NPS Digest is reporting this morning that a hiker had to be rescued from the backcountry of Shenandoah National Park a couple of weeks ago.
On July 7th, park PSAR (preventive search and rescue) staff received a report of a 24-year-old hiker in distress on the Saddle Trail portion of the popular Old Rag Mountain circuit. Arriving EMS personnel found that she was unconscious and showing signs of the latter stages of heat stroke and that she needed rapid extrication from the backcountry. Temperatures in the park at the time were in the upper 90’s with high humidity, which both exacerbated the woman’s illness and hindered rescue efforts.
Old Rag is a challenging hike, particularly on a hot day with the rock scramble portion of the hike offering little shade during the midday heat. The evacuation via wheeled litter took over two hours, during which EMS staff provided constant care. The woman was flown to the University of Virginia Medical Center, where she’s expected to recover fully.
Hiking in the Smokies