Risk Management Corner: March 2024

Graham Ottley Graham Ottley
March 13, 2024

Activity Title: Hiking – Hard Time Trail, Temple Canyon

Activity Type: Snowshoeing, Hiking

Activity Start Date: Feb 24, 2024 Activity
End Date: Feb 24, 2024
Activity Category: Snowshoeing
Trip Group/Section: El Pueblo Group

Number of people in party: 8

Geographic Location / Route: Turn around at Recycle Trail going up the first ascent on Hard Time Trail

Trip Name and Number: Hard Time Trail, Temple Canyon

Group Mileage, Elevation +/-: 4.3 miles 500' gain

Type of Injury or Illness (choose multiple if applicable): Laceration Location / Conditions present during incident / injury / illness (check all that apply): On Trail

Mode of Travel: Hiking Immediate Cause: Fall or slip on other Further

Description of Immediate Cause: After lunch at Recycle Trail, we began our ascent back to the trailhead on a mix of soil and rock. The hiker behind me slipped and injured their left thumb and nailbed. I halted the hike, tended to the wound, and offered to arrange transport for them, though they chose to continue. I advised elevation and rerouted our hike to shorten the distance. Later, I directed them to urgent care, where they confirmed their condition was stable before heading home.

Contributory Cause:The injured hiker slipped while ascending the initial part of the first switchback hill on Hard Time Trail, where the terrain consisted of small rocks and dirt. They likely slipped on a rock, falling to the right but managed to catch themselves with their left hand and right foot. This occurred directly above downhill slabs of rock, and the hiker used significant force to prevent a fall onto these rocks. Despite the slip, they maintained footing with only their right downhill foot, left uphill foot, and left hand making contact with the ground. Analysis suggests the slip may have occurred due to a misstep on a small rock, potentially exacerbated by distraction from conversation or not directly observing foot placement.

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