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Thread: Lost Hiker on Moosilaukee

  1. #16
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessmuk View Post
    What difference does that make? When you head out on a trek, you are responsible to know what you are getting yourself into, wilderness or not, snow conditions, navigation, terrain and elevation changes, water hazards, weather, trails or lack of, emergency procedures and exits, all of it. If you are part of an organized trip. the organizer and/or the trip leader is responsible for all of that and the complete safety and safe return of all trip members, and it never hurts for trip members to know their own limitations and safe procedures and required gear as well.
    Darn, your old! (I agree with everything you said by the way)

    As hikes more and more are being organized (not planned) on social media and people are more concerned about their Go-Pro, their camera so they can get good pictures and video for their Social Feeds, then they are with conditions and reading anything, like a guidebook, that tells people that the higher elevations may still have significant amounts of snow in May and June. (they actually believe there is a monorail, public transportation, on many mountains that runs from 3,000 feet to treeline)

    I imagine some social media planned hikes have leaders who lead, however, others just organize and take no responsibility for actually leadership, managing group size, group decisions taking care of each other.


    Was the Moosilaukee trip an actual DOC event or another Dartmouth Group Sponsored hike or just some Dartmouth students? Dave, are you still involved with the DOC? How many Social media hiking groups have pages of information and warnings in the front the same way that the WMG has?
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  2. #17
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    As hikes more and more are being organized (not planned) on social media and people are more concerned about their Go-Pro, their camera so they can get good pictures and video for their Social Feeds, then they are with conditions and reading anything, like a guidebook, that tells people that the higher elevations may still have significant amounts of snow in May and June.
    What's a guidebook? Is this some kind of alternative to Instagram?

  3. #18
    Senior Member KV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    From that linked policy information: "All trips and activities in the Dartmouth Outing Club are planned, organized, and led by Dartmouth students. In order to ensure that DOC leaders are capable of dealing with the many unpredictable situations which may occur on an outdoor trip, the Club requires that all members become proficient in appropriate skills before leading trips." (Bold mine)

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't you think that with the bolded segment a trip leader would not let one person leave the group? Of course, this is based on speculation that it was indeed a "DOC outing" and not simply a bunch of DOC kids out for a hike. There is a distinction.
    Life is a trip. Pack Accordingly.

  4. #19
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Older event, but a good example of what can happen when one person (especially an inexperienced person) is allowed to separate from the group:

    http://vertumnus.courts.state.ny.us/...0-007-055.html

    As I understand it, evidence indicated that the lone hiker was hurrying down the trail to try to catch up to the group. At the summit of Snowy, there are a few very nice cliff top lookouts that are reached by pretty good, but brushy paths. If you were in a hurry and not paying attention, and made a wrong turn down one of these paths, it would be pretty easy to rush through a patch of brush and find yourself falling. Which is apparently what happened.

    An aggravating factor in the 1996 Snowy incident is that apparently the hiker separated from the group at the summit, but the group and group leaders did not notice that he was missing until they got all the way back to the parking lot hours later.

  5. #20
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessmuk View Post
    What difference does that make? When you head out on a trek, you are responsible to know what you are getting yourself into, wilderness or not, snow conditions, navigation, terrain and elevation changes, water hazards, weather, trails or lack of, emergency procedures and exits, all of it. If you are part of an organized trip. the organizer and/or the trip leader is responsible for all of that and the complete safety and safe return of all trip members, It never hurts for individual trip members to know their own limitations and safe procedures and required gear for the location as well.
    I was referring to the Isolation pair (noted in the article Richard posted) - not the Moosilauke group. The difference it makes is that people reading about the incident might become informed about the distinction between 'normal' trail and wilderness trails. So, looking ahead to try to reduce future rescues.
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  6. #21
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    I was referring to the Isolation pair (noted in the article Richard posted) - not the Moosilauke group. The difference it makes is that people reading about the incident might become informed about the distinction between 'normal' trail and wilderness trails. So, looking ahead to try to reduce future rescues.
    I think I covered that within my post. Pre trip planning and awareness.
    "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]

  7. #22
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I think many group hikes thrown together on Social Media are accidents waiting to happen. I'm of the thought, that no matter what group you join, you need to have the skillset to survive on your own. I know this standard is not being used for a lot of group hikes. If the shit hits the fan, yes you can blame the group leader, but everyone should own a certain level of responsibility. If I hired a guide to do a climb, my preparations for the climb would be very detailed in regards to the route, the conditions possible and navigation of the route if it fell on me. Not to mention having all the appropriate gear needed. This mindset set reminds me of the Everest 96 disaster. Both guides became disabled, this left the reaming team members unable to fend for themselves. Granted the Whites are not Everest, but the point is still valid. If your leading a hike, you need to require a gear list and know the skillset of the people joining you. If you have people that are weak on skills and they have to descend, you need to assign a skilled member to accompany them down at the very least.

