Ammon McNeely


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Big Wall climber
Nov 2, 2013 - 03:16am PT
Hey Ammon, never wrote in a Forum, but now i have to! i hear over the ocean that you were harder than a rock!!!!!!!!! I am sooo happy that you still there! Itīs like the hardest wall you have to climb now but i am shure you will make it and i will be so happy if we rope up in the future again. sending you lots of energy over the ocean from thomas (Bavaria) ((((-;
KP Ariza

Nov 2, 2013 - 03:44am PT
Ammon, best wishes and happy you'll be okay.
Never met you, but everything Iv'e heard and read about you has understated what a f*#king champion you are. How you were able to direct, film, narrate, and star in that "raw footage" (no pun) boggles my mind. Heal up well man.

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Nov 2, 2013 - 05:56am PT
Hey Ammon, never wrote in a Forum, but now i have to! i hear over the ocean that you were harder than a rock!!!!!!!

Sorry I brought you out of lurking status, Thomas. Haha! Love you bro!

(Copy and pasted from

Hey guys, Ammon here from the hospital bed.

You are correct Nick three tourniquets were applied. Every injury is going to take different actions but I'm not a professional in the medical field. It was brutally obvious what I must do to save my life. I was losing tons of blood FAST and I knew that if I didn't apply a tourniquet that I was going to bleed out within minutes. At first I was going to use my lines but quickly thought the bridle would be way better and not cut into my skin as much.

I was 100% prepared to become an amputee. Blood was squirting five feet in all directions. The video was recorded after I stopped most of the bleeding. I pulled up my bridal wrapped it around my leg just above the opening exit wound and tied a truckers hitch. Before I tied the hitch I slid a nearby stick under the top piece of webbing. After the knot was tied I propelled the stick until I couldn't stand the pain anymore. Then I tried to straighten the ankle and elevated my leg above my heart.

I yelled down to my buddies to let them know I just lost my foot and could possibly bleed out and needed a helicopter ASAP. I knew it was going to be a while before they were going to reach me a few hundred feet above the road. The cliff is very rugged and I knew it was going to take some time to get to me.

There was an EMT and an highly competent climber on the load and a paramedic and another climber/EMT joins the rescue efforts. It took about 40 minutes for them to reach me and they drilled bolts and had lines fixed before the local SAR arrived on the scene. They helped place another tourniquet on my thigh because I was still dripping blood. The helicopter had to to land down the street because there is power lines directly below the exit, hence the name of the jump "Electric Chair".

SAR arrived and with the ropes in place they just had to ascend the ropes with a litter cage and their rescue kit. They dumped drugs into me, just enough to not kill me, haha. Applied a 3rd tourniquet just above the one I had placed and got me in the litter. The descent was treacherous with loose flakes and falling rocks. It took just over an hour to get me to the road. They got me in an ambulance, got me to the helicopter and flew me to St. Mary's in grand Junction. The entire time period was just over 4 hours from accident to ER.

The docs told me that the tourniquet time was somewhere around 4 hours before you were going to lose the limb. I lost nearly 3 pints of blood and came super close to bleeding out and and losing my life. So, obviously the 15 minute release of the tourniquet would have killed me. But, like I said, in its case it was completely obvious that we just kept it on and sacrificed the foot/leg. Those that have seen the video can see it in my face, I absolutely was prepared for the sacrifice to save my life.

In the morning, I woke up and was very surprised to see my foot still attached. A huge smile spread across my face as I wiggled my toes. I still have to fight off infection but it's looking very good that I will recover and climb and jump again, soon enough.

The docs say that my calm reaction and quick thinking with the tourniquet was the the main factor for surviving, at all. If I would have freaked out my heart rate would have sky rocketed and would have lost more blood. I didn't have much left to lose before the end was near, as it was.

Also, if the lines weren't fixed saving hours I might not have made it either. I will be forever grateful for my fast acting friends, SAR and the flight crew.

It's amazing how fast sh#t hit the fan and hope my tale can save someone else in the future.

Lots of love, Ammon


PS: I thought I was recording when I exited but alas, I actually turned it off while it was on in the first place. So, no gnarly bouncing POV

Social climber
NZ -> SB,CA -> Zurich
Nov 2, 2013 - 07:13am PT
Wow that is brutal. Heal up well and keep up your amazing spirit.
Cheers, Roy

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Nov 2, 2013 - 10:19am PT
Incredible story, mate!
Heal quickly.

