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kerry13
12-10-2013, 01:04 PM
http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index.php/newsx/local-news/110386-rescue-121013 Sounds like they plan to make these folks pay for the rescue.

iagreewithjamie
12-10-2013, 01:22 PM
Yes. I agree. Make them pay. There was once a discussion on here about what constitutes negligence: well here's your example. Even the lower summits were cold, frigid, and icy this last week - I can't imagine shooting for Washington. And taking the cog down as a backup? You can see that damned thing from almost every summit in WMNF - how could you spend all day on the west side of the mountain and not notice that your escape plan isn't even possible?

This is why I hike solo. You start as a group, you finish as a group. So even though you may be one of "the few people in the group who were adequately prepared", you're only as smart as your dumbest imbecile.

Were they trying to make it into the Conway Daily Sun, or the next edition of Not Without Peril?

Raven
12-10-2013, 01:32 PM
Thanks for posting Kerry.

I was on the summit of Madison about noon that day and estimated 50 MPH winds and the temp was around 5 according to my thermometer. If the wind had been stronger, I would have called it a day at the hut. As it was, I opted to descend and stay away from the summit cone of Adams as the wind was predicted to only get stronger and hit 100 mph by nightfall.

I won't comment on who should bear the cost of the rescue but I am happy they are safe and kudos to the search and rescue personnel. It does sound initially like some members were unprepared however. The equipment needed to spend a forced bivy in extreme cold is necessary at this time of year.

This may present an interesting question however as it sounds like some members of the group were very much prepared.

From the article: "While some members of the team had gear appropriate for the conditions, Saunders said, others did not. They all carried backpacks with extra clothing, food and water. Only the more prepared members carried extra clothing, bivvy gear, goggles and flashlights." (appears to have one typo - extra clothing twice)

RoySwkr
12-10-2013, 02:45 PM
With the quick find and 6 people to split the cost, the bill shouldn't be very much

Will the publicity in Quebec be 1) don't hike unprepared (good), 2) don't hike in NH (some would say good but tourist businesses would disagree), or 3) don't call for rescue (SAR groups may be unhappy)

Sherby
12-10-2013, 02:52 PM
Will the publicity in Quebec be 1) don't hike unprepared (good), 2) don't hike in NH (some would say good but tourist businesses would disagree), or 3) don't call for rescue (SAR groups may be unhappy)

You also have to consider NY's completly opposite policy that apply in the Adirondacks (where most of hikers from Québec are because Montréal is closer).

Breeze
12-10-2013, 03:50 PM
This was a pretty mellow rescue for Mt Washington, chain up a few vehicles, go a ways up or down the road, no having to hunt above tree line after dark. They knew at that point the group was below treeline on the MWAR. Another mile downhill the group could have taken Old Jackson Road to PNVC, which I'm sure has seen at least some boots or snowshoes. Not a whole lot to charge for, BUT...

It really isn't good form to lie on the phone about someone being in running shoes to add urgency to the rescue. It really isn't good form to THEN call back and say " never-mind" when rescue folks are already thinking hypothermia and frostbite, darkness and frankly are already questioning preparedness.


Breeze

Neil
12-10-2013, 03:57 PM
"They all could have died". Mmm.

Chalk that one up as a technology-enabled false alarm. I bet they were freaking freezing though (priceless lesson right there) and they were lucky it seems they didn't find themselves in a whiteout or get caught darkness.

At least they got a peak off their list and now, they don't have to go back.

This seems contradictory though:

They all carried backpacks with extra clothing, food and water. Only the more prepared members carried extra clothing, bivvy gear, goggles and flashlights.

Neil
12-10-2013, 04:52 PM
I have never seen anything on the subject in the French press, which I read daily. Perhaps NH F&G should communicate with the paper and have them run a story.

Neil -

Do the Montreal papers carry stories regarding NH's propensity to charge for rescues?

erugs
12-10-2013, 05:14 PM
I don't know about Saturday, but I do know that the Cog has been running. They have limited trips to tree line with Santa. I know because my family was there on Sunday for a ride.

sierra
12-10-2013, 07:35 PM
These threads on rescues get me thinking. I do not carry Bivi gear and do not leave my plans with anyone. If I got rescued would I be charged given the criteria I keep hearing about? I mean you know those Hike Safe posters, they list leaving plans with someone as a rule of thumb. With my experience, isnt it my right to hike the way I want? Its tough because Im not married. Many years ago, I left my plans with my Mom and the number to call. I got benighted in deep snow descending Boot spur after losing the trail, didnt hit the road till 11.00pm. Luckely she held off on calling ( knowing me she hung tough). But the whole time Im suffering out there, Im stuck thinking of poor old mom sitting by the phone. After that I just go and dont bother telling anyone.

