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#72992 - 10/26/07 01:27 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: midnightsun03]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
Before I continue... I am not disrespecting you... I am very appreciative for your time and concern as well as the others than have responded.

Here is my friend's experiences and I am sure his Hiker buddies are as experienced in the GC. (Cut and Paste from his email to me)


"No problem. This will be my 15th hike. I've done Bright Angel a few times, Havasupai a few times, New Hance twice, Tanner Trail once, South Kaibab twice, Monument Creek once, Hermit Rapids once, etc..

And I have seen some interesting things......

- One friend had really bad shoes and got the worse blisters I've ever seen
- One friend left his food in his tent (even though I told him he shouldn't) when we went to the river to swim and some kind of animal ate through the tent and drag out all his food
- One friend slept too close to the Colorado River and was awakened by rushing water (the dam authorities released some water overnight to mimic natural flood waters). The water was two feet from his tent.
- Another friend decided to try to hike out alone and almost got lost in a side canyon
- One friend twisted his ankle on the way down and made it up because he had some good pain killers."


Every valid question you guys asked or challenged of me... I went and seeked out the answers.

I am getting a reputation from the wives as stirring trouble and scaring the others.

Erik, basically said if you stay on the trail we will be fine.
(no Offense to Pika's experiences)... Three Hikers who have been on both the Hermit Trial and New Hance said it is better for us to go on the New Hance Trail as long as we are not trying to climb it or get heat exhausted or go off trail. Yes it will be a physical challenge but we will be going up hill in two trips.

I feel like I am asking you guys for a second opinion... but having the advantage of going back and forth to ask some more... I am sorry if this is frustrating to you guys... but I am getting more info this way. Heck, Looking it up on Google didn't even provide me with the right questions to ask.

I hope you guys will still wish me luck even if we decide to continue with our plans and no ill will between anyone of us.

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#72993 - 10/26/07 01:45 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Imager take 'our' collective experience for what you will, in the end you will go if that's what you decide. We're here to offer you our candid, and sometimes sarcastic(me), opinions from actual experience. This isn't a 'virtual' website that is benign; what we discuss here can mean the life and death of someone; that's why we seriously caution you. If we wanted 'entertainment' we could bs you til the cows come home then laugh after you went. We've all been in your shoes in many outdoor venues, some more experience than others in certain areas. Those of us less knowledgable wait for the others to chime in and we learn from them. I live in NJ right now but spent a few years in AZ and hiked the GC enough to know my own limits, I'm trying to get you to understand your's. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
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#72994 - 10/26/07 04:47 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Tomcat1066 Offline
member

Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 31
Loc: Albany, GA
lmager,

I'm pretty new to backpacking myself, so I can relate to your concerns pretty well. As such, here's a few things I feel I should say to you.

First, if there is some resistance from your fellow hikers to your questions, and you're being pressured to go despite any misgivings you're having based on the advice you're getting here, then you should seriously reconsider joining these people on this trip. The transcripts of chats you posted indicated that these are fair young guys, correct? If so, keep in mind that the young tend to believe they are bulletproof. I know I did. The "wives" are lumping you as a trouble maker and feel you're trying to scare the others? Convenient of the "wives" to want you to knock it off, but not the husbands who you are having the contact with, don't you think?

Backpacking sounds like a safe, fun activity, and it is...but there is a serious potential for danger on this one. Backpackers die from a variety of things, so when experienced backpackers (many of whom I suspect have done far more than 14 hikes) say something could be life threatening, I'd start to listen.

