Scott Mountain

August 20, 1989

Everyone arrived promptly at the S.E.H.S. parking lot to take the long scenic drive up to Scott Lake. As we reached the old quarry parking lot, the sun broke through the morning clouds. The group set off at a brisk pace and was soon ascending Scott Mountain, elevation 6,116 feet. One of our party felt like walking a bit slowly up the steep last piece of trail. The remainder of us settled down at 12:15 to lunch on the top with a fine view of Mt. Washington and the Three Sisters. After about 20 minutes I asked one of our group to go check on our slower member. The report came back that she was not feeling well. I ran back down to check on her and discovered that she was experiencing an extremely rapid heart beat which would not slow down, and had been in this condition for about 30 minutes, though lying down. She and I decided that she needed to get back down to the cars and medical help pronto, but shouldn’t walk in her condition. A quick consultation within our group turned up no one with such medical knowledge, but two strong men volunteered to try a chair carry. While they got underway, the rest of us decided to send a runner ahead to call for emergency medical help from McKenzie Bridge, and we hastily put together a stretcher composed of 3 jackets, my trusty hiking stick, and a dead limb. I ran the stretcher down the trail to where our first two bearers were running out of steam and we transferred our sick member to the stretcher. She was beginning to show other signs of illness: chills, vomiting, and continued rapid heartbeat. Six at a time we carried her down the rocky trail, taking turns as we tired. Somewhere in the middle of our long descent she began to feel a little better. She took a couple of sips of 7-up and a bite of peach. We worked our way down the trail for about 3 hours, trading positions and cracking bad jokes until we were met by the forest service runner with an emergency medical team. The EMT took our sick party’s vital signs and examined her, then put her onto their stretcher, which we all took turns carrying out the last mile. When we all arrived at the parking lot our sick member felt well enough to stand up and be driven home in her own car, promising to see her own doctor the next day. We therefore thanked everyone who’d come to help and retired to the Log Cabin Inn for some refreshment. Unanimously we decided to change the trip description from “moderate” to “difficult.” I want to thank everyone in the group for putting forth such a tremendous effort with such good humor. Trip participants were Joe Freedman, Rachele Fiszman, Robert Kolden, Teresa Ladd, Gary Marx, Virginia Prouty, Robin Prentice, Janet and Richard Reed, Barbara Spencer, Wostek Szalecki, Tom Wiesenfeld and co-leaders Susan Baker and Marcia Danab.

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