An American climate scientist fell into a 70-foot crevasse on Mount Himlung in the Himalayas, and he lived to tell the tale.
Western Kentucky University professor John All was conducting climate research in Nepal on Monday when he suddenly fell, breaking his arm, five ribs and dislocating his shoulder.
He looked up, realized he had fallen through a 70-foot hole and turned on his camera. Later, he posted it to Facebook, describing it as "one of life's hardest moments."
“I’m pretty well fucked,” All says into the camera. “I fell through that hole, thankfully I didn’t keep falling that way.” He then aims the camera down towards the blackness beneath him. “I got trapped here instead, on this ledge. My arm, I can’t use. I have to somehow climb out that way,” he says, looking upwards toward the light.
And then the scientist did just that, as CNN reports. All managed to make it out of the hole around five hours later. He captured his journey for survival in a series of videos he posted on YouTube.
He was rescued by helicopter the following morning and taken to a hospital.
"It probably took me four or five hours to climb out. I kept moving sideways, slightly up, sideways, slightly up, until I found an area where there was enough hard snow that I could get an ax in and pull myself up and over," he told HLN's RightThisMinute.
"I knew that if I fell at any time in that entire four or five hours, I, of course, was going to fall all the way to the bottom of the crevasse. Any mistake, or any sort of rest or anything, I was going to die."
Writing on Facebook two days after falling, Professor All says he had injuries all across his body, “but no single one will kill me.”
All is an associate professor in WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology and director of the American Climber Science Program, which WKU describes as a research and conservation program of the American Alpine Club.
He was due to climb Mount Everest this spring, but after a deadly avalanche shut down the season he took his research to Mount Himlung.
“The avalanche was a terrible experience for everyone,” All told WKU News on May 7. “We lost one of our friends. We worried for nearly a day about others as we searched the bodies being brought down. Seeing the blood and gore really broke everyone down. The petty politics that ensued has really pulled a lot of people who were close, far apart in sad ways.”
WKU President Gary Ransdell said the university community was looking forward to giving Dr. All a warm welcome back to campus.