Madpom's Latest adventure
Another enthraling episode. Thanks Madpom. Now we have to wait for episode 4.
Don't know that I wanted all the sensory stimulation this time, witht hen smells etc.
I am interested in what any first aiders might have to say about the best way to treat wounds like this in the backcountry. My only experience with deep wounds on a tramping trip was falling on my ice axe and cutting my knee to the bone 3 days into a 21 day trip in the Olivine Wilderness. This was well before beacons and mountain radios so we rested for a day to decide what to do. The wound had only been open for seconds before it was closed up and then bound tight. I was walking OK so we decided to continue the trip. We never changed the dressing, opting to leave it well alone. At the end of the trip the wound had opened a little but there was no infection. We put this down to the relatively sterile environment we were in above snowline a lot of the time. Also it didn't get a chance to bleed which would have helped.
On another occassion I was helicoptered off Mt Ruapehu after a 500ft fall on ice and then rocks. In hospital I noted that they were in no hurry to clean blood and scabs off, leaving the natural healing to go on as long as possible before cleaning up. I was very lucky in that case, one broken finger and a lot of bruising, bashed knees and elbows (natural self arrest reflex). If I had hit the rocks at a different angle then the fall would have most likely been fatal.
Yes - closing them would have been best, and from by experience in hospital once it was stitched, it would have healed by itself in the 7 days available if it had been closed.
However, with only one hand to play with (try holding a wound together, unwrapping tape, and applying it firmly to the leg with one hand, especially round the back where you can't see!), and only strapping tape to do so with, I couldn't manage to close the wounds. They were both over and inch wide, and at right angles to the leg, so the standard process of wrapping tape round the leg to hold them together would not work. Strapping tape applied length-ways down the leg did not have sufficient adhesion to pull the halves of the wounds together. Also, the presence of dressings stopped the tape from pulling the sides of the wounds directly: considered applying the tape directly without the dressings, but wimped out. Imagine removing it ...
Closing wounds is not important (though stopping the bleeding is, and bringing the edges together may help with this). If the wound is dirty, closing it can be detrimental as it provides ideal conditions for bacteria to cause infection. I worked as a junior doctor in emergency departments for a year, and before suturing wounds we had to be sure all foreign material was removed, then usually scrub it with a sterile toothbrush or similar and irrigate with saline to remove microscopic stuff. If we couldn't be sure (eg couldn't see to the bottom of the wound), then it waited (open) to go to theatre to be properly explored and cleaned. The worst ones were those that had sealed themselves over while the deeper part was still dirty.
Having said that, I've not yet had to deal with a serious laeration while out tramping (touch wood).
Just while we wait for episode 4, I realise I hadn't commented on that bit of route finding in episode 2 that took you up onto the Karangarua Saddle http://tramper.co.nz/?3674 , that is SO COOL.
If I hadn't been on terraces like this before myself I would never have believed it. Still scree over slabs above bluffs doesn't sound nice. How did the dog handle it?
I looked up Moirs on this and there is no route described onto the Karangarua Saddle, it says that Douglas Pass is the easy route out of the head of the Landsborough. It says "From the McKerrow Glacier climb a series of slumping gravel benches up to Douglas Pass. That's the easy part" Yuk!
I need to clean my screen when i looked at that photo the first time i missed the red line super-imposed over the photo. Your all nuts there is nothing way cool about that my defunct reproductive organs retreat into my stomach just looking at it.
I am sure madpom's reproductive organs were already well and truely retreated before he got there if he had to cross the glacial fed Landsborough on the way.
So this is how fame goes? Your reproductive organs become the subject of public debate!
I've posted a close-up of the ascent to Karangarua - realized the long-view might have been a bit offputting, which was not my intention.
Am a little puzzled by pmickey's comment though (genetalia aside): the reason I confidently embarked up this route was that I was convinced I remembered reading about it in Moir's Guide!
It can't have been Moirs. It must have been something else. The only mention of Karangarua Saddle in Moirs is in relation to a traverse of Mt Howitt after climbing from Douglas Pass.
I even went back to earlier editions. 2005 and 1998 have identical descriptions. The route is mentioned in 1984, 1977 and 1948. The 1925 edition does not mention the Landsborough at all. (Probably not explored then)
The photo of the ledge looks great, even a nice tussock spot over on the right to sit down, and the dog looks perfectly happy.
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