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Surgeons save thumb of injured Yosemite climber

10:22 PM, Sep 28, 2011   |    comments
Yosemite National Park
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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA (AP) - Officials at Yosemite National Park say a rock climber whose thumb was severed when he fell and it was caught in a rope has had the thumb reattached by surgeons.

Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb says two climbers were nearing the summit of 7,569-foot-high El Capitan on Monday afternoon when the lead climber fell.

Cobb says a safety rope wrapped around the man's right thumb, severing it from his hand. She says the severed thumb fell onto a ledge, where the man's climbing partner was able to retrieve it.

A helicopter rescue crew took the injured climber, and his thumb, off the mountain. Cobb says he was flown to California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, where his thumb was reattached.

Officials haven't released any details about the man, except to say he is from Austria.

The Associated Press

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