November 6&7, 2010
THE EARLY POST
Saturday Jeremy, Ann and I had a great day providing our normal help on the mountain followed by practicing a traction splint of a broken femur and then doing off trail navigation that was way, way, way off trail. More on that in the late post.
Sunday had scenario training scheduled. Kristan, Charles and myself were on with Jeremy.
The Shenandoah Mountain Guides (SMG) always provide awesome training. Chad and Jeremy are two of SMG's senior staff that provide this great training. They are great friends but they like to compete on things. Until yesterday, I think Chad was in the top spot for best training day with his session on the haul system last week but yesterday Jeremy rose to the occasion. Jeremy really stepped up his game with this weekend's scenario training. In my opinion he is now in the top spot. I am not sure that it counts since he had the advantage of getting help from a real incident on his training day.
Vectoring the bird.
The next picture is of one of our good Samaritans whose hiking party helped get hundreds of pounds of equipment to us, helped get the patient moved out onto the rocks for the helicopter pick off attempts and then was nice enough to take some pictures and videos using my camera while we were busy focusing on multiple tries at a very wind challenged lift off which in the end could not safely be done.
With the wind nixing the helicopter lift off we had to bundle the patient for a very technical carryout down through the cave, over the first false summit and then down the switchbacks to the upper lot. Lots of rope work. Think about carrying a heavy litter across a ledge where the downhill litter carriers need to lean out over a vertical fall on a tensioned safety line and then doing a 25 foot vertical lift up a near vertical face. After this there is a long arduous carryout down through the switchbacks. The call had gone out for trained help and it is incredible the number of really super good folks who dropped whatever they were doing and responded to the call. Several search and rescue groups sent members. Some from hours away. By early evening I think we had over 20 responders and by the time we finished at midnight my guess is there were over 40.