Loser Plateau - The walk back from top camp without using a helicopter.

Mon 04 Aug 2003
Julian Todd

Arrived at top camp on 2/8 early walk up all excited, and had a slip-up on the slab below the cooling rock in the stone bridge. It didn't hurt, but I had a lie down. Then I got up and it hurt like hell. Like a piece of razor wire had been substituted for a tendon between my lower back and right knee. If I could just get around without it flexing and slicing through my flesh, it was bearable. But most movements caused pain that amost heated up the region and made my left thumb go numb due to neurological noise across the regions of the humunculus (brain area that has the body map). [I have no idea whether or not he is making this up - editor.]

So I didn't go caving. I sat on the slabs the whole day happy when not moving because it didn't hurt. Often I thought I was cured, only to have to get up for a pee and scream with each step. On Day 2 I could move a little bit more. The pain intensity was the same but the barrier was a little further away so I was more mobile. Since I wasn't dead it was probably not a ruptured spleen. It just hurt like an inaccessible splinter. The sun beat down on the carrymat over my head. I sat like a cripple and was driven insane by the inefficiency of team fester who didn't get a move on and leave me in peace until 4.30pm. Man! [As a member of 'team fester' I should point out that I hadn't got out of the cave the previous day until 4.50am and was possibly more knackered than I have ever been in my life before. - DL (editor)]

Meanwhile Earl + Becka were doing lots of wonderful caving, discovering lots of stuff and doing useful work. Becka's going to marry Earl if I don't pull myself together. I climbed into bed after it got dark, after team fester had left all the litter all over the slabs until it was dary so they couldn't see it and therefore couldn't clear it up. In the morning I was still sore. I was not going to spend another day like this, like a refugee cowering under a scrap of cardboard waiting for food handouts and for someone to care, just happy to be alive. So while everyone was discussing stretchering me off (not possible) or calling a helicopter (last resort) I drifted off to the path to the derision of people observing how long it was taking me to get out of sight. Once out of earshot I could howl, which helped overcome the pain (I've always been a crybaby). Becka joined me later, carrying my pack. It was better if she walked separately so I could pick my pace, stopping for refueling stops. Martin arrived from base camp and we headed for the Bergrestaurant. Earl followed after an hour and drove us all down. I haven't experienced pain of this sort in a while. I've learnt my lesson. I hope it gets better. I just want to go home and not get carted off to some pill-pusher for some pointless ointment. Get me out of here.


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Survex files on this date:
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    2003#26 ['notes2', 'notes1', 'razor7plan']
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    Loser Plateau - The walk back from top camp without using a helicopter.
    204 - Razordance attempted derig