Backpacker

LOST, CRIPPLED, AND COLD

I SHIVERED IN THE DARKNESS, leaning against the barren hillside, my broken leg laid carefully in front of me—positioning my body just like the voices in my head had told me to. They offered advice and encouraging words. Maybe they could help me. “I’m really cold here. Anyone got a blanket?” I asked. No answer.

Three days earlier, I had embarked on a guided group horseback journey through the Montana backcountry. After we pitched camp in the morning, I decided to go on a solo trail run. It had been years since I’d been in the backcountry, but I often

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