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Thread: Wow, this a trip report for the books!

  1. #16
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    This is what an experienced hiker does when he gets into trouble...he gets himself out of it. No 911 calls. Just a text to the wife saying he'll be late.
    I'm not here to cast shade on this gent, but he hardly struck me as carrying the gear or making the decisions someone "experienced" would:

    He didn't have a pad.
    He didn't have a sleeping bag.
    He didn't have a bivy.
    He didn't have a stove.

    Having recently hiked down Cog route myself for the first time, while steep in some sections, it is by far and away the quickest and easiest route off Mt. Washington, and there's a shelter on the way down if things got really bad. If one couldn't follow the tracks right next to it, I have no idea why anyone would believe the Jewell Trail would be anything but harder.

    Reasonable people can disagree, but I think there is a strong argument to be made that this individual survived despite his actions, not because of them.

  2. #17
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirabela View Post
    Yes, they did OK once they were in a predicament ... that said, I feel like this person had many opportunities to avoid getting in this kind of trouble.
    List fever. Summit fever. I like how he specifically mentioned bagging #43 and #44 for his solo Winter list in his trip report. I think that is a valuable window into his thought process for trying 2 and 3 times for summits.

    I agree with whoever said that he survived in spite of himself, not because of it. I think he made a lot of bad decisions which he overcame with fitness and tenacity. Hats off to him for pushing through but I think he was pretty lucky considering the decisions he made.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  3. #18
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    I'm not here to cast shade on this gent, but he hardly struck me as carrying the gear or making the decisions someone "experienced" would:

    He didn't have a pad.
    He didn't have a sleeping bag.
    He didn't have a bivy.
    He didn't have a stove.

    Having recently hiked down Cog route myself for the first time, while steep in some sections, it is by far and away the quickest and easiest route off Mt. Washington, and there's a shelter on the way down if things got really bad. If one couldn't follow the tracks right next to it, I have no idea why anyone would believe the Jewell Trail would be anything but harder.

    Reasonable people can disagree, but I think there is a strong argument to be made that this individual survived despite his actions, not because of them.
    I'd be very curious what percentage of people have a sleeping bag and a stove on Winter day hikes. I'd bet it's a very small percentage.

    I personally never have either. I do carry a hard core down puffy and down pants because I'd rather have insulation I can move in versus something I have to stop and get into to be effective. And inside my Gore Tex bivy the coat and pants perform quite well like a sleeping bag would (I've tested in my yard as low as - 35 deg F for 30 minutes).

    As far as the stove, my theory has always been that if I find myself needing to hunker down the weather is either too ridiculous for a stove to be of much use or I'd be too injured to be able to use. I find the argument for having something to light a fire to be similarly impractical for the same reasons. I'm not collecting enough firewood with a broken leg for a practical fire and if I'm hunkered down in 80mph winds a fire is not an option either. If I'm Ok health wise and it's just dark I'd be likely to keep moving downhill versus stopping until daylight (with a headlamp of course which I always carry including a back up).
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  4. #19
    Senior Member mirabela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I'd be very curious what percentage of people have a sleeping bag and a stove on Winter day hikes. I'd bet it's a very small percentage.

    I personally never have either. I do carry a hard core down puffy and down pants because I'd rather have insulation I can move in versus something I have to stop and get into to be effective. And inside my Gore Tex bivy the coat and pants perform quite well like a sleeping bag would (I've tested in my yard as low as - 35 deg F for 30 minutes).

    As far as the stove, my theory has always been that if I find myself needing to hunker down the weather is either too ridiculous for a stove to be of much use or I'd be too injured to be able to use. I find the argument for having something to light a fire to be similarly impractical for the same reasons. I'm not collecting enough firewood with a broken leg for a practical fire and if I'm hunkered down in 80mph winds a fire is not an option either. If I'm Ok health wise and it's just dark I'd be likely to keep moving downhill versus stopping until daylight (with a headlamp of course which I always carry including a back up).
    Always a pad, sleeping bag of some type, and tarp here. Not necessarily a full winter -20F bag but something that in combination with puffy, etc., will help keep one from dying. I've generally left the stove behind in recent years. One thing I'd encourage every serious winter hiker to try is a full night out in the cold with just what's in your day pack. Any way you do it, it will be a soft test inasmuch as you won't start out exhausted, or damp, or injured, but you'll learn a great deal. I did this in early 2011 and the experience and lessons I learned were very worth it.

