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  1. #141
    Registered User canoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareBear View Post
    True. And, even alone, Plan B had a high probability of succeeding. I believe I could have gorilla'd the tent bag out of the shove-it, although it might have damaged the pocket, but who cares? Then got the fly out and rolled up in it like a bug in a rug. I recall my brother telling the tale of tarp-ing somewhere in MA and eventually had to drop the tarp and roll up in it to make it to sunrise...
    You can say that now... you are warm, your mind is clear... your body is functioning. I am sure this was not the case when you were in trouble. Face it my friend if someone was not with you...

  2. #142

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareBear View Post
    True. And, even alone, Plan B had a high probability of succeeding. I believe I could have gorilla'd the tent bag out of the shove-it, although it might have damaged the pocket, but who cares? Then got the fly out and rolled up in it like a bug in a rug. I recall my brother telling the tale of tarp-ing somewhere in MA and eventually had to drop the tarp and roll up in it to make it to sunrise...
    But at least you had the option of a Plan B---to roll up in something waterproof like a tent or tarp---a makeshift bivy bag. Many dayhikers carry nothing to roll up in.

    Quote Originally Posted by JumpMaster Blaster View Post
    I have no need to hike with 100% of the gear I own for a 5 or 6 mile out & back. Whether or not I'm familiar with the area, if I have cell reception, altitude, and weather are all factor in what I pack. However, unlike many dayhikers, I never go out without a first aid kit, headlamp, raingear, food, emergency bivvy, water & filter, and some kind of insulating gear (except in the dead of summer). And I never, ever wear cotton.
    No one said anything about hauling a full kit---we're talking about a shelter, a bag and a pad. Why bring a stove or a 6,000 cubic inch pack or a snow shovel or a candle lantern or two books or a couple sleeping pads or camp shoes or a zillion other things on a dayhike? But you do say you never go out without raingear, food, insulating gear and a bivy bag. Wouldn't you consider this bivy to be overnight shelter??

    And Egilbe says---
    "The gear does me no good if I decide not to take it. If Im going on a day hike, or to bag a peak, or chck out a view, why would I need a tent? Chances are very good that I will be back home and sleep in my own bed. A tent is just extra weight.

    I read this odd post and don't understand it and reflect on the post you wrote earlier---

    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    I too, wont hike in the Whites in Winter without the ability to shelter in place and stay warm and dry. That decision is made before I ever pack a bag or leave the house. For me, the risk is too great, the reward is too small.
    Strange conflicting words. Obviously I don't get your point. If you don't go out on a dayhike in the Whites without the ability to shelter in place, and yet a tent is just extra weight, are you talking then of a tube tent or bivy sac?

    And of course a tent is just extra weight---this is the main reason why we have these mishaps in the mountains---because of the unwillingness to carry this extra weight.

  3. #143

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    Fascinating, really. Sorry about numeris typoos - I've just been blinded by science. That was even more useful than the hot water bottle seminar.

    After all that chaos math and cheese tasting, my hypothesis remains unchanged: Assuming 0% risk, results in a 100% probability of survival.

    Read the sign. Do what it says. Return to the comfort of your Hobbit Hole. Live to hike another day. I'm sorry this tragedy occurred.

  4. #144

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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    I'm not buying the anti-day-hiker argument at all. The notion that all hikes need to be done with full pack is absurd.
    No one mentioned bringing a full pack!! Never in this discussion did anyone advise bringing a full pack. I talked about adequate clothing, a tent or bivy bag, a sleeping bag, a pad---not a stove or books or radio or a ground cloth or pillows or camp shoes or down booties or down pants or 3 sets of socks or 2 sets of gloves or a Thermarest repair kit or a tent patch kit or extra boot laces or 10 lbs of food etc.

    As many have already mentioned, they won't go out in the Whites on a dayhike without bringing gear to spend the night. My point all along.

    Quote Originally Posted by pilgrimskywheel View Post

    my hypothesis remains unchanged: Assuming 0% risk, results in a 100% probability of survival.

    Read the sign. Do what it says. Return to the comfort of your Hobbit Hole. Live to hike another day. I'm sorry this tragedy occurred.
    Exactly. With no risk comes no mishap. Entering the outdoors and/or wilderness assumes a certain amount of risk. A tree could fall on my head. I could freeze to death. The benefit of Wilderness is that it comes with both beauty and risk. But your hypothesis is sort of nonsensical---as even lifelong couch potatoes run the real risk of blood clots, cardiac occlusions, muscle weakness and decreased bone loss. So in other words there is no true 0% risk activity.

