Yosemite visitors have been risking their lives since the first outsiders arrived. What is it that causes otherwise rational people to feel the sudden need to test their mortality when they find themselves in spectacular natural settings?
I once observed a young man performing tricky Yoga balancing poses on the very edge of a trail hundreds of feet above Machu Pichu in Peru. It seems that when some people find themselves in locations where it is so obvious how small they are compared to the Universe around them their ego compels them to perform such acts of defiance.[sam id=1 codes=’false’]
When the daredevil is a trained athlete who has prepared for the risks the stunts often have a happy ending. Such was the case with Mich Kemeter seen in the photo above. Spontaneous daredevil acts usually don’t turn out so well.
An example in 2011 was when a few individuals from a church outing tried to show off by hanging over the water at the top of Vernal Falls in Yosemite. Three people were swept to their death and their bodies weren’t recovered until winter when reduced water runoff allowed an exploration of the rocks at the base of the falls.
My advice: When visiting natural wonders try to just enjoy the sight and suppress the urge to show off.