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  1. #1
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    Question about safety out on the trail

    Last night a buddy of mine crashed HARD at Tiger on Preston. It was bad enough to where we thought we may need to call for help. We were able to help him walk back up to the start of Preston and we took the logging road out. It got me thinking about the places we ride.

    Do emergency responders have access to the gates at places like Tiger and Taylor? I've seen ambulances at Duthie, but that is a small area that is close to the road. I've also seen rescuers at Tokul hike in and haul people out, even though you can technically drive into most areas at east and west.
    Anyone have experience with this kind of stuff around here?
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  2. #2
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    I think there is a master key for Forest Service gates. I'm sure every first responder agency has a copy of that. Not sure about local access areas. My father-in-law lives south of Spokane and has an emergency access road thru his property. It is gated and it looks like every property owner up his road has a lock on it in addition to the county.

  3. #3
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    Disclaimer: serious injuries should be treated my medical professionals as soon as possible, with the rider/patients safety a top priority.

    Personal experience: I've been party to calling S&R when my wife was lost (spent the night in the woods) and been part of a few S&R experiences both as a hiker and rider. I've also helped haul many broken buddies out of the woods, and hauled myself out a few times (haven't we all).
    My experience has been that calling in for help is absolutely the SLOWEST way to get somebody out. S&R need time to organize, travel on foot, most often don't have gate keys, typically don't know the mtb trail systems or have current maps, and they have additional liability/legal concerns which require them to be painstakingly thorough and methodical (aka slow).

    If there are grey trails or private property involved, any S&R will likely get back to the property owners/managers possibly resulting in trail closures or sanitation.

    So calling in S&R is always a last resort IMO.

    Better to ride well within our abilities and live to ride again another day!

  4. #4
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    Regarding mapping: We need to get every trail (that we are allowed by the landowner to publish) published on Google Maps. This makes it easy for anyone with a smartphone + data plan to figure out where they are, and makes it easy for search and rescue folks to find the people. It would be ideal to simply give GPS coordinates to search and rescue, and have them know exactly how to get where you are.

    Alternatively, if trail names have been posted on Google maps, the injured party can simply say what trail they are on and then search and rescue can locate them as well.

  5. #5
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    Agate can chime in but we had a friend break her leg in the absolute worst place on Beaver Tracks down at Henry's last year. We tried to get her out but had to resort to calling 911 and get them out there. It was a trying process but the EMTs and firemen were really good about it ad looked at it as a good training exercise as well since they had never been back in there. They got a copy of the map from me and I believe were going to contact the local trail builders to work something out for access points. Another reason why the local responders should have maps at the stations with perhaps at least intersection points on the maps and perhaps access points as well. Its in our best interest. Luckily, I'm a human GPS and Agate knew where we were and we were able to accurately direct first aid. But, I know that isn't always possible as well.

  6. #6
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    Re: Question about safety out on the trail

    I know Davis has keys to every gate up MF road but has done it by being the closest to the MF road for Seattle Mountain Rescue. This includes the coveted dingford gate!

  7. #7
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    I have no affiliation with them, but wanted to plug taking the Wilderness First Responder course from Remote Medical (based in Seattle). I took this course two years ago and it is hands down the best course I have ever taken. It gives you the knowledge and confidence to know how to react in a remote injury scenario. If you have the time and means I recommend any mountain biker take it.

    Wilderness First Responder Courses | Certification For Wilderness First Responder

    "RMIís WFR course is a ten-day training focused on the techniques and decision-making skills needed to provide medical care when evacuation is hours or days away. Through a combination of hands-on training and theoretical knowledge, WFRs practice with the latest medical equipment while also learning to improvise with limited supplies as is often experienced in remote environments."

  8. #8
    I got the velcros
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    What time was this?? We were dropped down from summit about 745 last night, Preston, NWT etc, to the lot by 900PM. Didn't see an injured group coming or going.

    I also took NOLS' WFA courses last year for these exact kind of scenarios. I would recommend basic WFA to everyone who rides.

  9. #9
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    We started the climb at 7:45. I talked with Tyler as he was closing the gate at the bottom.we Took our time on the climb and began the descent at 8:45. About 3/4s of the way down the summit trail I nail a stump with my left hand. My pinky got smashed between it and my bars. I didn't crash but it did hurt a lot. Today I found out I shattered the middle knuckle and may need surgery. I'm out 6+ weeks.

    My buddy that crashed hard did so at 9pm. We hiked back up Preston and dowwn the road anddidn't get back to the cars until 11:30. He is pretty beat up, but no broken bones. He is probably down for a few weeks though.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    Today I found out I shattered the middle knuckle and may need surgery. I'm out 6+ weeks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    My buddy that crashed hard did so at 9pm. We hiked back up Preston and dowwn the road anddidn't get back to the cars until 11:30. He is pretty beat up, but no broken bones. He is probably down for a few weeks though.
    Sheeeit...sorry to hear it, Lynch. Hope you and your buddy heal up quick...

