An American professor found himself in a situation most people only have nightmares about: 70 feet down in an icy crevasse, miles away from humanity in the Himalayas, completely alone and broken.
44-year-old Western Kentucky University professor John All was climbing the Nepalese Himalayas to conduct climate research when he fell 70 feet into a hidden crevasse before smashing into a ledge only three feet wide. He was a full two days ahead of the rest of his research team and badly hurt from the plunge.
He dislocated his shoulder, broke his humerus (the bone connecting your elbow and shoulder), five ribs, and smashed his knee and face. He fell on his right side, rendering it nearly useless.
“Biggest problem was, because my ribs were so broken in my right side, I had to do everything with just my right foot, but not the upper part of my right leg, and my left leg, and then my left arm," All told HLN.
All was alive but says he all but resigned himself to death. He decided to whip out his camera to make a video, a la 127 Hours. Knowing he wouldn’t survive in the crevasse for long, All decided to make the long and dangerous climb for the top.
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On top of having only half a body to work with, much of the crevasse walls were soft, so All had to maneuver both vertically and laterally to find the icy walls in which his pickaxe would hold.
It took him five hours to finally reach the top of the crevasse and another agonizing three hours to get back to back to his camp. He texted colleagues on satellite phone, who relayed the message to rescuers. He spent the night alone waiting for rescuers.
Rescuers brought him to a Kathmandu hospital, where he spent one night before checking himself out. All isn’t discouraged and preparing for another climb in Peru this June.
All made three other videos as he made his way out of the crevasse: