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Fatal rappeling accident victim was recently engaged, days away from birthday

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Posted at 9:06 PM, May 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-07 00:59:45-04

GRAND COUNTY, Utah  -- A Salt Lake City man, who just got engaged, is dead after falling while rope swinging and rappelling in southern Utah.

Police said that just after 7 p.m. Sunday, Adam Weber and fiancee Stacee swung tandem on a rope across the Day Canyon floor in Grand County. They made it just fine.

However, when Weber tried to get out of a harness and rappel down a wall, he stumbled and fell 100 feet. Paramedics were able to reach him, but Weber died while they were trying to save his life.

When friend Janey Christensen awakened Monday morning, she had no idea – until she received a text message.

"She said, 'I miss him.' And I said, 'Where is he?'" Christensen said.

It was Janey's friend, Stacee, who is Adam Weber's fiancee.

"I said, 'What are you talking about?' And she said, 'He passed away last night.' I said, 'What?'"

"I love him, and I miss him, and my heart goes out to his family and my friend Stacee," Christensen said.

Christensen was one of Adam Weber's climbing buddies.  She saw him just a week ago when he got engaged. Weber was preparing to be a stepfather as well.

"I knew he would be good to them, and the fact that she doesn't get to experience that breaks my heart," she said.

Weber was also days away from his 33rd birthday. Outpourings of love and support filled his Facebook page all throughout Monday afternoon. His brother told FOX 13 that Weber had been rock climbing for five years, but friends said he was new to rope swinging.

Viral YouTube videos show the adrenaline rush rope swinging offers. It's partly what drew Kyle Stocking from West Jordan to swing from the Corona Arch back in March. Stocking died because the rope was too long. Weber's death is the third in Grand County this year related to rope swinging and rappelling.

Christensen said people need to be aware of the risks involved in rappelling and rope swinging.

"I wouldn't tell people to stop doing it, because it's a part of experiencing life, but just be very careful,” she said.

Grand County investigators said that while rope swinging is legal in state parks, thrill seekers need to use extreme caution.

Weber's family chose to grieve privately, and they are planning his funeral, which is tentatively scheduled for Saturday.