  11. #11
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    I ride alone mostly out here on the trails being new to Washington state. i decided that packing a small first aid kit as well as a small survival kit in my pack for just in case as well as peace of mind when im out as well as if i come up on a crash i got something that may help someone else out. thanks for that link i wanted to get some first aid training for work as well as play.

    hope you guys heal up fast its no fun when its nice out and your stuck at home.

  12. #12
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    Question about safety out on the trail

    Ouch!!! Quick healing to both of you guys.

    As far as responses on Tiger...a couple Sept ago I went down hard on Preston RR. I did a superman dive OTB. I dislocated most of my knuckles(backwards) & wrist joints in my left hand. Most popped in place except for one in wrist that was quit painful. Luckily, there were three of us riding together. One rode out to the parking lot...one stayed with me. I was able to roll my bike with my right hand while I had my left hand slung in my camelbak chest strap. We contacted 911 in an effort to get someone to open the gates so they could drive up and retrieve me. I did not want to try to walk from the bottom of Preston RR to the main parking lot. In the end, the sheriff in a SUV came up and picked me up. I maybe waited 20 mins after I reached the bottom of Preston RR. I think they responded in a very reasonable time.

    I ended up needing 3 pins through 4 bones for 2 months to keep the small joint in place until enough scar tissue built up. I'm back riding now with about 85-90% of my original hand strength.

    Lynch...if you need a hand specialist...Dr Steven Sun with Proliance out of Kirkland. Great surgeon.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrosey View Post
    I ride alone mostly out here on the trails being new to Washington state. i decided that packing a small first aid kit as well as a small survival kit in my pack for just in case as well as peace of mind when im out as well as if i come up on a crash i got something that may help someone else out.
    Ditto, I usually ride alone so it's nice having at elast some basics if needed. I had planned on taking that Wilderness First Aid class before I ever read this thread, good to hear it's coming so highly recommended.
    Tarekith.com

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    Today I found out I shattered the middle knuckle and may need surgery. I'm out 6+ weeks. .
    Dayum, that sucks.

    If you haven't picked a hand surgeon, I've heard nothing but good things about both Sun and North from Washington Hand Surgery - Our Doctors.

    Dr. Sun passed on operating a wonky displaced fracture in my metacarpal which I think most surgeons would have wanted to try to put back just because "hey, surgery!"

    They've both done surgery on friends with good results.
    Rolland

  15. #15
    I got the velcros
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    Wow, Preston is taking a toll lately...

    The EMBA/DNR Tiger trail ambassador program will add another layer of help for Tiger riders also.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarekith View Post
    Ditto, I usually ride alone so it's nice having at elast some basics if needed. I had planned on taking that Wilderness First Aid class before I ever read this thread, good to hear it's coming so highly recommended.
    Probably the most important thing youll take away from those courses is a mental procedure to follow when you're in the post-accident adrenaline/panic mode and keep you from doing something that could make the situation worse.

  17. #17
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    I was one of the riders helping the guy that crashed on Flowtron awhile back. Someone had EMS on the phone and they had no idea how to find us so they asked if we could give them GPS coordinates. Maybe 6 riders there with iPhones including me, and I swear, not one of us could figure out how to do it! So...

    How can I display current iPhone GPS coordinates?

    You can use your iPhone's built in GPS to display the latitude and longitude coordinates of your current location. Follow these steps to find your location coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds:

    1. Make sure that Location Services is ON. Navigate to Settings -> Location Services -> ON
    2. In the list of apps under Location Services, make sure Compass is ON
    3. Press the Home button to exit Settings
    4. Open the Compass app

    Your current GPS coordinates are displayed at the bottom of the screen.

  18. #18
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    I'm a local firefighter/emt and most of the stuff that has been said is spot on. If you have a basic knowledge of first aid it can help quite a bit. I have never been on a call for a bike accident in the woods but have been on a few calls where people hiking or messing around out in the woods break an ankle or get pretty banged up. It can be very hard for responders to get into the woods with all their equipment and you also need a lot of people if someone needs to actually be carried out. Best advice is to ride with a buddy or group if you are doing more high risk stuff. That being said, I ride alone quite a bit, and I always have my phone on me and basic first aid stuff.

    Last year I came across a guy at Duthie on the flowy part of boot camp who ran into a tree and broke his arm and dislocated his shoulder. I used a spare tube and a stick for a sling and splint and helped him walk out to the clearing where the ambulance pulled up. It would have to be pretty serious, like someone getting knocked out for an extended period of time or a broken back or something like that before I would call search and rescue. Like someone already said, that takes a lot of time to get organized. As long as the person can walk or can walk with help I would try to get them to an access point for fire/ems. Hopefully the local crews will know a little about the trails. Hope that helps.

