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Teen mountaineer survives 500-foot fall on Mount Hood

By
Don Jacobson

Jan. 2 (UPI) -- A Canadian teenage mountain climber who survived after falling 500 feet on Oregon's Mount Hood gave thanks to his rescuers and said it won't stop him from continuing in the sport.

Gurbaz Singh, 16, of Surrey, British Columbia, said he was nearing the final push of a Dec. 30 ascent of Mount Hood, in an area of the peak known as the Pearly Gates, when he lost his footing and took a fall that would have killed many other climbers.

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Instead, he escaped with a broken leg and on Wednesday said from his hospital bed at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, Ore., he was grateful for the help he received.

After falling into a part of the mountain known as the Devil's Kitchen, he had to wait hours before rescuers reached the spot an evacuated him on a stretcher.

"I'm so thankful for everyone who helped me," he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "They kept me awake and they helped my mood because it hurt a lot."

An experienced climber, Singh's attempt to scale the 10,500-foot Mount Hood would have been his 98th summit climb. He documents his adventures on social media as "Kidmountaineer." He credited his training and sheer luck for his survival.

After his leg heals, Singh said he intends to ease back into mountain climbing in stages.

"It makes me feel happy, like I've accomplished something bigger than myself," he said.

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