Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yosemite Accident I

Granite Section of Trail, Yosemite  2011

After crossing Return Creek, the riders headed up a moderate manzanita-covered slope; eventually the trail began to parallel  Spiller Creek. At one point the trail narrowed and crossed directly over a sloping section of polished granite. Mike was directly in back of Hali and Chip, so he saw the whole thing: Chip's front hoofs slipped on the granite, he attempted to regain his balance using his rear hoofs, which also slipped. By now he was weaving and bobbing, not wanting to fall down. Eventually he righted himself and continued on . . . but without Hali. She had been dumped onto the granite.

It was immediately evident that she had sustained some kind of serious injury, since she couldn't move her right leg. Luckily Chip hadn't fallen on her, nor had she lost consciousness. (As an experienced horse rider, she possibly was more aware, and prepared for, this experience.) 

The accident happened at 2:00 PM. Eventually Ivana left to return to Glen Aulin to phone for a helicopter and Mark helped Hali scoot off the trail. 

As it happened, a seasonal USGS survey crew was on the trail with a satellite phone; Mark was able to contact Yosemite HQ and requested a helicopter evacuation. The welcome sound of helicopter rotors was finally heard sounding through the canyon at 6:00 PM.


Mike Mundy said...

(Spoiler Alert)

Hali is doing OK! The fall onto the granite fractured her hip, so an operation at the Kaiser Hospital in Modesto was needed. Right now she's using a walker and plans to return to work soon.

Subsequent posts deal with aspects of the rest of the shortened trip, with some more medevac pix tomorrow and a video on Thursday.

judit said...

4 hour wait? I didn't know that part, oh my. I'm only glad it wasn't longer.

Waiting for tomorrow's installment...

Mike Mundy said...

Yes . . . 4 hours! Much of it spent in direct sun. Hali arranged her parka over her for shade and kept hydrated.

cleek said...


glad she's doing OK. but what a story that'll be!

Mike Mundy said...


Oh, and in case we'd forgotten: Mike's very own incident.

We might hold off on the horse trips for a while.