This Scientist Fell Down a 70-Foot Crevasse in the Himalayas But Managed to Claw His Way Out

Rescue teams finally reached him the following day

Dr. John All fell 70 feet into this crevasse. Photo: Simrik Air

John All, a geographer at Western Kentucky University, was rescued earlier this week after falling 70 feet into an icy hole in the Himalayas, AP reports. At the time, All—an experienced climber—was out on his own on Mount Himlung in Nepal and was collecting samples of snow and ice to analyze for pollution markers.

No one witnessed his fall, and he had no means of calling for help. Although he suffered five broken ribs, a broken arm, a dislocated shoulder and internal bleeding, AP reports, All realized that the only chance for his survival was to crawl out.

Here is the video that All made after his fall:

Using his ice pick, All laboriously dragged himself out of the hole—a task that took about six hours, according to the AP. From there, he still had to travel a couple more hours back to his tent.

At his camp, All used a satellite messenger to send an SOS text to an crisis response team called Global Rescue. But bad weather prevented any rescue mission, and All had to spend the night alone on the mountain with his injuries. "We were able to communicate with John via two-way satellite text throughout, which was invaluable," Ann Shannon, a spokesperson for Global Rescue, said in an email. "After it was clear that no helicopter could fly due to weather, we advised John and our trained critical care paramedics offered guidance on how to survive the night."

Rescue workers finally managed to reach him early the next morning and rushed him to a hospital in Kathmandu. Despite his doctor's protest, AP reports, All checked himself out of the hospital after just one night. As he wrote on Facebook, he's "not really an hospital type of guy." 

He hopes to still make a planned climbing trip to Peru next month, AP adds. 

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