HAVEpermission to share this--SERIOUS INJURY,fall holy grail


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Social climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 13, 2017 - 11:58am PT
hey there, say... i know, this is the ol' 'go fund me' things, again...

HOWEVER, a friend gave me permission to share it here...

On Saturday, September 10th, due to a major and tragic miscommunication, Thad fell over 100 feet from the top of Holy Grail (which he had just sent). Miraculously he is alive, has no internal injuries or paralysis. However, he sustained major traumatic injuries to his jaw, pelvis, and right ankle, among many other things. He will have numerous surgeries, and recovery will be a long process.

i know, we are all free to 'pass over this' or, if we have the
mean-and-spirit, we are glad to help another out...

others, like me, well, i can't... :(


WHAT I WOULD LIKE THOUGH, if you can't help the fund,
in the midst of all this is please, one thing:

WOULD YOU PLEASE share about any similar FALL that you have had, and:

1-- how you felt about getting through it...
2--how you recovered...
3--or, ANYTHING at all, on what helped you...

this young man (and his wife) are looking at a VERY LONG TERM,
RECOVERY for him...

so, please, share somethings that i can send to my friend,
so that she, can send to THEM...

I WILL keep bumping this, off-and-on, just enough, each week or so,
so that this young man is NOT forgotten and not ALONE in
this trouble...

not sure, if anyone knows him, or was there, or not?

thank you, climber-community...
we are a QUILT joined, you know...

sometimes only by a tiny thread, and other times, by
nearby-material, or, lace, or rick-rack, or

or, the edge, like me...
but, we are joined...

thank you again...

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 13, 2017 - 12:04pm PT
hey there say... it was a long worded post...

but-- i wanted to add this...

they had a thank you note:

And thanks again to the incredible group of WFR-certified climbers who saved Thad's life, as well as the excellent SAR team who rescued him, the awesome Flight For Life Crew, and the attentive and kind doctors and nurses at Mercy.

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 14, 2017 - 12:34pm PT
hey there say, .... bump for any stories or WORDS of encouragment for thad...
and his wife, for their 'long hard trail'...

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 17, 2017 - 10:08pm PT
hey there say... bump, before the work week...

Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Sep 18, 2017 - 03:24am PT
Best wishes for a speedy recovery Thad👊

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 18, 2017 - 05:07am PT
hey there, say, ezra! thank you so much!
i will keep that for a card for him,
and, hopefully get some stories, here, for him, too...

it was very nice of you, :)

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2017 - 10:32am PT
hey there say, bump... for thad...

Alta Loma, CA
Sep 19, 2017 - 01:41pm PT
If I have to read "hey say there" one more time....

Flagstaff/Thousand Oaks
Sep 19, 2017 - 02:01pm PT
"If I have to read "hey say there" one more time...."

Preach brother.

Alta Loma, CA
Sep 19, 2017 - 02:14pm PT
I wonder if Neebee types that sh#t out till the bitter end every single time or if its just cut and pasted in automatically.

For all the thousands of posts it seems to make more sense to set up sort of ctrl function to paste that sh#t in.

I have never understood it either way...

Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Sep 19, 2017 - 04:33pm PT
Don't be mean. NeeBee is just offering her customary salutation. I have dear friends who always say, "How's it goin' Bud ?" when we meet.

As for the young man who is the subject of this thread, listen to your doctors more than you listen to your friends who become internet specialists on your behalf. Real doctors have achieved their title based on rigorous academic and clinical merit, not righteous indignation.

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2017 - 09:33pm PT
hey there say, jim... nice to see you, this eve... :)

say, brotherbbock... oh my, yes, it is my main flaw, ;)
i just type it out to the bitter end, as:

my heart is so very happy to see everyone, and jump on here, to say 'hey there' and, SAY, as to 'this is what's going on--or--etc etc' that,
well, i just 'hey there say it' :) with the flow...

:) sure hope this helps, :)

also, thad, has a long long way to go, to get well, so,
you might see this get a bump in some weeks to come, as,
i really hope to collect some stories that might help him...

it really helped another person that fell a few years back, and it
really helped him mom, too...

