Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

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rlown
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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by rlown » Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:16 pm

Sprained Ankle. Me too. ~July '88.. A day hike around from Lower Mattie past V and back around to Lower Mattie. Jumped to a small round rock on a day hike, and it (of course) rolled on me. I watched the ankle touch the ground. I heard the tendons rip on the outside of the left ankle. continued the trip as it was already in the boot. Back at Lower Mattie, I stuffed the sock with ice. Slept in the boot. Only about 5ish miles out. I was the driver on that trip.. forgot about it with the advil.. stepped out for a dinner stop and the leg collapsed.. oh well, more advil. A nice burger and the final drive home.. stairs were hard for a month after that.

As said before, it's still funky. Never had it looked at but there is this sac of where the tears probably are.. It's funny.. I have more problems with my right foot, but the left still creaks now and then.. goes away with exercise of the joint.

I don't jump anymore from rock to rock.

Russ








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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by Electra » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:12 pm

June 10 1991 on the west side of Mt. Whitney, I suffered a major third degree snow burn when I fell four hundred plus vertical feet in a 'slab' avalanche. Took off all of the skin down to the capillary on my right calf. I was hiking the PCT and was the first person to try to head north from Kennedy Meadows. It was slow going and I basically ran out of food (had a powerbar and some nuts to get me to trail crest/portal) at my last camp at Crabtree Meadow. Miracle March had created a precarious situation and as i climbed the snow covered west face in 70 degree short weather, i triggered the slab and came about 50 feet from tumbling over a cliff. Many lessons learned...Ended up hiking/staggering outwith the help of a kind women and ended up at the lone pine hospital....

Other than that 'epic', I seem to occasionally suffer in the field from a left calf strain and an upper right hamstring 'tweak' from an old hockey goalie injury. When these begin to flare up, I know better than push forward and rest or turn around....
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Camp Navarro, Evergreen Lodge & SYMG

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by quentinc » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:46 pm

A dislocated shoulder trying to follow Roper's directions to Bench Canyon. I finished the next 6 days of my planned trip, but had to shelf trying to climb anything. Ended up having surgery that the orthopedic surgeon and his residents marveled about the complexity of for months after.

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by sierraholic » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:05 pm

My wife and I were doing South Lake to Whitney, when on the 3rd day, she twisted her knee badly on the south side of Mather Pass. We thought it was okay, as she lugged through the rest of our 12 mile day. After sleeping on it, it swelled up and we bailed out at less than one mile an hour over Kearsarge two days later.
We tried to finish the rest of the JMT from Onion Valley to Whitney two years later, when I got the early stages of HACE. I felt awful all the way up Kearsage Pass, and then had a pounding headache all night at the Kearsarge Lakes. Woke up nauseous, headache, and with blurred vision. Obviously, we bailed back out. Had blood work done after getting home, and found out I had very low levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. 2 months later (after thinking I had leukemia) they figured out I had a virus similar to mono and Epstein-Barr. Good times!
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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by kpeter » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:41 pm

Torn meniscus on my cross-the-Sawtooths hike in 2008. Required scoping. I don't know exactly when I did it, but I was glad I had a healthy supply of ibuprofen along.

No other major mishaps. I have fallen while hiking on trails a number of times and fortunately have never even seriously bruised myself--but any of those falls might have resulted in a sprain or a break. I just have been lucky.

I also about a mundane non-wilderness related illness happening while in the wilderness--a heart attack, for example.

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by hikerchick395 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:55 am

Friday the 13th of August 1976, on my first backpack (with a college biology class,) I tore a cartilage in my knee on the Lake Italy trail and had a helicopter ride out. This didn't discourage me from backpacking, though.

In 2008, I injured my left foot backpacking to Dusy Basin and ended up with plantars fasciitis. But a couple of weeks later, I hiked the JMT with that injury. I was not cancelling that trip!!! Still have some twangs in my foot that I have to take care not to fully reinjure it. Just have been able to run again a bit this year.

In 2009, while day hiking on the Mammoth Crest, I tripped and fell on...flat ground. Dislocated my shoulder and had to pop it back in myself. Broke my camera, but was happy that I didn't break my teeth, since I fell face first. The heavy daypack masked the pain until I removed it back at the truck. It took almost two years before I could fully raise my arm above my head.

