A Hiker’s Legs Went Totally Numb While Hiking in the Mountains – and the Surprise Culprit Is Remarkably Common

California rescuers descended on the Sierra Nevada mountains last week to save a hiker who suddenly lost all feeling in her legs due to a mysterious attacker.

The woman had stopped around 6:30 p.m. to get water from a stream along the park’s Taboose Pass when she felt a sting that she thought was a spider bite.

“Afterward, she was unable to feel the skin on her legs and was unable to continue her descent,” Inyo County Search and Rescue officials said in a statement.

A hiker lost all feeling in her legs while hiking in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Inyo County Search and Rescue/Facebook

The unidentified woman used the remaining battery on her phone to call for help. She transmitted her coordinates just before the device turned off.

Inyo County Search and Rescue pushed a litter on wheels 1.75 miles from the trailhead to the stranded hiker – but came within just a quarter-mile of the victim when the trail became too rugged.

The team hid the trash and continued until they found the paralyzed woman, whom they “walked slowly along the difficult section of the trail while securing her safety with ropes.”

The entire rescue operation lasted more than five hours.

The portion of the John Muir Trail she was traveling at the time was overgrown and only suitable for high-clearance vehicles. Getty Images

In the days following the frightening encounter, medical authorities ruled that the bite was not from a spider at all – or even a bite.

“Rescuers believe the individual who needed to be rescued was stung by nettles located on the overgrown trail,” Lindsey Stine of the county sheriff’s office told the Post.

In an attempt to avoid snow drifts at Mather Pass, the hiker had inadvertently wandered into an area of ​​stinging nettles on the Taboose Pass trail, which is not regularly maintained and is only suitable for large vehicles. clearance.

The culprit turned out to be nettle, a plant that causes burning, tingling and itching. orestligetka – stock.adobe.com

The leaves and young stems of nettles have stinging hairs tipped with formic acid and other irritants that can cause irritation by puncturing the skin, according to Britannica.

If touched, these needle-like hairs inject the stinging acid into the skin, triggering a burning, stinging sensation and an itchy rash.

Fortunately, symptoms usually don’t last more than 24 hours — and the sheriff’s department confirmed the hiker will recover well.

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