A climber suffered life-threatening injuries when he fell 23 feet from a pole at a festival .
The 28-year-old was climbing a pole during a Russian folk festival to mark the waning of winter.
Named only as Alexander, the climber was wearing just shorts despite the sub-zero temperatures.
He shins his way up tom the top and touches a red box in front of a crowd of impressed onlookers.
But as he comes down, Alexander gets into trouble – and plummets like a stone to the ground.
There were screams as he fell and an announcer at the event in the Siberian town of Anzhero-Sudzhensk yelled: “Oh my God, ambulance please!”
Earlier, she had told the crowd Alexander was a rock climber and “almost an Olympic champion” in shinning up poles.
There was hardly any safety equipment beneath the pole and the man fell onto a sporting mat which did little to break his fall.
Paramedics were at the scene and the man was covered in a blanket and rushed to a local hospital.
Amazingly he was conscious after his fall.
A statement said: “A 28-year-old patient was diagnosed with fractures of the ribs and scapula.
“He underwent a brain scan. So far everything is in order but injuries of this kind can show up within a day or two.
“He is under strict surveillance. His condition is assessed as heavy.”
Pole climbing is one of a number of Russian traditions in the the Maslenitsa festivities which mark the beginning of the end of the long cold winter.
The ritual symbolises touching the sun which will soon bring spring and summer warmth.
It is marked the week before Lent in the Orthodox calendar.
Russians also burn effigies of Lady Maslenitsa who represents winter.
They eat pancakes, and there can be fist and snowball fights along with sleigh rides.