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#39584 - 08/11/14 03:38 PM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Ken]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Ken,

Those two guys are obviously the exception to the rule. The majority of backpackers would not be in same category as those "super-hikers".

Since one of the reasons for the existence of this forum is to provide (hopefully) knowledgeable advice to potential Mt. Whitney hikers, it is important that any advice given will help them succeed and survive.

Your obvious emphasis on going ultra-ultra light can be potentially misleading to neophyte hikers looking for advise from experienced forum posters, and as such should to be taken with a very large grain of salt.

You would do this forum a great service if you would kindly STFU about your ultra-light obsession.


Edited by Bob West (08/11/14 03:41 PM)

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#39585 - 08/11/14 07:09 PM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Bob West]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Wow, Bob, certainly a welcoming and diverse-opinion-encouraging post. I believe that I will ignore your profanity, I wonder if that is typical of people of your town?

Am I obsessed with Ultralight technique? No, although I find it fascinating. For obsession, you'd have to look at Bob Rockwell. But don't worry, you've already managed to shut him up. I'm sure he would benefit from the collective wisdom of the heavyweight-style folks on this board, who can educate him properly.

But I like your suggestion at looking at what actually happens, and informing people based upon facts.

For example, this year, over 1400 people started out from Mexico on their way to walk to Canada. I won't say that they are all ultralighters, they are not. However, virtually all incorporate some aspect of ultralight techniques.

As far as I know, none has required a rescue due to inadequate gear.
But it certainly happens. Rarely.

But I'm curious: Ultralighters advocate careful studying of maps to ascertain water supplies, and carrying only a small reserve beyond what is needed to get from source to source.

Contrast that with those people who climb the MMWT carrying their water supply for the entire trip, measured in multiple gallons.

I wonder where you fall?

I also wonder about the sentiment advocated here often, that map skills are a waste of time, that GPS and SPOT have eliminated the need for such pedestrian knowledge. Interestingly, most ultralighters carry a altitude watch, and a GPS. And a map and compass.

I personally look at techniques of all persuasions, to find things that make sense, and enhance the experience. I find it sad that you, and others, do not take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions, and look at options, bur rather just take a sniping approach to something that you apparently don't do (but probably actually do, as noted with the water issue)

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#39586 - 08/11/14 07:15 PM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Bob West]
dbd Online


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 212
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: Bob West
Ken,
...
Your obvious emphasis on going ultra-ultra light can be potentially misleading to neophyte hikers looking for advise from experienced forum posters, and as such should to be taken with a very large grain of salt.
...



Bob

I think Ken's examples are extreme enough to be recognized as such even by beginners. Save the bag of salt for the gear from SierraNevada that comes from the catalog without the judgement or experience to use them safely.

Dale B Dalrymple

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#39587 - 08/11/14 08:45 PM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: dbd]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I am going to back it up and give some observations from the very middle of the road.

1. On my first backpack trip, my pack weighed 42lbs. My experienced buddies examined what I carried, and immediately noted that by not studying my water sources (thus carrying the WHOLE lot for the hike) I had added about 8 lbs extra. A maglite could easily be replaced with a very light headlamp. The basics.

2. Down the road, stoves became refined, cooking gear was traded up for lighter versions, food was re-packaged, More expensive but lighter down was purchased, etc

3. When I went on a trip with Steve C. & Bob R. I REALLY picked up some tips. One of them was that a lot of weight could be traded off with only small loss of comfort. ie, on a short overnight trip to the summit, I was able to leave behind the thermarest and just pack the Z-rest. Also, I left behind a heavy groud cloth for a hefty bag from the store. A safe amount of water was carried in reserve, but the consumption for the trip was drank en route. Instead of a tent, I used a bivvy. However, I still had a down parka & pants, thermals, booties, gloves, hat, raingear -- survival gear that could not be compromised.

4. The most interesting revelation was that I rarely needed TWO camera batteries -- especially when I only take about 5 pix per trip. I was very appreciative of Bob R's review of my gear.

I would scoff at being labeled anything but just plain ol trekker, BUT, I would never turn down the opportunity to improve my trip experience, and if that means help with lightening my load, than by all means offer advice.

I think folks are all in a bunch over labels (such is life) so that all nuance has been lost...Youre either WITH us or AGAINST us. Just plain silly.
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#39589 - 08/11/14 09:08 PM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Bee]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Thank you Bee, for realism, and...for your calming influence.

