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#72917 - 04/27/07 08:41 PM backcountry stupidity ?
tarfu Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 5
whats the most stupid thing you've seen someone do , haul , abuse , or just generally mess up on your backpack trips ?
i will have to think long and hard before i post mine... just too many to sort thru...


Edited by DownsD (04/29/07 07:10 AM)

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#72918 - 04/28/07 12:43 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
frenchie Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 461
Loc: Lyon, France
Seen a family with small kids start an afternoon trail in flip flops, shown them the posters saying '"CAUTION! HAZARDOUS PASSAGES ALONG CLIFFS!", warned them repeatedly....
And getting numerous bad mouthed answers in response <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> .
At that point, I let them go.
I just came from that trail, and some parts were definitly scary, nearing via ferrata: plain slick rock, very few foot holds, a steel cable as handrail, coming as a surprise after a beautiful forest trail.
I hope they didnt't go that far!

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#72919 - 04/28/07 12:41 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2835
Loc: Portland, OR
The Mt. Washington wilderness in Oregon has almost no water sources and several of these dry up as the summer progresses. The main source on the PCT is Coldwater Springs. At the time I am speaking of, it was more of a seep or a shallow well, dug to a depth of a few feet, with wooden walls around it, to facilitate access.

Long ago, I camped there near a party of Boy Scouts. In the evening I went to draw water from the well and several of the scouts (no adults nearby) were washing the food from their dinner dishes directly into the well, soaping them and rinsing the soap into the well, too!

I was only 17 years old at the time, but I gave them a good scolding, you bet! The scoutmaster came by later and apologized, but my friends and I were not in a very forgiving mood and were probably a bit short with him.

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#72920 - 04/28/07 07:29 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
This wasn't really a botch-up, but I thought it was funny: My dad and I had taken his skiff to an island to do some offtrail mountain camping. The next morning, this was what we came back to when we made it back to the beach:



That gray boxy thing is the boat. We had to spend an extra night to wait for the next high tide. We half expected this to happen, so we came prepared and had told our contact back at home that we might be a day late. There's nothing quite like watching the tide ~ooze~ on in as you sit on a beached boat. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#72921 - 04/28/07 08:02 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA
I camped at Marmot Lake in Washington State many years ago. Fires were still OK. I went to pick up firewood and found a perfect little pile of wood near the lake, in a beaten down dirt area where people usually put up their tent. I'm thinking "How thoughtful, firewood left for the next camper."

I bent down, opened my arms and picked up the pile of kindling with outstretched fingers from both hands.

Not so lucky. Someone had taken a "big one" right there and then covered it with the afore mentioned wood. I was left with excrement covered hands just before dinner.

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#72922 - 05/02/07 06:08 AM Low IQ Kills! [Re: tarfu]
do1625 Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Stamford, CT
I've done many stupid things but will think twice before humiliating myself by revealing too many details. In my early years of backpacking I didn't know about the problems with wearing cotton. In fact I frequently packed all cotton. Luckily no harm came from it other than wondering why I was always wet and cold.
Two years ago I spent a couple of nights at an established campsite in the Cherokee Forest. The site showed few signs of recent use except for a large pile of clothes. Since I normally cook on an open fire I thought I'd try to burn the clothes to help tidy the place up. This pile consisted of 2 pairs of blue jeans, 2 large cotton bath towels and four complete sets (tops and bottoms) of cotton thermal long johns. It took an enormous effort to even pick up one of the items. First I had to drag each item close enough to the fire to dry it, then finally toss it in to burn.
Apparently four guys had gone camping or hunting and their trip had come to a miserable end. My hiking buddy and I amused ourselves by imagining the multiple scenarios that may have been involved.
And in the end I thought "There, but for the grace of God, go I "

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#72923 - 05/02/07 08:07 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
Drink on the trail/in camp.

I like booze...I like it a lot <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />...but I don't imbibe in the car, on an airplane, or on the trail.

FB
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#72924 - 05/02/07 06:39 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
Slosteppin Offline
member

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 33
Loc: NW lower Michigan
It wasn't backpacking, just a day of skiing with my son (then 20) in a National forest. A few hours from the car we met a family group, 4 adults and several kids. The adults were passing around a bottle.
We said hi and kept on going. A few hours latrer we met 2 girls, about 10 yo, crying and scared. They didn't know where their parents were or where they had parked. We gave them water and candy then said if we couldn't find their parents we could take them to the Ranger station.
The girls' parents were at the same lot where we parked. The adults were drunk and angry! Accused us of trying to kidnap the girls.
My son is much bigger than I am and at that time had a very quick temper.
My son got angry fast. he said "Which do you want, the forest Rangers or the State Police - both are just a short distance away."

They all got in their cars and left in a hurry. This was abuse.
We did tell teh Ranger but forgot to get license munbers.

Slosteppin

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#72925 - 05/02/07 09:33 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Slosteppin]
CJC Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 738
Loc: Southern Nevada
Upon finding the girls and knowing the parents had been playing pass the bottle why did you let them off? No need to answer, but that is a ranger call and please meet us in the parking lot in ___ minutes. Glad your son kept his cool and did not mix it up with the drink and drivers.

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#72926 - 05/03/07 05:24 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
grit Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 207
Loc: Happy Jack, AZ
Forgot toilet paper.
Forgot the poles for my Cloudburst.
Forgot the cooking pot.
Got lost in the Sawtooths.
Cannister ran out of gas after one meal.
Didn't take long pants or repellent while hiking next to a lake after a hatch.

No wonder my wife won't go BPing with me

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#72927 - 05/03/07 01:35 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
Jelly_Donut Offline
member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 67
A friend and I went on a short trip with established backpacker camps. When we arrived at the site there was a small pile of thin sticks next to the fire ring. That night we sat close to the small fire, loving the smoke around us for keeping most of the flying insects away.

A couple of days later our faces and necks became itchy, red, and swollen. I'm suseptible to poison oak, and have had it several times. Never this bad, though. I was worried about all of the smoke I must have inhaled, so I went to the doctor. The steroids got rid of the problem in a few days.

I dislike taking medication, but not as much as my friend. He was an itchy mess for several days, but it eventually passed.

The next time I see wood next to fire ring, I'll double-check it against the brush in the surrounding area.

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#72928 - 05/05/07 10:21 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
Paul Offline
member

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 778
Loc: California
I carefully packed my MSR whisperlite stove and the fuel bottle. Hiked thru the beautiful scenery, found a lovely camp spot for the first night, pulled out the stove and the fuel bottle. Gee, shouldn't that fuel bottle have the pump screwed into the top instead of just that cap? And no, you can't cook Ramen on top of your Bleuet lantern - I tried! Fortunately my breakfasts and lunches were intended to be cold anyway. But I was mighty hungry four days later when I finished the trip!

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#72929 - 05/08/07 02:14 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: grit]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee




I think I might try a"checklist" after leaving all that stuff...Hope this helps...Happy Trekking...sabre...



The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there!!!!!
_________________________
The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

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#72930 - 06/04/07 02:14 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Paul]
wildthing Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 982
Loc: Victoria, B.C.
After all the stove funnies, I think I'm going to "test" each cannister I plan to take on a trip with my stove, just before I pack them in my kit. Ya know, I wouldn't want trouble 8 days away from a resupply in the real wilderness. As for all the other stuff I've forgotten it's usually something that you really don't need but particularly wanted that trip. Like extra mossie repellant (bummed some from a wagon train of ATVs), extra blister protection (had to use tape and that is all I use now) and sunscreen (got a bit red but it worked out okay that time. Other places I would be burning up 2 hours from the car.
_________________________
Listen to the trees in the wind

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#72931 - 06/04/07 06:19 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Picture a beautiful evening, my buddy and I camped on the shore of Lake Superior (Isle Royale), filtering water after a perfect day's hike. As we finish, I notice him grasp the hose on his filter and begin to windmill it, really fast, so centrifugal force will spin the water out of the hose.

Monkey see, monkey do - and I'm watching the pre-filter make a long, graceful arc about 30 feet out into Lake Superior, never to be seen again.

Duct-taping a small rock to the hose served the same weighting purpose as the pre-filter (though much less aesthetically), but I had to disassemble and clean the filter twice as a result.

At least my buddy enjoyed it - a lot! (He also stopped using that technique.)

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#72932 - 06/05/07 08:45 AM skunk Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
I was in a deep sleep in my GG Classic Squall tent. I was awakened by a scratching sound by my door. Then it moved under the floor. It got louder and louder and louder. I could not fall back asleep because of this RUDE noise. I got out my Fenix light to shine it on the “noise”. A skunk was clawing his way in. It so happened he was after my cup which had hot chocolate residue all over it.

I shined my light in his eyes. He was so cute! Are they allowed to be that cute? Ohh, look at those eyes. Anyway, I remembered: I was upset for the rude awakening and yelled, “HEY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” The cute skunk turned around. I thought “that is the most beautiful tail!”

Maybe I’ll finish this story later. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

-Barry

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#72933 - 06/07/07 10:46 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Glenn]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
Quote:
Picture a beautiful evening, my buddy and I camped on the shore of Lake Superior (Isle Royale), filtering water after a perfect day's hike. As we finish, I notice him grasp the hose on his filter and begin to windmill it, really fast, so centrifugal force will spin the water out of the hose.

Monkey see, monkey do - and I'm watching the pre-filter make a long, graceful arc about 30 feet out into Lake Superior, never to be seen again.

Duct-taping a small rock to the hose served the same weighting purpose as the pre-filter (though much less aesthetically), but I had to disassemble and clean the filter twice as a result.

At least my buddy enjoyed it - a lot! (He also stopped using that technique.)


On a similar vein, I was hiking along the big lake in Ontario (LSPP). After eating, I decided to wash my bowl and spoon out in the lake. Just as I finished up, a wave crashed and knocked the bowl and spoon out of my hands. Retrieved the bowl, but the spoon was gone. Had to eat with my fingers the next couple days...

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#72934 - 06/09/07 10:30 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
trekkin Offline
member

Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 19
Loc: PNW
I knew two sisters who were hiking the AT in Pennysylvania. They came to a new, wonderful shelter and decided to wash ALL their clothes. I think they were down to bandanas wrapped around themselves.

Then the rain came in, and it rained for the next three days, and the clothes did not dry until the sun came out again.

