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Last Updated: Friday, 23 May, 2003, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Climber breaks leg on Everest
Conan Harrod
Mr Harrod's leg was splinted with an ice axe
A rescue operation took place nearly 27,000 feet (8,500 metres) up Everest after a climber broke his leg.

Conan Harrod, 34, was forced to crawl and hop for more than a mile on the mountain.

Mr Harrod, from Cheadle, Cheshire, slipped when a sherpa pulled on him after a fellow climber lost his footing.

Accidents at that height are normally fatal.

The 34-year-old had been climbing the mountain with Cumbria-based Adventure Peaks when the accident happened on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the company said: "Assistance was given to get Conan back on the ridge where pain killing drugs were given.

[They] seem to have worked miracles to get him down
Conan Harrod's girlfriend
"The evacuation was along a notorious ridge with thousand of metres of exposure.

"Conan's leg was splinted with an ice axe.

"The terrain was so steep...it was impossible to carry or support the injured person, so Conan had to crawl and hop more than two kilometres."

She said that at such a high altitude, even the simplest tasks are nearly impossible.

"It is impossible to describe the sheer strength that was shown," she added.

Mr Harrod was helped by two of his fellow climbers, Peter Madew, from Australia, and American Walid Abuhaidar, for 10 hours.
Conan Harrod
Mr Harrod broke his leg at an altitude that is normally fatal
They then spent the night at a camp at 26,900 feet (8,200m) with temperatures dropping to -30C, before continuing their descent the next day.

They then received help from the Royal Navy at 25,600 feet (7,800m).

Expedition leader Dave Pritt, writing on the Adventure Peaks website, said Mr Harrod was being taken to the advance base camp for proper medical assistance.

"After medical attention, Adventure Peaks has arranged the final part of the evacuation down to Base Camp, another 22 kilometres," he said.

Mr Harrod's girlfriend Rachel told the website: "You seemed to have worked miracles to get him down from such a dangerous situation.

"I've [spoken] to his mother and neither of us can come close to expressing our gratitude for what you've done for him."

The BBC's Jane Dougall
"Conan Harrod has been an avid climber since he was 19"

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