Climber Falls 70 Feet Into Crevasse, Survives

John All was on Nepal's Mount Himlung
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2014 11:04 AM CDT
Climber Falls 70 Feet Into Crevasse, Survives
Western Kentucky University professor John All speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Katmandu, Nepal, Thursday, May 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

An American climber had written himself off for dead after he fell some 70 feet into a mountain crevasse in Nepal on Monday—and yet he managed to survive. John All tells the AP it took him six hours to crawl out of the hole using an ice axe and another three hours to reach his tent, a feat accomplished with a broken arm and ribs, dislocated shoulders, and internal bleeding. The Western Kentucky University geography professor spent the night bleeding and shivering, suffering frostbitten fingers, before rescuers reached him the next morning.

All's team was in lower camps on Himlung, but he was able to text for help on his satellite messenger. That he was able to reach them wasn't his only bit of good fortune: Of his fall, he says, "I landed on an ice ledge probably 3 feet wide which saved me from falling further into the crevasse." All ended up on Mount Himlung due to the closure of the Mount Everest area last month. One of the Sherpa guides who died in the April avalanche was from All's team, which was planning to climb Mount Lhotse, a sister peak of Everest (many of the peaks' routes are shared by climbers; All had actually climbed Everest before). All and his team were collecting ice and snow samples to study the level of pollution and rate of glaciers melting. (More Nepal stories.)

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