Trip Report
How Vitaliy and Macronut Broke Both of My Ankles and Left Me for Dead
Tuesday October 23, 2018 1:35pm
I was on the fence about whether or not to write a trip report about two pitches of climbing, but as Micronut said in his really funny "press release" here:

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Self-Rescue-to-the-Rescue-Limpingcrab-Breaks-Both-Legs-and-Crawls-Out-of-Kings-Canyon/t13358n.html

I have nothing better to do for a while.

The few successful mini-adventures I had this season were covered by Vitaliy's beautiful photo journal here:

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Summer-2018-in-photos/t13357n.html

So I'll skip to the less successful trip last weekend.


Credit: limpingcrab
This trip started like most others; scouting some rock over and over again until the stars and partners aligned for a trip.

After so much time caving in and around marble, I learned to not trust it and had no interest in climbing it. But, I'd looked at this big dumb rock near Boyden Cavern too many times and had to give it a shot as it was more solid than many other areas. After all, it met all of my criteria for a climbing objective:
1. Big
2. I looked at it

Credit: limpingcrab
Credit: limpingcrab
Credit: limpingcrab
Vitaliy, Macronut and I met up at dark o'clock in the morning for our (sort of) annual October birthday extravaganza. The descent and crossing were uneventful as I'd already scouted it a few times. We seemed to be on the same page, with no sign of what they had planned for me.

Credit: limpingcrab
Credit: limpingcrab
Credit: limpingcrab
The approach gully was interesting and not too difficult. As we neared the cliff I was discussing route options but Vitaliy and Macronut kept bringing up places to hide a body should the need arise. I was naive and thought nothing of it.

Credit: limpingcrab
Credit: limpingcrab
No sooner than I took my pack off at the base, Vitaliy launched up onto the dark and foreboding wall, almost as if he'd been here before.

Credit: Vitaliy M
Macronut and I soon followed the surprisingly fun and harder than expected first pitch. As I arrived at the anchor they both, almost in unison, said, "this pitch is for YOU, Daniel."

My memory is foggy now, but I'm pretty sure they winked at each other with a subtle grin as I racked up.

Credit: limpingcrab
Credit: Vitaliy M
I began slowly, unsure of the rock quality and paranoid about knocking a rock onto the rope or my belayers.

Move by move, the rock was getting better, the climbing more fun, and my confidence more secure.

I placed a bolt above a short overhang, made a few moves and then placed a perfect #3 camalot. Having passed the bulge and entered easier terrain I reached down to back-clean the number three and save it for a beautiful crack that had just come into view.

Two moves later I pasted my feet onto small, but positive and solid, holds that lead towards a small ledge. I then reached up to knock on a block that seemed solid enough. As I transferred my weight onto my left foot and and reach across to the left with might right hand to gently press down (not out) on the block it popped loose.

My feet blew and as I began to fall (and say words I'm not proud of) my reflex was to reach up and push the block back into its seat, which caused me to slide down in a fully extended position with my arms straight up, my feet straight down, and the slab racing by inches in front of my nose.

Credit: limpingcrab
It was in this position that I slid from near that upper bush, over the bulge, and free fell straight onto the small stance near the lower bush. 12-15 feet to impact, about 20 feet total before stopping. Only the balls of my feet hit the rock, forcing my toes towards my shins, and compressing my foot bones into my calcaneus (heel bone) hard enough to break the top of the calcaneus off in each foot.

Edit:
Credit: limpingcrab
The flexor hallucis longus tendon strained so hard that the sustentaculum tali cracked in one foot and shattered in the other.

Credit: limpingcrab
I hung there, and to this day I swear I can't figure out how Vitaliy and Macronut planned such an elaborate trap. They cheered when my fall stopped, either because that's what we do after good falls or because they thought their plan worked and I was a goner. It wasn't until they heard me growling (like that noise you make when you're trying really hard to poop) that they realized I was alive and in pain.

"I hit my feet pretty hard, guys" I called down to them.

"Just hang there for a while, take your time, and see if the pain dies down." Vitaliy suggested.

Credit: limpingcrab
So I did, but it didn't take long to notice both of my shoes getting tight and painful. I untied my shoes and tested my feet against the rock. Sharp pain shot through the tops of my feet and a strange bulging feeling pressed out from inside my ankles.

It hurt. A lot.

Accepting that I had survived the trap, Vitaliy and Macronut lowered me to the anchors and set up a double rope rappel to the ground. No doubt discussing plan B as I slid down the sharp, textured rock without letting my feet touch the wall.

Credit: Vitaliy M
Once we all reached the ground we discussed the options.

