Hiker Struck by Lightning, No Memory of Incident

Aug 9, 2010
Outside Magazine

Courtesy of Flickr

Brandon Baker has no memory of being struck by lightning last Wednesday, the Star Tribune reports. The 31-year old hiker of Princeton, Minn. was on the summit of 14,259 foot Long's Peak just northwest of Boulder, Colorado when clouds rolled in and lightning  bolts began to strike.  

Planning to ride out the storm and then hike back down, Baker crawled underneath a rock ledge to enjoy the natural spectacle. That is the last thing he remembers. 

"The next thing I knew, I woke up the next morning," Baker said, who talked about the experience from his hospital bed in Denver. Thinking he had merely slept due to hiker's exhaustion,  when he awoke, Baker had no a recolllection of what had happened and had no idea he had been struck until another hiker pointed out the fist-sized wound in the back of his scalp.

"I have a mark on each foot a mark on each elbow and a mark on one shoulder blade. It looks like I was hit by one blast." Baker said. 

On whether he will continue hiking, Baker had no hesitation.

"I would go right back out there tomorrow if my legs didn't feel bad," he said. "It's amazing. You just don't understand until you get to the top of a 14,000-foot peak."

--Shauna Sweeney

Filed To: Climbing

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