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  1. #1

    Default AT SOBO candidate rescued from Katahdin

    Not a lot of details. The second article indicates that he started on Thursday on the Hunt Trail and stayed on the mountain that night before summiting on Friday. That would be highly unusual as the park does not allow camping anywhere in the park outside of the campgrounds. So did he somehow injure himself on the Hunt Trail (the AT) decide to spend the night and then got up in the AM and decided to push on to the summit?. They note pre-existing injuries being treated when e was carried down.

    Many SOBO thruhikers reportedly haul their full pack up the mountain despite there being the option to carry a day pack, if they are out of shape or not prepared carrying a full backpack can substantially increase the effort of hiking up the Hunt Trail especially through the boulder field just below the plateau. Its not impossible but it does add to the difficulty. Recent weather has been warm and unusually low relative humidity, perfect conditions for under-estimating water usage and electrolyte depletion.

    https://www.wmtw.com/article/injured...park/36780038#

    https://bangordailynews.com/2021/06/...s-on-katahdin/

    So does he hang around Millinocket and give it another try and chalk up this first attempt to experience hard one or does he hop on the bus and head home?
    Last edited by peakbagger; 06-21-2021 at 10:42.

  2. #2
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    You'd have to ask him that.

    Why would anyone carry a pack anyplace they didn't have to? That's nonsense!
    Be Prepared

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    You'd have to ask him that.

    Why would anyone carry a pack anyplace they didn't have to? That's nonsense!
    It's nonsense -not- to slackpack when you have a choice to do it traditionally?

  4. #4

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    I'm really wondering about the pre-existing conditions. Why start if already injured.
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
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    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    It's nonsense -not- to slackpack when you have a choice to do it traditionally?
    I would say that if you are going up and down the Hunt Trail, the traditional approach is to leave your regular pack at Katahdin Stream for the day. Doing otherwise makes about as much sense as lugging your pack to every off-trail water source.

    Now, for those like me who started at Roaring Brook, carrying a full pack may make sense at the time, but only good fortune and youth will insure you don’t screw up your whole hike on day one.

  6. #6

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    It's definitely traditional. I just don't really see calling it 'nonsense' to carry it unless you're specifically discouraged from doing so. Some might like the idea of carrying their own pack from one end of the AT to the other. I just don't see the parallel to off trail water sources since those are... off trail.

  7. #7

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    Its a fine concept but the application on the Hunt Trail (the AT) up Katahdin adds a lot of challenge. Everyone assumes the AT up Katahdin is typical 4 foot wide gravel/dirt path seen on much of the southern AT with maybe a few rocks with more elevation gain and makes decisions based on that assumption. The beginning of the Hunt trail supports that view until the beginning of the boulder field. These are not your garden variety wheel barrow sized boulders, these are car to house size boulders randomly dumped on top of each other. The trail does not go around them, it goes over and under them. Adding in a full pack means less flexibility the scramble plus some additional headroom.

    I have hauled backpacks with multiday gear up the Hunt trail and the Knife Edge as well as other Katahdin Trails over the years. Its pretty well required to access the far more remote north end of the mountain. I have a background in basic boulder scrambling from hiking in the whites so it easy to transition to hauling a backpack but to someone from outside the area who already is outside their element its added complication.

  8. #8

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    There are certainly people that do make assumptions like that, but I'm not in that group.

  9. #9

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    I've gotten push back for having this:
    The physical and mental challenge of climbing Katahdin is not to be underestimated. You cannot roll off the couch and climb this mountain. Fit hikers can easily spend 8-10 hours getting up and down the mountain. More than a few prospective southbounders were unprepared for the task, and ended their hikes the same day they started.

    A successful SoBo should be a fit and relatively experienced backpacker.
    in the SoBo's Guide to Baxter and Katahdin.
    I think it's good advice.
    Almost all ATers leave their packs at the Ranger's cabin at Katahdin Stream. When the porch was closed for health and safety reasons a lean-to was set up across from the cabin for packs.
    As far as "allowing" someone to stay on the mountain, Rangers don't do that.
    They also won't initiate a rescue if it's not needed. The hiker should've turned around.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    I've gotten push back for having this:
    The physical and mental challenge of climbing Katahdin is not to be underestimated. You cannot roll off the couch and climb this mountain. Fit hikers can easily spend 8-10 hours getting up and down the mountain. More than a few prospective southbounders were unprepared for the task, and ended their hikes the same day they started.

