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    Hiker’s legs went totally numb on a mountain hike — and the surprise culprit is remarkably common

    By Katherine Donlevy,

    25 days ago

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

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

    “Afterwards, she was unable to feel the skin on her legs and could not continue her hike down,” Inyo County Search & Rescue officials said in a statement.
    A hiker lost feeling in her legs while trekking through California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Inyo County Search & Rescue/Facebook

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    The unidentified woman used the last of her phone battery’s juice to call for help. She relayed her coordinates just before the device died.

    The Inyo County Search & Rescue pushed a wheeled litter the 1.75 miles between the trailhead and the immobilized hiker — but came just a quarter mile short of the victim when the trail became too rough.

    The team stashed the litter and forged ahead until they found the paralyzed woman, who they “slowly walked down the tricky section of the trail while ensuring her safety with ropes.”

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    The entire rescue operation took more than five hours.
    The portion of the John Muir Trail she was hiking through was overgrown at the time and only suitable for high clearance vehicles. Getty Images

    In the days after the scary encounter, medical officials ruled that the bite wasn’t from a spider at all — nor was it even a bite.


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

    In an attempt to avoid the piles of snow on the Mather Pass, the hiker had inadvertently strolled through a patch of stinging nettles on the Taboose Pass trail, which is not regularly maintained and only suitable for high-clearance vehicles.
    The culprit turned out to be a stinging nettle, a plant that causes a burning, tingling sensation and an itchy rash. orestligetka –

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

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

    Fortunately, the symptoms typically do not last longer than 24 hours — and the sheriff’s department confirmed that the hiker is believed to be recovering well.

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