Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Helmet-cam records man's 100ft slip

Climber Mark Roberts was injured in a fall while on an expedition on Snowdon

A climber's helmet-cam has captured the terrifying moment he fell 100ft (30.5m) down a mountain.

Mark Roberts, 47, a safety consultant and life-long climber, was climbing Snowdon with two friends when he was knocked off by a chunk of falling ice, he told the British Mountaineering Council.

The result was a terrifying slide down Parsley Fern Lefthand Gully, all captured by his helmet-cam.

Mr Roberts said: "You have to laugh sometimes. But seriously, even with experience of risk assessment and making decisions, sometimes things just happen. When it all happens so quickly, you just try not panic and hope there's some luck with you.

"'Oh s***' was probably my thought but the speed at which events took hold meant I knew it was going to go some distance. There was no feeling of panic, more a concerted effort to protect my head and neck and be aware of what was below me, where I was heading and what I could do to slow and stop myself before I got to the more serious rocky outcrops.

"Fortunately I slid into a rocky outcrop on my left with a bit of a thump which took some of the momentum out of my decent, resulting in a bit of a spin, but I could still look for opportunities below for a point to stop.

"I was a little dazed but, critically, not unconscious. Interestingly, I had the foresight to check the cam was still attached and just hoped the vid had recorded that: it wasn't one for repeating! Time seemed a little different. I knew I'd lost my glasses somewhere but I could see movement of someone below and gave them the thumbs up to show I was conscious and not too badly injured. I already knew there was some damage to my ankles which were fairly painful if they were moved."

Mr Roberts was subsequently rescued by Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team. He is now "annoyingly immobile and bruised" after the fall on February 24, but mentally fine.

"I'm getting used to injecting myself with blood-thinning drugs to prevent clots forming, and planning how to get my fitness back once the bones have healed and the cast and support come off," he said.

The video can be viewed at thebmc.co.uk.

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