Unrescued Trekking Poles

General Palm Springs area.

Re: Unrescued Trekking Poles

Postby Ed » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:17 pm

I returned Ward's trekking poles to him today, and we had a good conversation. He talked to his doctor, who thinks the problem is vaping. Ward was a 25-year one-or-two packs a day smoker. Switched to vaping four years ago. I don't know anything about vaping, but sounds like it took care of the nicotine problem, but may not be great for your lungs. He has no doubts about the need for a rescue, he feels he was not far short of a complete shut-down. He will be doing easier hikes for a while. Unfortunately, you are looking straight up at the Skyline route from his parking area!
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Re: Unrescued Trekking Poles

Postby Pyrodude » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:51 pm

Ed, the two pairs of poles that CatB and I rescued were a Blue REI and Red Black Diamond. They were quite attractive and looked in great shape! I described on a lost and found tag where they were found and to whom they belonged----namely Ed the Good Samaritan and the Rescued Hiker. The upper tram dude attached that slip of paper to the two sets of poles with rubber bands, and assured me that the lower tram L&F would take good care of them. I hope you ended up getting them. CatB took a pic of them with her cellphone if you want to check!
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Re: Unrescued Trekking Poles

Postby Ed » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:43 pm

That was them, Dennis. Had to be, how else would two pairs of trekking poles be in the same place? Thanks for picking them up, carrying them out, and the care with which you arranged for their return. A little inconvenience when they passed through tram hands, but not much, and I was very happy to have them back.
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Re: Unrescued Trekking Poles

Postby Hikin_Jim » Thu Sep 29, 2022 12:39 pm

Ed wrote:...the paramedics whisked me into a van and started asking me questions. Then realized they had the wrong person and switched me for Ward.
Ed, you need to shave or something before these trips. Whatever your morning beauty routine is, I think the paramedics just gave it the thumbs down. :wink:

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Re: Unrescued Trekking Poles

Postby Ed » Thu Sep 29, 2022 2:08 pm

Hikin_Jim wrote:Ed, you need to shave or something before these trips. Whatever your morning beauty routine is, I think the paramedics just gave it the thumbs down. :wink: HJ


Do I have to take a selfie to prove my bona fides for a hike?

This was the second time someone collapsed on me on Skyline. The first time, I fell in with someone who is well known to some people on this discussion board, and with more reason to be comfortable on Skyline than me. He had probably done it 70-80 times, usually leading a group. He collapsed about the same place, not far short of Florian's Water Cache. Had a witches' brew of symptoms: fatigue, nausea, dizziness, muscle cramps, jaw pain. Even I, a person who is willfully ignorant of medical matters, knows jaw pain is a bad symptom. He was finally able to get up and continue to Flat Rock. We sat down, rested, drank, ate and discussed the alternatives. He was in favor of going down. I was extremely opposed. It was a 90 degree day in the valley, I did not think the heat would be a major problem. It was his dizziness that concerned me. Too many places for a dizzy person to trip and fall. I was in favor of calling for rescue, Flat Rock seems like a much better place than many on the trail for a helicopter lift. He finally got up and said 'Let's try and finish this.' And within five or ten minutes it was clear he no longer had a problem. Jack talked it over with his primary care physician, and they agreed that a recent change in medication was the problem.
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Re: Unrescued Trekking Poles

Postby Hikin_Jim » Thu Sep 29, 2022 2:26 pm

Ed wrote:Do I have to take a selfie to prove my bona fides for a hike?

Ed, apparently you're not just another pretty face. :wink: :wink: :lol:

Ed wrote:This was the second time someone collapsed on me on Skyline.
:shock:
Uh, thanks for the invite for next week, Ed, but, uh, "I'm washing my trekking poles." :lol:

All kidding aside, good on ya for standing by these guys. That's got to be unnerving -- I know it was for me when someone broke an arm on a trip I was leading.

I was in Yosemite in January. I led a group of Sierra Club members to Dewey Point. On the way out, one of our party slipped on ice and broke her arm. We used my potty trowel :oops: and an ace bandage to splint her arm. You may laugh about the potty trowel, but its sort of shallow "U" shape made it very stable on the injured person's arm. We sent two hikers ahead to try to find a ranger and to alert our bus that we were coming back early and to be ready. The rest of us divvied up her gear and started hiking out. One lady kept bugging me to call a helicopter. I thought this was very strange. There was no blood. The injured party was walking fine. We had splinted the injury and then made a sling. Everything seemed pretty stable. I calmly told her that I thought that a helicopter was not in order. Later, I learned that she was trying to rally people to rebel against me (the designated Sierra Club leader), take charge of things, and call in a helicopter. I also learned that people thought that I had handled it well by remaining calm with her.

I guess I did handle it reasonably well. The injured party was still talking to me when I bumped into her later, and, not only that, she came on more trips where I was the leader.

All that to say: Personalities are often the most difficult thing to deal with in an emergency. In the case of this person you first had an issue with, it worked out well, but had he continued to show symptoms but insisted irrationally, "I'll be fine," that would have been a whole different ball of wax.

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Re: Unrescued Trekking Poles

Postby Ed » Thu Sep 29, 2022 2:44 pm

Both of the people who collapsed on me on Skyline were extremely rational, so there were no personal issues, for which I am very thankful. You certainly made the right decision on the Dewey Point trip. If someone is mobile, they can probably make it out before a rescue would do it.

I was also once on a winter Sierra Club trip to Dewey Point. This was a snowshoe trip in February. It was snowing heavily as we left the parking lot, at 8am on Saturday morning. Continued snowing, with very limited visibility. Very disappointing, since the whole purpose of the trip was the view from Dewey Point. When we returned Sunday afternoon, our cars were buried in snow, identifiable only by the eggshell bumps the roofs made in the snow. Hard work digging them out with wooden snowshoes and ice axes. Winter trips in the Sierras in those days were a very uncertain business.

And you mentioned elsewhere the difficulty of being spotted by helicopters. Yes!!! I was once on Long's Peak in Colorado, waiting with a few dozen people for a chopper. Someone had collapsed on the trail, on the way down. People had gathered, we decided to send a messenger down, and carry him as far as we could in the meantime. That shattered any illusions I had about carrying people. The subject was about 6'2", but lean, not heavily built. Six of us would pick him up and carry him down the trail, an excellent trail. After a few hundred yards, we would have to hand him off to another half dozen. Finally we stopped on a green grassy hillside and waited for a chopper. When it arrived, we waved, yelled, jumped. Two or three dozen people, and people wore more colorful clothes then, yellow, orange, red, etc. parkas. I could not believe how much time the helicopter took to locate us.

We had an argument over whether the guy had pulmonary edema or hyperventilation. I said we had to err on the side of caution, and assume it was pulmonary edema. But it turned out to be hyperventilation. So the rescue was probably unnecessary. They say that eventually the person passes out and wakes up ok.
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Re: Unrescued Trekking Poles

Postby Hikin_Jim » Thu Sep 29, 2022 3:36 pm

I would have erred on the side of a pulmonary edema as well. If you guess "hyperventilation," and it's actually an edema, that could be, uh, bad.

[quote=Ed]Both of the people who collapsed on me on Skyline were extremely rational[/quote]
Rational is good. That was the thing about the lady I was dealing with on the Dewey Point trip. She just wasn't rational. I mean, you don't call in a chopper for a broken arm when a person is mobile, lucid, and has no distress (which might indicate other injuries). It's not like its Uber or Lyft, at your beck and call.

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