Now that I am moving around pretty well I am trying to catch up on well, just about everything! I have begun to write a pretty comprehensive report about the entire adventure. I’ll try to get it written as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, It seems like I get very little done every day, especially with the kids to take care of and with Natalie working crazy fellowship hours. However, I will try to put in a couple of hours every night. I am almost ready to release the story of the San Juans and will post it as soon as it is ready.
Sorry about the lack of updates for so long! I didn’t realize when I had to call it quits that my adventures in pain and suffering were just beginning!…I spent several days dealing with swelling. I had some muscle breakdown that seems to have caused something called rhabdomyolysis. This shut down my kidneys for a few days, so my whole body was swollen until my kidneys started functioning again. Once the swelling came down I got back feeling in my lower leg and the wound I obtained while sliding down South Maroon became very painful. That wound has finally started becoming manageable, but basically in the time between now and when I had to give up on the record I have been totally useless. I am so happy to be able to walk around again! Now it is just a matter of my overuse injury healing up, but I think that will be a long process.
The original plan was that once we were finished in California, a big group of teammates and friends would meet up at Mt. Rainier and we would all climb Rainier together as a celebration of successful completion of the 14er trip. I was afraid the trip to Rainier would be cancelled once I had to call it quits due to my injuries.
However, once Joe confirmed he was still happy to take everyone to the top, the planning continued. In the end Kim, Andrea, Steve, Calvin, and Axel all flew out together from Colorado to meet up with Joe and Kent (friend of Kim) in Washington. Natalie and I went back and forth about sending Calvin and Axel, and finally when we agreed, we were horrified when we saw what the cost of the airfare had become. So then we changed our minds and said they would not go. However, they both wanted to go so bad that they agreed to pay some of their own money toward the airfare, so in the end we relented and said they could go.
Natalie and I have been following the satellite tracker, and it looks like they all successfully summited this morning! Congrats to the Mt. Rainier team and we wish we could have been there!
So after having Micah drive me and the kids up to Fourmile Creek trailhead and seeing Andrew’s leg, I was a little concerned. He was in agony walking. His right leg is swollen, weeping and exquisitely painful. Every step was pure torture. Andrew was hoping I’d be able to give him a steroid shot to make it all go away, but alas, I don’t carry such things with me at all times. I also told him that the injury is more serious and is exertional compartment syndrome. The anterior compartment of his lower leg is so tight and weeping, not good signs. I called an orthopedic friend who confirmed my diagnosis by phone. I explained all to Andrew and James and the rest of the crew. Andrew went and tried walking around the Kite Lake trailhead, calling it quits shortly thereafter. He was playing the number game in his head, and while at normal pace, he could do it, not with this kind of injury. It was just slowing him down too much, and is not worth any permanent injury. Not only that, but he would never be satisfied with how it ended if he only beat it by minutes. There were amazing people who came out to say hello and cheer Andrew on, and we are so appreciative of that!!!! And for all those who were ready and waiting to hike with Andrew! What an amazing group of people!!!! Andrew is now home after falling asleep with margarita in hand, me having Andrea try to start an IV on a comatose Andrew (which is great for learning BTW), and him getting some IV fluid. His asthma attack just now left his lips blue, but I am sure this is not the end…..
Castle and Conundrum last night was what felt like another long night hike for Andrew, more difficult as expected because of his condition. He hated how rocky it was lol his words “it should be banned for being so rocky” he is hilarious when he is tired. We are headed to Holy Cross now where we will be meeting Charlie Nuttelman a good adventure racing friend of his. He will be hiking with Andrew today! Andrew is tired sore and tired and sore, but he is amazingly still hiking!!!GO GO GO ANDREW!!!!
I got a very nice email from the DeLorme inReach people!
“I found your email address on Andrew’s blog. We have been following along today and know that there were periods where his inReach appeared to stop tracking. We just wanted you both to know that our engineering team spent some time analyzing the data and it appears that his device was going into “rest mode” because he was moving so slowly (due to the injured leg). inReach is designed to automatically stop tracking when the user is stationary (or barely moving with long rest intervals), but in the event of an emergency (he pushes the SOS button) his exact location will be immediately updated and can still be seen and pinged (updated) by search and rescue authorities. There are also going to be times when he is in deep canyons or under heavy tree canopy where the satellites might be obscured briefly and several text messages will queue up waiting to send. Once he has the connection again, they all send out immediately. So that might happen occasionally during his climbs.
Andrew has had almost 10,000 views of his MapShare page today [as of 2pm] and had 14,000 yesterday, so a lot of people are following him closely and very interested in what’s going on. I am sure there is some concern about the skips in tracking, so if you want to let people know that his track line may appear fragmented at times due to the rest mode and that the device seems to be functioning properly, it might put some people at ease. We’ve had at least one follower contact us about it, so I just thought I would reach out to
We are here to help however we can and are rooting for Andrew’s success!”
They also gave us VIP tech support with 24/7 access and personal cell numbers. Pretty classy.
Thanks Kim and the DeLorme inReach team
I receive this text at 4:00am:
Hi. Stefan and I on south ridge of south maroon. My leg is so bad can barely move. Can you reach James.
I have tried to reach both, but have not heard back. No SOS has been called, but I don’t know what is going on as the tracker seems to have stalled on the ridge. Either it is having issues again, or he is just sitting there.