DayTrip
12-10-2013, 07:54 PM
FWIW - 3 or 4 years ago a friend & I "tested" the feasibility of using the Cog RR as an escape route, and found it viable since the new power/utility lines were put in. The road/route weaves back and forth under the cog, but it's quite doable. As you might imagine, it's rather steep, and you may be walking into the teeth of the wind, but ... it would be tough to get lost, and it is the fastest way down.

I thought there were some spots along the tracks that would not be walkable, like the huge trestle over Jacob's ladder or whatever that big chasm is called. Is there a roadway under/alongside the tracks all the way down? Haven't rode the Cog in 20 years. I always wondered if the tracks were buried in snow or kept clear for some purpose (the tracks near top are only 2' or so above ground so I assume they get buried unless maintained). How tall are the power/utility lines you reference? I don't recall seeing from Jewell Trail/Gulfside Trail and I don't recall anything along the tracks as you approach from this direction and cut across them on the way to/from summit.

Can you expand a little on what you followed exactly? Appreciate it.

DougPaul
12-10-2013, 11:26 PM
These threads on rescues get me thinking. I do not carry Bivi gear and do not leave my plans with anyone. If I got rescued would I be charged given the criteria I keep hearing about? I mean you know those Hike Safe posters, they list leaving plans with someone as a rule of thumb. With my experience, isnt it my right to hike the way I want? Its tough because Im not married. Many years ago, I left my plans with my Mom and the number to call. I got benighted in deep snow descending Boot spur after losing the trail, didnt hit the road till 11.00pm. Luckely she held off on calling ( knowing me she hung tough). But the whole time Im suffering out there, Im stuck thinking of poor old mom sitting by the phone. After that I just go and dont bother telling anyone.
Leaving your plans with someone else is a double-edged sword (and I think officialdom tends to forget/ignore the back edge...).

These days cell phones can sometimes get a message out (either to hold off sounding the alarm or to call for help yourself) and there are sat phones, PLBs, SPOTs, etc.

I similarly have no one to leave plans with. One can leave a copy of one's plans in the car so if the officials get curious about the car they can get an idea about what to do about you.

I generally try to carry enough gear to survive the night if I am immobilized. And I was "smart" enough to wait until I was within cellphone coverage before I broke my leg (BC skiing). I had everything needed to stabilize me onsite in my pack until the evac crew arrived.

I tell my mom about my trips after I come back--and she prefers it that way (particularly back when I was technical climbing...).

Doug

Becca M
12-11-2013, 04:57 AM
Doug - you definitely carry enough to survive the night!!!! :)

Sierra, yeah, I don't bother to tell anyone any more in general for the same reasons.

Feeling pressure to be out by a certain time makes for stress-based decisions - I try not to commit to a time or a day to be out if I can :) But, I do carry some stuff I know I would be really upset if I didn't have!!!!

JCarter
12-11-2013, 08:19 AM
I thought there were some spots along the tracks that would not be walkable, like the huge trestle over Jacob's ladder or whatever that big chasm is called. Is there a roadway under/alongside the tracks all the way down? Haven't rode the Cog in 20 years. I always wondered if the tracks were buried in snow or kept clear for some purpose (the tracks near top are only 2' or so above ground so I assume they get buried unless maintained). How tall are the power/utility lines you reference? I don't recall seeing from Jewell Trail/Gulfside Trail and I don't recall anything along the tracks as you approach from this direction and cut across them on the way to/from summit.

Can you expand a little on what you followed exactly? Appreciate it.

The power lines (15KV if I remember correctly?) are buried parallel to the cog tracks all the way to the top. When they were putting them in, they had excavators and other heavy equipment all up and down the mountain -- I was surprised there wasn't a bigger uproar when it was going on, but I suppose we all consider the cog an eyesore anyway... The swath of land they cleared for the burial forms a rough, but passable, road-sized path. Given the environment, it's not going to grow in during our lifetimes on the upper stretch, even if they make no effort to keep it clear. I don't know if it will be kept brushed out down low.