1. Press the SOS button on my emergency beacon. The only way a team was getting me from that spot was with a short haul helicopter pick. I didn't have life threatening injuries and in a windy, cliff-filled canyon a helicopter rescue was risky for a lot of people. Vitaliy and Adam thought this might be a good idea, no doubt hoping a wind gust would finish the job they had started.

2. Start scooting and crawling. I had to at least try so I taped up my hands and got scooting (there might have also been some pride involved in choosing this option).

Credit: limpingcrab
And scooting...

Credit: Macronut
And scooting...

Credit: Vitaliy M
Meanwhile, my assassins, I mean climbing partners, gathered up all of my gear and started hiking out to sell it on Craigslist or MountainProject. At certain points they had to rappel and I would catch up and rap their lines before they could cut them.

Credit: Vitaliy M
At the river crossing, through excruciating pain, I lunged forward, grabbed onto their shoulders, and was drug across the river before they knew what happened.

Credit: Vitaliy M

Credit: Vitaliy M
Once we hit the far bank the race was on. I needed to reach the car to get help, and they needed to finish the job by knocking rocks onto me. The antler I had been using for self arrest going down the steep gully had become my ice tool for ascending the steep, grassy hill.

[Click to View YouTube Video]
Here is actual footage of me gritting my teeth and going maximum speed up the final stretch of the six hour race.

Credit: Vitaliy M
Macronut and Vitaliy gave it everything they had to pass me and prevent this story from ever seeing the light of day.

Credit: limpingcrab
Alas, I drove myself down the mountain and my wife took me to the hospital in Fresno, where my brother works, for some VIP treatment. Although, seeing this picture now, she looks a little too happy about my bilateral calcaneal fractures. Maybe she was the shot caller all along...


Postscript
In reality, Vitaliy and Macronut (Adam) were unbelievably helpful the entire way. They had great attitudes and supported my six hour crawl in any way they could, even though I basically ruined our weekend. A huge thanks to those guys because I would not have made it through one of the most physically painful days of my life without them. They carried me through the river, set ropes on the difficult sections, and fed me gummy worms each time I needed a break. Great partners to have in a pinch.

Credit: limpingcrab
Credit: limpingcrab
Credit: Mrs. Limpingcrab
I also owe a lot of gratitude to my family and friends. My wife, who's life just got much more difficult with a crippled husband, basically went out and made our house ADA compliant. A neighbor built a wheelchair ramp in our living room, and dozens of people have offered help in many different ways. As soon as I start thinking of myself as a pretty independent person, something happens to make me appreciate all the awesome people around me.

Thanks for reading, and if you get the time please write some trip reports of your own. I have a lot of time to kill for the next two months :)

  Trip Report Views: 9,308
limpingcrab
About the Author
limpingcrab is Daniel Jeffcoach, nice to meet you.

Comments
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
  Oct 23, 2018 - 01:44pm PT
WOW! Best to you.
Jim Clipper

climber
  Oct 23, 2018 - 01:44pm PT
You may have met your spirit animal...



seriously, heal well.




Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Oct 23, 2018 - 01:47pm PT
so, has the poison oak manifested yet?

really solid self rescue! all of ya'll!


Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Oct 23, 2018 - 01:48pm PT
Wow, great work on the self/team rescue!
Sorry about the broken heels - that has got to be pretty bad pain.
Hopefully they will heal well and you'll be back to walking and enjoying mobility again.
That darn loose rock on FAs is always a risk.
Good thing it didn't cut your rope or hit your partners!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Oct 23, 2018 - 01:48pm PT
What did you expect, sir? Did you look through the wrong end of yer spotting scope at that heap? And how could you be so churlish as to begrudge yer good friendsí kindly efforts at burnishing yer legacy, not to mention honoring yer handle? A speedy recovery to you nevertheless.
grover

climber
Castlegar BC
  Oct 23, 2018 - 01:50pm PT
Hard-core TR!

Heal up and send that line.

Don Paul

Social climber
Washington DC
  Oct 23, 2018 - 02:05pm PT
Excellent report. Get well soon. I also fell about 15' into a ledge once, hurt one ankle but decided to limp for months instead of seeing a doctor.
bobinc

Trad climber
Portland, Or
  Oct 23, 2018 - 02:12pm PT
ouch, ouch ouch...

bTW, is that a close-up of poison oak?

Glad you are on the mend.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
  Oct 23, 2018 - 02:29pm PT
Chorttle- Chorttle, not funny, but yo! you be da mhan!

it is a good thing those phooks messed up, lucky miss too.
you won't give them a chance again till your next birthday.
Then you will have fair warning and can make them lead.
remember your cross-bow, though, 'cause they might try and strand you at the anchors.
In which case a maiming shot to the thigh is what is recommend to slow their roll
and make them dependent on you.. . If there is a next time.


