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Thread: The Widow Maker

  1. #1
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    Default The Widow Maker

    https://youtu.be/Hq-5Gm9kw3Q

    Not promoting my youtube channel. Been posting for a while. Here's what happens when you don't look up.

    Thanks everybody.

  2. #2
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for sharing FFE. Otherwise I would not have seen this video. Almost skipped it when I saw the length but it makes several good points.


    1. ALWAYS look up. The title says it but we should be aware of potential overhead hazards. There are lots of dead trees out there. Emerald ash borer, Balsam wooly adelgid , hemlock aspids, pine beetles and just natural decay have created these widow makers.

    It's not only during storms that these fall. Several times I've heard trees fall on perfectly calm days.

    These guys were thru hikers and would have hiked at least 1000 miles by that time. You would think that it would be an automatic precaution to check overhead when selecting a campsite. But at the end of a long day with cold rain pushing in I guess it could be something easy to overlook. T J expressed his regrets in not reminding his friend to check for widow makers.


    2. His first aid training was a little dated but kicked in when needed. There are wildernesses first aid courses available . I took a first aid class decades ago but memory fades and techniques evolve. Something to think about.

    3. They wound up not needing paramedics or evacuation but the victim was able to initiate a 911 call. Cell coverage can be spotty on the AT. The video makes a good point for person location beacon.


    Earlier this year I was with a large work group returning from a week long trip in the Smokies. After turning off the AT the group spread out and one of the group made an additional turn at one intersection. After several minutes she realized that she was alone on an unfamiliar trail. This was her first time in GSMNP. With her phone at 2% battery she called 911 and they were able to triangulate her location before her phone died.

    The 911 center contacted the park authorities and within a very short time a ranger and a campground host were on hand. As it turned out the young lady that made the wrong turn re-traced her steps and was on her way to the trail head when met by the rangers . The head backcountry ranger said the hiker did exactly the right thing. The only casualty was the young ladies pride.


    Point being, even though the hiker was unable to call anyone in our group she was able to reach 911.



    A few weeks ago I stayed one night of a four day trip at Spence Field shelter. Using Verizon I could text back and forth with my son. Some other hikers were carrying a personal locator that allowed them to exchange texts with someone at their home. I'm not sure of brand. My friend with AT&T had no signal.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quite the story.

    I know I often forget to look up. But it's often hard to find a spot without something overhead and there is no telling how stable it is. The risk is probably greatest in the spring since the tree branches could have been stressed from the winter weather and don't need much more stress to break.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #4

    Default

    I assume you posted this to promote safety, and it has many good points. The story could be told more effectively in about 5 minutes, everything else is extraneous. Many people will not watch due to the length.

  5. #5

    Default

    I watched all of it and enjoyed the telling of it.Good job FFE.Thanks!(subscribed a couple weeks ago btw)

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    I assume you posted this to promote safety, and it has many good points. The story could be told more effectively in about 5 minutes, everything else is extraneous. Many people will not watch due to the length.
    Thanks for the heads-up

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