Forced break / time fillers

8:32 p.m. on December 25, 2011 (EST)
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Up until this past Tuesday I've been climbing at the gym, so that I can be better prepared for a few trips this coming spring/summer to get some outdoor climbing.  This past Tuesday, though, I hurt my hand ... and now I have to take a break while my hand heals up.  So I was wondering if anybody has any advice on what to do in the downtime.  I picked up 'The Freedom of the Hills' and have started reading it ... but have been having a hard time keeping myself from trying to get back out sooner then I should.

9:07 p.m. on December 25, 2011 (EST)
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I not too long ago partially tore my acl. I was down in the dumps bigtime about this being if I don't have my leg in proper operating condition I am a no-go on any trip unless it involves a couch.

My recovery has turned into a relentless pursuit of more gear. I am not suggesting that one follows in my footsteps of buying everything and anything but I did find it just as good of a time as any to research gear more in depth, learn a bit more, and tweak my kit. 

In your case with a hand injury you are not necessarily dead in the water. Granted you are not going to be climbing but that doesn't stop you from going on a dayhike or exploring other backcountry activities such as geocaching .

In regards to the dayhike suggestion you still have the opportunity to get out there and your hand is still allotted the time needed to heal.

Sometimes hiking into an area with a flowing stream and just sitting there and sucking it all in can be very rewarding in its own right.

I am headed out on a solo 5-6 day test run here on Jan 5th. 

Is my leg completely healed? Well, we shall see but it feels pretty good. I will still be wearing a supportive brace all the same. This will be the 1st time having any pack weight(other than a daypack) on it.

Hopefully if things work out well I still will have time for a trip that I was/am greatly looking forward too in Feb.  

 

9:19 p.m. on December 25, 2011 (EST)
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I agree with Rick here, I have had a few injuries myself.

Sometimes it forces you to change activities & plans, but I have found that doing something is better than sitting at home, although I do like reading as you suggest doing.

Can you hike like Rick suggests?

If so I would highly recommend sitting beside a stream reading your book, I do this a lot and love it.

I'm pretty good at sucking it all in, sometimes my wife has to pop me in the back of the head to 'bring me back' haha.

I hope your hand heals fast!

6:22 a.m. on December 26, 2011 (EST)
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Thank you Rick and Trouthunter for your responses. I think I'll go on a day hike today.  For the first few days just cinching up a backpack would have been very painful to my hand, but I can definitely handle that now, pun intended :-). It's definitely been a while since I've done some cold weather hiking.  Thanks again.

11:11 a.m. on December 26, 2011 (EST)
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Since climbing is primarily legs and you still have one hand, you can still climb. Oh, wait! You were climbing on plastic! Get out on real rock and focus on balance and using your legs. Hiking is good, too. And no excuses about snow, ice, and such.

1:00 p.m. on December 26, 2011 (EST)
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cant beat a good day hike. Was down for awhile myself, when I got the ok to start doing some light hiking again I was happier than a pig rolling in the mud!

 Tho I still couldnt load up a full pack and head out I would grab the day pack with some lunch fixins and spend the day in the local Mountain Park. Never went very far, just far enough to get away from the crowd. Play with my kitchen kit and sorta pretend I was way out there. (Okay maybe I truely am)

Just enjoying the day out did wonders for my state of mind.

Hope ya heal quick  

2:26 p.m. on December 26, 2011 (EST)
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Rick,

I am not an MD. But I would suggest that a 5-6 day hike with the load it entails is probably pushing it a bit for a first outing. Or have you been taking shorter hikes to work up to it - 3 miles level, 5 miles level, 3 miles including hills, 5 miles including hills, 10 miles in a day, weekend with a full pack and 10 miles on hills, then maybe the 5-6 days.

2:45 p.m. on December 26, 2011 (EST)
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Bill- I've been doing the dayhike thing and gradually getting back to where I need to be increasing my load bearing capacity as I go as well as the difficulty of terrain.

Now granted my daypack is "slightly" smaller/lighter than my 85L pack.

I have been hammering on the therapy. I put myself through a very strenuous rehab(Physical Therapist approved of course.)

