Irish man survives 76m fall in Pyrenees
AN IRISH climber told yesterday how he survived after plummeting 76m (250ft) down a mountainside in the Pyrenees.
Philip Cosgrove (61) suffered severe head injuries and two broken ribs when he fell while descending the 3,129m Gourgs Blancs peak in Huesca, northern Spain.
Mr Cosgrove, an expat English teacher originally from Longford, had separated from a group of climbers when the accident happened at about 2,800m (9,200ft).
He smashed his head on to rocks but remained conscious and was able to raise the alarm at 12.45pm on Wednesday.
A Civil Guard mountain rescue team was sent out to search for him on foot, but he was located by a helicopter 40 minutes after the emergency call was made. He was airlifted to a hospital in Huesca city.
Speaking from his bed in AE, the experienced climber said: “I was with a group of five Spanish climbers and we had reached the summit, but I decided to descend the mountain alone as I wanted to go back a different way. I’m a good climber but it was a very difficult descent, very steep.
“I reached a point at around 2,800m where the mountain was covered in snow, and I decided to slide down a small slope because it seemed safer than trying to walk it. But I lost control and just took off. I was crashing into stones, trying to steer as best I could but really I was out of control.
“I fell about 75m before crashing into rocks and took a huge whack on the back of the head. I broke two ribs and have a very bad back but luckily remained conscious. I’m very grateful for the mountain rescue people who did a wonderful job locating me and getting me to hospital so quickly.”
Mr Cosgrove lives in northwest Spain, where he has a son.