    Edited to add: I lead a lot of groups, and I'm usually the only one carrying this stuff, which is fine. I'm not planning on a mass casualty event -- just want to be able to keep an immobilized person warm while we do something about it. I carry pretty much the same stuff when I'm alone.
    Last edited by mirabela; 02-25-2021 at 07:04 PM.

  5. #20
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I'd be very curious what percentage of people have a sleeping bag and a stove on Winter day hikes. I'd bet it's a very small percentage.

    I personally never have either. I do carry a hard core down puffy and down pants because I'd rather have insulation I can move in versus something I have to stop and get into to be effective. And inside my Gore Tex bivy the coat and pants perform quite well like a sleeping bag would (I've tested in my yard as low as - 35 deg F for 30 minutes).

    As far as the stove, my theory has always been that if I find myself needing to hunker down the weather is either too ridiculous for a stove to be of much use or I'd be too injured to be able to use. I find the argument for having something to light a fire to be similarly impractical for the same reasons. I'm not collecting enough firewood with a broken leg for a practical fire and if I'm hunkered down in 80mph winds a fire is not an option either. If I'm Ok health wise and it's just dark I'd be likely to keep moving downhill versus stopping until daylight (with a headlamp of course which I always carry including a back up).
    I carry similar gear as you do. Heavy parka is my last line of defense. I do carry storm proof matches though. I've never carried a bag or a stove, I actually don't carry a pad either to be honest. This being said, I'm not knocking anyone who carries all of the above, to each his own. I've been hiking over 40 years, many years never missing a week and I'm still here, so my system is adequate.

  6. #21
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I carry similar gear as you do. Heavy parka is my last line of defense. I do carry storm proof matches though. I've never carried a bag or a stove, I actually don't carry a pad either to be honest. [...] I've been hiking over 40 years, many years never missing a week and I'm still here, so my system is adequate.
    I am afraid you are following a logical fallacy. Your "system" (or lack thereof) is completely inadequate; it's just you have never needed to use it. Your reasoning is like someone saying her vehicle does not need seatbelts because she has never been in an accident.

  7. #22
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    Stove, air mattress, stove, fuel, pot, quilt on every Winter hike.

  8. #23
    Senior Member Salty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    appears to know the area well as he describes it
    I would respectfully disagree, Mike. Like sierra, I'm surprised at losing the Cog. Granted it could be buried, but I would imagine that area would be pretty wind-scoured. But I could be wrong there.

    This was my "Huh????" moment:

    "I figured if I angled down Burt Ravine to below treeline and headed into the woods to the right further down, I would be able to find my way towards the cog railway station. Not too far down, the ravine narrowed and got super-steep as the source of Clay Brook. The brook bed was a 45-degree chute of frozen snow with a light dusting."

    You can see from the topo, Burt Ravine equals not fun, and steep as snot. Also means a whack for most of the way. He clearly went to the very bottom of the ravine (yoiks). My personal choice, barring a GPS, would have been stick to the ridge line, where it eventually intercepts the Jewell below treeline, and doesn't have nasty grades.

    That being said, I've been there when it comes to not thinking all that clearly when things go awry. Something I hope I have learned from.

  9. #24
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Gear is usually dependent on the trip. The last couple of years it's been too many CT day trips, with the occasional Pierce, Willard, Potash, Tecumseh or Kearsarge North or Indian Head or the Green Hills. so I'm not bringing the axe and a bivy on those trips. Yes, you could slip anywhere and out of those trips, the most dangerous spots are the water crossings on Tecumseh and Potash if they aren't solid and a couple of large rocks that pick up a lot of ice on Kearsarge North.

