Arizona woman dies after hiking The Wave

Published: Tuesday, July 23 2013 1:42 p.m. MDT

A May 28, 2013, file photo shows a hiker on a rock formation known as The Wave in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. A hiker visiting The Wave died of cardiac arrest Tuesday July 23, 2013. The flowing sandstone rock formation near the Utah-Arizona border that claimed the lives of a California couple earlier this month.

Brian Witte, File, Associated Press

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KANAB — An Arizona woman died Monday after suffering from heat-related stress while hiking The Wave.

Elisabeth Ann Bervel, 27, from Mesa, Ariz., was returning from hiking The Wave with her husband Anthony Bervel. It was their fifth wedding anniversary, and they had been looking forward to the hike with tickets they drew from the online lottery seven months ago, Kane County Emergency officials reported.

The Bervels started their hike about 8 a.m., and after spending time at The Wave — a deposit of ancient sandstone famous to hikers — they started back to the trailhead, but lost the trail a few times during the heat of the day, Kane County officials said.

The extra hours in the heat took their toll on Elisabeth Bervel and she stopped, unable to hike further, prompting her husband to hike around and search for a cellphone signal to call for help, officials reported.

A medical helicopter was dispatched from Page, Ariz., directly to the scene, along with a Kane County sheriff’s deputy and an ambulance from Big Water.

When emergency responders arrived by helicopter, Bervel was in cardiac arrest. They performed CPR, but were unable to revive her, Kane County authorities reported.

Her body will be transported to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office in Salt Lake City to determine an exact cause of death.

According to Kane County officials, Bervel’s death brings this summer’s toll of hiking-related deaths in Kane County to four, with ages ranging from 27 to 70 years old.

“This event once again demonstrates the inherent risks associated with hiking in southern Utah’s desert country this time of year,” authorities said in a statement. “Even though the Bervels had tried to make sure they were prepared for this hike, the elements proved to be stronger.”

Three hiking-related deaths this summer took place near the trail to The Wave, and the fourth occurred at another popular hiking spot off of the Hole in the Rock Road south of Escalante.

Email: kmckellar@deseretnews.com

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