|Hiking||12.98 Miles|| 6 Hrs 14 Mns ||3.26 mph|
|1,268 ft AEG|| 2 Hrs 15 Mns Break||14 LBS Pack|
||no linked trail guides|
|The Sycamore Canyon Rim Loop has been on the list for quite awhile. Too short to justify the trip up there, this was to be hike 1 of 3 on the day. Denny, Joe and I started counterclockwise with the climb to KA Hill first, getting the majority of the elevation gain out early before the heat of the day.
It’s a steady climb to KA Hill, with some great views of “The Peaks” in Humpland to the NE.
Passing FR139, we spotted what we first thought was an Eagle in a nest. After numerous photos and discussions, definitely a pair of Osprey.
Pomeroy Tanks is a pretty area with a couple of...Tanks. As we entered, we noticed another group of hikers on top of the rim, entering from the other direction. In this canyon, is an obvious rock formation, a perfect point for a photo Op, like many of the Photo Ops we’ve had in the past. Joe scurried to the top of the 40’ rock, like he’d done a hundred times before. He sat on the top after saying.. “That was Steep”. We took photos, Joe started his way down, Denny and I went upon our business taking photos of stuff.
9:20 am and what happened next, changed many lives forever.
I heard an unnatural “Thump”. I turned around and Joe was no longer on the rock, nor could be seen. I ran over to the other side of the rock to find Joe face down, unconscious on the ground. Denny ran over and we called his name with no response. We gently poked him and he finally responded.
For the first time ever, I pushed the SPOT emergency button. 5 minutes later, my girlfriend and other emergency contact were notified that my button had been pushed and that there was an emergency in progress.
The other group that we’d seen on top of the rim had seen me run in the direction of Joe and came over to lend a very helpful hand. They got Joe turned over on his back and kept him calm. One of their group was on the cell phone with 911 talking through the events. Everyone took a role, between taking care of Joe, talking to 911, meeting responders at the TH etc.
Where we normally hike, there is never cell service, nor do we see others. We were so lucky to have both on this hike.
First to respond was the Coconino Sheriff, within the hour. Next was the 3 Paramedic’s. They took the vitals, administered pain meds, got him stabilized and got him on the board for transportation.
10 or so Search and Rescue showed up next. The choppers showed up as they were determining the best way to get him out. It was decided to Short Haul him with the bigger chopper, to a chopper waiting on the ground, for Transport him to Flagstaff.
Video [ youtube video ]
From the incident, to arrival in Flagstaff, was right at about 2 hours. It seemed like forever, but for something like this, I think was actually pretty good.
Denny and I still had 7 miles to go to get back to the truck. We actually needed this time to decompress a bit, knowing that by the time we finished and got to Flagstaff, that maybe we might know something more.
When we got to Flag, they had him in for an MRI. When done, they had him heavily sedated. Later that night, after stabilizing him, he was flown to Phoenix, where he could be better cared for.
Cut to today, 13 days later. It is more or less a miracle the progress he’s made from what we saw in Flagstaff and the day after in Phoenix. Two surgeries completed and most devices have been removed. He’s talking, joking, and even took his first steps today. He could be released to a rehab facility soon.
It’s going to be a while before I get my hiking partner back though.
If any of the people that aided us in the field read this, please PM me. I need to talk to you and thank you for all the help you gave us in the field. I’m sorry, but Jody “Joe” is the only name I can remember, and I think he was from Mesa.
Joe’s going to be down for awhile and will need more medical attention and physical therapy.
Please, if you feel it in your heart, hit the DONATE button at the bottom of the home page to help support his recovery.
A huge Thanks to Denny and all the others that have helped in Joe's recovery to date.
Andthanks all for your thoughts and prayers.
|There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."|