One way to go about having adventures is to just go out and do things. I like to hike. It’s safer to hike with others. Sometimes the best way to learn about the local area is to go with others who know what they are doing. http://meetup.com is one online resource for finding people with similar interests, and it helped me find the group I hike with.
Yesterday, I was out with my hiking group. I think we were about 15 hikers, headed out on a canyon/ridge hike of 4+ miles and back the same. It was snowy and icy in spots, so all hikers were required to have ice traction like YakTrax or similar products.
We also had two dogs, one large one small. The large dog was not under good control, and slammed into a small woman’s calf. Her calf started cramping badly and wouldn’t quit. We thought she’d be able to hike down the trail, although slowly. Several people, including the leader of our group, stayed with her.
Some of us went ahead to see the view, obscured by fog, and to tell the dog’s owner to get the dog on a leash. Even after the accident and several requests he was reluctant to comply!
When we got back to the group that stayed behind with the injured woman, we found she couldn’t walk because her leg was hurting so badly. It’s odd how things happen like that, but they do. Something seemingly minor happens and the next thing you know there’s a situation to be dealt with.
Here’s why I want to hike with a group, especially a group better prepared and more knowledgeable than I am. Someone had a portable cloth stretcher (as well as a first aid kit, warmers, etc.) We got her on it, grateful she was small, and with a subset of the group helping carry, we headed down the icy trail.
It took a few readjustments, and our patient, who was not exerting herself was getting very cold. We got some of the insta-warmers on her, and wrapped her in as many down jackets (including mine) as we could.
We had to switch people from lifting on one side to another, and switch people from carrying to resting to carrying again. I was willing to do more carrying, but ended up doing more resting. I could grip a lot longer with my right than with my left, but even so, I could only do so much before asking to be swapped. I think one of our strong guys was having some back issues after it was all over, and I wish he’d let us know so we could do more swapping around to help with that. I suspect some others might have done the same. Heck, I wanted to do the same, but I have limits.
We were glad when we finally got far enough down to find search and rescue and emergency personnel coming up for us. They we re glad our group was large and could help carry. Their plastic stretcher/backboard was a lot easier to carry than the cloth one was. There were still a lot of stops and starts, as people had to rest and change sides.
I was sorry someone got hurt, but, at the same time, I was glad to be there for the adventure. It was hard work; I am sore today, and I didn’t do all that much. I was glad to be able to contribute to the rescue even if just a little.
Thanks for sharing this experience. We can learn valuable lessons on the importance of being with a group when doing something like this where someone could be injured. In a very sad incident, a good friend went hiking alone in freezing temperatures in the mountains and broke her leg and then died from hypothermia before she could get help. There’s still a hole in my heart from knowing what happened to her.