Seriously, your in the hands, as you know!
Blessing like the antler show
& we are all pulling for you
Sorry that they didn't pull you out,
but that skid-litter thing?
two logs a woven rope bed(the hard part)
would have ruined a rope at least.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
  Oct 23, 2018 - 02:14pm PT
Glad you are OK, backcountry injuries usually don't make for comedy TRs.
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
  Oct 23, 2018 - 02:33pm PT
Trip reports. Better with slander.

Get well soon.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
https://nutagain.org
  Oct 23, 2018 - 02:34pm PT
That looks like a rough day, and plenty of time ahead to reflect on it.

Did I miss the deadpan, or did you really drive yourself back?
Zay

climber
Monterey, Ca
  Oct 23, 2018 - 02:49pm PT
This trip report made my day. Way to be light hearted in a sitiation that I probably would have whined incessantly.
Pete_N

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
  Oct 23, 2018 - 03:00pm PT
Those are some extreme measures to keep your partners' FA list in check!

Seriously, you all manage to impress even when you "fail"...hope you heal quickly.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
  Oct 23, 2018 - 03:06pm PT
Heal well!
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
Author's Reply  Oct 23, 2018 - 03:22pm PT
Thanks all, it's surprising how many similar stories you hear after an injury.

so, has the poison oak manifested yet?
bTW, is that a close-up of poison oak?
Ya it was poison oak. Had to crawl through some of it even though V and Adam knocked most of it down. Waiting to see if I break out inside the casts. If so I might go crazy.

Did I miss the deadpan, or did you really drive yourself back?
Ya, they offered rides but I didn't want someone to have to come get my car and figured driving would hurt less than the hike out. I live at the bottom of the hill so I just drove REALLY slow and used gears to slow down. If I held my leg with my hand I could use the arch of my foot on the break, too.

Mike.

climber
  Oct 23, 2018 - 03:39pm PT
Way to handle it, team. Crab, best wishes for complete healing and putting up with a lot of inconvenience. TFPU.
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
  Oct 23, 2018 - 03:44pm PT
Crabmeat, you are so lame!

Heal well!

Nice title.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
  Oct 23, 2018 - 03:44pm PT
Wow. Just wow. So glad you're okay.

Your TR was in the style of Patrick McManus, in which I delight. Great line: "...no doubt hoping a wind gust would finish the job they had started."

Classic and very funny writing about a serious situation. TFPU!
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
  Oct 23, 2018 - 04:13pm PT
You drove yourself home? That takes the cake.

Waiting to see if I break out inside the casts. If so I might go crazy.

This is why God made Prednisone...

Edit. Another thing that helps with the cast-itch (from personal experience.) Get some of the cans of compressed air used for cleaning lenses and slides, etc. Get one's that have the tube that attaches to the nozzle, like the WD40 cans. Blasting that down into your casts is great.
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  Oct 23, 2018 - 04:13pm PT
I'm really sorry to hear about your accident! I have some good stories of similar accidents that happened to me that I would write up and share with you, but I'm too busy having a lot of fun right now doing things that people with two good feet can do. So maybe later.
Meanwhile heel up fast!
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  Oct 23, 2018 - 04:15pm PT
Meanwhile heel up fast!

That was supposed to be "Heal up fast". Freudian slip.
johntp

Trad climber
Punter, Little Rock
  Oct 23, 2018 - 04:23pm PT
Bastards! Leaving you for bear food.

Vitaly has demonstrated many times he sticks it. Good on you for the post and your partners for giving safe (though painful passage) to avoid rescue.

Having done a self rescue before, TWO THUMBS UP to the three of you.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
  Oct 23, 2018 - 04:43pm PT
Good job on the crawling. It looks like tough terrain for a cripple.
Good call on not asking for rescue. More people should be self reliant
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
  Oct 23, 2018 - 04:55pm PT
Good call on not asking for rescue. More people should be self reliant

Hell yeah... another star on your man card. Tough old bastard!
dee ee

Mountain climber
Of THIS World (Planet Earth)
  Oct 23, 2018 - 05:48pm PT
The leader never falls!

SORRY! Sometimes my sense of humor is so inappropriate. Oh well, at least I crack myself up.

Heal quickly!


edit: I just stubbed my toe, instant karma?
couchmaster

climber
  Oct 23, 2018 - 06:33pm PT


I'll admit it. I laughed. Then I cringed. Then I laughed again. Then cringed. Other than that, good work guys.