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#72935 - 06/28/07 06:27 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: frenchie]
fingerlakeshiker Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 5
A quick overnighter in nearby Nat. forest. Need morning coffee got out my esbit stove, but forgot to pack something to heat the water in.So I put cold water in my french press and placed it near the fire to get it somewhat warm , but kind of melted my frenchpress somewhat .

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#72936 - 07/01/07 06:49 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
phat Offline
Moderator

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

Let's see, normally my phone gets turned off, and with my wallet and car keys
it gets sealed in a ziploc and stowed in the top of my pack, and I don't look
at it for the whole trip.

However, one point my son is with me and he's time obsessed, and
grumpy. Rather than explain why looking at the sun is close enough, I
pull the ziploc out, turn on the phone, and look at what time it is.. No prob.

Then packing up from that water stop, put my pack on and hastily
zip the ziploc and stuff it in my shorts cargo pocket as we only have about 6 Km to
go. (stupid.. stupid stupid stupid....)

200M down the trail is a (fast) river crossing I'm taking my kid through,
I go downstream side of him to give him some confidence and at one point
shuffle the wrong way and go in up to my butt. no problem. continue on...

Half a click down the trail I realize my cargo pocket is empty, I backtrack but
without much hope, as I know exactly where... Ziplocs float real good...

On the plus side my son perked up immensely laughing at the thought of mom
giving me heck for sending wallet, credit cards, keys, and a new cell phone on a
solo whitewater rafting trip down the Fiddle and Athabasca Rivers (or at least I assume
it managed to float down to the Athabasca). Spent the next 6 km hiking me into
the ground chorting about what mom was gonna say. He was mostly accurate.

The moral of the story things that seem dumb but expedient, well, are both.

Oh and I usually break down and wear a watch if I'm with anyone else <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#72937 - 08/11/07 10:39 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
ajherman Offline
member

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 208
Loc: Rock Springs, WY
i use pop can stoves. i had a great idea for a tripod pot stand made of alum. tubing from the local hardware store, not thinking that the stove will burn hotter than the alum. melting temp.

i took it untested. the first night it melted. i found an old canteen that looked like it had been chewed on by a wolf or a fox. i used my multitool to rip it open and make a pot stand out of it. it worked fairly well and lasted for the next 10 days of my trip.
_________________________
KD8DYO
www.hikeforacause.wordpress.com

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#72938 - 08/11/07 11:15 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: DJ2]
sleddog Offline
member

Registered: 01/24/04
Posts: 23
On one of my earliest backpacking trips while still in high school a friend and myself headed up to Ribbon Lake for a weekend. The trail is very easy, I think around 8 miles, but just before the lake there is a steep cliff with chains to use as a climbing aid.

About half way in we came across three women trying to roll a full sized barbecue up the trail with a 20lb tank of propane still attached. It was a very comical sight. With much profanity they told us they were supposed to be heading to the lake to party with their boyfriends who had arrived earlier in the day and gone up the trail with the packs.

With more profanity the women told us that if we came across their boyfriends to send them back to help with the "camp stove".

We chuckled to ourselves and commented that it might not be a very peaceful campground as we headed up the trail where we met their boyfriends at the bottom of the cliff.

It was easy to tell they were from the same group when they asked us if we had 12 D cell batteries for their portable stereo as theirs had died on the hike in. Along with huge stereo and their overstuffed packs they had hauled in several flats of beer and a large cooler full of food.

We mentioned that we had come across their girlfriends down the trail and that that we didn't think that it would be possible to drag a full sized barbecue up the cliff. The guys started laughing in disbelief and told us that they had left a message for the girlfriends to bring the Coleman camp stove that a friend had left on the back deck.

So two of the boyfriends headed back down the trail to placate their girlfriends and deal with the barbecue/camp stove leaving one behind to guard the packs, cooler and beer.

Having gauged the mood their girlfriends my friend saw a great opportunity and quickly offers the guy guarding the beer, who looked exhausted, a deal. In exchange for a couple of cold beers from the cooler we would haul the flats up the cliff and the last mile to the campground at the lake.

The guard thinks this is a very generous offer since he has been lugging these things for hours. He gave us a couple of cold ones from the cooler which we quickly drank while stuffing our packs with as much beer as we can carry and head up the cliff and on to the lake where we wait to see if our plan has worked.

As my friend figured from the mood of the women hauling the barbecue, no matter how much beer was at the top of the cliff, there was no way that party was going to happen.

We enjoyed a peaceful weekend at the lake and made many friends sharing our free beer with anyone who came by. We half expected to find a cooler, stereo and barbecue abandoned along the trail on our hike out but it appears that they took it all back out with them.

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#72939 - 08/12/07 03:11 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: sleddog]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
>"We half expected to find a cooler, stereo and barbecue abandoned along the trail on our hike out but it appears that they took it all back out with them."
***********************************

So, they weren't UL campers but at least they were Leave No Trace. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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#72940 - 08/13/07 07:19 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: sleddog]
WyoBob Offline
member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 204
Loc: Buffalo, WY
Quote:

We enjoyed a peaceful weekend at the lake and made many friends sharing our free beer with anyone who came by. We half expected to find a cooler, stereo and barbecue abandoned along the trail on our hike out but it appears that they took it all back out with them.


That's one of the most outstanding stories I've heard! I'll be grinning all day <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

WyoBob

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#72941 - 08/27/07 07:13 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: ajherman]
strongone Offline
member

Registered: 06/24/05
Posts: 166
Loc: North Carolina
why are you using a stand? Not a side burner?

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#72942 - 08/27/07 07:16 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: phat]
strongone Offline
member

Registered: 06/24/05
Posts: 166
Loc: North Carolina
never happend to me either. i'm still in denial

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#72943 - 08/29/07 04:30 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
Anonymous
Unregistered


My buddies and I were hiking up Mt. Liberty in the White Mountains September 1973(?) from my notes: "Good weather during the ascent, fog at the top. Heavy rain the next day - trails were like ditches. People were hiking up the trail carrying grocery bags full of Coke and other canned foods, while packing huge rectangular sleeping bags on their backs. They suffered the next day!"

Folks had their arms full of paper grocery bags full of canned food, loaves of bread (Sunbeam), packages of burger, etc. while on their backs were the traditional 'Boy Scout' pack stuffed with clothes, 2 burner Coleman stoves, etc. with you're basic cotton rectangular sleeping bag tied to the top or bottom. There was no kind of shelter visible but they could have had a roll of Visqueen stuffed in the bottom of one of those packs for all I know... The weather turned nasty that night. I always wondered what became of those folks...

On the other hand, one of our party on the way up the mountain to claim our plywood tent pad perched on the side of the extremely bouldery mountainside, apparently did not sweat a drop. I was sweating like crazy and he never seemed to break a sweat... 'Course he was sicker than a dog. It was a miracle he made it to the campsite near the top of the mountain.

Dave

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#72944 - 09/03/07 05:32 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
aceatc Offline
member

Registered: 07/24/07
Posts: 109
Loc: WA, auburn
side note: Really enjoyed reading all these stories


I've only gone backpacking a handful of times (4 times). My first time though was much different then the rest... as I learned so much with the first time round <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

A friend and I reached the Mt. Rainier Ntl. forest and before getting a backcountry camping permit we looked over which trail to hike through. After a few seconds we picked a camp that was about 6 miles from us (we had 6 hours before nightfall).

6 miles, piece of cake. Only like a couple hours if we walk 2mph.

We didn't know there was a 2500 gain in altitude! I also overpacked by probably 20 pounds. It took us 6 and a half hours to get to the camp and I practically destroyed my legs. It also rained all day and night.

Worst part was when I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. It took 2 charlie horses to get out of my tent...

Boy what a first experience.

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#72945 - 09/03/07 09:51 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
MattnID Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 317
Loc: Idaho
Well, I spent the lovely Labor Day in Denali National Park. Denali is pretty adament about keeping their land and animals as wild as possible and viewing humans simply as another animal in the park, not as someone to eat or be overly used to. So pretty much, if you move a rock, put it back where you found it. That's the extent they want you to go through. No problem in my mind, I've nothing but respect for the rules that'll protect nature in its most original state.

Well, the first day we got out there, all was well. We walked a ways, set up camp, hid the bear cans and went out for a walk without the packs to explore the area. We stop and take probably an hour nap or so on the soft tundra moss and wake up to a nasty looking sky and rain coming down the mountains at us. We hurry on back to our camp and hide in our tents until the rain passes and the sun comes out. One of my buddies takes a nap and me and another guy decide to go and eat.

We get out the stove and food and cook. No problem. I finish my food and stare out over the tundra admiring he view. Well, the other guy decides that he can't finish all of his food. So, instead of just waiting and eating it a little while later, he dumps the food out onto the ground! I immediately get on him about it asking him what he was thinking. We'd already seen a bear 300 yards away on the opposite hillside eating the blueberries that covered the valley. So, to hopefully cover up the smell as much as possible, we cut out a hole in the tundra, scraped the food into the hole, dumped some water onto it, and put the dirt and moss over the hole.

Luckily no bear bothered the area that night. This is not the end of this guys stupidity though. We had another area we were to sleep in that next night, so the next day we packed up and moved out. We were going to follow the river all day next to Muldrow glacier, but we had to cross the river at least once. Well, we got out to the river flat where the river then becomes braided and pretty much becomes a number of large streams. Now, Alaska has a nice habit of raining at least once or twice a day, keeping the area fairly cool with the occasional wind when clouds move in and out. Well, I crossed the river to find good route and made it across just fine. This guy decides he's going to run across, even though I warn him there's some sudden drop offs. No heed to my warnings at all. He runs across and falls into the river, immediately getting up and finsihing the crossing luckily. He's soaked with ice cold glacial melt water, the wind is blowing and clouds are moving in. He did fine, he's lucky he didn't get hypothermia. We had to stop early and set up camp to make sure he got warm in his sleeping bag.

Needless to say I won't camp with this guy again.
_________________________
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.-Aristotle

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#72946 - 10/06/07 11:22 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
sleddog Offline
member

Registered: 01/24/04
Posts: 23

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#72947 - 10/08/07 08:48 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: sleddog]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Man......what a story <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />. I really don't know what to say. Hopefully people like that don't reproduce. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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#72948 - 10/17/07 11:31 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
JudgeSails Offline
member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 35
I should preface this with the fact that this is mostly ignorance and stupidity. Thankfully no-one or hting was harmed. The guy in question has learned the error of his ways and doesn't do it anymore, however he still gets a load of crap every time we talk about camping.


