Morgan Robinson is looking on the bright side after a nasty tumble while hiking near Quesnel on Sept. 11.                                Photo submitted

Morgan Robinson is looking on the bright side after a nasty tumble while hiking near Quesnel on Sept. 11. Photo submitted

‘I was just looking out at the beautiful lake’: Quesnel hiker survives 70-foot fall

Friends have set up a GoFundMe for the 23-year-old single father as he recovers in Vancouver

A Quesnel man is lucky to be alive after falling from a tall cliff while hiking.

Morgan Robinson, 23, had just wrapped up work on Sept. 11 when he and a friend took a hike to a lookout point above Dragon Lake, just south of the city.

While enjoying the view, Robinson took a phone call and strolled closer to the edge.

“I was just looking out at the beautiful lake, not really thinking,” he says, calling from Vancouver General Hospital, “and then I hung up my phone, put it in my pocket and I went to turn to pivot to walk away from the edge and realized I was too close.”

READ MORE: Rescue of injured 74-year-old U.S. hiker spins out of control

Before he knew it, his foot slipped on some loose rocks, and he was tumbling down the hill.

“I tried to roll onto my stomach and grab the rocks, but it was to no avail,” says Robinson. “I slid on the rocks for about 10 feet, hit a ledge, spun around and then fell about 70 feet from there.”

His friend scrambled down as quickly as she could and called the paramedics, who took Robinson to Quesnel’s G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital.

The fall resulted in three broken vertebrae in Robinson’s spine, a shattered left wrist, a fractured right heel and a badly injured left ankle.

Though the injuries are quite serious, Robinson says it could have been much worse, and he credits a background in martial arts for helping him control his body on the way down.

“One of the first things I thought of was ‘if I don’t land on my feet, I’m going to break my neck and I’ll be dead’ … so I tried to fall in a way that protected my head,” he says.

“I knew my legs were going to be broken when I fell — that was a given — but I didn’t want to land in a way that was instant death.”

Robinson says he put his arms over his head, using a tight boxing-style guard, to prevent any brain trauma. It seems to have worked, as he only sustained a mild concussion.

Once stabilized in Quesnel, Robinson was airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital, where he underwent spinal and wrist surgery.

After a week, he is already thinking as positively as he can and sounds quite chipper considering the circumstances.

“I was able to go vertical yesterday for the first time in a week,” he says. “With the help of some nurses and a lift, I was able to get into a wheelchair and get pushed around the hallway and rolled outside for a minute.”

Although it was a simple activity, he is delighted to have done it.

“It’s amazing what you take for granted when you don’t have it.”

Robinson, a single father of a five-year-old girl, who was working as a youth care worker and pizza delivery driver when the accident happened, will not be taking anything for granted as he begins an arduous journey back towards regaining his health and mobility.

“I’ve been doing lots of physio already, ” he says. “They’ve been sitting me up, and I’ve been doing arm exercises and leg lifts.”

The next stage of his recovery will have to be in the Lower Mainland, as the doctors will not let him checkout before he can get himself in and out of a wheelchair and move around in it under his own power.

“Because my back isn’t quite strong enough, it hurts a lot to sit in the chair,” he says. “Anything more than five or 10 minutes where I’m not laying down results in excruciating pain.”

To help with expenses while Robinson recovers, his friends have organized a GoFundMe campaign.

“I don’t think I’m going to be able to work for at least he winter,” says Robinson, “and I love to be productive, so this is going to be difficult for me.”



ronan.odoherty@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Driver crashes vehicle twice in one day near Princeton

Abbotsford woman, 29, wasn’t injured in either incident

“My grandma always just said…making people smile is the most important thing,” says Nicholas Kruger. (Chehala Leonard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Entrepreneur Nicholas Kruger nominated as Okanagan community changemaker

With humour and knowledge, Nicholas Kruger says it’s important to give back

Colton Jacob Thorsen. (Facebook)
Accused Osoyoos shooter to be tried by judge

Colton Jacob Thorsen is charged with attempted murder stemming from an October 2020 incident

A pair of Okanagan Regional Library reference librarians have created a podcast called Hard Cover that takes a zany but informative look at books, libraries and librarians. (File photo)
Okanagan reference librarians produce quirky podcast

Davin Helkenberg and Peter Critchley are behind Hard Cover

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Crown prosecutors have stayed attempted murder charges against Kelowna’s Jesse Pez. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Man accused in Kelowna Halloween stabbing has attempted murder charge stayed

The Crown only proceeds with charges when evidence provides ‘a substantial likelihood of conviction’

RCMP released this photo on Jan. 27, 2021 of Terrance Jones, 40, a Caucasian man with a closely shaved head, brown eyes, dirty blonde or brown hair, and a thin mustache and beard. The inside of his right arm is covered in tattoos, including one of a face. (Kamloops RCMP photo)
RCMP want public’s help to locate Shuswap man wanted on charge of attempted murder

Sicamous man was arrested previously on Jan. 11 for allegedly breaching conditions of release

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Most Read