Opps, forgot, heal up fast and full man!
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
  Oct 23, 2018 - 06:37pm PT
Sorry to hear about your accident. Glad it wasn't worse. You are fortunate to have awesome family and friends to help you through this challenging time. Next year..this all will be a story to tell around the campfire. Rest up, listen to your doctors and watch netflex and fo the stuff you can't do because you are too busy running around. You can plan future climbing trips too!
D Murph

climber
  Oct 23, 2018 - 07:07pm PT
The community support here almost makes me want to move to Fresno.
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
  Oct 23, 2018 - 07:49pm PT
happy to see you smilin' sarcastic TR. glad you self evac'd, gladder you clipped a small ledge and not make self flat on big one.

seriously, the actions begetting the injuries are none too unfamiliar and I am happy you're teaching me the lesson so's I don't gotta learn it firsthand (I hope!).

heal well! eat lotsa pho!
Myles Moser

climber
Lone Pine, Ca
  Oct 23, 2018 - 08:10pm PT
Warriors!
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Oct 23, 2018 - 08:26pm PT
Brilliant write up man. Praying for a fast and full recovery my friend. You are a true gladiator.

This photo made me laugh. It appears that Adam is carrying three full packs and Vitaliy is just sitting on the other side of the stream with no pack, just casually watching him.
Your story will go down in Sequoia Kings Canyon rock climbing lore. That's a fact.
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
Author's Reply  Oct 23, 2018 - 08:36pm PT
Ha! Sherpa Sheppard was indeed carrying a bunch of stuff, but that was me just chillin' by the river with my feet in the water after they carried me across. Vitaliy took the picture before shouldering his load.

Actually, never mind, I like your version better, lets go with that.
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
  Oct 23, 2018 - 08:43pm PT
Damn! Thumbs up getting that epic off your bucket list... heal well
hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
  Oct 23, 2018 - 08:47pm PT
doug scott man, that's some humble style valor right there!

i'll commit to two pairs of whatever model knee pads you wrangle a sponsorship for.

i've crab walked to the car (knee), log rolled to the ski lift (ankle),
but i ain't never dodged no half ass assassinators
PinkTaco

Mountain climber
Utah
  Oct 23, 2018 - 09:19pm PT
This is the best story on ST in a really long time!
Awesome job man!
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
  Oct 23, 2018 - 09:28pm PT
You three should work up a comedy club routine.

Seriously though, I'm glad that you didn't have worse injuries. After all that, rehab should be a breeze.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Oct 23, 2018 - 09:44pm PT
wow - you guys are tough. What a story. Heal up well and fast.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
  Oct 23, 2018 - 09:53pm PT
That grin on your wife's face is ... Telling.
Of what, I'm not quite sure!
john hansen

climber
  Oct 23, 2018 - 10:27pm PT
I just hope you have really good health insurance.

Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  Oct 24, 2018 - 07:51am PT
Sorry bro. Must have been really painful. I broke my ankle in a fall soloing and had to crawl 3 miles back to the car. I feel your pain.
rincon

climber
Coarsegold
  Oct 24, 2018 - 08:17am PT
Get well soon!
Roots

Mountain climber
Somewhere Fun
  Oct 24, 2018 - 08:53am PT
Your friends are good people. Glad you had/have them in your life.

two-shoes

Trad climber
Auberry, CA
  Oct 24, 2018 - 10:27am PT
I'm very happy to hear that you didn't break multiple bones in your feet and have to look forward to a long series of surgeries. If they were in bad enough condition the surgeon might have tried talking you into double amputations. This wouldn't have been a good situation. This sounds pretty straight forward, though. All the best with a speedy recovery Limpingcrab!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
  Oct 24, 2018 - 10:40am PT

Wello...wello...well... Now Vitaliy and Macronut know their responsibility every time you need to get around...

Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
  Oct 24, 2018 - 01:01pm PT
I didn't have life threatening injuries and in a windy, cliff-filled canyon a helicopter rescue was risky for a lot of people.

Somehow I missed that first time through, one of the lines that's not funny. You're a good man.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Oct 24, 2018 - 01:14pm PT
Heal up, that would have been real bad in the areas you loons usually climb :O

I always liked that climbers right ridge line on that formation, I wonder if it has been done?
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Oct 24, 2018 - 01:44pm PT
Say thanks we didn't kill yo ass bruh!
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
Author's Reply  Oct 24, 2018 - 02:15pm PT
Getting some good laughs out of the comments and appreciate the encouragement, thanks!

I just hope you have really good health insurance.

I teach and have good insurance so I'm ok there. Today is my first day back at work and this campus is WAY TOO BIG. I need a jazzy chair or something.

