A Roosevelt man died after falling while climbing near Bridal Veil Falls with his fiancée’s 9-year-old son, according to officials with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
Officials identified the man on Sunday as 40-year-old Adrian Vanderklis.
Utah County deputies responded to the area around 7 p.m. Saturday after receiving a report of a man and a 9-year-old boy missing near Bridal Veil Falls.
“The woman reported that she could see her son, who was crying, but could not see her fiancé, and had not seen him for ‘several hours,'” a statement read. of the UCSO press.
Utah County Search and Rescue volunteers and a helicopter crew from the Utah Department of Public Safety were then called to the area.
@UCSO is working in Bridal Veil Falls this morning to recover the body of a grown man who died after apparently falling while rock climbing on Saturday evening. Darkness prevented SAR from completing the recovery last night.
— Utah County Sheriff (@UCSO) July 18, 2021
Vanderklis was located at about 7:45 p.m. “on a very steep, nearly vertical incline, about 1/3 mile west of Bridal Veil Falls at an elevation of about 5,800 feet.”
Authorities said the boy, who ended up walking on his own, walked past Vanderklis and didn’t even hear him fall.
“He didn’t see it. No one else saw him fall,” said Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. “Maybe he hit a loose rock or maybe he just tripped, but there’s very little room for error in that area.”
The recovery operation was called off Saturday evening due to darkness in the area, but search and rescue volunteers returned early Sunday morning to retrieve Vanderklis’ body.
UCSO officials said volunteers secured his body before a DPS helicopter hoisted him off the cliff.
@UtahDPS the crew will shuttle @UCSO_SAR mountain team members. The victim is located on an almost vertical cliff. Team members will secure the victim’s body and the helicopter crew will lift it from the face. It’s nearly half a mile west and between the falls. pic.twitter.com/rCfeGNNNpe
—Spencer Cannon (@SGTCannonPIO) July 18, 2021
His body was then taken to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.
“While it is unclear exactly why Mr Vanderklis fell, it is possible that he tripped or slipped on loose equipment. Either way, it appears he was killed immediately following the fall,” the statement read.
Authorities said there are an average of one or two deaths each year at Bridal Veil Falls.
“It’s very easy to go way beyond your skill level very quickly, and by then, if you don’t stay put, you’re putting yourself at risk, and some people only recognize the risk when it’s too late,” Canon said.
Authorities have said that if you plan to hike Bridal Veil Falls, there are always areas that can be dangerous, so come prepared with the right gear and be aware of the dangers.
A *GoFundMe account was created for the family.
*KSL-TV does not guarantee that money deposited in the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons designated as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit into the Account, you should consult your own advisers and proceed otherwise at your own risk.