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Injured hiker rescued after six days

Injured Hiker Rescued After 6 Days

Stranded for six days, an experienced hiker was lying on a bed of rocks in the high Sierra in Kings Canyon National Park after his leg was hit by a loose boulder. He told the media about his gruesome injury. Here he is on KPIX: "It landed on my calf on the back part, and it sent the bones through the front."

The incident happened Saturday, and hiker Gregg Hein didn't tell his dad he's be back until Monday. So, being 11,000 feet up, survival mode kicked in. He recounted what he had to do to make it. He told KGPE, "I splinted my leg with my trekking pole and a belt and a strap. And then slid down two more snow passes to that edge of that terminal glacier."

The 33-year-old lived off bugs and realized there was a high chance he could lose his leg. He talked about his frustration when search-and-rescue crews flew by him multiple times without seeing him. KTNV reports, "And then finally when they did see me I just kind of grabbed my foot and laid down on my back for a while to just kind of breathe a deep sigh of relief."

We often hear news stories about hikers getting lost or injured, but Hein's story is unusual in that he was able to survive so long in spite of such a serious injury.

Hein has a compound fracture in his leg along with an infection that will require surgery, and he's currently staying at a medical center. But right now he and his parents are just grateful he's alive.
His father told KSEE, "I don't care about the broken leg. He's alive and well, and we're going to get our son back." His mother added, "It's your son, and your heart is breaking, and to be able to see him and our eyes connected, and it's like, 'You're back.'"

Hein plans to continue hiking after he's healed. He says he will be more prepared in the future by bringing a signal mirror, a GPS so people will know exactly where he is, and medical gear.

Join the discussion

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charpist5 July 17 2014 at 3:28 PM

Dear AOL,

We are a literate people, at least, we should be. We can READ the article, we do NOT need to hear these shrill, "newsy" narrators reading the article word for word to us.

Flag Reply +20 rate up
5 replies
Estelle July 17 2014 at 3:33 PM

How come these morons continue to always hike alone? They deserve whatever happens to them.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
3 replies
wrascil July 17 2014 at 3:59 PM

so he was 1/2 a cub scout and left the things at home a boy scout would have brought.
how about bringing a qualified hiking buddy next time that can save your life if necessary

Flag Reply +9 rate up
wild64u July 17 2014 at 6:53 PM

There are always things you can do to stay safer, like sit at home behind your computer with the doors locked. Just because an accident happens doesn't mean he was negligent. People go hiking alone all the time and to call this risky or stupid is rediculous.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
3 replies
chdblwinnr July 17 2014 at 3:55 PM

Wouldn't it be refreshing to read an article and not find spelling and grammatical errors that are so bad the article is simply incoherent drivel?

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
buddwhyzr chdblwinnr July 17 2014 at 8:17 PM

Agreed. It seems English is not a prerequisite for writers at AOL

Flag Reply 0 rate up
ram4131 July 17 2014 at 8:09 PM

This solo mountain hiking crap is ridiculous. Can you make it anymore difficult to find (or care about) you?

Flag Reply +5 rate up
wild64u July 17 2014 at 7:13 PM

I once went to my basement alone, without my mother, to type silly comments using her computer. I did tell her where I was going and when to expect me back or things would have been much worse. I tripped on the last step and got a booboo on my knee. I know I was stupid for going down there alone and I will never go down there without my mother again. I will also bring enough food and water for a month, a signaling device, gps, satelite phone, a helmet and knee pads. I sure learned my lesson. Life is scary and dangeous.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
buddwhyzr wild64u July 17 2014 at 9:19 PM

Ever wonder what mom does on her "basement" computer by herself?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
hattie54 July 17 2014 at 3:50 PM

Another idiot hiking alone.Glad he is ok tho.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
zaticon1 July 17 2014 at 3:48 PM

If you're going into a situation from which you may need rescue, carry a small pocket mirror, even better, a small piece of stainless steel that's polished to a mirror finish. You can buy this online. If he'd had one, he could have heliographed the search plane, which would probably allowed them to spot him sooner.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
2 replies
Viper1ex19 zaticon1 July 17 2014 at 7:45 PM

Cell phones work pretty good too

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
shirley.butterfield Viper1ex19 July 17 2014 at 11:47 PM

Cell phones are useless in wilderness areas. There are many "dead areas".

Flag 0 rate up
bbh907 Viper1ex19 July 18 2014 at 7:56 AM

Yeah,if you can get a signal out in the middle of nowhere!

Flag 0 rate up
ranger197172 zaticon1 July 17 2014 at 11:58 PM

How about an emergency tracking beacon. May sound expensive but when your life is in danger i think the cost would be justified.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
ranger197172 July 17 2014 at 11:55 PM

Torture is something done to someone. No one tortured him.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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