The Sideshow

Mountain climber saved at last second from near-fatal fall (VIDEO)

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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The ice slips beneath a mountain climber in Colorado. (YouTube)

A group of mountain climbers attempting to ascend Kennedy's Gully in the Ouray Ice Park in Colorado rescued a fellow climber from near-certain death when a sheath of ice suddenly slipped out from under him.

As the climber makes his way up the gully, the other climbers who are off camera and filming him from above realize that the ice is quickly melting beneath him.

"We've got a rope if you want it," a woman says. "We're setting up a rappel, can you hang on?"

"Yeah, that would be great," he says.

There's a clear sense of urgency from the climbers above as they work to lower a rope to the climber before the ice breaks:

It's a tense few moments as the climber works to get the rope clipped to his belt.

"Ok, you're golden," the woman tells him.

"Thank you very much," he says.

However, things quickly take a turn at two minutes into the video, when the climber ignores pleas to sit tight while the other climbers examine alternate routes for him. As he attempts to press onward, the sheath of ice suddenly slips out from under him.

The site Planet Mountain says that it would have been a 50-meter (160-foot) drop to the bottom of the gully that almost certainly would have killed the climber.

"I've got you. I've so got you. You're not going anywhere," the woman says as she and her companions steady the rope.

When the climber finally reaches his companions, the realization of his near-death experience suddenly seems to set in.

"Epic," he gasped through short breaths. "I owe you all a drink now."

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