West Coast Trail - First Attempt- June 28,2011


We have been planning this trip for the last 9 months; from the right gear, to the timing, to the training et etc. We are extremely excited that it is finally here. Robin, myself and Dan are finally flying out to do the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. We decided to start with the harder portion first which meant the Port Renfrew trail head. Our packs weighed approx. mine- 40-42 lbs, Robins and Dans about 54 lbs each.

Everything was going smoothly;the flights were smooth and on time,;the Lodge we stayed at in port Renfrew was awesome; orientation- done! a full house though so it was a big group going our the next morning( we decided to do out Parks Canada orientation the afternoon before so that we could get an early start the next day); dinner was awesome. It was perfect!.

On the 28th , we head out to the dock so that we can take the boat accross to the trailhead. We start out and feel like we are in the land of giants, the trees , the humidity . The trail was not easy but we were doing well averaging 45 minutes a kilometer; climbing ladders, obstacles; IT WAS AWESOME!!!! Then just past kilometer 72, I take the route to the left , slip and fall. Damn , I thought to myself, this wasn't even a difficult obstacle. As I fall I hear a crack, I roll over and it feels as though my arm is broken. I CANNOT believe this. This can't be!!! We just started! It felt like a bone was sticking out to the front of my shoulder and it was painful. There was a group just behind us that had two doctors. They confirmed it was a dislocated shoulder. They tried to pop it back without success. I am really feeling the pain now and I have to hold my arm to the front of me if not it is scrutiating pain. The boys rigged up a sort of splint that gave me a tad of support. We decided to head back. It took over 6 hours to make it the the trail head. It was tough, it was painful. Search and Rescue met us about half way. Two great people I must say. It was a 2-1/2 hour ambulance ride from Port Renfrew to Victoria and let me tell you, those roads are brutal. After twelve hours of this ordeal, they finally put me under at the hospital and placed by shoulder bak in place. I don't believe I have felt pain like this since natural childbirth.

So sadly, our trip ended up abruptly. I have a minimum of 12 weeks recovery ( sling and physio) and then try to build strength back.

Disapointing to say the least. BUT only 11 months and 30 days before we go back to try it again. We definately intend on going back next year!!