Woman Survives 800-Foot Fall Off Mountain Summit

Jun 10, 2014 9:47am

A woman who was rescued from a mountain after nearly 21 hours says that as she fell nearly 800 feet and had thoughts that this was how her life was going to end.

“The next thing I knew I was tumbling,” Viviane Debros, 29, told ABC News.  “I know I had the thought a couple of times, ‘Oh, is this how it ends?’”

Debros was hiking Wednesday in Washington’s Mt. Stuart with her hiking partner, Jake Oram, when she slid while descending the mountain.

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Oram dialed 911 while comforting Debros on the ledge of the mountain at an elevation of nearly 9,400 feet.

“We’re going to try to move her,” Oram can be heard saying in a recording of the 911 call. “I’m a little nervous about that because there is the possibility of a spinal injury.”

Debros was in fact severely injured, with a broken cheek bone, a broken rib and one of her arms broken in two places.

Two helicopters that tried to reach Debros and Oram were pushed back by high winds that prevented them from lowering down a hoist to pull them to safety.

Debros and Oram spent the night huddled together, trying to stay warm and stay calm.

“We just built a little wind wall on a ledge on the side of a gully and slept on that,” Oram said.  “It was absolutely tiny.”

Debros said it was about the size of a bathtub.

More than 20 hours later, a third helicopter was able to reach Oram and Debros and pull the pair to safety.

Debros was taken to a hospital and is now recovering from her injuries at home.

“I don’t think I’d do anything differently if I went back other than not go,” Debros told ABC News.

 

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