Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tell Me the Stories Tuesday- Mountain Adventures

My freshman and sophomore years I lived in Flagstaff, AZ. I loved it there and had many great friends. Over spring break my sophomore year my parents were out of town and it was just my sisters and I at home. We lived in a subdivision at the base of the San Fransisco Peaks. One day some friends (Catherine and Elizabeth) and I wanted to go for a walk. My oldest sister told us to stay off the mountain and we could go. So we went walking in the woods. After a while we stopped on a small hill and started talking. Soon Catherine saw what looked like a cave just a little bit up the mountain and we thought we would check it out.

We started walking up to the cave and soon lost track of where it was. We were only in our tennis shoes and light jackets with no equipment, food, or water. We were soon climbing over logs and rocks taller than us and things were pretty treacherous. We couldn't find a way back down and figured the only thing to do was to head farther up to try to find a way down. The snow soon got very deep and several times one of us lost a shoe in the knee to thigh high deep snow and had to try to find it. After climbing almost to the top of the mountain, we decided to try and head down.

At times we sat on our bottom and slid down until one of us almost went over a ledge. We finally came to a point where we could either go over the rocks or under them to try to keep going. Liz and I wanted to go over and Catherine wanted to go under. She decided to go under and would come back and tell us if it was OK or not. After waiting awhile we decided to check out going over the rocks. We soon came to a ledge and could either stay on the ledge or jump off of it about 20 feet to another ledge that looked like we could keep going from.

After while of being stuck on the ledge, we saw Catherine and she was down the mountain. we tried to get her to tell us how she got down, but she told us to stay put and she would get help. She said the way she got down was to dangerous. We later found out that she ended up climbing down massive rocks, trees, and even fell down the mountain at one point and was stopped by a rock. She followed some tracks to find her way back home to get us help.

While she was gone we decided it would be safer on the other ledge. We would climb down as much as we could and then jump. Liz went first and then went. I ended up falling and landed on her. If she would not have been there I would have fallen down the ledge. When we finally got to the ledge we found out it was smaller and we could not go anywhere. So we sat there frozen and waited.

It was starting to get dark. At some point I had the thought that we really blended into the rocks since Liz had on a jean jacket and I had on a brown jacket. My coat had a red lining so I turned it inside out. This is how we were finally saved since when Catherine brought the rescuers we were not in the same place as when she last saw us.

When Catherine got home her parents called search and rescue to find us. They had to climb up the mountain to get to us. It was then that we found out we were stuck on a 100 foot cliff. The rescue was lit by a helicopter, but they could only use it for lighting because of where we were on the mountain. We had to rappel off the cliff (my first rappelling experience) which was very scary to do in the dark and not knowing what we were doing. We then had to hike the rest of the way down. I ended up going to the hospital for mild frost bite and our escapade was all over the newspaper and TV news. Not the way you really want to go back to school after spring break. we ended up getting a lot of teasing over it and needless to say my parents weren't to happy with me when they got home. Somewhere I have the newspaper article, but I couldn't find it to post.


Rachel C. said...

That is an awesome story! A great teaching one!