Memphian survives 100-foot fall while mountain climbing

(Source: Upper Pine River Fire Protection)
(Source: Upper Pine River Fire Protection)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Memphis community is reaching out to help a Memphis native who survived a 100-foot fall while mountain climbing.

Thad Ferrell was climbing in a popular spot in Colorado on Sept. 10 when he fell.

"It was like any other climbing day," Ferrell's climbing partner Lizzy Scully said.

Scully and Ferrell were at the gorge at Lemon Reservoir outside Durango, Colorado. The pair were warming up on easy routes to get ready for a more advanced climb when something went wrong.

"I thought he was safe with the anchor, because he gave me the thumbs up, but he--he wasn't clipped into the anchor," Scully said.

Scully took Ferrell's thumbs up as a sign he was clipped in at the top. She thought that meant he was going to repel down, instead of having her belay him down the rock face.

"This is like the worst kind of miscommunication you could possibly have," Scully said.

Ferrell fell 100 feet.

Luckily a group of first responders was climbing nearby at the same time. They helped stabilize Farrell until more extensive medical help could arrive.

Ferrell survived, but he suffered significant injuries to his jaw, pelvis, and right ankle. He will require several surgeries and undergo a long recovery process.

If you'd like to donate to the University of Memphis grad to help with medical expenses, a GoFundMe account has been set up.

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