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Thread: Hiker OK After Getting Stuck On Mount Moosilauke

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Hiker OK After Getting Stuck On Mount Moosilauke

    WMUR link - Good job, Mr. B. (Glad it's not me in the news )
    I'm just outwalkin....

  2. #2
    Senior Member RickB.'s Avatar
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    Thanks, Carole! Yup, that's me. 14 hours in a snow cave is good for the soul. Been in many whiteouts but this one, at a little under freezing temps and instant, made vision, with or without goggles, impossible for at least an hour. Learned a lot about how to use all that stuff I've been carrying for all these years. And got down before the SAR folks, who were so professional, had to get on the trail (friends Giff and Sarah and Michael were the Friday night team who summitted at 1:30am, so appreciated).
    Can't wait to be called another 64-year-old overachiever, a bad thing to underachievers.
    Last edited by RickB.; 01-17-2010 at 09:15 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jason Berard's Avatar
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    Well done, Rick. I'm glad you're okay.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MadRiver's Avatar
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    Well done indeed Mr.B. You had the equipment and the skills!!
    What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Ok, I'll do lamb.

  5. #5
    Senior Member TrishandAlex's Avatar
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    That must have been a frightening ordeal. Very glad you used your know-how and came home safely.
    [B][SIZE=3]Patricia Ellis Herr (TRISH...ALEX...SAGE)


    Those who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of those doing it. --Chinese proverb.

    For more info about The Terrifying 25, contact me at patriciaellisherr@hotmail.com or search for The Terrifying 25 on Facebook.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RickB.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadRiver View Post
    Well done indeed Mr.B. You had the equipment and the skills!!
    Quote Originally Posted by TrishandAlex View Post
    That must have been a frightening ordeal. Very glad you used your know-how and came home safely.
    Thanks.
    I'd be a lot happier if I'd have had the skills to avoid it!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Well done, and now you probably are a bit closer to having those skills to avoid it next time.

    I know several times I've been above tree line on peaks with 100 or 150 feet of visibility but it always stays that way. You've seen it change to near zero.

    Did you have a shovel for the snow cave or did you use a snowshoe?
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  8. #8
    Member tb69wemt's Avatar
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    Glad you are doing OK....I pulled into the parking lot (Gold car SAR/EMT stickers) and you where already sitting in the F&G truck. Good Job keeping yourself safe....Just wondering where exactly you held up? We looked for the snow cave but missed it when we went up. easy to miss it, actually pretty foggy and windy at times today.

  9. #9
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Very glad you're OK, Rick -

  10. #10
    Senior Member wardsgirl's Avatar
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    Way to go Rick!

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love to see your TR for this!
    Last edited by wardsgirl; 01-21-2010 at 07:31 PM.
    AMC Adopt-A-Trail Program Region Leader Emeritus: Pemigewasset 1993-2005 Southern Presidentials 2005-2017
    Trail Adopter: Webster Cliff Trail

  11. #11
    Senior Member RickB.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    Well done, and now you probably are a bit closer to having those skills to avoid it next time.

    I know several times I've been above tree line on peaks with 100 or 150 feet of visibility but it always stays that way. You've seen it change to near zero.

    Did you have a shovel for the snow cave or did you use a snowshoe?
    Thanks, Mike. That's about what the visibility was as I arrived at the summit (even took a photo).

    The snow was configured with a few inches of light powder over a robust layer of ice/crust over a few feet of powder. I found that sweeping the snow under the crust out with my mittens, I could snap off the scrub branches as I encountered them. The powder made tunneling impossible, so I ended out with a large shelf over me and I used a couple of courses of crust pieces from nearby (picture flagstones) stuck in the outside snow to make a windwall. I put on the Adventure Medical Thermo-Lite bivy sack (yes, plug, it saved me) and slithered under the shelf with my torso on my pack and my legs on the branches I had harvested. It wasn't pretty but I was well-protected.

    The article was favorable but in fact I made mistakes that got me into the situation. One major one was that I carried a new (to me) Garmin eBay eTrex I had bought as a back-up, instead of my 76CXs. When I got off route, I took it out (properly oriented in pack lid) and learned it had lost the signal down on the Glencliff Trail and, inexplicably, had not recovered it (I had used it skiing in the Ossipees the day before and it worked OK, but with weaker reception than the 76CSx). To compound things, I had not yet loaded Topos, so it had the useless base map that Garmin provides as part of their profit enhancement program. So, when it recovered the signal at the bivy site, all I knew was that I was north of Warren, NH. Had it had a signal earlier and been recording my track, though, I could have zoomed in and followed the crumb track back, map be damned. See post below on compass. I'd have been home tipping back a cold one at 5pm if I had taken the better GPS. I shared this with Todd Bogardus, the F&G district chief, and we agreed this was unfortunate (but not negligent).
    Last edited by RickB.; 01-17-2010 at 11:29 AM.

  12. #12
    Member tb69wemt's Avatar
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    Thanks for the further explanation. I am sure it will be a lesson to all. Very Happy for you that things turned out so well.......On a bit of a selfish note, I am very happy a SAR operation did not screw up my day of hiking.

  13. #13
    Senior Member RickB.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tb69wemt View Post
    Glad you are doing OK....I pulled into the parking lot (Gold car SAR/EMT stickers) and you where already sitting in the F&G truck. Good Job keeping yourself safe....Just wondering where exactly you held up? We looked for the snow cave but missed it when we went up. easy to miss it, actually pretty foggy and windy at times today.
    Thank you so much.

    The snow cave (which I mostly trashed exiting) was on the eastern slope, 50-100' vertical below the summit. You'd have to had thrashed in spruce traps for a while to get there, believe me.

    Although I was pleased that the rescue effort hadn't gotten on the trails when I reached the lot, I consumed scarce resources and messed up a bunch of people's Saturday morning (teams were organized at each feeder trailhead and ready to go). I will ever appreciate their efforts and will make donations to NH F&G and the Pemi Valley SAR Team. And, again, my friends' going up the mountain in the middle of the night was wonderful (they get beer!).

    And thanks to all above who sent their good wishes.
    Last edited by RickB.; 01-17-2010 at 09:37 AM.

  14. #14
    Member tb69wemt's Avatar
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    Rick, sent you a PM

    Tom

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    Senior Member Waumbek's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the lessons of your experience, Rick, and glad all turned out well. I read in the article about the woman who broke the snowshoe on Moosilauke last week and used the SPOT to activate her rescue that cell coverage is spotty at best on Moosilauke as well. Any idea why the GPS lost the signal, i.e., fault of the unit or position of the mountain, etc?
    Last edited by Waumbek; 01-17-2010 at 09:52 AM. Reason: unclear question

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