PDA

View Full Version : CDT Hiker Missing- Found!



Sly
12-17-2007, 10:14
I'm just going to post the contents of the emails... and his Trailjournals page. To be honest, knowing the area with the time elasped, it doesn't look good.

--------------------------------------------

http://trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=164013


Wow, that's scary. I personally skipped half of the
Gila route due to snow/rain. I'm copying this email
to the CDT-L. Hopefully, some of the 2007 hikers
could chime in with suggestions.

yogi
www.pcthandbook.com (http://www.pcthandbook.com/)


--- Donna and Rob Mabry <dandrmabry at yahoo dot com ([email protected])> wrote:

> Hi Yogi:
>
> I am writing to get some input from you regarding
> terrain, routes, etc. Wildcat (AT '04, PCT '05) has been
> hiking the CDT this year and I thought he would be
> finishing up before now. He went back to Tennessee
> for Thanksgiving (Left from Grants, NM) and got back
> on the trail 11/28. He last talked to his wife on
> the phone "in person" on Dec 3, then he left her a
> voice mail on Dec 8 saying he was on Hwy 28, north
> of Snow Lake. He was going to call her when he got
> to Doc Campbell's, and to pick up his packages by
> Dec 11. He has not shown up there yet. Becky
> (Wildcat's wife) e-mailed One Gallon and he called
> her back, saying HE was at Doc Campbell's on Dec 11
> (?!) and Bert did not pick up his things.
>
> I e-mailed Nitro and Hawkeye, two hikers that did
> the CDT this year to ask them about the
> trail/terrain/phone access, etc. and neither one
> painted a very pretty picture as far as the spot
> where Bert is right now -- if he decided to stay
> dry, it's a long, confusing route. If he did take
> the Gila river route, he'd be wet A LOT and it is
> very cold here right now. We just got a storm
> through Alamosa last week that came from the south.
> I am guessing from reading other trail journals
> about that section that he is at about 7-8,000 feet
> in elevation.
>
> I suppose I am asking you if you have some "best
> guess" where he may be. I am ready to get in my car
> and drive down there. We're about 7-ish hours away,
> I'd say. Becky HAS called the authorities there --
> the NM police and the Forest Service.
>
> I hope you are well; we are good here. COLD,
> though. It was -12 degrees this a.m.
>
> Donna Mabry
>

doggiebag
12-17-2007, 10:24
This guy has a lot of trail miles under his belt. He's 6 days overdue in rough terrain and sub zero conditions. If he has enough rations to stretch out. He may be bunkered down somewhere waiting for the weather to break. I hope that is all.

Sly
12-17-2007, 10:27
This guy has a lot of trail miles under his belt. He's 6 days overdue in rough terrain and sub zero conditions. If he has enough rations to stretch out. He may be bunkered down somewhere waiting for the weather to break. I hope that is all.

It's only 20-40 miles (I don't have my book) from where he was last heard from to Doc Campbells. 20-40 miles and 150 fords depending on which route he took.

MOWGLI
12-17-2007, 10:31
It's only 20-40 (I don't have my book) miles from where he was last heard to Doc Campbells. 20-40 miles and 150 fords depending on which route he took.

Damn! 150 fords! Lets hope a trail angel is looking over him.

wrongway_08
12-17-2007, 10:31
I hope he is bunkered down, seems like he has a lot of miles. Hope the family finds him safe and warm in a snow cave.

wrongway_08
12-17-2007, 10:33
20 - 40 miles could take a lot longer then 6 days if the weather is that bad, taking in account the water crossings. Really hope he is okay.

rafe
12-17-2007, 10:34
Post removed

ARambler
12-17-2007, 10:40
I met Bert at Rt 60, Buena Vista in 2004. He was with his son, who was section hiking. I had been following him in the sheleter registers because he left good notes and because he was from Maryville, TN our historical family home.
I will pray for him.
Rambler

doggiebag
12-17-2007, 10:40
My bet is he avoided the "wet" route. Doing 150 fords in sub-zero is a death sentence. No way will this guy risk getting wet even once in those temperatures.

Sly
12-17-2007, 10:40
Damn! 150 fords! Lets hope a trail angel is looking over him.

There's at least three ways in this area. The official route along the divide in Black Mountains (dry) that not too may take. The recommended (CDTS) Middle Folk of the Gila with the 150 fords, and a road walk.

I know I'll change my route on a whim depending on a number of factors. The search isn't going to be easy.

dessertrat
12-17-2007, 10:44
It seeems likely that he sprained or broke something. It is probably time to send out searchers, but I would not at all presume that "the worst" has happened to him at this point in time.

MOWGLI
12-17-2007, 10:51
As the moderator of this forum, I'd like to kindly ask folks to be respectful with your comments. This guy's family deserves no less.

doggiebag
12-17-2007, 10:57
I looked at his gear list on TJ. He's outfitted well. How is the availability of fire wood on the highwater route?

Sly
12-17-2007, 11:02
Here's a Mapquest map of the area. If you zoom out to level 5, he'd be south of Pie Town to Silver City. I forget just where Highway 28 is...

http://tinyurl.com/3427ys

dixicritter
12-17-2007, 11:09
We know Wildcat too, oh my gosh, I'm speechless here. Praying hard for him and his family right now!

Frolicking Dinosaurs
12-17-2007, 11:12
I just realized who this missing hiker is - Dino has tears and a big lump in throat. Prayers, prayers and prayers for him and his family. We are local to his family -- if there is anything we can do, don't hesitate to ask.

Mags
12-17-2007, 11:12
I know when I went through last year, it was tempting to NOT do the middle fork Gila route because of all the fords. And that was in mid-late October.

Being cold and and wet is no fun. My gut feeling is that f he took the alternate Forest Service route along the roads; the maps most thru-hikers have do not really have the route too well (Ley Maps, gazeteers, maybe BLM maps). Easy to get a little lost.

I hope all is well. :(

SGT Rock
12-17-2007, 11:17
Lord I hope he is hunkered down somewhere. Bert is a tough hiker but also a really smart guy - not the kid to take chances when he doesn't have to. He was on the last leg of a SOBO CDT which would finish his tripple crown. I gave him a stove at Little River Outfitters just last month so he could make his fuel supply last longer on that stretch.

I'm going to hope for the best - I know his family has to be bad worried. I reckon today I'll go by Little River and talk to Jodie to see what is up.

Cuffs
12-17-2007, 11:34
Does anyone know if an "official" search has begun or are they thinking of his experience and letting go for a few more days?

SGT Rock
12-17-2007, 11:43
Nothing in Google news about it. I'm thinking of taking off from work early and going to talk to some friends that may know more.

FWIW, Bert was talking about a section that was going to take him 8-10 days to cover - that is why I gave him an Ion to try because he didn't think he could make that stretch with his current stove given his cooking style. Last time he was heard from was the 8th, so that would make today 9 days from there - so I am hoping that this is the section he was talking about and that it is just taking him a little longer to get through it because of weather.

doggiebag
12-17-2007, 11:52
Nothing in Google news about it. I'm thinking of taking off from work early and going to talk to some friends that may know more.

FWIW, Bert was talking about a section that was going to take him 8-10 days to cover - that is why I gave him an Ion to try because he didn't think he could make that stretch with his current stove given his cooking style. Last time he was heard from was the 8th, so that would make today 9 days from there - so I am hoping that this is the section he was talking about and that it is just taking him a little longer to get through it because of weather.
I've been out of contact for as long as 2 weeks in some sections on the AT ... when doing a long distance hike it was easy for me to lose track of the dates. There were some sections in NH that caused me to slow down to less than a mile an hour. This could be very well be a similar circumstance. Though the missed scheduled check in and resupply is concerning. There has been 0 precipitation in the last couple of weeks at Pie Town. However, he's in the mountains where the weather is more localized.

SGT Rock
12-17-2007, 11:54
I'm not familiar with the area, but I take it this isn't an easy stretch.

Sly
12-17-2007, 12:15
I'm not familiar with the area, but I take it this isn't an easy stretch.

From the payphone in the middle of nowhere, right down the road from the Negrito Forest Fire Station, to Doc Campbell's is maybe 40 miles. The CDTS route, which he had the guides for up north, has you "trail blazing" cross country over a mesa and down the Middle Fork of the Gila River in the Gila Wilderness. It wasn't all that hard in nice weather, but I can't imagine what it would have been like snow and ice covered.