    A successful SoBo should be a fit and relatively experienced backpacker. - in the SoBo's Guide to Baxter and Katahdin.
    I think it's good advice.
    Almost all ATers leave their packs at the Ranger's cabin at Katahdin Stream. When the porch was closed for health and safety reasons a lean-to was set up across from the cabin for packs.
    As far as "allowing" someone to stay on the mountain, Rangers don't do that.
    They also won't initiate a rescue if it's not needed. The hiker should've turned around.
    I can't understand the pushback. It's a very difficult climb for someone who isn't regularly going up and down thousands of feet over rocks. More so if carrying a full load at the beginning of a SOBO. I can't imagine climbing it with a full 100 mile wilderness load on my back. The Rangers used to lend you a day pack if you didn't have one. I don't know if they still do.
    "That's the thing about possum innards - they's just as good the second day." - Jed Clampett

  11. #11

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    They still do loaner packs, that's how almost all ATers leave their packs at the Ranger's cabin at Katahdin Stream.
    Those that don't take a loner leave their heavy gear in their pack liner/garbage bag.
    Funny story: an ex-Park director got upset with the campground Ranger because he thought there were actual bags of garbage on the porch.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

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    "Traditional" is curious to me when it comes to LD hiking. Should we wear denim and cotton, carry oversized external frame? Cook beans in a can on a campfire? The ranger station provides a good service but also ensures safety. So they don't have to take the helos up.

    Everyone has their own idea of how a hike is supposed to go-but when it involves rescue whilst a safer alternative is provided...dumb in my opinion.

    HYOH and all that but when you're own obsession over going traditional requires rescue...you are selfish and not prepared.

    Katahdin was magical and every bit as hard as I hoped it would be BUT,

    I had just finished hiking 2k+ miles.

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    Alligator, this will probably go into a slack vs purist debate but I believe Katahdin is different. BSP is already becoming less tolerant than ever for ATers.

    Sigh, either way I wish the best for hiker rescued and hope the slack/garbage bag option continues. No hate for purists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    I've gotten push back for having this:

    More than a few prospective southbounders were unprepared for the task, and ended their hikes the same day they started....
    Yes good advice, however this part also has applies to NoBo's at Springer

  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=Durwood;2287283]Alligator, this will probably go into a slack vs purist debate./QUOTE]

    It really shouldn’t.

    Slackpacking is when you either use rides or gear shuttles to avoid carrying your pack forward.

    It is not slackpacking when you drop your pack by the side of the trail to blueblaze to a waterfall or hike up and down Katahdin on the Hunt Trail (AT).

    Of course if you were to hike up Katahdin from the far side and have someone drive your pack around, that would be a slackpack.

    It’s all good, but the “rules” that really matter are those of physics and biomechanics — best not to challenge them like you might artificial constructs.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Durwood View Post
    Alligator, this will probably go into a slack vs purist debate but I believe Katahdin is different. BSP is already becoming less tolerant than ever for ATers.
    When I see the comment that BSP is becoming less tolerant than ever for ATers, its usually a clue that the poster is getting their info from the web rather than actually in the field. BSP hasnt put in any new specific thru hiker requirements for several years and the regulations that were put in place several years ago were basically to treat thru hikers like any other guests, albeit with far easier method of getting into the park at the last minute. As far as I know the thru hiker registration limit has to date not been hit and thus has had no impact to thru hikers. Reportedly the biggest impact of the registration system was to close a backdoor method of commercial and non commercial groups of getting into the park without reservations and spread out thruhiker "bubbles". I expect there is a major benefit to thruhikers of ATC stationing full time staff in Monson to assist thruhikers in understanding the BSP regulations and assisting in getting reservations in the park.

    Its never been acceptable since the seventies to camp outside of campgrounds in the park. Even if it were legit, anyone needing to camp overnight heading up the Hunt Trail is probably not well suited to be embarking on a southbound thru hike. If someone did need to camp on the trail they should be heading down in the morning rather than heading to the summit.

    Lacking details on this rescue I do not think changes in park regulations several years ago would have any impact on the need for the rescue

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    PB, I respect your point of view and BSP tolerance. However, I felt the 6AM race to the clipboard so that the 1st 12 hikers can move forward, pay the $10 to stay in lean-to 1/4 mile from anything (water) was frustrating. Admittedly, it's been my only visit to the park.

    Rickb, my definition would be anytime you dump the majority of your load and head up with snacks and water....brother, ur slackpacking.

  18. #18

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    Your well publicized option was to book a site in advance with the help of the folks in Monson or call the head quarters from the top of Nestabunt Mountain and book a site in advance . All the Sobos book a site in the spring as they dont qualify for the AT site (which reportedly is pretty wet in the spring).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Durwood View Post
    Rickb, my definition would be anytime you dump the majority of your load and head up with snacks and water....brother, ur slackpacking.
    I've always thought of slack packing as having gear transported along a segment that you're walking through, picking up the pack for the next segment. If you drop your pack and do a side trip or a round trip, I don't see how that's slack packing.

    Another example is Mt. Whitney for PCT NOBO thru hikers. Almost everyone will leave most of their gear in camp at Crabtree Meadows or Guitar Lake, head up to the summit and back down, pick up the gear and keep hiking north. To me that's not slack packing. It's just not taking unnecessary gear on an out-and-back day hike.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhjanes View Post
    I'm really wondering about the pre-existing conditions. Why start if already injured.
    Hate to tell ya but this years class jhas a bunch of winners in it.What Ive seen online not here but other places is I just had so and so worked onThink I can do a hike. Yeah the masses are urging them on..Not bright at all...
    My love for life is quit simple .i get uo in the moring and then i go to bed at night. What I do inbween is to occupy my time. Cary Grant

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