My early backpacking days were similar to yours: 45 pound pack, with all the things I thought I needed...LOL...(65+ pounds with SAR gear). Now, after availing myself of the latest in lightweight gear (shock!) my one week pack is now about 25 pounds, including a 1.5 pound tent, 18 ounce bag, cushy pad, etc. As technology provides us with better and better products our pack weights will probably drop even more. While I carry a Spot device, I still resist GPS.

As we age (speaking for myself) less is more, but if someone wants to carry everything but the kitchen sink...more power to them if they can manage. (BTW, a certain, well travelled mountain lady here in Bishop always seems to carry a lot, but with yummy food and wine.)

But as for the tiny faction who would have us backpack nearly naked, I say, boooo!

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#39590 - 08/11/14 09:16 PM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Ken]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Diversity is ok, extremism is not ok.

Be warned: not everyone in Bishop is politically correct.

Water: 750 ml or less.

I never carry a GPS or altitude watch, 'cause I know how to read a map. Why do you carry such crutches?

A lot of people have been rescued due to inadequate gear. Even experts die in the mountains.

Sorry that you felt the need to mention Bob R., who I count as a good and trusted friend from SAR days. Bob is not obsessive, but smart and experienced.

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#39591 - 08/11/14 09:20 PM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: dbd]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1143
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: dbd
Save the bag of salt for the gear from SierraNevada that comes from the catalog without the judgement or experience to use them safely.
Dale B Dalrymple
Dale, I agree that ultralight gear takes a little more knowledge and experience to use, but it's not rocket science. Pitching a tarp is more difficult than setting up a basic tent, but a few tries in the backyard can get anyone started. An alcohol stove or Esbit stove is a little more difficult than a canister stove, but the heaviest solution - a white gas stove - can be the most difficult of any stove, with the priming involved and occasional field repair. Lighter gear usually wears out faster, but its usually more expensive, which motivates people to take better care of it.

But in the end, it's just gear, people. Lighten up and stop taking pot shots at responsible ultralight backpackers every time a story pops up about someone who makes a bad decision to leave critical gear at home.

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#39593 - 08/11/14 09:54 PM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: SierraNevada]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Watch out, I might start a thread called:

"What Was the Most Important Thing You Forgot To Pack in Your Pack?"

(glasses -- rendering me nearly blind the whole trip)
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#39599 - 08/11/14 11:45 PM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Bee]
Whitney Fan Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 213
Loc: Las Vegas
Bob West mentions above "a certain, well travelled mountain lady here in Bishop".

She (Moosetracks . . . Laura) was also mentioned a few days ago on the other forum, with someone noting her long absence from that board.

And I see her last post here was way back in January.

Bob (or anyone else), is she alive and well? What is she up to? Any insight as why the long absence here? Her contributions are appreciated by many, so curiosity is natural.

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#39600 - 08/11/14 11:51 PM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Bee]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Forgot my boots to climb Williamson via George Creek. Fortunately, had some lightweight boots I was wearing for travel, but they did not survive that trip.

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#39601 - 08/12/14 12:02 AM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Bob West]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Bob, you can have your opinion, you're entitled. When you start throwing out profanity, you lose my attention and respect.

As for BobR, if you don't consider counting the number of sections of toilet paper (apparently 6 per day) obsession with weight, you don't know obsession...but of course, that was your description. I also consider Bob a friend, whose unending search for ultralightweight solutions I greatly admire.

Bob's title for his pack choices is titled "the Ultralight Pack"---I presume he knows how he wants to be described.

Do you really think he should shut up too, because of his style?
He enjoys discussing his choices and decisions with those interested, but that apparently would not include you.

By the way, the catchphrase of the Ultralight Community is "hike your own hike" HYOH, which means ----do what you prefer, I'm not going to tell you what I do and you MUST do.

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#39602 - 08/12/14 12:23 AM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Whitney Fan]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Why the absence (Laura)?? Perhaps she has better things to do with her time than partake in the friendly fire that seems to take over these message boards.

People come and go from posting.
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#39604 - 08/12/14 04:16 AM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Bee]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: Bee
Why the absence (Laura)?? Perhaps she has better things to do with her time than partake in the friendly fire that seems to take over these message boards.

People come and go from posting.


Laura's reasons for staying away from some of the more volatile message boards are hers alone, but I don't think Bee's reasoning is far off the mark. My sense is that she's devoting more time and effort into enjoying her adventures rather than reporting/debating them. More power to her.

WF, she's doing fine and is still up to her old tricks in the Sierra. She maintains a blog here . The weekly trip reports many of us looked forward to are no longer in play, but when she has something to say it will usually show up on her blog. She also posts regularly on Facebook.