RoySwkr
12-11-2013, 09:17 AM
The swath of land they cleared for the burial forms a rough, but passable, road-sized path. Given the environment, it's not going to grow in during our lifetimes on the upper stretch, even if they make no effort to keep it clear. I don't know if it will be kept brushed out down low.
For awhile the Cog was running a ski train where they took you to tree line and you skied back along the tracks - skiing elsewhere being forbidden by the Forest Service. I would imagine this section was put in better shape at least initially.

HockeyPuck
12-11-2013, 09:43 AM
These hikers made some bad decisions but IMO when at the summit at 2:00 PM they made a wise decision to descend the auto road. If they attempt to descend the Ammo, Jewell or follow the cog tracks surely they would be back after darkness and difficult to find or rescue. The auto road would be much easier to descend (even without a flashlight) and easier for them to be found by a SAR team. They were under prepared but given the circumstances and weather conditions they made some good choices that potentially saved them from a potentially disastrous article in the next edition of Not Without Peril. Hopefully it was a learning experience for all involved.

sierra
12-11-2013, 10:03 AM
Leaving your plans with someone else is a double-edged sword (and I think officialdom tends to forget/ignore the back edge...).

These days cell phones can sometimes get a message out (either to hold off sounding the alarm or to call for help yourself) and there are sat phones, PLBs, SPOTs, etc.

I similarly have no one to leave plans with. One can leave a copy of one's plans in the car so if the officials get curious about the car they can get an idea about what to do about you.

I generally try to carry enough gear to survive the night if I am immobilized. And I was "smart" enough to wait until I was within cellphone coverage before I broke my leg (BC skiing). I had everything needed to stabilize me onsite in my pack until the evac crew arrived.

I tell my mom about my trips after I come back--and she prefers it that way (particularly back when I was technical climbing...).

Doug

I also carry x'tra gear and do think I could survive a night out and be fine. I never carried my phone before, but now I do, mostly for videos and pics, but its there. I don't leave anything on my car as I'm worried it would invite a break in. My truck was broken onto awhile back and I lost some treasured gear.

DougPaul
12-11-2013, 11:45 AM
I also carry x'tra gear and do think I could survive a night out and be fine. I never carried my phone before, but now I do, mostly for videos and pics, but its there. I don't leave anything on my car as I'm worried it would invite a break in. My truck was broken onto awhile back and I lost some treasured gear.
I consider my phone to be emergency gear--it is normally turned off and buried in my pack. It rarely comes out to play...

I also try to leave as little as possible in the car.

An additional point--the note left in the car with one's hiking plans should be folded or in an envelope so it cannot be read without entering the car first. No point in telling potential thieves how long it will be before you are coming back.

Doug

Sherby
12-11-2013, 12:30 PM
Doug/Sierra, I'm curious what is your plan/gear for an unplanned below 0F night in the woods ?

Breeze
12-11-2013, 01:46 PM
For awhile the Cog was running a ski train where they took you to tree line and you skied back along the tracks - skiing elsewhere being forbidden by the Forest Service. I would imagine this section was put in better shape at least initially.

Please tell us when the USFS forbade skiing within the WMNF? I'm sure many would be interested to know that history.

Breeze

peakbagger
12-11-2013, 02:07 PM
One winter about 25 years ago ,the cog had billboards up in the area advertising a Ski Train to the top of Washington to allow folks to ski Tuckerman's ravine and may have actually sold tickets. The forest service came down on them hard. The FS can not ban skiing per se but they can ban a commercial entity from offering services that take place on USFS land.

Skiing on FS land is legal by a commercial entity if permitted like Loon or Wildcat or Attitash but if the FS is opposed to it, they can kill the permit pretty quickly. The subsequent attempt by the Cog allowing skiing within the Cog owned strip of land was legal as long as folks did not go out of bounds onto FS lands. I think the entire effort failed as the snow conditions were poor they year they tried it. Had it succeeded, I expect they would have gotte entangled with the FS if the tacitly allowed access to FS land.

