Man survives 1,000-ft mountain fall

January 31st, 2011 - 8:43 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 31 (IANS) A climber, who plunged 1,000 feet down a mountain summit, left the rescue team shell-shocked after he was found standing and reading a map at the site. The climber had only just reached the summit of Scottish peak Sgurr Choinnich Mor, around five miles east of Ben Nevis, when the accident happened.

As he stood at 3,589 feet with three friends he lost his footing and plummeted down the steep and craggy eastern slope of the mountain around lunchtime Sunday, breaking his back at three places, The Sun reported Monday.

Adam Potter, 35, quickly became the subject of a helicopter rescue mission - but when they found him he was standing up, reading a map.

Potter said from hospital: “We got to an area where it is a bit more slippy and a bit icier, so I said ‘let’s get our crampons on and get the axes out behind that rock’, which was about five metres away.

“As I walked towards the rock I slipped, and that’s when the fall began to happen.

“Towards the end I had almost lost all of my speed, then I actually saw what I was about to go over, which was one more cliff, and I actually thought that would be it.

“I thought that might have been the end on that one.”

A Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from HMS Gannet in Prestwick, Ayrshire, was already airborne on a training exercise when it was diverted to the scene.

“Amazing escape … climber fell over 1,000ft near Ben Nevis and survived.” Lieutenant Tim Barker, the crew’s observer, said: “We began to hover-taxi down the slope and spotted a man at the bottom, standing up.”

“We honestly thought it couldn’t have been him, as he was on his feet, reading a map,” he added.

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