Just yesterday, I almost lost my dear wife while hiking in the Superstition Mountain, AZ. I am no kidding. I felt that we were walking on the thin line between life and death. It’s matter of seconds. I am so glad that my wife is back and we really really appreciate those who have helped her get through the tough time.
The above photo was taken a few moment before my wife collapsed. It was about 5:00PM and it’s getting darker and cold. I was on my way down to the parking lot, because she and her girl friend are so tired after 6 hour hiking under the cold weather. I was tired too, but I can still walk fast. We thought it would be a good idea for me to hike down to the parking lot and drive our car to the nearest campground to meet my wife and her girl friend.
The trail seems much longer in the dark. So I decided to walk alone!
Shortly after I called her friend and tell her that I was half way reaching the parking lot. I could hear my wife breathing really hard behind her friend on the other side of the phone. I made a choice not to head back, but head directly to the parking lot. I asked them to take a break and take it slow and wait for me to come back, but I did not know my wife just collapsed after hung up the phone. I ran like super man down hill. I had my GPS in my hand while running in the dark. I realized that I have never ran this fast and this long in my life. I now glad that I did not collapse on the way back, otherwise, no one will be able to find me and find my wife and her friend.
Just right at the moment when I reached the parking lot. I got a call from 911 telling me my wife’s friend made a call. My wife has collapsed but was still conscious. The emergency crews are on their way, but they had no idea where they were in the mountain. I hoped that I left my GPS with them. All I can tell was that they were on the trail #53, but not sure how far up.
The 911 operator asked me if I saw a fire engine. Yes. I saw them, but they are just right next to me, but not on the trail. So I jump into their fire truck and lead them back to the nearest campground. When we got to the campground and realized that there is at least a mile from the campground to the mountain on trail #53.
I lead them to the trail #53 as far as I can go before I ran out of energy. I was so tired and told the emergency crew to left me behind alone in the dark and told them how to get to my wife. Luckily they reach my wife on time with warm blanket. They finally took her down with ATV. I saw the head light coming down and heard her voice. I finally had the strength again to walk down ahead of the ATV and showed them way back to campground. That was the longest walk to me ever.
After all, my wife told me right after I called her friend, she collapsed badly. So her friend made 911 call. Suddenly a hiker came from no where handed her a warm hand and energy bars. Her friend and the hiker started warm her up. However, she still collapsed into second Hypothermia stage, which is reaching the fatal point. Again, few more hikers stopped by and give her their sleeping bags until the emergency crew came by. My many thanks to those guardian angels.
That was the longest night in the dark to me. I almost lost my wife and she was thinking how I can live without her at the moment she collapsed. I was speechless.
Now we are back to real life again. We totally believe that she were lucky! We also believe what we did in the past to help other people have helped her get through the life and death experience. We will devote ourselves more and more to help other people, because a warm hand in the dark can bring someone back from the nearly death moment.
Beside the life and death experience, the Flatiron is worth to give it a hike. It’s about 4674 feet above the sea level. It’s about 5 miles from the parking lot to the top of Flatiron. We did not expect to hike this long, so we did not prepare well. We drink enough water, but did not prepare enough foods and warm cloth. Lessons are learned.
If you are interested in knowing more about our hike to Flatiron on Superstition Mountain, please take time to see the photos on Flickr – 2008 Superstition Mountain – Flatiron – Hiking!
Here is the 360 degree view on top of the Flatiron. You can click to see the larger photo.