End Of The Rope?

End Of The Rope?

Federal Government Considering Banning "Arch Swinging" In National Parks
MOAB (ABC4 News) - Extreme rope swinging or "arch swinging" at places like Corona Arch are reaching new extremes - and reaching millions of viewers on You Tube - but they soon may be reaching the end of their rope. The federal government is considering outlawing the activity.

"Right now our agency is considering a two year temporary restriction on roped activities," Megan Crandall of the Bureau of Land Management told ABC News.

The daredevils who swing from the ancient rock formations say it's an adrenaline rush like no other.

"It's like getting shot out of a cannon at 70 miles an hour," Chuck James, owner of Utah High Adventure said. "I mean...as far as cheap thrills there's nothing better."

The activity can be deadly. In March of 2013, 22 year old former Marine Kyle Stocking of West Jordan died while swinging off Corona Arch. His rope was simply too long.

"It's very easy (to make) miscalculations," Thad James, Chuck's son, said. "The guy just didn't judge the rope correctly and just hit the ground."

That hasn't stopped people from doing it. Many are inspired by online videos like the ones shot and posted by Austin Baird.

"We can't lose sight of the fact when you're outside, when you're having an adventure, you're having fun, your safety is your own responsibility," Baird said.

Baird and his crew spend two hours rigging the ropes before each swing. They test the system by tossing a bag of rocks over the edge beforehand. If the bag doesn't hit anything - then an adrenaline junkie goes next - turning the rock formation into a huge swing set.

"If done properly, climbing, jumping off arches...can be just as safe as any other activity," Baird said.

Some outdoor enthusiasts have complained about the swingers, saying they're loud, obnoxious and destructive to the rock formations. They have commented that National Parks should not be turned into amusement parks.


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