Thanks for the thread and good wishes. This is what happened last Friday.
I had a bit of an incident on Friday February 10, 2017 around noon.
Jim Davidson and I were on Twin Sisters Peak, an 11,000 foot walk-up outside of Estes Park Colorado we regularly use for training as the trail is mostly below treeline, relatively smooth and in winter, has manageable snow conditions.
It was around noon when we reached treeline in high winds. We put on additional warm layers, took off our snowshoes and slowly gained elevation across a talas field of about 15 degree angle. It was strewn with small to medium size rocks with the occasional boulder.
After 200 yards the wind began gusting. Jim and I huddled, discussed the conditions and decided to turn back ASAP.
As I was walking back towards treeline, out of no where a gust estimated near 100 mph swept me off my feet and pummeled me into the rocks.
I went airborne about 8 feet and downhill about 20 before coming to rest on my left side, head uphill, in the most sharply intense, indescribable pain of my life.
My tibia was broken in 3 places and once across the fibula. The break was called angular meaning the bones were going in the wrong directions. Thankfully no bone fragments broke thru the skin so there was no bleeding. But I did break my nose. As I gathered my thoughts I was in a pool of crimson blood gushing from my nose.
Jim came scrambling towards me trying calm my anguished screams with a comforting "Alan, I'm here with you. I'm here. "
For the next 4 hours Jim was with me showing once again what a loving, skilled and trusted friend he is. He called 911 which put him in touch with the NPS. Working with the Larimer County SAR and another SAR - all told 40 volunteers got to us after lying in the rocks for 4 hours. There is more to this section that's but for a later time.
They continued to demonstrate competence, professionalism and care as they placed my injured leg in an inflatable cast to stabilize the injury. This was perhaps one of the most painful moments beyond the break itself. Eventually they put me in a sled, covered with warm coverings.
Looking around from my sled I became overwhelmed that these volunteers would choose to spend their Friday night helping me. It was all I could do to hold it together.
It took 5.5 hours, I think, to get me down. They were generous with the pain meds as my tibia is broken in 3 places and my face was throbbing. I didn't know till later that I had a puncture wound in my left shin that required stapes to close.
SAR is a skilled group of professionals that I always appreciated but now more than ever. Same for the NPS Rangers who were first on the scene.
Almost 24 hours after the wind kissed me on the cheek, I awoke in the recovery room after surgery. The x-rays tell the medical story.
These things happen. But it obviously puts an end to my Dhaulagiri April climb that I was going to announce today as a way of raising awareness and research funds for Alzheimer's along with the Cure Alzheimer's Fund. I was climbing with Kami and Mingma Sherpa from Dreamers Destinations.
I'm in good spirits and will embrace this as another opportunity in my life to learn, grow and share. I hope to work with Jim for a brief retrospective of the incident as there are many lessons with sharing.
My circle of family, friends and those whom I care so deeply about are by my side as I take the next step.
Alan (not Mr Arnette
Memories are Everything