Breeze
12-11-2013, 02:30 PM
The power lines (15KV if I remember correctly?) are buried parallel to the cog tracks all the way to the top. When they were putting them in, they had excavators and other heavy equipment all up and down the mountain -- I was surprised there wasn't a bigger uproar when it was going on, but I suppose we all consider the cog an eyesore anyway... The swath of land they cleared for the burial forms a rough, but passable, road-sized path. Given the environment, it's not going to grow in during our lifetimes on the upper stretch, even if they make no effort to keep it clear. I don't know if it will be kept brushed out down low.

The contractor who installed both the new waste treatment plant for the Sherman Adams Summit Building and the power line up the Cog RR ROW to the summit would be a familiar face to many long term folks in the Gorham/Randolph area. Local man, large local family, he was active with AMC and SAR in his younger days, part of the SAR who rescued Hugh Herr and recovered Al Dow's body, did a year's rotation in Antarctica @ McMurdo Sound. As partial mitigation for the environmental disturbance of the buried power line, he and his crew collected, loaded and trucked out over 200 dump truck loads of cast off left-in-place wood and metal trash from Cog RR repairs to track, trains, track under-layment and trestles over his 4 seasons ( spring to fall) of work on those projects.

White Mountain Communications.


Breeze

David Metsky
12-11-2013, 03:03 PM
Please tell us when the USFS forbade skiing within the WMNF? I'm sure many would be interested to know that history.
As peakbagger said, the edict was not on skiing in the WMNF but on using the Cog (and I believe someone tried a heli operation) to access ski terrain in the Whites. The Ski Train was permitted to access land along the Cog that was privately owned. I believe they even had rangers stationed up there to inform skiers that they were not allowed to access other terrain if they rode up on the Cog. Skiers who hike or ski their way up are allowed access anywhere.

Breeze
12-11-2013, 03:27 PM
One winter about 25 years ago ,the cog had billboards up in the area advertising a Ski Train to the top of Washington to allow folks to ski Tuckerman's ravine and may have actually sold tickets. The forest service came down on them hard. The FS can not ban skiing per se but they can ban a commercial entity from offering services that take place on USFS land.

Skiing on FS land is legal by a commercial entity if permitted like Loon or Wildcat or Attitash but if the FS is opposed to it, they can kill the permit pretty quickly. The subsequent attempt by the Cog allowing skiing within the Cog owned strip of land was legal as long as folks did not go out of bounds onto FS lands. I think the entire effort failed as the snow conditions were poor they year they tried it. Had it succeeded, I expect they would have gotte entangled with the FS if the tacitly allowed access to FS land.

What that beef WAS all about is that someone AS a commercial entity was selling access to WMNF land for singular profit outside of any USFS fee-for -use-contract, much like Al Reisch and his heli tours into Tucks attracted regulatory attention and Al got stopped in his tracks. Al Reisch will always be remembered in the MWV as the driver of Friends of Tucks, regardless of his overstepping a few boundaries now and then.

I'm not disagreeing with you, Peakbagger. The key is " by commercial entity". USFS does not and never has said you can't ski in the WMNF, but if you want to sell access for dollars, any commercial entity has to pony up bucks for the right to collect money.

Breeze

IQuest
12-11-2013, 06:50 PM
At least they got a peak off their list and now, they don't have to go back.


The rescue team used a vehicle to give the hikers a ride to the bottom, Saunders said.

Not if you are playing by "the rules".;)

At least everyone is ok.

Cristobal
12-11-2013, 07:32 PM
Doug/Sierra, I'm curious what is your plan/gear for an unplanned below 0F night in the woods ?
I once spent an unplanned night in the woods at near zero (but probably not below 0 F), and my small 'emergency bag' served me pretty well. I had a Gore-tex bivy sack (the Army surplus model), extra socks, light rain pants and jacket, a balaclava and mittens, and an extra piece of insulation or two, probably a wool or fleece shirt. I was also well dressed for winter hiking, but not wearing any special, arctic-type clothes.
I curled up in the natural shelter around the base of a pine tree (the snow was several feet deep), and spent a miserable, sleepless, but ultimately safe night out. In the morning light I found my way again and lived happily ever after.
My point is, if you can stay dry and keep out of the wind, have a little extra insulation and an emergency shelter, you'll likely survive the night.
One thing I added to my emergency bag after that mishap - a pair of down booties. Throughout that night I worried that I might fall asleep and get frostbite on my toes. Now that would be a serious survival challenge.

sardog1
12-11-2013, 09:34 PM
I had a Gore-tex bivy sack (the Army surplus model)

I've spent several (civilian) nights in one. It's one of the best bivy sacks available, superior to many from a well-known maker that I once sold. I figure it adds a good ten degrees of warmth to whatever I'm using inside it for insulation. No, it's not light, but that seems to matter far less after you crawl in when it's forty degrees and raining.