    Other than the ravines and small stretches on exposed sections of trail, do you see anyone using an axe. As my hand s tend to get cold, I bring lots of extra gloves and if I have to pull out the expedition lobster claws or the neoprene face mask, I'm heading back. Since I usually am sweating within 200 yards of the car, if ice keeps forming around my eyes, it's time to turn around, I'll wear the goggles if frostbite an issue but not on "near" normal expected temps. (-40 wind chills or more for any duration are out, I'll poke my head out on Willard or similar hill)
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  10. #25
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    I am afraid you are following a logical fallacy. Your "system" (or lack thereof) is completely inadequate; it's just you have never needed to use it. Your reasoning is like someone saying her vehicle does not need seatbelts because she has never been in an accident.
    And what is "completely inadequate" exactly? My jacket and pants have as much or more grams of down than most 0 deg sleeping bags. But because it's not a sleeping bag it is inadequate? What type of bag exactly are you taking on a Winter day hike? I would be willing to bet my jacket/pants/bivy would be just as warm and toasty as your whatever you're bringing. And I can walk in mine if I want to. An advantage over your sleeping bag.

    You seem to struggle with the notion that you're point of view is the only correct one, which it is not.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  11. #26
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    If one takes a WFA course, one of the first things one does is put the patient on a pad.

    If one carries a stove, one can melt water so as not be dehydrated.

    A parka and pants are not alternatives to a sleeping bag. If they were, winter backpackers wouldn't carry sleeping bags, just down jackets and pants.

    If you think that a person with a jacket and pants, no pad, no sleeping bag, and no stove will be "just as warm and toasty" as someone with them, we can respectfully disagree.

  12. #27
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post

    He didn't have a pad.
    He didn't have a sleeping bag.
    He didn't have a bivy.
    He didn't have a stove.
    You know what else he didn't have? He didn't have to call for help.

    Mental and physical toughness. Don't leave home without it.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    You know what else he didn't have? He didn't have to call for help.

    Mental and physical toughness. Don't leave home without it.

    Right.......that,and maybe-e-e-e.......oh ..I don't know......the benign cooperative weather?...

    This is the simple case of not cutting your losses and turning back ...bag the peak another day.....he was playing Russian roulette being above tree line with that clear window...upper Jewel
    trail in fog is not a good place to be......I think he wasted valuable time down at the hut starting up towards Washington
    then turning around and back towards Monroe and then the crossover?..back up....not sure about that choice.....I think he should've stayed with the cog and baby stepped his way down since the wind didn't seem to be an issue. ....But again what do they say?...."the mountain suffers most fools ....
    Last edited by cragway; 02-26-2021 at 01:04 AM. Reason: Spelling

  14. #29
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Hey, who tries for Monroe, Washington and Jefferson solo as winter out-and-back? Crazy in the best condx!
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  15. #30
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Hey, who tries for Monroe, Washington and Jefferson solo as winter out-and-back? Crazy in the best condx!
    He was making good time up to the hut, had it been clear he would have made it. Bob is in good aerobic shape.

    No where does he mention seeing others and on NETC there were two Monroe trips that were attempts. (& I'm slightly puzzled how you get to LOTC and don't make the 3/10ths trip up Monroe unless the weather is so ugly getting to the hut was high risk. To be fair, one of the reports mentioned they had been up Monroe several times before) It's a bunch of time planned on a broad alpine area where good visibility over a 2-4 hours, depending again on fitness. The fact went back and forth on Monroe and ended up on wrond trails south of Washington showed he had very limited visibility for a fair amount of time.

    As Day Trip and other's mentioned so close to the end of his solo winter list, a case of list fever had him looking to knock off the three peaks. I don't know when he had planned this trip, however, he probably should have done it in September or October also so he could make mental notes on how the C-Path wove around the Lakes, where it stayed west generally of the highest part of the ridgeline before reaching the cone. Lesson learned, hopefully (and by others reading so they don't have to learn it themselves)
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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