Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

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Electra
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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by Electra » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:33 am

LMBSGV- I can only imagine the bad feeling regarding your son. I have two young kids and I am planning the first trip for my my 3.5 year old daughter soon and don't want to 'over do it'. Lots to consider, might be worthy of a topic discussion on kids in general and first trips (may already be one).

Looks like we also share a similar 'avalanche/snow burn' injury as well. It is the closest i have come to meeting my maker and the subsequent recovery over the following 6 weeks was the worst pain i have ever felt. Y'all imagine an area the size of your outstretched hand/whole calf, completely raw and oozing, trying to heal each day with gauze bandages getting caught in it as it dries -and every step and move causing stretching and cracking and further pain and setback. To make matters worse and to avoid being depressed for having to stop my PCT trip, i went to work ten days after the accident at my old summer camp near yosemite which was hot, dusty, and required me to be active and not a 'puss'. Just thinking about all the misery i went thru makes me queasy. Anyway, stay safe out there everyone...


Dan Braun
Camp Navarro, Evergreen Lodge & SYMG






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BuckSnort
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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by BuckSnort » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:35 pm

LMBSGV, That same thing happened to me when I was about 10 years old.. I was climbing Mt Adams with my grandpa (he has climbed it a few times).. We were just about to the false summit and it hit me all at once, severe headache and vomiting.. We decended quickly glissading , It got to the point that I was dizzy and blacking out, my grandpa lashed my pack to his and literally carried me off the mountain to the trailhead..I have one of the toughest grandfathers around, no doubt... We spent the night at the trailhead and the next morning I felt fine... I have not had altitude sickness since that happend...

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Cloudy
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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by Cloudy » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:53 pm

I have never gotten over my childhood altitude sickness and get sick nearly every trip above 8000' in the Sierra. Such is life.

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by JosiahSpurr » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:31 pm

THE WORST ONE was altitude sickness, even mild HACE or mild HAPE, because my first trip to high country started in Venice, CA, about 3 blocks from the Pacific Ocean, and 18 hours later I was going to sleep in my hammock around midnight just below Alta Peak after parking at Wolverton. That was a 10,000 foot elevation gain in eighteen (18) hours on a Friday. (It was my first trip of the season and my only other high altitude trip, other than one a few years before to Duck, Purple, Ram and Franklin lakes south of Mammoth.) On Saturday I went cross-country overlooking Moose Lake and spent the day wandering around the upper reaches of Tableland and Table Meadows. Saturday night I tried to sleep somewhere above Pear Lake. I threw up everything the first 2 or 3 times then continued to throw up during the night for about a grand total of 5 pukes. I couldn't sleep. Maybe I had a headache, but don't remember. I may have been dehydrated. On Sunday I practically crawled back to my car, but enjoyed Pear Lake and the hike although at some points I would "hike" for a minute, then have to rest for 5 minutes. SO IT WAS PRETTY BAD. Since then, I've never had any of the same symptoms above 10,000 feet. I like to think my initial stupidity "inoculated" me for life against altitude sickness ;-)

THE WORST ONE THAT DIDN"T HAPPEN was before I learned "ice ax". Sunday morning I woke up next to Lion Lake and headed for Lion Rock Pass over to Nine Lake Basin. It was Labor Day weekend and a long, thin glacier extended from the Pass to Lion Lake. I went up the right side as far as I could, getting wedged and stuck between ice and a rock cliff. So I decided to cross the glacier "to get to the other side". I cut level foot pockets, about 10 of them, in the ice that was near 45-degrees angle. I didn't know I needed an ax to do self-arrest in case I started sliding down to Lion Lake. I didn't know how fast I could have been going near the bottom if I ended up whizzing down the ice. I had some concept of what a rope could do, so I tied one end to my waist and another end to my Kelty external-frame pack which I left wedged between rocks before starting to cut foot steps in the ice. I "got to the other side", and went back to get my pack, and crossed a 3rd time before heading up and over to Nine Lake Basin.

AT NIGHT I CAUGHT THE FRONT OF MY FOOT on a rock, maybe because it was at night, and I didn't see it, my foot instantly stopped, I flew forward and onto the granite steps leading down from Avalanche Pass to Bubbs Creek, did a somersault, in the middle of which my backpack hit the ground, and landed on my feet, and just kept going as if nothing happened. The trip could have sent me over the side and down quite a ways, but luckily my forward momentum landed me on a straight section of the trail.

BRUISED my shin on a big piece of talus in the long "chute" on west side of Sphinx Crest (you can see it on the map).

LOST both toenails on my big toes a few months after descending down an incredibly steep hill to the north of Tonopah Falls. I was wearning thrift-store sneakers that didn't fit me (they were too tight). I didn't want to down-climb the falls, so I tried finding a cross-country route and luckily there were enough trees and bushes that I could hold onto to prevent cascading down the hill, more like a vegetated cliff tilted slightly to about 75-degrees.

* * * I've been wandering outdoors for just over 30 years, since high school, when I was "living" with an alcoholic father who died just before I graduated high school. Started around Pawtuckaway Lake in Nottingham, NH and "graduated" to Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP (with Arizona inbetween). I'm actually a whimp, especially out there alone most of the time, am very careful about choosing where to go (except for that last one, perhaps), am easily persuaded (by myself) to turn back, and am very careful and aware of each step. I think what keeps me safe is a sort of meditative state of mind. It's like meditation with beautiful scenery passing by. THANKS FOR LISTENING.