Obviously, you're going to hike whatever trail you hike, and I sincerely hope you have a fun and safe time. However, I still want to urge you to listen to folks who aren't trying to pressure you by playing the macho card or guilt trip you into a decision. You only get one life after all <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Tom

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#72995 - 10/26/07 08:34 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Imager
Hi dude,
I liked your humble apolgy to the group.
This a funny collection of people here. Theres about a million years of collective experience here. We have members who grew up in artic villages and camped with grizzlies as children. We have some extreme world class athletes and people who have been through more than you can even imagine who are trying to give you the benefit of their experience. We have former frogmen, commandos, etc, We actually care about you - we do not want our members dying doing this OK? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

OK
Given the kind of energy that the members here have put out to tell you not to do this.
DO NOT DO IT

Its strange how people can have such different ideas about about things, and how individuals can hold highly divergent ideas in their minds at the same time. Chaos rules...
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
P.S. don't go on this one.
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#72996 - 10/27/07 07:20 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
This has become a fascinating discussion and I think you are handling a perplexing situation quite well. To me, your description of your group and your collective capabilities reads like the preamble to many rescue events carried out by the NPS in Grand Canyon. They get a lot of work.

One thing that is peculiar to hiking the Canyon is that you begin your trip with a descent rather than a climb. This has the effect of wearing out your legs and then presenting you with a major challenge, the uphill thrash to your car. This can set the stage for a bad situation, as your ailing body struggles upward.

At your level of experience, the Hance is not a good idea. You might do it and find the experience so negative that you will give up any further backpacking. This often happens when someone gets in over their heads. It is better to start with something easy, even trivial, gaining experience and learning to cope with problems. Out of maybe three hundred SAR victims of which I had personal knowledge, the one common denominator was inexperience. There were perhaps two exceptions to this generalizaion.

Go easy and upgrade the difficulty of the trips you attempt and you will comfortably find the kind of trips that both challenge and reward you. This varies with the individual, which probably accounts for the diversity of opinion you are finding. The beauty of outdoor pursuits is the huge diversity of situations you can encounter. Just remember that what is an easy walk in the park for A, is the challenge of a lifetime for B.

Anyway, best wishes and good luck on your future trips. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#72997 - 10/27/07 08:52 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: oldranger]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
When I first started backpacking and hiking I did trips I had no experience for. I didn't know it, till the first time I got myself into trouble. I lost my feelings of bravado quite fast as I ended up in a fast moving ice cold creek that was about to take me down creek. Or later when 3/4 of the way up a avy chute I realized that my "experienced" friend had ditched me, I couldn't get traction with my snow shoes and the run out was sharp pointy rocks below. That day I felt a fear that took me nearly 20 minutes to be able to breathe right. I crawled to a pile of rocks in the chute and clung there till I quit shaking like an earthquake, ate and figured out how the heck I was going to get up. I couldn't go down. And that is a fear one NEEDS. It keeps you alive!

I am a much more timid hiker these days - I still take risks, but I calculate every risk I take. I often without thinking ask myself "is it worth it?". "Will I put myself or others in danger?". I have a kid and a husband waiting for me at home, and nothing is worth it to never see them again.

I'd also add this: it is easy to laugh off that nothing will happen. And chances are, nothing will happen. But you never know. And if it does, can you live with the memory? This year in the GC, a good friend was on a trip with a group that included a mutual hiking partner couple who I had known for a number of years. The wife died during the trip in the GC. It affected everyone on that trip deeply. Her death has driven home to me even more so my feelings of being more timid with my decisions. What I used to laugh off I don't anymore. I take being dehydrated, heat sickness, etc very, very seriously. I realize that not every trip is worth the risk. Her death proved well that if something bad happens, it happens fast and there is little you can do to stop it.

So ask yourself this: is this trip worth it? Having hiked in group dynamics for years, it isn't the place we remember but rather the good times and the people, and how much fun we had exploring safely. The trips where things didn't feel so good safety wise become stories of lore that we tell new friends on what not to do. Getting out with good friends is half the trip. The other half is having a good time.

Proving manhoods should only be done if you have excellent insurance. And I mean that seriously. In the past couple years there have been a number of men lost on Rainier in non-guided trips who went in bad weather. And a couple cases of no insurance and leaving families behind. Very, very sad.That same thing happened to the family of a hiker nearby: SAHM and 8 kids. Very, very bad. The wives of your buddies should be asking exactly how much life insurance they carry!
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#72998 - 10/27/07 09:09 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Jimshaw]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
Jim,

Thank you for your response.
It kinda shocking to me, with all the "kind of energy that the members here have put out to tell you not to do this."

