SALT LAKE CITY – A 22-year-old Utah man was killed trying to swing through the opening of a 110-foot-tall sandstone arch in a stunt made so popular on YouTube that state authorities recently banned the daredevil activity by commercial outfitters.
Kyle Lee Stocking, of West Jordan, left too much slack in the rope he was using, and it sent him crashing into the sandstone base of Corona Arch near Moab, Grand County sheriff’s officials said. He died Sunday afternoon.
Viral videos have bolstered the activity, which involves swinging wildly from ropes through arch and canyon openings. One video titled World’s Largest Rope Swing has racked up more than 17 million views on YouTube since it was posted in February.
Pendulum swinging is a relatively new form of recreation in Utah’s canyon lands, which see plenty of injuries and deaths from rock climbing and BASE jumping, which involves leaping from a fixed object with a parachute.
On March 13, another man, Zachery Taylor, was killed rappelling at Tear Drop Arch in Utah’s Monument Valley.
It’s part of the recreational craziness sweeping the Moab area, where the annual Jeep Safari week got started Saturday, another potentially dangerous activity that involves rock crawling in modified vehicles, said John Weisheit, of Living Rivers, a local environmental group.
People aren’t accepting nature for what it is. They have to put an element of excitement into it, said Weisheit, a longtime rafting guide.
People see it on YouTube and then say, That looks like fun.’