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Thread: Lost hiker in the Pemi

  1. #16
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    I was trying to understand the itinerary as well. Initially I thought he was IN the Pemi Wilderness, i.e. the Lincoln and Franconia Brook Trails, not traveling the ridges. I got the impression he worked his way up the side of Lincoln to maybe get better cell service. You'd think they would have found him much earlier if he had gone off the ridge and was close to it. I figured he was down in the stretches beyond Owl's Head or somewhere like that where the trail is sketchy and there are lots of brooks and stuff. Given his assumed experience level I'd think he wouldn't have gotten off trail on FWT or the ridge and if he fell in a river on FWT I'd think he would have bailed back down the trail rather than pressing on. Doesn't really matter I guess as long as they got him out of there OK.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 5/46

  2. #17
    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.m View Post
    That's great news.

    I really wish devices like SPOT were more cost achievable.
    At the very least a simple GPS would of saved him alot of trouble... and the simple ability of knowing how to use it. I never leave home without it.. Wife has a good one too now.. got me back on trail fast 2 times last weekend on the Dry River trail ... Oh well... live and learn.

  3. #18
    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Maybe a late winter hike into Thirteen Falls? I have done that one in late winter/spring partially on skis and partially on foot where there were bare patches. It would be interesting if they would publish a list of gear carried by the rescued after a rescue. But then I suppose that would lead to even more unhelpful critical critiquing.

  4. #19
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    I agree that the likely itinerary was circumnavigation of Owl's Head and that there was route finding issues between the OH slide and Camp 13.

    I imagine he didn't have snow shoes (or the conditions were such that he was post holing with snow shoes) and that exhaustion is what prevented him from simply going up the ridge til he reached the Franconia Ridge Trail.

    Hope he had a Hike Safe Card & appropriate gear. If he did, this might be a good test of whether hiking solo is reckless.

    Glad he is ok.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Murphy View Post
    this might be a good test of whether hiking solo is reckless.
    I was thinking that crossing some of the rivers in the Pemi with high water might be considered reckless.

  6. #21
    Senior Member miehoff's Avatar
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    I find it kind of disturbing that most of these discussions about rescues are focused on carelessness and getting charged (or not). Really, what does it matter? The rescues will happen, the carelessness will continue...forever. People have been doing it...forever. Just go out and be prepared and have fun. What does speculating and hashing over the same thing accomplish? It almost feels like other hikers like the drama of someone becoming possibly being charged and publicly criticized because of their possible screw-up. I do feel for the Fish and Game and others that become involved, and I don't want that part of things to be confused with my point.

    Edit: In the end, if this guy and others get charged for specific and seemingly trivial stuff like crossing a river when it is unsafe, or hiking alone, or not having a PLB; does that mean that hikers will hike in fear of being charged? Maybe the "fear" trend on this planet is crossing over into the hiking world? Do hikers really have to fasten their seat belt a million times and call a lawyer every time they set out? Why can't we just be a little nuts sometimes and live a bit and take a chance without the hassle?

    Anyway. I think it's disturbing and kind of sad.

    That's it.
    Last edited by miehoff; 05-05-2017 at 09:56 PM.
    Miehoff

  7. #22
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    Miehoff, you are talking about every aspect of our society today, not just hiker rescues!

  8. #23
    Senior Member miehoff's Avatar
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    Yes:

    "Maybe the "fear" trend on this planet is crossing over into the hiking world?"
    Miehoff

  9. #24
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miehoff View Post
    Yes:

    "Maybe the "fear" trend on this planet is crossing over into the hiking world?"
    I see your point. At some point, maybe hikers will police themselves enough to completely lose the freedom of the hills. Let's hope not.

    There is no point to fear. People are manipulated through fear. Just as there is no point to worry. Glad this guy is safe. Glad there are people willing to go out and do search and rescue. Glad for the freedom to walk essentially where and how I choose.
    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.
    ~ Chief Seattle, 1854 ~

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by miehoff View Post
    I find it kind of disturbing that most of these discussions about rescues are focused on carelessness and getting charged (or not). Really, what does it matter? The rescues will happen, the carelessness will continue...forever. People have been doing it...forever. Just go out and be prepared and have fun. What does speculating and hashing over the same thing accomplish? It almost feels like other hikers like the drama of someone becoming possibly being charged and publicly criticized because of their possible screw-up. I do feel for the Fish and Game and others that become involved, and I don't want that part of things to be confused with my point.

    Edit: In the end, if this guy and others get charged for specific and seemingly trivial stuff like crossing a river when it is unsafe, or hiking alone, or not having a PLB; does that mean that hikers will hike in fear of being charged? Maybe the "fear" trend on this planet is crossing over into the hiking world? Do hikers really have to fasten their seat belt a million times and call a lawyer every time they set out? Why can't we just be a little nuts sometimes and live a bit and take a chance without the hassle?

    Anyway. I think it's disturbing and kind of sad.

