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Another Rescue, and lessons
#40582 10/10/14 08:40 AM
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http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/miss...untains-n222986

This seemed to go about as right as it could have.

Of course, the anti-adventure types will say she should have had a SPOT, Sat Phone, EPIRB, locators on every dog, taken out ads in the local papers about her trip......

She was able to take care of herself, her dogs.

I loved the fire! As one of the Coast Guard SAR supervisors says:
"Take the search out of Search and Rescue"

The one lesson not to learn was about the mushrooms. There is very little nutrition in mushrooms, and wild mushrooms are very difficult to tell apart. There are also commonly deadly ones in the field.

"There are old mushroom hunters,
and there are BOLD mushroom hunters,
But there are NO
old AND bold mushroom hunters"

Leave that to experts.

Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
Ken #40584 10/10/14 09:39 AM
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The dogs ate like kings! Why didn't she have what they were having?

Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
Ken #40587 10/10/14 03:56 PM
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Except for choosing to eat wild mushrooms (which could have been far FAR worse than being hungry) The lady was more resourceful than most of the mommy button anecdotes.


The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
Ken #40593 10/11/14 08:53 AM
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Not enough information to make any kind of determination about this or that.

It does appear she did not have a clue about land nav...and she is not unusual in that regard.

The lessons...

1. Day hikes can sometimes be more than 8 hours...have enough clothing to spend the night at highest elevation you plan to go.

2. Have a couple thousand extra calories in your pack when you walk off the trail after every hike.

3. Have more liquids than the bare minimum...walk off with at least a L.

Closer to home...10 days ago for at least the 4th time this year someone decided it was in their best interest to visit top San Antonio Falls when they were trying to stay on the Ski Hut Trail descending to their car at Manker Flat. SAR walked this hiker back up to the trail and out the following day.

I have been perplexed by this for the longest time. As you get to the base of the bowl, the Ski Hut is a visible marker and getting to the top of the falls means you have not been on a trail for about 1,000'.

Last edited by wbtravis; 10/11/14 08:54 AM.
Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
Ken #40618 10/13/14 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted By: Ken

This seemed to go about as right as it could have.

Of course, the anti-adventure types will say she should have had a SPOT, Sat Phone, EPIRB, locators on every dog, taken out ads in the local papers about her trip......

Whoopie, wander like it's 1899. No worries, SAR will bring the GPS, radios, helicopters, and other tech. A SPOT just ruins all that adventure.

Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
SierraNevada #40619 10/13/14 07:35 AM
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A free helicopter ride and putting your neighbors at risk are God given rights.

Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
wbtravis #40625 10/13/14 11:26 AM
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and so here we are: You are considered a slug on society if you don't take electronics TO WALK YOUR DOG.

you wonder if it is required to use a GPS to get from your house to your garage?

Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
Ken #40627 10/13/14 11:53 AM
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Someone said:

"I'm still a traditional climber. So for me climbing must contain three elements: difficulty, danger and, most important, exposure. Exposure means there is no possibility for outside help.

Exposure increases the higher up you are, the more remote your location, and the greater the difficulties encountered higher up.

Steve House and Vince Anderson's ascent of Nanga Parbat is so important because they were by themselves with absolute exposure. If they had made one mistake, they would have had no chance to be saved. I think only a few climbers understand how and why exposure is the most important ingredient."

I have been increasingly befuddled by the attempt to CHANGE the concept of traditional mountaineering to one that involves maximal safety and certainty.

I certainly have no problem with those who want to pursue their outdoor activities with the maximum backups. Where I have a problem is where those same people advocate that all others must do it their way, or be blots on the universe, subject to all kinds of criticism.

Clearly, there is a range of safety backups that a person can pursue, from a crowd of porters, to nothing. Once can also stick to trails, or supertrails like the JMT. One can have all gear carried, by stock or humans. Nothing is wrong with any of that.
But there is nothing wrong with performing without a net, either.

"On a mountain you are on your own, in a world of anarchy, with a chance to experience what it was like a hundred thousand years ago when humans were wild animals and not dependent on the social world."

Perhaps it comes down to our changed perception of safety, and what that should be. Objectively, we live in the safest society in America that has ever existed, and yet, there is a widespread perception that we all are unsafe. How odd.

"Our instincts as humans are slowly dimming the less time we spend in wild nature: rainstorms, cold, whiteouts, loose rocks, adventure. Climbing is an important and sacred opportunity for us to exist in situations that we faced a hundred thousand years ago. The animalistic side of human beings. Our instincts are an important element of our intelligence."

Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
Ken #40633 10/13/14 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ken
and so here we are: You are considered a slug on society if you don't take electronics TO WALK YOUR DOG.

you wonder if it is required to use a GPS to get from your house to your garage?

