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Backcountry Skier Survives Fall Down NH Mountain

WEARE, NH (CBS) - Patrick Luk is nursing a broken nose and bumps and bruises all over his body after a frightening fall on Mt. Adams in northern New Hampshire.

He had just finished a three-hour hike and was ready to ski back down.

"I was basically just standing there looking down," said Luk. "Planning how I was going to ski down and basically looking on how I wanted to take my route and that's when the ice slab I was standing on broke loose."

Luk, 22, is an experienced backcountry skier and he was alone.

"A few seconds into the fall I went to go swing my ice axe that I had on my hand," said Luk. "And I was going so fast it snapped right of my hand."

Fish and Game officials estimate he fell several hundred feet before landing at the bottom of the ravine, and they say his helmet undoubtedly saved his life.

Luk, a waiter from Weare, couldn't reach 911 on his cell phone, and for seven hours he would crawl and slide his way back to a trail which would lead him to safety.

"The sun went down around seven," said Luk. Thankfully the moon was out so I had a little bit of light to see where I was going."

When Patrick finally made it back to his car in the parking lot, he was able to charge his cell phone and call state police.

State Police were just about to search for Patrick because they had received a call from his mother stating she was concerned because she had not heard from him in several hours.

Luk says his experience as a skier and hiker helped save him. He also had prepared for such a disaster by testing his body limits.

He says he often hikes with minimal sleep and on an empty stomach.


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