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Air Force crew helps rescue injured Zion NP climber

Published September 4, 2013 12:15 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Zion National Park, Utah • An Arizona man is recovering from a climbing accident so remote at Zion National Park that it took the Air Force to make a rescue in the dead of night.

Park officials say the 33-year-old climber was plucked from Behunin Canyon Tuesday by a helicopter and rescue squadron from Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.

Officials say the man's helmet probably saved his life, but a 100-foot fall left him with serious head and other injuries. He was set to make a rappel when he slipped untethered to a rope.

Park spokeswoman Aly Baltrus says the climber had surgery Tuesday at University Medical Trauma Center in Las Vegas.

Park rangers were notified by the man's group around 5 p.m. Monday, and the Air Force took him out by 2:23 a.m. Tuesday.