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Thread: Resue on Mt. Washington

  1. #16
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iAmKrzys View Post
    I read that account too - she said that she had "spot gadget." I also gather from her story that the rescuers went to the first location where she activated Spot, and subsequently followed her tracks. I wonder if Kate's story had any bearing on which location rescuers decided to pick first as it appears that more were available.
    She also lost her compass which was strapped to the outside of her pack.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  2. #17
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Some additional details in Conway Daily Sun: https://www.conwaydailysun.com/news/...6062fe3b6.html

    Here is a quote from this article:

    One officer said he was up to his neck in snow — with his snowshoes on.

    “They said it was strange. They could see her but not quite get to her. It took 30 minutes to get to her, swimming through the snow and brush,” Saunders said. “The guys were pretty beat when they came out.”

  3. #18
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    Love this fact..from the article... stupid is as stupid does... should of had a dedicated GPS with Glonass ...never failed me in sub zero temps...running all day. Tucked in the chest to stay warm with external antenna...keeping me going..

    (quote)...But in addition to her locator beacon, Baker had a tracking program on her phone, and could have followed her route back with “bread crumbing,” following the GPS points laid down by her program, Saunders said. Unfortunately, the battery on her phone failed. (unquote)
    Hey,

    Here's a blast from the past--- Does anyone ever use wands anymore???

    Decidedly low-tech but they don't use batts and are easy to see. And, if left in place they can help others with similar problems.

    In areas where winter route finding is often a challenge, a few wands to mark the descent into the trees might be cool.

    This same accident scenario occurs on Crawford Path's exit into trees near Mt Pierce. I know firsthand!

    Here's a pic of the ridge the evening of the rescue. Was a super sunset.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    cb
    Last edited by ChrisB; 01-13-2018 at 07:18 PM.
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  4. #19
    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    I've had the experience of heading down from LOC with the trail obliterated and found I had a tendency to go to the left of the trail which tends to go to the right. When I realized what I had done I went straight to my right and eventually found the trail. I really think that a dedicated GPS that uses replaceable double A batteries is to be preferred to a phone. I also carry a backup GPS and a PLB in my pack. If you're going to use a phone for a GPS a backup battery pack is a must. I saw her post on Facebook. It's obvious she is a very competent hiker.
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  5. #20
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed'n Lauky View Post
    I really think that a dedicated GPS that uses replaceable double A batteries is to be preferred to a phone.
    I agree.

    I keep a dedicated GPS (with user replaceable batteries) running to record a track and, if necessary, for navigation. My phone is turned off to conserve the batteries and is generally only used in emergencies. I make sure all batteries are fully charged before starting out. (The AA batteries in the GPS are generally rechargeable with non-rechargeable lithium backups.)

    Also, a high-quality dedicated GPS sometimes works better than a phone GPS, particularly in less than perfect conditions such as under tree cover or with terrain blockage.

    Doug

  6. #21
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    If she had snowshoes even sinking the likelihood would be that she would have conserved more energy then possibly making it out on her own. Bring your Snowshoes.
    Amen. And seriously, they don't really weigh that much if you end up carrying them.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Here's a blast from the past--- Does anyone ever use wands anymore???
    Yes -- and they are perfect for that particular area where the person in question lost the trail. I know of several people who use these. Lightweight, easy to make your own, and they can provide peace of mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    I keep a dedicated GPS (with user replaceable batteries) running to record a track and, if necessary, for navigation. My phone is turned off to conserve the batteries and is generally only used in emergencies. I make sure all batteries are fully charged before starting out. (The AA batteries in the GPS are generally rechargeable with non-rechargeable lithium backups.)
    Same here. It's helped on a number of occasions in similar winter situations, where a snowshoe track had been obliterated.
    Last edited by Barkingcat; 01-14-2018 at 05:45 AM.

  7. #22
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    The person in question did a quick post on FB in Hike the 4000 Footers of NH. Stating one of the items she had that helped her til she was found was one of these. Which I also carry. Also had put feet in a wool hat.


    Not sure how or where she lost the trail but it is easy to do in winter. My first winter hike was almost my last do to losing the trail on Pierce no less. I'd decided Pierce was a good choice to give this winter hiking thing a try. Headed up under blues skies only to reach the summit as it went in the clouds. With high winds and whiteout squalls kicking up. Stayed long enough to quickly eat some soup. Had pretty much everything I needed, including goggles. A group had left just as I got there. Even with the goggles I got only see about 5'. I followed there tracks, right off trail. because of the high winds I didn't see where they turned back towards the trail. I ended up waste deep in a spruce trap. Being a new-bee to this my life flashed before my eyes. They say panic is often the first reaction. Sure was with me. But once I got myself out of the trap, I calmed down and listened to reason. You were just on the trail less than 10 minutes ago. Hell there was a sign. So it has to be very close. I did the best I could to retrace my steps (no GPS) where my tracks were still visible. Once I couldn't see them anymore (really blowing) I kept going up. In about 5 minutes I'd found the sign and could make out the trail corridor. This almost made me say the heck with winter hiking.

    I think what helped me and what people should practice is the instant you think you may not be on the trail, stop! Then do their best to go back to where they're sure they were on it. Have had to do that several times over the years.

    Anyway, this is where I messed up on Pierce and as you can see in the conditions I had it would be easy to do. Green, trail. Red, where I went.
    Last edited by JustJoe; 01-14-2018 at 12:35 PM.

