LA
09/17/2013 02:04 pm ET

After Falling 40 Feet From A Glacier, Man Climbs Out And Hikes To Safety, Despite Broken Back (VIDEO)

Having slid down a glacier and then fallen 40 feet into a crevasse, Ted Porter thought he was going to die. In excruciating pain from a broken back, he recorded a goodbye video on his cell phone (watch ABC's video above).

“You guys, if I don’t make it out, I love you,” he said. “I’m not kidding; this is no joke.”

Amazingly, Porter, who was hiking solo in the Glacier National Park, managed to use an ice ax and crampons on his boots to climb 40 feet out of the crevasse, ABC reports in the video above. With a crushed vertebrae, he then proceeded to hike three or four miles to help, falling several times along the way.

Porter found a group of campers, who nursed him through the night before he was transported by a helicopter. He's undergone three surgeries and physical therapy, and doctors say he came just a few millimeters from being paralyzed.

His friends and family have set up a fundraising site to help with his huge medical expenses; click here to donate.

Porter had been hiking in Glacier National Park for about a week with his parents, when he decided to set out on a solo hike across the park's seventh largest glacier. Weather conditions were rainy and the glacier was slick on the day that Porter set out on his own, Sept. 3.

Porter's girlfriend, Jessica Reynolds, told KTLA that the incident won't stop him from climbing again.

"He'll hike again, but definitely not alone. He's in love with the mountains. That's his life," she said.

EARLIER ON HUFFPOST:

PHOTO GALLERIES
Worst Winter Olympics Skiing Crashes

CONVERSATIONS