Yosemite rock climber rescue caught on camera

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Yosemite Rock Climber Rescued After 30-Foot Fall


When experienced climber Blake Parkinson went to Yosemite National Park on Easter, he probably wasn't expecting the day to end with a helicopter rescuing him after he fell more than 30 feet.

Parkinson and his friend Ben Tomsky were trying to climb part of the 600-foot-tall Higher Cathedral Spire.

KPIX reports somewhere along the climb that, Parkinson, who was thankfully wearing a helmet, plummeted off a narrow ledge, breaking his back in the process.

"I went to pull a move, and I didn't make it, and I fell," Parkinson said.

CBS says Tomsky called 911 and a California Highway Patrol helicopter rushed to help and caught the rescue on camera.

With its blades dangerously close to the rock face, pilots steadied the helicopter and hoisted Blake to safety.

Tomsky spoke with a KPIX reporter about how scared he was when Parkinson wasn't responding after the fall.

"He wasn't shouting to us. Normally, when a climber falls, right away they would say, 'I'm OK, I'm getting back on it,''' Tomsky said.

But even though Parkinson wasn't responding to his friend, one of the rescuers told the Los Angeles Times Parkinson had his eyes open and even gave a thumbs-up when the rescue helicopter arrived.

Parkinson is currently recovering in a Modesto, Calif., hospital.

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