And I wholehearted respect their advice and opinion.
I am not letting it go, ONLY because I do value their gracious time and advice.

Since you read the thread.
You might had a chance to read the transcript between my friend and his hiking buddies.
Their opinion is on the opposite, but still cautious.

Chris, one of Erik's hiking buddies is from Flagstaff, AZ and he recommends New Hance over Hermit, base on his experience.

Erik, our team Leader, lived in AZ for 8 years where he met Chris and Dan, basically said... there was not a point on the new Hance trail where he felt if he stumble he was going off a cliff and anything close to that level of danger. One of his hiking buddies Dan (also an Avid backpacker) is afraid of heights and was very aware of that type of danger. Remember New Hance trail was originally designed for tourists.

Erik has even been on New Hance in July at 115 degree temperature.
As I understand it, The trip was planned for November to avoid the extreme heat and to limit those kinds of danger factor. Not to say it won't be cold, but according to Erik, it will not be anywhere like his 26 miles roundtrip hike at Pike's Peak.

Erik has read the website article on New Hance trail and the danger the author spoke of.
From his experience and his hiking buddies experience, those situations can be avoided by staying on Trail (in which they have done in the nighttime hike) and extreme heat by going in NOV. and Not doing any climbing. According to Erik, this is where majority of the casualty and injuries occur. doing the foolish things. In addition, New Hance trail is about 7.5 miles, in which it is the second to shortest trail, and all trails in the GC have a steepness to them.

After being on this website and getting the correct questions to ask, I have more confidence in knowing that our group have planned correctly. The thing is Erik has GC experience as well as other places backpacking experiences... he is not a bragger.

(speaking in a very respectful tone) Beside from reading the New Hance Trail description, who has actually been on this trail from this site?

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#72999 - 10/27/07 09:09 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: sarbar]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I think you have hit a key point. In the woods, you need the ability to evaluate the hazard and make that key decision about whether or not it is worth it. Risk assessment comes about basically from experience or a very good mentor. Perhaps a civil, courteous forum can help, too. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#73000 - 10/27/07 10:12 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: sarbar]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
Thank you for sharing your story.

This year has been quite thought provoking for me too.
I belonged to a Sportbike forum and this year and last year quite a few of the riders we all knew past away. A couple that often rides, past away on Memorial day weekend on a boating accident not drinking and not even on a bike, leaving two young kids.

This event and others has got me to sell my motorcycle earlier this year after 7 years of safe riding.

I also manage my risk, that is what you have to do when you ride a motorcycle.

Now on my GC trip, yes there are some danger involved but from experienced hikers who have been on this particular trail... the risk is managable. But if I was to base my opinion only on the article about New Hance Trail, I would not go.

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#73001 - 10/27/07 11:21 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Imager...

Since you seem bent on going, please, when you get back, give us an HONEST appraisal of the trip. We won't "told you so" here... but I think it is only fair after all that has been said here.

A few years ago we had someone come to this forum with dozens of questions about hiking the GC. The plan was for a family trip, kids in the early teen/tween age, taking a "safe" trail using a conservative trip plan. This person had experience backpacking as a family, and after having asked so many questions, felt fully confident and prepared. The trip turned into an EPIC, did not go anywhere near as planned, and resulted in a life-threatening situation for one of the kids. They were essentially rescued by another group, and survived only because of them. They did not encounter any unexpected circumstances, they just weren't able to handle the circumstances they thought they were prepared for.

MNS


Edited by midnightsun03 (10/28/07 10:02 AM)
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#73002 - 10/27/07 09:22 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: oldranger]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Imager,

I don't know whether you should go or not.

I do know that the other trails mentioned as "experience" are relatively benign compared to the New Hance/Red Canyon. However, even on the Corridor Trails, people die.

It is good that you are planning on Nov rather than July (which would be prima facie evidence of insanity). <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> Clearly there is some awareness of issues on the part of your group.