David Metsky
12-12-2013, 07:35 AM
I think the ski trains ran for at least 3 or 4 years before the Cog abandoned the idea. They started converting their coal-fired engines to biodiesel about the same time.
I believe it was just one year of commercial operation. They may have had a trial run the year before but actual paid skiers were only carried one inglorious season.

Quietman
12-12-2013, 09:00 AM
The NELSAP (http://www.nelsap.org/nh/cog.html)site has it running 2 years, 2005-2006.

David Metsky
12-12-2013, 10:01 AM
The NELSAP (http://www.nelsap.org/nh/cog.html)site has it running 2 years, 2005-2006.
I didn't think it ran in 2005, maybe it only started at the end of the season. Either way I stand corrected.

Kevin Rooney
12-12-2013, 11:34 AM
Per Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Washington_Cog_Railway) - From 2003 to 2006, "ski trains" ran, stopping at an intermediate station, from which passengers could ski down to the Base Station.

This mirrors my own personal experience. Whether 2003 contained paying customers - dunno - that's splitting hairs. To me, a cog train going uphill in the winter is a ski train, whether it was "in testing" or not.

DougPaul
12-12-2013, 02:39 PM
One thing I added to my emergency bag after that mishap - a pair of down booties. Throughout that night I worried that I might fall asleep and get frostbite on my toes. Now that would be a serious survival challenge.
Actually, frostbite is an anesthetic (painless) injury and your feet are relatively resistant to further injury as long as they stay frozen. The process of thawing is very painful and after thawing, the flesh becomes very delicate. Refreezing makes the injury much worse.

If your feet become frozen, walk out on them and thaw after you get to a place where you can stay off them and can guarantee that they will not refreeze. Medical help should be obtained if the frostbite is at all severe--thawed frostbite can develop large infection prone blisters and can require months to heal.

(How to deal with frostbite would fill a small book. The above is a very short and incomplete summary.)

Booties are good. One can also improvise booties from dry socks and stuff sacks. (Better make them rough surface nylon rather than silnylon if you hope to be able to walk in them...)

Doug

DougPaul
12-12-2013, 03:08 PM
Doug/Sierra, I'm curious what is your plan/gear for an unplanned below 0F night in the woods ?
This is one of those questions whose answer is too big to try to answer on an online forum... (And what is sufficient gear for one person may not be enough for someone else.)

Basically, know how to winter camp and carry bivy gear. Definitely carry a foam pad (I'd argue that you want a full length pad in case you are injured and need to lie down)--if no pad, sit or lie on your pack. The goal is to survive, but not necessarily to be comfortable. If solo and injured, you may not be able to move so if it isn't within arm's reach, it might as well not be there (eg no wood fires).

These prior threads have some useful info: http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?32541-emergency-bivy http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?41296-Emergency-Bivy-Sacks http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?20428-Emergency-Bivy .


For comparison with anything that we might have to endure: In 1975 Dougal Haston and Doug Scott endured an unplanned bivouac in a snow cave* on the South Summit of Everest while descending from the main summit. Haston had a down suit and Scott just had the clothing that he had been wearing. They spent the night massaging fingers and toes to provide some circulation and Scott dug away at the cave to generate heat. Both survived without injury. These were two uninjured elite mountaineers, but it should give you an idea of what is possible.

* at 28,700ft, temp ~-30C, thin air (the oxygen had run out), no food, the stove soon ran out of fuel


(And if anyone is curious, I found the first prior thread by searching my archived posts for the word "bivy" and then searched the forum titles for "emergency" and "bivy" got the other two. BTW, searching titles for just the word "bivy" brings up ~20 threads including the above and some more that look relevant. And if you search titles and texts for the phrase "emergency bivy" (with quotes) you get ~60 threads a number of which look relevant. And I'm sure that if you fired up Google to search the internet you would find a lot more. Search and ye shall find.

