The Washington Post

18-year-old falls off a cliff in Alaska — while talking to her mother on cellphone

Braces on her teeth and a cellphone to her ear, 18-year-old Cherelle LaGrou was hiking alone on a mountain in Alaska this week, telling her mother — 1,500 miles away — that she was scared of the slippery terrain.

That’s when her mother heard a scream. Then silence.

LaGrou slid 30 feet down a cliff.

“I’m still living it,” her mother, Shelly LaGrou of Omak, Wa., told the Associated Press.

Her mother waited, listening.

LaGrou had traveled to Alaska to spend her summer working for Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. When she came back on the phone, she was hysterical, telling her mother she had slipped down a slope and couldn’t climb back up, the AP reported.

She said she wasn’t ready to die.

Shelly LaGrou tried to keep her daughter calm on Sunday. Her husband called the lodge. The lodge alerted Alaska State Troopers. After they arrived, LaGrou’s phone died.

After the troopers pulled her to safety with a rope, officials called her parents.

“She held on in terror for her life waiting for the Alaska State Troupers and Search and Rescue to find her on a cliff face over Fox Creek where she had fallen when the ground went out from under her,” Shelly LaGrou wrote on her daughter’s Facebook page. “Angels held her as she slipped and struggled to hold on until she was pulled to safety.”

The 45-minute rescue mission was caught on tape by the National Geographic Channel reality show “Alaska State Troopers.” The episode is expected to air this fall.

LaGrou sustained only minor scratches, news reports said.

Lindsey Bever is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post. Tweet her: @lindseybever

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