Friday, August 5, 2011

Mountain Climbing Injury

Today's post ends like this:

Let me assure you, it doesn't get worse than this. This is as bad as it gets. So if you're squeamish, frankly, you've already seen the worst part, you should be able to handle the rest.

I'm letting Ben tell the story in his own words today:

"Camp Wainae is in the middle of the mountains, so there are many interesting places to hike and climb. One of the more popular hiking trails leads up a mountain overlooking our camp. Many of the counselors take the kids up this trail, as it is a safe and easy hike.... mostly.... The thing is, we usually end the hike before it gets rough to keep the kids safe but we don't always have kids with us. The trail is made up of four small mountains which are connected to each other. We always take the kids to the peak of the fourth mountain and then head back down, but there is another mountain range beyond that. At the end of the week, all of the children left and the leaders stayed at the camp to hang out for one more night. We decided to hike up the mountain, since a lot of us hadn't been to the fourth peak. The hike to the top was pretty uninteresting, as nothing happened other than walking and chatting.

Once we reached the top of the mountain, the eight of us sat down to enjoy the view of the island, and as we were looking around, we could see the other mountain range right next to us. We thought we might as well check it out to see if it was climbable. There was just one problem.... The mountains weren't connected. The only way to get to the next mountain was to get down from the fourth peak, which involved climbing down ninety degree cliffs.

We decided to go back down the mountain and go to sleep knowing we had made a safe decision.....Nah! Just kidding! We're teenagers, we don't make wise choices.

We scaled the cliff.

The 20 foot cliff.

That crumbles as you grab onto it.

And has small hand holds.

And sharp rocks at the bottom.

We decided to send Yolanda first since she was the lightest and least likely to break the rocks,
and then we sent Alana just to be sure. After they made it down safely (limber Asians...) I began to climb down. When I was about half way down a very hard object hit me on the top of the head.

My first thought was that Josh had kicked me, and I was about to release a barrage of unkind words, when my face started to feel wet. I looked down and saw a fist size rock rolling down the mountain, and then saw a whole lot of red (blood stings when it gets in your eyes, by the way). There was liquid coming down my face like I was in the shower. I began feeling dizzy and knew I couldn't hold on, so I dropped 10 feet and made a perfect landing like a ninja. It turns out Josh had broken a rock off as he was climbing and it fell directly into me head. Josh then panicked and climbed back up, while Alana and Yolanda checked out my head. We couldn't tell how bad it was, but I was bleeding profusely, so we assumed it was bad. So I did what any man would do. "Grab the camera!!!". Karese climbed down with the camera and took a picture for memory's sake. Unfortunately I had mopped up most of the blood with my shirt, so we didn't get an accurate portrayal of my agony and sacrifice. We decided that everyone else should go back down the mountain instead of climbing down the cliff, and after much complaining from Travis, our other half went back down. The four of us had to finish climbing down the mountain and find a trail around, since we were definitely not climbing back up that cliff. We climbed down more cliffs until we reached a dry river bed, and then followed it until we reached a creek, which lead to our camp site.

After an hour of walking, we made it back safely. I got my wound cleaned up, and then went to sleep. Ah, danger....how I love it..."

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