Soon after starting the ascent again, Ellen White was involved in a bad accident. She had her pony well under control when the strap holding her bedding roll gave way. In a letter to Edson and Emma she described what followed:
As I was in the best of spirits, enjoying the scenery very much, my pack behind me became unloosened and dangled against the horse's heels. Your father had tarried behind to arrange his pack more securely.
I was between two companiesóthree of our company ahead and five behind me. I saw the situation of things, slipped my feet from the stirrup, and was just ready to slip from the saddle to the ground and in one moment should have been safe. But the pony was frightened and threw me over his back. I struck my back and my head. I knew I was badly hurt, but felt assured no bones were broken. I could scarcely breathe or talk for some time, but finally improved a little. I was in great pain through my head, neck, shoulders, and back, and bowels (letter 14, 1872).