Rescue on the Mountain
This is gonna be a long one but you gotta read it and see it!
On the evening of 12/15/21 around 6pm I asked Ann to mute the TV as I thought I heard a deep strange bark from an odd direction. By 8pm it was constant and not moving, By walking around the yard at the Inn we determined it was coming from nearly the peak of the mountain to our West. So with my fearless, focused partner (she’s damned fast in the night woods and accurate too) we geared up, drove to the trailhead and started in. This pup didn’t quit calling which helped us zero in and we tried to bushwhack off trail to reach him. A wet slick rock face stopped us but we could see him above. We backtracked and headed East then West to the peak and this time tried to slip down to him but…another rock face stopped us just 15ft from the lost pup. Turns out he’s a 2yr old 140lb Harlequin Great Dane who had slid down the rock face and come to rest on a ledge not much larger than he was. He didn’t seem to be injured and he settled and got quiet once we were close. Ann tried to toss him some food but we weren’t going to be able to get to him without more help. We’ve got good cell service so we started calling for additional rescue but by now it’s past 10pm and it becomes clear no-one can help until at least daylight. For mid December the night was comfortable so we sat there as close as we could get to him for a long while and since my pack is well stocked for an emergency stay, we briefly considered staying the night but then decided to GPS mark the location and hike out to put a daylight plan together. Ann was a worried wreck on that hike down. Back at the Inn I made some more calls and when I stepped outside one more time at about 2am I could hear him howling kind of softly all the way up there. Glad he was still there and seemingly ok but we were heartbroken to have left him.
6am and we hear him barking again and as it starts to get light I gear up with some minimalist climbing gear and head back up wanting to get to him and keep him calm while hopefully waiting for a call that more help would come. It did. With coordination from Gerton FD they called me for coordinates and while they headed my way they got Henderson County Rescue to roll. The combined effort was nothing short of inspiring and as you’ll see in the storyboard of videos and photos, a great success. Pup is home resting no worse for the adventure.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to everybody who came to help on that mountain today.