In case you need a reminder to get off high peaks in Colorado before noon, there’s the story of Minnesota hiker Brandon Baker. The divorced father of two summitted Longs Peak by late afternoon on Wednesday when (surprise) clouds rolled in and a ferocious storm began. Baker took shelter underneath a rocky ledge with plans to wait the storm out.
Bad idea: Baker woke up a whole day later, with tingling in his fingers and toes and no memory of what happened. It was only when another camper looking for him pointed out his fist-sized head wound that he realized he’d been struck by lightning.
Baker is now recuperating at a Denver hospital, and says “right now, everything is normal.” Doctors say he could eventually experience memory problems from the strike.
“I would go right back up there tomorrow if my legs didn’t feel bad,” he said. “It’s amazing once you get up there. You just don’t understand until you get to the top of a 14,000-foot peak.”
Tough or stupid? Share your thoughts (and your own lightning close-calls) in the comments section below.