  8. #23
    Senior Member Snowflea's Avatar
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    Does anyone ever use wands anymore???
    Decidedly low-tech but they don't use batts and are easy to see. And, if left in place they can help others with similar problems.
    I had the exact thought as Chris B. Top of Ammo Trail can be SO hard to pick out in winter conditions that wands are a great idea. Wednesday was so nice, however - I was on Pierce and Eisenhower - that it probably wouldn’t have crossed anyone’s mind to use them that day.

    Re snowshoes, there’s NO way we would have made it over to Ike without them that day, and I’m puzzled why they would have been left behind in the car.

    Just Joe, in 1994 a very good friend of mine got pulled off Pierce just as you describe. Unfortunately he kept going and spent many weeks in the hospital recovering. People think Pierce is an easy 4k, but it is not hard to get off trail up there in low visibility.

  9. #24
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    While the snowshoes probably were not an issue once she was in the deep snow, the perception would be leaving them in the car was unwise. Sounds like there was some spruce traps based on how deep they were sinking in. Leaving the compass outside your pack when going through the fir and spruce and relying on electronics may seem negligent, in the end it's how F&G looks upon it, not how we see it. Yes, that upper section of Ammo can be tough to navigate through. Having the bivy bag was good, I bring something very similar in winter.

    Pierce was the scene of my last trip leaving snowshoes in the car and that was early December, eons ago. The next trip was in winter and lost the C-Path on the way up very near the top. Looking at Joe's map, probably one of the parts that look like a small slash through the trees leading to the Webster Cliff trail. Knew as long as I was going up I would cross the Webster Cliff. From there, I went left, (westerly) until I got to the junction with the Crawford Path sign.
    Last edited by Mike P.; 01-14-2018 at 08:00 AM.
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  10. #25
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stinkyfeet View Post
    ....Re snowshoes, there’s NO way we would have made it over to Ike without them that day, and I’m puzzled why they would have been left behind in the car.
    It's interesting that this event occurred on the first nice day after a very prolonged period of cold and high winds. The snow transport up there must have been quite high, with drifting of epic proportions. So, while no major snow fall in the previous 7 days was recorded, deep snow was the deposited in various places throughout the range.

    This trip report on the Jewell Trail for the day of the Ammo event describes the heavy snow condx a party of 7 encountered up and down.

    Lesson for me here is that snowshoes might be useful even if it hasn't snowed in a week!!

    cb
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  11. #26
    Senior Member cushetunk's Avatar
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    "Just bring the snowshoes," is an easy argument in retrospect, but it ignores what even most experienced hikers do.

    Let's face it, most days you don't need snowshoes. Few bemoan this change more than me. (I once stated on this board, with only a little hyperbole, that "If you're not wearing snowshoes, it's not winter hiking.") But it is what we've got. Not only are the trails almost always packed out, but with our increasingly common thaws the snow off trail is often less deep and more dense--and easier to travel through--than it was twenty years ago.

    I have agonized at trailheads over whether I would need snowshoes. Once or twice, I've judged it wrong and had to turn back. Luckily it was never in serious circumstances.

    The past few weeks, with the cycle of storms and cold weather, called for snowshoes. But I can appreciate how someone could misjudge that.

  12. #27
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cushetunk View Post
    "Just bring the snowshoes," is an easy argument in retrospect, but it ignores what even most experienced hikers do.

    ... Let's face it, most days you don't need snowshoes.
    Well, that might be the case if all goes well and you stay on the trail! In this event our fellow hiker got all the way up Mt Wash -- and most of the way down-- without them. It was only when she got into the weeds they would have been useful.

    Looking at them they way we view a bivvy sack might make it less onerous to haul em along on winter slogs

    cb.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
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  13. #28
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Great job by the rescuers and it sounds like a nice job by the hiker of staying alive and getting found once she realized the situation. She didn't let panic take over and made good decisions. She had to be cold.

    As many times as I have been up and down Ammo Ravine for maintenance or for fun, I still find that the quarter mile below the hut can be baffling in winter. On top of it, the wind can sometimes be screaming up the ravine and past the hut making a very difficult descent straight into it. I've had to dive in behind the large rock outcropping/boulders below the hut on more than one occasion to get out of it, and I've certainly had challenging times route finding in that stretch.

    I've never used wands through there, but it's certainly a great place for them. I found a stash of them left behind and tucked under a rock on Monroe's summit a couple years back. That area can be a bit of a trap. Seemingly easy and clear on the ascent only to turn around into a strong wind realizing everything is starting to look the same on the way out and your tracks are filling in as you watch.

    Glad she's safe. Probably could have used some really big, wood framed snowshoes in there.
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  14. #29
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven View Post
    ...Probably could have used some really big, wood framed snowshoes in there.
    Hey MSR users,

    Do MSRs really provide enough flotation in deep powder? I've looked at them in the stores and the seem narrow and small, even with tails. But I know they are really popular.

    I'm a Tubbs guy and mine seem to have about twice the surface area as most MSRs.

    Can you really bang pow in MSRs without killing yourself?

    cb
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  15. #30
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Once I got to the Webster Cliff trail junction on Pierce and it was blowing snow like a blizzard. I turned to climb to the summit, went a few steps, turned around and could not see the entrance back into the woods. My tracks were filling in fast and I thought of bailing. Then I thought, I'll split my poles and mark the route. I used the 4 sections to mark the route and I'm glad I did.

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