NPS Digest is reporting that a seriously injured hiker was rescued in the Great Smoky Mountains over the weekend.
On the afternoon of Saturday, March 9th, park dispatch received a call from Jackson County 911 reporting an injured hiker on the Alum Cave Trail approximately a mile above Alum Cave Bluffs. A 55-year-old man had fallen about ten vertical feet and then taken a tumbling fall of another 60 feet while moving over for hikers passing him on the trail. He suffered a three inch laceration to his neck, a five inch laceration to his leg, and a deep tear in his hand. He was able to make it back up to the trail, where he was assisted by visitors, although they were unable to control the bleeding from his neck.
Rangers made a very quick response up the trail, while park dispatch pulled together a litter crew of park staff and two AD hires. Trail conditions were treacherous due to recent snow, and traction aid devices were required. The man’s bleeding had been controlled prior to the arrival of the rescuers, though he had already suffered a significant blood loss and a drop in his body temperature. He was packaged and removed by a combination of wheeled litter and sliding the plastic litter along the snow covered trail. A lowering system for the litter was used at Arch Rock. The litter team arrived at the trailhead at 2 a.m., where the patient was transported by ambulance to an LZ by Gatlinburg EMS. He was then flown to University of Tennessee Medical Center by Lifestar.
Hiking in the Smokies