There was a lady that got lost in there, along the river which is a narrow canyon, for 1 or 2 weeks last year. The problem is he could have gone a number of ways.

SGT Rock
12-17-2007, 12:20
I found the trail and area you are talking about in Google Earth - looks like it could be tricky just from looking at it in 3D view.

Sly
12-17-2007, 12:23
I found the trail and area you are talking about in Google Earth - looks like it could be tricky just from looking at it in 3D view.

Tricky for sure.... I think by the time Bert got down to NM he had a knack for the trail, but in bad weather...

I have the entire CDT on Google Earth. I'll have to look at that section.

Sly
12-17-2007, 12:30
Here's the file for the CDT in New Mexico, starting at the CO border

Sly
12-17-2007, 13:09
Here's the file for the CDT in New Mexico, starting at the CO border

Takes a while to get to southern NM... Sorry to go off topic but at first the picture was clear as day, now it's unfocused. Is there anyway to clear it up?

tazie
12-17-2007, 13:22
Does anyone know if an "official" search has begun or are they thinking of his experience and letting go for a few more days?

I was wondering this as well. The email in the first post says..."Becky HAS called the authorities there---the NM police and the Forest Service." Perhaps they have started a search? What is the criteria for that, is it by days passed or family request? My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. Please keep us updated.

Crazy Larry #1
12-17-2007, 13:24
Wasn't Wildcat here for Trail Days?

A-Train
12-17-2007, 13:44
Wow, when I saw the subject title I was hoping it wasn';t him. Have read thru his trailjournals over the years and admired from a far. Hope he is safe and healthy and that things develop positively over the coming days. My thoughts are with Bert and his family.

Sly
12-17-2007, 13:44
Takes a while to get to southern NM... Sorry to go off topic but at first the picture was clear as day, now it's unfocused. Is there anyway to clear it up?

Here's a resized picture of the area from Google Earth with the trail drawn in (sorry about the quality) from the top near the Negrito phone booth (near the plane symbol), Snow Canyon (near the two tents just south) down the Gila to near where the cliff dwellings are.

And the link on Google maps.

http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=33.403775,-108.41351&z=11&t=h&hl=en

A-Train
12-17-2007, 13:46
It's worth noting that a search was sent out this october in Washington for Nadine Lew, a PCT thru-hiker who wasn't lost or missing, just slow going thru the storms in the Cascades. She was on the Seattle news and search and rescue came out to look for her and eventually found her. She didn't even know she was "lost". She'd already hiked the PCT once.

Wildcat's got a lot of trail experience so I suppose one can be comforted that he will do the right thing if he can

SGT Rock
12-17-2007, 15:14
I went by Little River. Jodie wasn't there. The folks working there didn't know anything about anything about this.

ronmoak
12-17-2007, 17:59
Sly,

There is alternate route through the Gila Wilderness that requires only one ford. It travels on the Mesa between Middle and West fork of the Gila River. It's a plesant walk through high country on easy trail. It's pretty well signed and easy to follow. We did it several years ago when the Gila was flooded.

The distance on this route from the Ranger Station to Doc Cambell's is no more than 30 miles or so of pretty easy hiking. We covered it in two days and we were just starting our hike and not in thru-hiker condition.

If he has been missing for a number of days, there's probably something pretty serious going on.

Ron

wrongway_08
12-17-2007, 18:32
Any notion of making a search party? Keep us updated as possible, maybe if they needed vol. to help, I could fly out for a few days to help out? Only thing would be tryn to get off more then just the weekend to help.

Let us know, he and his family are in my prayers.

doggiebag
12-17-2007, 18:38
This person has been in my thoughts most of the day. He's a triple crown candidate with all the needed skills to walk out of this one. My prayers are with him and his family. There's a local TV station in the area that accepts news tips online. Though I believe the authorities have been notified of this situation. Keep us updated Sly.

leeki pole
12-17-2007, 18:55
Prayers to Wildcat and family. He's got a lot of miles under his belt, I've got a feeling this is going to turn out okay. Let's hope so.

Thirsty_River
12-17-2007, 20:07
My prayers go out to him and his family...everything will turn out alright I hope. he sounds like a capable hiker and a strong person. good luck to him.

--Nick--

Pedaling Fool
12-17-2007, 21:18
This person has been in my thoughts most of the day. He's a triple crown candidate with all the needed skills to walk out of this one. My prayers are with him and his family. There's a local TV station in the area that accepts news tips online. Though I believe the authorities have been notified of this situation. Keep us updated Sly.
I've also been thinking of him a lot today. He seems to me to be a very capable person; I will keep thinking positive thoughts.

Sly
12-17-2007, 21:54
In a message dated 12/17/2007 8:52:27 PM Eastern Standard Time, dandrmabry at yahoo dot com writes:

I just got off the phone from Becky Emmerson, Bert's (Wildcat) wife. She said she just got a call from Wildcat. He is at a motel in Glenwood, NM on Hwy 180 northwest of Silver City.

When he left his last phone message, he said it was snowing. After that message, the snow went from being a couple of inches to being "imagine standing with your hands hanging down at your sides and having the snow touch your fingers." He ran into some hunters who told him if he headed west he should be able to get out, which he did. He was able to make his food last, but Becky said he would call her back after he got something to eat. He has some friends in Silver City who are going to take him to seek medical attention, as he thinks he may have some frostbite on his feet.

He told Becky " at one point I was pretty scared and was hoping you were sending people out to look for me."

Becky said to thank everyone for their concern and help. She really appreciated it. She knew when One Gallon and the other hikers were concerned that she should be too.

Thanks for all your help. Hikers are pretty special people.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
12-17-2007, 21:55
::: Dino does cartwheels and dabs at tears of joy :::

superman
12-17-2007, 21:58
When he phoned home last, he was about 20 - 30 miles west of the CDT. Hwy 28 is a poor dirt/gravel road in the middle of nowhere. Snow lake is a very small lake. He is at probably 6000 feet and they had a big storm in the last few days. I hope he is ok. He is probably 100 miles north of Silver City. I would be really concerned.

Hwy 28 and Snow Lake are 30 miles east and 10 miles of there. As he hikes south from Snow Lake he enters the Gila Wilderness, but the trail is way west from where he is. We had a hard time staying on the trail. It is a rugged area. I suspect maybe he was trying to road hike, and maybe lost his way. Those dirt/gravel roads wonder around a lot. There are a few ranchers around.

doggiebag
12-17-2007, 22:00
Outstanding!

dixicritter
12-17-2007, 22:01
Rock and I are very happy to hear this news! Much relief here too!

superman
12-17-2007, 22:02
I love happy endings.

wrongway_08
12-17-2007, 22:03
Thats GREAT!!! Sooo glad to hear this :) BIG SMILES for him and his family... :D ..... look forward to reading about this in his writings.

Skidsteer
12-17-2007, 22:04
Very cool. Big sigh of relief. :sun

Cuffs
12-17-2007, 22:06
Goosebumps for happy endings!

Sly
12-17-2007, 22:11
When he phoned home last, he was about 20 - 30 miles west of the CDT. Hwy 28 is a poor dirt/gravel road in the middle of nowhere. Snow lake is a very small lake. He is at probably 6000 feet and they had a big storm in the last few days. I hope he is ok. He is probably 100 miles north of Silver City. I would be really concerned.

Hwy 28 and Snow Lake are 30 miles east and 10 miles of there. As he hikes south from Snow Lake he enters the Gila Wilderness, but the trail is way west from where he is. We had a hard time staying on the trail. It is a rugged area. I suspect maybe he was trying to road hike, and maybe lost his way. Those dirt/gravel roads wonder around a lot. There are a few ranchers around.

What? When he phoned home from the pay phone in the middle of nowhere, he was on the trail.

Silver City never came into it as his next resupply was Doc Campbells.

Snow Lake feeds into the Middle Fork and has campgrounds and privies for shelter.

The trail is east of Glenwood.

Yes, it's a rugged area and he lost his way.

ARambler
12-17-2007, 22:18
What? When he phoned home from the pay phone in the middle of nowhere, he was on the trail.

Silver City never came into it as his next resupply was Doc Campbells.

