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Thread: Ice Gulch Randolph Tuesday Rescue

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    Ice Gulch Randolph Tuesday Rescue

    The local paper Berlin Sun (paywall) reports that F&G has to rescue a solo hiker from Ice Gulch in Randolph. Sounds like the conditions in the gulch were a bit too cold and icy. Poor cell coverage and low battery.

    Kind of late in the season for a spot that gets minimal to no sun this time of year due to its orientation and is known for ice and snow even in the summer. Assuming the hiker used the AMC CCW hike recommendation, the hiker probably had plenty of notice that conditions were going to degrade as they hiked forward. Wonder if they had traction?

    At least is was a walkout "meet and greet" rescue rather than a carryout. The report indicates that the first call was at 4:50 pm which would be after dark.

    To paraphrase Clint Eastwood's line from Magnum Force, "a solo hiker has to know their limitations"

    No mention if the hiker had a Hike Safe card.

    Found a link https://www.conwaydailysun.com/berli...95be9e2a9.html
    Last edited by peakbagger; 11-14-2020 at 05:24 AM. Reason: added link

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    Hi Peakbagger here is another link that has F&G press release on this case, and a few others I was curious about over the past few days:
    https://nhfishgame.com/ funny web address that looks like the front page but is the newsroom.

    I used to live at the base of the gulch and would wander up into it for short strolls, most often to the first ice I could find on a hot summer day, but it was on a 'secret' trail out of a neighborhood in Gorham. I did not often run into others there, but it always struck me when I would at the bottom of the gulch and the explorers were most often always struggling and complaining despite not even really getting into it. I would throw declarations of needed caution at them as they always pressed on due to a perception of it being shorter walk despite the ruggedness.
    Last edited by Andrew; 11-12-2020 at 12:12 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The local paper Berlin Sun (paywall) reports that F&G has to rescue a solo hiker from Ice Gulch in Randolph. Sounds like the conditions in the gulch were a bit too cold and icy. Poor cell coverage and low battery.

    Kind of late in the season for a spot that gets minimal to no sun this time of year due to its orientation and is known for ice and snow even in the summer. Assuming the hiker used the AMC CCW hike recommendation, the hiker probably had plenty of notice that conditions were going to degrade as they hiked forward. Wonder if they had traction?

    At least is was a walkout "meet and greet" rescue rather than a carryout. The report indicates that the first call was at 4:50 pm which would be after dark.

    To paraphrase Clint Eastwood's line from Magnum Force, "a solo hiker has to know their limitations"

    No mention is the hiker had a Hike Safe card.

    Found a link https://www.conwaydailysun.com/berli...95be9e2a9.html
    I'm always amazed that people call for a rescue and they are walking out still. If you can walk, your not in trouble yet.

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    The idea is to get as much help as possible before you die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I'm always amazed that people call for a rescue and they are walking out still. If you can walk, your not in trouble yet.
    These are the same people who call AAA for a flat tire.

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    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    These are the same people who call AAA for a flat tire.
    Lots of people can't change a flat tire...not strong enough to remove lug nuts, etc. And, people pay for AAA service directly thru their membership.

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    Ice Gulch has the "frog in boiling water effect" if done CCW per the AMC guide (not my preference but that is another debate). The gulch is divided into multiple distinct microclimates and terrain. The first stretch is fairly wise and sun may get in there. At the end of the stretch is a distinct head wall with a steep closed in transition to the next stretch of terrain. That stretch is narrower with steeper walls and this repeats until the top of the notch. The problem is most folks are better at climbing up steep terrain than going down it. I also expect the early sunset which is made earlier due to the orientation of the notch and the adjacent Mt Crescent ridge. I expect someone concentrating on the terrain may not notice when the sun is starting to set. It gets dark quick and expect when the hiker makes a decision to turn around its too late. Picking ones way down potentially icy/slippery boulders with a headlamp on can really make for slow going. No doubt psychology, maybe hypothermia kicks in and expect spotty cell coverage reinforces the feeling of time to call for rescue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I'm always amazed that people call for a rescue and they are walking out still. If you can walk, your not in trouble yet.
    I have often pondered this question and think it's based in basic human nature depending on your relationship with the natural world. The woods are a fearsome place for some- comforting for others.

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    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    When I was but a boy, my father taught me that if I became benighted in the woods, to simply put my back against the largest White Pine I could find and sitting upon a thick blanket of pine needles wait for morning. If put upon by the chilly night air, that White Pine needles make a suitable coverlet. In my 81 years I have had the opportunity to commune with nature thus, but thrice.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psyculman View Post
    The idea is to get as much help as possible before you die.
    I'm going to assume you are joking. Otherwise, I would be very disappointed.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    These are the same people who call AAA for a flat tire.
    Maybe, but people pay for AAA and that's a big difference then calling out volunteers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    Maybe, but people pay for AAA and that's a big difference then calling out volunteers.
    I guess. I pay for a HikeSafe card and rescue insurance but I'm not calling in those resources unless I need a carry. Just like I don't call AAA unless I need a tow. Can I use these safety nets in less than dire circumstances? Apparently. But it's lazy, inefficient, and a waste of resources. Lack of self-reliance confounds me and I feel like people are too quick to make their problems someone else's.
    Last edited by JoshandBaron; 11-14-2020 at 03:47 PM.

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    Not sure the AAA analogy is a good one. If I'm paying for coverage I'd be more inclined to use it. I mean that is why I am spending the money. Especially if I was on say Rte 128 at rush hour on the side of the road where having a truck with flashing lights calling attention to the fact that I'm 3 ft from 80 mph traffic while I change that tire. Sure I could change the tire if I had to but I'm paying for someone to provide that service and take on that risk. You don't go to a restaurant and pay for food you don't eat because you could have cooked it at home yourself.

    If I'm out in the woods, I'm not calling for a rescue until there is a 100% chance of not being able to proceed on my own with the equipment I have and/or spending an unplanned night in the woods that will be placing me in danger I can't control (i.e. hypothermia, injury, etc). Until I reach that point I'm relying on myself to continue. I don't equate a Hike Safe card and AAA as the same thing because of the volunteer nature of the respondents. My HikeSafe money is going to a NH slush fund somewhere for general use, not the paycheck of the guy who has to risk his life, ruin his free time, etc to come and get me.
    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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    I can understand where you are coming from but I pay for rescue coverage (twice) and it doesn't make me any more inclined to use it and I pay for platinum AAA but I'm still not calling them for things I have the tools for. Call it a character flaw.

    I think we agree on when you call for help in the woods. These walk outs usually aren't being performed by volunteers, this one certainly wasn't. I was under the impression HS fees went into a F&G SAR fund not the general fund. Either way, they get my money through license fees so I guess that part doesn't factor in on my end.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    I guess. I pay for a HikeSafe card and rescue insurance but I'm not calling in those resources unless I need a carry. Just like I don't call AAA unless I need a tow. Can I use these safety nets in less than dire circumstances? Apparently. But it's lazy, inefficient, and a waste of resources. Lack of self-reliance confounds me and I feel like people are too quick to make their problems someone else's.
    This is exactly what I was saying in my initial post, I couldn't agree more. Like with any endeavor, you need to learn the skills needed to safely enjoy and also be prepared for contingencies. To fail in doing that is pure negligence. Someone falls and breaks a leg or something like that, SAR becomes a valid tool. I broke my ankle out west and spent almost 20 hours getting out, never once even looked at my phone.

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