As I get older and my joints begin to stiffen with the cruel rigidity of mortality, I get more and more interested in taking time away from my cozy modern life to explore the last great regions of wilderness in the world. That part of me deep down that longs for adventure starts biting its way out of my chest, ready to explode through me and take off running toward the deepest corner of the Amazon or the towering peaks of Nepal.
Then I see a video like this and think, “Nope, I’m cool.”
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With my lack of outdoorsman skills and general clumsiness, chances are I would end up like this poor hiker if I ever indulged the more extreme of these fantasies. It’s probably for the best, then, that the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is using this helmet cam footage of a man’s terrifying fall to educate naive adventure travelers like myself on how quickly accidents can happen in extreme environments.
Here’s the story: While climbing through the Parsley Fern Gully in the Welsh region of Snowdonia (awesome names, by the way), Mark Roberts was struck by a block of ice accidentally dropped by another climber above him. Within seconds, Roberts was dislodged from his “secure” spot on the cliff face and went careening down the side of the gully, landing 100 feet down in a mere 30 seconds. He was lucky to be alive, but not lucky enough to save the embarrassment of having to be rescued by a mountain rescue team:
During the rescue, the team noticed he was wearing a helmet-cam on, and afterwards he offered the footage to the team, and the BMC, to help others understand just how accidents can happen. Sharing such an intense and personal experience online is pretty brave, but Mark felt other climbers might learn from his experience.
I’m not sure if other climbers have learned anything from watching this harrowing fall, but at least one non-climber and admittedly poor walker has been struck with enough fear to keep him off the slopes of northern Wales for the foreseeable future.
Seriously, I might never leave my house again.