Snow Lake feeds into the Middle Fork and has campgrounds and privies for shelter.

The trail is east of Glenwood.

Yes, it's a rugged area and he lost his way.

Here's a link to a large scale map.

http://www2.srs.fs.fed.us/r3/gila/publications/docs/forestmap.pdf
Based on this and the topos, it looks like Wildcat bailed out at his very last opportunity.
Rambler

Sly
12-17-2007, 22:40
Here's a link to a large scale map.

http://www2.srs.fs.fed.us/r3/gila/publications/docs/forestmap.pdf

Based on this and the topos, it looks like Wildcat bailed out at his very last opportunity.
Rambler

He probably bailed at Snow Lake rather than hiking the Middle Fork or another alternate. I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed in one of the concrete privies a night or two at the campground, if he made it that far on trail.

Smile
12-17-2007, 22:42
Great news :)

SGT Rock
12-17-2007, 22:42
So based on that assessment how much further does he need to go to finish? Knowing Bert he is probably going to try and get patched up and get it done if there is any possibility he can.

doggiebag
12-17-2007, 22:44
He had to do what he had to do!
Sometimes you have to do things on the trail that you never admit to polite company. This is a wonderful ending to nail biter. I can't wait for his TJ update. Thanks for keeping us informed. Sly.

Sly
12-17-2007, 22:54
So based on that assessment how much further does he need to go to finish? Knowing Bert he is probably going to try and get patched up and get it done if there is any possibility he can.

I should know off the top of my head but, if he starts back up in Silver Ciity maybe 130- 180 miles depending on his route. Add about 70 or so if he goes back to Snow Lake, which depending on the weather, isn't likely.

Sly
12-17-2007, 22:57
No doubt it will be a story told more than any others. I can't recall any CDT hikers ever perishing on that trail. Thankfully he survived.

doggiebag
12-17-2007, 23:07
He didn't just survive - he won. Wildcat definitely has 9 lives ... or maybe he needs to be renamed to "Eight Left". It's ok to joke now right? :D

ChinMusic
12-17-2007, 23:10
I have never met Wildcat nor followed his TJs, but I was thinking about him all day. GREAT NEWS.......

Mags
12-17-2007, 23:12
It should also be added that if takes the traditional ending of Antelope Wells from Silver City, it is almost all paved and dirt road walking. The CDTA has new tread built south of there as well (as of 2006), however it is nowhere as rugged as the Gila.

Yep. Once inthe Gila, you are pretty isolated until Silver City.

I am glad this turned out well!

Sly
12-18-2007, 00:09
It should also be added that if takes the traditional ending of Antelope Wells from Silver City, it is almost all paved and dirt road walking. The CDTA has new tread built south of there as well (as of 2006), however it is nowhere as rugged as the Gila.


Yeah, probably a good time to beeline it on the old traditional hiker route , rather than messing around with the "official" route or the official CDTS alternate .

He could be home for Christmas if he hurries!

Maple
12-18-2007, 00:19
I read this thread early this morning and he has been in my prayers all day. It is a relief to hear that he is alive and kicking. I too look forward to reading his trail journals.

Tinker
12-18-2007, 00:45
Wonderful news!:banana :banana

Frosty
12-18-2007, 01:20
No doubt it will be a story told more than any others. I can't recall any CDT hikers ever perishing on that trail. Thankfully he survived.The difference between an epic adventure and a tragedy is, if you survive, it's and epic adventure.

STEVEM
12-18-2007, 06:52
The difference between an epic adventure and a tragedy is, if you survive, it's and epic adventure.

This is surly great news! As far as survival is concerned, he still has to explain this to Mrs Wildcat. That should be interesting.

Roots
12-18-2007, 08:22
You do not know how happy this makes me!!:banana
Anytime a fellow hiker is in trouble, it gets me in the pit of the stomach!!
I am so glad to see a happy trails to this one!!

Jaybird62
12-18-2007, 12:07
:clap Very good news- so happy to hear

Thoughtful Owl
12-18-2007, 12:31
PTL! I don't know Wildcat but after reading yesterday, he and his family have been in my thoughts and prayers. God Is Good All The Time and All The Time God Is Good!

ChinMusic
12-18-2007, 12:33
I hope the frostbite on his toes does not leave any permanent damage.

JDCool1
12-18-2007, 12:55
Checked the TJ site and found an update just a moment ago. Looks like the missing has reported in. Thank the good Lord.

Lazarus
12-18-2007, 13:05
Wow! Great news! This has jolted me out of my former long-standing status as spectator, and into a real participant in this website. I never met Wildcat, but thank God for his safety. I pray for his continued safety as he continues his journey.

Laz

doggiebag
12-18-2007, 13:08
It's about time you came to life :D .

Mags
12-18-2007, 13:21
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=213465

Okay...you might not know it, but I've been concerned about WILDCAT. I last spoke with him on Dec. 3rd from Pietown; but he left a message on our answering machine Dec. 8th. When One Gallon expressed concern over this, I decided that I was indeed worried. It's not unusual to go a week without a phone call from him, but yesterday I learned that he had not picked up his maildrop (ETA 12/11) at Doc Campbell's. They recommended I call the visitor center nearby, and then they suggested I call the New Mexico State Police. So I slept last night, but worried every time I was awake. This morning I called Silver City to learn that he hadn't made it that far either, because that package was still there. I was in contact with Sgt. Estrada with the NM police and Cathy Van Camp, the wilderness law enforcement officer in that area. They both encouraged me to wait & see if I heard from WILDCAT today; but I was ready for them to start a search first thing tomorrow.
After I arrived home from work, the phone rang; I remember wishing it would be WILDCAT...and it was!! He was calling from a motel in Glenwood, NM. He'd gotten into a lot of snow; 2-4 inches the first day; 4-8 inches the next day; 8-12 inches the 3rd day. While on the phone with WILDCAT, he told me to stand with my hands down at my sides and imagine snow up to my fingertips! He ran into some people who told him that, if he went west, he should be headed out of the snow. He said he was basically travelling with one week of food, but had been out two weeks!
WILDCAT has relatives in Silver City who will take him to a doctor tomorrow; he may have frostbite on 3-4 toes, the worst being his right big toe. At some point along the trail, he hoped I had called a search party! And he's decided he will not finish the trail in 2007; he'll go back & complete it next year.
I greatly appreciate the prayers, thoughts, emails, phone calls, etc. from everyone. The hiker community is just wonderful! I'll keep this site updated in the coming days as I learn more.
Becky

Machine
12-18-2007, 14:22
Glad to hear he's ok!

Sly
12-18-2007, 16:19
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=213465

And he's decided he will not finish the trail in 2007; he'll go back & complete it next year.

Becky

There's a chance I may be doing from Pie Town to the border before the ADZPCTKO (http://pct77.org/adz/).

Hey Rock, maybe you can get Wildcat to come to the SoRuck.

Christopher Robin
12-18-2007, 19:17
I also did not no Wildcat, but I do now & all day yesterday I prayed we would be safe. It is amazing how pray works. I hope Wildcat toes will be alright. Pray for a saef trip home. Merry Chismas to Wildcat, Becky & Family. Love in Christ, Audrey

SGT Rock
12-19-2007, 00:56
There's a chance I may be doing from Pie Town to the border before the ADZPCTKO (http://pct77.org/adz/).

Hey Rock, maybe you can get Wildcat to come to the SoRuck.
I'll talk to him when I see him.

Sly
12-19-2007, 01:51
I'll talk to him when I see him.

That will be cool.

I met Wildcat in E Glacier this past June. When he found out I lost all my guidebooks and maps on the bus, he gave me the section of guidebook for Glacier NP that I needed. There were a bunch of hikers up there at the same time. Good time in the bar! :D

I just looked, no pics. :(

Frolicking Dinosaurs
12-20-2007, 09:01
Bert is on the front page of the local paper:
http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20071220/NEWS/32349914

neighbor dave
12-20-2007, 09:14
amen!!!! :sun :welcome

woodsy
12-20-2007, 09:20
Great story for a happy ending. Sounds like an ordeal only the very experienced backwoodsman/mountainman could survive.