  5. #145

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    Good Lord man! 0% risk is pulling up to the trail head, reading the sign, and realizing you have a 99.99% chance of dying and turning around. You know why these poor souls all die alone? Because the entire rest of the earth's surviving population had the good sense to not go there. Why? Because they didn't want to get dead in time for Christmas.

  6. #146

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    I usually pack a 'survival kit' - a bivy sack, storm proof matches, cotton soaked in vaseline etc on day hikes - not a 100% guarantee of safety, but a lot lighter than full gear. It wouldn't be a comfortable night, though. I keep thinking that one of these days, I'd try to test-drive an overnight with my survival kit - probably should

  7. #147
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    I'm following this thread all along and one thing I'd like to throw in:
    In high altitude mountaineering, as well as at lower altitude, when things become really narrow, its a well known fact that usually the young guys die and the old guys live.
    One reason why this happens is the basic metabolic rate, being much lower for older people, thus giving them way better chance to survive.
    We say, "Young mountaineers work themselves to death".

  8. #148

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    No one mentioned bringing a full pack!! Never in this discussion did anyone advise bringing a full pack. I talked about adequate clothing, a tent or bivy bag, a sleeping bag, a pad---not a stove or books or radio or a ground cloth or pillows or camp shoes or down booties or down pants or 3 sets of socks or 2 sets of gloves or a Thermarest repair kit or a tent patch kit or extra boot laces or 10 lbs of food etc.
    According to what I have seen, he had adequate clothing but he apparently didn't use it or had trouble with getting it on for whatever reason. I am not sure what he had for camping gear, however if the clothing wasn't used I doubt camping gear would have been useful if he was having problems with sleeves and zippers.

  9. #149

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    usually the young guys die and the old guys live.
    That seemed to be a take-away from the 1986 K2 season, Kurt Diemberger and Willi Bauer made it down alive, but the others at altitude perished.

    Last winter, I was out XC skiing in -20 (F) temperatures in Maine. I was just slowly chugging along, and got passed by three young guys, where were skiing at quite a clip. Before too long, I passed them - they were taking a break. They remarked how cold it was. I kept on chugging. Then, before long, the young guys sailed by me again. I chugged along, and then passed them as they were on another break. One was remarking that he was getting *really* cold. I just kept going. They passed me yet a third time, and, again, I caught up to them on a break. The one guy was saying that he was getting hypothermic.

    There's a certain pace that balances the heat your body is putting out and the cooling effects of the environment. Too much 'rubber banding' and it gets you into trouble.

  10. #150

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    Well, I'll discuss bringing a full pack. I do. I always do. For training and survival purposes I always tote what I consider my "basic combat load". My base weight seldom fluctuates. I've used a bounce bounce before while thru-hiking to drop weight, but my complete kit is always just up the trail a ways. (Cold weather gear in summer, 4th layer, etc.)

    I get a kick out of the many folks I've encountered along the way, usually shivering or crying or both, who've just had a shakedown with some well known trail personality and were convinced to ship home, or more likely "ditch", items on the southern AT especially in spring. Some Army slogans spring to mind here: "You've got what it takes soldier, now take care of what you've got!" Or, my personal favorite is a simple one: "Keep your s--t together!" Much like firearms, or a knife, I find things like the guaranteed ability to shelter and warm in a tent and a good bag, better to have and not need - than to need and not have. (Though I oppose hikers with guns on the AT.) It is difficult, if not impossible, to treat for the cascade effects of shock or hypothermia in the field without these items.

    I find things like the "man in the creek drill" absurd, and the kind of contrivance conceived by bored eagle scouts at a jamboree.

    The one thing they got right is: "Be prepared."

  11. #151
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    But at least you had the option of a Plan B---to roll up in something waterproof like a tent or tarp---a makeshift bivy bag. Many dayhikers carry nothing to roll up in.



    No one said anything about hauling a full kit---we're talking about a shelter, a bag and a pad. Why bring a stove or a 6,000 cubic inch pack or a snow shovel or a candle lantern or two books or a couple sleeping pads or camp shoes or a zillion other things on a dayhike? But you do say you never go out without raingear, food, insulating gear and a bivy bag. Wouldn't you consider this bivy to be overnight shelter??

    And Egilbe says---
    "The gear does me no good if I decide not to take it. If Im going on a day hike, or to bag a peak, or chck out a view, why would I need a tent? Chances are very good that I will be back home and sleep in my own bed. A tent is just extra weight.

