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Skier who fell off backcountry cliff near Snowbird rescued

Published February 4, 2013 4:49 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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

A skier fell off of a 100-foot cliff Monday afternoon in the Hogum Fork area in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

A medical helicopter along with rescuers from Wasatch Back Country Rescue were able to locate the man around 3 p.m.

Lt. Justin Hoyal, of the Unified Police Department, said the man, identified as 31-year-old Robert Babbitt, of the Salt Lake area, was transported via medical helicopter to a hospital with leg and face injuries.

Hoyal said that Babbitt was skiing with three others when he fell. Two of his companions went down after him, while another stayed above the cliff to call for help. The man was conscious when rescuers located him.

Babbitt told rescue workers he did not intend to go over the cliff, but it's not clear whether he was skiing out of control, or simply got too close to the edge and was unable to prevent himself from going over, Hoyal said.

"He did tell us it was accidental," Hoyal said.

Snowbird spokeswoman Emily Moench said the fall occurred in the Pfeifferhorn peak area, which is west of Snowbird and far outside of the resort's boundaries. But Moench confirmed that two Snowbird ski patrol members assisted in the search and rescue.

One of the tallest in the Wasatch Mountains, the Pfeifferhorn stands more than 11,300 feet above sea level.

Babbitt was listed in critical condition on Monday night, Hoyal said.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KimballBennion