THE BLOG

TOM

“On the 20th of January 2015, I had been in El Chorro for a month, and I had just sent my first 7b, called “Ankhesenamun”, followed by the second called “Un Lait Fraiche Pour Monsieur”. I had never been climbing so well in my life. 
Then this day, my friend Simon Smith and I went for a walk up El Coral, which you see every day when working at the Olive Branch. So we set off on the walk and it soon turned into a scramble. We got up to the notch, where we could see Fontalas behind us, looking towards Alora in front. Thinking back, that was the point where we should have gone back down the way we came. But sadly, for some reason, I thought it would be OK to bridge down the gully. Just as I was making steady progress, my foot slipped and I went sliding down the gully. At the bottom there was a gap in the rock - my right foot got stuck facing right and my body fell to the left, the weight of my rucksack pulling me over, slamming me on to my side (dislocating my right ankle and fracturing my left wrist). The momentum flipped me off the ledge and down five meters and I crashed down on to my back. I still distinctively remember seeing the fear on Simon's face while falling, as he grew further and further away. I was laying there motionless, in shock.

‘WAIT THERE!’ Simon bellows down to me. 
Laying on my back, I felt so lonely and helpless, feeling the adrenaline rushing around my body. I still remember the feeling of the rain falling on my face, mixed with the Adrenaline. I felt a warm surge of energy flowing around my body. I sat up, took off my rucksack, pulling it on to my lap, I dived into the top pocket and quickly get out the Lucozade tablets packed full of sugar, perfect for the shock. Taking a large gulp of water, I started putting things back in my bag, slowly putting it back on, I gingerly started to hobble back down the hill side. It was raining even more now. I still felt warm and light, but the adrenaline was wearing off now, and with each step the pain steadily grew sharper and sharper.

I remember turning the corner and seeing Simon running towards me, it was such a relief to see him. He put his arm around me and took some weight off my leg. We got to the road and knocked on someone's house. Then he went back to the Olive Branch and Mel picked me up and took me to the medical centre in Alora. Then I was taken in an ambulance to Malaga’s hospital, which was an experience of its own.”

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