Man Survives Thousand Foot Fall, Avalanche

Man Survives Thousand Foot Fall, Avalanche

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MONA, Utah (AP) -- A 21-year-old Salt Lake City hiker escaped with minor injuries today after he fell about a thousand feet when he dropped off a mountain ledge, and then rode an avalanche feet first.

The Juab County Sheriff's office says Mark Thomas had a minor back injury and frostbitten feet after his Saturday ordeal.

Thomas and two other men were hiking near Mt. Nebo when one told police that the snow gave way.

Police say Thomas -- who was between the two men -- slid about a thousand feet down the mountain, triggering an avalanche.

Thomas told police that he rode the snow feet-first down the mountain, and was partially buried in the basin.

His friends, who did not fall off the ridge, tried to help rescue him but eventually sought authorities.

While they were gone, Thomas was able to dig himself out of the snow and began walking out of the canyon, meeting rescuers on their way up the mountain.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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