    That's it.
    Not really sure what thread you are reading. It started out as standard rescue thread and then after the hiker was safe, transitioned to "what if". I don't see the fear aspect you are trying to add into it? The reckless aspect and Hike Safe was possibly brought up as Fish and Game has raised that issue in the past. I expect at some point he will end up on the news with a bedside interview, I can speculate that at least some aspect may be "in hind site I should have XXX"

  11. #26
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.m View Post
    Thanks for this. I need to give this a good look.
    The ACR ResQLink+ is also available at WestMarine & REI.

    I've carried a McMurdo FastFind since I started doing more remote solo hikes and solo bushwhacking some years ago. I think it is a great alternative to the subscription-based non-PLBs and/or if you want to maintain a bit more of disconnect from civilization when you hike.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    The ACR ResQLink+ is also available at WestMarine & REI.

    I've carried a McMurdo FastFind since I started doing more remote solo hikes and solo bushwhacking some years ago. I think it is a great alternative to the subscription-based non-PLBs and/or if you want to maintain a bit more of disconnect from civilization when you hike.
    I picked up the ACR ResQLink a year ago as my solo hikes grew longer with bushwhacks. In theory, PLB's should be more reliable in rugged tree covered terrain due to longer wavelength (406MHz) and much higher transmit powers than tracker devices such as SPOT that use the Globalstar satellite network. SPOT users have complained of spotty (hehe) messaging and tracking reliability, which makes me question how reliable they are in emergency situations. Kate Matrosova was carrying a SPOT beacon when she ran into trouble. Unfortunately, it sent some pretty wild position coordinates http://www.catskillmountaineer.com/r...rhikingKM.html. Hard to say if more reliable coordinates could have saved her. PLB's are designed for one purpose only, SOS when you need it, and don't carry recurring subscription fees. Ships and planes have used this distress network for many years. Established reliability.

  13. #28
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    There is a bunch of people on FB basically roasting this guy on the spit and no details have even got out yet. Frankly, I think its highly presumptuous. Everybody is an expert now and perfectly willing to dispense wisdom and experience on how they could have avoided the scenario. If I had to speculate, I'd say he was on LBT and lost it. It can be quite messy in there. He saw the ridge and figured he could either get out that way or get cell phone reception to call 911 again. One thing all these experts don't realize is that in stressful epics, sometimes simple logic is hard to come by. Everybody reacts differently and how well you can "stay on point" is critical. I've had a few epics and the found that I had to actually sit down and regain my focus, first impulses lead to poor decision making, if you can't recover from that "freaking out" period, you can lead yourself quickly down a path to failure. I was very happy they got him. Considering he fell into a brook, was in deep snow and had to deal with the temps and conditions of the Shoulder season ( which is tough), on face value, I think he did pretty good to survive. Later if we get details, it could be a fun discussion.

  14. #29
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill Junkie View Post
    Kate Matrosova was carrying a SPOT beacon when she ran into trouble. Unfortunately, it sent some pretty wild position coordinates http://www.catskillmountaineer.com/r...rhikingKM.html. Hard to say if more reliable coordinates could have saved her. PLB's are designed for one purpose only, SOS when you need it, and don't carry recurring subscription fees. Ships and planes have used this distress network for many years. Established reliability.
    The unnamed author of this report gives no references (authoritative or otherwise) that Matrosova was carrying a SPOT rather than a PLB. In contrast, Sandy Stott (the Appalachia accidents reports editor), specifically identifies the unit as an ACR ResQLink+*. The SAR activation procedure and call sequence described (ie initial notification coming through the US Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall AFB in Florida) is also consistent with a PLB but not a SPOT*.

    * Stott, Sandy, Appalachia, summer/fall 2016, pp 64-79.

    Note that a PLB, once activated, will continue to send out distress calls automatically until it is shut down or the batteries die. This would continue to give location reports for an extended period without any action by the operator (who could have become incapacitated).

    The unnamed author also appears to have an incomplete knowledge of how SPOTs and PLBs operate.

    Note that no satellite-based locator (GPS and others) is guaranteed to give an accurate location all the time**. While there are numerous anecdotal reports of inaccurate locations from SPOTs and experiments (described in the Appalachia article) have shown that an ACR PLB can also give inaccurate locations if it is lying on its side (rather than upright). It is entirely possible that the first position was accurate because the PLB was upright and the remaining ones were less accurate because it had blown over.

    ** GPS accuracy specs are stated and x% probability of being with y meters of the location under proper operating conditions.

    Many other assertions in this article also appear to be speculation--I can find no authoritative articles that corroborate them. It looks to me like the (unnamed) author took a few facts and wove a story to fill in the gaps. The author also gets a few things wrong about hiking in the winter Pressies that suggesting that he has never done so himself...

    IMO, the article reads nicely, but contains too much fiction to be reliable.

    Doug

  15. #30
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    Later if we get details, it could be a fun discussion.
    I agree--the real details could be interesting. Until we get them, unsubstantiated assumptions and speculation serve little purpose.

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 05-06-2017 at 01:59 PM.

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