About 10 years ago a bunch of my buddies knew that I packed and asked if I'd go with them. They were just getting into it and didn't necessarily want me along for experience sake, though it helped, but moreso because they new I'd enjoy myself. Because of that I didn't go with them when they bought or rented gear and did no more than pack my own gear, be certain we had the right community gear and pick a trail.

a few of the guys asked every question known to man to the salesperson at the 3 (now only 1) backpacking shoppes around town. The one guy was ex army special forces etc. (special being the key word here because he really is special.) He had the standard issue kelty pack, however I refer to it as a clown pack because it was like a clown car - small but the clowns keep coming out.(more on that in a bit). Generally speaking I go lighter but not light, I'm lighter now than I was back then, however I still have things you aren't going to get out of my pack - so I suck it up and carry the weight.

Back then I checked in at about 55lbs gear water and food. That probably included a bottle of something - for medicinal purposes of course. We all started out on the trail and Mr. Delta Force is really laboring and wants a break. No problem short loop trail, lot of time - we can take it easy. We all suck down some water, one guy grabs a bit of jerky, I have granola, another guy has nuts. Capatain America pulls out a 10 pack of snickers bars.

It was November and rainy and we started getting cold so a few of us started to layer up. He pulls out a pair of wool army pants (weight when dry was about a lb.), they were circa 1930 he also grabbed a cotton sweater. A few more miles down the trail all that food and water started causing some issues. I offer him my small plastic trowel, he says no thanks and pulls out of his pack a military entrenching tool which checks in at at god knows how many pounds.

So we finally get to where we are going to camp for the night - 1 guy on Water patrol, one on firewood, 1 on tents one on cooking. He's on his back in pain and can't understand why. We all had our own meals for the night - I brought some dehydrated pasta thing and similar all the way down the line for the others...Clint Eastwood pulls out a coffee sized can of dinty moore beef stew. Do you get the clown pack thing yet? Stuff just keeps coming out of this pack....but wait it gets better.

After dishes, general camp cleanup we hung out by the fire and all took our medicine for the evening. I prefer gin and tonic, but gin and flavored water worked well. Another guy brought a single 6 oz can of coke and a small flask of Jack. One guy wasn't drinking and low and behold Rambo pulls out a black contractor style garbage bag from his pack, reaches in and pulls out a beer. No big deal right, 2 bears maybe another lb in weight - hell the dinty moore must have been 2 -3 lbs. I asked my buddy how his jack and coke tasted - his reply - good but it needs ice. Gunny Highway says hey - just grab a few cubes - it was cold enough today that hardly any melted....So to the detriment of his back and clown pack, we all enjoyed ice cold cocktails 4 or 5 miles in the middle of nowhere in front of the campfire.

Curious, we recreated his pack once we got back home.....85lbs


By the way for my next trip coming up, roughly 10 years from this particular one Im sitting at 38 lbs w/o food but with water. He's checkin in at 44....


Edited by JudgeSails (10/17/07 04:55 PM)
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#72949 - 10/17/07 05:30 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: JudgeSails]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
That's hysterical <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> there's always one on a trip!
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#72950 - 10/17/07 05:37 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Earthling]
Tomcat1066 Offline
member

Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 31
Loc: Albany, GA
Quote:
That's hysterical <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> there's always one on a trip!


That's not good!




I hike solo most of the time! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Tom

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#72951 - 10/17/07 05:44 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Tomcat1066]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
LMAOROTF! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> 'Cause I hike alone most of the time too! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
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#72952 - 10/17/07 06:13 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Earthling]
JudgeSails Offline
member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 35
OH - one side note - after the guy who wasn't drinking realized we basically had a full wet bar he had an extra dry gin martini on the rocks. (so to speak)
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#72953 - 10/17/07 10:07 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: JudgeSails]
phat Offline
Moderator

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

Don't think it counts as truly exceptional stupidity though, merely the ordinary run of the mill stupidity of the clueless... I've lost count of how many times I've seen cases of beer and glass jars of food or peanut butter in someone's (very large) pack.
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#72954 - 10/18/07 09:50 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: JudgeSails]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
A few years ago, I was backpacking with this guy in the Porcupine Mountains in upper Michigan, known to have plenty of black bears. On our second night in, we had a beautiful campsite on the shore of Lake Superior and it was a crystal clear evening, temp in the mid forties. There was a fire pit, and the guys were bent on having a fire so they collected some windfall and got a nice little blaze going.

Anyway, this one guy who had been huffing and puffing on the trail that day suddenly pulls out a bottle of wine and a chocolate bundt cake. My first reaction was like, "WTF, no wonder why you were so winded all day. How much does your pack weigh?"

Then it occurred to me, it was pitch dark and we had already hung our food. So now I'm asking, "WTF else do you have in your pack? You're sleeping way over there, right?"

To this day, I don't know why we didn't have any nocturnal visitors...

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#72955 - 10/18/07 10:40 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: sabre11004]
Chrisandco Offline
member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 39
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Quote:


I think I might try a"checklist" after leaving all that stuff...Hope this helps...Happy Trekking...sabre...


Have a check list for what to pack AND one for the stuff you put in the trunk and put in your pack at the trail head. I've been known to forget...
- ground sheet
- poles
- water bottles
- stove fuel and canister (not good when you hit your site 7 miles in with two hungry children!)

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#72956 - 10/18/07 11:17 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: sleddog]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Sleddog, That is a pretty funny story-pathetic, but funny.

However, I've got to place some of the blame on the guy who took his inexperienced friend without first asking the right questions. The one guy may or may not have been just plain stupid, but for sure he was incredibly ignorant; and there is a difference.

I have friends I would never go camping with because I know they would whine all the time and not have a good time. Plus, if anything did go wrong, they would be pretty useless. This isn't to say I know everything or won't go camping with a beginner, but it helps to know what people really know or don't know before you go.

When someone says that their idea of roughing it is "no room service", don't even think about trying to talk them into going camping. They might say yes.

On one solo winter trip (full trip report posted two years ago), I left my fuel bottle in the garage (but had a canister stove as a backup); didn't check my old tent for wear and found out the hard way the coating on the floor wasn't waterproof anymore; and carried way too much stuff (I was really beat and wound up making a second trip back for most of it the next day, but wasn't all that far from the trailhead, so not that big a deal.)

Other somewhat dumb things-solo cycling and hiking in the wilds of NZ (if I had crashed or gotten hurt, no one anywhere had a clue where I was); overprimed my XGK once (fairly big fireball, no damage); and although not camping, set my XGK pump on fire on my kitchen counter while testing it for leaks (slight cosmetic damage to the pump).
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#72957 - 10/18/07 02:23 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Earthling]
Tomcat1066 Offline
member

Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 31
Loc: Albany, GA
Quote:
LMAOROTF! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> 'Cause I hike alone most of the time too! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />


Then we already know who "the one" is when we're out, right? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Tom

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#72958 - 10/23/07 10:24 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
I am a beginner and I am going on my first backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon with 5 of my neighbors in 2 weeks from now.

I have been reading on the web and doing dry runs and this is what I figured out so far, before even the trip started:

1) Backpacking is not camping.
I am too use to overpacking so that when my wife ask for something it is right there. (Thank God she is not going.. I would be carry my stuff and hers.. no offense ladies, but that is how it goes in my family).

2) Like in the first story with the Rambo guy.. I was in the Army too.. I had packed a handsaw and my M-9 baynet knife. My buddies already got their laugh and I am not bring them... hopefully I won't run into bears in the canyon.

3) The Great Deal I got at Costco on my 25 degree King size Sleeping Bag for $30 with a Flannel Blanket and really extra soft stuffing was not the right bag at 7.5 pounds and with extra ties could only pack down to about 2 basketball size. Figured out the sleeping bag was the heaviest thing in my pack after a 1.5 mile hike around my neighborhood. (Just brought a Matmor 15 Aspen for $40 (Dick's mismarked Sign and sold it to me at a discount)... big difference in price, size and weight).
*** Also learn, when you walk around the neighborhood at night with pack on, people think you are a homeless guy.

4) Brand new pair of $25 Nevados Hiking boots is not going to make it in a rocky unmaintained trail terrian. Was told what is a bone bruise and nylon shank. (Just brought a pair of Vasque Breeze for the clearance price of $99.. I know I am cheap.. and I can find the deals)

I started out a week ago at over 50lbs without food and water.
Now I am at 30 lbs with food, but no water.

I will be trimming some more items.

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#72959 - 10/24/07 06:30 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
What trail will you be doing in the Grand Canyon?

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#72960 - 10/24/07 10:15 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: oldranger]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Tanner is closed probably for several months.

North rim will be closed.

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#72961 - 10/24/07 01:35 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: oldranger]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
hehe... isn't part of the title of this thread say stupidity...
Well, I don't know which trail.

I know it is in South Rim on a Trail named after a miner Hanson (sp?)
Hanson is not correct but I know it starts with an "H"
The Permit has Red Canyon BD9

Anyone know what is the Trail name by the info I listed?

I've been wearing my Vasque Breeze all day and thinking about what to get rid off out of my Pack.

Should I carry my "Zune" size NOAA weather radio with Alert mode?

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#72962 - 10/24/07 01:45 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
BD-9 is the Hance Trail via Red Canyon. Google the Hance Trail to find out what you are in for.
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#72963 - 10/24/07 05:52 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Pika]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
From one website:

* The trail is indeed steep. The gradient is around 900' per mile for nearly 2000' of altitude from the top of the trail to just above the bottom of the Supai. This is significantly more than the 700' per mile of the Bright Angel, for example.

* The trail is relentless. There is only one very short break in that 2000'.

* It requires considerable alertness to stay on the proper trail. In many places there are several nearly parallel trails. At their intersections, it is easy to jump onto an alternate trail, leading to difficulties. Only the proper trail keeps you from climbing over boulders or having to face a dry waterfall in the streambed. All of the comments about facing such obstacles come from people who have missed the trail!

* There is loose footing in a few places, unlike the corridor trails. Although this is not much different from most of the other non-maintained trails in the Canyon, if you are not used to trails like this, you won't like it.

* About one mile of the trail is along virtually the top of the ~500' vertical Redwall cliff. That is, for one mile, any slip off the trail is potentially deadly. Fortunately, nearly all the trail is good enough so that one isn't worried about the dangers of the trail. Again, this is not much different from many other places along other non-maintained trails.

