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Trapped on Tiny Ledge, Fallen Hiker with Mangled Legs Rescued by Off-Duty Air Force Hero

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An off-duty Air Force Captain proved himself worthy of rank and regalia after conducting a daring rescue of a fallen hiker on the shoulder of Yosemite’s Half Dome.

Capt. Joshua Haveman, 60th Air Evacuation Squadron, was hiking the famous peak in September when he saw a climber slip in wet conditions and fall perhaps as many as 80 feet down onto a precarious ledge.

Haveman and the other hiker were at a section of the hike where in order to pass up solid granite, a series of cables embedded into the rock are necessary for safety and leverage. If they don’t have a harness, rope, and carabiners to secure themselves to the cables, hikers are left simply holding on to them or using them as handholds.

Without hesitation, Haveman took action. Faced with harsh winds, slippery rock, and hail, he made a decision to venture outside the permanent cable barriers to reach the fallen climber, Travis Air Force Base wrote in a statement.

His climbing experience and extensive medical training proved invaluable in this life-or-death situation.

“You could see that his legs were not naturally oriented at all, so I started collecting sticks from Sub Dome and started climbing,” Haveman recalled. “Other climbers were concerned for my safety, but the guy was just up there screaming in pain, so I left the cable area and climbed on the ledge.”

Using makeshift splints fashioned from sticks, Haveman provided crucial first aid to the injured climber by securing above and below the tibia/fibula fracture and wrapping his injured ankle with an ace bandage he had in a medical kit he had brought.

To shield the climber from the harsh elements and apparent shock, Haveman covered the climber with his jacket while organizing a call to search and rescue.

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93-Year-Old Summits Yosemite’s Half Dome ‘Stubborn as a Mule’

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Everett Kalin was looking for an adventure to celebrate his birthday. For a man of his age, that might entail going out to eat ethnic food, but the 93-year-old Californian had other plans.

“When you hit your 90s, you think, ‘What would be some things I’d like to do?’” he told SF Gate. “… I guess Half Dome was the thing that most popped into my mind.”

Half-Dome—the monumental mass of granite in Yosemite Valley is no place for faint hearts or knackered knees. For those with apposite fitness, it’s a 14-16 hour endeavor that involves gaining and then losing over 4,000 feet in elevation. Toward the top, cables embedded in the rocks require upper body strength to pull oneself up steep inclines.

Despite all that, Everett was determined, and requisitioned the company of his son Jon, 57, and granddaughter Sidney, 19, for the excursion.

Training hard, Everett made ample use of the days leading up to the trek to walk up and down stairs, and around Lake Merritt.

Then the day of the hike came, and Everett admits that he probably underestimated the difficulty of the beginning half, with plenty of steep paths that he described as slick.

Jon and Sidney helped him along every step of the way, even pushing on his backside during particularly vertical bits.

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Off-Duty Officer Hailed as Hero for Rescuing Woman Who ‘Disappeared’ Under the Waterfall

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During a hiking trip in Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, a group of swimmers had the good fortune of being found by some hikers that included an off-duty police officer who ended up saving their friend from a raging edy.

The officer, Bruce Lake, was exploring the Laverty Falls area with his wife and friends, and though being hailed as a hero, he was initially told that everything was okay.

Thankfully piercing the veil of the social contract, one of Lake’s friends said that a woman out in the water appeared to be exhausted and might need some help, and that’s when the whole party watched her disappear under the foam after making a short-lived attempt to return to shore.

“She was kind of stuck between these two little waterfalls,” Lake recalled. “She immediately went underneath and then came back up again right near the rock and then grabbed the rock and held on. So she was obviously a little scared.”

Global News quotes Dave Brosha, one of Lake’s friends, who described the events as something “out of a bad movie” after the woman disappeared a second time, but wasn’t remerging, and that’s when the aptly-named Lake made his move, jumping into the water and swimming to the rock to help.

Reaching the rock, the water was deeper than he expected, and the rescue plan devolved to essentially waving his arms and legs about seeing if he could touch her, and as fortune would have it, his hand brushed her arm.

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Hugely Popular Hiking App Releases 27,000 Trail Maps to Download for Free to Increase Hiker Safety

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One of the most popular hiking apps has made 27,000 trail maps available for download for free in a bid to increase hiker safety.

Most hikers, if they’re honest, will at some point have experienced this situation: they thought they needed to follow one trail, but instead they followed another. Seeking to reorient themselves, they timidly pulled out their smartphone and see, as they suspected, there was no reception of any kind.

Last year, search and rescue missions were up 32% across the US. This is mainly down to the hikers being inadequately prepared. Access to offline maps would help ensure that all hikers can be best prepared for their hike.

To that end, the Irish hiking app HiiKER has released all trail maps in its database for download free of charge. They can either choose to download them directly to their smartphone or as a GPX file to their smartwatch—saving the battery of their device while away from electricity access.

“Hiker Safety is our absolute priority. Offering hikers Free Offline maps on HiiKER, means that everyone can feel confident that they’re on track, regardless of mobile service,” said Paul Finlay, CEO and Founder of HiiKER.

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