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'Almost flying': Climber survives 1,000-foot fall

/ Source: msnbc.com

A climber who fell 1,000 feet down a near vertical cliff in Scotland was found by rescuers standing at the bottom of the mountain reading a map, according to reports Sunday.

A rescuer, who arrived by helicopter, said that they at first did not believe the man could have fallen so far, The Scotsman newspaper reported.

"It seemed impossible. So we retraced our path back up the mountain and, sure enough, there were bits of his kit in a vertical line all the way up where he had obviously lost them during the fall," Lieutenant Tim Barker, who was on board a Sea King helicopter, said, according to the paper.

"It was quite incredible. He must have literally glanced off the outcrops as he fell, almost flying," he added.

A paramedic winched down from the helicopter to the man, 35, found the climber had sustained cuts, bruises and a minor chest injury.

"He was shaking from extreme emotional shock and the sheer relief at still being alive," Barker said, according to The Scotsman.

The climber had been on the summit of the 3,600-foot Sguss Choinnich Mor, about five miles from Ben Nevis, the U.K.'s highest peak, on the west coast of Scotland, when he fell and was found at about 2,600 feet.

The man was taken to hospital in Glasgow, the paper said.

"Really an amazing result. I have to say, when we got the call and realized the details of where he'd fallen, we did expect to arrive on scene to find the worst-case scenario," Barker told BBC News.