    I read this odd post and don't understand it and reflect on the post you wrote earlier---



    Strange conflicting words. Obviously I don't get your point. If you don't go out on a dayhike in the Whites without the ability to shelter in place, and yet a tent is just extra weight, are you talking then of a tube tent or bivy sac?

    And of course a tent is just extra weight---this is the main reason why we have these mishaps in the mountains---because of the unwillingness to carry this extra weight.
    Some hikers won't be prepared to spend the night in the woods when all they are planning is a day hike. I was playing devils advocate. In the Winter, the margin of error is just too small. What would be an uncomfortable night in the warmer months becomes a death sentence in the Winter. Yet, many people (I've seen it) will hike in blue jeans, sneakers, no hat, hands in pockets while its snowing with 100mph winds forecast above tree line. I never saw any reports of hikers dying that day, so I assume they survived. I was wearing clothing and gear appropriate for going above treeline, and spending the night, but I turned back at the treeline and called it a day. Not everyone does that, not everyone dies.

  12. #152

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    Quote Originally Posted by pilgrimskywheel View Post
    Well, I'll discuss bringing a full pack. I do. I always do.

    I find things like the guaranteed ability to shelter and warm in a tent and a good bag, better to have and not need - than to need and not have. (Though I oppose hikers with guns on the AT.) It is difficult, if not impossible, to treat for the cascade effects of shock or hypothermia in the field without these items.
    Cascading effects is exactly what I'm talking about, and the ability to camp where you stand for an overnighter---and not panic with even more cascading effects trying to backtrack on an impossible route out to "safety" or a car.

    For a dayhiker, night time should be their friend and not their enemy---IF they have the proper shelter to set up and see morning.

    Dayhiking with a full pack is also an excellent way to train for upcoming backpacking trips. I know, I know, most dayhikers want to go uber-light and carry the most minimal of gear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    I'm following this thread all along and one thing I'd like to throw in:
    In high altitude mountaineering, as well as at lower altitude, when things become really narrow, its a well known fact that usually the young guys die and the old guys live.
    One reason why this happens is the basic metabolic rate, being much lower for older people, thus giving them way better chance to survive.
    We say, "Young mountaineers work themselves to death".
    I look at my close calls in the woods and chalk most of them up to IMPATIENCE. Examples: Can't find the trail dangit, but don't go back and look but instead forge on. Onward at all costs! "Let's take this shortcut down to the river!!!" Oops, 80 foot cliffs with no chance of getting back up.

    "Let's cross this river!! It looks doable!! I must cross now!!" Dreadful mistake, most especially with a full 75 lb winter pack. Remember, a creek crossing in the winter is NOT a swimming event.

    "Let's shiver and shake and in 3 more miles there will be some place for me to crawl into and someone to help me get warm!!" Nope, it's just you and approaching night and butt cold temps and you're soaked. The outdoors can be a profoundly lonely place.

    I would like to see just once a Survival TV show about a survivalist truly alone, truly soaked with almost no ability or materials to make fire, shaking like a leaf, and in one of our January rainstorms at 30F. Let's see what tricks he has up his sodden sleeves.

  13. #153
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    Incidentally, I did the day trip to Bond Cliff in August of 2014, with a group. That is about 19 miles round trip, without hitting the summits of Guyot and West Bond. It is also a relatively easy 19 miles compared to much of the terrain in the Whites. I had been up there before, but as part of a 2 or 3-day trip.

    Given the distance and the shortened daylight hours, I would not likely attempt it as a day trip in the winter, and would never even consider it as a solo day trip in the winter. Perhaps 20-30 years ago I would have considered the former, but never the latter.

    Poor decisions:
    1) Low margin of error on a day trip given the distance.
    2) Even lower margin of error without at least a partner for mutual support.
    3) Not turning back at some point given the temperature and precipitation.
    4) Not eating and putting on layers at some point when getting cold.
    5) Not checking progress against schedule and aborting if behind.
    6) Not re-evaluating whether warm enough before breaking tree line.

    I am not trying to be callous, and I feel horrible for the family. However, we should not sugar coat this type of tragedy, if we want people to learn from it.

  14. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Cascading effects is exactly what I'm talking about, and the ability to camp where you stand for an overnighter---and not panic with even more cascading effects trying to backtrack on an impossible route out to "safety" or a car.
    Walter, I do agree that one should bring gear to deal with an emergency circumstance. However, "the ability to camp where you stand" is unrealistic above tree line in the Whites. You need the ability to get yourself below tree line, and then either find a place to bivouac with the appropriate gear or get yourself out. Personally, I would not hit the Whites without gear to survive a night, whether summer or winter. In summer it is just an emergency blanket and enough warm clothing to gut it out. The winter kit is much heavier though.