I always liked that climbers right ridge line on that formation, I wonder if it has been done?

I think the ridge was done way back in the 60's or something but I can't figure out where I read or heard that.

Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
  Oct 24, 2018 - 02:35pm PT
The big limestone formation above Boyden Cave is called the Matterhunk. Leversee, Laeger, and E.C. Joe climbed the prominent North East Arete. IV 5.10+. Never did it, looks wild though. I wouldn't be surprised if it's a wicked sandbag too, knowing what that crew was up to back then.
Splater

climber
Grey Matter
  Oct 24, 2018 - 02:56pm PT
Brutal!

but I guess you had to do it so you could live up to your nickname :)
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Oct 24, 2018 - 03:12pm PT
Damn dude heal up soon.
Climberdude

Trad climber
Clovis, CA
  Oct 24, 2018 - 03:23pm PT
Wow, I am glad you were able to self-rescue with your group. I hope you heal soon.
lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
  Oct 24, 2018 - 05:34pm PT
Sorry to hear about your accident crab. I've really enjoyed your reports over the years and wish you a speedy and complete recovery. Best-lars
Aeriq

Sport climber
100-year Visitor
  Oct 24, 2018 - 05:39pm PT
I really hope someone had knee-pads?

Much respect for the self-evac & downplay humor.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
  Oct 24, 2018 - 05:52pm PT
Adventures like this make good stories, ones paid for in present and future pain but hey I still climb 37 years after my crawl
two-shoes

Trad climber
Auberry, CA
  Oct 24, 2018 - 09:43pm PT
North Windy Cliff arete, named "Windy Bluff" was done on July 20, 1954 by Merle Alley and George Sessions. Several pitches of class 4 and 5 up the left hand side of the erete. 5.5 rating. From the old Roper guide.

We repeated this route in about 1989. I remember the crux 5.5 move going over an overhang move to a large incut jug!
i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
  Oct 24, 2018 - 10:15pm PT
I couldn't figure out why they were trying to kill you and then I saw this and it was clear.
Have you figured out which one is after your wife?


Also, when are they putting all your gear on MP? Hoping for some great deels.


"I really hope someone had knee-pads?"
If not, I'm betting you could rig a couple up with harnesses. At least create some good padding.
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
Author's Reply  Oct 25, 2018 - 10:50am PT
I really hope someone had knee-pads?
Nope, but at least I was wearing pants so my scabs on my knees are only the size of quarters. I spent most of the time scooting on my butt getting a wicked wedgie.

North Windy Cliff arete, named "Windy Bluff" was done on July 20, 1954 by Merle Alley and George Sessions. Several pitches of class 4 and 5 up the left hand side of the erete. 5.5 rating. From the old Roper guide.

We repeated this route in about 1989. I remember the crux 5.5 move going over an overhang move to a large incut jug!
Cool, thanks for the share! Did you go all the way to the true summit on the ridge and do a few rappels or did the route stop at the first summit?

Have you figured out which one is after your wife?
Ha! V and Adam are both spoken for but I'm pretty sure I overheard some talk of sister-wives.

Crab man glad your ok. Hereís were you post now. Take it easy

Won't have much to contribute for a while, but I'll be living vicariously through those posts for sure.


Thanks again everyone. The reality of two months in a wheelchair is setting in and it's quite..... inconvenient
splitclimber

climber
Sonoma County
  Oct 25, 2018 - 11:23am PT
Super proud self evac. So are you trying to one up Hans?

should we start a gofundme for Vitaliy to raise funds for a new partner?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
  Oct 25, 2018 - 04:46pm PT
Yeah, sprained / broke an ankle in a fall back in early June and had to tape and crawl out myself - who knew there was a technique to crawling...


two-shoes

Trad climber
Auberry, CA
  Oct 25, 2018 - 07:59pm PT
"Windy Bluff"- After nearly 30 years it is a little vague, but I think we went to the first summit and then scrambled off the back side.

Are you keeping those feet elevated Limpingcrab?
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 26, 2018 - 02:46am PT
Best wishes in the healing process,
I'm glad you will be okay.

Your kids may call you limping crab for the next few weeks.

Your wife does look a bit too happy in that picture,
She is the puppet master!

Cheers.
Fritz

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Oct 26, 2018 - 09:17pm PT
I'm hoping poison ivy symptoms are not showing up & perhaps the swelling is going down by now.

I've been making propriations to the spirits that power various rocks, streams, & trees, asking for your quick recovery.

