Rattlesnake Ledge with Lee – And Saving a Life

Two other hikers - they also helped on the way down
Two other hikers – they also helped on the way down

Rattlesnake Ledge Hike, 10 July 2014

  Hiked with Lee to Rattlesnake ledge, a quick jaunt near exit 32 on Hwy 90. Easily much better than Little Si, in terms of crowds and payoff. View was spectacular but really exposed. Amazing view of Mt Si from the top, and Rattlesnake Lake was crystal clear below. However, you gotta be careful because people do fall off and die every year.

  Lee was a great conversation partner – he just came back from Atlanta (where he’s from) but has been living in Seattle for about a year. He used to do consulting in Washington DC for the DHS on infrastructure. Hike was easy, we passed two old guys and a dog at the very beginning – they figured we were a lot faster than they were.

  On the way back from the top, we saw one of the old guys collapsed on the ground – he was suffering from a heart attack. There was already an off-duty nurse on the scene and they had called an ambulance. There were probably a dozen people just standing around. I helped by trying to run around to find aspirin, but wasn’t successful. I left my first aid kit at home because the hike was supposed to be really easy – I ditched my kit and other essentials to make room for beer.  Eventually Ben, an Army ranger who just returned from Afghanistan this morning, showed up and helped build an improvised stretcher.  A couple of us took turns carrying the old guy down the mountain. We met up with the paramedics about halfway down and then put him on a wheeled stretcher. The old guy was conscious the entire time but definitely was in a lot of pain…overheard the medics saying he might have a tear in his heart. Apparently it’s something he’s been dealing with since high school.  We got him down to the bottom without any issues, and from there he was airlifted out.  From what I understand, he made it.  

  This was definitely a reminder to live a healthy lifestyle and to work out harder. I need to not just bring first aid supplies for myself, but for other people. I need to be strong not just so I can climb well and stay in shape, but so that I can have functional fitness and actually better help carry/help others in emergency situations.  Wilderness First Aid – here we come!

47.4361° N, 121.779° W

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