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  1. #1
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    First Winter Rescue Kicks Off Season

    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  2. #2
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Not wanting to assume anything but it doesn't mention a map. Unless they were extremely familiar with the Greenleaf Tr. and or their surroundings, just a compass wouldn't have helped a whole lot.
    Joe

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    So if I am reading this correctly, the rescuers used GPS to locate the trail once they got to the pair?

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remix View Post
    So if I am reading this correctly, the rescuers used GPS to locate the trail once they got to the pair?
    When I read that I assumed they probably set a way point at the hut and then walked back to it from the summit or just used track-back to get down.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
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    Maybe someone should build some more cairns on that section of the trail.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Improved Winter Trail Marking

    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    Maybe someone should build some more cairns on that section of the trail.
    Interesting idea that got me thinking...

    Might it be good for F&G to wand some of the more popular trails where winter rescues are common due to low visibility?

    For example: Lafayette summit cone, Crawford Path exit into trees near Pierce, Ammo exit into trees near Lakes hut, etc. etc.

    Wands could be placed and removed according to snow depth. Might save some lives an rescue $$.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  7. #7
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Interesting idea that got me thinking...

    Might it be good for F&G to wand some of the more popular trails where winter rescues are common due to low visibility?

    For example: Lafayette summit cone, Crawford Path exit into trees near Pierce, Ammo exit into trees near Lakes hut, etc. etc.

    Wands could be placed and removed according to snow depth. Might save some lives an rescue $$.
    There has been talk in other groups about that area and putting in some kind of markers or additional signage. There have been many parties who have gotten in trouble in that very spot. Your idea of using wands is a very good one in my opinion. I remember doing Pierce once in the winter. The trail neat the WCT junction was non existent and I just made my own through the scrub, comin out above where the actual trail is. The next issue was the visibility was very low with extremely high winds. I was concerned about finding my way back into the scrub and my broken trail. So I took my poles about and made four wands. I tagged the summit then retrieved my pole sections on my descent. It was just enough to get me up and back.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    I have to say based on the groups of people I've encountered so far this Fall season I'm kinda shocked this is the first rescue. But I guess I think that every year......
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    My phone has no built in compass, and it's almost brand new. My GPS app (Back Country Navigator) will make an attempt to tell me what direction I am going, in spite of that.

    I've (almost) been in their shoes. The only difference was that it was dead calm, but we could not find the cairns easily for quite some time, in thick fog. Even though they are quite large, in the Winter, they do not look like cairns. We would have 1 person stay at a cairn and the other strike out in the hopeful direction until they located the next cairn. This worked well enough in the fog, but with wind, it could have been a lot harder. Eventually, we encountered up hill hikers, and we able to follow their tracks below tree line. Again, these people did not have that advantage, until rescuers arrived.
    Tom Rankin
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    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Also Haystack summit down to Falling Waters trail. Which reminds me. Does any one remember the emergency bivy cache that used to be placed by the big boulder just after the Falling Waters trail enters the scrub off the Haystack summit? Around the early to mid eighties if I recall correctly.
    Last edited by Hillwalker; 12-07-2019 at 10:40 AM. Reason: additional thoughts.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    I noticed on the Ammo Trail SAT that there were several places higher up in the glade areas that had blue ribbons tied to the trees in key turn areas where people frequently go the wrong way. Not sure if this was an official action or an individual but it seemed to help. There wasn't nearly as many tracks splitting off in various directions on the way up other than that open area that always seems to draw people left when the trail takes a hard right. That turn had no blue flagging. I gave myself a pat on the back for knowing the correct route until I encountered arm pit deep snow drifts for about 50' until it emerged out on the spine of the ridge.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I noticed on the Ammo Trail SAT that there were several places higher up in the glade areas that had blue ribbons tied to the trees in key turn areas where people frequently go the wrong way. Not sure if this was an official action or an individual but it seemed to help. There wasn't nearly as many tracks splitting off in various directions on the way up other than that open area that always seems to draw people left when the trail takes a hard right. That turn had no blue flagging. I gave myself a pat on the back for knowing the correct route until I encountered arm pit deep snow drifts for about 50' until it emerged out on the spine of the ridge.
    Ribboning has been frowned upon by the LNT crowd for years. The problem has mostly been on bushwacks. The practice is just garbage in many ways. Wether itís wanding or ribboning thatís your option. Do it yourself and remove it on the way down. Next thing you know it will be expected that the Forest Service should be fixing lines and bootpacking out the a Major routes. Learn the craft and the skill sets to survive without littering up the experience.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  13. #13
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Ribboning has been frowned upon by the LNT crowd for years. The problem has mostly been on bushwacks. The practice is just garbage in many ways. Wether it’s wanding or ribboning that’s your option. Do it yourself and remove it on the way down. Next thing you know it will be expected that the Forest Service should be fixing lines and bootpacking out the a Major routes. Learn the craft and the skill sets to survive without littering up the experience.
    That's why I found it curious. Was only three or four spots and I noticed they all coincided with little arrow signs that were basically invisible without your eye being drawn to the ribbon. Ribbon was same color as blazes too (blue) not an obvious tagging color like orange, etc. That is why I was wondering if it was an official effort.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

  14. #14
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Ribboning has been frowned upon by the LNT crowd for years. The problem has mostly been on bushwacks. The practice is just garbage in many ways. Wether itís wanding or ribboning thatís your option. Do it yourself and remove it on the way down. Next thing you know it will be expected that the Forest Service should be fixing lines and bootpacking out the a Major routes. Learn the craft and the skill sets to survive without littering up the experience.
    I get what you're saying SkiGuy.

    I'm just thinking of those poor F&G dudes who had to slog to the summit of Lafayette, at night, in zero viz, to pull these folks off.

    Maybe the answer is better way finding with bigger/more frequent rock cairns in some of these obscure areas. As I recall, many of the ones on Lafayette are only knee-high and often buried. Of course there's nothing like a good compass bearing scribed onto your map to get you in the general Greenleaf neighborhood in IFR condx .
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  15. #15
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    I get what you're saying SkiGuy.

    I'm just thinking of those poor F&G dudes who had to slog to the summit of Lafayette, at night, in zero viz, to pull these folks off.

    Maybe the answer is better way finding with bigger/more frequent rock cairns in some of these obscure areas. As I recall, many of the ones on Lafayette are only knee-high and often buried. Of course there's nothing like a good compass bearing scribed onto your map to get you in the general Greenleaf neighborhood in IFR condx .
    I’m not sure who’s responsibility that trail corridor is for trail maintenance. But taller cairns is a good idea. Seems like being just above a Hut the AMC with all their effort would have done this already.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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