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Trail for Stan?
Posted: Sat May 12, 2007 7:11 am
I need some help from the forum. My good friend Stan, the one who previously accompanied me on many a backpacking adventureâ€¦Backside up to Whitney, Half Dome, St. Helensâ€¦then tragically lost a leg to a motorcycle mishap 3 years agoâ€¦wants to go out again.
He has somewhat recovered and is currently fitted with one of those bionic legs, and now wants to do a first easy adventureâ€¦backpacking. He still has trouble with the steeps but wants to go up to somewhere highâ€¦ Yosemite?â€¦ I suggested a trip up the Lyell from Tuolumneâ€¦4 miles to the Ireland trail cutoffâ€¦camp there along the river and fish for a day or twoâ€¦return.
Any other trails that you know of that we might attempt? We are coming from the Sacramento area, so prefer North Sierraâ€¦(gas - $$$).
Trail for Stan
Posted: Sat May 12, 2007 10:08 am
Yes, I think Lyell would be a perfect choice, especially if he hasn't done much hiking with his prosthetic.
I've seen a number of people with prosthetics in the backcountry. They seem to do very well. One long-time Ostraner Hut user tested his out by skiing in 10 miles, then out 10 miles in the same day! Gnarly. See photos of Bill Koole:
Posted: Sat May 12, 2007 11:15 am
I presume "high" means that Desolation et al. do not qualify? Otherwise a leisurely hike to the Desolation core (Aloha, Lake of the Woods, Toem etc.) from Upper Echo Lake, aided by the boat ferry, would be a good one with easy hiking and lots of fishing options too. Plus the drive is super short from Sacramento.
With a longer drive a hike from Leavitt Meadow is also a good one. The trail is very low angle, there are plenty of lakes with big fish (with the closest to the trailhead being Roosevelt/Lane/Secret at a tad under 3 mi and a few hundred feet of gain) and a stream nearby, and one has a whole long list of stopping places depending on how far one wants to go.
I guess my No. 1 choice would be Little Lakes Valley. You are up into beautiful country with so little effort. The somewhat longer driving time is offset by the minimal hiking time. There are lots of little cul de sacs and hideaways that you can scoot to with little effort and still hide from the larger concentrations of folks following the trunk trail. The area behind Saddlebag has some similar charms, but there are restrictions on where you can camp (cannot camp in the Hall Natural Area) and there is not quite as much room to move around as in Little Lakes Valley.
Posted: Sat May 12, 2007 9:18 pm
Is he an AK or a BK? What type of prosthetic does he have?
Has he done some day hiking yet?
Many amps can hike roughly the same distance in one day as they did before, but are real sore the next day. If he starts with day hikes he would know if he would up for the same distance the second and subsequent days.
Also overnight packs are heavier than day packs. That is extra load on the stump.
As he is already aware, hygiene and skin care is critical. If he is like most amps, he will have to carry extra liners and change often during the day. And probably have to take a partial or full day off during the trip. So a layover day should be built into the itinerary.
Also he can cross post on any of the various amputee websites. But he has probably already done that.
Posted: Sat May 12, 2007 9:49 pm
Stan is BK, but having had some trouble (soreness) with the seating of the new prosthetic... (phantom nerves...pain). After 3 subsequent surgeries/ procedures, he states he is now ready for a Sierra something...anything...he is going, with or without me. I guess this backpacking thing really gets into ones blood.
I realize that I will be the mule here, but you cannot ever tell him that - He is one proud SOB. That is why I suggested the flats of the Lyell...scenic but easy...with the prospect of a day in the middle...all under the guise of some good fishing. If any problems occur, better with me than with a stranger...He won't listen to anyone else anyway. In addition, the pre-planned layover day - (pretty sneaky of me), fishing - this will allow him the necessary recovery time...even though he will never admit needing it.
Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 pm
Great for him.
I have been a BK since 1989.
The phantom pains diminished over time, but never completely went away for me. They return with a vengeance after a couple of hard days hiking -- about 3-4 days later, then taper down over the next few days. I chalk it up to the price I must pay.
I also never stopped sweating inside my silicone sleeve. They all told me my body would adjust and I would stop sweating there. They were wrong. I use a nylon liner underneath and just change it every couple hours. I can feel when it is time to change.
On the plus side I can uphill much easier now than downhill (the mechanics of foot design). Scrambling over rocks is easy. Off-trail through brush and slash is harder.
You also have to be careful when sitting around a fire in the evening -- no heat sensation so you realize too late you just melted your prosthetic (I learned the hard way on that one!)