August 01, 2012
One Washington hiker is counting his blessings after taking a 1,200-foot plunge and living to talk about it.
According to KGW NewsChannel 8, Washington resident Kevin Weed slipped and fell on a patch of soft snow while hiking with a group of six two weeks ago near Luna Peak in the North Cascades.
His fellow hikers could only watch while Weed plunged 1,200 vertical feet, slamming into the rocks below. Amazingly, he survived the plunge, despite being a little banged up.
"The first 800 vertical feet was about trying to stop, the last 400 feet was unconscious freefall tumble," Weed told KGW, adding that he couldn't remember anything after slamming into the rocks.
Luckily, Weed's group, as well as others, was well-versed in wilderness training and survival. While another group triggered an emergency beacon called SPOT, Weed's group dug a ledge in the snow, covered him with their sleeping bags and put in hot water bottles to alleviate the cold and shock.
"They all were superstars, the accident was bad, from the moment after everyone worked together," Weed said of his hiking partners.
After a five-hour wait, Weed was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Two weeks later, Weed was back at home.
"I was very lucky and fortunate," he said, adding next time he hikes, he'll be wearing a helmet and carrying his own emergency beacon. "I don't have an answer or explanation; all I know is I'm here, I get to live and I get to do positive things with what I learned."