Park rangers are cautioning folks coming to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton to consider conditions, pack accordingly and tell their friends where they’re going.
That’s probably an understatement to a 50-year-old Texas man who climbed the refuge’s MountScott in the midst of the recent ice storm, according to The Associated Press.
According to AP, the man ” who is yet to be named ” spent four days and nights in subfreezing, sleeting, snowing, raining weather, writhing down the ice-covered, boulder-strewn hill after slipping on the ice and breaking his leg.
“From Tuesday until Friday he basically tried to crawl back down the mountain on the roadway and made it about halfway,” said Deputy Refuge Manager Ralph Bryant. “He traveled probably about a mile and a half crawling and pulling himself on ice and sleet.”
“¦ With his leg broken just above the ankle, Bryant said.
And we thought the storm was tough because the grocery store ran out of fried chicken.
To the man’s credit, he made it to the top before he broke his leg ” but the top of the mountain ain’t the end of the trip. Bryant said the summit of MountScott was covered with ice; the road up it was closed during the week.
“Dress for winter,” Bryant said, to those still interested in scaling the peak. “You’ve got to have good footing, good footwear that minimizes slipping. It’s treacherous up there with the ice.”
Bryant said one should pack more than a good book or a Game Boy if hiking into a howling winter storm in the wilderness. A cell phone is a good idea. Also, unlike this guy, one should tell a friend or family member where one is going and how long one expects to be, Bryant said.
“I think everybody should come prepared to spend 24 hours, one night even,” said Bryant. “You should pack like you’re going to spend a night even if you’re planning a two- to three-hour hike.”
A group of hikers (yes, there were more people out there) found the man and he was transferred to an Oklahoma City-area hospital to recover, according to the story.