Sunday, February 24, 2013

Devil's Heart Peak - Done and Done

I awoke at the ghastly hour of 2am to make a push deep into Condor Country.  Sometimes I wonder why I commit myself to these arduous weekend trips, and then I remember that I enjoy blogging about all the epic drudgery I'm capable of enduring.  I could never sit at the bar, eating chicken wings and high-fiving buddies about a 49er's touchdown.  That would be so lame.  Traipsing alone for miles through dusty chaparral?  Now we're talking!

Looking at the Sespe Map,  I saw a big boundary line with clear markers stating "Condor Sanctuary, Entry Prohibited."  Did that make me hesitate?  No way. When I see "Keep Out" it adds fuel to the fire of my defiance. More naive people abide by the Forest Service boundaries.  They probably think to themselves, "It's nice that the condors have unfettered habitat to breed, hatch chicks, and find food."  That's just blind acceptance of authority though.  Even if the spirit of the law makes sense, I'm a maverick at heart.  I can't help but encroach on the places other people respect and leave off-limits.  I think it's altogether original to post something like this:

I'm also uniquely above the law because I'm the kind of hiker that others can't keep pace with, so this is a one-man-team most of the time.  I do a lot of blogging and seeking out reader's reactions and enjoying the comments.  However, I guess I just prefer "virtual" relationships centered around my solitary hiking outings.

But back to the condor rules; LPNF rangers sit in their offices fussing over tracking data and field reports and such, but I am the one actually doing any fieldwork.  I should know because my butt is out here every weekend and I have yet to see hide nor hair of those rangers.  Again, my thinking is that if the rule-makers are incompetent by my appraisal, the rules don't apply to me.

It was 4am and pitch black when I left my truck, the Commandant, at the 2-mile pre-Dough Flat gate.  I crawled and scraped through the route I had scouted on Google Earth the night before.

I had packed plenty of medical tape, gauze, antibiotic cream, quick-clot, tourniquets, venous/arterial catheters, syringes, dexa, ibuprofen, a few liters of IV dextrose and ringers solution, saline for irrigating wounds, and flexible tubing (all courtesy of the stockroom at my hospital phlebotomy job :)

Most people just don't have a clue how to be prepared for the level of bodily trauma I run into.  But this is just standard fare as medical kits are concerned when it comes to my brush-busting endeavors.  Fortunately I'm skilled in self-administering any of the treatments, and this trip was no exception.  I punctured my left lung on a charred manzanita and emergently placed a chest tube to prevent suffocation from pneumothorax.

All in a days work. I trudged the next few hundred vertical feet uphill with labored breathing to say the least.

The view at the top was really worth it though.  I signed the ancient summit register with blood that was dripping from the wound and skirted back to my truck in a mere 12 hours.  25.6 miles by my reckoning, not too shabby if you saw the bushwhacking required of me.  I'm just sayin'.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. The comment David Stillman deleted at 9:52:

      I call bullshit. No summit photo. No picture of the DHeart register. No description of the route. And a needle thoracotomy for a presumed tension pneumothorax? You are full of shit, dude.

  2. Yeah, you're a real badass, you egotistical dick. I find it telling that the only comments on your blog are people calling you out for what you really are.