I'm guessing everyone in your group falls into the category of highest risk for having accidents/fatalites at GC: males in good athletic condition between the ages of 18 & 32. This is objective fact and should be carefully accounted in your thinking.

A couple suggestions for further research:
1) Read "Death in the Grand Canyon". Written by an MD who had been at the hospital there and had seen a lot plus researched a lot more. It has the humorous and amazing -- such as the actress doing a commercial shoot on the edge and took a tumble and was saved only by someone grabbing her bra; <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> or the kid that rode his bike over the edge and only got a few scratches. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> But it also gives instances of people who got in trouble -- sometimes fatally -- and reading it can give you a feel for the weight of what you are planning on doing.

2) Call the Backcountry Information Center. You can talk to them by phone in the afternoons (AZ time) from 1-5pm. Their number is (um, getting it off one of my permits) 928/638-7875. Tell them your story and follow their advice.

I'm glad you are not taking offense at the mention of "trolling". We have had some goofball posts here, and your initial post was such that legitimately a number of eybrows were raised and alarm bells went off with some of the regular posters here.

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#73003 - 10/27/07 09:30 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: sarbar]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Sarbar
You have the scariest stories here.

Anyway I have reread this entire thread and:
1) No fatal acidents reported.
2) no official rescues or medevacs were reported.
3) No cases of extreme exposure were reported.
4) No one got seriously lost withor without a compass or map.
5) Sarbar nearly died being in an icey stream.
6) no ones tent blew away or blew up.
7) no one hd to be treated for hypothermia or dehydration.

So was this because these "smart" people carried the ten essentials? Or because they forgot them? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Bottom line - is there any one item or items that could have made a real difference in these cases of backcountry stupidity? Was survival (besides Sarbar) ever a question, or merely discomfort? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Makes ya wonder how many man miles between epic rescues. I think you're more apt to be struck by lightening. Sorry Earthling, you have the only fatality story and no equipment could have saved your friend from such awesome natural power.

I have to wonder, were these people just statistics waiting to happen? Would they have been hit by taxicabs or something if they had stayed home?

Are we being unfairly burdened by extremely rare incidences blown up by the news media? Remeber this is not a climbing group and we have to limit this to backpacking and hiking so climbers on mt hood don't count. How dangerous is hiking and backpacking? Frankly it seems like most make it through with just a few scrapes.

I broke my leg at an orienteering meet running through the woods. I would never have done that except it was a timed meet. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />
I had warm clothes a canteen and a power bar. I was alright until rescue arrived. Yes I was actually rescued, carried by rangers in a state park. oh god it hurts now to tell <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> I also had my first aid with me - so I took two vicodan. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> Anyway thats the last time that:
1) I've been injured in the woods.
2) I've carried any first aid besides pain meds.
3) I've carried a map
4) I've carried a compass

Once when I was a Boy Scout I cut my self because my knife was too sharp. After that I would draw the blade across a rock at the trailhead to insure that I didn't cut off a finger. No I rarely carry a knife even though or perhaps because I have a medium sized collection of them.

Bottom line - stupid camping can be uncomfortable, but its rarely life threatening, so why should we get so uptight about danger associated with camping?

Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#73004 - 10/27/07 11:50 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I'll give it to you a bit differently Imager. Risk is something we all take and decide what is acceptable. I'm not sure I'd do that hike - I might, given someone good to go with. I'd be worried about my condition, but I might go with someone who knows my hiking abilities, and who I trust. I'd be prepared to bail if it
got ugly. Difference is I hike, a fair bit, and I've been on epic nasty trips and I know I can still smile and enjoy it.

On the other hand, I do take new backpackers out on occasion. and here's the deal. I'd *never* take a newbie on that trip. I don't take them on anything so potentially epic and unrelenting. Why? not because I think they're "not worthy" or any such macho crap. I simply want a new backpacker to have
a *good time* and enjoy themselves so they will want to go again, and maybe progress into other more challenging hikes, like this one.