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#39606 - 08/12/14 06:29 AM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Bee]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Laura is currently on vacation, somewhere enjoying wilderness. As far as her reasons for being absent, that is her business, which I respect and understand.


Edited by Bob West (08/12/14 06:32 AM)

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#39607 - 08/12/14 06:36 AM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Whitney Fan]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1143
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Whitney Fan
Bob West mentions above "a certain, well travelled mountain lady here in Bishop".

She (Moosetracks . . . Laura) was also mentioned a few days ago on the other forum, with someone noting her long absence from that board.

And I see her last post here was way back in January.

Bob (or anyone else), is she alive and well? What is she up to? Any insight as why the long absence here? Her contributions are appreciated by many, so curiosity is natural.

Laura was looking fine when I saw her coming up the Bishop Pass trail backpacking with kids for the 4th of July weekend. She was excited about an upcoming 3-week loop hike in late July South Lake - North with lots of peak bagging. My wife and I were exiting the JMT from Mammoth. No time to discuss forum issues, but I did note that she hadn't posting in a long time. She said she was busy.

Edit: Oh yeah, she was carrying a monster pack like it was a day pack. The kids were little - reminded us of earlier times with our kids before we upgraded our gear. I think I saw a faucet handle sticking out.


Edited by SierraNevada (08/12/14 06:49 AM)

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#39612 - 08/12/14 07:57 AM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: SierraNevada]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
SN, my family and I hiked out with her to Kearsarge Pass three years ago for the launch of her planned two-week summer backpack. This was following the near-record snow season and she was having to carry pretty much a full compliment of winter gear. And, of course, she had her ever-present culinary comforts as well.

My daughter was 11 at the time, and I swear Laura's pack was almost as big as her. She's not averse to making use of lighter gear when it makes sense, but she's always prepared and always has serious eats on hand. I doubt she'll ever be accused of going UL.

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#39620 - 08/12/14 08:03 PM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Bulldog34]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1019
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
I saw an ultralight runner doing Whitney 3 days ago. It had been 10 F on the summit that morning. He was in shorts and shirt, no day pack. On the way down from the summit I walked as fast as him, at least net speed. He would run, then stop and tell everyone he met that his (gloveless) hands were cold. someone who knew him said he was an experienced UL from another state. I tried to tactfully point out that there were no 14,000 footers there

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#39624 - 08/12/14 09:41 PM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Harvey Lankford]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1143
Loc: NorCal
I'm not sure how "ultralight" is defined for dayhiking, but shorts, shirt and no day pack is just plain UNPREPARED. There's no "ultralight" gear involved whatsoever. This nut should not be lumped in with responsible ultralight hikers and backpackers.

For backpacking, the common definition of "ultralight" is a base weight of 5-12 lbs of COMPLETE GEAR - all systems included - pack, shelter, sleep system, warm clothing, rain gear, first aid kit, toiletries, navigation, etc. A large percentage of thru-hikers on the PCT, JMT, CDT, and AT carry packs in this range or very near 12 lbs base weight. Food and water might double or triple that right after resupply. Cumulatively, they hike over a 100,000 miles each year between April and November in all kinds of conditions. Very few of them are rocket scientists or millionaires.

A backpacking base weight less than about 5 lbs is typically considered "Super Ultralight." These setups are usually extreme and probably dicey for adverse weather.

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#39634 - 08/13/14 08:24 AM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: Harvey Lankford]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Harvey,

I saw the same thing in '05 on between Whitney and Muir. The temperature was in single digits, according to my thermometer, and the wind was at 30 MPH. I had on every stitch of clothes I had...including a pair of shell pants. I walked into Whitney Portal in shorts.

What if he incapacitated up there? How do you keep him warm without putting yourself at risk? Almost no one is prepared for this type of temperature in the Sierra in August.

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#39635 - 08/13/14 08:34 AM Re: Mono SAR rescues ultra-marathoners. [Re: SierraNevada]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
SN,

As I have said throughout this thread, there are good ul and standard packers and there are irresponsible ones.

This guy who Harvey met is obviously an irresponsible ul guy but still a ul guy. Every group has its good and bad elements.

It has been my experience that most seeking help or assistance seem to have a light to ultralight philosophy.

I have seen people push this philosophy with noobs. I have always felt this philosophy works best for those of us with a high skill level. We have made our mistakes and have figured out to a great degree what works and what does not, whereas the noobs know nada to little.


Edited by wbtravis (08/13/14 08:45 AM)

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