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by mokelumnekid » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:13 am

Interesting reading. I've been incredibly lucky I guess as I've taken some tumbles like many of you but somehow escaped unhurt. No climbing injuries either. Did see a person burn themselves badly on the foot when a big pot of boiling water got tipped on it. Gotta be extra careful with that kind of thing folks (I always carry a pot gripper or three since seeing that).

I did get some severely strained ribs when doing geological field work near remote Volcan Quizapu, Chile. I blame it all on the dad-durned horse, who tried to throw me as we descended into a gully. Sure made breathing rough, and I walked out rather than get back on that beast.

My worst outdoor activity injury was last year in a kayaking beat-down where my ureter got partially torn from my kidney. Although it was a freak accident, that set me back for sure. Trips to the ER, surgery, etc., etc. But I'm still boating! \:D/

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:33 pm

From 1969 to 1975 I lead 13 35-day NOLS courses. We evacuated one instructor who for possible meningitis (turned out bad flu), one student with head injury (policy to always immediately evacluate anyone with a head injury) and one other illness (cannot remember). We simply hauled them out ourselves making stretchers from our external frame packs. Each course we had various illnesses and minor injuries that we simply treated in the field.

I have been hit on the back with falling rocks on the Grand Teton and walked out - temporary upper body paralysis and minor nerve damage, tingling in the palms of my hands, for several years after (never went to doctor - no lasting symptoms), I fell off a log crossing and cracked my elbow (did not go out or to doctor), had severe tonsilitis with 105 fever (barely got out- eneded up getting tonsils removed when I was 30 - brutal!), member of our climbing party had finger severed by rockfall, we went for help (down George Creek!), she was helicopter evacuated, a few years ago I sprained an ankle while post-holing through snow - one day rest, taped it up and walked out for 3 days, about 10 years ago sprained an ankle by falling off a small cliff and my foot wedged in a tree - taped it and walked out 8 miles. Lots of minor cuts, bruises and scraped from climbing. In the middle of an 18-day trip my daughter ate a poisionous plant and puked all night but was OK in morning, thank goodness.

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by Cloudy » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:05 pm

Lol. After reading some of these experiences, I realize how fortunate that I have been (no matter how bad you think it is, it could always be worse...). Thanks for sharing!

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by LMBSGV » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:47 pm

I’ve had lots of cuts, bruises, and scrapes, including a huge scrape over much of my right leg from riding a small avalanche on the approach to Harrison Pass. Fortunately, the pain from it went away after the first night, though anyone I met the rest of the trip, remarked about it. The worst injury was a broken toe in 2010 when I was hoping to make it to Kaweah Basin. It occurred while climbing from Hamilton Lakes on my second day out. Determined, I made it as far as lake 11,682 below Pyraqueen Col before I accepted the fact that I couldn’t make it to Kaweah Basin. I spent the next four days walking/hiking short distances before walking back out.

The most frightening incident for me was in 1992 with my son and wife when we were going out of Mosquito Flat over Mono Pass to Fourth Recess. This is the one time I was ever truly scared in the Sierra. Our son was 8 years old and had been backpacking since 1986 without any problems. At the Ruby Lake junction we stopped for a snack and check-in to see how he was doing. We asked him how he felt and he said great. “Do you want to continue over the pass - it’s 1,500 more feet of climbing.” “Yes,” he replied enthusiastically. So up we went. At the top of the pass, my son still felt fine - he seemed to be enjoying it, throwing snowballs at his mom and I. At Summit Lake below the pass, he started slowing down and showing signs of not feeling well. By the time we reached Trail Lakes, our intended campsite for the day, he was showing signs of acute altitude sickness, possibly HAPE. I accessed the situation, and decided we needed to descend to the canyon for his safety.

While my wife stayed with our son, I literally ran down the trail with my pack until the junction with Mono Creek where I found an area that would serve as a campsite. Dropping my pack, I ran up the trail to meet my wife and son partway down from Trail Lakes. I carried my son down the rest of the way to Mono Creek. My wife took his small pack. We set up the tent and made dinner. Our son didn’t want to eat. We tried to get him to eat something. He vomited it back up. Now I was really scared and feeling incredibly guilty for putting my son in jeopardy. We put him in the tent in his sleeping bag and he fell asleep. I felt his pulse and his heart rate was over 100. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep as I lay awake listening to him breathing and occasionally checking his pulse. Finally, about midnight, his heart rate got back to normal. The next morning, he felt fine and ate a big breakfast and had a great time the rest of the trip. On all our subsequent backpacking trips with him, we gave him two nights (versus the one of this trip) of car camping at high altitude before the trip.

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