Close Calls

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
.
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
3,098
As far as outdoor activity close calls go:

In 2010 I slipped and fell while soloing Matthes Crest in slightly wet conditions, but fortunately landed on a ledge. It messed with my soloing head for the rest of the alpine season.
View attachment 77440

More recently, I was attempting to reach an old school route on the Palisade Glacier side of Thunderbolt Peak in the Sierra, and a ~1.5 ton boulder tipped over onto my finger, then skated over my leg as I went to step off the moraine. I lucked out, since my leg wasn't broken, and I was able to hike the 8 miles out and drive myself to the ER.

View attachment 77437

My crushed leg. For those less sensitive to gore, a photo of my finger is here.
View attachment 77438
darn, that's a pretty nasty injury!! Glad you didn't get pinned by that boulder.
How long did it take to heal?
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

fossana

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
330
darn, that's a pretty nasty injury!! Glad you didn't get pinned by that boulder.
How long did it take to heal?
Thanks, me too. It took a few months for my leg to feel normal again, and a few more for the nerve damage to heal in my finger. The longer-term bummer was that the accident also triggered sciatica symptoms from an older asymptotic injury from a motorcycle accident, and now I can't trail run anymore.
 

Perry

Formerly Cuberant
.
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
1,736
I only had a few occasions that would count as close calls.

One happened last year when I hiked up Sepulcher Mountain in Yellowstone. I picked a particular day as it had a 0% chance of storms.
That doesn't mean anything at all and I learned it pretty fast. When I was on top I saw some dark clouds that had built to the north and decided not to stay for too long. While hiking back a nasty storm cell sneaked in from behind Electric Peak and came super fast. I was still on the high part of the trail and completely exposed. So I ran down the steep trail on the south side of the mountain. The ones who have done that trail know how steep it is. And trail running down a mountain with a big day pack is not a lot of fun.
The storm caught up on me on the last part before hitting the tree line and wind gusts were extremely strong. I finally reached the tree line and thought I was sort of safe. But while walking through the lodgepole pine forest I heard these crashing sounds all the time. It was super loud and I wondered what it was. Then trees were falling down everywhere and I immediately knew what had caused the weird noise. I decided not to stay and ran again like crazy.
There was lightning, a massive storm and hail, and rain but eventually, I made it back safely just in time for the storm to pass.
So I guess never trust weather forecasts at all.


Another sort of close call happened when I was on a personal exploration trip to the lava in Hawai'i. A massive breakout on top of the steep pali had happened and I wanted to check it out. The pali is a very steep cliff completely made of pahoehoe lava and loose sharp A'a lava. You have to climb up on all your fours in many spots. It was dark and I picked a shortcut I had done a few times before. I had almost climbed the 1500 feet up when I hit a tree mold in the ground. A tree mold is a hole that is left when a tree trunk burned down by lava. Sometimes they are hard to see.
I hit this one and lost my balance and fell on the steep side of the cliff, sliding down on the sharp A'a before landing on my back with my backpack on.
It must have looked hilarious. I couldn't get up because of the terrain and had to unstrap my backpack which probably saved me from getting really hurt.
I guess I looked like a bug on its back trying to get back on its feet and moving.
Luckily I wore fleece-lined shell pants that took most of the beating.
I ended up with some deep holes and lots of lava in my knee plus some deep cuts on my forearms, but nothing too bad.
It took a few months to heal but I did my regular lava tour the day after with a ballon knee.
I still have some of the lava pieces in my knee from that trip as I never went to a doctor to get the deeper cuts stitched and the pieces removed.

This is what it looked after a week:






the black stuff is lava fragments

Ouchie!

BTW... I feel kind of bad clicking Like on these. Feels kind of mean spirited.
 
Last edited:

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
.
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
3,098
Ouchie!

BTW... I feel kind of back clicking Like on these. Feels kind of mean spirited.
nothing to feel bad about.

The terrain was tough, so I knew what I was getting into each time I went on exploration trips.


This is what you climb up for 1500 feet, taken on a different day coming down


the view halfway up looking down


this is what a tree mold looks like, some of these are pretty small and you can miss them super easy in the dark
 

WasatchWill

Ready For More
.
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
1,423
While backpacking up in Middle Basin of the Uintas, I stepped down to a small ledge above a small waterfall to get a better angle of looking at it. I wasn't as careful with my center of gravity as I should have been and the momentum of my pack took me over the edge in making the step down. I fell about 8 feet onto the wet and slimy rocks at the bottom of the falls. While obviously not a deadly fall, I felt very fortunate to have been able to walk away from that without a broken leg, bum knee, or badly twisted ankle.

On the same trip, my friend and I had left our camp to summit Hayden Peak. On our way back down coming off the peak, my friend got ahead of me and ended up taking a lower line than he should have in crossing over the top of a very steep scree chute with at least a 100+ foot cliff lying in wait below. Of course, he slipped and started to slide before hooking his arm around a boulder still firmly planted along the edge of the chute, which ended up dislocating his shoulder and tearing something that he later needed to have surgery done to repair. Had that boulder not been there for him to hook onto, he may not have lived to tell the tale and I may have been traumatized from ever scrambling such a peak again.
 

westy

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
103
Years ago in the Ozarks I was waterfall hunting off trail and came across a nice one. 50' or so, from a curved rim above down onto scattered, head sized rocks. I took a lunch at the top, being wary of the edge because the rock was snot slick in places, staying a good 10' back from the lip on dry limestone. Lunch done I rose and grabbed the pack and stood still for one last look around before moving on. "Moving on" came in the form of a slip, from just standing there on what I swore was dry, grippy rock. Evidently it wasn't. My feet went forward as I fell onto my rear and slid towards the lip, stopping with my legs dangling over at the knees. sh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!te. Oh so gingerly I scooted sideways off rock and onto earth. And since it turned out ok, continued my hunt. But that was scary.
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top