However, there are two points along that section where the trail becomes poor, with the tread of the trail not horizontal, making it tricky to navigate safely. Fortunately, the tricky section at each of those two points is only 6-10' in length, and can be traversed with quick steps and a prayer. It would also probably be easy to do a bit of trail maintenance in those locations and eliminate most of the danger if one was willing to spend the time rather than just zip over those points.

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#72964 - 10/24/07 10:55 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Paddy_Crow]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
Thanks for the info.
I am going to step up my training for this trail.

Good thing I returned a pair of Nevados for a pair of Vasque.
Definitely, going to carry a lighter pack.

I am going to aim for 25 lbs.
Should I be worried about rain in Nov?

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#72965 - 10/25/07 06:23 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Quote:
Should I be worried about rain in Nov?

I wouldn't worry about rain but I sure would go prepared for it. I lived in Flagstaff for six years and recall that the first real storms of the winter often arrived sometime in November. In Flagstaff and on the canyon rim it would be snowing and down in the canyon it would be raining. November can also be a dry month on the Colorado Plateau. You need to plan for either likelihood. The canyon is beautiful in the rain.

One other thing, snow on the trails near the rim can make the footing treacherous so be sure you have good boot soles; a lot of people take light-weight instep crampons for this possibility.
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#72966 - 10/25/07 06:29 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
You can definitely get rain/snow in northern Arizona in November. It can be everything from a gentle episode of a few hours to a full fledged blizzard. Watch the forecast carefully and be flexible in your plans. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#72967 - 10/25/07 08:08 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
What that information tells me is that the biggest worry for a group of novices is probably getting lost. Also treacherous footing. And the consequences of either are quite severe.

Have you considered a different route?

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#72968 - 10/25/07 08:38 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
tarbubble Offline
member

Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 996
Loc: ca-li-for-ni-a
please, please read what i am about to say to you.

are you all novices? do your buddies have extensive Grand Canyon experience? and i mean EXTENSIVE experience. the New Hance/Red Canyon trail is NOT NOT NOT suitable for beginners. i've been down in the Grand 6 times and i don't consider myself at all skilled enough to do the New Hance.

read this trails desription from Kaibab.org, the best GC website out there:

http://www.bobspixels.com/kaibab.org/bc/gc_tr_rc.htm

an excerpt:

"Like the Tanner Trail this trail should not be used by any but the most experienced canyoneers, especially you are travelling solo. If you should run into trouble along it your chances of rescue are very slim. This trail has additional disadvantages because its trailhead is not easily accessible and also because none of the trail is visible from any of the rim lookouts, meaning that all a signal mirror will do for you is let you signal aircraft. Another problem in that area is that in the winter months most the upper sections of the trail never get any direct sunlight making a signal mirror useless. At least on the Tanner Trail you can use a signal mirror to try to get help from people at the Desert View lookout. If you run into trouble on the Red Canyon Trail your best bet, depending on how far from the rim you are, is to keep heading for the river and to get help from a river party."


this is a completely unmaintained trail. it is not visible from most of the south rim. if you are going to do it, and i strongly recommend that you do not, you should rent a satellite phone or contact the GC backcountry office to ask what kind of personal locator beacon might work in there. i'm serious. if somebody gets hurt you are a loooong way from help. the trailhead itself is a quarter mile walk from the highway, and there is no parking, no view point. you'd have to wait for a car to drive by.

snow is absolutely a possibility. i have encountered snow, hail, and ice at the south rim, and in months closer to summer than November.

please, i'm not being an elitist "you can't do this" snob. you can do this in a few years, after you have some more Canyon experience under your belt. i just strongly suggest that you not do it this time.

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#72969 - 10/25/07 08:48 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: oldranger]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
Thanks for the warning.

It is going to be a 3 days/2 nights backpacking trip.
So Far, I have decided not to bring a poncho.

Instead, I am bring my:
Ski Jacket... Poly shell waterproof and wind proof with hood
Poly shell pants (got it a Walmart) as rain pants and since it is oversize I can double up for warmth.
A Golfer's Umbrella
Magellan Nylon Convertible Cargo pants (very thin and lightweight but quick drying).
One UnderArmor Coldgear Turtleneck (too warm for hiking, but good for base camp).
One UnderArmor T-Shirt
One UnderArmor Long Sleeve t-shirt
One Cotton T-Shirt
One poly type material ski mask that can be folded into a hat.
Three pairs of socks
Two pairs of underwear
Two Hiker Poles (SwissGear from Walmart at $10 each)
Energy bars, Almonds and 1lb of Beef Jerky.

After reading about the trail condition, I am going to leave the Weather Radio in the car.
Also leaving (the group agreed upon) 3 cans of beer and just bring a flask with a couple of packs of crystal light water bottle mix.

So far, Just my base weight (Tent (4.5), Pack (6), Sleeping Bag (2.5), and Pad (1)), I am at 14 lbs.

My goal is 25 lbs before water (2 Liters).
The Group of 6 will have a Purifying system as well as a Filtering system and a stove and propane. (Yet to be assigned.)

So maybe I should aim for 20 lbs.
Been hiking level ground for 3 miles at 31 lbs. I would like to get lighter than this.
BTW, I was kidding about the umbrella. hehe

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#72970 - 10/25/07 09:02 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
After re-reading some of your posts, I would like to respectfully suggest that you try something other than the Hance Trail. You and your party do not seem, to me at any rate, experienced enough to do the Hance Trail. My suggestion is that you contact the backcountry office at GCNP and see if you can get a permit for the Hermit Trail with camps at Hermit Creek and at Hermit Rapids. I have done both the Hance Trail and the Hermit Trail. The Hermit Trail is a gem, the Hance Trail is an ordeal, to say the least, and is dangerous in spots. Please re-think your plans.
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#72971 - 10/25/07 09:02 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Paddy_Crow]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
In the Group of 6. (All drinking neighors)
Only me and one other guy are novices and ex-Army.
The only advantage for being ex-Army is that we have carried 50 lbs rucksack and hike (oops) marched in a circle in the sand in unbroken in boots over 15 years ago... hehe.

4 People with experiences:
One guy (Leader) has been on this Hance trail twice.
2nd guy has just came back from a Mt. Whitney hike. (Athelic type Probably will be the first one out of the Canyon)
3rd guy was from Arizonia and has hiked in the past.
4th guy has backpack experience many moons ago... He was the one that told me to chuck the Nevados and get Vasque boots. (Brother in law of 2nd guy, Probably will be the last one out of the Canyon and the man to outrun if there is a bear)

I am the only one training with full gear hikes in the neighborhood.

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#72972 - 10/25/07 09:06 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Pika]
Imager Offline
member

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

I will definitely reconsider Hance Trail.
That is why I am on this forum.

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#72973 - 10/25/07 09:21 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarbubble]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
Thank you for the warning.
I don't want to mark this as stupidity backcountry novice on Hance Trail.
I will bring this warning up to the Team Leader and see if he will agree to changing the trail to Hermit Trail.

We are bring a Satellite Cellphone.


Edited by Imager (10/25/07 09:24 AM)

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#72974 - 10/25/07 10:53 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Pika]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
I forward all the comments, concerns and warnings about Hance Trail to the Leader of the Group.

Being that he had been on the Hance Trail twice before and knowing everyone's current physical ability in our group (ie. we had a softball team for 4 seasons and other activities). He say we are up to doing Hance Trail.

"I forgot to mention that my last trip to Hance, my two friends and I hiked out in the dark with our headlamps because we wanted a night time hiking experience. We won't do that one this hike but we were able to follow the trail at night."... Erik the Team Leader.



Either way, I will still be very cautious and mindful of the warnings.
My goal is still Preparation, Training and going Lite.

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#72975 - 10/25/07 12:10 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Pika]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
"a lot of people take light-weight instep crampons for this possibility."

What are light-weight instep crampons?

I've got Vasque Breeze with GoreTex and Nylon Shank.

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#72976 - 10/25/07 03:12 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Here's one version (from Campmor)

_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#72977 - 10/25/07 03:49 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
I forward all the comments, concerns and warnings about Hance Trail to the Leader of the Group.

Being that he had been on the Hance Trail twice before and knowing everyone's current physical ability in our group (ie. we had a softball team for 4 seasons and other activities). He say we are up to doing Hance Trail.

"I forgot to mention that my last trip to Hance, my two friends and I hiked out in the dark with our headlamps because we wanted a night time hiking experience. We won't do that one this hike but we were able to follow the trail at night."... Erik the Team Leader.



Either way, I will still be very cautious and mindful of the warnings.
My goal is still Preparation, Training and going Lite.


I think this guys TROLLING major league, let's let him become another statisic in the GC <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Too stubborn to know better, he'll go no matter what any advice is given to him here.
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#72978 - 10/25/07 03:54 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
tarbubble Offline
member

Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 996
Loc: ca-li-for-ni-a
well, two prior trips down Hance is more experience with it than i have. i hope all goes well, but being prepared for bad weather is vital. fatty foods, backup dry clothing, extra fuel & food. that's a heck of an introduction to the Grand. i don't want to sound ominous or snarky, but i truly hope that you guys don't end up in any accident/rescue statistics.

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#72979 - 10/25/07 11:48 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: midnightsun03]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
Thanks for the info.
They kinda look like spikes that you tie onto the bottom of your shoe.

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#72980 - 10/26/07 12:00 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarbubble]
Imager Offline
member

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

We are still actively seeking more info.

Erik our leader did me another favor by asking his hiking buddies.

".......I've gone on numerous Grand Canyon hikes with these guys. We did the Monument Creek trail 3 years ago and it was a very long trail. New Hance is shorter in distance but it's strenuous because there are very few flat areas. C.H. (first discussion below) is in great shape and an experienced hiker. D.N. is also an experienced Arizona hiker but not in the same cardio shape as Chris."

Basically, Erik forwarded my concern about the trip and these guys had their own opinion about New Hance Trail vs Monument and Hermit Trail.

