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  1. #1
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    Default Gooch Mountain Shelter

    Was at this shelter a few days ago and attempted to bear bag food on the cables and determined that it was broken. One person was able to get their food up there and a young guy who claimed to be a ridge runner ordered him to take it down. This same so called ridge runner then proceeded to scream and act like an idiot to everyone who looked at the cables. He spent his evening around the fire and shelter promoting a loud and obnoxious pot smoking party while tired hikers tried to rest. He did nothing to pick up or maintain the camp the next morning either. Worst night on the AT so far. Skip this shelter and there is a fine primitive campsite just past it that is much more suitable and peaceful.

  2. #2
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    Default

    It would be appropriate to contact the maintaining club regarding this individual. If he is a legit ridge runner they would appreciate the feedback. I expect far more likely he is not and just a poser.

  3. #3
    Registered User cneill13's Avatar
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    I was at this shelter last week. The ridge runner is named Kenneth and he is absolutely psychotic. Yelled at me for wanting to start a fire in the fire pit. He told one of the thru hikers I was hiking with that he accidentally killed someone. He applied for the rr job off craigslist. He told me this personally. Where do they find these people?

  4. #4
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    That sounds like a nightmare. Someone in the mix will probably see this thread...but, here is GATC's contact page:

    http://georgia-atclub.org/index.php?...111&Itemid=691

  5. #5

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    This needs to be addressed asap. He wouldn't get very far with me, sounds like he is squatting at the shelter more then "running ridges". Just another reason to stay away from GA shelters.

    Georgia had some real characters for me personally, not exactly a breath of fresh air lol
    AT Shuttle List
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    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
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  6. #6
    Registered User dudeijuststarted's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cneill13 View Post
    I was at this shelter last week. The ridge runner is named Kenneth and he is absolutely psychotic. Yelled at me for wanting to start a fire in the fire pit. He told one of the thru hikers I was hiking with that he accidentally killed someone. He applied for the rr job off craigslist. He told me this personally. Where do they find these people?
    Yes! Now who says this site is getting old?

  7. #7

    Default

    Very surprising that the would hire someone like this. Every ridgerunner that I have met has been absolutely amazing in terms of friendliness, knowledge, helpfulness, etc. This guy sounds like an impostor. I have never heard of the RR job being posted on craigslist, just on the official ATC or GATC websites. Also, isn't it a requirement to be a past thru hiker to get a RR position? This guy doesn't sound like one.

  8. #8

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    Was he wearing a shirt with an ATC Ridgerunner emblem?

  9. #9
    Registered User cneill13's Avatar
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    Not sure about the shirt but he had a handheld Walky tally. He also had a thick beard and played really bad techno music. Just what I want to hear when camping in the woods. Everyone hated him. He ruined our evening

  10. #10

    Default

    I checked in with the supervisor of ATC ridgerunners in the southern region. She responds, "Thanks for posting this information. This is the first we've heard about this. We will check on it immediately."

    - Laurie P.
    ATC

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauriep View Post
    I checked in with the supervisor of ATC ridgerunners in the southern region. She responds, "Thanks for posting this information. This is the first we've heard about this. We will check on it immediately."

    - Laurie P.
    ATC
    Thanks so much Lorie, Please check back in with an update if you receive one? I would hate for this kind of post/ experience persuade others not to hike. Obviously something is wrong here.
    AT Shuttle List
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  12. #12
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    Default

    Yes he acted insane. Screamed at me a couple times and incited some others to join him. I'm a peaceful guy but not one that you want to scream at after I hiked several miles. I let him know that real quick.

  13. #13

    Default Response from ridgerunner supervisor

    ATC employee Leanna Joyner, the supervisor of ATC ridgerunners in the southern region, wrote me the following yesterday and asked me to post it here:

    We immediately followed up on this report and here's what we found. Yes, he has had some trouble with broken bear cables at Gooch Mountain shelter and has hollered at people from a distance to get their attention before they use the broken bear lines. It started as one broken bear cable, and now the whole system is inoperable. Now his efforts are to ensure everyone is properly hanging their food using cordage, if they are not carrying a bear canister.

    Kenneth does smoke tobacco. He rolls his own cigarettes and uses a pipe.

    He may congregate and visit with hikers over dinner. He may even visit with them around the campfire, but he regularly dissuades use of drugs at campfires and shelter area. When it is dry and windy, as it has been this past week, he discourages people from campfires.

    As a caretaker at this site, Kenneth regularly cleans and maintains, packing out garbage thoughtlessly left behind by others. He has packed out in excess of 20 lbs on some patrols.

    Kenneth brings experience from the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps to his employment with ATC, which referred him to us for this position.

    We really appreciate the feedback. Next time, we wish you would call us directly 828-357-6541 with critiques or praise of our ridgerunners.

    After a thorough discussion we remain confident in Kenneth to do his job.

    - Laurie

  14. #14
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    Laurie,

    If "Kenneth" was doing his job, how is it again that all the bear cables mysteriously went out of commission around the same time(hmmmmmm.....that's a new one) and he has yet to repair them? You might want to send a hiker unknown to "Kenneth" to check out his behaviour. Since you've been put on notice, if he harms anyone, you may be liable for damages. Best to insure the safety of the hikers rather than the safety of "Kenneth"'s employment....

  15. #15
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    OOPS. I meant "Leanna"....sorry

  16. #16
    Registered User cneill13's Avatar
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    I am absolutely incredulous that Kenneth wasn't fired. I have lost all confidence in the ATC.

    I truly feel sorry for the thru hikers who have to deal with this deranged individual. I was scared for my life around Kenneth
    Last edited by cneill13; 04-12-2016 at 09:15.

  17. #17
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    Default

    Maybe he's a Sybil.
    Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing​ and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. --Rumi

  18. #18

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    jUST PASS BY GOOCH SHELTER, THE END
    AT Shuttle List
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
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    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  19. #19
    Registered User Tuckahoe's Avatar
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    To hell with verifiable facts. I'll get the bear cables and let's just string the guy up!!
    igne et ferrum est potentas
    "In the beginning, all America was Virginia." -​William Byrd

  20. #20
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    Default

    This is probably a case of two personalities escalating a situation due to circumstances. I like the idea of just sending a hiker in there to gauge his reaction. Although, he's probably on notice now and hopefully has changed his behavior. Which ultimately is a good thing. If this guy has a good history of volunteer work then keeping that energy focused should be the goal.

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