Fallen Oklahoma climber uses cellular phone to lead rescue workers to him

Monday, July 31st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Fallen climber uses cellular phone to lead rescue workers to him GEORGETOWN, Colo. (AP) -- An Oklahoma man credited God with saving his life after he fell 200 feet down a rocky mountain slope. Rescuers reached Mark Chase, 52, about five hours after fell Saturday. Chase called 911 dispatchers on a cellular phone and told them he had injured himself and was afraid he would fall farther I fhe tried to move, Clear Creek County Undersheriff Bill Bridenburg said.

A helicopter carried rescuers to a slope above Chase in the Dead Dog Couloir area, which is 11,000 to 13,000 feet above sea level between Grays Peak and Torreys Peak. They used a rope to reach Chase, then carried him for 45 minutes to a spot where the helicopter could land. "The snow was not firm enough to hold me," Chase told Oklahoma City television station, KFOR-TV by telephone. "That's when all holy heck broke loose. . . . The good Lord had a good hand in this."

Chase had pain in his hip, legs and an arm. He was taken to a hospital in Denver, about 35 miles away. A hospital official said his condition was stable but gave no information about his injuries. Bridenburg said Chase, who called dispatchers every 20 minutes until the rescue, was fortunate his calls got through because the area is so remote. "I have three different cell-phone carriers in my car and none of them had any coverage just below where he was," Bridenburg said. "He was lucky."