Saturday June 18, 2016 Jay Peak on the Long Trail from Route 242 by Jill AspinallThe ascent of Jay Peak started quickly from the trailhead. The climb was manageable, a few stops breaking the steady climb to the summit. The approach and the peak offered glorious open views and photo opp's. Clear skies and warm temperatures were ideal for the hike. We continued along the Long Trail, its green tunnel weaving across a number of ski trails. On the descent to Laura Woodward Shelter, the trail became wet and slippery. To break a fall, one hiker's hand landed badly. Significant pain and swelling were immediate. We stopped to assess and treat the injury. Hand function was compromised. It seemed a finger was broken. A splint was applied and an abrasion cleaned, the five of us working calmly together to piece together first aid supplies and treatment. Being less than one third through a difficult point to point hike, the leader chose to retrace a half mile and evacuate down a ski trail to the Jay Peak base lodge. Their staff were very helpful, providing an ice pack, comfortable space and transportation. We were all off the trail safely. The group was outstanding in support of an injured hiker, and of the decision to abort. The hike will be there for us on another day.
Epilogue: the injured hiker was accompanied to a medical clinic where to great pleasure, the injury was determined to be a dislocation. The finger was relocated under local anesthetic. While equally painful to a break, recovery will be both easier and much shorter.