ChinMusic
12-20-2007, 11:19
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Here's the latest...
WILDCAT called once more last night, and I've spoken with him twice today. At supper last night in Glenwood, he met a couple who had planned a trip to Silver City today anyway; so, in exchange for a ride, WILDCAT bought their supper. The couple took him to the hospital, where his toes could be checked in the emergency room. The good news? He'll keep his toes!!
They then took him to the Drifter Motel. He planned to pick up his maildrop package at the PO and then spend some time at the library, checking email and labeling photos. Tomorrow he'll take a shuttle from Silver City to Deming, where he'll board a Greyhound bus for the trip home. He arrives in Knoxville, TN @ 11pm Thursday evening. Once again, thanks so much for everyone's thoughts, prayers, words of assurance, and guidance through this. I do so appreciate it! Becky

Ewker
12-20-2007, 12:13
good news :banana :banana :banana :banana

Skits
12-21-2007, 00:26
It's pretty incredible that he made it. 20 below temps and waist deep snow.

http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20071220/NEWS/32349914

Hiker’s close call

By Rick Laney
of The Daily Times Staff


Bert Emmerson is a serious hiker. The 59-year-old Maryville resident is chasing hiking’s “Triple Crown,” which includes the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. With more than 7,000 miles logged and two of the three trails finished, Emmerson is less than 200 miles from achieving his goal — but his plans were put on hold this week in a remote area of southwest New Mexico.
On Monday afternoon, Emmerson knocked on the door of a complete stranger in Gila, N.M., and asked for help. His lips were black, and he couldn’t feel his hands. The toes on both of his feet were frostbitten, and he was running low on food after being caught above 10,000 feet in a four-day snowstorm. Temperatures were 10- to 20-degrees below zero and, as he tried to hike, the snow was nearly to his waist.
“It started snowing on Saturday, Dec. 8, and continued for the next four days,” Emmerson said during a telephone interview from New Mexico.
“I’m 5 feet 10 inches tall, and it got to where the tips of my mittens were dragging in the snow while I was walking.
“When my toes started to get numb, I got in my tent and crawled into my sleeping bag. My socks were frozen to my toes, and I knew I was in big trouble.
“The next morning, my toes were black — so I tried to follow a route down through the Gila Wilderness Area to a road that I planned to hike out on.”
The Continental Divide
The route Emmerson was taking on the Continental Divide Trail is 2,567 miles long and stretches through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.
Emmerson started his journey at Glacier National Park on June 15 and has been hiking ever since. His plan was to reach the Mexico border and be home with his wife, Becky Emmerson, by Christmas.
The Continental Divide Trail climbs and descends the peaks of the Rocky Mountains from Canada to Mexico, traversing mountainside meadows, granite peaks and high-desert saddles. Through five states, 25 National Forests, 20 Wilderness areas, three National Parks, one National Monument and eight Bureau of Land Management Resource areas, the trail travels along the “backbone of America” through dramatic and wild backcountry.
Although he started his trek with a small group of other hikers, Emmerson had been hiking solo since he left the trail for a while at the beginning of September to attend his son’s wedding in New Hampshire.
“I had resupplied in Pie Town, N.M., on Dec. 3 and had about one week’s worth of food with me,” Emmerson said.
“I had planned to make it to a place called Doc Campbell’s in about nine days but, when it started snowing, I decided to do a road walk rather than risk getting lost on the trail.
“The road was 39 miles straight to the west — and as I walked, the snow just kept getting deeper and deeper.
“By the time I made it to the house in Gila, I had been out for two entire weeks.”
Back home in Maryville, Becky Emmerson was hours away from asking the New Mexico Police to launch a full-scale search and rescue mission.
She wasn’t sure where her husband was, but she knew it was desolate, steep and remote. The Gila Wilderness Area covers 3.3 million acres of forest and rangeland and is the sixth largest National Forest in the United States. There are six peaks in the Mogollon Mountains — where Emmerson was at the time of the snow storm — with elevations between 10,000 and 11,000 feet. He had described the area during the couple’s last phone call as being “in the middle of nowhere.”
“I hadn’t talked to him for almost two weeks and I was starting to get worried,” Becky said. “There really aren’t many good maps of that area — and the Continental Divide Trail has so many alternate routes.
“I had been talking to the police and forest service people in New Mexico. The police were helpful, but they said it was a 7,000-square-mile area and you can’t really search it.
“Then I ended up talking to another through-hiker who acted really concerned after hearing about Bert. That made me even more worried.
“When I found out that Bert hadn’t picked up one of his packages that he should have already had, I decided we were going to have to do something.”
Ghost town
Just as Becky was making plans to contact authorities in New Mexico, the phone rang and it was Bert. After hiking out of the Gila Wilderness Area, he came to the ghost town of Mogollon, N.M. — an abandoned mining town from the early 1900s that now boasts “five or six” residents.
Emmerson knocked on virtually every door in town, but most of the buildings were vacant. Finally, he reached Dan Ostler’s place.
Ostler, who said people die every year in the mountains around Mogollon, said Emmerson was a hero.
“Geronimo spent part of a winter up there,” Ostler said, “but he was in a cabin. Geronimo also had canned food — Emmerson had neither.
“Very few people walk out of there — actually only two in the last 17 years that I can recall. The first one who walked out had no snow, Emmerson had plenty of snow. I suspect two or three feet had accumulated before he got out.
“It really surprised me when he knocked on my door. There are so few people here, that you don’t really expect anyone to show up.”
Jokingly, Ostler said he expects to find a phone booth up in the mountains next spring when it warms up — because he knows Emmerson has a cape and superhero costume hidden somewhere.
“Very few human beings could survive up there in that,” Ostler said. “They find one to three bodies up there just about every year.
“Emmerson is a remarkable individual — a really good guy.”
No typical retirement
Four years ago, Emmerson retired from the Tennessee Farmers’ Co-Op in Rockford where he was a plant manager for 13 years. Originally from Kansas, he moved to East Tennessee in 1978 while working for ConAgra Foods.
During his first year of retirement, Emmerson hiked the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. The next year, he hiked the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail. He didn’t schedule any long-distance hikes for 2006, but started planning his Continental Divide Trail trek for 2007. On average, less than two dozen hikers attempt the six-month journey on the Continental Divide Trail each year.
Emmerson said, “Last year, when Becky wanted me to stay home and act normal, I worked at Little River Trading Company in Maryville part-time. I’m planning to go back to them — it’s a great store and I recommend Little River’s products to everyone. Most of my equipment is from Little River Trading Company.”
Emmerson was examined by a doctor on Wednesday and planned to return to Maryville today. According to Emmerson, the doctor said he wouldn’t lose his toes to the frostbite if he is careful with them in coming weeks.
“I was never really worried about being lost,” Emmerson said. “I knew where I was — within a mile or so — the whole time.
“I did get a little concerned about the Mexican grey wolves that were reintroduced into the wilderness area near Snow Lake, N.M. They can be aggressive toward humans.
“I had the black bears, the mountain lions, the coyote, the Mexican grey wolves and the creatures from outer space to contend with (a reference to the UFO conspiracy theories about Area 51 in Nevada) — but I wasn’t lost.”
Emmerson plans to go back to New Mexico next year and finish the Continental Divide Trail in April or May. He stressed that he would do this “after the weather breaks.”
To learn more about Emmerson’s hiking adventures and view photos from his trek, visit his online hiking journal at www.trailjournals.com/wildcat.

Skits
12-21-2007, 00:27
Whoops I see Frolicking Dinosaurs already posted the link.

Cookerhiker
12-21-2007, 11:07
I met Wildcat on the first day of his AT thruhike in '04 and you can't find a nicer, first-class guy. Throughout '04, I helped him a few times on his hike and he returned the favor to me in the Fall by shuttling me to Hot Springs and meeting me for Trail Magic at Fontana.

I hadn't followed his journal for the past month because I was out of the country and am still catching up on things but I'm on his e-mail list that his wife Becky sends out. I'm very thankful for his safe return.

slow
12-24-2007, 22:03
Very glad he is safe.

1...B.L. MUST, and did not have.NO hiker in my book planning for this trail should be without....poor game setup.

Sly
12-24-2007, 22:17
1...B.L. MUST, and did not have.NO hiker in my book planning for this trail should be without....poor game setup.

Say what? :confused:

Frolicking Dinosaurs
12-24-2007, 22:23
What is a B. L.?

