LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON — If pictures could tell a story, 35-year-old Andrew Sharp’s would be one big adventure.
Sharp documented his love affair with Utah’s great outdoors, always taking a moment to capture the breathtaking scenery around him.
Those photos fill his Facebook page.
“I think he got his love of hiking from his grandpa,” said Sharp's aunt, Julie Sharp, who lives in Bountiful.
She said he was inspired by his late grandfather, who was skiing and hiking well into his 90s.
Andrew Sharp was born in Maryland, but his father’s job with the U.S. Department of State took the family abroad.
“He lived in Egypt, in the Sudan and Tunisia and also in Jordan,” Julie Sharp said.
Andrew Sharp was an engineer for L3 Communications, and several years ago his job brought him from Ohio to Utah.
“He’s just been a hiking fanatic ever since then,” his aunt said.
Andrew Sharp spent most of his time outside, Julie Sharp said.
“He started snowshoeing this last year. He had gotten ice picks because he was going to start climbing and rappelling,” she said.
His hike in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Aug. 15 would be his last.
Unified police say Andrew Sharp sent a text to his friend around noon asking him to meet him at the White Pine Trailhead for a ride home.
When he failed to show up, his friend called police.
A helicopter crew found the man’s body Saturday morning at the bottom of White Pine Canyon.
“I’ve lost my mom and brother in the past few years and stuff, but you don’t think you’re going to lose your 35-year-old nephew,” Julie Sharp said.
She said her nephew was intelligent, funny and an all-around great guy.
Andrew Sharp had set a goal to climb the highest peaks in every county in Utah by the end of August.
“He only had a few counties left to go,” she said.
His death isn’t the only one in Utah’s mountains this summer. Three others have died while hiking.
Unified police said they may never know what caused Andrew Sharp to fall. They said people need to know their skill level.
Andrew Sharp's family said their loss shows that tragedy can befall even the most experienced hiker.
“If you’re going to go hiking anywhere, take a companion with you,” Julie Sharp said. “Anything can happen, anytime.”