The Haston and Scott story is from memory augmented by Bonington's book, "Everest the Hard Way" to get the details correct.)

Doug

TCD
12-12-2013, 04:16 PM
Here's another story of a true hard man, perhaps my favorite: Douglas Mawson. None of us have endured, or ever will endure such an effort for survival:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/01/125-mawson-trek/roberts-text

Raven
12-12-2013, 06:08 PM
This is one of those questions whose answer is too big to try to answer on an online forum... (And what is sufficient gear for one person may not be enough for someone else.)

Basically, know how to winter camp and carry bivy gear. Definitely carry a foam pad (I'd argue that you want a full length pad in case you are injured and need to lie down)--if no pad, sit or lie on your pack. The goal is to survive, but not necessarily to be comfortable. If solo and injured, you may not be able to move so if it isn't within arm's reach, it might as well not be there (eg no wood fires).


(Doug

Succintly said.




For comparison with anything that we might have to endure: In 1975 Dougal Haston and Doug Scott endured an unplanned bivouac in a snow cave* on the South Summit of Everest while descending from the main summit. Haston had a down suit and Scott just had the clothing that he had been wearing. They spent the night massaging fingers and toes to provide some circulation and Scott dug away at the cave to generate heat. Both survived without injury. These were two uninjured elite mountaineers, but it should give you an idea of what is possible.

* at 28,700ft, temp ~-30C, thin air (the oxygen had run out), no food, the stove soon ran out of fuel


(Doug

Perhaps the most important gear: an unbreakable will to survive.


...a warm layer and a waterproof layer for most of the body go a long way too.



Edit: This was a pretty good thread that has a lot of quality and detail. It's a lot of winter gear lists from quite a few people.

http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?46627-Winter-hiking-what-do-you-carry-in-your-pack&highlight=winter+pack

Cristobal
12-13-2013, 01:24 AM
DougPaul, I appreciate the knowledge about frostbite, but you're not easing my fear of it at all!

JCarter
12-13-2013, 12:12 PM
DougPaul, I appreciate the knowledge about frostbite, but you're not easing my fear of it at all!

Well, I would mention that fear is good. It make sure that you do everything you can to avoid it.

sierra
12-13-2013, 01:03 PM
Doug/Sierra, I'm curious what is your plan/gear for an unplanned below 0F night in the woods ?

My gear selection is smaller then what some carry. Heres what I dont carry, sleeping bag, Bivi sack or stove. I carry mulitple layers then work well with each other. Full shell upper and lower. Expedition mitts and most important, layers that stay un-used and dry in case I need them. My boots are bomber for cold temps, and this is a critical point. Alot of newer hikers where light wieght boots that they claim are just fine. I prefer gore-tex lined high mountaineering boots that will not fail in any situation. Xtra food, HLamp, lighter/matches. I also have a solid background for emergency shelter finding or building.

One poster said " The will to survive" that is key. I would never give up and it would take alot to do me in. I once climbed for 12+ hours with a broken ankle. The first 3 hours where over 14,000ft. At know time was I discouraged or worried, I simply knew it was a long climb ahead of me. People who survive harrowing experiences all posses the abilty to go well beyond expected limitations. IMO some people have it, some dont.

DougPaul
12-13-2013, 01:50 PM
DougPaul, I appreciate the knowledge about frostbite, but you're not easing my fear of it at all!
Frostbite is certainly something to be respected.

Read up on it or take a winter hiking course--it is avoidable in all but the most serious situations. Severe frostbite can result in the loss of body parts (most commonly fingers, toes, tip of the nose, and parts of the external ear), disfigurement, and/or gangrene.

Such issues are one of the reasons that I advocate starting winter hiking by taking a course--any decent one should teach the student about the pitfalls rather than having the (non)student find out about them the hard way.

My introduction was in a winter school course using "Frostbite" by Bradford Washington, http://www.amazon.com/Frostbite-Bradford-Washburn/dp/B005APOB0U. A more recent book is "Hypothermia, Frostbite and Other Cold Injuries" by Gordon G. Giesbrecht and James A Wilkerson,
http://www.amazon.com/Hypothermia-Frostbite-Other-Cold-Injuries/dp/0898868920/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386963932&sr=1-1-fkmr0. I suggest that you read at least the second book or its equivalent.

