Injured PCT Hiker

June 07, 2020
PCT Trail Near Snow Creek

Written by Tyler Shumway.

RMRU received a call out 0730 Sunday morning for a Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) hiker who activated her SOS device after suffering an ankle injury during the descent to Snow Creek. Most of the team was going to Dixon Lake for a day of climbing but we quickly turned around to respond to the mission.

We had a good turn out and good thing because a helicopter evac was out of the question due to the high winds and the hiker was non-ambulatory. This was going to be a carry out with the litter and wheel. She had the company of another hiker that she was section hiking with and was located at about 3,300 feet along the PCT as it descends into Snow Creek.

James and I were the hasty team while Blake, Josh, Shani, and Eric were shortly behind with the litter and wheel.

James heading up fast.
Image by Tyler.
Eric hiking the Wheel Up.
Image by Shani.

Vinay and Derek would soon follow with Glenn running Base Camp at the Truck. James and I made contact and provided medical attention, food, and water. The hiker was experiencing ankle pain since yesterday while completing the Fuller Ridge section of the PCT. She made her descent towards Snow Creek today and came to the point where she could no longer put weight on her left foot without agonizing pain. It was then that she decided she could no longer descend and requested assistance, which was the right call.

Tyler and James Splinting Ankle.
Image by Blake.

I applied a splint using her closed-cell foam pad, two trekking poles and webbing while we waited for the litter to arrive. Once we were able to assemble the litter and wheel, we packaged her up and started out.

Beginning the Carry Out.
Image by James.
Vinay, Shani, Subject thumbs Up, James, and Josh.
Image by Eric.

We had a 4.5-mile, 2,000ft descent to the DWA water faucet where Glenn was running Base and an ambulance was waiting to take her to the hospital.

Video by James

This would be the longest carry out I have done since being with the team and proved to be quite exhausting. The 90-degree heat coupled with the rocky terrain and narrow trail made for a tedious descent.

Coming down the PCT to Snow Creek.
Image by Glenn.
Rescuers taking a Break.
Image by Glenn.

We made good time despite the challenges and were down to the water faucet in just a little over 4 hours.

Vinay, Glenn, Tyler, Eric, James, Derek, Blake, Shani, Josh, and PCT Friend
with Subject at Ambulance.

RMRU Members Involved: Cameron Dickinson, Derek Donovan, Blake Douglas, James Eckhardt, Josh Gould, Glenn Henderson, Eric Holden, Shani Pynn, Vinay Rao, and Tyler Shumway.