SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — 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.