  19. #19
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    Interesting thread. Back in the day (this is where my son always glazes over) you were expected to be self reliant when mountain biking and follow the ten essentials for your pack contents. Since the explosion in popularity and the advent of close-in MTB specific riding areas these basics seem to be forgotten. This is similar to the increase in popularity of backcountry skiing. Folks head out into the backcountry prepared as they would be for skiing at a ski area, and then are "surprised" by avalanche conditions or the inability to otherwise deal with unplanned evens such as injuries or changes in weather. Accidents will happen in outdoor sports and everyone has their own level of risk tolerance. Given that, it can only reflect well on our sport if we can develop a culture where riders act responsibly and don't become a burden on emergency services. Is it time for the MTB community to do an on-going education campaign as the hiking clubs have done for years and the backcountry ski community has recently been doing?

  20. #20
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    I cant remember the last time i rode solo, biking or snowboarding . There is always someone around to ride with. There is just too many things that can happen and it is really easy to get into trouble.

    My buddy who crashed is going to be fine. No serious injuries, just some bruising, and a lighter wallet since he needs a new helmet. That was easily the biggest crash I have ever seen too. I on the other hand go in for surgery Tuesday and will have pins in my knuckle for 4 weeks. All from a simple smack of the hand, which im sure everyone has had happen to then before. I didnt crash or anything, just pulled over 50ft after it happened and thought "damn that hurt".

    When riding it is good to know exactly where you are at and the best way out. I think a lot of people would have continued down Preston and not realized how far it really is to walk to NWT and back to the car. We probably saved an hour by hiking back up to the start of Preston and down the access road.
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  21. #21
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    Good luck with the hand man, you're having a rough year!
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    '12 RM Slayer70, i9 Torch, Flow EX, XT Brakes, 5050 s3.

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    Question about safety out on the trail

    I hope your surgery goes well. Also, ask them about PT with a Occupational Physical Therapist(PT for hands) as they specialist in helping the hand get going again after the pins come out.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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    Lynch I hope the surgery will be a success. Having recently undergone surgery on a clavicle fracture, which occurred on a ride with you, I totally get the frustration that you might have. But, the time does fly, and I bet you will be back on bike in no time. Get well soon!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by wipp View Post
    I was one of the riders helping the guy that crashed on Flowtron awhile back. Someone had EMS on the phone and they had no idea how to find us
    I want to bring up an experience we had. My hubby had a very serious wreck withing 1/2 of the
    Bowl & Pitcher trailhead, across the swinging bring here in Spokaloo. I called 911, was very specific about our location and that it was a trail extraction, and the EMS crew did not bring the trail sled (or whatever that thing is that is like a toboggan with wheels is called) We had an ambulance waiting at the parking lot, but they did not bring the firetruck that had the crew that was prepared for this kind of event. We ended up having to get the ranger, who got the kid who drives the electric cart around the park collecting trash, to bring my husband out to where they did have the gurney at the bridge. It was sick/funny in a way, the kid was very good at bringing the cart down the trail: 4 wheeling a golf cart? We guess he'd done it before when the boss wasn't around. Anyway, my point is this - I was specific about a trail rescue, and the EMS evidently was clueless even though the right rescue equipment did exist within that jurisdiction. They didn't even bring a back board in. My husband is a S & R guy and a ski patroller and that's how I know what wasn't done right. So, if you have a trail situation, I suggest that you be overly specific about what might be needed. We only found out later from a guy we know who is EMS in the area that in fact there was a trail rescue set up. My husband broke his collar and pelvis in that wreck.

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieDog View Post
    I'm a local firefighter/emt and most of the stuff that has been said is spot on. If you have a basic knowledge of first aid it can help quite a bit. I have never been on a call for a bike accident in the woods but have been on a few calls where people hiking or messing around out in the woods break an ankle or get pretty banged up. It can be very hard for responders to get into the woods with all their equipment and you also need a lot of people if someone needs to actually be carried out. Best advice is to ride with a buddy or group if you are doing more high risk stuff. That being said, I ride alone quite a bit, and I always have my phone on me and basic first aid stuff.
    See above. It would be nice if the local EMS had brought in the correct equipment for the above rescue, when we had stated the nature of the situtation and the location. So it goes both ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by squakmtn View Post
    Interesting thread. Back in the day (this is where my son always glazes over) you were expected to be self reliant when mountain biking and follow the ten essentials for your pack contents.
    How would any of the ten essentials have helped me, other than a space blanket to keep him warm, when my husband was going into shock with a broken pelvis and collarbone and it was just the two of us out of the trail?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbcracken View Post
    I hope your surgery goes well. Also, ask them about PT with a Occupational Physical Therapist(PT for hands) as they specialist in helping the hand get going again after the pins come out.

    Cheers,
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by SpryIP View Post
    Lynch I hope the surgery will be a success. Having recently undergone surgery on a clavicle fracture, which occurred on a ride with you, I totally get the frustration that you might have. But, the time does fly, and I bet you will be back on bike in no time. Get well soon!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tarekith View Post
    Good luck with the hand man, you're having a rough year!
    Thanks guys!
    We have a whistler trip planned for July 20th, so my goal is to atleast be able ride some easy trails by then. The way they are splinting my hand I will be able to do PT to keep the stiffness to a minimum. We will see!
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