NC rock climber recovering from 40-foot fall

Jackson Depew

Jackson Depew

BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. (WHNS) — Jackson Depew, an experienced rock climber, is still recovering after falling 40 feet on March 10 in the Linville Gorge.

Depew said he had just moved to western North Carolina a few days earlier and hadn’t been climbing in six months.

“I was really excited to get back on the rock. It started you know just as a normal climbing day,” said Depew.

He had no idea though he would be at the center of a rescue operation involving a Black Hawk helicopter.

“The last thing I remember was onto this flake with my left hand, looking at it trying to figure out where the climb was going,” said DePew. “And I’m pretty sure, I don’t remember much but I’m pretty sure that the flake broke off, and then I fell off right, and that’s kind of the last thing I remember before I woke up.”

DePew said he woke up to a man yelling at him. It just happened to be a rock climber who witnessed DePew’s fall and rushed to him.

“He was like hey man you just took a huge fall like don’t move, I was like oh,” said Depew.

It was about an hour and a half later search and rescue teams showed up. They used a Black Hawk helicopter to rescue DePew off the cliff ledge.

DePew said he plans to climb again as soon as he’s cleared from the doctor. He had a couple fractures around his pelvis, fractured ribs, he broke his tail bone and suffered a concussion.

“It’ll be tough mentally you know, that’s a challenge that everybody who takes you know a bad fall or something like that faces,” DePew explained.

He said he plans to return to the gorge climb and doesn’t want his fall to shed a negative light on rock climbing. He said because he and his climbing partner followed all safety measures, he is here today to tell his story.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26,995 other followers