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Topic: Memorial Day Weekend in Cranberry Wilderness, A lesson in preparedness< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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MRHyker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 12:16 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Three intrepid hiking friends of mine set off for a three day trans-navigation, if you will, of the Cranberry Wilderness over the Memorial Day weekend. The plan was to start on Scenic Highway 150 and follow the Forks of Cranberry, Tumbling Run, North-South, Laurelly, Middle Fork and Big Beechy Trails to a plant vehicle left at the end of the last trail, also on the Scenic Highway.  The first two days went as planned. Things quickly fell apart after breaking camp on the third day. I’ll let Ann D. finish the story:

“ So...Tracy T., Susan C. and myself were backpacking.  It was the third day and after about 30 minutes on the Big Beechy Trail, Tracy started itching and breaking out in a rash. We decided to take a full rest right then and there (a steep section of the trail, still ascending).  Within the next 10 minutes, her lips were swelling, eyes puffy.  We realized she was having an allergic reaction (it happened so fast). Very fortunately, Susan had Benadryl in 50 mg capsule dosage.  We gave her one and waited.  She felt a little bit better but then got worse again and she was losing her voice (and she looked like s**t...but don't tell her that...except she felt like s**t too). So we gave her another 50 mg of Benadryl and she kinda passed out briefly.  Her BP and HR were non-labored.  Susan and I weighed our options and we quickly decided she would go get help.  She took off and ran most of the way to FR 86 ( ~4 miles away), then hitched a ride to a pay phone (no cell service), then called 911. (Fortunately, Susan likes to run for fun). In the meantime I made a shelter with the tent on the side of the trail and Tracy slept while I checked her vitals every half hour.  She stopped itching about two hours later. Susan and about ten others from the rescue/fire departments arrived  (about 2 1/2 hours after Susan first left)....clearing the trail with a chain saw along the way.  Tracy was out of danger and she and the EMT decided she could walk out (They had brought a litter.).  Fortunately, there was a happy ending to all this and we really did have a great weekend.  Tracy now carries two epipens and I’ll never hike without unexpired Benadryl. Tracy had never had an allergic reaction like this before.  So, you never know.... “

An addendum: Tracey was so happy to be rescued that she sent a $25.00 donation to the fire department. In return they sent her a bill for $100.00.

Seriously folks, this goes to show you what can happen when you venture out into the wilderness. I’m not going to jump on my soapbox here about hiking alone. You all know how I feel about that. For those who insist on doing that the least you can do is be prepared and tell somebody where you’re going and the route you’ll be following ( and please don’t deviate from it!) so if something serious does happen to you the “body recovery” will be that much easier. As for the rest of us, be prepared and hike in small teams or groups. I know all three of these ladies and they are all qualified backwoods trekkers. They are very thorough in their preparation. Ann is a qualified Sierra Club Outings Leader and is certified in Wilderness First Aid. She is also a member of a search and recue team. Their Collective preparedness and coolness during an emergency probably saved Tracy’s life.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 1:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

jnk556 and I did close to the same hike last fall. Started at the visitor center and hiked down to Williams River road.  We only saw one other pair of hikers the whole trip.


My first few years of backpacking were all done alone (if you don't count the dog).  Now, I usually try to find someone else to go along, but that's not always possible.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 1:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Must be the year for it.

We were camping down at the Forks on Red Creek weekend before this last one and my friend who has this cyclical vomiting syndrome chose that time to get sick.

On top of that he's a diabetic.

Sent his son and friends out to the Laneville Cabin and Caanan VFD came in about 4pm gave him fluids carried him up that god awful steep path to the first field there on Red Creek and airlifted him to WVU.

He had anti nausea meds but didn't bring them.  I suspect paying for the copter ride will motivate him to be more careful.

He got out of the hosp yest.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 2:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Any idea as to what caused the allergic reaction?

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 2:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nope. Her Dr said she could get allergy screening. She hasn't decided yet.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 4:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sounds like you guys handled it well.  Glad she is OK.  It's stories like this I decided to take a wilderness first aid class.  Link below: highly reccomened...great experience, great instructors.

http://onthetrailfirstaid.com/
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 4:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ticks get me although not nearly as bad as your friend.

The worst for me are leeches. Not only do I start sneezing and itching all over when they attach but they leave a huge weeping bump that lasts for a couple weeks and I feel all sick for about 3 days.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 4:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Glad it worked out, but can't understand why she's still undecided about getting an allergy screen.  Sulfa drugs are rarely used these days, but I know that I'm allergic to them (they were more popular when I was a wee lad and had to dodge the dinosaurs on the way to school - both ways).  So when hiking alone I always wear a RoadID on my wrist (I have what's called the Sport model) with my name, blood type, the sulfa allergy, and two phone numbers where my wife can be reached.  It's not the same as having a hiking partner, but better than nothing.

aseege1, any idea how that compares to the NOLS class?  Something like that is on my list of things to do.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 8:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That's some scary stuff right there!  Good to hear help got in there quick, and got her help.