Some excepts:
Erik... friend is asking about New Hance Trail......how would you briefly describe it?
CH... Unmaintained but well travelled.
Erik... do you like the trail?
Chris... Short and less steep than most trails in the park.
Chris... A good inital GC backcountry hike.
Chris... Yes.
Erik... you think it's less steep? compared to what?
Chris ... Yes, compared to the trails to the west like Hermit. New Hance does not cut down into the Vishnu shist - the canyon is not as deep in the east as it is in the west.
Chris ... Coming out of Monument Creek was much harder than New Hance. We did that in one day, Monument was two hard days.
Erik... so you think you're a geologist....vishnu shist......DN would love that comment
Erik ... Yes....Monument was tough
Chris ... Plus we had DN crying because he was afraid of the dark.
Erik ... he's afraid of the dark and heights.....
Chris ... DN does could not tell a sedimentary rock from a metamorphic or an ignious.
Chris ... Can you?
Erik ... of course
Erik... those are the 3 main types
Chris ... Plus conglomorate...
Erik ... how many times have you hiked the canyon?
Chris ... Hmm
Chris ... 12ish
Chris ... Last question for you...
Chris ... Is DN a JA?
Erik... Hmm
Erik... most definitely

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#72981 - 10/26/07 12:16 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Earthling]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
What do you mean by calling me "Trolling"? Is that good or bad?
I will consider that comment as a jest.

You guys brought up a valid concern and I am seriously evaluating both sides of the argument by asking questions.

Heck this thread needs a little bump up with Trollers and their backcountry stupidity.

I am even taking the time to edit and post the info I am getting.
Either way Thank you and everyone else for your concern... really do appreciate it.



Here is another Hiker's opinion:

Dan... here now
Erik... How would you describe New Hance.....I have a friend who is asking about it
Erik... how tough do you think it is?
Dan... is he a wuss like u?
Erik... ha......not
Dan.... i wld say most people can get down without too much trouble...most people would struggles a lot getting out in one day
Erik... I don't remember any cliffs. Nothing that someone would fall off
Dan.... whats his condition?
Erik... never hiked
Erik... never hiked canyon.....probably decent shape
Dan.... no cliffs really just that one part towards the end where the trail is real narrow and the steap rocky part where we all took different routes
Dan.... overweight?
Erik ... 10 - 15 lbs....mabye.....
Dan.... if he can walk it flat without much of a prob then we can struggle through this
Erik... but do you think most people could get out if you hike halfway one day and then the other 1.2 the next morning?
Dan.... ask him if he can walk 9 miles without struggling
Dan.... definitely
Dan.... but depending on his ability it might take a long time
Erik... did you like New Hance better than Monument Creek?
Erik... Monument Creek was the place we hiked to via Hermit Rapids Trail
Dan.... yes..
Erik... but we hiked half way in the dark with our headlamps.....at least Hunkins and I had headlamps.....you just shook in your boots between us
Dan.... and i had to hike another mile to see nothing with chris
Dan.... lol
Erik... but you wanted to do the side trip with Chunkins
Dan.... BS
Erik... lol
Dan.... i liked new hance the best
Dan.... especially first time...remember hearing the river roar
Erik... that';s because you hung out with Jose from NAU
Dan.... great location...sandy area...kayackers
Dan.... lol
Dan.... and hearing chris scream like a bird in the am
Erik... ha...he set up his bivy too close to the Colorado not knowing that they were scheduled to release water from the dam
Dan.... lol..yup
Erik... even Feldman made it up New Hance
Dan.... and he saw a bug
Erik... by himslef and he was a rookie

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#72982 - 10/26/07 12:24 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Earthling]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
ugh... everyone has one... an advice that is. hehe..

I am at least weighing my options.
I am also posting it so that you know... I really do have a concern and not being stubborn without facts.

If anything... I get good challenging questions here to ask my Team Leader.
I am new. I don't even know enough to ask him the simple questions or to test his abilities.

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#72983 - 10/26/07 06:41 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I do not know where your "leader" is getting his information but there is no Monument Creek trail, unless he is talking about the trail from Monument Creek camp to the river. That trail goes down a gentle wash. The nearest trail access to Monument Creek from the rim is either the Bright Angel trail from the South rim to Indian Gardens and then the Tonto Trail to Monument Creek or the Hermit Creek trail to the Tonto Trail and then along the Tonto Trail to Monument Creek. Also, if he claims that the Hance Trail is gentler than the Hermit, he has either a poor memory or is BS'ing about one or the other. Even if your "leader" has been in the canyon a few times, the rest of the crew sounds more like the Albanian militia preparing for war; you do not sound ready for a safe, pleasant hike at that time of the year.

If this is serious inquiry rather than a troll, would you please look at a map and google a few websites about various GC trails and read up on hiking in the Canyon before you take up any more of our time? You need a much better information base before we can provide any meaningful help. Thanks!
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#72984 - 10/26/07 08:09 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Pika]
Imager Offline
member

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

Thanks... you guys really do make me feel welcome here.

The first half of your message is informative about trails, but than it gets ugly.

SORRY, about wasting your time. (What else would you be doing if you are not backpacking? Go on the website to talk about backpacking? Hey, I just got the bug for backpacking, myself.)
I thought this was a forum. Don't forget anybody can get on and register and ask questions even without any base information. IF that is Trolling than maybe that is why this website was created to get more people informed about backpacking. I am here to get informed.

Labeling me a "Troller" is not nice.... even if what I am doing is "Trolling".
Getting information is "Trolling"?
It implies that I am less than... It also implies you are more than... when the only separation between us is knowledge and wisdom about a walk in the park... in the middle of nowhere... in bad weather.... down a canyon... with no help in sight... hehe...

All I am saying is Thank you for your time and please don't get so frustrated with me just because I am not talking at the same level as you. I am learning the terms myself. My friend means well and I came on this site to find additional answers and questions that I didn't even know existed.

If you disagree that is fine. but don't get frustrated.
I am not here to challenge your knowledge or wisdom of the GC.

The stuff I quoted was an Instant Message between my friend (the Team Leader) and his hiking buddies... they probably know the trail they were on wasn't Monument Creek Trail... but maybe that is how they refer it among friends. If they had talked to another Hiker like you maybe they might use the terms that you commonly use.

Thank you for your time and I am deeply appreciative of the time you spend in spreading your knowledge.

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#72985 - 10/26/07 08:52 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Imager, the point in calling you 'trolling' is because of the such basic knowledge you're lacking for attempting such a trail. Partly in jest, partly from concern for your lack of apparent understanding of the dangers that this level of trail presents to a newbie in the GC.

The GC is a very unique environment with concern to the weather, water, physicalness of the terrain. Even experienced and multiple visit backpackers encounter trouble there. It's not like you're taking a trip to Myrtle Beach, you dig?

I'm known for being sarcastic here in the forum, more of a tongue in cheek kind of thing. In your case I'm serious that you could endanger the rest of the party, let alone yourself with just one misstep. It's a serious trail with exposure that takes a knowledgable eye to traverse. Just a bit of morning ice, wet soil, loose stone could have you meeting your Maker. Are you really prepared, knowledgable enough, and confident that you can self rescue yourself if the rest of your party is gone? I doubt it, just my opinion.

I have 35 years of backpacking experience and the Hance is the one trail in GC that i have'nt hiked, because I decided the risk is not worth it to me. I've done plenty of risky things with regard to backpacking, sailing, and motorcycle racing; but I refuse to knowlingly put myself at unnecessary risk with regard to exposure. I'm sure the Hance trail has great views, but none that you can't get from another trail with less exposure risk.

Good luck, enjoy your adventure.
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#72986 - 10/26/07 09:39 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Earthling]
Imager Offline
member

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

Thank you for your response.

I am acknowledging the concerns and warnings and I for one is not tongue and cheek about the seriousness of this issue.... and I really do appreciate it and have tried to change the Trail from Hance to Hermit from the knowledge I gained from the experienced people on this site.

Once again, I am at a disadvantage. I have no experience and no crediability and have not claimed anything other than what I am. The well-meaning people like yourself and tarbubble and Pika and others are very gracious in providing some very important information. As a novice I cannot single handedly change expert people's mind without creditials like yours. Hance, I used your information from this site to challenge with a question and they answered back to my satisfaction.

Now, I am curious why there is such a big difference in opinion.
Like this is not even politics or a religious issue.
It is a Trail that both side has gone.
The people that have known me for a few years, says it is ok for me to go.
The people from this site is stating this trail is not for novice.

I don't know what to say.
The three guys that do hike on that trail and around GC says it is more of a physical challenge than skill.

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#72987 - 10/26/07 10:09 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Imager, here's how I can equate it for you with an analogy. Since you were Army you know well enough your running ability; you don't know me but want me to go run a race with you. I've run before 'but not too far'. Now do you take me to the local 5k to check me out or do you take me to a 26k <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> The answer should be 5k, so you can observe my running style and see if we'll be compatable as running buddies. Same in backpacking, I need to observe your strengths and weaknesses, if any, with regards to 'trail life' before I invite you to join me on a trip that I know I am prepared for, but you may not be. I have lots of friends, but few who would go backpacking with me knowing my level of hiking vs their own. It's not that they can't hike my hike, their just not into being tortured <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> because I'm 'always ready to go' and rise before the Sun and set up camp frequently in the dark, not for the light-hearted or city types <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

You may end up the 'whipping boy' for all that goes wrong on this trip if everyone else is at the same skill level and you can't keep up. They know what to expect, you're going on a crap shoot IMO. There's nothing wrong with beggin' off a trip, I've done it for various reasons and I'm sure I'd do it if I felt uneasy about anything about a trip. 'Drinking buddies' don't necessarliy make the best hiking buddies, note to self.
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#72988 - 10/26/07 11:11 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

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

One thing to bear in mind here is that this board is populated with people who can give objective advice about the difficulty of the trail in question. The people who have been giving you advice have been hiking for decades and have lots of trails under their belt to which they can compare the relative difficulty of this trail. Your friends, while perhaps having been down the trail a couple of times, are still basically young bucks who probably haven't had any close calls that they've recognized. It takes experience, not just on the trail in question, but on difficult terrain in a variety of different places, to recognize the significance that one misstep could truly lead to death.

Overdramatic? Perhaps, but this is a public forum read by people from all over the world, and any downplaying of the dangers of a difficult trail on such a forum would be seriously irresponsible. I also feel it is seriously irresponsible of your team leader to put you or anyone else on that trail without first doing several shake-down trips on difficult, but LESS DEADLY terrain. Would you go rock climbing for the first time with someone who insists you can do a 5.10 climb? Or skiing for the first time with someone who says you can do a black diamond trail? And they know you can do this, how? Because they hang out with you and BS with you over beers?

Only you can know what you are capable of, what you're comfortable with, and only YOU can say no to doing something you're not comfortable doing. Save the trail for another time. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD. People who can't respect you for standing up for what you feel is right aren't real friends. Period.

