Man identified in American Fork climbing death

Sep 5, 2022, 12:33 PM | Updated: 6:44 pm
American Fork Canyon is pictured...
Motorists drive near Timpanogos Cave in American Fork Canyon on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — Utah Department of Public Safety crew members found the body of Thomas James Rawe, a missing climber near American Fork, yesterday morning. 

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office says they responded to a call Sep. 4 after the 45-year-old climber sent a text to a friend to pick him up at the Forest Service fee booth, but never showed up. Rawe sent a photo to the friend of the steep terrain and the fee booth he was heading to. 

Also, Rawe told the friend his phone was at 1% battery. Therefore, when the climber didn’t show up the friend was not initially alarmed. 

After UCSO received the call, their search and rescue department responded for a couple of hours in the dark, looking for Rawe. 

However, due to dangerous terrain, SAR was called off for the night. 

The following morning, SAR and a DPS helicopter arrived on the scene with crew members. Once Rawe’s body was confirmed to be deceased, another volunteer flown to the area secured Rawe’s body from falling down the mountain. Then, he was hoisted to a nearby parking lot. 

UCSO says the events leading up to the death are unknown, but it is likely he lost his footing and tumbled serval hundred feet down the steep slope. 

Furthermore, UCSO said Rawe was described by loved ones as the “favorite uncle” to his nieces and nephews. 


Samantha Herrera contributed to this article. 


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Man identified in American Fork climbing death