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17-year-old climber injured in ‘free solo’ fall

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A 17-year-old boy has been hospitalized after he fell about 20 to 30 feet while climbing rock cliffs in Spokane.

Spokane Fire battalion chief Mike Thompson tells KHQ-TV that the boy was taken to a local hospital with significant injuries. He says a team of seven people went down the cliff to rescue the boy while others treated.

The teen was climbing with another friend above the Spokane River. Friend Dakota Donley says the two were halfway up the 40-foot cliff when his friend lost his footing and fell onto the rocks below.

“We climbed about half way up, and he made one wrong step and fell,” Donley said.

The two were not using ropes or other equipment to climb, a technique known known as “free soloing.

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