Best wishes!
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
Author's Reply  Oct 27, 2018 - 06:03pm PT
should we start a gofundme for Vitaliy to raise funds for a new partner?
I once had someone tell me, "Oh wow, you know Vitaliy!?" So now that he's super mega famous I'm sure he'll be accepting applications.

who knew there was a technique to crawling...
Hey, your knee scabs look the same as mine! Did you have butt scabs too? I spend most of the day scooting.

Crab perfect time to tie a few hundred flies.
I broke my ankles but did not gain that much patience :)

I'm hoping poison ivy symptoms are not showing up & perhaps the swelling is going down by now.
Only one tiny speck of PO on my thigh, I guess eating it paid off! My temporary casts are getting looser so I think your propriations are working.

Thanks again everyone, hope you're all enjoying Sendtober!
Rip

Trad climber
Norman, OK
  Oct 28, 2018 - 07:16am PT
Entertaining report! Really enjoyed reading both trip reports.


Maybe I missed it somewhere but whats your prognosis and time for recovery....when can you get back on rock again?

limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
Author's Reply  Oct 28, 2018 - 11:44am PT
Minimum of two months in a wheelchair, then physical therapy after that.

That's assuming I don't have any serious soft tissue damage or need surgery. I have a followup appointment next week to find out for sure.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Oct 28, 2018 - 06:28pm PT
Holy moly! Heal, up congrats on a well executed, Full, epic! words escape me...
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
  Oct 29, 2018 - 06:53am PT
I got your fly needs covered.

In case your climbing partners are in anyway like some of mine.

Best to keep it zipped and avoid being violated while you are so vulnerable and cannot easily escape unwanted advances. Get a brass Rubik's cube and keep it handy in the wheel chair. Don't let your associates take you "camping".
AE

climber
Boulder, CO
  Nov 21, 2018 - 08:27pm PT
In all seriousness, it would be enlightening to inquire as to the associated cost differential, between what you paid out-of-pocket/deductable, what insurance covered, and what additional costs would have accrued had you actually called for a chopper rescue.
A friend had to be Flight-for-Lifed around 35 miles to a Denver emergency hospital after a nasty thirty-foot groundfall off a homemade zipline shattered the pelvis, broke numerous other bones, etc. The bill was about $75,000, just to the door of the hospital, fifteen years or so ago.
Any climber who still goes out without insurance is a fool, and this sort of incident could put young indigent types in real long-term financial straits, and possibly jeopardize their ability to obtain top-level care without rich relatives. Reality checks for all readers, here.
G_Gnome

Trad climber
Cali
  Nov 21, 2018 - 09:49pm PT
LimpingCrab, how is everything going? What's your prognosis?
NutAgain!

Trad climber
https://nutagain.org
  Nov 21, 2018 - 11:39pm PT
Dude, if you really didnít want to wash thanksgiving dishes, you didnít have to plan this whole elaborate ruse. Just paying someone to wash Ďem is cheaper than your co-pays!

Hope you are able to get around and that your loved ones are still able to be patient in picking up the slack. Good luck with the continued healing.
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
Author's Reply  Nov 22, 2018 - 10:06pm PT
Ha! That cracked me up, clinker.

Iíve been wondering about that, AE. I think as long as youíre not totally negligent the ride is covered by the park if youíre in one. We were in national forest so Iím not sure.

G_gnome, no surgery required so thatís good news. One month down and one to go in the wheelchair. Unfortunately my right ankle was crushed into pieces so they said that one will hurt the rest of my life. But I was told the same thing about other injuries so Iím optimistic Iíll be able to continue with type 2 fun. Eventually.

Nut, Iíve pretty much been a waste of space around the house but my wife has been incredibly gracious about it. And my daughter has been taking good care of me.

Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
  Nov 24, 2018 - 08:51am PT
Yikes! Wow man, strong work...Iím not sure I how I could endure that suffering! Best wishes on the recovery.
mpmoody

Mountain climber
Alamo, CA
  Nov 24, 2018 - 11:21am PT
good luck with the recovery - makes me wonder how you picked 'limpingcrab' to begin with?
Macronut

Trad climber
Fresno, Ca
  Nov 24, 2018 - 02:27pm PT
Brilliant TR! Had plenty of time to write it better of been good. And donít worry V and I will have next year to complete the mission.
Roadie

Trad climber
moab UT
  Nov 25, 2018 - 03:04pm PT
Very enjoyable read! Sorry Micronut beat you on the scoop. While I've never met Macronut, Vitaliy made an attempt on my life as well. He is a sneaky one and as I passed him while soloing Mt Goode he made me laugh so hard I almost fell off the crux pitch. Thanks to my skill and focus his devious plot was foiled and I am here to tell about it. Bastard!!!