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by ManOfTooManySports » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:16 pm

OK, I'll play. Back when I was young and exceptionally stupid, I decided to climb Mt. Goddard all by my very lonesome. I was traversing above Lake 11,951 and needed to drop some elevation to avoid a dodgy looking snowfield. I stepped on a nice flat piece of talus that turned out to be round at the bottom. I fell backwards, with the impact being a pointed rock right into my spine mid-back. I landed in a sitting position and immediately felt relief that I could wiggle my toes. I rested for a while and watched two guys cross the southern shore of the lake.

Remember I said I was stupid? I decided to finish the climb. As I climbed down from the summit I realized that I was injured. I made it back to my camp somewhere toward Black Giant Pass, packed up my gear, and tried to get as close to the trailhead as I could. Which was the first wise thing I did, because the original plan was to do the whole stretch from the Ionian Basin over Echo Col to the trailhead in one shot the next day.

One the way toward Helen Lake I met a beautiful girl my age camping by herself. It was the perfect pick-up situation. I could not believe that was happening. Especially the part where I had to move on a few miles to get closer to the col. These opportunities just don't happen to geeks like me!

That night I looked for blood, etc. on my clothes. Nothing doing. Then I reached around to where the impact was and touched it with my finger. Yes, those were my screams echoing down the canyon.

Next day I hustled over Echo Col and down the trail...where I tripped and dragged by shin over an upright rock. Brilliant. Fortunately there was a snowfield nearby where I could get snow to ice the wound. I had that scar for a couple of decades.

A couple of days after getting home I finally went to the doctor. He had an x-ray taken but it was inconclusive whether there was in fact a crack in my spine. It took me months for the injury to heal, leading me to believe I did break it. If the break had been bad enough to cause paralysis, I likely would have died that night from exposure.

I am so much more cautious now!

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by Timberline » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:42 pm

For me, nothing as serious as some here have reported, but I 'spect they all hurt, no matter how big or small. My biggest challenge was simply getting seriously gimpy coming down from Whitney all the way to the Portal in '72 after being too ambitious the previous three days of burning up the trail from our entry at Onion Valley (Laura Molnar "Moosie" and her pal reported doing the same whole route in about 24 hours - - ooch!). By the time I reached the parking lot, I could no longer walk, my right knee was completely shot. I suspect that's the source of the osteoarthritis that now plagues me every day. I consider myself lucky anyway, after years of x-c high country travel and not a scratch. Pain schmain, it was worth it! :nod:
Let 'er Buck! Back in Oregon again!

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by lostcoyote » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:11 pm

sprained an ankle once on a weekend trip to george lake in kaiser wilderness.
broke my large left toe (hairline fracture) doing something dumb at ruby lake where i slipped and my foot got wedged in between 2 rocks - went on to backpack with broken toe for 2 weeks thru bear lakes basin and on south into ionian basin - finishing up at courtright..
other than that, some occasional cuts and bruises.... and with older age coming along, my knees get sore pretty easily now.

how about you maverick?
you started this topic but haven't chimed in with any cuts and bruises yet - hehehe.

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by Tom » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:42 am

In late October (during the end of the 80's) I was fishing the streams around Crabtree Meadows. Early one morning I stepped on a log that was frosted over and landed on the log in the middle of my back. I lay stunned and assessed how I was. I felt okay and knew that I would be sore.

A day later I had worked my way into Junction Meadows on the Kern. By late afternoon I had blood in my urine and bladder spasms were making it hard to control my bladder. By bed time I was scared and devising a plan to take care of myself. I decided to make my way towards the ranger station that was at the south end of SEKI.

There was no one else around but I thought that I might run across another late season fisherman. If I didn't find anyone else then the other part of the plan was to hope that there was still a ranger in residence since there hadn't been much snow.

It took 2 days to get to the ranger station. I walked slowly and gingerly trying not to jar or bounce much. I noticed that I was still passing urine but it was mis-colored and went from dark red to a light pink as I got closer to the ranger cabin. By the time I hit the meadow at the ranger station I was doing well. My urine was clear and the spasms had stopped. I cut the trip short and took the direct route out to my doctor.

It was determined that I had badly bruised a kidney and there was no evidence of permanent damage.

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Tom
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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by Tom » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:42 am

In late October (during the end of the 80's) I was fishing the streams around Crabtree Meadows. Early one morning I stepped on a log that was frosted over and landed on the log in the middle of my back. I lay stunned and assessed how I was. I felt okay and knew that I would be sore.

A day later I had worked my way into Junction Meadows on the Kern. By late afternoon I had blood in my urine and bladder spasms were making it hard to control my bladder. By bed time I was scared and devising a plan to take care of myself. I decided to make my way towards the ranger station that was at the south end of SEKI.

There was no one else around but I thought that I might run across another late season fisherman. If I didn't find anyone else then the other part of the plan was to hope that there was still a ranger in residence since there hadn't been much snow.

It took 2 days to get to the ranger station. I walked slowly and gingerly trying not to jar or bounce much. I noticed that I was still passing urine but it was mis-colored and went from dark red to a light pink as I got closer to the ranger cabin. By the time I hit the meadow at the ranger station I was doing well. My urine was clear and the spasms had stopped. I cut the trip short and took the direct route out to my doctor.

It was determined that I had badly bruised a kidney and there was no evidence of permanent damage.

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by windknot » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:42 am

A sprained ankle, a bad case of altitude sickness on my first-ever backpacking trip as a kid, and a few minor falls that didn't leave any lasting damage.

This is nothing compared to most of you, so either I should count myself as extremely lucky or just plan on accumulating more injuries with the more days I spend out there. Or both.

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