BLM Considers Rope Swing Restriction at Corona Arch

June 11, 2014
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Corona Arch(Moab Utah)- The BLM says it may ban rope swinging and other such activities at Corona Arch, on a state-owned section near Moab, Corona Arch is a centerpiece of a proposed recreational land exchange between the state and federal governments. The arch, is a popular hiking destination, but it has recently become a venue for a massive rope swing. Now that Corona Arch is in federal hands, the Bureau of Land Management has begun exploring whether to put an end to swinging and other high-thrill roped activities from the famous sandstone feature near Moab. The arch, a 1.5-mile hike off the Colorado River, was a small but crucial piece of a massive land exchange completed May 8. In the deal involving 60,000 acres, the BLM traded lands with energy potential in the Uinta Basin for state-owned sections with scenic, recreational and natural values in Grand County. The BLM says it has not yet made a final decision.

A viral YouTube video helped make Corona a rope-swinging destination in 2012. The state soon banned commercially guided swinging there. But, in March 2013, a young man with a do-it-yourself group fell to his death after jumping with a rope that was too long. And last month, just four days before the transfer was completed, a 24 year old New York Man, repeated the same mistake. He suffered critical head injuries and is in a long term care facility. Banned activities would include swinging, rappelling, zip-lining, slacklining, and high-lining. The latter two refer to walking on a taut rope between two points, sometimes across a chasm, while a zipliner rides such ropes fixed at a descending angle. If approved, the restrictions would be in place for two years while the BLM considers permanent bans.

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