  8. #23
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    During a guide training/evaluation session that I instruct, I will often ask a random group member, who may or may not at the moment be acting as the designated trek leader, questions such as: "where are we now? When will we reach our destination? Are there obstacles between here and there to consider? What is our best emergency escape route from here? What is the procedure if we have a medical or any other kind of emergency at this point?" I have a variety of several different kinds of scenarios to role play. Not everyone always passes the course and gets certified to work as an outdoor guide."

    Otherwise when I am traveling with a group recreationally, If I am not the lead or the designated navigator, I am always eyes open and navigating for myself. You just never know when you might be on your own.

    In any situation with a group leader, you have to consider how experienced and capable he or she is. Anyone can be prone to making mistakes in the wilderness. Perhaps they are not as astute as advertised or claimed.
    Last edited by Nessmuk; 05-15-2019 at 10:02 AM.
    "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]

  9. #24
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessmuk View Post
    I think I covered that within my post. Pre trip planning and awareness.
    I don't disagree, but my point was more about the people who don't actively seek out information. If those people learn that there are difference standards of maintenance, then it might make them more aware (or do some/more research). I can only imagine your level of frustration with unprepared people wasting your time over the years. A big thanks for your efforts.
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  10. #25
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    I don't disagree, but my point was more about the people who don't actively seek out information. If those people learn that there are difference standards of maintenance, then it might make them more aware (or do some/more research). I can only imagine your level of frustration with unprepared people wasting your time over the years. A big thanks for your efforts.
    Personally I would not consider The Union Leader as a primary source of information when it comes to rescues in The White Mountains. Their track record speaks for itself.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  11. #26
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Group Think

    From what I've seen on organized trips, particularly peak-bagging trips, very few in a typical group have any interest in being self-sufficient. That's why they are in a group in the first place.

    This is particularly evident in 100 Highest bushwhack group trips: One or two skilled navigator and many many followers.

    Which is fine if the leader gets it, takes charge and responsibility, and sets some limits on participant behavior.

    In Meetups I've been on some leaders do, some don't. AMC trips tend to be better managed and regulated.
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  12. #27
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Personally I would not consider The Union Leader as a primary source of information when it comes to rescues in The White Mountains. Their track record speaks for itself.
    It would be difficult for me to agree more!
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  13. #28
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    From what I've seen on organized trips, particularly peak-bagging trips, very few in a typical group have any interest in being self-sufficient. That's why they are in a group in the first place.

    This is particularly evident in 100 Highest bushwhack group trips: One or two skilled navigator and many many followers.

    Which is fine if the leader gets it, takes charge and responsibility, and sets some limits on participant behavior.

    In Meetups I've been on some leaders do, some don't. AMC trips tend to be better managed and regulated.
    I run into this dynamic with my friends. The often even say 'I love how I don't have to think' or something to that effect. That said, I lay out a clear itinerary (sometimes with options) and try to keep the group on the same page expectations wise. Most of my friends are pretty savvy hikers though, and they keep an eye on any newbies and are generally good about regrouping at any intersections.

    We've only 'lost' two people (they went the wrong way off of Willey when we did an out and back from the Highland Center), but they figured it out pretty quickly (the two trailed approaches to Willey are quite different), plus the dog with them kept trying to get them to come back to the group. We had already come up with a plan (maybe 10-15 minutes had passed) to find them (spit the larger group into 2, with a couple people going after the 'lost' ones and the rest of the group going back to the cars and then picking us up at Willey House). Right as we were splitting up they showed back-up and we continued as one larger group as planned. Since then I've been more careful to make sure everyone is going in the right direction and knows the next waypoint.
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  14. #29
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    plus the dog with them kept trying to get them to come back to the group.
    Never underestimate the hiking ability of a dog. They quite naturally do most things right - stay with the group, follow the trail, wait at intersections, etc. Maybe an occasional tangent for an animal or something that smells interesting

    In the end, it all comes down to expectations, or an implied contract if you will. If the leader feels "used" then they will be unhappy. If the follower(s) don't feel "lead", they will be unhappy. Same is true for organized group bike rides, trail work, etc.

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  15. #30
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Never underestimate the hiking ability of a dog. They quite naturally do most things right - stay with the group, follow the trail, wait at intersections, etc. Maybe an occasional tangent for an animal or something that smells interesting
    On the other hand, they've been known to follow unrelated hikers down to the wrong trailhead if someone in the group feeds them.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

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