(he was lucky to be alive, though, he was not a climber-- but it was
a very traumatic fall) ...

i really want, with all my heart, for any of these folks that
have trauma, through a fall or injury, to know that:

OTHERS have made it through, and that THEY can too...

happy good eve, to you, brotherbbock, spenchur, and all...

and thank you for sharing, too, jim, for the advice for thad, :)

jim, as to this quote:
Don't be mean. NeeBee is just offering her customary salutation. I have dear friends who always say, "How's it goin' Bud ?" when we meet.

yep, you explained it, better than i did... :)

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2017 - 11:59pm PT
hey there say, malcolm!! thank you for this update,
WITH this link, at facebook... and for TELLING thad's story...

since, there is so many
OTHER VIDEOS going off-and-on it makes
it distracting to read, so:

i put the STORY in quotes, from the article
so it might helps folks read it better:


:( whewww... the photos show HOWEVER that there were so
many folks there, all doing whatever was called for, and

yes, it was a miracle, as they said...

He's a flatlander from Memphis, but Thad Ferrell has developed a reputation around Durango as a superb and even beloved rock climber in the 11 years he's lived in that Colorado mecca for outdoor sports.

The Memphis University School graduate is known there for generously sharing his passion and expertise with others, and for being a "climbing lifer.'' That label takes on a new, miraculous meaning since he survived with critical injuries a 100-foot free fall from the top of a climbing route so popular and challenging that climbers call it "Holy Grail."

The accident happened midafternoon Sept. 9 after what his climbing partner that day described as "a major and tragic miscommunication.''

Ferrell on Monday remained in critical condition in intensive care at St. Anthony Hospital outside Denver, a hospital spokeswoman said.

He is undergoing multiple surgeries for injuries that include broken ankles, pelvis and jaw, said friend Steve Fassbinder of Mancos, Colorado. But Ferrell had no internal brain injuries and no paralysis, friends have said.

"He's lucid and aware'' and preparing for another ankle surgery on Tuesday, Fassbinder said.
'Shouldn't have lived'

As fire chief of the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District, Bruce Evans is experienced in search and rescue in wilderness areas around Durango. "He's lived a good life obviously,'' Evans said of the spry, 40-year-old Ferrell. "This really is a miracle for him to survive something like that.''

Fassbinder, the friend who is also a climbing buddy, said, "He's doing really well considering the accident and the height he fell from.

"First of all, he shouldn't have lived but did, which is a miracle,'' Fassbinder said. "He'll be getting numerous surgeries. He'll have an extended hospital stay.''
A day of climbing

Farrell and friend Lizzy Scully, an experienced climber herself, spent that Saturday completing climbs of about 100 feet each in a gorge of the San Juan Mountains along the Florida River, about 20 miles northeast of Durango.

The 30 or so climbing routes on the cliff faces near Lemon Reservoir are popular. They drew many climbers that day, which would help save Ferrell's life.

Scully, still recovering herself from the emotional trauma of the accident, referred a reporter's questions to Fassbinder, her boyfriend. Fassbinder had stayed home that day, but relays this account from Scully:
Signal confusion

On the ground, Scully was the belayer, the person who holds the rope threaded through bolts anchored in the rocks to support the climber should he slip.

Soon after Ferrell reached the top of the climb, Scully saw him give the hand signal that he was off belay. That meant she could let go off the rope. The noisy burbling of the knee-deep Florida River near the foot of the cliff required hand signals.

"You need to be proactively attaching yourself to anchors before you ask for the belay to be off,'' Fassbinder explained about rock-climbing.

"Whether he gave the wrong signal or she got confused on the sign, she let go,'' Evans said. "As soon as she let go, he fell.''

Holy Grail is a vertical-face route. There's no tumbling down a steep incline.

"You're falling in the air; you're not touching anything,'' Fassbinder said. "It's over-vertical slightly.''

"It's like a sheer granite cliff,'' Evans said. However, nearby climbers witnessed Ferrell hitting "a couple of things on the way down, which kind of slowed the velocity,'' he said of rock outcroppings.
Where he landed

The spot where Ferrell landed also helped save his life: Between two big rocks. "If he had landed two feet in either direction, he probably would have been a fatality. He would have landed on sharp rock instead of the dirt between the rocks,'' Evans said.

Other circumstances helped to save Ferrell, too.

The box canyon was crowded with other climbers. Several there were trained as Wilderness First Responders.
'Completely a miracle'

"It's completely a miracle,'' Fassbinder said. "I don't use that term lightly, or ever, because it doesn't happen.''

The Wilderness First Responders "definitely'' saved Ferrell's life at the foot of the cliff, he said. "They maintained his airway, that was the main thing. It was compromised. They kept it open.''

Among other things, those certified rescuers turned Ferrell on his side to prevent him from choking, Evans said. They kept him breathing until the helicopter ambulance arrived.
'I feel responsible'

Scully was traumatized. Grief and guilt wracked her for having let go of the rope, even though the accident apparently resulted from a miscommunication. She was the first to donate to a gofundme.com page to raise money for Ferrell, who's married with children and does carpentry for a living.