My biggest concern looking at these posts actually isn't for your ability. the fact that you at least appear to be trying to do your homework means you likely won't die. I am however, concerned that your experienced group leader is thinking a lot more about the trip he wants to do, and is probably experienced enough to do, than thinking about the kind of trip you are going to have as a first timer. Sorry dude, I just know too many people who I talk to who say "backpacking sucks" because their
first experience was like that - Someone took them out with no thought as to their experience level, and of course, then ended up hating it - just like hauling big packs in a circle in the army.
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#73005 - 10/28/07 12:42 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: phat]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Amen to that; you are right on.

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#73006 - 10/28/07 02:48 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
jaiden Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 123
Quote:
Thank you very much for your apology and especially your time spend on discussion with me. Really really appreciative.... even though I might not follow your wise advice.


Imager, if you're as nice in person as you seem on here, I think you deserve to have a great time. Welcome to the forums.

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#73007 - 10/28/07 03:53 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: jaiden]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
>"Imager, if you're as nice in person as you seem on here, I think you deserve to have a great time. Welcome to the forums."
*********************

Yes, I certainly want to echo that. Perhaps the alarm bells that were set off by your early post caused us to overlook expressing our welcome to you.
_________________________
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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#73008 - 10/28/07 04:09 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Keith]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
The recent posts regarding Imager's trip reminded me of another adventurer we gave strong warnings too a while back... Erin McKittre, who came here looking for advice on going lightweight on her duo hike from Seattle to the Alaskan Peninsula. I had forgotten all about her trip until now... went to her blog and it appears that she and her husband have atleast made it to Juneau so far... successfully navigating through at least one section that was potentially hazardous. So... we do sound the alarms because it is the responsible thing to do, but that doesn't mean trips aren't possible. I appreciate that Imager has taken it upon himself to seek out information, and he should be lauded for that.

MNS
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#73009 - 10/30/07 12:59 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: midnightsun03]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
In Erin's case, I think she had more experience than she let on at first, so her scheme sounded pretty hare-brained, to say the least.

Imager, One thing you will find here is that we get a lot of questions from new backpackers and some of them intend to take challenging trips with little or no experience.

Most of the members actively discourage that, except Earthling, who is a true Darwinist (and a guy who sailed his homemade boat from the East Coast all the way to the West Coast of Mexico).

Your friends may be ready for this trip and have done it or ones like it before, but the question is whether you can do it. They think you can, but they might not be the best judges of that for a lot of reasons. The first being that they've done it so of course, you, their friend, can do it because they wouldn't have a wussie for a friend.

This is really flawed thinking. You could be in the best shape possible, but slip or otherwise make a simple mistake because of inexperience and then find yourself with a problem.

My guess is regardless of what you read here, you are going. Have fun, but be careful. We could regale you with story after story about both novice and experienced hikers and climbers who made simple mistakes that were costly, but I'm not sure those have any value.

Just don't let your buddies talk you into anything. The only time I let someone do that to me, I wound up getting hurt; not badly, but enough to be a good lesson. And I knew better.


Edited by TomD (10/30/07 01:04 AM)
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#73010 - 10/30/07 03:50 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
The truth is it's very, very difficult to judge a person's capability based on a few posts, or even many posts, and it's very very easy to make false assumptions.

The platform that supports a person's ability to succeed safely consists of many facets. Experience, both in and out of backpacking, is certainly important. But so is physical conditioning, mental fortitude, age, and scores of other factors. And multiply all those by the number of other people they'll be with. A newbie's chances rise considerably in the presence of experienced partners. Then again a newbie can also be a liability to an experienced party.

Sometimes on other boards I'll see folks ask questions like "How long will it take me to get from point Y to point X?" or "How much water will I need to get to the summit?" And then I see exact answers being offered. "3 hours" or "2.5 quarts". I cringe at that. How can anyone offer advice based on so little information?

Of course there are certain red flags. If someone proclaims that they're going to make the first solo ascent of K-2 in December wearing sandals, I'll try to discourage them.

So what is my point?

