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

  1. #61
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    Did you participate in the AMC Bulletin Boards before they were abandoned? This thread seems to be similar to some of theirs. When I started following the AMC site, I noticed that many of the opinions did not seem to be based on people's actual experiences but more on what was in the AMC lesson plan for the course.
    I remember the AMC BB quite fondly. Towards the end it featured some real flamers including one literal flamer who advocated taking a flamethrower to the summit of a few viewless 4K peaks.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

  2. #62
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Lots of people do it as a loop rather than an out-and-back (out-and-back to Jefferson.) I've done this solo twice (well, once with my dog.) I've done all the Presidential and Franconia peaks solo (or just me and my dog) in winter more than once. Wouldn't do it in questionable weather but during a forecasted high pressure period, not scary at all.

    I actually considered that the post by Bob on New England Trail Conditions might be a troll, but he's posted lots of other trips, so maybe not.

    Tim
    He's no troll. I contacted him a while ago and let him know his report was quite the rage on VFTT. Although he gave me permission to post his response (lengthy), I will not do so. He wondered why nobody else contacted him if they had questions, etc. He will not however, respond to any unfair criticism.
    Last edited by maineguy; 02-26-2021 at 02:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Now that's what I'm talking about. Thanks. I should be saying "probability" and "consequences" = "risk". I don't do well in written form. I get too wordy. These conversations are much more fun over a fine beverage in real time.
    Along that line of reasoning, you could say that probability decreases as competence (rather than experience) increases and also that some people are comfortable accepting higher levels of risk than others.

  4. #64
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    It was with the wind chill and 2016 sounds right but I'm not sure. I used to keep notes and stuff for a lot of this stuff but I don't anymore. I started Winter hiking in 2013 and it took me a few years to accumulate the gear. My Kestrel meter battery tends to turn off below about -15 deg F if it is exposed to temperatures that low for any length of time so it would be fair to say I could have been off a few degrees. I went off the calculation on the meter. It was the coldest I can remember it here since we moved to the area in 2003. We live on the North side of a roughly 400' elevation hill and we're probably a third of the way up the hill. I doubt there was any kind of inversion thing going like you'd see in a legit valley. I'm in farm country. I suppose I could have my wife find the photo on her Facebook page because she thought I was nuts but I doubt she'll want to take the time to research.
    Probably would have been better to qualify your statement of -35F to begin with. The difference between -15F and -35F ambient temperature is significant. Especially if the individual is spending a night outside. Which intern IMO flaws a lot of your survival model or at least from my personal experiences. There is a lot of voodoo surrounding "Wind Chill". The perception of cold can be different from one person to the next. I have spent many nights outdoor in the cold including -40F at altitude. I'm glad to have a stove at that temperature. Minus 15 F without an external heat source while bivyed in a snow cave would be rough but at -35F ambient is another realm. Let alone if you were laying on the surface somewhere. Hot liquids can go a long way to heating core temperatures with or without multiple external layers. Especially at -35F. https://www.vox.com/2016/1/19/107883...-chill-meaning
    Last edited by skiguy; 02-26-2021 at 03:05 PM.
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  5. #65
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Probably would have been better to qualify your statement of -35F to begin with. The difference between -15F and -35F ambient temperature is significant. Especially if the individual is spending a night outside. Which intern IMO flaws a lot of your survival model. There is a lot of voodoo surrounding "Wind Chill". The perception of cold can be different from one person to the next. I have spent many nights outdoor in the cold including -40F at altitude. I'm glad to have a stove at that temperature. Minus 15 F without an external heat source while bivyed in a snow cave would be rough but at -35F ambient is another realm. Let alone if you were laying on the surface somewhere. Hot liquids can go a long way to heating core temperatures with or without multiple external layers. Especially at -35F. https://www.vox.com/2016/1/19/107883...-chill-meaning
    I get what you're saying. Clarification would have helped. And to reiterate, I am not suggesting this should be everyone's go to system for any Winter hike in any Winter conditions. It is what I do in the conditions I am willing to go out in. I'm not going out in - 35 deg F weather which is why I figured it would be a fair test of what I could expect my stuff to do in the conditions I personally might find myself in. I plan for day of/overnight/day after on my day trips and generally some combination of absolute temp/wind chill of - 20 deg F means I'm staying home. I really don't get why this is being superimposed generically on this or any other scenario. My only point was I don't think most people carry a sleeping bag or stove and then tried, again apparently miserably, to provide some context for why I personally do not. I did not suggest my thought process was "correct" or proper.

    The primary point I am failing dismally trying to make is that the only effective means of trapping heat in a survival situation is not a sleeping bag. Everyone seems to be looking at this in a binary fashion as if a sleeping bag has a 100% survival rate and anything else is 0%. You ever watch bushcraft videos on YouTube and see the crazy #### they use to go camping in frigid weather? So if you are not using a sleeping bag your logic is flawed, you are inadequately and irresponsibly prepared? That is just not the case in most scenarios and certainly not in mine, which is the only one I care about. A sleeping bag is just a bag of insulation in a face fabric so it doesn't blow away. So is my jacket and pants. So if I have the same fabrics, the same loft down and the same weight of down in my jacket and pants what makes this intrinsically so radically and thoughtlessly different and inadequate than a sleeping bag made of the same materials? That simply makes no sense. I think we're talking about a scenario where a sleeping bag might be, say 85% effective in the situation versus say maybe 72% effective with a jacket and pants. Not 100% and 0%. I'm not quite sure why this is perceived as such a radical and illogical notion.

