Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
1 registered (1 invisible), 35 Guests and 42 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3409 Members
10 Forums
5338 Topics
49301 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Topic Options
#18049 - 09/04/11 09:29 PM Who is to say when someone is in trouble?
Ellsworth Offline


Registered: 09/02/11
Posts: 1
Loc: ET (US)
Edit: this was originally posted by Rod 10/27/09. Ads at the end have been removed.

How somebody can decide if somebody needs help or is in trouble? When I climbed MW in 2007, my buddy and I were passed on the trail at Trail Camp with a couple that were mountain guides from Utah. We passed them again on their way back again in between Trail Crest and the summit. They told me "good job you are practically there, maintain going." When we passed through Trail Camp late at about 7:30 PM a person ran out and asked if there was anybody still up on the trail at the rear of us. We said no and wondered why. The person at TC said a couple came through and said that there was a person "in trouble" on the mountain. We kept on heading down and then I realized that they were speaking about me.They reported to somebody i have been in trouble. I was very slow and tired but far from getting in trouble. however these guides reported to somebody i have been in trouble. I wasn't. I produced it back again down to Outpost where our camp was arranged up without any problems.

So this brings up the query who determines when somebody else is in trouble? How does somebody hold a look at somebody and know what shape they are in? It is an amazingly subjective evaluation even by experienced guides. I would are already very pissed away if as i have been heading down the mountain, i have been met by SAR and told i have been "in trouble" and getting evacuated away the mountain. I am relatively positive SAR would are already pissed if they got to me and I told them i have been fine and did not need any assistance. The exterior indications of someones condition are not that uncomplicated to determine.

I remember getting at Outpost on my main evening there seeing youthful men stumbling, and shuffling down the trail. i have been thinking wow I know I will not resemble that when I am done. I probably looked just like them shuffling down the mountain. So tired and fatiqued doesn't suggest somebody is in trouble.

Top
#18050 - 09/04/11 09:49 PM Who is to say when someone is in trouble?
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Murrieta, CA
This subject is important and has been brought up before. I know when I hike, I say hi to nearly everyone on the trail. I will even ask if they are okay. You can get a sense of how a person is feeling by watching for a few moments. If I see anything, like a person walking slowly, head down, possibly a bit disoriented, I will just ask them if they need anything, if they have enough water, are they hiking with others. It's all just casual questions. Their answers are when I know. I've only helped one hiker on the trail and I knew there was a problem on the second question, "do you have water"? They said yes and showed me a nearly empty bottle. I told them I would stay with them until I could filter some water for them. I stayed with the person even after I filtered water for them.

Do I get answers from people who may be irritated with me? Sure, just ask Gary when I asked a couple of girls on the trail if they had enough water going up. They looked at me like I had asked something personal and strongly said..."we're just going to Lone Pine Lake". I really don't care if people think I'm prying. I'd rather piss 'em off a bit then find out later that I should have helped.
_________________________
"Turtles, Frogs & other Environmental Sculpture"

www.quillansculpturegallery.com
twitter: @josephquillan

If less is more, imagine how much more, more is -Frasier

Top
#18053 - 09/05/11 05:50 AM Re: Who is to say when someone is in trouble? [Re: quillansculpture]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 814
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Keep asking, Quillan. It never hurts to ask someone, "Hi, how are you doing?" I've noticed that closer to the trailhead many people are less likely to be communicative, but deeper into the mountains people seem much more open to conversation. This seems to occur more frequently on heavily used trails, such as the Whitney or Bishop Pass trails. People from city environments are often suspicious of being questioned by strangers, or of being the one asking the questions.

Once, while heading in to Whitney on a winter search mission we encountered two young men sitting by the trail, one of them in the snow. When questioned, the one in the snow was unable to answer in a coherent manner. His partner didn't know what was wrong with his buddy. Hypothermia! We then proceeded to set up their tent and pack the now victim into his sleeping bag and do the other necessary things to prevent him sliding deeper into hypothermia. If we hadn't asked the initial question, we'd have had another victim to carry out - possible a dead one. As it was, a life was saved by our questioning.

I believe that those with a lot of knowledge and experience of the mountains bear more responsibility toward other mountain travellers. The answer to the old question "Am I my brothers keeper?" is, "YES, YOU ARE!"

If a person is one of those "It's not my business" kind of individuals, then I would want to have nothing to do with him or her, especially in the mountains.

Top
#18054 - 09/05/11 05:58 AM Re: Who is to say when someone is in trouble? [Re: Ellsworth]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 814
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Hey, be glad someone was interested in your well-being. Was your pride wounded by the concern of the guides? It sure seems like it to me. Get over it.

No, SAR would not have been "pissed" at you; they'd have been glad it was just another person they didn't have to carry out dead.

Top
#18056 - 09/05/11 07:17 AM Re: Who is to say when someone is in trouble? [Re: Ellsworth]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1242
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
This is something I deal with almost every weekend during the winter months, that is people biting off a lot more than they can chew. I have come to the conclusion all you can do is tell them what you think. If they ask for help, you help. If they shine you on, just keep moving so you don't have to view the disaster, if it occurs.

I have approached people who appear lost, when they ask where they are, my response is let me show you on your map, most do not have a map. I have asked people using trekking poles and microspikes high angle slopes how will they arrest or belay a fall, many respond I will not fall. The MMWT has the same type of people on it every day during the quote season.


Edited by wbtravis (09/05/11 07:18 AM)

Top
#18060 - 09/05/11 08:53 AM Re: Who is to say when someone is in trouble? [Re: wbtravis]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
That story Ellsworth just told is my story I posted that story about the two guides from utah saying I was in trouble.

