By Greg Amos
More than five weeks after a potentially fatal fall while rock climbing near Squamish, Im glad to say my recovery is on track and my return to the Columbia Valley is not far off.
A 20-metre fall after a rappelling mishap landed me in the Vancouver General Hospital emergency room on Saturday, May 11th. Surgeons quickly scanned my injuries and operated to stabilize my broken femur, fractured pelvis and fractured thumb. A second operation on May 20th fixed damage to my jaw, nose and facial bones. On Saturday, May 25th, I left hospital and have been recovering at my parents place in White Rock.
Recovery, I found out, involves a lot of lying around like an Ottoman while observing the bodys incredible ability to heal itself. While the jaws still a little sore and weeks away from being able to chew anything, Im seeing daily signs of improvement in other areas.
The fall took place while I was enjoying an easy day of recreational top-rope climbing in the Smoke Bluffs crag near Squamish, after having travelled to Vancouver to attend a funeral two days earlier.
Though my memory of the details was wiped out by the concussion I suffered, it seems I didnt drop equal lengths of rope down before rappelling down the roughly 30-metre tall climb. At a height of about 20 metres off the ground, I suddenly rappelled off the end of my rope, falling to the ground after bouncing off a ledge that thankfully got in the way. I can probably credit this break in the fall which apparently involved smashing my face into a stump for slowing me enough to make it a non-fatal fall.
All in all, I had a pretty good outcome after a 20-metre fall off a rock face. Im lucky to (A) be alive, (B) not be paralyzed and (C) not have any brain damage. Being temporarily disabled is teaching me a little about patience, but knowing I can make a full recovery is a great thing.
As a bonus, Im contributing to medical knowledge by taking part in a pelvic fracture study.
I look forward to seeing you soon, Columbia Valley readers! If my leg heals within the expected 12 weeks, Ill be back in early August.