Sly
12-24-2007, 22:37
What is a B. L.?

LOL... that's what I was trying to figure out. You'd think I know since I hike the trail. Poor planning on my part, I guess. ;)

CoyoteWhips
12-24-2007, 22:45
B.L. MUST, and did not have.NO hiker in my book planning for this trail should be without....poor game setup.

Oh, heck yeah. Getting so I won't go out my front door without my B.L. I'm, like, a B.L. fanatic.

slow
12-24-2007, 23:07
Beacon loc.MUST have for that trip.

slow
12-24-2007, 23:16
OR you can worry your loved ones ,and just die over having enough smarts to spend 600 and everyones HAPPY.

Sly
12-25-2007, 00:47
Beacon loc.MUST have for that trip.

A locator beacon! :eek:

The CDT isn't all that wild. Most that hike it, are well prepared, experienced and carry a number of guidebooks and maps, if not GPS.

What happened to Wildcat on the CDT very well could have happened on the AT to a early or late season hiker.

CoyoteWhips
12-25-2007, 03:06
OR you can worry your loved ones ,and just die over having enough smarts to spend 600 and everyones HAPPY.

I'm not sure it would have helped Wildcat. He wasn't lost, he was cold. In the best case, he might have hunkered down and waited for rescuers to find his beacon, rather than forging through the snow. In the worse case, it'd been useful for finding his body.

The decision to wait or try to walk out; seems like it can be a tough one in a survival situation.

oso loco
12-25-2007, 13:11
Very glad he is safe.

1...B.L. MUST, and did not have.NO hiker in my book planning for this trail should be without....poor game setup.


I've done the CDT twice - and that's arrant nonsense. A GPS is overkill for anyone who's got more than two brain cells to rub together - carrying a PLB is just another way to say you don't belong out there cause you're incompetent.

If you've got the experience and attitude you need to hike a trail (ANY trail), then you don't need the PLB - or GPS. Wildcat is alive, so he had the attitude and experience. Why don't you quit whining and second-guessing and give him the credit he deserves for having the ability to get himself out of the situation?

Frolicking Dinosaurs
12-25-2007, 13:17
I have limited experience on the CDT, but from what I have seen, read and been told, it is not wild enough to require a locater beacon. I'm going to go with the more experienced hikers who are saying this device isn't necessary or even desirable for the CDT.

MOWGLI
12-25-2007, 13:27
I've seen tv commercials in the past few weeks for a $149 GPS tracking device. It allows your loved ones to follow you on a computer while you are out & about anywhere. Some see this as progress. Not me. YMMV.

Cuffs
12-25-2007, 13:51
Mowg... if you see that commercial again, get the name of it and PM me that info?

neighbor dave
12-25-2007, 14:13
Mowg... if you see that commercial again, get the name of it and PM me that info?

here ya go
http://www.mypilotstore.com/mypilotstore/sep/5036

MOWGLI
12-25-2007, 14:28
here ya go
http://www.mypilotstore.com/mypilotstore/sep/5036

Looks like what I saw!

Cuffs, you gonna affix that underneath some perp's car? ;)

ChinMusic
12-25-2007, 14:49
Cuffs, you gonna affix that underneath some perp's car? ;)
It's gotta be able to see the sky....

Mags
12-26-2007, 12:21
carrying a PLB is just another way to say you don't belong out there cause you're incompetent.




It is just another sign that in this world where being connected 24/7 is the norm, people who choose to NOT be connected 24/7 are the abberants.


I agree about a PLB not being needed...but the perception is soon going to be that you NEED a beacon, you NEED a cell phone, etc.

Now a link is posted for affordable GPS tracking? Egads.


Another Abbey quote comes to mind:

A venturesome minority will always be eager to set off on their own,
and no obstacles should be placed in their path; let them take risks, for godsake,
let them get lost, sunburnt, stranded, drowned, eaten by bears, buried alive
under avalanches - that is the right and privilege of any free American.

I'd also say it a right to not be connected 24/7 when I go
into the wildness. (Yes..wildness)

YMMV

Frolicking Dinosaurs
12-26-2007, 12:29
The affordable tracking service did have one feature I liked - the ability to send a text message via statellite. That plus a location really could be a life-saver in an emergency. I wouldn't mind having one of those for driving in some of the remote country Dinos sometimes inhabit.

Cuffs
12-26-2007, 12:31
My request for the link was not for hiking-related tracking! I go to the woods phone-less or if I take it, it is off until I get back to my ride.

After checking out the device, it would not suffice for what I needed it for. The 10 minute delay between tracks is too long of a delay for my purposes...

Frolicking Dinosaurs
12-26-2007, 12:33
::: Dino notes we don't call her Cuffs for nothing - be afraid, be very afraid :D :::

Mags
12-26-2007, 12:39
My request for the link was not for hiking-related tracking! I go to the woods phone-less or if I take it, it is off until I get back to my ride.




I did not aim my soap box preaching at anyone here. :) Just an observation in general.

I suspect in the coming years, something like this device will be perceived as "mandatory". A local newspaper had an article saying how PLB's should be a needed piece of equipment for...TRAIL RUNNING.

No offense to our trail running cousins, but most trail runners really don't get that remote due to the nature of the gear and the nature of their past time.

Still, an article was saying it should be needed.

Cuffs
12-26-2007, 13:00
What??? Im not that scary. Am I? Anyways, I would not need a locator device as I never get lost! I just temporarily dont know where the hell I am!

Cuffs
12-26-2007, 13:02
I did not aim my soap box preaching at anyone here. :) Just an observation in general.

I suspect in the coming years, something like this device will be perceived as "mandatory". A local newspaper had an article saying how PLB's should be a needed piece of equipment for...TRAIL RUNNING.

No offense to our trail running cousins, but most trail runners really don't get that remote due to the nature of the gear and the nature of their past time.

Still, an article was saying it should be needed.

I didnt take it as aimed (at me) sorry!

But I understand your point. But, people have been hiking for how many years now? If you took the number of people who go into the woods for whatever reason yearly, and then the number of people who would have actually needed such a device... I dont think the numbers would justify mandatory carrying of such creature...

ChinMusic
12-26-2007, 13:56
No offense to our trail running cousins, but most trail runners really don't get that remote due to the nature of the gear and the nature of their past time.

You don't need to be very far into the woods to be in trouble, should you fall and break a leg. I think the SPOT is an excellent piece of equipment. On solo trips my greatest fear is breaking something, being out of cell coverage, and not being able to get out.

I'm not sure I would get a SPOT but I certainly can see its worth.

Mags
12-26-2007, 14:15
You don't need to be very far into the woods to be in trouble, should you fall and break a leg. I think the SPOT is an excellent piece of equipment. On solo trips my greatest fear is breaking something, being out of cell coverage, and not being able to get out.

I'm not sure I would get a SPOT but I certainly can see its worth.

I am not saying this statement to be snarky, but if you limit your trips to cell phone range, you are missing out on some good scenery.

My bigggest fear is that something like this may become "mandatory". Much like cell phones, I think it may replace knowledge and confidence in the woods with a technological crutch that will fail.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
12-26-2007, 14:22
As others are noting, for most people, such a device would not only not be necessary, it wouldn't even be advisable... but for Dinos who are far more subject to fall and break when doing so...... what do you think? It could allow some of us to go out there a bit more safely (and keep our grandkids from fearing the worst :D)

ChinMusic
12-26-2007, 14:27
My bigggest fear is that something like this may become "mandatory". Much like cell phones, I think it may replace knowledge and confidence in the woods with a technological crutch that will fail.
I'm all for personal freedoms. I oppose seat belt laws but wouldn't leave the driveway without wearing one. HYOH LYOL

I am not into mountain climbing, but if I were I certainly would have something like the SPOT. It is a no-brainer. For hiking the AT, with all its traffic, is not as important. For something like the CDT that is different. I prob would choose to have something like the SPOT for a solo-CDT.

Mags
12-26-2007, 14:32
II prob would choose to have something like the SPOT for a solo-CDT.

I see your point. But, equating a SPOT with a seatbelt is a slippery slope that I fear. A

I'd hate to see my own CDT solo thru-hike be looked on as foolish because I did not have a cell phone, GPS, PLB, etc.

