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  1. #1
    Registered User Stoker53's Avatar
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    3 buddies and I spent the night with a SOBO thru hiker ( Southpaw from SC ) on Sat night 2/14 at Wise Shelter in the Mt. Rogers area of Va. He says he is the last SOBO having left Maine in mid July. He left the shelter Sun, around noon , in a blizzard headed for Thomas Knob Shelter. He never made it . He couldn't find the shelter. Dark and blowing snow made it hard to see the blazes. He spent the night on the lee side of a rock in a MSR hubba fly/ground cloth combo. Temps down where we were ( Wise shelter ) reached the single digits and the wind was SCREAMING. No telling how cold it was up where he spent the night.

    To make matters worse his water bag leaked inside his down bag and soaked it. SP spent a sleepless night somewhere in the vacinity of Thomas Knob shelter and somehow made it back to Wise shelter Mon mid day covered in ice with fingers on both hands frostbitten.

    Craig, luckely was there, since the other 3 of us were out day hiking. He got SouthPaw into dry clothes and put him into a dry sleeping bag and started pouring hot liquids into him. Mid afternoon the sun came out and we dried out his gear as best we could.

    SP spent the night with us Mon night and Tue AM rangers showed up on 4 wheelers and took him out. His family and another SOBO were concerned, since he was overdue to Damascus, and alerted the local emergency personel. SP was going to meet up with the other SOBO in Damascus and was 5 days late getting there.

    Long story short.....SouthPaw is OK. His frost bite was more painful than serious and he plans on resuming his thru in a day or two. When he reaches Sringer he will take a break then return to Massey Gap and hike into Damascus in time for Trail Days.

    We stopped in Damascas Thurs and ran into him outside the Mt. Rogers Outfitters and his spirits were good. His Mom had forgiven him for making her worry so much.
    "In the abundance of water the fool is thirsty."...Bob Marley

  2. #2
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    He's still here in town.

  3. #3
    Registered User Stoker53's Avatar
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    Thanks LW !!!

    He's probably still a little gun shy about the weather. You guys probably got more snow up high over the past couple of days.

    If you run into him tell him Wayne says hello.
    "In the abundance of water the fool is thirsty."...Bob Marley

  4. #4
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    Interesting story and Thank you'all for taking the time to be concerned.

  5. #5
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparky2000
    you'all
    i have no idea what this word is....but i know from where you are at you should be sayin youins.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Solemates
    i have no idea what this word is....but i know from where you are at you should be sayin youins.
    It's spanish as in Que Tal, Ya'll

  7. #7
    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    wow,i am glad he is doing good neo

  8. #8
    Gettin Lighter..All the Time!!! Biloxi's Avatar
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    Smile south bounder

    hey guys, I just read this thread. and while I am very glad everything worked out well.."thank god he found help" I do have a couple of questions..it was stated that he left Maine in mid july. and this enocounter happened in mid feb. yet he was at the wise shelter in virginia..by my calculations that is 1681 miles from K." granted thats a long way"but to only be there after 7 months? now I dont know his age or condition but why, if he was moving that slow, apprx.8 miles a day. why in the world would he walk off into a blizzard? I know anything can happen.weather, injury, lots of variables but in 7 months he should have been damn near done..or done for that matter..now I know I will get blasted for this but I had to ask.. ..I am glad he made it though ...I am not being a critic just asking

  9. #9
    http://www.facebook.com/themissjanet Miss Janet's Avatar
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    He wasn't in that big of a hurry to be done! Southpaw didn't actually finish until April... of course he and Beamus were busy the last month on the trail distributing the Hassellhoff Hiking Tips. I here that there may be a new hiking guide based on these HHT.!

  10. #10
    Savoring Happy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donjuan70 View Post
    hey guys, I just read this thread. and while I am very glad everything worked out well.."thank god he found help" I do have a couple of questions..it was stated that he left Maine in mid july. and this enocounter happened in mid feb. yet he was at the wise shelter in virginia..by my calculations that is 1681 miles from K." granted thats a long way"but to only be there after 7 months? now I dont know his age or condition but why, if he was moving that slow, apprx.8 miles a day. why in the world would he walk off into a blizzard? I know anything can happen.weather, injury, lots of variables but in 7 months he should have been damn near done..or done for that matter..now I know I will get blasted for this but I had to ask.. ..I am glad he made it though ...I am not being a critic just asking
    There's allot of difference between a backpacker and a thru hiker. Southpaw is a backpacker. That's why he SOBOs. It takes the urgency out of your trek and actually gives you time to enjoy what you're hiking through including allot of blue blazes that get ignored by NOBOs. My guess is that if Southpaws's water bottle wouldn't have leaked, he would have been just fine. Makes a good argument for using a synthetic bag after freeze time.

    Savor Happy!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by No Belay View Post
    There's allot of difference between a backpacker and a thru hiker. Southpaw is a backpacker. That's why he SOBOs. It takes the urgency out of your trek and actually gives you time to enjoy what you're hiking through including allot of blue blazes that get ignored by NOBOs.
    Sounds like a sweeping generalization to me. Many northbounders take 7 months to complete the trail averaging 10 miles per day. Surely plenty of time to smell the roses so to speak.

  12. #12
    Savoring Happy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly View Post
    Sounds like a sweeping generalization to me. Many northbounders take 7 months to complete the trail averaging 10 miles per day. Surely plenty of time to smell the roses so to speak.
    Yea but what if you get to HF and decide you want to take 8 months..or even 9 months?

    SOL..... Baxter doesn't take late reservations. If you take the time you want to and don't make it by Oct 15 at Baxter, all of a sudden you're not a thru hiker anymore, you're an extended section hiker. Running to catch a closing gate takes allot away from the over all experience. Hiking south about the only wall you're going to hit are your own limitations. Nobody tells you you're not "welcome here" regardless of the weather or date. Just my thoughts.

    Savor Happy!

  13. #13
    usually confused but never lost Fannypack's Avatar
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    Default Easy Feelin' in Smokies

    Easy Feelin' spotted in Smokies
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=167320

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