MNS
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#72989 - 10/26/07 12:18 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: midnightsun03]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Point well put MNS <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#72990 - 10/26/07 12:48 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I'm sorry if you were offended by the troll comment. The way the word "troll" is used is to describe a provocative or argumentative post aimed at getting a (hopefully angry) reaction from forum participants. The word had nothing to do with you it was in reference to your posts. That sort of thing happens often enough that most participants are a bit wary. Again, I was mistaken; I apologize.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#72991 - 10/26/07 01:10 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Pika]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
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.

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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="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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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="" />
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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.
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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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#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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#73017 - 11/01/07 02:32 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: TomD]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
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.


Tom, I did take the refrence to Darwin as a joke. I was just poking fun at myself as I'm prone to doing from time to time here <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Yes, that particular sailing adventure was quite a feat; and I hope to someday convert my other photo albums to cd for folks to enjoy. I've lived quite the adventurous life and enjoy letting folks view where i've been to encourage their own adventurous Spirit <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> I only wished all those years were already on cd <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

I worked on a movie set back in the 80's with Denzel Washington, before he was famous,; and could regal you guys with tales of speeding down dirt backroads with none other than Denzel at the wheel, Pete Townsend riding shotgun, and myself and Lola in the backseat....all on the way to a party on an island at that <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
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#73018 - 11/05/07 01:53 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: midnightsun03]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
Wow!!! SAR sound fun and challenging, except for the recovery of dead bodies.

Anyway, there is no part of this trail that we are at an edge over a cliff.
This trail was design for tourist back in the days.
Yes, we still have to be careful and not spring an ankle or something. Even now, at home I have to be careful not to get injured before this trip.

I am currently at 31 pounds without water.
I think I will do a final shake down tonight and hopefully trim some fat off.

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#73019 - 11/05/07 02:04 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

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

Refer back to page 5 of this forum where Paddy Crow gives a detailed description of the Hance trail and states:

Quote:
* About one mile of the trail is along virtually the top of the ~500' vertical Redwall cliff. That is, for one mile, any slip off the trail is potentially deadly. Fortunately, nearly all the trail is good enough so that one isn't worried about the dangers of the trail. Again, this is not much different from many other places along other non-maintained trails.

However, there are two points along that section where the trail becomes poor, with the tread of the trail not horizontal, making it tricky to navigate safely. Fortunately, the tricky section at each of those two points is only 6-10' in length, and can be traversed with quick steps and a prayer. It would also probably be easy to do a bit of trail maintenance in those locations and eliminate most of the danger if one was willing to spend the time rather than just zip over those points.
(bold is mine)

You're not out for a stroll in the park... according to the information provided by people who've been there, you are in for a steep hike and at least 1 mile of trail next to a cliff.

MNS
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#73020 - 11/12/07 07:53 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: midnightsun03]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
Well, I am back and it was definitely not a stroll in the park.
I had a great time with 5 of my buds.

Only 4 of the 6 made it all the way down and back.
2 of us made it halfway down camped and back.

I was one of the 2 that didn't go all the way down.
I was 5th in line and kinda hung back to make sure the last guy didn't miss the cairnes.

After awhile from being only 45 mins behind it became 2 hours behind.
The 6th guy just couldn't do it... his thigh muscles were qlivering.

This is what he had in his pack (misc items).
10- pack chemical hand warmer.
a 1.5 liter coffee pot with pugalator.
a pair of jeans
a fishing net
a pair of waterproof pants that you can wear in the water while fishing.
frying pan
mess kit
one beer
one flask
camping chair (21 oz)

I was motivating him to go as far down as he can and then got the message to turnaround.
We had only 24 oz of water left when we did decide to go back.
I had originally 4 liters of water and had consumed all 3 liters by myself thinking I was going to make camp at bottom.

So we camped and hiked out in the morning.
Short hikes with many breaks, in which the 6th guy was finally able to enjoy the view he had missed going down.
Our experienced hiker buddy admit the three guys in front were going down way too fast even for strong hikers. In which, One of 3 did had a major burn out 4 hours into the hike.
The 6th guy didn't eat much at all.. which worried me a little.

Some of the quotes from the other guys...
"I totally underestimated the trail and shouldn't have done this" the 6th guy.

"Hardest thing I have ever done in my life"... a guy that just hiked mt. Whitney this summer and will be doing a half trialthon this spring coming.

"This trail is relentless... stair after stair climbing"


I still believe I could have made it all the way down and back.
So, I plan on going back next year... however only 2 others are willing to go next year.

We went to Vegas (4 hours drive) shared some stories.
Getting beat on (humously) for only going halfway down.
We gamble, drank and walked 3 miles to Belligio to check out the fountain.

Overall, It was a Great time with the guys.


Edited by Imager (11/12/07 08:02 AM)

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#73021 - 11/12/07 08:57 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

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

Thank you for the follow-up post and honest assessment. Good for you for hanging back with #6... good decision making on both your parts. Sorry you didn't get to go all the way down... but at least now you know the area better and can prepare for a good trip next year!

MNS
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#73022 - 11/12/07 08:59 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
Any hike you survive and avoid injury is a success!

To be honest, I'm disappointed in your leader leaving you and #6 behind. It is very important to stay together. Was he NCO in the military? I would ask him if he'd do the same with a platoon he was leading and what the result would have been if one of the stragglers became MIA.

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#73023 - 11/12/07 09:40 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Imager, You done good!! In my opinion, you showed excellent judgement and a sense of responsibility when you stayed with your overburdened companion. I realize that the four who continued to the bottom are friends but, IMHO, they should have been more aware and more solicitous of the less experienced members of the party. They should not have just walked off and left you.

Now that you know what to expect, you can plan a reprise for next year.
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#73024 - 11/12/07 10:52 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Paddy_Crow]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
The Team Leader is a man of very few words and understatement.

To his credit he knew I would take care of #6...
And he had to catch up to the other 3 and make sure they would be ok.

understatements???
Well.. #6 on the hike up said Team Leader should have expressed a little more concern about the difficulty of an Expert Trail or could have emphasis a better workout schedule.

Mt. Whitney guy also said similar thing.



According to Team Leader, New Hance Trail is similar to other Grand Canyon Trails and maybe just a slightly more difficult than other trails but trading in for a shorter distance 7.5 miles. To him, Monument Trail is the hardest 15 miles.


Ironically, Only #6 and I are ex-military. I don't believe the military has ever taught us to go light.


Edited by Imager (11/12/07 10:54 AM)

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#73025 - 11/12/07 11:05 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Pika]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
Thanks

I have to say your advice from the beginning was correct.
I was the only one new to the Grand Canyon, not surprised as to the hiking conditions.

We got some funny nicknames out of this.
"Wrong way Roger"
"Turnaround Josh"
"Halfway Josh"
"Every 15mins Pooper"

One thing that did caught me off guard was the 6,700 above sea level.
I was at the side of the road walking to the Trail head and I had shortness of breathe in which, after a little while I was ok.

The Plan is to do more body building as in Stair climbers, Lunges, Leg Press and alternating Cardio.

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#73026 - 11/12/07 11:24 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
tarbubble Offline
member

Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 996
Loc: ca-li-for-ni-a
phew!

glad everything went well, THANKS for posting a follow-up. it sounds like the canyon gave you a good hard time, glad nobody slipped or broke anything. now you're making me want to check it out, but it'll be a few years before i get to try anything brutal again (my kidlets have to grow up a bit).

however, could you see how a serious injury could mean serious trouble in that area? i know i'm guilty of coming back from a brutal and wild area and thinking to myself "that wasn't so bad at all" only to later read of disasters in the same area and realizing that if the same thing had happened to me i would have been in serious danger. i'm glad that it went well and everybody did alright, but hope that this won't give you false confidence.

so when do we get to see pictures?

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#73027 - 11/12/07 11:50 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
So, #6 brought all that STUFF? Well, at least he had a beer to enjoy.

Nice report. I deffinitely want to see pictures, but could you start a NEW thread in the Trip Report part. I think this one is dead.
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#73028 - 11/12/07 12:58 PM NewPost "Grand Canyon, New Hance Trail with 1st" [Re: finallyME]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
Ok...

I started a new thread at Trip Report.
"Grand Canyon, New Hance Trail with 1st Timers"

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#73029 - 11/12/07 06:48 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Imager]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
The exercises you are planning will strengthen you for the pounding you will take on the way down into the canyon, but they will do nothing to acclimatize you to the altitude. Only time at altitude will acclimatize you. Strong unacclimatized athletes often have greater problems than weaker unacclimatized athletes.

Here's a plan. Drive to the Canyon slowly. Stop in Flagstaff and spend a day hiking leisurely on one of the mountains around there (like O'Leary Peak) - don't go too high, but get up to around 8000 feet or so. Come back down and sleep overnight in or near Flag. The mantra for acclimatization is "climb high, sleep low." Then drive to GC, and hang around the rim for a day. Then start your hike. You will feel a lot better..

I think your "leader" is anything but that. I am glad you avoided misfortune. I hope you have many more enjoyable trips. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#73030 - 11/12/07 08:33 PM Re: NewPost "Grand Canyon, New Hance Trail with 1st" [Re: Imager]
Imager Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Texas
How do you post photos?

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#73031 - 11/13/07 05:38 AM Re: NewPost "Grand Canyon, New Hance Trail with 1st" [Re: Imager]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
It can be a bit complex compared to other sites, but is fairly easy once you do it a time or two.

You'll need to post your photos to a photo site where each is assigned a URL. I use photobucket.com which is free and pretty simple. Many other sites are out there. From there you will need to click on the "image" block in the menu below the text box and insert your pasted URL into the pop-up display. If this doesn't work, goto the Admin section and ask and a more tech-savvy forum member can help you trouble shoot whatever issues you may be having.
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#73032 - 11/14/07 01:58 PM Re: NewPost "Grand Canyon, New Hance Trail with 1s [Re: Bearpaw]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
If you use Photobucket (which I do) you get 4 options to choose from for links. For this site you can choose the bottom one "Img code" and then just cut and paste it right into your thread. The picture pops right in!

And good to see you had a safe trip, and bravo for taking care of #6. That means more about who you are than if you had ditched the guy to make the trip. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> So a high 5!
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#73033 - 11/20/07 05:27 PM Re: NewPost "Grand Canyon, New Hance Trail with 1s [Re: sarbar]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I use Photobucket too and it is pretty simple once you get the hang of it.