(Just my opinion as always. I am glad we can disagree w/o being disagreeable. :sun)

weary
12-26-2007, 14:36
....I am not into mountain climbing, .....
An interesting confession for an avid participant in a forum designed for folks who like to go up and down mountains, sometimes for eight months at a time.

CoyoteWhips
12-26-2007, 14:43
I hope some people take SPOTs and let folks track them on AT treks. It'd be fun to watch progress as we're reading the trail journals.

ChinMusic
12-26-2007, 14:43
I'd hate to see my own CDT solo thru-hike be looked on as foolish because I did not have a cell phone, GPS, PLB, etc.

Life is full of risks. It is up to each of us to decide which ones to take.

BUT

One needs to think of others too. Something like the SPOT would make it easier for a rescue team to find me. In this way it puts THEM at less risk. For me it is a win-win deal for certain activities.

Jaybird
12-26-2007, 14:44
WILDCAT LIVES!




http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20071220/NEWS/32349914



he is my NEW HERO!

ChinMusic
12-26-2007, 14:45
An interesting confession for an avid participant in a forum designed for folks who like to go up and down mountains, sometimes for eight months at a time.
Odd, I thought this was a backpacking site. Mountain climbing is something different. Not that I would expect YOU to understand that.

ChinMusic
12-26-2007, 14:48
I hope some people take SPOTs and let folks track them on AT treks. It'd be fun to watch progress as we're reading the trail journals.
I am a buttons-guy and think this would be cool too. It's just an extension of a trail journal.

slow
12-26-2007, 19:36
IF he did break a leg...then what?Everyone worries for your saftey and to put yourself before loved ones ,without a total plan like a beacon on this trip or others like it is selfish IMOI.

neighbor dave
12-26-2007, 20:39
:-? i personally wouldn't carry one. i'm thinking some people might carry it not for the emergency purpose but for the fun of watching your son daughter father mother aunt uncle cousin walk across the country.
no different than making a phone call,hitting the web or lounging in a bar/restaurant while on your trip. if you want the "wilderness feel" there are plenty of places on earth that will swallow you up and spit you out in the form of a corpse left on the planet. no phones,no towns, no p.o.'s no grocery stores, no restaurants. just git on out there and hunt little bunny rabbits and eat grasshoppers and termites. get off the computer, and get out of town.:D ;)

Sly
12-26-2007, 21:03
IF he did break a leg...then what?Everyone worries for your saftey and to put yourself before loved ones ,without a total plan like a beacon on this trip or others like it is selfish IMOI.

Not for nothing, IMO, part of the allure of the CDT is it's wildness and detachment. You're usually in towns every 4-8 days. That your "loved ones" understands this, comes with the territory.

Of course, if your requirements have you carry a PLB, that's fine, but it seems to me, instead of accepting the trail for what it is, you're running scared out of the gate.

I'll deal with problems as they arise, and not try to depend on anyone at the end of a radio wave to save my azz.

ChinMusic
12-26-2007, 21:11
I'll deal with problems as they arise, and not try to depend on anyone at the end of a radio wave to save my azz.
But, the thing is, they WILL come looking for you whether you want them to or not. It is really not your choice should something untoward happen. They are going to try to find you. The ability for the rescue team to find your "azz" quickly puts THEM at less risk. This isn't that hard to understand is it?

Again, I'm not saying you gotta carry one. Just know that your OWN choices can have an affect on others.

Sly
12-26-2007, 21:24
But, the thing is, they WILL come looking for you whether you want them to or not. It is really not your choice should something untoward happen. They are going to try to find you. The ability for the rescue team to find your "azz" quickly puts THEM at less risk. This isn't that hard to understand is it?

Again, I'm not saying you gotta carry one. Just know that your OWN choices can have an affect on others.

To be honest, no one else knows my itinerary or where I'll be from one day to another. My sister, a few nieces and friends understand and don't need to send out a search party.

If someone finds me or my body, that's cool. Otherwise, I'll rot where I am.

ChinMusic
12-26-2007, 21:26
To be honest, no one else knows my itinerary or where I'll be from one day to another. My sister, a few nieces and friends understand and don't need to send out a search party.

If someone finds me or my body, that's cool. Otherwise, I'll rot where I am.
Wow, hardcore man, and honorable.

Sly
12-26-2007, 21:37
Wow, hardcore man, and honorable.

Well, I don't think I'm alone. I think that many others that live to hike feel this way too.

ChinMusic
12-26-2007, 21:38
Well, I don't think I'm alone. I think that many others that live to hike feel this way too.
I have a wife and kids. I could not do that to them.

Sly
12-26-2007, 21:46
I have a wife and kids. I could not do that to them.

I understand, but if God forbid you died tomorrow, it really won't be much different.

ChinMusic
12-26-2007, 22:40
I understand, but if God forbid you died tomorrow, it really won't be much different.
I think the loose end of not knowing what happened DOES make it worse. The family would need closure.

Sly
12-26-2007, 23:39
I think the loose end of not knowing what happened DOES make it worse. The family would need closure.

I think "closure" is over rated. IMO, there's really never any closure. I should know, losing loved ones sucks. I've lost the closest of loved ones to bullet, surgery, stroke, heart attack. Lots of questions there. Being lost in the woods would be a relief.

Frosty
12-27-2007, 00:35
What??? Im not that scary. Am I? Only on the drive to the trail head!

Frosty
12-27-2007, 00:49
I have a wife and kids. I could not do that to them.If this is a requirement of yours, you need to stay home. Carrying a PLB is not a guarantee of being rescued or even surviving. You might not be able to physically activate it, or the rescue might not get there in time.

People are not dying left and right on trails. A fatal accident is rare. But it is possible, and if you absoluely need not to die because of wife and kids, don't rely on a PLB.

Anyway, it won't help you on the most dangerous part of your hike (getting to and from the trailhead).

ChinMusic
12-27-2007, 01:09
If this is a requirement of yours, you need to stay home. ...People are not dying left and right on trails. A fatal accident is rare. But it is possible, and if you absoluely need not to die because of wife and kids, don't rely on a PLB.

I do not think you read me correctly, but I am OK with that.

Of course you must live your life, but once you have a family your responsibilities change. I gave up sky diving. My buddy put away his 160mph+ motorcycle. Does that mean everyone must? No.

I do not consider backpacking a high-risk endeavor. I would not consider the AT as a place where the SPOT would be necessary. I just don't see how something like the SPOT would take something away from MY hike (other than a few more ounces), if it would mean something to my family. That is just my personal view.

If I were into mountain climbing (Hood for example) there is no doubt in my mind that I would carry a SPOT. I DO consider a place like Hood as a much higher risk. I would want it for myself and the safety of those that may need to rescue me. I do not think that this is a difficult prospect to grasp.

Skits
12-27-2007, 03:58
I would not consider the AT as a place where the SPOT would be necessary.


There are places on the AT (White Mountains, 100-mile wilderness) that I would certainly consider to have the same potential for danger as the Gila (I really don't know how often the Gila gets a storm like this, but I would guess it would be less frequent than the hypothermia-enducing weather the whites can get, much less its wicked winter weather). The main thing I take from Wildcat's experience is a knowledge of how cold it can get in the Gila in December and to probably have some warmer gear with if I ever end up hiking that area that time of year.

I never gave a thought to carrying a locater beacon on the CDT. I am considering one for the Te Araroa in New Zealand and if I was hiking alone almost certainly would pick one up for over there.

I do think this is a good debate to have and am glad we are having it after a success story instead of a tragedy. If Wildcat couldn't have hiked out, I bet he still would've figured out a way to start a fire to stay warm. Anybody who has hiked with Wildcat knows he can start a fire. (Of course this makes me think of the short story "To Build a Fire" but it was colder and the guy was wet in that story, which actually was set not all that far from where I am at right now).

Frolicking Dinosaurs
12-27-2007, 07:10
Not for nothing, IMO, part of the allure of the CDT is it's wildness and detachment. You're usually in towns every 4-8 days. That your "loved ones" understands this, comes with the territory.

Of course, if your requirements have you carry a PLB, that's fine, but it seems to me, instead of accepting the trail for what it is, you're running scared out of the gate.

