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On March 11, Isaac Palatt, a climber raised on the sandstone and limestone around Las Vegas, took a 110-foot fall near St. George, Utah. He had led the route Soul Train and was preparing to single-line rappel from the anchors, but accidentally clipped into the same side of the rope as his partner. Palatt survived, but faces many months of painful and expensive recovery. The following slideshow, “Take: the story of a boy who fell 110 feet,” was put together by Palatt’s friend Susánica Tam and tells the story, through pictures and music, of his recovery and his desire to return to the sport he loves.
ST GEORGE, UTAH — On March 11, 2007, Isaac “Ike” Palatt, 21, took a 110-ft ground fall from the anchors of “Soul Train,” 5.12a, breaking both heels, four vertebrae, his left elbow, a rib, and bruising a lung.
Palatt and his partner, both experienced climbers, had been warming up on the second route of the day at the Soul Asylum, a sport-climbing destination in southern Utah. Palatt was to single-line rappel the route with a Grigri, lowering and cleaning on one side of the rope while his partner sat as his counterweight on the other side. However, due to force of habit, followed by complete oversight, Palatt prepared to lower on the right side of the anchor, not realizing that it was the same side his partner was on.
When Palatt unclipped from the anchor, he free-fell the first 60 feet of the overhanging route, before bouncing down the remaining lower-angle 50 feet where he sustained his injuries and destroyed various forms of foliage, which may have cushioned his fall. His partner, a trained EMT, immediately stabilized his neck and established communication with Palatt who had briefly lost consciousness. A nearby couple, climbers from Logan, Utah, ran for cell reception.
Palatt was transported by helicopter to the trauma center at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada where he underwent reconstructive surgeries for his left heel and left elbow the following week. He later spent an additional five days in a rehab hospital before he was released on the 27th of March to his mother’s home in Vegas.
Climbers in the community are collecting funds in preparation of Palatt’s mounting medical bills, and to aid his mother, Kay, who has taken time off work to care for her son.
Donations can be sent to:
Community Bank of Nevada for Isaac Palatt 7580 W. Sahara Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89117 Please write the account number, 0701001518 on the memo line. Checks should be payable to Isaac Palatt.