ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The National Guard was called in to rescue a climber who fell off a 30 foot cliff near Sandia Peak.
Brandon Hall, 26, from Arlington, TX has a severe head injury from the fall, but an ER trained doctor was also climbing nearby when the accident happened.
Rescuers spent more than five hours trying to save the Texas climber stuck in Chimney Canyon.
Crews were dispatched to the scene around 2 p.m. Sunday when man's climbing partner, also from Texas, saw Hall fall and hit his head.
Dr. Tim Durkin, an ER doctor at Presbyterian Hospital and a member of the Albuquerque Search and Rescue Crew, heard everything.
"About the time we reached the top of the first pitch we heard a large rock fall, and then a scream and some other noise," said Dr. Durkin.
He was climbing with his friend in the same canyon and rushed to aid Hall who was bleeding and apparently hit the back of his head, near his neck when he fell. His friend said he was wearing a helmet.
Dr. Durkin helped stabilize the climber, called in search and rescue volunteers and then helped the National Guard find their location.
NM State Police Search and Rescue, Albuquerque Mountain Rescue , Bernalillo County Fire Crews, and NM State Forestry also helped with the efforts.
A Black Hawk helicopter flown by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans of the National Guard, located the climber and was able to hoist him out of the treacherous cliffs. It hovered just feet away from deadly boulders and dangerous trees.
"The terrain is terrible in there," said Dr. Durkin. "Basically it's a super steep 45-degree slope covered with downed trees and loose rocks."
Dr. Durkin said Hall was stable and able to talk to crews as they flew him through the canyon. The extent of his injuries are not known at this time. He was flown off the mountain to UNM's Johnson Field where an ambulance was waiting to rush him to UNM Hospital.
Nine members of the Albuquerque Mounatin Rescue team climbed into the canyon to help the patient and stay with him until help arrived.
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