Big Bend Conservancy
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Sudden falls are a danger I dread and work hard to prevent. Two or three times while hiking I have lost my footing suddenly and slammed down hard on my side. Fortunately, it was just bruises and nothing broken.
A few years ago I was hiking banta shut in with a friend and he took a stumble about 3.5 miles in from Roys Peak vista.I was about 20 ft ahead of him and we were coming off the creek bank back down in to the creek and he tripped, I heard him scream and I turned and saw him fall head first on the rocky creek bank, his legs almost went over his head, the probably would have if not for his pack.I dropped my pack and rushed to his side. i got him to sit up and took his pack off. I gave him a quick once over. he basically landed on the right side of his face. I check his pupils and all was ok, we waited there about 20 minutes and he said he was good to go. so we put our packs on and went at his pace. his right elbow and knee were sore.We get to camp and rest up. he is pretty sore, but doing well, no vision problems, no head ache and his pupils were still normal, and he had all his whits about him.I had to set up both tents, filter water and make dinner. the next morning he is very sore and having a hard time moving.I break down camp and put all the heavy stuff in my pack so he can have a much lighter load. We made a home made sling out of a bandanna and spare boot lace, and I had to make him a make do belt from a spare boot stringSO on the hike out, it took us much longer to get back to roys peak vista as Im carrying a much heavier pack now and he is in pain while walking. a few times I had to walk ahead, drop my pack, come back for his pack and switch packs and continue on.This was the scariest moment in all my hiking time. My first though as I saw him fall is he is going to die, then I was like do I leave him here while i hike out to get a phone call out to be rescued and hope he doesn't die while im going to get help. Its just mind boggling what goes though your head when you see something like that.We leave the next day, I drop him off in San Antonio, he goes to the DR, gets x-rays, he fractured his elbow and tore ligaments in his knee. The Dr. said the best thing he could have done was to continue hiking that day. said if we would have stopped there for the night his knee might have been too swollen to walk on.He hiked 10.5 miles injured (3.5 miles after the fall then 7 miles the next day) carrying a pack in dry creek beds and un even ground.I did post that in my trip report, but many times people miss these incidents while reading trip reports.this pic was after the hike having ice cold Mexican Cokes at Roys Peak vista.
I always figure the fastest injury that will kill someone (next to falling down a cliff) is bleeding out. Think open fracture. The next thought should be about splinting injuries so that you can keep a hiker moving. Counting grams when it comes to a first aid kit is just stupid.''Dying Aint' Much of A Livin', Boy'' Clint Eastwood
... and resulted in permanent and debilitating injuries to my body.
"Hiking in rough country is intensely analytical."Amen - and that what makes it so relaxing for me. It demands simple and complete focus on that next step.
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