Next time you go, insist on your buddies, like #6, opening their packs so you can toss out all the unnecessary junk they have brought along.
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#73034 - 11/21/07 09:31 PM Re: NewPost "Grand Canyon, New Hance Trail with 1s [Re: TomD]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Geez tom, the newbie isn't supposed to be the one who has to be the pack contents gestapo (I always take my jackboots in the car when hiking with others but then leave them after wearing them for pack inspection <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> )

Of course, I suppose by next time he won't be a newbie.

Congrats on making what sounds like some very sane decisions on a difficult hike and still enjoying
it Imager. Allow me to add my "way too" for sticking with your shagged out friend. Suggest you try
a few trips with different leadership - like maybe your own.
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#73035 - 11/22/07 12:47 PM Re: NewPost "Grand Canyon, New Hance Trail with 1s [Re: phat]
Niles Offline
member

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 39
A friend and I were once hiking a creek in the backwoods of Oregon when we came upon a huge watermelon sitting on a rock. We looked around and called out to see if anyone was around, but got nothing. Evidently this satisfied my buddy enough to think that the watermelon now belonged to him, and before I knew it he had picked it up and dashed it against a rock...I would have much rather eaten it. But then, sure enough, came a voice from a high bank saying, "Hey, that was my watermelon!" The dude was awful strong looking and bigger than the both of us. The next few anxious moments went by while my friend appologized and paid for the melon.

As for myself my stupidest moment was probably in the Sierras where a friend and I decided to go off trail to take in a view. We didn't count on the heavily bushed terrain slowing us down like it did, and even more we didn't expect a thick dense fog to roll in and cover everything five feet away. Having not taken a bearing from the trail we had no idea which way to go. And even worse, we had dropped our packs in one of those "we'll remember" sort of spots. We ended up somehwere we didn't recognize about 20-30 feet from a not so happy slightly surprised bear that wanted nothing but for us to leave. And leave we did. Nothing really motivates you to try and find your way when you know you just put your back to an angry bear in dense fog.

Everything turned out fine, and we are all the wiser now.

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#73036 - 11/22/07 01:49 PM Re: NewPost "Grand Canyon, New Hance Trail with 1s [Re: Niles]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Quote:
A friend and I were once hiking a creek in the backwoods of Oregon when we came upon a huge watermelon sitting on a rock. We looked around and called out to see if anyone was around, but got nothing. Evidently this satisfied my buddy enough to think that the watermelon now belonged to him
Bwahahahahaha snork ahahahahahaha snork <gasping for breath>

Praytell, just exactly how did your buddy think the watermelon got there? A big squirrel shmaybe?

<snork>

Thanks for the laugh...

MNS
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#73037 - 11/22/07 02:44 PM Re: NewPost "Grand Canyon, New Hance Trail with 1s [Re: midnightsun03]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I have walked along a trail and about a mile in I find a nice shiny apple sitting where it would be obvious to passers by - delicious. A while on I came to an unopened 16 ounce beer, also obviously left out lightening the pack I assume - also delicious.

So our ski area at Mt Bachelor opened to Thanksgiving and Happy Thanksgiving you guys.
Jim
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#73038 - 11/28/07 11:46 PM Re: NewPost "Grand Canyon, New Hance Trail with 1s [Re: Jimshaw]
Capoken Offline
member

Registered: 03/15/04
Posts: 142
Once, at a campsite in the white mountains, my BPing partner and I were hunkering down for dinner after setting up our tarps. It was dark when we heard some voices. Sure enough, 3 hikers, way overloaded, huffed up to the site. One of them didn't even have a backpack, but rather a sports duffel bag over his shoulder (I wonder how many times he switched shoulders on the 4 hour hike?) Then, as we listened to out MP3 player, we heard a noise we never heard in the backcountry - Hammering! These guys brought a hammer and nails to bang into the tent platform for tent guyouts! Then, we heard TWO hammers going at once! So they lugged up two hammers and nails for three people. At least they had the good sense to remove the nails from the platform.

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#73039 - 12/21/07 02:42 PM Re: NewPost "Grand Canyon, New Hance Trail with 1s [Re: Capoken]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I have deleted the last few posts. The topic was not related to backpacking, light or otherwise and somewhat inappropriate for this forum.

Any complaints, PM me.
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#73040 - 01/10/08 04:11 PM so Stupid? [Re: oldranger]
cheap Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 46
Stupidest thing?
Probably, *guy sees campfire.
Guy sees big sealed cylindrical can of white gas.
Man throws cylinder in fire.
Cylinder explodes, covering guy's legs in burning camp fuel.
Guy spends two weeks in bed with legs plastered.

Wow...

*note: cannot release guy's name
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#73041 - 02/05/08 05:19 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Earthling]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:
could regal you guys with tales of speeding down dirt backroads with none other than Denzel at the wheel, Pete Townsend riding shotgun, and myself and Lola in the backseat....all on the way to a party on an island at that <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />


Ha! I can beat that story, earthling! I photographed the Miss USA pageants and for 21 days at a time I stayed in the same hotels as all of the contestants and their beautiful female chaperons . Brum

PS: Don't tell my wife I wrote this. She still gets angry thinking about it all.
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#73042 - 02/07/08 09:07 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Brumfield]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Brum, she'd only be mad if she saw the hotel bill with repeated ordering of 'room service' <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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#73043 - 02/08/08 07:26 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Brumfield]
tinaanderson Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 18
Haha, I can imagine she would be angry about that. Were you working as a photographer at the time or did you just do it for fun?
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#73044 - 02/09/08 12:19 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
blazer209 Offline
member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: California/central
Back in high school, I remember hiking with freinds in Yosemite.Our footware of choice were Vans skater shoes.I carried an old kelty pack(super tioga) on one trip.That pack weighed in at just under 80lbs.I weighed about 130-140lbs at the time.Our menu consisted of frozen steaks,frozen burger,fresh eggs.Most of our equipment was geared towards car camping.Full size laterns,cast iron skillets,blue enamel dishes.It was crazy.Racheria Fall,7-8 miles,was like a death hike.I remember on the way back out, guys leaving brand new equipment on the trail,for lack of wanting to carry that much weight.
Yeh, those were the good ole days.We obviously knew nothing about backpacking back then.I can honestly say that I've grown to love packing more every time I go.We must've looked like fools to educated hikers,but you live and you learn.

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#73045 - 02/09/08 10:58 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: blazer209]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Makes me recall my first trip along here:




In high school, with 3 boneheaded friends, beetling to jasper in some godawful beater of a vehicle, No laterns, but D cell flashlights, two pup tents, Coleman peak 1 stoves, frozen hamburger, fresh eggs, butter, army frypans, Jeans, extra cotton long johns, Kodiak Boots, no hiking poles, external frame canadian tire packs, heavy crappy synthetic bags, at least 5 lbs each of useless gear we'd never use, and Oh and of course since we were underage it was cool to bring beer. one six pack[1], metered out between four guys, so we got to have a cold beer in a raging slushstorm in snowbowl campground while sitting in moist jeans waiting as the peak one roared through what seemed like gallons of white gas howling away against the wind blasting out of little shovel pass to throw heat under a pathetic brick of frozen hamburger in an army frypan. (pump it more!!! pile stuff here....)

Amazing how I knew everything and was so smart as a teenager, and still managed to be so retarded sometimes <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


[1] and note for the record.. At this time canadian beer did not come in canned "six packs" - with nice light aluminum cans. A six pack was 6 of these. (yes we packed out the empties)
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#73046 - 02/09/08 03:11 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: phat]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Phat wrote: Amazing how I knew everything and was so smart as a teenager, and still managed to be so retarded sometimes <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


Brumfield wrote: Yes, but wouldn't you give anything to do it all over again... just once more. Crazy days like those from our youth are priceless. We were dumb, did worse than stupid and dangerous things, but man did we have fun. Brum
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#73047 - 02/09/08 03:13 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: phat]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
Hey Phat, wheres all the trees?

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#73048 - 02/09/08 03:58 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: hootyhoo]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
Hey Phat, wheres all the trees?


That trail spends a long time quite a few hundreds of meters above anything remotely
resembling trees. There's a reason it's called skyline <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

The trees are only in the lower parts. go look Here for all the pics from that trip.

Hey. here's some. waking up in the morning:

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#73049 - 02/09/08 04:22 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Brumfield]
phat Offline
Moderator

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

Brumfield wrote: Yes, but wouldn't you give anything to do it all over again... just once more. Crazy days like those from our youth are priceless. We were dumb, did worse than stupid and dangerous things, but man did we have fun. Brum


Well, to some extent I'd agree with you Brum. But I also like to thing you learn more from your mistakes than from your successes <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Today I scoot through skyline in a day less than I did then, even though I'm a lot older and a lot heavier. I probably carry 1/3 what I carried on my back than I did then. I ain't 16 anymore, but there's something to be said for the wisdom of experience <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#73050 - 02/09/08 04:36 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: phat]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
That picture looks exactly like The Chugach coming out of Anchorage!!!!!

MNS

Edit: I'm referring to your above timberline photo, not the one with trees


Edited by midnightsun03 (02/09/08 04:37 PM)
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#73051 - 02/09/08 05:13 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: midnightsun03]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
That picture looks exactly like The Chugach coming out of Anchorage!!!!!

MNS

Edit: I'm referring to your above timberline photo, not the one with trees


Well, It's actually along the ridge about in the middle of amber mountain, skyline trail.. If you follow that link the trail at this point is basically running along the tops of the ridges from the lower right to the upper left (it sneaks down around the lake on the upper left to skirt mount Tekkara, the thing that's in the later photo behind the trees in the morning.