In all seriousness, much respect. Sorry for your pain. I too suffered a broken foot not too many years ago and while my own self extraction wasn't as harrowing as yours, quite, I can honestly say, 'I feel your pain.'

Heal well, as a bit of advice, chew the painkillers, for better effect! while the taste is pretty bad a tumbler of scotch quickly eradicates that.

I am now sitting in a hotel recovering from a minor but rather painful and degrading operation (twenty stitches in my butthole) you have inspired me to tell my own tail of woe in the mountains. Again, much respect, heal fast and well.
Steve
NutAgain!

Trad climber
https://nutagain.org
  Nov 25, 2018 - 03:23pm PT
Yikes, 20 stitches in the keister. Damn elephant wouldnít take no for an answer?
Roadie

Trad climber
moab UT
  Nov 25, 2018 - 05:28pm PT
yeah, jail sucks! kidding, Colonoscopy prep made a small roid grow into one the size of Fresno around emergence dump number 38. rather unpleasant. and undignified considering I know most of the nurses who just had to take a look.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
  Nov 25, 2018 - 05:50pm PT
What kind of spotting scope is that in the first picture. I have some okay binoculars but am looking for something more high powered for scoping new lines.
Stimbo

Trad climber
Crowley Lake
  Nov 26, 2018 - 09:05am PT
Damn Dude! Great story and hope you heal quickly!

We should do a pub crawl.... you seem like a natural.

Let's fish soon. Jim
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
Author's Reply  Nov 26, 2018 - 10:04pm PT
Dang Roadie, I don't feel so bad about the wheelchair now, at least I can sit comfortably!

Batrock, it's a Celestron Trailseeker with an 80mm lens. It works really well for the price, and although it's a lot cheaper than the high end stuff it's still at least $300. (Disclaimer, I bought it to look at birds but it's been great to scope rocks I can see from the road)

Iím up for a pub roll, stimbo!
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Nov 26, 2018 - 10:07pm PT
hey there say, limpingcrab...

just checking in to see how you are doing...

once again, thanks for the neat report...
and the nice kindness, in the end, mentioned of your buddies...


happy family time to you and the wife, as you get well...
neat father and child, photo, too...


:)
thetradventurist

Trad climber
Hanford, CA
  Dec 17, 2018 - 12:26pm PT
Great report. Hope all is well and you're healing up good.

That crawl looked pretty narly. Glad you made it out safe.
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
Author's Reply  Jan 20, 2019 - 09:20pm PT
Thanks Neebee and thetrad, now that I get out more I've been bumping into ST lurkers and other people asking about the recovery so here's a quick update.

Today is the three month mark and theoretically the painfully slow healing calcaneus bones become full strength after three months so both of mine should be strong. They're not the correct shape yet, that takes up to a year of remodeling, but full strength at least. Now it's more work to strengthen all of the soft tissue.

I'm doing everything I can to get better:
-Taking hippie herbal bone supplements/vitamins/placebos/etc...
-Working out every other day
-Yoga with my wife every other day
-Physical therapy as much as I can stand it (thanks to Macronut for the at-home versions)
-fishing a lot
-Trying anything that anyone suggests

Yesterday, to celebrate the three month mark, I took my longest walk yet at 4.6 miles. It took over 3 hours and kicked my butt but it felt pretty good as long as I didn't step on a pebble or small root :)

The goal now is to go from the worst shape of my life to the best shape of my life and I have some tough trips planned for motivation.

I've learned a lot and of course, without my family and the friends that have called and/or visited (even when I was in the shower, Hudon and Micronut), this would have been exponentially more sucky, so thanks to everyone!

And thanks to you all for the comments, advice and concern on here,
-Professor X (that's what my students call me now, but they've been coming early to set up labs so I forgive them)


Zay

climber
Monterey, Ca
  Apr 20, 2019 - 10:33am PT
I hope no one minds a bump of this TR.

PS, hope youre doing well.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Apr 20, 2019 - 01:10pm PT
I mind! We didn't hurt him enough, he is back to climbing things... :/
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Apr 20, 2019 - 08:25pm PT
His legs at least work well enough for him to climb a ladder and catch big cutthroats.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Apr 21, 2019 - 12:16am PT
hey there say, all... thanks for the bump, for limpingcrab...

i had not see this update:

Today is the three month mark and theoretically the painfully slow healing calcaneus bones become full strength after three months so both of mine should be strong. They're not the correct shape yet, that takes up to a year of remodeling, but full strength at least. Now it's more work to strengthen all of the soft tissue.

