Transcript for Instant Index: Happy 4th From First Lady Michelle Obama
Next tonight, the risky rescue to save a climber holding on to the side of the rocks. Neal Karlinsky shows us how they pulled it off. Reporter: Even for this elite unit from the snohomish county helicopter rescue team near Seattle, it was a jarring sight. The man, stuck high up on a sheer rock face, holding on for dear life. I've got him. Reporter: The man had called 911 for help, but when they told him a rescue team could take hours, he said he couldn't hold on much longer. So, the helicopter made a daring approach. Put me right behind him. Reporter: With just ten feet between the rotors and a mountain called chair peak, it was a white-knuckled parking job to hover in position and lower a rescue climber. There is not much room. But get me down there and we'll see how this works. Reporter: The man had no safety equipment, something called free climbing, that we saw up close recently with the world's best, Alex Honnold. He climbs vertical towers, ropeless, equal parts beautiful and terrifying. In this case, the rescue climber reaches the man, warning him not to reach out to him, and removes his backpack. He then straps him into a harness, before the two are hoisted straight up, on to the helicopter. There's no audio onboard, but the man's face, one big exhale of relief, says it all. Later, on solid ground, a handshake of thanks for saving his life, and a day on the mountain he'll never forget. Neal Karlinsky, ABC news, Seattle.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.