My hiking buddy (Shasta, CA), Wally the Wonderdog, took a severe fall on the ice fields of Mt. Eddy, California.
The Wonderdog hit the ice and rocketed straight down for several hundred feet, gathering speed the whole way. Unfortunately, at the bottom of the ice field lay a steep rockfield, which he hit at full speed, sending him on a cartwheeling, pinwheeling ride over 600 vertical feet of very sharp, very hard rocks.
Michelle – an experienced mountaineer and backcountry skier – said simply that â€œit was the gnarliest thing Iâ€™d ever seen.â€
She estimated he bounced and cartwheeled in the neighborhood of two dozen times, and that the total distance of the fall was in the 800-1,000 range.
â€œIt was like it went on forever.â€
I canâ€™t imagine what it felt like to see that, but after a lengthy traverse to the bottom of the rock field, both Michelle and Nancy expected to find a dead doggie.
What they found was a battered, stunned Wonderdog staring at them.
This launched a rescue effort where Michelle – who weighs 120 pounds if you turned a fire hose on her – resourcefully jury rigged a small daypack and carried the 80-pound Wonderdog back up the ohmigod-steep rocky slope (if youâ€™re handy with numbers, thatâ€™s 2/3 of her body weight) while Nancy steadied him.
On flatter ground, he was able to walk (limp, actually) down the trail towards the truck, but by the time I saw him at home, he was a battered puppy.
Bleeding from a bunch of wounds, his nose, and his mouth, heâ€™d had a tooth ripped out and the right side of his face was swollen up so bad his eye was closed.
Get well soon, Wally.