Doug

DougPaul
12-13-2013, 02:06 PM
My boots are bomber for cold temps, and this is a critical point. Alot of newer hikers where light wieght boots that they claim are just fine. I prefer gore-tex lined high mountaineering boots that will not fail in any situation.
Good boots are very important. IMO, if you cannot stand around in them for an hour or two, they are not warm enough. (The 3-season boots that some wear do not meet this test...) Anyone who uses boots that are marginal should carry booties as emergency gear. And needing to use chemical warmers to keep one's feet warm scares me. (See my post on frostbite...)

I wear winter double mountaineering boots and have stood in them for extended periods on windy belay ledges without difficulty. I can also wear them until I hit the sack while camping without difficulty.

Doug

RoySwkr
12-13-2013, 03:25 PM
The key is " by commercial entity". USFS does not and never has said you can't ski in the WMNF, but if you want to sell access for dollars, any commercial entity has to pony up bucks for the right to collect money.

I have a slightly different memory of this.

What the FS was afraid of was people arriving at the top of Tucks Headwall and trying to ski down without having seen it from the bottom, this was thought to be too hazardous. They refused to sell concessioner permits for ski trains or helicopters. When the cog railway said they were a common carrier and required by law to sell tickets to anyone whether they had skis or not, the FS did in fact forbid skiing down Tucks from the cog. Some railway employees did it as a test and were issued citations. I think you can find this in old Appalachias.



I think the entire effort failed as the snow conditions were poor they year they tried it. Had it succeeded, I expect they would have gotte entangled with the FS if the tacitly allowed access to FS land.
As I recall they didn't get much ski business as it was a slow ride up and only one trail down, they actually got more sightseers who then rode back down. Obviously hiring a ski patrol and trail maintenace was expensive which is why they still give rides up and down but don't bother with calling it a ski train.

Since the cog owns their own right-of-way which predates the National Forest, the FS cannot forbid them from running trains but can only forbid people from using them to ski down the ravine. Hence I would call that banning skiing in a small portion of the NF.

sierra
12-13-2013, 07:27 PM
Frostbite is certainly something to be respected.

Read up on it or take a winter hiking course--it is avoidable in all but the most serious situations. Severe frostbite can result in the loss of body parts (most commonly fingers, toes, tip of the nose, and parts of the external ear), disfigurement, and/or gangrene.

Such issues are one of the reasons that I advocate starting winter hiking by taking a course--any decent one should teach the student about the pitfalls rather than having the (non)student find out about them the hard way.

My introduction was in a winter school course using "Frostbite" by Bradford Washington, http://www.amazon.com/Frostbite-Bradford-Washburn/dp/B005APOB0U. A more recent book is "Hypothermia, Frostbite and Other Cold Injuries" by Gordon G. Giesbrecht and James A Wilkerson,
http://www.amazon.com/Hypothermia-Frostbite-Other-Cold-Injuries/dp/0898868920/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386963932&sr=1-1-fkmr0. I suggest that you read at least the second book or its equivalent.

Doug

Frostbite is a major concern for me. I carry heavy expedition mitts and 2 sets of lightweight gloves. I froze my hands once and it happened so quick it caught me off guard. I started the second pitch of an ice climb and all of the sudden, I couldnt feel my hands. I managed to finish the pitch by eyeing my ice axe leashes to keep them taught. I was lucky it was at Frankenstien cliffs as the truck was close by. Holding my hands over the defroster was not fun, it felt like someone was banging on my hands with a hammer. To this day my hands get cold quicker then most would.

DougPaul
12-13-2013, 09:03 PM
Frostbite is a major concern for me. I carry heavy expedition mitts and 2 sets of lightweight gloves. I froze my hands once and it happened so quick it caught me off guard. I started the second pitch of an ice climb and all of the sudden, I couldnt feel my hands. I managed to finish the pitch by eyeing my ice axe leashes to keep them taught. I was lucky it was at Frankenstien cliffs as the truck was close by. Holding my hands over the defroster was not fun, it felt like someone was banging on my hands with a hammer. To this day my hands get cold quicker then most would.
You probably know this, but I'll say it for the benefit of those who may not:

Once frostbitten, the circulation will be compromised and the cold resistance of the affected flesh will be reduced.