Ken, I can't figure out your point, other than you want to call out people as "anti-adventure" for using electronics. I hope you don't teach that at your A-16 Whitney class. I doubt they would agree with you on that, and it's really bad advice for some people, as in this story.

This lady got lost for days in the forest on an 11-mile hike and happened to have dogs with her, that's not the same as "walking your dog." The 11-mile forest hike is a far cry from "walking to your garage." People should have more respect for nature than to equate those things.

In your next post, you swing to the other extreme and compare her 11-mile hike in a forest to climbing Nanga Parbat where "exposure is the most important ingredient." Climbers need to go back 100,000 yrs with no possibility of outside help.

If people want to play caveman, fine, just be sure nobody knows that you're even out there, so SAR doesn't come looking for your buckskin with those fancy radios, GPS, and helicopters that Neanderthal didn't have. Maybe sign a "do not rescue" directive, like a medical directive not to resuscitate.

Edited more toward third person generic.

Last edited by SierraNevada; 10/14/14 06:05 AM.
Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
SierraNevada #40641 10/14/14 07:51 AM
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I am with SN on this. This was a hike and most here are hikers who do not get beyond class 3. I wonder if Bob Rockwell would approve of this very bad analogy.

The problem that I have found is people do not have land nav skills and think they do not need them to go trail walking. Many go up trails with a piece of paper with squiggly lines (given to them by the FS) and this is all they need...until things go bad. Then they are in trouble deep.

My friends and I have righted the course of many on trails and when they have followed our virgin snowshoe tracks in winter thinking we were on the trail...you should see the surprise on faces when we tell them they are not in Kansas any more.

It is not having the tools, it knowing how to use them. When take noobs out in the winter. I stop a half mile in and ask to show me where they are on their map. Many can't and those who can take 5 minutes or more to figure it out.

Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
wbtravis #40642 10/14/14 09:59 AM
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - It used to be that outdoor enthusiasts went into the wilderness to unplug. Now, most want to stay plugged in to their electronic devices as long as they can.

As a result, companies are catering to hikers, bikers, skiers and paddle boarders by making an expanding number of products that protect smartphones from hard falls and water and keep electronic devices charged up for as many hours as possible.

One company has made a backpack with a built-in solar panel that charges a phone while a person hikes up the mountain. Another makes a portable battery that attaches to the widely-popular GoPro helmet camera and doubles how long it stays charged. A wide array of cases and devices that protect phones and tablets, including several that float.

"In order to enjoy the outdoors it used to be a just a nap sack and some freeze dried food," said Walter Kaihatu of Brunton, a company that makes portable battery chargers. "Now, people are bringing $5,000 to $10,000 worth of equipment with them into the outdoors."

The latest gadgets are on display this week in Salt Lake City at the world's largest outdoor-gear trade show. The biannual expo brings 25,000 people to Utah to browse the latest gear and apparel from 1,300 vendors ranging from mega companies like Patagonia and Columbia to well as smaller, unknown businesses. All are trying to gain a foothold in the lucrative outdoor recreation industry that attracts an estimated $646 billion annually from consumers, according to the Outdoor Industry Association.

At the EnerPlex booth, salesmen were showing off a new line of backpacks that have a 3-watt solar panel with a USB port embedded. They will be sold for $130 to $250, based on the size of the solar panel. The smaller one charges a smartphone in three hours, said Brad Brochocki, of EnerPlex, based in Thornton, Colorado.

"These bags can be kicked, they can get wet, and they will continue to operate," Brochocki said. A biomass cooking stove made by BioLite that uses dry twigs and pine combs to heat up also produces 2.5 watts of excess energy that can be used to power phones and other devices in a USB port built in, said company representative Adrian Caponera. It retails for about $130, he said.

Loksak sells sealable bags of all sizes for phones and tablets that keep devices safe while allowing a person to still use the touch screens. A three pack of the phone-size bags costs $8.50. Lifeproof makes a series of rugged cellphone cases that includes one that is waterproof floats that costs about $80. At the company's booth, a man wearing a helmet, life jacket and swim suit had the floating case with a cellphone inside dangling around his neck while he simulated being on a paddle board in the water.

Brunton, a company based in Boulder, Colorado, specializes in portable devices that charge up electronics. They've made a line of hydrogen-fuel cell based chargers that cost $169 and this year are unveiling a $49 battery that attaches to GoPro wearable cameras that doubles how long the camera stays charged.


"It's not just being outdoors and eating s'mores and going for a hike, they want their downtime to consist of what they do at home," Kaihatu said. "Bringing e-readers, surfing the net, talking to their friends and updating their social media. You have to deliver power to them in a reliable format."

