That's very sad. The Precipice certainly has exposure but the ladders take the risk out unless the rock is wet. And if it is wet one really shouldn't be up there. I have fond memories of climbing it with my dog Rainier back in the 80's. I'd pick her up, hoist on the shoulder, and climb a ladder. She'd then forge on ahead and wait for me at the base of the next ladder. That was one great trail dog!
I'm happy to learn that they reopened the trail after the Peregrine Falcon thing. Seems like it had been closed for many years.