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Famed rock-climber released from hospital after injuring legs

FRESNO, Calif. - A world-renowned rock-climber is finally out of a Fresno hospital.

Crews rescued Hans Florine Friday after he fell from Yosemite's El Capitan.

Florine injured both legs, having surgery at Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno.

We spoke to Florine as he was getting ready to leave the hospital.

He was in really great spirits. Florine and his buddies told me that they're thankful it's just his legs and said it's better than the alternative.

"I'm going to probably sit and cry somewhere but right now I'm on a high from all the love and care that people have been giving me," Florine said.

It's a climb he's has mastered 178 times, The Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite.

But Thursday as he set out to climb the rock in 12 hours, a route normally done in three days. 

He said, "I fell right here 2300 feet up."

Florine said he placed a small metal wedge into a crack on the rock, then stepped on it, but it popped out.

That's when he slammed into a ledge, breaking his left ankle, shattering his right heel, all while hanging upside down.

"I knew when he fell, I could hear it, you could feel it," Abraham Shreve, Florine's climbing partner, said.

But it was the rescue, Shreve said only Florine could pull off.

"I'm like are you ok? and he yells down like, I'm on the phone with 911, I think I shattered both of my legs give me just a second," Shreve said.

Search and rescue crews came shortly after but it was too windy for the helicopter to get them.

They said they had to sleep overnight, waiting five and a half hours.

Florine said a Japanese group, also climbing El Capitan, helped out providing them a sleeping bag and jacket.

Friday morning he said he was flown to CRMC where he underwent surgery.

The record-setting rock climber thankful to be alive, after what could have been a fatal fall.

"My life will be changed pretty crazy, I mean I'm not going to be running any marathons," Florine said.

He said he's had overwhelming support from the local climbing community.

Metalmark even helped him out with a wheelchair.

Florine is on his way back to the Bay area now, where he'll have to undergo more surgeries.

But he said you can follow his journey to recovery on his Instagram: @hansflorine or on his website onthenosebook.com


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