Climbing Junkie Story 17; In this photo we were jumping crevasses for sport. The next year there was a big-wall rock climbing accident and I had to get a helicopter rescue. I left all my climbing gear with the injured climber, the food, water, clothing, and everything to get the rescue going. As I was running out for help on a glacier at top speed I detected a crevasse and did not have time to stop or think. My instinct to jump paid off. If I had paused for a split second, I would have fallen in for sure. By the time I recognized the crevasse, I was already about to punch through a thinning overhanging section. At the time, in my mind, I said "Jump, Jump Now". It was over 25 feet to the other side at an angle.
In school I did the long jump in track. So I had my right leg extended and my left leg was behind. I didn't think I was going to make it because of the great distance. I thought I would do a Wile E. Coyote and just go under the lip on the other side. During my flight, with arms extended out fully, I actually tilted my hands at a slight angle to get some lift. Really!
I had so much time during my flight that there was time to look around. I looked to my left and saw the crevasse closing over hundred meters away. looking down it was over 100 feet to the bottom and there was lots of blue ice. I then continued to check out the views during my flight by looking to my right. The crevasse to my right went about a quarter mile to a rock wall.
To make a long story short I made it. I ran several miles with bloody toes, found a ranger with a radio, he called in for a helicopter rescue and the climber was rescued off a rock wall the same day. The climber lived although I had my doubts that he would come off the mountain alive.
This is just one of many climbing stories I have that usually goes untold. I have mentioned this story a few times to some friends. However there are so many stories I have, it will be impossible to get to them all. I started the Addictive Climbing Stories group so climbers/ hikers and others can tell their story.
Interesting some people have mentioned the word Hero. This is the last thing that crossed my mind. I knew only that we were in serious trouble and my focus was on each step down the mountain and rehearsing what I would say to the rescue team. I thought how I would communicate his exact location and that bolts were needed because there were no good anchors. I had many other thoughts on the way down to numerous to count and so serious and grave.