Friday, September 25, 2009

Injured hiker survives overnight ordeal

Twin Falls man life-flighted after fall on mountain

Express Staff Writer

Duwayne Krause, a math teacher from Twin Falls, had set his sights on climbing a mountain east of Ketchum twice before. Both times he failed.

But on Sunday, "pumped up" by a book he was reading about Mount Everest, he tried again. This time he made it. However, on the descent he fell and slid off a precipice, setting into motion an ordeal that would last two days, bring him to the attention of paramedics in Ketchum and end in an intensive-care unit in Boise.

"The original plan was to wait it out until morning, but I decided it would be awful cold at night, so I set out," Krause explained from his hospital bed. "I couldn't walk. In order to move, I had to scoot down on my butt."

Krause could not recall the name or location of the mountain he climbed. He didn't make it down by nightfall and spent Sunday night on the mountain.

"I told myself what I tell my students," Krause said. "You have two choices. Is it going to be a good day or a bad day? How are you going to deal with it if things go wrong?"


He said that despite moments of weakness Sunday night, he decided he couldn't give up. At sunrise Monday morning, he set off again, scooting himself down the hill despite the pain. One unconfirmed report indicated that Krause might have suffered a broken femur.

That afternoon, Krause finally reached his car and set off for Ketchum.

"I was going to drive back to Twin Falls and go to the hospital there," Krause said, "but when I got to town, I asked for help at the gas station (Veltex Market)."

There, authorities were contacted and Krause was taken to St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center, then by helicopter to Boise.

"No one knew where I was," he said. "It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to climb."

However, when he didn't show up at work Monday morning, the principal at his school contacted authorities, who began to try to track him down.

Krause is on temporary dialysis to get his kidneys working properly and is awaiting surgery on his hip at St. Alphonsus Hospital.

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