Climbers body recovered after fatal accident at Bridal Veil Falls

Adrian Vanderklis, 40, of Roosevelt, died from injuries sustained in an accident while climbing at Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon on Saturday, July 17, 2021. 

The cliffs around Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon have claimed another climbing victim.

On Saturday just after 7 p.m., Utah County Sheriff’s deputies received a report that a man and a 9-year-old boy were missing near the falls.

Adrian Vanderklis, 40, of Roosevelt, was climbing with his fiancé’s son above the falls, according to Sgt. Spencer Cannon, Utah County Sheriff’s office.

“The woman reported that she could see her son, who was crying, but that she could not see her fiancé, and that she hadn’t seen him for ‘several hours,’” Cannon said in a public statement.

Utah County Search and Rescue volunteers and a helicopter crew with the Utah Department of Public Safety found Vanderklis at about 7:45 p.m. on a very steep, near-vertical slope about a third of a mile west of Bridal Veil Falls at an elevation of 5,800 feet, according to Cannon.

“A team of SAR volunteers made their way to the victim and determined he apparently fell and did not survive his injuries,” Cannon said.

Cannon noted that darkness set in and recovering Vaderklis’ body became extremely dangerous.

The operation was called off late Saturday night due to the dark and resumed Sunday at 7 a.m.

The SAR volunteers were able to secure Vanderklis’ body and the DPS helicopter crew brought him off the mountain, according to Cannon. He was transported to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.

“While it is unclear exactly why Mr. Vanderklis fell, it is possible he stumbled, or slipped on loose material,” Cannon said. “Regardless, it appeared he was killed immediately as a result of the fall. While the boy was with him, he did not actually see Mr. Vanderklis fall.

“The Utah County Sheriff’s Office extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Vanderklis and his fiance and her family.”

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter

@gpugmire

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