Not being able to get out drives me nuts so I buckled down and put in around 6 months of extensive rehab in less than half the time. 

Everything from a medical standpoint looks good. Tests, etc, came back good.

The strength in my leg isn't exactly where it was but its pretty close. I just have to use a brace and I should be ok.

Plus my wife will definitely approve of my getting out. It will cut down on the Fed-Ex guy stopping by to say hello on a regular basis with a new gear order. :) 

5:46 p.m. on December 26, 2011 (EST)
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As a vet of numerous physical injuries I advise:

Jeremey:

Do not push that hand injury.  Every time I got aggressive with my recovery program I regretted it, ether delaying the full recovery by aggravating the injury, or cause a permanent, partial loss of function.  Go very slow rebuilding function in your hand, you are not a teenager anymore.  Stay away from those spring loaded squeeze devices, they are too much too soon.  instead rehabilitate squeezing a synthetic kitchen sponge.  Don't over-rep or risk adding repetitive motion injury to your issues!  Expect six weeks for a minor injury, like breaks or sprains.  Tendon and ligament injuries can take months to properly mend and rehabilitate.  When I used to be able to chin ups on only my index and middle fingers a hand tendon injury took almost a year to recover that ability.  In the meantime boulder hopping and steep hikes to keep the rest of you in tune are always possible.

Rick:

I cannot count the number of knee injuries I've sustained.  (Four surgeries on my left knee among other mishaps)  As far ACL tears, go slow, these take a long time to mend back to full strength.  It will take between a year to 18 months for a full recovery.  Walking around in the shallow end of a pool is good initial therapy, but you sound like you are beyond that.  Cycling is the best second phase and beyond therapy, graduating to steeper and steeper hills as you progress.  In fact seriously consider long term using a bicycle to keep that knee healthy;  It will never be the same again, and frequent cycling is the perfect ongoing regimen to keep that tissue strong.   Make note: one more gadget to buy is a good mountain or road bike.  Before stepping off into the forest with a pack, test yourself on the stair well of a tall building.  If your leg fatigues too early or you get a pain in the injury area, back off, and continue your recovery program at a lower intensity until this doesn't occur.  If experiencing pain after a workout, ice it down to reduce swelling.  Do not use the trail to test your recovery.  Take whatever walks that are well within your current capacity.  Getting stuck mid trail unable to walk after your wheels have gone south is very frustrating, and risks re-injuring your knee.  

Ed

 

7:45 p.m. on December 26, 2011 (EST)
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whomeworry said:

Rick:

I cannot count the number of knee injuries I've sustained.  (Four surgeries on my left knee among other mishaps)  As far ACL tears, go slow, these take a long time to mend back to full strength.  It will take between a year to 18 months for a full recovery.  Walking around in the shallow end of a pool is good initial therapy, but you sound like you are beyond that.  Cycling is the best second phase and beyond therapy, graduating to steeper and steeper hills as you progress.  In fact seriously consider long term using a bicycle to keep that knee healthy;  It will never be the same again, and frequent cycling is the perfect ongoing regimen to keep that tissue strong.   Make note: one more gadget to buy is a good mountain or road bike.  Before stepping off into the forest with a pack, test yourself on the stair well of a tall building.  If your leg fatigues too early or you get a pain in the injury area, back off, and continue your recovery program at a lower intensity until this doesn't occur.  If experiencing pain after a workout, ice it down to reduce swelling.  Do not use the trail to test your recovery.  Take whatever walks that are well within your current capacity.  Getting stuck mid trail unable to walk after your wheels have gone south is very frustrating, and risks re-injuring your knee.  

Ed

 

 Oh, trust me. I am taking all necessary steps to make sure this is good to go. Last thing I want to do is aggravate or re-injure it.

I gotta say. This has been a lot of work to get my leg back into this condition. 

The partial tear was a pretty minor tear but its still a tear all the same. 

I am not going to be trying to set any records in regards to my rate of travel. 

I actually allotted myself 2 extra days travel time so I won't be passing up any shelters this time around. I am not thru hiking the trail. I am going to start at the Pa Turnpike shelter. Set camp there where I will be meeting up with two other gentlemen. The next morning I will be up at the crack of dawn and we will all head a few miles to the bridge.

