Strangers Carry Injured Woman Down the Mountain When She Couldn't Continue Hike

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When a Colorado woman collapsed at the top of a 14,000 feet summit in the Rocky Mountains, strangers banded together to carry her all the way down.

“It was just so amazing,” 55-year-old Beverly Wedelstedt told “Amazing humanity.”

She explained that she and some friends were hiking Gray’s Peak last Saturday when Wedelstedt felt her knee give out.

“There was this step — like 2 feet tall and it’s a rock so you have to step down,” she explained. “I put my poles down, and I put my right leg down, and I jumped with my left leg. I heard this pop ... you’ll never forget the noise.”

Wedelstedt said she immediately fell to the ground.

“[I was] at a very narrow part of it, and there’s all kinds of people behind us,” she said. “People stopped and they kind of helped me to the side."

When one hiker attempted to help her up, "it popped again, and my knee went one way … yeah, it was brutal."

Wedelstedt quickly realized she would not be able to put any weight on her leg, and worried how she would descend the mountain. She was with two friends at the time, while the other friends had already finished their hike and were waiting at the car.

"I was sitting there like, what am I going to do? How am I going to get off this hill?" she wondered. "We’ve got 3.5 miles to go."

But strangers who had seen her fall immediately jumped into action, collecting bandannas, knee sleeves and medical tape to fashion her walking poles into a splint.

Two doctors at the scene said, after a quick evaluation, that it appeared she had torn her ACL.

As her friends discussed how best so support her down the narrow trail together, another hiker chimed in, saying he'd carry her himself.

“One gentleman says, ‘I’m military. Are you comfortable doing a fireman carry? I’m going to throw you over my shoulder,'" Wedelstedt said. “I’m thinking, really nice kid, good looking, I weigh 160 pounds and he wants to do this? He’s like, ‘Yes, ma’am, I’m active military.’”

Moments later, Wedelstedt was slung over his shoulder, her leg supported by the makeshift splint.

“He walked for 200 yards, and then the other guys were all like, ‘We want to learn to do that,’” she said. “So they all learned from him and they all carried me, fireman style, 2.5 miles down that hill.”

The group eventually met up with Alpine Rescue volunteers, who said they’ve never seen anything like it.

Doctors at the hospital later confirmed she tore her ACL and meniscus. Despite the injury, Wedelstedt said she was inspired by the experience.

“It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen,” she said. “They’re like, ‘Well, yeah, this is what you do,’ and I’m like, ‘This is not normal,’ however, I’m starting to believe this is normal. People are just going to be nice.”  


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