Author Topic: Tales of heat and exhaustion.  (Read 1457 times)

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Offline Mr.

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Tales of heat and exhaustion.
« on: April 29, 2008, 06:38:44 pm »
It is summer in the Valley, folks. This last Sunday as I was walking to the big shade tree in El Cap meadow it felt like 100 degrees with that hot lazy breeze blowing across from the west. The tree does not have leaves yet, by the way, and the north-facing gullies still have snow, but the sun and heat are back in full force! It took a session on the Shield to realize that over this long, cold, work-infested, Truckee winter, I had set aside all the memories and tales of heat and exhaustion.

I'll start ?er off with a good one. Last July I was climbing on Emerald Point on the west shore of Tahoe, finding great climbing and amazing views. It was stinking HOT and we were on the south-facing aspect of this beautiful peak. I was climbing a nice, but  runout, face pitch on perfect granite when all of the sudden I feel that things are going to go very, very, wrong. My peripheral starts narrowing down, I am dizzy, tunnel vision, my legs feel like they are going to buckle under my bodyweight. Holy shite, I think, I am totally going to faint because of this friggin? heat! I cling onto the knobs with hella pinch power and focus. Nooooo! Not now! I try to shake it off but my vision is still narrowing, panic is creeping in, my body wants to shut down, this wasn?t supposed to happen. Nooooo! Damnit! I try to regain control. Downclimb? Keep going up? Stay at this stance? Damn! I actually try to hook one of my gear loops from my harness onto a knob in case I was to pass out right then! That didn?t work, of course. My thought processes are scrambled, I?m a goner, hundred-twenty footer onto a piece somewhere down there, massive trauma to the body, internal bleeding, no helmet, whoops. I lean into the wall and close my eyes. All I see are small swirling dots.

Well anyhow, I?m still here, made it through that one. It was a close call that could have had very unfortunate consequences. Amazing how the human body can still override the mind if it wants to in these situations.  It was a very strange feeling, especially for climbers who pride themselves on being ?in control.? I was very lucky.

I?ll turn this thread over to you all. Do you have any good stories about heat, dehydration, walls without enough water, desperate situations to get water, or hallucinations? Please share, this could be fun. ?Tis the season for tales of heat and exhaustion!

Offline Rags

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How 'bout tales of near death?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2008, 02:04:15 am »
This is part of an email I sent to one of my climbing partners that is also a doctor. This happened about may of 2002. Later I was diagnosed with vasovagal syncope (look it up), just means that under certain conditions I can pass out. I was on meds for a while. Anyway, it scared the shit out of me (literally). thought I was gonna die

"I was in Yosemite to return a book to a guy and had decided to TR ?five and Dime? while I was there. Unable to locate a
partner, I setup a fixed line so that I could self belay myself on it. As I prepared to rap down I felt very
anxious, and figured I was just a little nervous and would be OK when I got started. So I rapped to the bottom setup
my belay device and backups and began climbing.

I felt OK coming up the first half till I was just below the crux. I paused to retie my backup, and looking up I felt a wave of fear or apprehension.
I began to move into the crux and the attack started. Let me say that the previous attacks follow the same pattern, but to a lesser degree. It begins
with the feeling of pressure in my head, ringing in my ears and stars or spots around the periphery of my vision. I
then begin to feel weak and light headed (more like a fading feeling). Knowing that it was coming, I hung on my
rope and tried to calm myself. I attempted to setup a prusik so I could jug up and get off the climb. It was very
difficult as the sensations increased. I began to feel I might loose consciousness and tried to rig my rappel device
instead. I was unable to unweight my self belay; I was able to get the prusik around my shoulder to keep me upright.

Then I passed out! I remember I felt like I was dreaming. I don?t know how long I hung there, maybe only a couple
minutes. As I came to I was still upright with one hand on the rope. I struggled against passing out again and the
weakness I felt, but finally managed to unweight my self belay and begin rapping. I was almost too weak to hold the
rope while rapping.  I slowly hiked back to the top cleaned up and packed my gear. For the remainder of the day I had a headache, felt very
fatigued, thirsty."
Be Safe, Live Long, Climb Hard!


Offline hammock-soloer

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Re: Tales of heat and exhaustion.
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2008, 06:22:30 am »
Just recently I fell into an offwith and then I toped out, went to the jeep and passed out after shacking do to pain. I woke up in a wet spot it was blood. I brok a piece of bone off of my hip. I bled for two nights and days. It still hurts, But not to bad. Anyway I guess it is that time!! Anyone want to climb it? Mid east I know I remember sombody saying somthing or is it to late. Am I destine for soloing. Hey Mr. I never got that check. Iguess you got your stuff elswere What was it that you were needing those things for? Good luck piece be carefull. Sombody send me a message or post if you want to  get together.I really am passing out here at the computer. dam I got my days and nights mixed up agin. You would think after two months of waking up with the sun that I would have a fucking schedual by now.  Well lucky to be alive, and I'm out!