"It may or may not be my fault, but regardless I feel responsible for this tragedy and likely always will, and it feels like one of the worst things that I have ever experienced,'' Scully wrote on her Facebook page. "I am so sad. But, I am also really really grateful that he is alive.''

What really happened may never be known, Fassbinder said, especially if Ferrell is unable to recall. "He could have just fallen because he didn't clip in...

"There was a miscommunication about whether he was on or off belay. That's about as far as you can speculate. There's no way without talking to Thad. He may never remember that.''

It's common for climbers to go off belay at the top of a climb. They might clip themselves to anchors while they remove equipment from the top or perhaps pull rope for rappelling back down, Fassbinder said.
$100,000 goal

The goal of the fundraising through gofundme.com/we-thad-ferrell-recovery-fund is $100,000. As of Monday afternoon, more than $53,000 had been raised.

No matter what Ferrell's out-of-pocket medical costs add up to, he and his family will need every dollar raised, Fassbinder said.

"They are not going to get to the number they need for everything. They can't get enough. It's going to be staggering,'' he said, adding that at least a year could pass before Ferrell can return to work.
Durango loves Thad

Ferrell is not just a climber, but excels at cycling, long-distance and ultra-running, ice climbing, skiing and fly-fishing. He has shared his passion, guidance and expertise with untold numbers of people in and around Durango the past 11 years.

Even the fire chief who helped rescue Ferrell knows and admires him.

"Just looking at the people who really love this guy,'' Evans said. "Even my son had been to his climbing school," the fire chief said of an indoor class Ferrell once ran. "He's extremely popular.''

Among the many contributors to the gofundme account is the Durango Running Club, which gave $500 with this comment:

"Thad, you've touched the lives of many in many different organizations in Durango, and the Durango Running Club appreciates all that you've selflessly done for our running community. We wish you a full recovery, and look forward to when you'll be leading a group run up Hogsback again. Much love to you.''
'All-around good guy'

Here's another example of how well liked and well known Ferrell is in Durango. The independent weekly Durango Telegraph last week reported, "... Local climber extraordinaire and all-around good guy Thad Ferrell took a bad tumble last Saturday... Ferrell, a fixture on local trails... faces a long climb to recovery mentally, physically and financially.'' The report encourages readers to donate to the gofundme account.

"Thad is a super-friendly guy,'' Fassbinder said. "If you forgot anything you needed for climbing, he'd give it to you, including the shirt off his back.''

For more information, visit gofundme and search for "Thad Ferrell'' or email thadrecoveryfund@gmail.com.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Sep 20, 2017 - 12:54am PT
On the topic of sharing other tragic senecio in the face of this miracle - I feel conflicted.
In my experience each of us brings our own individual "SPECIAL-NESS" to help bare the unbearable.

Falling even just 10 feet can change your day your week

I'm not going to share any revelations - just that as much as has been lost
There is much that can be regained - The Work is torturously hard.
Pain,becomes the only volume to life,
the hard won balance of the life that was, based on an active adrenaline chasing life-style
-What had been the norm -IS -most likely- gone.
A new style of existence - of sharing- (&extreme loneliness) will with time
replace the old ways that stand as a reminder of the glory days now past.

Although in my experience the night terrors -the Waking dreams of running childhood paths that were my daily drug- that were the force- the thing that made the best ME that ever was
Continue to this day.
And I've returned from crushed . . .

sublime miracles -such as this - such as they are-
Like the miracle of life itself
Are un-fathomable

Hey There,& Hey Now!
Wise neebee - thank you
and I'm sorry that my scatt - illogical response is what it is.

Life after falling,
having initially survived the crushing stop & the immense damage
And rising above the debilitating depression
to work on recovery - working to regain any sort of normalcy
Becomes the journey of life. The walk is obscure.
A distant light that once held the focus seems snuffed out
But it still glows and can even re-ignite to provide the light and warmth that was so regular that it was taken for granted.
Those camp outs
those travels to the peaks and grottos
Where up was the days reward.

up -!- oh that drive to return to the rock- I hope that it can be found, harnessed
& used to whatever good that can be found

Sometimes-in the dark corners of my existence
I find the crutch
that I still love to go up
I hope that the sad truth of it -going up&down- doesn't now seem a total waste.

I'm tapping on a phone that is now has very low battery left.....

