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A mountain climber is recovering after a serious fall near Linville Gorge in Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina on Monday. A helicopter rescue saved the climber’s life.

The 23-year-old climber tumbled approximately 50 feet while climbing Shortoff Mountain, a spot known for its rough terrain. A group of people saw him fall and called for help.

Rescuers were unable to reach him by foot. The National Guard sent a Black Hawk helicopter with a four-person crew. By the time it arrived, the man had been clinging to a small ledge on the side of the mountain for more than three hours.

The rescue played out on live television. As the helicopter hovered above, rescuers were able to reach the injured dehydrated man. They attached him to a backboard and hoisted him 150 feet into the helicopter.

The climber was stable and talking, but in pain, Chris Hendricks, operations supervisor of Gaston, N.C., Emergency Medical Services said. He added, “He was hurting pretty good.”

The climber was flown to Mission Health in Asheville, N.C., about 60 miles away. The severity of his injuries is unknown.

Capt. Darrell Scoggins, commander of Black Hawk Company, said, “We pulled him out of a sticky situation, and we were just happy we could be there and help him.”

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