View Full Version : Tricky day on Wittenberg
12-03-2006, 06:36 PM
I hiked Wittenberg today with two novice friends. I wanted to take them someplace with a nice reward at the end. Started out of Woodland Valley at 9:40 and took numerous breaks on the way up, finally reaching the summit at 12:30. There's not enough good things to say about that viewpoint. Started down at 1:30 and not twenty minutes into the trip down, one of my friends slipped on a tiny, insignificant but ultimately evil and ill-tempered rock and sprained both ankles. They began to swell up badly and we had to work out a complicated piggyback system to get him down the ledges near the summit. We encountered another group who were kind enough to share some aspirin with us, and by the time that the steep part of the descent was finished, the pain has subsided enough to where he could walk with support with us...then he tripped over a fallen tree :cry: Through much travail we made it back to the car by 4:45, just as the last vestiges of light were fading away. I've never seen anyone so happy to sit down in a car. Feeling guilty about having chose a rather difficult mountain, I told him I'd drive him to the Vassar hospital in Poughkeepsie. He declined my offer and insisted he'd wait to see how he felt in the morning. At the end of the day, I asked him if the trip was worth the pain and he said "yes" without hesitation and asked me to take him again as soon as he's healed. Aye, Wittenberg pulled a nasty trick on us.
Wow, glad you made it back ok! It can be a LONG day when you have an injury to deal with!
12-03-2006, 10:18 PM
The moral of the story is that it's a good idea to bring buddies along. I very much doubt that he could have made his way down the ledges on his own. The problem would then be how not to freeze in the night if someone else hadn't happened along.
12-04-2006, 07:36 AM
Nice trip.. Wittenberg was my first Catskills hike, my first winter hike, and my first winter hike using Crampons. It was like new year's day about 5 years ago with a friend of mine at work. I just bought some Charlet Moser 6pt crampons and it was my first use of it. Sounds like you and your friends had quite an adventure, and it's not even calendar winter yet.
12-04-2006, 08:27 AM
Wow, great job! Glad you all made it out OK and in good enough spirits to want to go back at it. Short daylight at this time of year could have been real trouble. You definately made the best of your sudden situation.
Sounds like a tough day! Glad it turned out well. I think I saw you guys twice yesterday (I was the gal in the orange gaitors). The first time was when you were on your way up and I was headed down, one of your buddies asked "how much further" and I responded "a ways":D. Then I saw you again on the summit when I went back up. You guys certainly looked like you were enjoying the view! Glad the events didn't turn your friend off.
12-04-2006, 08:21 PM
Yes, I remember you. I was the one with the yellow jacket and the mustache. My friend who asked how much farther was the one who got hurt. He went in for X-rays today, so we should know the extent of the damage soon. Just one hour ago he asked me what mountain I'll take him to next. I'm leaning toward either West Kill or Twin.
12-04-2006, 10:23 PM
Glad you made it out alright. A friend a few months back was not so lucky and broke an ankle (after many years hiking) on Sawteeth. His adventure is featured in the Adirondack Explorer this month by Phil Brown. How did your friend make out?
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