I pray for the return to full health and happiness for this great Yo-Yo of our tribe

There remains a long road that will take a part of every loved one and change the way all the things that matter are.
 hi-light the important things look past the harsh
Try to seee the beautiful side and the glory that a spark can be a flame again.

I've been extremely lucky -I can walk. . .
Running ? I still dream of races run 40 years ago.

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 20, 2017 - 01:04am PT
hey there say, gnome ofthe diabase... thank you very much for sharing...

very true words, for anyone not only, a climber,

side note:
my mom is going through THIS right now:

I'm not going to share any revelations - just that as much as has been lost
There is much that can be regained - The Work is torturously hard.

once we see that others have made a way for themselves,
it CAN GIVE hope...

thank you for sharing a 'double shot'

one for thad, and one for my mom...

(i will put this in the collection of notes)
thank you, and good eve, to you...

Trad climber
Sep 20, 2017 - 08:39am PT
Well I can't fund but here are a few things,

I broke and dislocated my jaw in a rappelling accident when I was young (high school). My broken jaw has been the most difficult injury to deal with. Wired shut for 6 weeks. What I did was drank mostly weight gain shakes (like Joe Weider) but still lost 15-20 lbs and was 6'2" 170 to start. As time went on and I lost weight, energy and fatigue set in much faster. Normal. I also learned how often you actually lick your lips as I couldn't, keep water around and chapstick. After wires were cut and I could chew my first thing was to eat. I went to McDonalds and ordered 20 piece Mcnuggets and large fry no shakes please. I ate 3 and a few fries and was full! My jaw was tired too. But I gained that weight back in 2-3 weeks.

To give a funny story to it, I caught a cold with a stuffy nose and it was summer. So I tried to "eat" an ice cream cone but plugged all spaces in my teeth and with a stuffy nose I had to clear my teeth with my fingers quickly or I would have suffocated. You had to be there.....

I'm currently recovering from reconstruction of my ankle and the process is fine but boring. I read a lot.

I don't know if any of this helps but a thought that I would share.

Hang in there!


Alta Loma, CA
Sep 20, 2017 - 11:03am PT

say, brotherbbock... oh my, yes, it is my main flaw, ;)
i just type it out to the bitter end, as:

my heart is so very happy to see everyone, and jump on here, to say 'hey there' and, SAY, as to 'this is what's going on--or--etc etc' that,
well, i just 'hey there say it' :) with the flow...

10/4 gotcha loud and clear.

Keep typing it out till the bitter end....sounds like its good for the soul :)

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 20, 2017 - 11:21am PT
hey there, say, skywalker 1...

thank you... i this will be very nice, to add in,
not many folks have ever shared such a recovery...

also, brotherbbock... 10/4, :)
and a hearty 'hey there, say' to you... :)
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Sep 20, 2017 - 11:35am PT
I was just 'here - brotherbock, this is not the place to try to erase the un-thought words. Please don't follow this thread if you have not the empathy for a crushed soul who's battle to regain some sort of normal life is at its beginnings
A very severe almost all ways fatal fall occurred
Then given the state of modern climbing a miricale was preformed-
preemptive support, the selfless acts to stave off death h, A flight for life and now this
A gathering of the tribe to try to buoy the crushed to help float him as
The swift current threatens to drag the saved back over the All to near waterfall
The fight to heal
and heal mentally needs to be fed
Support from all of us helps
So if you can add support
if you can try to understand the precariousness of the bed-ridden
Then please speak up

If you need to hear your own words repeated,
or want to deride one of us-you are(all) invited to fan the flames of discontent else where
May-be in The mouse of merced's opus
Take it from whence it comes
Seee ha' in Flames

The glory of the Taco is the true heeling that can come

I had come back to ask after the belayer
Liz Scully
Women ! Reach out
Talk it out
Scream at the sky
Let the tears roll till your dry and then keep crying

Do I know the name?
I can not say if I know the person ?
I hope you go after a time and climb in that spot again
Do not hesitate to reach out
Please know that you - your mental health- was not casual second thought
I wanted to ask (others) if that was a familiar name?
Had I or anyone I knew climbed with Liz?
It is of no importance
Liz, As members,LIFERS- the tribe has your back

You took that in the wrong way BrotherB
I was glad to have the cover of answering your jibe.
It helped to get the juices flowing.
Thank You for your donation! & faithfulness and blessings
I apologize if need be

Alta Loma, CA
Sep 20, 2017 - 12:33pm PT
I actually did donate to the gofundme gnome...

Doesn't mean I can't have a little side convo with the neebster.

So get off your high horse ;)
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