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Thread: Huntingtons Ravine Rescue Call

  1. #1
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    Signs didn't work, afterall.

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    Senior Member Brambor's Avatar
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    The first rescuers were arriving at the entrance to the Huntington Ravine Trail via the Mt. Washington Auto Road at approximately 8 p.m. when another 911 call was made by the family, stating that they had made it to the top of the ravine and no longer required assistance.

    LOL - really. So they are at the Alpine Garden trail at 8PM and all is well ? :-)
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    Senior Member Brambor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    Signs didn't work, afterall.
    apparently not but I wish the signs were also at the junction of Alpine Trail and Huntington Ravine trail for hikers who think they can descend down that trail. Some hikers from out of state who might have a map could look at a trail leading to Pinkham Notch and assume they can safely descend back to Pinkham.
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    Barring bad weather, there is enough light at 8 PM out to head over to the autoroad via the Alpine Garden trail before it gets dark. Far less of emergency then a rescue on the ravine trail. I expect they will be writing a check to F&G.

    I also wish there was a sign on the top (if there isn't one now) as I have encountered "seek the peakers" who were heading down the ravine trail as "it was the shortest way to get down" We luckily convinced them to join us via Lions Head. On a couple of other trips I encountered folks halfway down and at the "fan" that had the same brilliant idea and were regretting their choice.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 07-13-2017 at 09:02 AM.

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    Senior Member Brambor's Avatar
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    Well yes, but that means they still require assistance by either getting into a vehicle and riding down or getting permission to descent on the road

    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Barring bad weather, there is enough light at 8 PM out to head over to the autoroad via the Alpine Garden trail before it gets dark. Far less of emergency then a rescue on the ravine trail. I expect they will be writing a check to F&G.
    Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    Signs didn't work, afterall.
    Agree. This is the most important takeaway from this event.*

    Unfortunately, it's becoming more and more common in our culture for people to ignore signs. You see it on the highway, even where the signs are actually important for life safety. So all these trail warning signs and regulatory signs and LNT signs are just roundly ignored by the vast majority of folks, and that's not going to change. As this continues, managers respond by putting up more and more forests of signs (basically trying to "yell louder" to folks who are not listening). The more signs, the more they are ignored.

    In the Adirondacks, the 46ers are just starting a "trailhead steward" program (which I have long advocated, and am delighted to see). This puts a human at the trailhead, who can actually have a conversation with users, emphasizing a few important points. This will work, but it's expensive. This would be a good program on which to spend some state money (maybe in NH, Fish and Game fine money?).

    (*The other takeaway was that hikers often project their own confidence onto others, and mistakenly believe that others will find a route easy, as they do. I find the Huntington trail really easy, but I have been rock climbing for many years, so when I get onto that kind of terrain, my mind sort of automatically stops thinking "technically hard hike" and starts thinking "technically easy rock climb." But I wouldn't take other people on it who might not be comfortable with it.)

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    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Re: Signs. Well, we just went through a rather lively thread where warnings were proven to be ignored by someone, who says she is (and by all accounts, appears to be) fully capable. Went so far as to say that the rules weren't meant for her.

    So, no, signs are only recommendations for the general masses, open to be followed or ignored by an individual's preference.

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    I actually carry the Guidebook and a Map of where I am when I go hiking. I have also acquainted myself with orienteering and map reading skills. If I come to a junction to a trail where I have not been to before I reference the Guidebook and Map if I have not already done so before hand. Most of the time I refresh my memory using the same said resources beforehand even if I have done a trail before. Seems to work quite well and I am not even a rocket scientist. I hope their pizza they ordered from the fan wasn't too cold by the time they got down.
    Last edited by skiguy; 07-13-2017 at 11:00 AM.
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    The problem with signs is that there are too many. That is why people ignore them. If they were placed more judiciously, people would take them more seriously.

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    Senior Member Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brambor View Post
    Well yes, but that means they still require assistance by either getting into a vehicle and riding down or getting permission to descent on the road
    Do the Auto Road folks ever stop people descending on foot, particularly in summer at night, via the road?
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    Senior Member Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    (*The other takeaway was that hikers often project their own confidence onto others, and mistakenly believe that others will find a route easy, as they do. I find the Huntington trail really easy, but I have been rock climbing for many years, so when I get onto that kind of terrain, my mind sort of automatically stops thinking "technically hard hike" and starts thinking "technically easy rock climb." But I wouldn't take other people on it who might not be comfortable with it.)
    "Easy" is all relative, important to remember. I have a friend who hikes a lot and has progressed into excellent fitness. I'm stuck at chubby and diabetic, albeit slow and enthusiastic. He tells me of how this or that hike, which I know is not yet within my capability (progressing, but not there yet) is easy, and throw in an extra peak or so. I've had to remind him that just about any 4K hike, for me, is very difficult and onerous. Fortunately, it's moving goalpost, and what was difficult last fall after a long stretch away from hiking is now easy, and what is difficult now soon enough will be easier.
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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    Signs didn't work, afterall.
    In fairness, we should say that "signs don't always work." What we cannot know is how many people saw the sign and turned around. I can't prove it, but I suspect most do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post
    Do the Auto Road folks ever stop people descending on foot, particularly in summer at night, via the road?
    As I learned on a thread the other day, the autoroad welcomes people to hike the road with the exception of special events, thus no permission is apparently required. IMHO during the daytime, its not a great idea due to narrow non existent shoulders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    In fairness, we should say that "signs don't always work." What we cannot know is how many people saw the sign and turned around. I can't prove it, but I suspect most do.
    That is an important distinction. You could prove it by finding someone who read the sign and went around. Much easier than finding everyone who read the sign and confirming they ignored it.

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