A Chinese tourist was in serious condition Wednesday after tumbling from an overlook near southeastern Utah’s Delicate Arch.`
The 27-year-old man from Beijing reportedly fell about 80 feet from atop a trail on the slickrock formation across from the iconic, freestanding red sandstone formation near Moab about 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Arches National Park spokesman Paul Henderson said the victim initially was found below the arch unconscious and bleeding from the head, but soon regained consciousness. However, he then told paramedics that he could not feel his legs.
The man was taken by medical helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo.
The rock formation the victim was standing on is a popular site for photographers taking evening shots of the arch. The man apparently lost his footing and slipped over the edge.
Climbing the arch itself is expressly forbidden by the National Park Service.
Dave Davis, a 53-year-old hiker from San Antonio, Texas, told The Salt Lake Tribune he was standing near the victim as the sun set Tuesday night.
“[He] was with a woman, about his age, who seemed to be warning him to be careful as he stood to maneuver onto a lower ledge. He slipped on the rock, then slide onto his backside and tried to stop by using his feet and hands, crab-like,” Davis said.
Initially, it seemed the man had succeed and stopping his fall, but he then slipped again and tumbled to the bottom of the bowl at the base of the arch.