Home > News

Mett Segal Back on Sharp End after Accident

Back in July, American climber Matt Segal sustained a number of injuries during a paragliding accident on Mount Tom in California.

After his accident, he said the following on Instagram: “I was attempting a hike and fly mission, conditions were kind of rough, and I was plucked at launch and quickly slammed into a talus field not too far below take off.” Read the rest below.

I've already been fortunate to spend a long life in the mountains, and I've been lucky to walk away from a lot of close calls, but unfortunately my luck ran out. On Sunday July 16th, around 9:30 am, I crashed my Paraglider close to the summit of Mt. Tom outside of Bishop, CA. I was attempting a hike and fly mission, conditions were kind of rough, and I was plucked at launch and quickly slammed into a talus field not too far below take off. Fortunately, fellow pilot, @cruzmclean_ hadn't taken off yet and was first to the sight. He was able to coordinate a rescue and at 12:15 Inyo Search and Rescue arrived in an AStar with @95percentjoel aboard, landing 1000ft below my position. Joel hiked to me and was an absolute lifesaver. Unfortunately the talus field that I landed in was so steep that they weren't able to long line me out and the heli was not able to perform an extraction. We waited another 6 hours for the U.S. Army to arrive in a chinook from Stockton. Those 8 hours, laying in the talus, were some of the toughest, most painful moments of my life. At 6:45pm I was long lined out and taken to Bishop CA for medical treatment. After a short assessment it was clear that I needed to be air-ambulanced to Reno, NV for intensive trauma care. After initial scans I went into surgery. I broke bones in both arms, and have hairline fractures in my ribs, back and pelvis. Miraculously none of these breaks are that serious and my Doctors expect a full recovery in 6-8weeks. Crazy, I know. My recovery has just begun and I'm hoping that this accident is just a speed bump in my career as a mountain athlete. I hope to see everyone on the trails, at the cliffs and in the sky sometime soon. Be safe out there. Huge thanks to everyone that helped out with the rescue. @hadhammer @cherisetuts @95percentjoel @codytutts #codysims @dribblej @foxonarock @chrisbenchetler @kimmyfasani @reese_the_explorer @a_maxhammer @amyjessharris @andrewduckyharris @elyses1 @thoreninthe_sea

A post shared by Matthew Segal (@mattsegal) on

Segal started climbing in 1998 and competed indoors for a number of years before heading outside.

In 2006, he and Sonnie Trotter climbed The Shadow 5.13, Grand Wall 5.13 and Black Dyke 5.13 in Squamish all free in 12 hours.

In 2014, Segal began projecting the Tom Egan Memorial Route in the Bugaboos with Will Stanhope. Segal almost freed the entire route, which Stanhope did at 5.14a.

The following year, he started paragliding with climber Cedar Wright. They travelled to China for National Geographic and climbed a big new route called Red Dragon with Emily Harrington.

Some of Segal’s big climbs include the first ascent of Iron Monkey 5.14 in Eldorado Canyon, first ascent of The End of the Beginning 5.13 in Rocky Mountain National Park, second ascent of Deadline 5.14- on gear, free ascent of Free Rider IV 5.12 on El Cap and the second ascent of Triple X 5.13R/X in Vedavoo.

Since his accident, Segal has been recovering at his home in Colorado. The climbing world saw a number of serious and tragic accidents in 2017. It’s always great to see people bounce back from potentially deadly situations.

Segal posted on Instagram today that he sent Pimp Juice 5.13a at Red River Gorge. Not a bad day out considering it’s only been four months since he was rescued.