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Nov 2, 2013 - 10:29am PT
More Montana Magic, SweetMan!

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 2, 2013 - 12:02pm PT
"plate, screw or rod" Could be the name of a route~

Glad it's going as good as it is. Respect for keeping the spirit up through it all



Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Nov 2, 2013 - 12:22pm PT
Ammon you have shown great courage throughout this epic gnarfest. I can hardly believe your foot was saved let alone that you could even wiggle your toes the next day. Best wishes and positive vibes to you. You are a hard man pirate if ever there was one.

Nov 2, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
All the best vibes from Montreal.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 2, 2013 - 01:16pm PT
Ammon has a strong mind. Exceptional even among his peers. I've never seen anything like his calm in that video. That is one for the ages. Don't go giving that video out for free!

I'll send you some goodies in the mail. PM me your address, or I will just send it to the hospital.
susan peplow

Joshua Tree, CA
Nov 2, 2013 - 01:31pm PT
Not being a huge fan of blood and gore Russ suggested I not watch the video. Ultimately, I saw snapshots of the ankle posted elsewhere anyways.

Ammon, I'm super glad to hear your surgeries are going well and you're wiggling your toes. It was heartbreaking to watch your video, even without knowing you personally it was easy to read the fear and disappointment on your face.

Yet your fast actions, not panicing and having a good team of friends to make things happen is really an incredible story and one we are so happy you are with us to tell. Here's to hoping the goodness continues with no infection and successful recovery.

Best wishes and for us girls, post a picture of you & brother Gabe should he visiting :)

the Fet

Nov 2, 2013 - 02:52pm PT
If I had to go through something like this I'd be stoked to have someone like Largo giving me the beta on what to expect.

Well, that didn't go so good.

Understatement of the century. I'm sure that sentence will come up in my mind whenever something goes really bad.

When things do go bad it is cool the see everyone swing into action and do what needs to be done and have the outcome be SO much better than it could have been.

Thanks for sharing the video and updates. It's really gnarly but it's cool the see the human spirit and capabilities rise to the occasion when needed.

Wishing you the best of luck to go along with all the great work that was done and is being done.

Social climber
Truckee, CA
Nov 2, 2013 - 02:55pm PT
"plate, screw or rod" Could be the name of a route~

I kinda like "Graft the Flap Patch."
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
Nov 2, 2013 - 07:51pm PT
Thanks for the update Ammon.

You have a fantastic positive attitude and I'm sure you will be back in no time.

Sending good vibes your way.

portland, Oregon
Nov 2, 2013 - 08:30pm PT
You sir, are the hardest of the hard. Heal well and quick.

"Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you." -Edward "Blackbeard" Teach, before his final battle (Johnson 80)

Nov 2, 2013 - 10:11pm PT
Ammon shares something with both George Mallory and William Shakespeare.

Sir Ken Richardson commented that Shakespeare's english teacher when Bill was seven faced an daunting task. In one of his classes the teacher surely said to Bill, "Stop talking that way. You confuse people". That night the teacher must have thought, "That didn't go well. Must try harder."

On that day when he could barely see his knees while trying to descend Everest along a ridge and the corniss gave way underneath him, Mallory was finally pinned helpless under the weight of the snow, where Conrad found him. He must have thought, "That didn't go well. Must try harder."

So it is we have our own Ammon saying, " That didn't go well. Must try harder."

Now it comes down to us who thought on John Bachars death, "That didn't go well, We all should have tried harder.

Are we ready now,

To try harder?


Trad climber
Nov 2, 2013 - 10:25pm PT
Should have known better than to open this thread before dinner.

Hope all goes well Ammon.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Nov 2, 2013 - 10:25pm PT
It's clear you are also asking yourself this question, Johno.

Nov 2, 2013 - 10:35pm PT
Count on Peter to see deeply.

Ammon is very important to us.


Us is becoming an extended organism. We should have protected John, from himself. We could not afford to lose him.

Here we are now, at the same place.
tom Carter

Social climber
Nov 3, 2013 - 12:03am PT
Good on ya.

The healing process has begun!!!

You are something!
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