I know this is the thing that always worries me when i go with arfcomhkr.  His knees ain't the best, and while normally I'm the one that takes the spills, he has a few times.  Dreads me to think of having to venture out and get help, but good thing is I know the area a little better than Arf does being from this area so I guess i have a advantage if i have to go out.....

Dolly Sods is pretty close to help, Otter Creek as well, Laurel Fork ain't too horrible either, but Cranberry is just plain out in BFE.  The visitors center is pretty much your only hope, not sure if there is a pay phone there or not?

Never know what may happen.  You just try to put it out of your mind, but be prepared for it if it does happen.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 11:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(reubenstump @ Jul. 01 2013, 4:56 pm)
QUOTE
aseege1, any idea how that compares to the NOLS class?  Something like that is on my list of things to do.

Looking at the course descriptions, it looks to be the same class.  I know all those classes take the same written test at the end, so it's just getting to that point that may vary...  OnTheTrail was a flat 180, whereas NOLS looks a bit pricier.  

certainly can't hurt having that kind of knowledge, and they did a lot of hands on practice so it really imbeds.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 12:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just want to add one more thing in here.   The EMT's and fireman around the Wilderness areas here are very well trained to handle this kinda stuff.  You wouldn't believe the kinda calls i have heard on the scanners about lost folks in Otter Creek (me living in the Elkins area) or a hiker down, ect.  It's not just the Fire and EMS either, the WV State Police have a few trained officers that respond to these situations as well.

For these units that are as small, and backwoods, and underfunded as they are, they do a good job.  Honestly you probably have better luck of them finding you in the wilderness than if you live around here :;):

I always find it kinda funny when there are downed trees in the wilderness the FS brings in people with crosscut saws, as motors aren't allowed in wilderness areas.  The first sign someones life may be in danger though, the rescuers will come in cutting whatever is necessary with whatever they have to get there. :laugh:  

:;):
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 8:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(jnk556 @ Jul. 02 2013, 12:04 am)
QUOTE
I just want to add one more thing in here.   The EMT's and fireman around the Wilderness areas here are very well trained to handle this kinda stuff.  You wouldn't believe the kinda calls i have heard on the scanners about lost folks in Otter Creek (me living in the Elkins area) or a hiker down, ect.  It's not just the Fire and EMS either, the WV State Police have a few trained officers that respond to these situations as well.

For these units that are as small, and backwoods, and underfunded as they are, they do a good job.  Honestly you probably have better luck of them finding you in the wilderness than if you live around here :;):

I always find it kinda funny when there are downed trees in the wilderness the FS brings in people with crosscut saws, as motors aren't allowed in wilderness areas.  The first sign someones life may be in danger though, the rescuers will come in cutting whatever is necessary with whatever they have to get there. :laugh:  

:;):

Hell of a way to get a trail cleared though!

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 4:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(MRHyker @ Jul. 02 2013, 8:37 am)
QUOTE

(jnk556 @ Jul. 02 2013, 12:04 am)
QUOTE
I just want to add one more thing in here.   The EMT's and fireman around the Wilderness areas here are very well trained to handle this kinda stuff.  You wouldn't believe the kinda calls i have heard on the scanners about lost folks in Otter Creek (me living in the Elkins area) or a hiker down, ect.  It's not just the Fire and EMS either, the WV State Police have a few trained officers that respond to these situations as well.

For these units that are as small, and backwoods, and underfunded as they are, they do a good job.  Honestly you probably have better luck of them finding you in the wilderness than if you live around here :;):

I always find it kinda funny when there are downed trees in the wilderness the FS brings in people with crosscut saws, as motors aren't allowed in wilderness areas.  The first sign someones life may be in danger though, the rescuers will come in cutting whatever is necessary with whatever they have to get there. :laugh:  

:;):

Hell of a way to get a trail cleared though!

I'm assuming they came in up the middle fork trail, and up Big Beechy to you guys correct??  You all were pretty lucky, at least Middle point is a excellent trail, being it's a abandoned road, except for the one blow out, but i can't remember if that's before or after Big Beechy.

Also, on a side note, how were the blowdowns up in there??  I've not heard any reports of trail conditions in that area this year at all.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 4:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wasn't there. Just my 3 friends. Susan ran from about a mile up the Big Beechy Trail back down to Middle Fork Tr and then followed it out to FR 86. Ann said all of the other trails up to that point over the 3 days were navigable. She also said there were more blowdowns up ahead on Big Beechy but they went back out on Middle Fork to FR 86.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 8:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hopefully a PLB will be on their wish list... too many things can happen out there...

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 10:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(spac3man @ Jul. 02 2013, 8:27 pm)
QUOTE
Hopefully a PLB will be on their wish list... too many things can happen out there...

Honestly, a PLB in this case probably would have taken longer than someone running for help.

a lot of these fire depts. around here aren't really up on the latest technology.  Still a good bet if someone can go out for help, they should.
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