I'll deal with problems as they arise, and not try to depend on anyone at the end of a radio wave to save my azz.What Sly says goes to the heart of why I now hike trails like the AT instead of trails like the CDT. In my younger and stronger years, you couldn't have paid me enough to hike the AT because of the immense traffic on the trail and lack of wilderness. These days, the AT is on my list because I am older and injured - and hiking truly wild and detached trails like the CDT would be insanely dangerous for me.

slow
12-27-2007, 10:38
I have a wife and kids. I could not do that to them.

That's what i was trying to say.

CoyoteWhips
12-27-2007, 11:11
I have a wife and kids. I could not do that to them.

It's not like you insist on hiking with a fog horn. If a SPOT gets you on the trail, I'm not going to mock you.

Well, maybe a little, but in a good way.

Bear in mind that there a lots of places where they don't work -- try to die with a clear view of open sky.

How're those things on batteries?

slow
12-27-2007, 18:50
I've done the CDT twice - and that's arrant nonsense. A GPS is overkill for anyone who's got more than two brain cells to rub together - carrying a PLB is just another way to say you don't belong out there cause you're incompetent.

If you've got the experience and attitude you need to hike a trail (ANY trail), then you don't need the PLB - or GPS. Wildcat is alive, so he had the attitude and experience. Why don't you quit whining and second-guessing and give him the credit he deserves for having the ability to get himself out of the situation?

I DID WISH HIM WELL ON HIS RETURN...READ.

Now WHINING ....not me. BUT if you would like to come to fl ,and truck overflow swamp for miles i'm your boy.

oso loco
12-27-2007, 21:56
I DID WISH HIM WELL ON HIS RETURN...READ.

Now WHINING ....not me. BUT if you would like to come to fl ,and truck overflow swamp for miles i'm your boy.

Y'know - I SO did NOT want to do this. But I guess this is what happens when I go away for a couple days and leave y'all in the dark. :D

So let's talk about this - it's good that you wished him well - but why do you think that gives you license to second guess his hike by claiming that a PLB should be a requiremment for hiking the CDT? And that is precisely the way I took it. I went through this BS a long, long time ago re: cell phones - and then again about GPS --- and now I'm hearing the same BS arguments here about the PLB.

So allow me to give you MY perspective - I hiked the AT before cell phones were common - and when people started to say "Oh you need to carry a cell phone on the AT" - I said "Bull feathers - and this is why....... " And what I got back was a ration of garbage. Some years later, the same arguments surfaced about needing GPS on the CDT - and at the same time, there those who were asking "Do I need to carry GPS on the PCT?" There were even those who asked the same question about the AT. Again, I said "Bullfeathers - and this is why ......" And again what I got back was a ration of garbage. Now we've got a few people saying "Oh, Wildcat should have been carrying a PLB" -- and there'll be more of those people in the future. And now I've got you objecting to what is plain common sense for many of us who've been there and done that - sometimes more than once.

Did you understand Sly's message? I think not. So let's expand on it and maybe - just possibly - it'll get through this time. But I doubt it - and that comment is NOT meant just for you. Let's also confine the discussion to the CDT - or other even more primitive trails, since the AT and the PCT are already lost to any real wilderness experience. We'll also confine the discussion to "thruhiking" - NOT dayhiking or even section hiking.

The bottom line - carrying ANYTHING that provides a thruhiker with a lifeline or a safety net - WILL ABSOLUTELY change the experience. And NOT for the better. I know - you don't believe it. Tough. I've spent years watching people go out there claiming to want a "wilderness experience" or to "spend time in the wilderness" - and yet they're carrying their civilisation with them in the form of a safety net of some sort. If you want a wilderness experience - a REAL wilderness experience, then leave the safety net at home. Otherwise you're just blowin' smoke - you may be out there for other reasons, but a wilderness experience ain't it.


Now let's provide some more food for thought - some of us spent 10 years or more getting hikers to "lighten up" their pack weight. We succeeded all too well. There are now those who carry 9# (or less) packs - and freeze their butts off when the temp drops. But most thruhikers today at least have the basic idea that carrying too much weight is not a good thing. Somehow, though, many of them have this brain cramp when it comes to cell phones - or, in some cases, GPS. they seem to forget that those things add to pack weight. Not bright.

Now we've got the PLB crowd. Adding more weight - and believing it should be mandatory? - or that it's a "necessity"? I actually think that was what irritated me the most - that someone would believe that I should live according to their fear level. Yup, that'll light my fuse every time. So - now we've got those who think a cell phone, a GPS and a PLB are all necessary for the CDT? Do I really need to tell you what I think about that? :-?

I said before - I've done the CDT twice - and I'll do it again. I've done the GDT - and this coming summer I'll be in a place that makes the GDT look like a pussycat. I have not - nor will I ever - carry a cell phone or a PLB on the trails I hike. I have seriously thought about carrying a GPS - last summer in Canada. But if I were to do the GDT again, I'd leave it at home - as usual. I "twice" carried a GPS - once in Alaska. And if I were to do that again - I'd leave it the GPS home - as usual. The second time was in 2006 on the CDT - not for navigation but to provide waypoints for water sources in the NM desert - for those who aren't capable of real navigation or finding their own water sources. Actually - I don't have a choice about carrying GPS - I gave the sucker away. :)

Now let's wrap this up - until the next set of objections surfaces. Understand that I'll use the generic "you" - not the personal "you" here. If your family is so worried about you that you need to carry a cell phone, then you probably don't have any business spending 5 or 6 months away from them doing a thruhike. AND - the probability of your finishing the hike is diminished. If YOU think you need a cell phone for other reasons - then you're making excuses to cover your fear level. You should understand that cell phones don't work for much of the CDT - or the GDT - or even a lot of the PCT.

If YOU are so worried about being "lost" that you "need" to carry a GPS - then your skill level is not adequate and you should learn how to actually navigate (i.e. - that's "incompetence" - but it's correctable for those who aren't too lazy to do so).

If you are so fearful of death or injury that a PLB is necessary - then, again, your skill level is inadequate and you NEED to take a Wilderness First Aid course.

Finally - whatever YOU carry - it'll be YOU carrying it - not me. So I won't miss any meals or lose any sleep over it. BUT - when you decide that ANYTHING is or should be a "MUST" or mandatory for me or for other thruhikers - you'll likely find me saying/doing very bad things about/to you. I've rarely found anyone who enjoys that experience.

Oh yeah - in the past, I've been accused of being a Luddite. Let's put that one to rest here - I spent 40+ years as a rocket scientist. But I don't drag the technology into the backcountry.

Hmmm - don't do swamp much - but if you wanta hike REAL wilderness, then you can join our continuing search for it. I have a few suggestions for places that haven't been wussified by those who think "safety" is the overriding consideration for hiking and everything else in life. :D

MOWGLI
12-27-2007, 22:08
Looking forward to seeing you at the SORUCK Jim.

neighbor dave
12-28-2007, 07:02
:-? take a pill:-?
wilderness helps me feel relaxed and helps me accept others way of life.
what experience level do i need to walk the earth under my feet old wise one?
p.s. i don't carry a pbl or gps or ipod.
do the masters of the wilderness carry a compass? that's a navagational aid as well, ya toss out the maps too while your at it.
one more thought now that i see that the edit option is available. what are the masters of wilderness doing following a trail??

Squeaky 2
12-28-2007, 08:05
i will never forget the look he gave me just north of the columbia river when i said i was the first nobo of 05 early july. his reaction tickled me! all the best wildcat and i hope you are in good health!

Mags
12-28-2007, 11:33
do the masters of the wilderness carry a compass? that's a navagational aid

I prefer an astrolabe myself.

Of course, you could also navigate how Polynesians allegedly did it. (http://travelerstales.com/carpet/000130.shtml) May be a bit brisk at times though... (And works for males only..)

Cuffs
12-28-2007, 12:00
you just aint right Mags!

Mags
12-28-2007, 12:05
you just aint right Mags!


This I know. But hey...I just read way too much and know lots of useless info. :D

(The trivia of the day came from this very good book: BLUE LATITUDES (http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Latitudes-Boldly-Captain-Before/dp/B0000AZW7G/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1198857884&sr=8-1). Excellent author BTW)

Heater
12-28-2007, 12:43
I prefer an astrolabe myself.