Then we hang out for the festivities, I snag some pics, cross the bridge then onto the next shelter area and ending up in Ohiopyle.

In a sense this is going to be a short trip for me(around 40 miles.)

I am not staying in shelters but they have this rule that you can't pitch a tent on-trail so I will be setting up my tent at the shelters.

(as seen on the LHHT TH sign below:)

002.jpg
I am heading SOBO so the worst ascents as far as degree and length will be eliminated. They will all be downhills for me. 

Nevertheless, this is going to be my 1st multiple day test.

As they say, I am going to hike my own hike...

...at my own pace. 

8:55 p.m. on December 26, 2011 (EST)
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whomeworry said:

As a vet of numerous physical injuries I advise:

Jeremy:

Do not push that hand injury.  Every time I got aggressive with my recovery program I regretted it, ether delaying the full recovery by aggravating the injury, or cause a permanent, partial loss of function.  Go very slow rebuilding function in your hand, you are not a teenager anymore.  Stay away from those spring loaded squeeze devices, they are too much too soon.  instead rehabilitate squeezing a synthetic kitchen sponge.  Don't over-rep or risk adding repetitive motion injury to your issues!  Expect six weeks for a minor injury, like breaks or sprains.  Tendon and ligament injuries can take months to properly mend and rehabilitate.  When I used to be able to chin ups on only my index and middle fingers a hand tendon injury took almost a year to recover that ability.  In the meantime boulder hopping and steep hikes to keep the rest of you in tune are always possible.

Rick:

I cannot count the number of knee injuries I've sustained.  (Four surgeries on my left knee among other mishaps)  As far ACL tears, go slow, these take a long time to mend back to full strength.  It will take between a year to 18 months for a full recovery.  Walking around in the shallow end of a pool is good initial therapy, but you sound like you are beyond that.  Cycling is the best second phase and beyond therapy, graduating to steeper and steeper hills as you progress.  In fact seriously consider long term using a bicycle to keep that knee healthy;  It will never be the same again, and frequent cycling is the perfect ongoing regimen to keep that tissue strong.   Make note: one more gadget to buy is a good mountain or road bike.  Before stepping off into the forest with a pack, test yourself on the stair well of a tall building.  If your leg fatigues too early or you get a pain in the injury area, back off, and continue your recovery program at a lower intensity until this doesn't occur.  If experiencing pain after a workout, ice it down to reduce swelling.  Do not use the trail to test your recovery.  Take whatever walks that are well within your current capacity.  Getting stuck mid trail unable to walk after your wheels have gone south is very frustrating, and risks re-injuring your knee.  

Ed

 

 Thanks for the advice Ed.  Fortunately my injury was just a nasty looking cut (and some minor bruising) from holding onto an ice axe to hard after loosing my footing.  I was trying a fake mixed ice climb at the gym - first time trying anything with axe in hand as far as climbing goes.

3:10 a.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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CoyotePacker said:

...I was trying a fake mixed ice climb at the gym - first time trying anything with axe in hand as far as climbing goes.

I highly advise taking an ice tools course.  Particularly if you wish to learn mixed climbing.  There is more to safe handling such weapons than meets the eye.  The time and money spent is well worth the possible injury caused by ignorance.

Ed

6:34 p.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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whomeworry said:

CoyotePacker said:

...I was trying a fake mixed ice climb at the gym - first time trying anything with axe in hand as far as climbing goes.

I highly advise taking an ice tools course.  Particularly if you wish to learn mixed climbing.  There is more to safe handling such weapons than meets the eye.  The time and money spent is well worth the possible injury caused by ignorance.

Ed

 Definitely see the wisdom in that ... hindsight really is 20/20 :-)

12:19 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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Just went to Ouray and watched the ice climbing in prep for the Ice Climbing festival.  great stuff.

3:49 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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Callahan said:

Just went to Ouray and watched the ice climbing in prep for the Ice Climbing festival.  great stuff.

 Really cool! I miss being in Colorado. Lot's of great outdoor activities.

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