Pack caution and common sense when hiking

LAWTON--The hiker who broke his leg in a fall off Mount Scott and survived for four days and nights on the mountain after the fall last week is recovering in an Oklahoma City-area hospital.

Officials at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge are urging hikers to use caution and common sense when hiking through the refuge.

"I think everybody should come prepared to spend 24 hours, one night even," said Deputy Refuge Manager Ralph Bryant.  "You should pack like you're going to spend a night even if you're planning a two to three hour hike."

Bryant said he recommends hikers pack food, water, and a cell phone for a hike.  He also said it's strongly advised that hikers and climbers tell someone about their plans.  The man who was stuck on Mt. Scott for four days last week hadn't told anyone he was planning the climb.

"From Tuesday until Friday he basically tried to crawl back down the mountain on the roadway and made it about halfway," said Bryant.  "He traveled probably about a mile and a half crawling and pulling himself on ice and sleet."

Bryant also urged hikers to avoid climbing Mt. Scott because most of the top part of the mountain is still covered in ice.  The roads up the mountain are closed to vehicle traffic and could be for some time he said.

"Dress for winter," he said.  You've got to have good footing, good footwear that minimizes slipping.  It's treacherous up there with the ice."

The name of the hiker still hasn't been released and Bryant said at last word the hiker's condition was improving, but a lengthy recovery was a strong likelihood.