Of course, you could also navigate how Polynesians allegedly did it. (http://travelerstales.com/carpet/000130.shtml) May be a bit brisk at times though... (And works for males only..)

Hey this happened to me at the Office Christmas Party.
I had to turn the table 'till the punchbowl faced north.

slow
12-29-2007, 21:39
Y'know - I SO did NOT want to do this. But I guess this is what happens when I go away for a couple days and leave y'all in the dark. :D

So let's talk about this - it's good that you wished him well - but why do you think that gives you license to second guess his hike by claiming that a PLB should be a requiremment for hiking the CDT? And that is precisely the way I took it. I went through this BS a long, long time ago re: cell phones - and then again about GPS --- and now I'm hearing the same BS arguments here about the PLB.

So allow me to give you MY perspective - I hiked the AT before cell phones were common - and when people started to say "Oh you need to carry a cell phone on the AT" - I said "Bull feathers - and this is why....... " And what I got back was a ration of garbage. Some years later, the same arguments surfaced about needing GPS on the CDT - and at the same time, there those who were asking "Do I need to carry GPS on the PCT?" There were even those who asked the same question about the AT. Again, I said "Bullfeathers - and this is why ......" And again what I got back was a ration of garbage. Now we've got a few people saying "Oh, Wildcat should have been carrying a PLB" -- and there'll be more of those people in the future. And now I've got you objecting to what is plain common sense for many of us who've been there and done that - sometimes more than once.

Did you understand Sly's message? I think not. So let's expand on it and maybe - just possibly - it'll get through this time. But I doubt it - and that comment is NOT meant just for you. Let's also confine the discussion to the CDT - or other even more primitive trails, since the AT and the PCT are already lost to any real wilderness experience. We'll also confine the discussion to "thruhiking" - NOT dayhiking or even section hiking.

The bottom line - carrying ANYTHING that provides a thruhiker with a lifeline or a safety net - WILL ABSOLUTELY change the experience. And NOT for the better. I know - you don't believe it. Tough. I've spent years watching people go out there claiming to want a "wilderness experience" or to "spend time in the wilderness" - and yet they're carrying their civilisation with them in the form of a safety net of some sort. If you want a wilderness experience - a REAL wilderness experience, then leave the safety net at home. Otherwise you're just blowin' smoke - you may be out there for other reasons, but a wilderness experience ain't it.


Now let's provide some more food for thought - some of us spent 10 years or more getting hikers to "lighten up" their pack weight. We succeeded all too well. There are now those who carry 9# (or less) packs - and freeze their butts off when the temp drops. But most thruhikers today at least have the basic idea that carrying too much weight is not a good thing. Somehow, though, many of them have this brain cramp when it comes to cell phones - or, in some cases, GPS. they seem to forget that those things add to pack weight. Not bright.

Now we've got the PLB crowd. Adding more weight - and believing it should be mandatory? - or that it's a "necessity"? I actually think that was what irritated me the most - that someone would believe that I should live according to their fear level. Yup, that'll light my fuse every time. So - now we've got those who think a cell phone, a GPS and a PLB are all necessary for the CDT? Do I really need to tell you what I think about that? :-?

I said before - I've done the CDT twice - and I'll do it again. I've done the GDT - and this coming summer I'll be in a place that makes the GDT look like a pussycat. I have not - nor will I ever - carry a cell phone or a PLB on the trails I hike. I have seriously thought about carrying a GPS - last summer in Canada. But if I were to do the GDT again, I'd leave it at home - as usual. I "twice" carried a GPS - once in Alaska. And if I were to do that again - I'd leave it the GPS home - as usual. The second time was in 2006 on the CDT - not for navigation but to provide waypoints for water sources in the NM desert - for those who aren't capable of real navigation or finding their own water sources. Actually - I don't have a choice about carrying GPS - I gave the sucker away. :)

Now let's wrap this up - until the next set of objections surfaces. Understand that I'll use the generic "you" - not the personal "you" here. If your family is so worried about you that you need to carry a cell phone, then you probably don't have any business spending 5 or 6 months away from them doing a thruhike. AND - the probability of your finishing the hike is diminished. If YOU think you need a cell phone for other reasons - then you're making excuses to cover your fear level. You should understand that cell phones don't work for much of the CDT - or the GDT - or even a lot of the PCT.

If YOU are so worried about being "lost" that you "need" to carry a GPS - then your skill level is not adequate and you should learn how to actually navigate (i.e. - that's "incompetence" - but it's correctable for those who aren't too lazy to do so).

If you are so fearful of death or injury that a PLB is necessary - then, again, your skill level is inadequate and you NEED to take a Wilderness First Aid course.

Finally - whatever YOU carry - it'll be YOU carrying it - not me. So I won't miss any meals or lose any sleep over it. BUT - when you decide that ANYTHING is or should be a "MUST" or mandatory for me or for other thruhikers - you'll likely find me saying/doing very bad things about/to you. I've rarely found anyone who enjoys that experience.

Oh yeah - in the past, I've been accused of being a Luddite. Let's put that one to rest here - I spent 40+ years as a rocket scientist. But I don't drag the technology into the backcountry.

Hmmm - don't do swamp much - but if you wanta hike REAL wilderness, then you can join our continuing search for it. I have a few suggestions for places that haven't been wussified by those who think "safety" is the overriding consideration for hiking and everything else in life. :D

First off ...VERY WELL SAID.

I want everyone to enjoy ...but not at the cost of the loved ones,bottom line.Worry is a big thing when They have no MEAN'S OR SAY SO in what you plan to do.If cleared by loved ones then FINE.

AGAIN what he did was cleared WITH LOVED ONES FINE.

Now to wild and B.P.

IN FLORIDA...we have it all....real wildlife,gators, cotton,and big eastern's that you never seen.BTW...we do have,bear,hog and nice people.:)

NOW let's take a walk for 5 day's and you can tell all here.P/F, FOOD,AND HOUSING ON ME.

slow
12-29-2007, 23:48
oso Loco,I must add ....how many times have YOU seen a person walk away when it comesto a GRIZZ... Tons.How manny in the water with a gator?And will you ever see a GRIZZ on your hike or panther if so WELL.I know i will see many in a day and deal with it like i have for 30 yr's.

B.T.W. I RESPECT ALL YOUR STEPS.

SGT Rock
01-02-2008, 15:27
Went by Little River Outfitters today and Bert was there. I got to see the frost bite blisters on the toes - he should be OK as long as he keeps them from getting infected. He posted the days from his trip that he was out and "lost" over on Trail Journal - but if you have been keeping up with it lately you will have to go back some as they are posted by date - so they are now back and mixed in with the posts from his family about his being missing.

FWIW for some of you interested. Right before he went out on this section I had given him an Ion stove so he could conserve fuel. He said he carried both his old stove and the Ion so he could compare them. But once he got into trouble in the cold snow and it looked like he would be stuck out and have to make the fuel last, he switched to the Ion exclusively. He said I could tell people my stove saved his life, but we both agreed that it was probably a stretch to actually credit my stove with that LOL.

Two Speed
01-02-2008, 19:02
Still a helluva compliment that he swapped to the Ion when the chips were down.

SGT Rock
01-02-2008, 19:15
I took it as a compliment. I talked to Bert today about coming to SORUCK - he said he is interested in coming. So I gave him Sly's e-mail. He said he met Sly on the trail and gave him some maps one time.

Two Speed
01-02-2008, 19:24
Any idea what day? Pretty good chance he's got an epic story to tell.

SGT Rock
01-02-2008, 19:36
Not yet.

8kPeaks
01-02-2008, 21:19
Mr Bert is the man here! Mountaineering anyone??? Treaching thru waist deep snow in sneakers isn't fun evern with water proof gear. Unless your on a summit route to a narwly peak, but hiking! Mr. Bert, your the man.> My hat goes off to you and wishing I had hiked with you longer this year.

I'm so glad that Mr Bert made it thru without any real injuries here. Thank God, their are people in this world who understand and are open minded to helping a complete stranger. Thats what the CDT is all about here. Its soo not the trail but the individuals you meet along the way. The trail is brutal, at times there isn't a route. Holy Crapp.< Looks like your not on the AT here.
If your reading this Bert. You should consult a publishing company an write about your journey!!! It was a pleasure hiking with you, my friend.

cheeers,