Mike Anderson's Slight Mishap 11 Months before the Pikes Peak Ascent

On September 6, 2000 I was hiking in the high mountains in central Colorado, above 13,500. It was very early in the morning, before sunrise, and quite cool. I was with my brother, Wayne, but we were totally alone.

The wind was very strong and we decided to step off of the ridge where we were standing in order to get out of the wind. I took my pack off and started down.

There was about a three foot drop-off from the top of the ridge and below that was a steep rocky area. Using my hands, I lowered myself off the ledge and onto the rocks. I seemed to be firmly planted, so I let go of the ledge and put my full weight on the rocks. Suddenly, the entire area began to slide under my feet. I tried to step to the left, to get out of the slide, but this only caused me to gain speed. I was trying to go left, but my momentum was carrying me down the hill. Within about 2 seconds, I was going full speed. I was still on my feet, but was moving at a sprinter's pace. Finally, my right leg buckled, I hit the rocks in front of me and flipped completely over. When I came down, I stuck in and outcropping of rock that stopped my descent, even if the rocks behind me kept sliding a ways.

I thought for sure that I had broken my right ankle, but I slowly moved it around, and then my left ankle. My brother called down to me and the first thing I said was, "Well, my ankle's not broke!"

This picture was taken about 36 hours later.  That red mark is a hematoma, caused by internal bleeding of the damaged ligaments.