Ammon McNeely


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Trad climber
el portal
Oct 29, 2013 - 12:26am PT
Get well Ammon!

beneath the valley of ultravegans
Oct 29, 2013 - 12:37am PT
Get out of that bed and into the red...
(just heal up first!)

just southwest of the center of the universe
Oct 29, 2013 - 12:50am PT
Hang on to that yellow band they put on your wrist.

Hope you're back on the rocks soon.


Wade Icey

Trad climber
Oct 29, 2013 - 12:58am PT
It's all fun and games 'til someone loses an eyepatch...

the Fet

Oct 29, 2013 - 12:59am PT
Wishin` ye well. Hope ye be havin' a full recovery. Glad ye didna end up in Davy Jones` Locker.

Big Wall climber
san jose, ca
Oct 29, 2013 - 01:07am PT
Best wishes Mr. Pirate sir

Trad climber
Oct 29, 2013 - 01:31am PT
Aaaaagh! Bummer dude.
Wishing you a fast recovery. I second CMac's suggestion. Stick to the rocks.
Get well soon!

Gym climber
Oct 29, 2013 - 01:34am PT
Frick Ammon, as if jumping out of redwoods wasn't enough for your foot.

Super sobering news. Hoping the magic potion works and you get back to high-steppin' soon.

the last bivy
Oct 29, 2013 - 01:45am PT
sorry to hear you got nabbed by the troll under the bridge, but I'm glad you got away with head and heart. Best wishes for strong healing and that the foot gets on straight extending and flexing as it should.

Ice climber
Oct 29, 2013 - 01:50am PT
Hope it isn't too bad, and that you are back outside soon.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Oct 29, 2013 - 01:51am PT
Yur Gonna Die!!!!!

If you keep eating Chef Boyardee in the hospital...

Sending Love Bro. Make the best of whatever it is and keep grooving



Gym climber
The great state of advaita
Oct 29, 2013 - 01:59am PT
Like that photo. That's the Ammon spirit... can do matey! But Chef Boyardee... isn't that a form of juicing? No worries, if it gets the job done... carry on matey and heal well.


Trad climber
Springdale, UT
Oct 29, 2013 - 02:15am PT
Sending good vibes your way--hang in there and heal up soon!

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Oct 29, 2013 - 02:15am PT
Got a message from Sir Pirate a while ago. Had a cliff strike in Moab but he says he will fully recover. He will probably share some details soon.

Get well fast my friend! Blue skies.
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Oct 29, 2013 - 02:41am PT
Get well dude.

And Chef Boyardee is a patch on hospital food.

Mountain climber
there and back again
Oct 29, 2013 - 02:41am PT
When I heard you were in the hospital I new it had to be serious! Brother, hang in there.

Sending you good vibes. Nothing but respect for a fellow pirate.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Oct 29, 2013 - 02:49am PT
Cliff strike - dang, Ammon, you may be running short of lives soon.
Pretty soon people might start calling you "the next 'Dead Steve' Morrell"?

Sport climber
Oct 29, 2013 - 03:23am PT
Sorry you are dealing with this accident. I hope you have many more flights. And continue to enjoy from life!

Social climber
Oct 29, 2013 - 03:35am PT
hey there say, ammon... keep getting well, we are in your corner...

is there a room address to send cards?

we are here to help you with the good cheer part, :)

glad that someone started the get well thread and glad to hear things
seem stable now... :)

and last:
i am very thankful you are still here for your loved ones, family,and
for us, too!

god bless... and prayers for recovery and all it entails...

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Oct 29, 2013 - 07:13am PT
*Warning: very graphic below*

Well, I was really trying to delay posting anything publicly until the surgeons could predict the outcome better and I had time to inform my family and close friends about this incident... but, I guess the cat is out of the bag.

Let me fist start off by thanking everyone for the well wishes. I truly appreciate it.

Second, I take 100% of the responsibility for this, and all other, accidents/injuries both in BASE jumping and rock climbing.

