A 22-year-old man recreating what has become a popular stunt was killed after apparently leaving too much slack in the rope he was using to swing through a sandstone arch in Utah, police said Monday.

Kyle Lee Stocking, of West Jordan, and five friends hiked to the Corona Arch in southeastern Utah on Sunday to attempt the stunt made famous on YouTube.

But Stocking miscalculated the length of the rope he used to swing from the 140-foot sandstone arch and struck the ground when he jumped, according to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.

County deputies, search and rescue personnel, and paramedics all responded to the accident, but Stocking was pronounced dead at the scene.

Some of you may remember the phrase: “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?”

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Previously, hiking and adventure companies could charge to take daring patrons to the top of the arch for their chance to get the swing of a lifetime, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

But earlier this year Utah state officials outlawed the activity, largely because of the danger posed — and a forthcoming land exchange between the state’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) and the federal Bureau of Land Management.

The arch has nevertheless remained open for private parties wishing to climb or swing.

“If people want to huck themselves off a cliff or arch, that’s their business,” John Andrews, SITLA’s general counsel, told the Tribune in February. “There is a general principle that owners who hold their land open for recreational use are insulated from liability. We felt there was more risk [exposure to the state] if someone operated under a permit and someone got hurt.”

In New York City, big Dixie Cups and baby formula are outlawed. In Utah, you can legally throw yourself off a cliff for kicks. We really do live in different worlds.

wile-e-coyote-gravity1



  1. Newton says:

    Gravity’s a bitch.

  2. bobbo, the nuance in our Language is often sublime says:

    Is calling mismeasuring the rope having too much slack an accurate description? I say no. Slack would be having the right amount of rope but it was slack and so caused injury when the slack was used up and the rope became taunt. The rope never became taunt BECAUSE IT WAS MISMEASURED and was too long.

    Same with miscalculating the length of rope used…although that is a closer question. What was calculated was the maximum distance the arch allowed. After that, it was a measurement, not a calculation that was made.

    Does remind me of the parachuting instructor with thousands of jumps who one day forgot to wear his chute…. and more expected, the tourist they tied up for a bungee jump but then forgot to secure the rope. No mismeasurement, miscalculation, or slack there at all.

    You can ASSUME and jump off the cliff, but who wouldn’t have seen what happens to a sand bag first? Thats not even hindsight.

    • jpfitz says:

      bobbo said,
      “Is calling mismeasuring the rope”

      I’d say it’s youth and Darwin. Maybe some bad math skills and mind altering substances being consumed to get that courage needed to just do it? The sandbag idea is for pussies! jk. Even if they had no sandbag a backpack would suffice.

    • msbpodcast says:

      became taunt

      Yet another example of somebody using the wrong word. The word is taut.

      This is a taunt: This is a taunt, you gibbering cretin.

  3. Hugo Smedlap says:

    Measure twice and jump once.

  4. noname says:

    After well securing the rope at the top, you would think as a safety check, with your life on the line, the dud would let the rope hang loose first to verify how far about the ground it reached before jumping.

    It’s not like it’s a Elastic Bungee Cord that can stretch up-to 50% it’s dormant length.

    With rope, there is no need to miscalculate anything. Check and verify then adjust.

    Too much common sense or is sense just not common anymore?

    Maybe he was just trying to swing as close to the ground as possible, with no margin for error. 2 inches of too much rope at those speeds are fatal.

  5. US says:

    Bet he didn’t have the money to cover the recovery cost of his body. They should require a deposit to cover recovery your dead body when out there doing stupid stuff like this.

    • jpfitz says:

      Hey, give the kid a break. The public schools are at fault here, not the kid being too poor for body removal. I’ve not heard such talk until lately about emergency services cost and WHO’S GONNA PAY. If this was your child and you were not able to pay for either helicopter or dune buggy, how helpless would you feel?

      • US says:

        If it was my kid, they would have known better. I don’t think it is much to require people doing exceedingly dangerous stunts like this to be required to buy insurance to cover body removal. If you are going to do stupid stuff you should cover your own costs.

        • jpfitz says:

          Did you read the article. I read there were operators offering swings but the state put an end to that. Stupid is as stupid does. He does look like a nice enough young man if you google the poor chap.

