CUSTER, S.D. (KELO) — First-responders rescued a rock climber who had fallen 30 feet from a spire along the Needles Highway near Custer Saturday.

Paramedics treated the rock climber at the scene before putting him in a basket litter for a steep climb down to a waiting ambulance. A helicopter crew then flew him to a hospital in Rapid City.

Authorities say the climber was speaking with medical personnel attending to him.

They say his rope likely saved him from a longer fall onto the rocks.