Authorities said it took emergency crews two hours to rescue Wyatt Kauffman after he slipped on a cliff Tuesday and plunged the nearly 100 feet at the Bright Angel Point trail.
The teenager was airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital for treatment of nine broken vertebrae plus a ruptured spleen, a collapsed lung, a concussion and a broken hand and dislocated finger.
"I was up on the ledge and was moving out of the way so other people could take a picture," Kauffman told Phoenix TV station KPNX. "I squatted down and was holding on to a rock. I only had one hand on it.
"It wasn’t that good of a grip. It was kind of pushing me back. I lost my grip and started to fall back," he added.
Rescue crews had to rappel down the cliff and get the injured boy out of the canyon in a basket.
"I just remember somewhat waking up and being in the back of an ambulance and a helicopter and getting on a plane and getting here" to the hospital, said Kauffman, who lives in Casselton, North Dakota.
Brian Kauffman was in North Dakota when he heard about his son’s fall and rescue.