Whether it's for safety, social media, pictures or videos, everybody wants their smartphones with them no matter where they are, said company representatives at the show. "They want to be able to take pictures, they want to be able to take video, do the things that they do in their normal, everyday life, but they want to do if they are mountain biking or climbing a mountain," said Jim Silvestri, president of Summit Distribution based in East Norwich, New York.

Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
Ken #40649 10/14/14 06:28 PM
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Thanks for pasting an entire article, who knew people like cell phones and iPods.

Originally Posted By: Ken

I loved the fire! As one of the Coast Guard SAR supervisors says:
"Take the search out of Search and Rescue

If you want to take the "Search" out of Search and Rescue, a SPOT or PLB will do it more effectively than a fire, without the risk of burning down the entire forest. Besides, a signal fire would violate your "maximum exposure" concept with "no possible chance of rescue."

I think most people would agree that electronics for entertainment can degrade the wilderness experience. And there's an ongoing debate about when to hit that SPOT button for a rescue. But to mock people for bringing an electronic rescue device like a SPOT on an 11-mile hike in the forest, that's just bad advice.

Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
Ken #40654 10/14/14 11:06 PM
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I refuse to allow myself to be drawn into debate, again. I've been warned by Steve about defending my positions, and I will not. I'll simply state them.

My position is not clear, apparently. I do not advocate that people should do or not do things that they think inappropriate, after careful consideration. Many people do not give careful consideration.

I rebel against people telling people "what they should do", in terms of CHOICES. "I don't feel safe without XXX, so YOU should not go out without XXX either" is the typical sentiment.

It is simple to contrive scenarios or quote examples of things that go wrong that might have been salvaged by some technology or other.

I am not a Luddite, rejecting all technology. But I understand that there are those who feel that people who live under a continual safety blanket have not actually lived. I may not entirely agree now that I'm older, but I understand the point of view. What I disagree with is the position that those people (commonly called Adventurers) are illegitimate in their viewpoint.

Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
Ken #40656 10/15/14 04:37 AM
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Keep in mind that many people who read this forum are not as experienced as yourself and others here. With that in mind, all of us need to be sure we don't "preach" our particular wilderness philosophies and advocate them as the norm, and criticize those who use technology aids.

I agree that "life on the wire" can become a habit that is hard to break, until it becomes a security blanket that one relies on, until that moment when the technology fails us. At that point every wilderness traveler ought to be able to hike and survive with basic skills. However, not everyone has that survival skill set and will need whatever technology is available to help them to continue to enjoy their experience and live through it.

I think this discussion begs a question: what is "tradition"?

Every culture now uses some form of technology that would not have been available in their past, as improved technology helped them in their daily lives. Modern American Indian hunters would think it silly to go after deer or other game armed with bow and arrows, but now use high-powered rifles (which you might seen on gun-racks in their pickup trucks).
The time is rapidly arriving when the use of Spot Messengers or some other communication device will be regarded as "traditional".

If a person wants to pursue their wilderness experience without modern technology, and rely on older, "traditional" technology (like map and compass), that's fine if it helps them. The goal ought to be to enjoy our wilderness experience...and survive it.

Personally, I use a Spot Messenger, but also use map and compass and carry my trusty Enzo Trapper bush-craft knife and flint...just in case.

Last edited by Bob West; 10/15/14 04:38 AM.
Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
Ken #40662 10/15/14 06:01 AM
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That's a lot more clear, Ken. Like you, I also rebel against people telling other people what they should do, especially when it could put them in danger. As you said, its all about making good choices, based on good information.

Re: Another Rescue, and lessons
SierraNevada #40669 10/15/14 07:36 AM
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I have no problem with people using technology in the wilderness. The problem is dependence on technology many do not know how to use properly and not having basic skills. The example I posted earlier about finding a position on a map, many could not find their position with the GPS units.

You can go into the wilderness with no skills, little of this and that and at the end of the day you are home sipping a beer rehydrating. The problem is when things go wrong...and no one can guarantee something will not go wrong. If you do not have the basics you can be royally screwed. See the deaths on the Sky High Trail this year and Michelle Yu's on Mt. Baldy...neither had the right gear for conditions.

I tell people what I have seen and the stupid things I have done. I also offer advice based on it. It is up to those asking whether they use it or not. During the winter when I see the ill-prepared going higher when I am descending, I tell them the conditions ahead and keep on moving, I have seen one accident too many in the mountains. It is up to them to use this information.

The problem is when people go forward arm with information but do not have the sense they were born with. This creates problems that put others at risk. I do believe that each rescue should be assessed and if negligence is found those causing the SAR call out should be responsible for the cost of their rescue.


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