L.A. man slips from glacier, breaks back, walks 3 miles for help

An area of Glacier National Park shown in an undated photo. A Los Angeles man fell and climbed out of a glacial crevasse last week and walked three miles for help with a crushed vertebrae in his lower back and other injuries.
(Associated Press)

A Los Angeles man is recovering in a Montana hospital after slipping on a glacier, falling into a crevasse and breaking his back.

Ted Porter, 36, climbed 40 feet out of a glacial crevasse in Glacier National Park last week and walked three miles for help with a crushed vertebrae in his lower back and other injuries, according to the Associated Press.

Porter and his parents hiked in the park for about a week before he started a solo hike to Jackson Glacier and Mount Jackson on Sept. 3, the AP reports. He and his parents frequently visited the park, and Porter, an experienced backcountry hiker who had hiked in the park alone many times, had worked in the region and attended the University of Montana.

“I’m definitely familiar with the park, and I’m not just some Angeleno who rolled up here and didn’t know what’s going on,” Porter told the Kalispell Daily Inter Lake.


Porter slipped into the crevasse after descending Mount Jackson after it began raining, according to the AP. He told the Daily Inter Lake the pain in his back was “unbelievable” and that he knew he had to climb out fast if he wanted to live.

Before climbing out with crampons and an ice pick, he made a goodbye video on his cellphone in which he told his parents his back was injured and that he loved them, according to the AP.

Porter walked to a group of campers he had seen earlier in the day, and they immobilized him and kept watch over him through the night before contacting rangers who flew him out of the area, according to the AP.

Porter is recovering at the Kalispell Regional Medical Center, according to his Facebook profile, which includes hiking photos and references to his “beloved Los Angeles Dodgers.”


An online fundraising site for Porter’s medical expenses has raised more than $6,000. The site includes photos of Porter in the hospital wearing a back brace and standing and states that he is expected to recover without paralysis.


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