Of course if the Chugach looks like that too, well I'll have to make sure I find it if I'm ever around Anchorage. I'm rather fond of the skyline.
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#73052 - 02/13/08 12:40 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: phat]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:
Quote:

Brumfield wrote: Yes, but wouldn't you give anything to do it all over again... just once more. Crazy days like those from our youth are priceless. We were dumb, did worse than stupid and dangerous things, but man did we have fun. Brum


Well, to some extent I'd agree with you Brum. But I also like to thing you learn more from your mistakes than from your successes <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Today I scoot through skyline in a day less than I did then, even though I'm a lot older and a lot heavier. I probably carry 1/3 what I carried on my back than I did then. I ain't 16 anymore, but there's something to be said for the wisdom of experience <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


Brumfield wrote:
All true, my friend, looking back I recognize the amelioration that experience as allowed me, but I can't help but miss the innocence of those days. With all of my mistakes, bad decisions, and very poor choices of my youth, I guess God graded me on a scale of effort, and not result. I suppose the proof in that is that I'm still here, and I for one, am immensely thankful to Him. I give no credit to myself. If it were left up to me, even with all of my wisdom, I could not even cause my own heart to continue beating, no matter how hard I would try. Brum
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#73053 - 02/13/08 04:26 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: blazer209]
SAMYADAMS Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 36
Loc: Pacific Coast, Ca, USA
yeah man...now days that stuff cracks me up...Im sure we did look like idiots...but hey, we were still kids just having fun,,,I bet people never seen someone sitting on the side of trail drinking a twelve pack of beer because they dont wanna carry it anymore...ha! I remember Prater leaving a new igloo cooler and coleman stove behind...the double burner type..thats crazy for sure...packs almost made you tip backwards they were so heavy, thank God for the switchbacks....
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#73054 - 02/14/08 01:07 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Brumfield]
phat Offline
Moderator

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

Brumfield wrote:
All true, my friend, looking back I recognize the amelioration that experience as allowed me, but I can't help but miss the innocence of those days. With all of my mistakes, bad decisions, and very poor choices of my youth, I guess God graded me on a scale of effort, and not result. I suppose the proof in that is that I'm still here, and I for one, am immensely thankful to Him. I give no credit to myself. If it were left up to me, even with all of my wisdom, I could not even cause my own heart to continue beating, no matter how hard I would try. Brum


I rather firmly believe that in at least a few cases the only reason I'm around today after some of the idiotic stunts of my youth was that God was far too busy laughing at my stupidity to be distracted by such trivial matters as deciding that it was my time. Nowadays at my age I figure he'll think I should know better - so I show a little more discretion <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#73055 - 02/17/08 07:01 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
It took me a while to come up with my absolutely worst decision, but I can now present it to the group.

Three of us were climbing Mt Humphreys (12,000 ft plus) in December, 1962, as a training climb for the Mexican volcanoes over Christmas break. I was the only one to bring snowshoes (Army surplus bearpaws costing me all of $7.50), consequently I was the only one making decent progress through deep powder. About noon my companions turned back, but not intrepid me. I continued up to timberline and the wind blasted summit ridge, where I cached the snowshoes and continued on to the summit, crawling at times in the vicious wind. After summiting, I returned to timberline, just beaten up by the wind. I decided that I didn't need the snowshoes to descend and left them there!

As I floundered down toward the ski lodge and my friends, I came to realize that I had messed up royally. About 4:30, I could look back about 150 yards and see where I was a 4 PM. I knew that I was going to spend an unplanned night out in winter conditions. I dug a snow "cave", roofless because of the powdery conditions, but I put a poncho over the hole and got some shelter. I had an extra sweater, food, and a small stove - the infamous Borde (soon to be off the market because of its propensity for blowing up). I had done some reading of "Accidents in North American Mountaineering," so I had some idea of what to do. I ate, melted snow, made tea, snoozed, woke up from the cold, flexed my toes, ate, made tea, slept, and repeated on a very long winter night. As dawn arrived, I got up, pushed on, much refreshed, and made much better time down to the lodge, where I got a pretty much deserved chewing out by the deputy who would have had to mount a search effort if I had not showed up.

As it turned out, Orizaba and Popo were cake walks compared to this snow wallow "training climb."

lessons learned - you make really dumb decisions when you are physically stressed and probably hypothermic. To some extent, you can counter the consequences of these bad decisions if you carry appropriate gear, especially if you don't abandon it <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#73056 - 03/04/08 07:56 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Does backpacking in the nude count as stupidity? Or did I see a holdover from the stone age? I guess if he was wearing a backpack he wouldn't be nude, or would he <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />?
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#73057 - 03/04/08 08:57 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: chaz]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Hey....i've thought about that lots of times when on solo hikes <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> I am glad i chose not to because with my luck i'd run into a Girl Scout troop or someone's church group <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
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#73058 - 05/14/08 09:18 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: bigfoot2]
lv2fsh Offline
member

Registered: 04/27/08
Posts: 111
Loc: socal
Having been involved in S&R in the past and now again, I can tell you nothing people do surprises me. We have a trail that goes down a canyon to a creek with a hot springs that is very popular. People are forever going down it during the warm daytime in bathing suits or shorts and flipflops. They usually carry little food and extra clothing. They do find the ability to carry adult beverages and smoking products. Well when it gets dark the temps drop dramatically and the trail isn't so easy uphill and in the dark. These people are usually cold,wet,hungry,tired and in trouble. But they do have their cell phones that work intermitantly. But of course they have no idea where they are and in fact usually call a friend or family member so the info we get is second hand.(the phones are usually dead or not working when we try) I have even seen them go in when the weather is threatening and get in trouble when the creek floods.

One of the stupidest and saddest thing I ever saw was a scoutmaster took a group of boys up to the summit of Mt San Gorgonio. Some of the boys were in a hurry to get to the top and were moving very fast. One of the scouts was a little over weight and not in as good of shape. Needless to say he was falling behind. The scout leader then made a fatally stupid mstake. He left the young boy behind, assuming that they could catch up with him on the way back. That was the last time anyone saw the boy again. A massive search was launched that lasted for weeks. It involved mounted, foot and air. The Army even got involved. The boy was never found, only his camera with a photo taken of himself, a scared lost little boy. I spent several days on that mountain searching and it still haunts me.

I myself am not immune from lapses in judgement. When I was a teenager, my friend and I were camping along a creek and it was cold at night. We had heavy old sleeping bags with some unknown synthetic filler. My bag had a snap in flannel lining that had come loose and was bunched at the foot of the bag. This was ok as it kept my feet warm. We were sleeping in a lean-to that we had built and had a fire burning in the front of it. I didn't want to accidently kick my feet in the fire so I placed a large rock between the foot of my bag and the fire......When I awoke the next morning, my bag was smoldering. I hadn't noticed that an ember had jumped the rock landing on the foot of my bag because of the liner that was bunched at my feet. Well that was the second stupidest thing that I had done. The stupidest thing was when I slapped the smoldering bag with my hand. The synthetic filler was a melted pile of very very hot goo that both stuck to my bare hand and burned it at the same time. I immediately jumped out of the bag and carried it over and emersed it and my burnt hand in the cold creek. That lesson cost me a sleeping bag and several large painful blisters.

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#73059 - 05/18/08 09:07 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: strongone]
ajherman Offline
member

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 208
Loc: Rock Springs, WY
i was using a pressurized burner design.
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#73060 - 05/23/08 05:01 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
sleddog Offline
member

Registered: 01/24/04
Posts: 23
I am sure this will catch on and provide for many stupid moments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7gHEIvZlx0&feature=related

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#73061 - 05/26/08 08:21 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
northernbcr Offline
member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 125
Loc: bc/yukon border area
i think the stupidest thing ive ever seen was, as i went to lite a fire in an established fire pit i found a winchester 300 mag shell stuck into the earth so it was buried with only the primer showing. this was unbelievable. so for me rule #1 dig around in firepit before lighting

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#73062 - 05/26/08 08:57 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: northernbcr]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
northernbcr:

I see you're at the northern BC/Yukon border. From your post I see that "civilization" has even made it up there. Good tip, especially in NF lands or where there might be hunting down here.
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(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#73063 - 08/06/08 10:29 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
judach Offline
member

Registered: 04/01/07
Posts: 63
Loc: California, USA
First off, I would like to say that I HATE camping in well established camping areas that have been commercialized because you always run into people like this...

While camping with my family in Ice House, CA (El Dorado County), I observed the "(explative deleted)" camper next to me attempt to light a fire using a large propane tank. I watched as he opened the valve on the tank, light the expelling propane gas using a match, and saw a 5 foot flame shoot out of the valve. The camper (Im embarassed to even call him that, because he was anything but a "camper"), suprised by the uncontrollable flame, started waving the tank around wildly in an attempt to point the flame at the fire pit.

After getting my family safe behind my truck, I ran over to the campsite and assisted the other camper extinguish the flame. After which I had a rather stern and colorful lecture with the guy.

Ive seen some stupid things in my life, but this one takes the cake for me. He could've burned the whole forest down! Idiot...

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#73064 - 08/07/08 09:53 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: judach]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
I've seen people throw gas on a fire but I think a propane tank takes the prize. Instead of giving out merrit badges we should come up with something that cannot be removed and will let everyone know they are among the worst in stupidity. I also don't like camping in established camp sites. That's the reason I only go to the wilderness.
_________________________
Enjoy your next trip...

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#73065 - 08/07/08 12:36 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: chaz]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Quote:
Instead of giving out merrit badges we should come up with something that cannot be removed and will let everyone know they are among the worst in stupidity.


Google the Darwin Award web site and let me know if you think that applies <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#73066 - 08/08/08 10:49 AM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: Pika]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
The Darwin Awards would be great to carry several in your pocket and apply them as needed. For Sure....
_________________________
Enjoy your next trip...

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#73067 - 08/09/08 08:51 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: frenchie]
HumanBN Offline
member

Registered: 05/15/08
Posts: 58
Loc: West Virginia
Last Summer I went to the George Washington NF with a few friends, and friends of friends, to pack. We climbed to the top of Mill Mountain, which is a steep climb but no more than 1/2 a mile. Anyway, one guy brought a school bookbag which he attached a cot to, with a jar of moonshine, almost no food ( I had to feed most of the people on this trip) and a sleeping bag. The cot and sleeping bag were tied to the outside of the pack but not tightly, they would swing like a pendulum. He kept asking why his pack felt so awkward. I just tried to keep a straight face and explained that loose objects are no good. I must admit, however, that his moonshine was a very nice addition to the evening.

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#73068 - 08/12/08 01:44 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: HumanBN]
lv2fsh Offline
member

Registered: 04/27/08
Posts: 111
Loc: socal
Reminds me of this <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=famhW3PkFfA
I'm sorry Dryer couldn't help it

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#73069 - 08/26/08 12:31 PM Re: backcountry stupidity ? [Re: tarfu]
schweinhundert Offline
member

Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 36
Loc: Amerikkka
This is pretty tame, but on Maui, a local chap goes out bowhunting pigs, comes back late at night, no tent, no tarp, no jacket, and hopes a tourist camper will put him up each time. Mosquitos and rain abound. Well, have to admit, last time I was through, he was shacked up with a cute haole chick in her RV, he he.


Edited by schweinhundert (08/27/08 10:12 PM)

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