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Thread: Danger, danger!!!

  1. #16
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    I was part of a university "outing club" back in the day. The small group of us regulars focussed on cave exploration almost exclusively. We learned, taught, and practiced lots of vertical rope work, mapping, cave ecology and geology, and spent up to 24 continuous hours underground in certain new exploration working caves in the mud and water in the vast cave networks of Schoharie County NY. All done with a high level of safety and proper training. We had trips going almost every weekend. We trained many new cave explorers in those years. The core group of us took one Christmas break to travel to New Mexico to work with the park service on cave science in the Carlsbad system and adjoining karst areas. As we advanced and accepted new members, the university gave us an annual budget of a couple hundred bucks or more for equipment. The policy was if we didn't spend it all we would lose the unspent amount the following year. So guess what we made sure we did with the funds each year? Do you think State College Pa or any other U. would do the same for us now?
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    "protect the students from any experience that might be uncomfortable"
    I must have glossed over that part of the article

  3. #18
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    I must have glossed over that part of the article
    Me too. It seems like this is actually old people working to protect an institution, regardless of the impact on young people. This article may not perfectly fit into a narrative that younger generations are coddled in ways that previous generations weren't.

    Anyone who claims that they had a horrific experience and are better off for it has the advantage of having lived. Those in previous generations that died are generally voiceless. My point here is to not bemoan progress as a softening of society. Image arguing 30 years in the future that, "I used to drive and get in horrific car accidents, and I am better off than all these kids who are driven around on autopilot and survive with ease".
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  4. #19
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    The way I read this article is that outdoor experiences are not being extinguished for these students but it is more a change of leadership from a student base led program to a faculty base led program. Albeit at an increased cost. Iím not saying wether this is good or bad. But there has been more than one instance of Collegiate adventures gone awry due to poor Student leadership. Just go ask Jeremy Haas whom got thrown out of the UNH Outing Club for his reckless leadership. The below link was an incident that happened after his removal. http://publications.americanalpinecl...unt-Washington
    Personally I think more leadership training for students could be a better solution in some programs rather than eliminating student leadership. As far as epic experiences in the outdoors and their relevance to oneís character itís a matter of humility IMO. Certainly all outdoor experiences lend themselves to learning wether epic or not. But an epic experience facilitating a holy than thou mentality is at best futile.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  5. #20
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    This article appeared in the NYT on Sunday and made a very strong case (made here also by Sierra) that risk is an important factor in learning. The article concludes with the quotes, "Risk and potential go hand in hand." and "Protection from pain guarantees weakness, fragility, and greater suffering in the future."

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/30/o...=headline&te=1

    While no one on this board would consider a day hike to Owls Head to be a dangerous or reckless endeavor, non-hikers I know viewed it as such when I explained my plans for that hike a couple of years ago. Considering the 18 miles and 3000 feet of elevation gain, my advanced age (64 at the time), the 2 calf high stream crossings, the steep climb up the slide and especially the fact that I was going solo, in their minds, this hike was "dangerous" and "unwise." While I expected (and got!) a long grueling day, I was well prepared and knew that it was within the boundaries of my abilities and my level of endurance. Was it without risk? Of course not. Were the risks manageable and reasonable? I thought so, and the result confirmed it.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

  6. #21
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey J View Post
    This article appeared in the NYT on Sunday and made a very strong case (made here also by Sierra) that risk is an important factor in learning. The article concludes with the quotes, "Risk and potential go hand in hand." and "Protection from pain guarantees weakness, fragility, and greater suffering in the future."

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/30/o...=headline&te=1

    While no one on this board would consider a day hike to Owls Head to be a dangerous or reckless endeavor, non-hikers I know viewed it as such when I explained my plans for that hike a couple of years ago. Considering the 18 miles and 3000 feet of elevation gain, my advanced age (64 at the time), the 2 calf high stream crossings, the steep climb up the slide and especially the fact that I was going solo, in their minds, this hike was "dangerous" and "unwise." While I expected (and got!) a long grueling day, I was well prepared and knew that it was within the boundaries of my abilities and my level of endurance. Was it without risk? Of course not. Were the risks manageable and reasonable? I thought so, and the result confirmed it.
    And the largest risk to you still may have been the risk of a motor vehicle accident on the way to or from the trail.
    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 ~

  7. #22
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven View Post
    And the largest risk to you still may have been the risk of a motor vehicle accident on the way to or from the trail.
    I already alluded to cars being more dangerous. Get your own allusion!
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  8. #23
    Senior Member John in NH's Avatar
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    A different approach: ALL students do a 3 week long backpack in grizzly country

    A Wyoming college apparently has different risk calculations as it requires as orientation a 3 week backcountry orientation that includes 100 miles of hiking, 13k summit, and fly fishing. Yes, all in grizzly country. It also has a robust continuing outdoor leadership program as students continue their careers there that includes horsemanship and other week long backcountry trips, even in winter!
    www.jwelchphoto.com Photography/Hiking Blog

  9. #24
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Which College in Wyoming? Penn State was off any list with Sandusky.

    The study and wording was just fluff around a decision based on financial risk if a student ever did file suit, ski waivers to date are about the only one to hold up in courts. The Outing club generates no revenue, may cost the school money, puts students far from ER services which parents believe their kids at school are near, and puts them at risk of a very high profile lawsuit where potential future wages could be used to determine a value. (If kids are far from home so parents think they are safe & in their dorm studying)

    The outing club was a risk to the school without benefit. Football generates tons of money and for the time being, the NFL has been the deep pocket as NFL players with even more years of head trauma have had autopsies. If you play four years of college, four in high school and a few years prior to that, who do you sue? Everyone? High School and Pop Warner programs have no funds and Colleges provided in many cases free educations. Are there many deceased college football players having autopsies to show CTE? If they could tie it to just college programs for non-NFL players, the wolves would be at the door. Schools like Penn State, Harvard and others have enormous Endowments that could be at risk.

    While we know the value of being in the outdoors, a jury is unlikely to listen to a tale of parents sending their kids to school to be safe and then learning they were far from civilization and see that somehow the school has no blame. (Kids dying on campuses due to other reasons probably are beyond the rules of this site, well hazing isn't)
    Last edited by Mike P.; 05-13-2018 at 09:05 AM. Reason: gramma I mean grammar
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  10. #25
    Senior Member John in NH's Avatar
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    The school is Wyoming Catholic College, a small school near the Wind River Range.
    www.jwelchphoto.com Photography/Hiking Blog

  11. #26
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    If you are near a place like the Wind River Range, that may make sense. I'll be surprised when schools like Dartmouth and UNH, Middlebury and Plymouth State (Paul Smiths in the ADK) and others on the edge of the mountains get rid of their programs.

    PA has lots of woods, I've been on a couple of day hikes there and its nice. However, Between New England and VA, TN, NC on the AT, I've never heard of a thru-hiker waxing poetically over PA. I've heard tales of Duncannon and nickel drafts, well, they may be .50 now. Lots of rocks but not with the same views you get from climbing NH rocks.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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