  15. #155

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    Tipi Walter it's time to stop trash talking day hikers. It's stereotypical and getting to the point of being derogatory.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  16. #156

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    I truly appreciate the type threads, I hope I can remember all the tidbits of great information when my time comes around, and have the where with all to implement them, damn shame we have to discuss this at the expense of a fallen hiker though. Thanks all.
    I learn alot from these events and from the rescue or recovery stories which follow, and like you appreciate these types of threads.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tundracamper View Post
    Although totally different situations, the documentary "Touching the Void" is an interesting perspective on getting out of a pretty dire situation. A climber was left for dead in an ice crevice after breaking his leg. I watched it on Netflix just last week.
    Many similar though perhaps not as extreme as the Joe Simpson story come from the mountaineering community. They keep records of such accidents and discuss them.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
    I am not trying to be callous, and I feel horrible for the family. However, we should not sugar coat this type of tragedy, if we want people to learn from it.
    Anyone who hikes or backpacks and spends any amount of time outdoors should or could have an interest in these kinds of stories.

    And I'm surprised Laurence Gonzales and his book Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies and Why---hasn't been discussed. I took it out with me on a tough winter trip in January 2010 and remember some pertinent quotes---

    "All elite performers train hard, and when you follow in their path, you'd better train hard, too, or be exceptionally alert. That's the main difficulty with neophytes who go into the wilderness: We face the same challenges the experts face. Nature doesn't adjust to our level of skill." GONZALES

    "They (a climbing group) actually discussed the weather and "made a group decision to press on for the top instead of rappelling off." Even if they had succeeded, they did not consider how rapidly hypothermia could overtake them in their cotton clothing in a cold rain. They were locked in a game of speed chess with Mother Nature. And she unleashed a series of stunning moves." GONZALES and all quotes from the book DEEP SURVIVAL.

  17. #157

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    After I finished reading the Gonzales book on that trip I compiled a short outline summary of the thing---

    THE CONCLUSION TO THE "DEEP SURVIVAL" BOOK by Laurence Gonzales
    Here's my brief synopsis after reading the book:

    ** Avoid impulsive behavior, don't hurry. Slow down.

    ** Know your stuff and know the system you're entering.

    ** Commune with the dead: "Read the accident reports in your chosen field of recreation." "The mistakes other people have made." GONZALES QUOTE


    ** Be humble: "Those who gain experience while retaining firm hold on a beginner's state of mind become long-term survivors." GONZALES


    ** When in doubt, bail out.


    Finally the book ends with this sobering quote: "We can live a life of bored caution and die of cancer." GONZALES.

  18. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    After I finished reading the Gonzales book on that trip I compiled a short outline summary of the thing---

    THE CONCLUSION TO THE "DEEP SURVIVAL" BOOK by Laurence Gonzales
    Here's my brief synopsis after reading the book:

    ** Avoid impulsive behavior, don't hurry. Slow down.

    ** Know your stuff and know the system you're entering.

    ** Commune with the dead: "Read the accident reports in your chosen field of recreation." "The mistakes other people have made." GONZALES QUOTE


    ** Be humble: "Those who gain experience while retaining firm hold on a beginner's state of mind become long-term survivors." GONZALES


    ** When in doubt, bail out.


    Finally the book ends with this sobering quote: "We can live a life of bored caution and die of cancer." GONZALES.
    Dogwood mentioned this book a few years ago in a thread and I went out and bought it, yup, good book!

  19. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    Tipi Walter it's time to stop trash talking day hikers. It's stereotypical and getting to the point of being derogatory.
    He trashes everybody unless they "backcamp" and squat with a 50# base weight. Ego overwhelms the brain. Probably never been in the Whites, probably never been above 4000'.

  20. #160

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    I was rereading the reports today and remembered something.

    I'm from Massachusetts - the Cape. I grew up playing up north in the winter. Summer was for the ocean mostly. We used to ski 93 on regular weekends, and go way up the country for long weekends and vacations. When we'd drive up three hours or more there was always this sort of "Well, we're here - let's do it!" attitude especially with my dad. He was a wildman, and weekends would wear us out. He used to say "Gas aint free you know - let's go, you can warm up later at the lodge!" And, the classic: "One more run!"

    We used to approach our passions like it was our jobs, and a job is something you have to give your all when you get there. You've got to go.

    I've been reading Muir again and he talks about how slow he liked to move, stopping for a minute, or a day, with new plants he'd found. It jives with what TW says above about not rushing. Don't hurry, slow down.

    The mountains aren't going anywhere.

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