    • noname says:

      A Brave little lad you are showing some courage by adding insult to injury or just kicking em when their down?

  6. Must have been a teabagger. GOPukes are so anti-science they don’t believe in the laws of gravity.

  7. bobbo, the nuance in our Language is often sublime says:

    Speaking of Slack…. its actually what I first thought of when viewing these and other Youtubes. Youtube shows quite a few people face planting as soon as they swing on a rope and the rope becomes taunt. “Its like” these people have never swung on a rope before. You see that failure in basic physics and experi(ence/ment) all the time. On MXC you’d think the contestants would just watch and learn what the first few contestants do and adapt?….. but no.

    So—that was what i thought the hard part of these swing events actually was–how to jump but keep the rope in tension so there is NO SLACK. Being tied to the rope, they won’t lose their grip but they could still break bones etc. Yeap…. lots of things to calculate. I’d do it.

  8. AlanB says:

    Gravity. It’s not just a good idea. It’s the law.

  9. Yankinwaoz says:

    I’m guessing he used a nylon rope… In other words, a rope that stretches under load.

    He could have measured and cut it the right length. But with the wrong kind of rope, it would not matter.

    Darwin Award Winner!

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      Excellent comment. Rereading my own, I would guess they actually did “measure” the distance from the arch to the ground and looked around and saw there was nothing closer, then they again measured the rope. Hard to get that measurement wrong and I can see lots of rope “seeming” to have no stretch at all which it doesn’t until over a certain pressure?—or it could even be strickly proportionate.

      I can see climbing ropes being both stretch and not depending on specific use but with NO INFO AT ALL, I would guess most are stretchy for the very purpose of doing just that on a fall? Safer for the person and safer for the anchor hold to remain fast?

      Ha, ha. “When is a non-stretchy rope ever used?”===>for arch swinging stupid!

  10. rope-a-dope says:

    Youtube search of “longest rope swing” gives swings that look
    much higher then this and with very little side clearance.

  11. orchidcup says:

    Famous Last Words:

    “Watch this!”

  12. orchidcup says:

    I guess the poor fellow was at the end of his rope.

  13. Cephus says:

    It’s evolution in action, get the stupid people out of the gene pool.

  14. the0ne says:

    I was mislead by the title :( I thought I was going to see someone get hurt!!!!

  15. super77 says:

    Monkey see, monkey do.

    Chalk 1 up for the Darwin Awards. Probably not a winner but maybe this guy will be in the top 20.

  16. Uncle Patso says:

    Excuse me, but:

    TAUT

    *8^)

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      Hey Uncle: Thanks. That wasn’t a typo and it being the wrong word only very slightly occurred to me… not enough to look it up. I just thought it sounded strange because I hadn’t used it for a long time.

      Very telling you appreciate the difference between typos and simply the wrong word.

      A scholar and humanitarian.

  17. spsffan says:

    The celebrated jumping tards of Moab County!

  18. So What? says:

    Darwin fucking rocks.

  19. WmDE says:

    Hang non-stretch rope from arch.

    Tie a tire to bottom of rope a couple feet above ground.

    Sit in tire.

    Have someone give you a push.

    Pump swing to altitude.

  20. t0llyb0ng says:

    I was mislead sb misled

    no n in taut

    sandbag is one word

    Cause of death:  TBI—traumatic buttscrape injury

  21. Dave says:

    XKCD says you should jump off that bridge:

    http://xkcd.com/1170/

  22. wow says:

    The real shame is that the guys who made the original video are a group of highly-experienced climbers who are likely to have their adventures subjected to undue scrutiny because a couple of dumbass knuckle-draggers had no regard for the concept of “expertise”.

    • stormtrooper 651 says:

      No, the real shame is the original video was basically just some teenagers swinging on a rope squealing and wooting, and a background track apparently by “The Wiggles”.

  23. deowll says:

    Another Darwin award winner making sure the genes passed on to future generations don’t contain his. Let’s just call it a learning experience for his friends. If the distance to the ground is 144 ft. you need to use a shorter rope than that. That he was dead is sort of duh. Of course he may not have been allowing for elasticity in the rope.