I'm doing everything I can to get better:
-Taking hippie herbal bone supplements/vitamins/placebos/etc...
-Working out every other day
-Yoga with my wife every other day
-Physical therapy as much as I can stand it (thanks to Macronut for the at-home versions)
-fishing a lot
-Trying anything that anyone suggests

Yesterday, to celebrate the three month mark, I took my longest walk yet at 4.6 miles. It took over 3 hours and kicked my butt but it felt pretty good as long as I didn't step on a pebble or small root :)

The goal now is to go from the worst shape of my life to the best shape of my life and I have some tough trips planned for motivation.

I've learned a lot and of course, without my family and the friends that have called and/or visited (even when I was in the shower, Hudon and Micronut), this would have been exponentially more sucky, so thanks to everyone!


wow, and now it is APRIL... well, nearly MAY!

THINGS sure must be even better by now...

thanks for the bump... hope we hear from him, here, too!

keep on getting 'to the best' that you can be, now...

:)
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
  Apr 21, 2019 - 06:11am PT
Missed the follow-ups - hope you're back at it again by now or close to it. I was good enough four months later to send the route I took the dive on (though the whole affair was kinda embarrassing given it's my route...). As for butt-hurt, no, spent the majority of the time on my hands and knees and then doing a face-up crabwalk along the highway to the car so the palms were a bit thrashed as well.
Cole

Trad climber
los angeles
  Apr 21, 2019 - 12:08pm PT
Yeah I agree. As someone currently laid up with a shattered calcaneus I'd love to get an update on how you are now? Sorry if I missed that is some other thread. Hope all is well.
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 21, 2019 - 10:40pm PT

Hey everyone! Good bump timing, I just hit a six month milestone in my recovery. Yesterday, with the help of three legit climbing hardmen (Brian P, Chris K, Chaz), I finished a five day winter ski/splitboard traverse of the Sierra from Wolverton in Sequoia over to Shepherd Pass outside of Independence. I bought extra stiff and supportive snowboard boots and took it as easy as possible. It hurt and Iím still weak but it was still an awesome trip. Iím still trying to avoid any high impact and I have an MRI tomorrow to see how things are healing now that itís been 6 months.

Cole, Iím sorry to hear that, it definitely sucks to break such a painful and slow healing bone. Every situation is different but thereís reason to be optimistic. Chaz, one of the guys on the ski trip, broke both of his calcaneusí and had extensive surgery about 10 years ago. Heís a stud and as active as ever running, skiing and climbing. Itís been 6 months for me and thereís still pain but I think Iím on my way to 100%. The main thing Iíd say is to take it SLOOOOWWWW, do everything you can to heal before getting active again. I know it sucks and feels like forever but the long term gain is definitely worth the short term sacrifice. If itís possible, try to get a doctor or PT that is an outdoor person or at least familiar with it. I seemed to get different prognoses and advice when I got a new doctor that was an athlete and knew he was dealing with someone who wanted to be active in the long run and not just dull the pain and sit on a couch.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
  Apr 21, 2019 - 10:39pm PT
Wow, limpingcrab! Very impressive recovery and that you just did the High Sierra traverse. Congratulations!

Would love to see more pics of your most recent trip.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
  Apr 22, 2019 - 09:16am PT
My ankle wasn't in particularly good shape before my fall and remains about the same post fall which I can deal with. What is new or lingering is a bit of tingling/neuropathy that started a couple of months after I was basically recovered. It's a bit disconcerting at times though doesn't impair me in any way.
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 22, 2019 - 11:20am PT
Good to hear it doesnít slow you down, healyje, thatís always the big concern. Pain is one thing, changing activities is another. Iím sure it can be done without effecting quality of life but itís a scary thought.

Sure thing kunlun! I just have a few from my point and shoot, havenít pulled the pics off of my nice camera yet.

capseeboy

Social climber
wandering star
  Apr 22, 2019 - 11:31am PT
Thanks for posting sweet pics. Glad your on your way again.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
https://nutagain.org
  Apr 22, 2019 - 11:45am PT
I was wondering how your high sierra trip went. Looks beautiful!
brotherbbock

climber
So-Cal
  Apr 22, 2019 - 11:54am PT
Way to stay strong dude!

Epic story...

I had a rock fall and hit my ankle one time in a canyon. I had to limp and slide my way down waterfalls and boulders for 6 miles. It was a hellish day and one I was glad to end when I got back to the car.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Apr 26, 2019 - 02:55pm PT
Wow, Daniel! Great to see your recovery.

My relative absence from Super Topo caused me to miss this when first posted. I particularly admire how you turned a serious and painful injury into a first-rate story. Thank you for a great TR.


John
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