Yesterday, Jon Holliday of Cary recounted how an annual tradition for four hiking buddies — Pete Sprague of Asheville, David Sprague of Boone and Scott Duffy of Charlotte and himself — took a turn when Pete fell and broke a leg. Today, the rescue.
This is the first of a two-part account of a rescue two weekends ago on Mt. Leconte. It’s based on a trip report written by Jon Holliday and a subsequent interview. Part two will run Thursday.
Jon Holliday and his buddies were amused by the guy lugging a beach chair and umbrella up the rugged five-mile trail to 6,594-foot Mt. LeConte last Saturday. What’s the deal? they asked. “I just want a comfortable place to sit and watch the sun set over Tennessee,” the fellow told them.
“We thought it was pretty silly at the time,” Jon recalled this week. “It turned out he ended up playing a pivotal role in all this.”
“All this” was the worst-case hiking scenario that would unfold a day later as Jon, who lives in Cary, Pete Sprague of Asheville, David Sprague of Boone and Scott Duffy of Charlotte headed back down the mountain. It’s a scenario that likely crosses every hiker’s mind at some point.
What happens when you fall in the backcountry and can’t get up?