|Peak Summited||2021 Flatiron|
|Type of Hike||Day hike|
|Road Conditions||Road suitable for all vehicles|
|Bug Status||No bugs|
|Snow Conditions||Snow free|
|Trail Conditions||Trail in good condition|
this hike was my first of the new year, and, almost, my last, ever! It took 3.5 hours to the top, and after waiting 2 hours for the rescue chopper, About 1.3 minutes to get down. Mistakes were made. Starting with- probably should NOT have done this one for the first time, solo! My thought process was- I know I’m gonna have to stop and rest a lot (asthma is not going to be ignored, Dan) and I didn’t want to hold anyone up. and, probably more true, I totally woke up at 5 am and thought- I’m gonna go do that hike to start the new year!!!! And I don’t have a ‘drop everything and go’ hiking buddy. Anyhoo, The hike was very difficult. I had several instances of thinking “am I gonna be able to get back down? and although there were a crap ton of people, the trail was not well marked and so I was following advise on all trails, which said ‘stay left’. At the vertical area just before the summit, where it says in 6 pack description of this challenge – “stop here and decide if you want to continue” I did stop and wonder, again— am I going to be able to get down???? But, I stayed left, and up I went. It was really easy, actually. And, like at Picacho, once up, I watched how others went down and felt like I could do it. So, I start down and when standing at that vertical area, looking down, on the right hand side is a sheer vertical and on the left hand side, a vertical pile of boulders. it is frightening! I went down the way I came up, which, looking down, was on the right hand side and basically I got stuck. I went down backwards, facing the wall, and almost at the bottom I had my right foot in a foothold, my left leg reaching for the ground….and I just could not reach the ground!! So, I started to push back up, and my ankle turned sideways in the foothold, so my right leg was horizontal, and I was just stuck there, unable to go back up or down!! A lady behind said that my left leg was “inches from the ground” so I just…dropped. But in order to not break my knee, I had to pull my foot out as I was going, which caused my center of gravity (read: my ass) to get too far out behind me, and I just fell, backwards. I have zero knowledge of what happened to me during the actual fall. As soon as I realized I was going to fall, I shut my eyes and went wherever I was going. I felt my head smack something, I felt nothing else until I stopped, flat on my back, limbs to the 4 corners. The lady who’d told me I was inches away came to help, and later told me I had fallen 60 feet, and went right through a tree. fortunately I was not falling faster than my guardian angle could fly. From there, it was wait, in shock, FREEZING, until Pinal Co SAR bless them, came to get me. My first helicopter ride. I have to thank so many kind strangers who literally gave me the shirts off their backs and the couple and the mom and daughter who stayed with me while waiting for the chopper. Never ending gratitude and appreciation for them. So, looonggg story short,if you were there that day, you probably saw me. I was the one in the orange pants flying through the air. Twice. And, other than being banged and bruised AF!!!, nothing torn, broken, sprained and no concussion!!! Having said that, I had the biggest bruises ever and it took a full month to be able to stand/ walk with no pain and two full months for all traces of the bruises to disappear. So, yeah. Happy New Year.?