BASE jumping is a very hard activity to explain to those who have never experienced the sensation and freedom of leaping off a cliff. Just like rock climbing it's something that you have to be very passionate about to except the risks that come with the amazing feeling you get while following your dreams. For those who think climbing is any safer than BASE jumping are in complete denial of how dangerous rock climbing is. But, like climbing you can choose the risks that you take before you jump and decide if that is in your level of capabilities. I like to think of myself as a 5.10 trad BASE jumper with reasonable pro. Obviously, I'm not flying the 5.14x routes in Europe that is taking a lot of jumpers these days. That being said, we are not perfect and slipping on a 5.6 is still possible.

A little background information for those who don't know or are unclear of the days leading up to the Moab accident. Most of you know of my troubles with jumping in Yosemite. Back then I had three BASE rigs, two modern canopies and one old school Fox with a velcro container. My first time getting busted in Yosemite they allowed me to "buy" back my gear for 1,500, plus the 2,500 fine that went with being a "criminal". I figured I was just unlucky and continued jumping in the park. I ended up selling one of my rigs to help pay for the fine I had acquired. The second time, yes there was a second bust, they took my gear without the option of "buying" it back, gave me a $5000 fine and sent me to prison for 38 days.

I guess you could say that I learned my "lesson" after that. I was done jumping in National Parks and continued following my climbing and jumping passions elsewhere. That just left me with a very used old school velcro rig to play with, until I could afford some more modern gear. I adapted and learned to jump this older gear with precision and confidence. But, I started to notice that one of my brake settings was getting a bit frayed and needed replaced. This is where I should have been a lot more cautious about something new, but with 1000+ jumps, felt quite confident. Just like in climbing, it's best to experiment with singular differences rather than a handful, or even a couple of new variations. In this case, new brake lines and an exit that I had never experienced before. I should have taken them back to the bridge in Idaho or jumped an exit that I was very familiar with.

So, I was down in Moab mentoring my friend Dave who had 50+ jumps and hadn't been off a cliff, yet. He was doing all the right steps and I took him under my wing. We did a jump in Northern Utah and went down to Moab and hucked a couple of cliffs in Mineral Bottom, which he did great. The day of the accident, after picking up my repaired gear, we ran into Andy Lewis and came up with a plan for a sunset jump.

We were with one other jumper who was new and I voted that Andy goes first, the two new guys go in the middle and I go last. They had perfect exits, great openings with no wind. I jumped, probably took a tad longer delay than I should have, being it was a new exit with new brake lines and immediately had a 180 degree opening. I struck the cliff with my left foot and continued rag dolling down the cliff where I finally came to rest on a sloping ledge. I knew I was banged up but to my utter surprise my foot was flipped on its side looking very similar to a nalgene bottle with just a sliver of skin keeping it on.

My first thought was, I want to wiggle my toes, because this is the last time I will ever feel that sensation. Blood was squirting everywhere and I knew my only option was to somehow tourniquet it to stop the bleeding. I used my bridal (a flat piece of webbing) that attaches my pilot chute and canopy to wrap the ankle just above the open wound. I then used a stick and propelled it tighter and tighter until the spurts subsided. I yelled down that I needed a helicopter ASAP and that I lost my foot and might bleed out.

This is when Andy, Brent and a few other Moab locals jumped into action, also, Dave who is an EMT. It took about 45 minutes before they could get to me, drilled a three bolt anchor and had fixed lines set before SAR even got there. Setting up the lines saved the rescue a couple of hours of them getting me back to the road and most likely my life. I lost nearly three pints of blood and was very close to leaving this world by the time the helicopter got me to the hospital.

I was absolutely prepared to wake up the next morning, minus a foot. I joked about going full pirate mode with a peg leg but knew it could be a reality and was very sad about it. Somehow, they saved it. I'm not completely in the clear at this moment, due to possible infection... but, I survived.

Here is a link from a jump Dave and I did that shows how absolutely amazing BASE jumping can be:

And here is the carnage... the dark side of BASE jumping:

[Click to View YouTube Video]

Images of the injury (graphic):
image 1
image 2
image 3

So, the question is; Do we stand up and take the risks and have a blast enjoying your passion? Or, do we hide in the shadows, being afraid of what might happen if we are so bold to follow our dreams?
Messages 41 - 60 of total 625 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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