How to Survive a 1,000-Foot Fall

British climber Adam Potter fell 1,000 feet down the side of a mountain in the Scottish Highlands. A helicopter crew found him half an hour later, standing on his feet reading a map. How did he survive?

Potter was climbing a mountain called Sgurr Choinnich Mor with his girlfriend, two friends, and his dog when he slipped on the snow and rolled down a "rough scree slope," over three hundred-foot-high cliffs, and finally onto a boulder, which he thinks may have knocked him out.

So what do you do if you fall off a freaking mountain? One thing you can do is never even start climbing a mountain, in the first place. But, if you make that crucial mistake, you can do what Potter did:

  • Make sure you climb a mountain with lots of deep, heavy snow to help soften your fall
  • Stay alert while you fall, or at least, for the first couple cliffs, so you can slow your descent
  • Just have the best goddamn luck in the world

Royal Navy rescue helicopters found Potter on his boulder, looking at his map, which is seriously bad-ass. Actually, at first, they assumed that since he was alive he was a different hiker altogether, but were able to piece it together thanks to the trail of mountaineering crap he'd left behind:

"It seemed impossible. So we retraced our path back up the mountain and, sure enough, there were bits of his kit in a vertical line all the way up where he had obviously lost them during the fall. It was quite incredible. He must have literally glanced off the outcrops as he fell, almost flying," [said Lieutenant Tim Barker]

Potter, who apparently didn't learn his lesson, is heading off to climb Everest in two months.

[Guardian; image via Getty]