Amber Bellows had been married just two weeks when she and her husband decided to take an adventurous BASE jumping trip, but the 28-year-old would not leave Utah’s Zion National Park alive.
Bellows fell more than 2,000 feet to her death after jumping from Mount Kinesava on Saturday afternoon. Her husband, 29-year-old Clayton Butler, said he saw his newlywed wife’s parachute malfunction and tried to jump to save her, but he was not able to reach Amber in time.
Butler then hiked more than two hours out of the park, reaching a park ranger just before sunset. Bellow’s body was found on Sunday among rugged rocks at the base of the mountain, park spokeswoman Aly Baltrus said on Monday.
Before the tragedy, both Bellows and Butler had been very well known in the dangerous sport of BASE jumping. BASE stands for buildings, antennas, spans and earth, the dangerous structures that participants climb before jumping.
Bellows and Butler have been featured in many YouTube videos, including a jump from Buttermilk Tower in Utah. The two-minute video shows the couple climbing hundreds of feet up a ladder and jumping from the top of the tower.
On Monday the video turned into a de facto memorial for Amber Bellows, with many YouTube users leaving messages.
“I’m sorry for your loss. Looks like she really enjoyed base jumping. RIP Mrs. Butler,” one user wrote.
Given the dangerous nature of BASE jumping, it is illegal in many locations. Amber Bellows and Clayton Butler had to illegally enter Zion National Park to perform their jump.
“BASE jumping is so dangerous. Even for those that are experienced, like Amber Bellows. That is one of the reasons it is not allowed in the park,” Acting Superintendent Jim Milestone said in a statement.
Amber Bellows was the first person ever to die BASE jumping at Zion National Park.