A friend went ice climbing (IIRC also at Frankenstein) wearing single boots (Superguides). His toes didn't freeze, but they sustained nerve damage from the cold and were sensitive to cold afterwards. (I don't know the long-term outcome, but IIRC his toes were still sensitive the next winter.)

I'm lucky that my hands and feet are relatively warm as long as my central body is warm.

Doug

John H Swanson
12-14-2013, 03:11 AM
For what it is worth, the cold weather nerve damage I sustained on the tips of a few fingers that led to them being more sensitive to the cold was "temporary" in that it went away after 5 to 10 years. I know people with face cold injury that report increased vulnerability many years later

Mike P.
12-15-2013, 09:09 AM
Good boots are very important. IMO, if you cannot stand around in them for an hour or two, they are not warm enough. (The 3-season boots that some wear do not meet this test...) Anyone who uses boots that are marginal should carry booties as emergency gear. And needing to use chemical warmers to keep one's feet warm scares me. (See my post on frostbite...)

I wear winter double mountaineering boots and have stood in them for extended periods on windy belay ledges without difficulty. I can also wear them until I hit the sack while camping without difficulty.


Doug

This and what you pack in your survival gear is why it varies for people, the bigger/warmer your boots, the least likely you are to need some type of emergency footwear. There are many people who hike in the lighter shoes without issue as they are moving. The question is, how long would their feet stay warm if they could not move?

Lawn Sale
12-15-2013, 09:47 AM
For what it is worth, the cold weather nerve damage I sustained on the tips of a few fingers that led to them being more sensitive to the cold was "temporary" in that it went away after 5 to 10 years. I know people with face cold injury that report increased vulnerability many years later

Mine did not go away and still persists to this day. When my hands get cold the smallest finger on each hand is pretty useless. I can also pluck the facial hairs from certain spots easily since there is no feeling there.

Warming up from frostbite is one of the most painful things I have experienced and I try to avoid it at all costs, but it happens so easily I don't even realize when I'm at that state again, until it's too late.

TJsName
12-15-2013, 10:31 AM
Mine did not go away and still persists to this day. When my hands get cold the smallest finger on each hand is pretty useless. I can also pluck the facial hairs from certain spots easily since there is no feeling there.

Warming up from frostbite is one of the most painful things I have experienced and I try to avoid it at all costs, but it happens so easily I don't even realize when I'm at that state again, until it's too late.

Running the area around the frostbite will reduce the pain sensation. The touch sensors get priority over pain, so one can still funtion while in pain. It is pretty cool feature in ones nervous system.

Creag Nan Drochaid
12-15-2013, 10:34 AM
In today's snowstorm I am taking a break from writing the 2013 volunteer trail crew reports. Thought I'd add my $0.02 here:

After getting a bit of frostnip 32 years ago I still have poor circulation in my hands, and my fingers go numb very easily even when I am otherwise bundled up against the cold. Synthetic insulation in a windproof shell is the only way I can get out and do much in weather below 20F. Let all take heed...

DougPaul
12-15-2013, 05:29 PM
There are many people who hike in the lighter shoes without issue as they are moving. The question is, how long would their feet stay warm if they could not move?
I tried wearing my 3-season boots* once at 15F. The answer for me (even with my generally warm feet) was not very long when stopped. (This was just a short break while hiking--things are likely to be worse if one is injured.) My feet were OK while moving.

* These were 3-season boots back in the late 1970s... Fabianos with heavy (by modern standards) single piece leather uppers with a Norwegian welt and Vibram soles with double wool socks. (They were fitted that way.)

And yes, I had booties in my pack.

Doug

sardog1
12-15-2013, 07:55 PM
My dad froze his feet as a kid. As a result, he was often in pain on x-c ski outings while my feet were comfortable.

I froze the tip of a middle finger many years ago. It has since served as a very reliable hypothermia indicator.

The Limmer Standards go on the shelf here at 20º F. I knew a guy in Alaska who once wore Sorels on a day when he should have been shod in bunny boots. His feet (what remained of them) made the rounds for years afterward as the featured stars of a slideshow presented by the famous orthopedic surgeon who did the cutting ...