Nothing. Just ranting <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

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#73011 - 10/30/07 11:59 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Trailrunner]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Quote:
Of course there are certain red flags. If someone proclaims that they're going to make the first solo ascent of K-2 in December wearing sandals, I'll try to discourage them.


Oh, come on, now where is the fun in that?

Seriously, there was a guy who was going to climb Everest in shorts; I wonder if he ever got started.
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#73012 - 10/31/07 09:49 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: TomD]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Darwian-ian as I may seem to some of you here <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />; i plan my trips based on my experience and knowledge from past adventures. If I deem a trip somewhat more hazardous than normal I generally go it alone so as not to endanger anyone tagging along. I always leave a float, flight, or trip plan with folks that know me well enough not to pee themselves if I'm a day or 2 overdue <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> I trust in my skills but you may think the boat looks like the one from Gilligan's island <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> and would rather not board, enough said <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
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#73013 - 10/31/07 10:41 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Earthling]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
E- You should take the Darwin reference as a compliment. A friend of mine got killed looking for someone who should have stayed home in bad weather (helo crash on Oahu), so my sympathies are somewhat divided about SAR. You and that boat of yours made a heck of a trip. Not too many people can say they've done anything like that.

Granted, SAR folks know the risk they are taking and should know when to say no. Sometimes they take risks, I assume, because finding someone is what they want to do. Still, often it is the stupidity of someone else that has started a chain of events with bad consequences. Most people don't go out intending to get hurt or lost, but they do.

Sometimes taking a different route, taking an entirely different trip or even staying home makes a lot of sense. Knowing when is just as important as knowing how.


Edited by TomD (10/31/07 10:53 PM)
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#73014 - 11/01/07 04:14 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
So, tarfu - did you ever get your own greatest hits sorted out? Yours is the only one missing - how about sharing your own personal hall of shame experience with us? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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#73015 - 11/01/07 11:26 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: TomD]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
Thank you very much Jaiden, Keith, MNS, and Tom.

Yes, I am a really nice guy... Just ask all the girls I have known and dated in my college days.
My wife says I am (was) always so Thankful.
Also been on other forums before and have seen things escalate over nothing.
Yes, we have labels too.. like choades and squids for newbies who stunt on the highway.

Anyway, if anything the advice on this site has gotten me to be more aware of the dangers and like anything else I will be managing the Risk carefully.

We will be bring a Satellite Phone.
There is no climbing of any kind.
It will be a two day trip hiking up.
We will be on trail that is marked by very obvious carines.
Lead by someone with 15 trips in the GC and twice on this trail.
This Trail is also the second shortest trail to the river. (approx. 7.5 miles)
This Trail have been evaluated/recommended by two other experienced hikers from Flagstaff as the one for us to take.



MNS,
I am very impress with your background and when you post I definitely re-evaluate.
However, To a hammer everything else is viewed like a nail.
Wouldn't you agree that is your job.. to anticipate any possibility that something will go wrong? (Just a neutral comment about your Rescue work.)

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#73016 - 11/01/07 12:24 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Imager...

I'm both a Safety Officer for an Air Ambulance program and active as a volunteer in Search and Rescue, so yes, I certainly err on the side of safety. When it comes to SAR work, the main reason I take a very conservative attitude is because there are lots of folks like myself who feel obligated to do SAR work, and we do it because we play in the wilderness and never know when we ourselves might need assistance. If there is an organized SAR team (whether wilderness or urban), and someone is reported missing or in need of rescue, we can't say "nah, let Darwin win on this one." Individually we may choose to go or not go, but there will always be a core of people who will go because someone needs help and nobody else is going to do it. So, it kind of pisses us off to go after people who got themselves in over their heads in an environment that is very risky for us. It is one thing to get lost in the woods, another thing entirely to fall off a cliff and land in an area where a helo can't land (i.e. requiring technical rescue and extended carry-out). So, mentally, going in after an experience hiker, climber or hunter who ran into bad luck is entirely different than going in after a yahoo who got talked into doing something they weren't prepared for. By the way, we do ALOT of body recoveries.

MNS


Edited by midnightsun03 (11/01/07 01:57 PM)
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