Top
#18061 - 09/05/11 09:30 AM Re: Who is to say when someone is in trouble? [Re: Bob West]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
Bob, you're making me feel a little bit guilty here. I usually don't do anything unless the person admits they're in trouble. I've helped a few people, but they were always cheerful to have someone lend a hand.

Yesterday while on the North Fork a little after 4 AM I saw two people in their sleeping bags sleeping on the trail above the Ebersbacher Ledges and below Lower Boyscout Lake. I was debating whether to wake them and ask if they were okay and risk ruining someone's sleep, but decided that they were poor backpackers who didn't know how to pick a reasonable place to camp.

I stepped over them and moved on. It wasn't 50 feet before I saw a guy huddled over by a rock. I stopped as I thought he was using a wag bag. I shouted at him to let me know when he was done. He immediately got up and stumbled down. Didn't have a headlamp or flashlight either. He had the 1,000 yard stare. I asked if he was okay. Didn't respond. I asked again, this time without a smile as it looked a little more serious than I thought. He mumbled something that I couldn't understand. So I got in front of him and asked one more time and if he needed anything. I don't remember his exact words, but said something to the effect that he was just a little cold from the wind and walked right past me.

I headed up a little further near the waterfall before LBSL, and looked back and saw he had put the headlamp on now, and made out that he was getting into a sleeping bag. Looks like he was with the two still sleeping.

I assume everyone doing the North Fork knows what they're getting themselves into and able to deal with the elements, and be prepared. I didn't think anything yesterday, and was just slightly perplexed that someone decided to sleep on a small use trail like the North Fork. Your post will make me more cognizant in the future.

Top
#18062 - 09/05/11 10:09 AM Re: Who is to say when someone is in trouble? [Re: wbtravis]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Murrieta, CA
Rod.... you are over your PM's. Delete some. Also, PM me your number :-).... or just e-mail me. Have a great L Day!

And atari.... what were the conditions like as far as cold, water crossings, etc. Wish I was with you. Be fun to go with someone who KNOWS what they're doing.
_________________________
"Turtles, Frogs & other Environmental Sculpture"

www.quillansculpturegallery.com
twitter: @josephquillan

If less is more, imagine how much more, more is -Frasier

Top
#18065 - 09/05/11 02:34 PM Re: Who is to say when someone is in trouble? [Re: Rod]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7392
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Rod
That story Ellsworth just told is my story I posted that story about the two guides from utah saying I was in trouble.


That's pretty funny, Rod. Looks like a spammer liked what you wrote, and pasted his ads below.

Here's your original:   Who is to say when someone is in trouble?

...only he changed the grammar so it looks like a foreigner who can't quite get his English right. Bizarre.

It is still a good discussion, though, and well worth bringing up again.



Edited by Steve C (09/05/11 02:41 PM)

Top
#18066 - 09/05/11 03:39 PM Re: Who is to say when someone is in trouble? [Re: 2600fromatari]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 814
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Maybe that guy was a little high on something other than altitude, and you caught him in the act of re-dosing himself.

Top
#18068 - 09/05/11 05:03 PM Re: Who is to say when someone is in trouble? [Re: Bob West]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 999
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
The topic of who decides was in a recent ranger report from Rainier in the Alpine Clubs yearly Accidents in North America. While discussing HAPE and HACE cases they mentioned the problem of ( especially the) inexperienced parties failing to recognize the problem that they or members of their party were in. This happens with hypothermia , as well as altitude-only issues. Dull brains. I do not mean only insufficient knowledge or experience to begin with , but a separate functional inability brought on by the hypoxia, hypothermia or whatever. Again, my term dull brains. The other problem arises when that person has enough "personality" left to reject your help.

Top
#18069 - 09/05/11 05:17 PM Re: Who is to say when someone is in trouble? [Re: Ellsworth]
ruffpace Offline


Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 16
Loc: San Luis Obispo, CA
I think there is a huge difference between asking if someone is okay and reporting someone is in trouble on the mountain. Within the hours someone is on the mountain there could be many reasons they might not be doing well at various times. This does not mean they are not still able to make it down the mountain. They may need some food or water which a fellow hiker could give them or maybe they just need to use the WAG BAG or take a little rest. All these things would not require a rescue. My question about these so called "guides" is if they really thought they saw people in trouble is why they didn't offer any food or water to those hikers??

Top
#18070 - 09/05/11 06:29 PM Re: Who is to say when someone is in trouble? [Re: ruffpace]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I do not think that this situation exists much beyond the "tourist trails" (Whitney Main Trail, Yosemite Half Dome, Grand Canyon Bright Angel, etc)-- Places where exceedingly long dayhikes to world famous destinations tempt the sometimes exceedingly unprepared, or normally non-hiking populations. One of the best solutions to this has been the introduction of the Volunteer Rangers (like Bob R) who serve as the eyes and ears of the mountain.




* based on what I have witnessed on the above trails, I could have spent all day querying hikers about the state of their state!
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

Top
#18075 - 09/06/11 06:31 AM Re: Who is to say when someone is in trouble? [Re: Bee]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1242
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Bee,

You are right to a degree but this occurs elsewhere. People have a tendency to do more than they are capable of doing...I know I do from time to time. The difference, as you stated, between someone like me and a noob is I realize when I've screwed the pooch, they do not...and I have the skills to get myself out of real trouble whereas they do not.

Anyone who has gone up or down this trail a few times has plenty of stories...like the time I had two groups go by me at Lower Trail Crest to visit Mt. Whitney via Guitar Lake and...

Top