We set out for our planned run (insert ominous foreshadowing music here) at about 9:20 on Monday morning. Sunny day, not too hot yet, perfect conditions! Liz, Jen and um… Jane (as she’ll be known in this blog post) had the goal of getting to the top of Singing Pass, then heading over the Musical Bumps back to the Roundhouse. We’d then enjoy a leisurely snack, take the gondola down and then hit the Scandinave for a relaxing afternoon of girl time.
We made it pretty much ¾ of the way up Singing Pass (including that delightful creek crossing) before Jane went from feeling kind of off to really, really crappy. We took a break and then made the call to move a little further up the trail to the junction rather than head back down. In hindsight, probably not the best call. But the reality of going down Singing Pass when your balance is off isn’t that fun and the consequences of toppling off the trail can be rather severe. So up we went. And up… and up…
As we neared the top of Flute, we got to a point where Jane couldn’t move forward anymore. It was too painful and disorienting and frankly, dangerous. We sat her in the shade of a big rock (the only shade around), Jenny stayed with her and Liz and I ran ahead to meet patrol. My call to patrol was actually to our old friend Gavin who, without hesitation got the necessary details, got on the line to dispatch and sent help our way.
Ian, a senior patroller with the mountain, set out on foot from the top of Harmony to come and find us (about 4k away). Along the way, he encountered Renata, an ER doc and her husband Doug, a heli pilot, who were out for a run. He asked them to come with him. Only in this town…
After a brief discussion with Jane and a medical assessment, it was decided that the safest, quickest and frankly, only way to get her off the mountain was to fly her off. So the call was made and we waited for the chopper.
Once Jane and her medical friends were safely on their way, Liz, Jen and I stared at each other, squealed something like “I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED” and then booted it to the Roundhouse. Clouds were rolling in, collectively we had about 8 sips of water and 4 shot bloks. Not ideal, but we knew we didn’t have far to go (even if it was mostly uphill).
We were about 1K from finishing when the gentle rains started. It was so hot and dry up there that raindrops were bouncing off the dust. We kept moving and Liz did let out a little chuckle of “oh my god” when we heard the thunder rolling in.
Sidebar #2: The gondola shuts down during thunder and lightning storms…
We got to the Roundhouse with time to spare (and the gondola still running); stopped to grab the most delicious bag of salt and vinegar chips ever and a cold Coke and we were on our way down.
The good news is that Jane is safe and healthy and that we couldn’t have had better and nicer help.
Another adventure in the books. I wonder what the next one will hold?