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A Date With Destiny: Lottery Winners of Trip Through The Wave Die While Hiking

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posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 04:56 AM
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MODs, I'm not sure what forum this should go in, so please move if it is in the wrong one.


So sad, this couple win this lottery for a free trip to visit a rock formation called The Wave at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona, and die from possible heat exposure.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says the odds of winning a permit to The Wave are as low as 10 percent. It is said to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, which could have influenced the couple's decision to take the journey in the 106 degree heat. Ulrich Wahli was 70; his wife, 69.

The Wave is a richly colored geological upheaval, its fiery swirls appear on countless postcards, posters, maps and computer screensavers.




Associated Press PAUL FOY 7 hours ago SALT LAKE CITY (AP) —

A lottery system for hikers makes it difficult for many to win a permit to visit a rock formation called The Wave — and that may have colored the judgment of a couple who set out in brutal heat and were found dead along the trail.
Ulrich and Patricia Wahli, of Campbell, Calif., had permits to hike the 3 miles across open country in blazing heat and in energy-sapping deep sand. Authorities said they apparently succumbed to temperatures that reached 106 degrees on Wednesday.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management allows only 20 hikers a day to visit The Wave's dramatically flowing sandstone contours at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona, near the Utah border.

Many hikers enter an online lottery months in advance to their disappointment. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says the odds of winning a permit to The Wave are as low as 10 percent. Half of the 20 daily permits are doled out on a walk-in basis at a visitor's center in Kanab, Utah, with up to 100 people showing up for one. More than 48,000 people applied last year for 7,300 available hiking permits, officials said.

The Wave is a richly colored geological upheaval, its fiery swirls emblazoned on countless postcards, posters, maps and computer screensavers.

The couple's bodies were found Thursday morning by other hikers. Ulrich Wahli was 70; his wife, 69. They won their permits by showing up for a walk-in lottery, said Rachel Tueller, spokeswoman for the BLM's Arizona Strip. The lottery system may be the only way to go for a wildly popular backcountry spot, wilderness guides say. But a winning ticket encourages many to grab a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity regardless of the dangers. Guides say they can't help because they are prohibited from running trips inside national parks or monuments.
"The law of averages takes it from there," said Mike Banach of Zion Mountain School in Springdale, Utah. "People go out who aren't suited to the heat, and they don't bring enough water or equipment."

Kane County sheriff's Sgt. Alan Alldredge said The Wave isn't an easy place to reach; no marked trail leads the way. Monument officials say only a few juniper trees provide shade along the open route. "Add that to the high heat we are experiencing right now, and it makes for a lethal combination," Alldredge said Thursday in a statement. "If you must hike, it is best to do it early in the morning, and make sure you have enough water and supplies."

The BLM does its best to educate visitors on safety, said Kevin Wright, manager of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. He said the hiker limit is necessary to protect the rock formations and preserve a sense of wilderness at The Wave.

A lottery system is the only way to govern crowds, he said. "We don't even know what caused these fatalities, which are obviously a tragedy," Wright said Friday. "We are going to see what the cause was, then review our policies and procedures."

Ulrich and Patricia Wahli were "avid travelers and fairly capable folks," said Tracy Glover, chief deputy of the Kane County Sheriff's Office. The AP was unable to locate any family members or friends of the couple who might have known their intentions.
"I don't know that the lottery is a problem," Glover said Friday. "I'm not going to throw the BLM under a bus."

Patricia Wahli was found under a tree "as though she was trying to find some relief from the heat," Alldredge said. Ulrich Wahli was found 250 yards away, apparently in the open. The bodies were sent to the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.

Temperatures reached 106 Wednesday afternoon at nearby Page, Ariz., dipping to an overnight low of 80 degrees, the National Weather Service said.

news.yahoo.com...

edit on 7/6/2013 by sled735 because: Change title




posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 05:05 AM
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Talk about a date with destiny! It is a horrible story, but for some reason I can't feel sad. They obviously wanted to see this, they entered the lottery. They were together, in a beautiful place, doing what they chose to do.



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 05:27 AM
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reply to post by Iamschist
 


That's exactly how I felt when I read this story... a date with destiny.

I am happy they died together doing what they loved.

I went and added that to my title. Thanks.

edit on 7/6/2013 by sled735 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 09:27 AM
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I hope they were on the return hike. It would be unbearably sad to think that they tried so hard and never even got to see it.



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 09:30 AM
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Darn double post!
edit on 7/6/2013 by ReluctantBlossom because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 09:34 AM
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Like other ATS-members wrote....there could be worse places to die with the one you love...

Just..wow...

The Wave



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 10:33 AM
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reply to post by zatara
 


That place is beautiful!! Thank you for the link with pictures. I'll have to bookmark those.


No wonder this couple was so eager to see it when they had the chance! Too bad the way things turned out.

But, like the OP said, I think this was their destiny. Now their journey is over.



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by sled735
 


It's sad, but not exactly unprecedented. You have to win a lottery to climb Half Dome in Yosemite, and people have died doing that.

It comes down to knowing your limits, understanding the risks involved, and weighing those against some stubborn resolve because "you might never get this chance again".

For this couple, entering their 8th decade of life, marching through Arizona in the middle of the summer in the midst of a massive heatwave - not exactly the most sensible move.

Not trying to be callous, just it is what it is - I wouldn't prescribe some sort of element of mystical fate to it. I know with Half Dome it's the same thing: If the day you win the lottery happens to be storming and wet and slippery - you better understand what you're getting yourself into, or else.

Never getting a chance to see that again is nothing compared to never getting the chance to see anything again.



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 01:59 PM
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]Originally posted by mc_squared
reply to post by sled735
 





It's sad, but not exactly unprecedented. You have to win a lottery to climb Half Dome in Yosemite, and people have died doing that.
It comes down to knowing your limits, understanding the risks involved, and weighing those against some stubborn resolve because "you might never get this chance again".


I agree. But it is believed by some (including myself) that we all choose how, and when, we will depart from this world before we come here. But that is a different topic for a different thread.




For this couple, entering their 8th decade of life, marching through Arizona in the middle of the summer in the midst of a massive heatwave - not exactly the most sensible move.


Actually, they were entering their 7th decade. But I agree people should be aware of their limits... at any age.



Not trying to be callous, just it is what it is - I wouldn't prescribe some sort of element of mystical fate to it. I know with Half Dome it's the same thing: If the day you win the lottery happens to be storming and wet and slippery - you better understand what you're getting yourself into, or else.


Again, if we have a "date with destiny", nothing is going to stop us from making choices that others would consider to be crazy.

Thank you for your post.

edit on 7/6/2013 by sled735 because: fix format



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by ReluctantBlossom
I hope they were on the return hike. It would be unbearably sad to think that they tried so hard and never even got to see it.


Yes, I hope so too. I guess we'll never know.
But, the article did hint that all their water was gone, so maybe they were returning. Surely they wouldn't drink it all, knowing they still had a long walk a..



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 02:10 PM
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reply to post by zatara
 


I appreciate the link, Zatara. Those are Awesome pictures!


Now I have some beautiful pictures for my screensaver.



posted on Jul, 6 2013 @ 02:11 PM
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reply to post by Mindless1980
 


Thanks for your post, Mindless.

Good to know we are of "like-mind".



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