    And if your sleeping bag is a 30 deg 650 loft down bag is it better than a coat and pants with 300 g of 900 fill down? The type and specs of the sleeping bag and jacket/pants in this scenario vastly alter the probabilities of a bad outcome, as does the conditions you find yourself in with said items. There is nothing binary about this decision as so many seem to believe. A sleeping bag is a sleeping bag, not a magic lamp.

    EDIT> And just to thoroughly hit this thought home, the guy in question in this incident had NONE of these things and survived. I believe the overnight low was - 7 deg F. But yet in my bivy, jacket and pants I'm doomed to certain death from my inadequate and illogical preparation? The more I reread these posts the less this criticism makes any sense at all.
    Last edited by DayTrip; 02-26-2021 at 03:31 PM.
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  6. #66
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    He's no troll. I contacted him a while ago and let him know his report was quite the rage on VFTT. Although he gave me permission to post his response (lengthy), I will not do so. He wondered why nobody else contacted him if they had questions, etc. He will not however, respond to any unfair criticism.
    What would he consider fair criticism? (some, none, a little?) He survived and got quite a bit lower, he had an adventure and kept all digits, all good.

    He owes us nothing, what did his wife have to say when he got home? I'm thinking he hopefully learned something but he doesn't owe any of us that. I read the report which seemed to cover what he did & it's a trail conditions site so he did that. How does he think he did? Would he change anything? If so, what and why?
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    He's no troll. I contacted him a while ago and let him know his report was quite the rage on VFTT. Although he gave me permission to post his response (lengthy), I will not do so. He wondered why nobody else contacted him if they had questions, etc. He will not however, respond to any unfair criticism.
    I started out wondering, but then I searched NE Trail Conditions and found a bunch more posts, so I dismissed the troll idea rather quickly, but it did go into way more detail than the average post does (I am at best an occasional contributer and reader myself.)

    You should know by now that VFTT would rather speculate wildly than wait and get the actual facts! That's been demonstrated a thousand times over on pretty much every rescue thread ever!

    Tim
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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    A sleeping bag is just a bag of insulation in a face fabric so it doesn't blow away. So is my jacket and pants. So if I have the same fabrics, the same loft down and the same weight of down in my jacket and pants what makes this intrinsically so radically and thoughtlessly different and inadequate than a sleeping bag made of the same materials? That simply makes no sense.
    Look at the problem from a different perspective. Let's say you are organizing a winter day hike with a group of friends who don't own high-quality down jackets and pants. But they do own enough warm clothing for the conditions that are expected. You want to be prepared for an emergency, you don't expect them to go out and spend $1000.00 for something they probably will never wear, so you make a rule that someone in the group will carry your down sleeping bag and foam pad in case someone gets injured and can't walk.

  9. #69
    Junior Member Mitts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post

    As an example, let's say on a hike on a particular trail I have a 90% risk of falling but the consequence of falling is I land in 2 feet of fluffy powder, all my friends get a good belly laugh and I get up unscathed. I took a high risk of falling but the consequences of a fall were inconsequential. So overall, I don't find this risky. Conversely, let's say I'm on the knife edge on Katahdin and have only a 1% chance of falling but if I do fall I die. Compared to my first scenario, my risk of a fall is way lower. But I'd be far less likely to take on that 1% versus the 90% risk of making a snow angel. You have to look at the two pieces independently, and for all the individual variables, to arrive at an overall "risk" assessment. Does that make sense?
    No! None of this makes sense! This is exactly what I'm talking about! You're conflating risk with severity.

    Risk = likelihood X severity

    You change the "likelihood" in your two scenarios. This is wrong. The likelihood of tripping and falling should be independent of the location in your two examples. The severity is much higher in one case which means the risk of a negative outcome is higher in that scenario.

    Let's take another 2 scenarios with a medical event resulting in a 6 hours loss of consciousness. Scenario A) is in the summer and scenario B) is in the winter. With equal likelihood, which season has more risk?

    Hiking without a stove, pad, and sleeping bag in the winter is more risky than taking those things. Period. I'm not judging your level of risk. I also hike in winter without those items often and know that when I do I take on more risk. I'm objecting to the claim that you have sufficiently mitigated that risk with puffy pants.

  10. #70
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitts View Post
    No! None of this makes sense! This is exactly what I'm talking about! You're conflating risk with severity.

    Risk = likelihood X severity

    You change the "likelihood" in your two scenarios. This is wrong. The likelihood of tripping and falling should be independent of the location in your two examples. The severity is much higher in one case which means the risk of a negative outcome is higher in that scenario.

    Let's take another 2 scenarios with a medical event resulting in a 6 hours loss of consciousness. Scenario A) is in the summer and scenario B) is in the winter. With equal likelihood, which season has more risk?

    Hiking without a stove, pad, and sleeping bag in the winter is more risky than taking those things. Period. I'm not judging your level of risk. I also hike in winter without those items often and know that when I do I take on more risk. I'm objecting to the claim that you have sufficiently mitigated that risk with puffy pants.
    Thank you for this. I do appreciate it. As jfb pointed out in a subsequent post, I was interchanging the term "risk" with "probability" inadvertently in several of my posts which indeed makes my replies make far less sense than what I thought I was saying. PROBABILITY(likelihood) x Consequence(Severity) = Risk. What you state in your reply is the point I was trying to make so when it was being argued I didn't get it. I agree 100% with your "consciousness" example. My fall example was actually two separate examples I probably also mangled by putting so close together so let me just stop using more bad examples and just say that we're on the same page with this. I get what you're saying, I see the confusion I caused and I agree with you. I was not conveying my point well by flip-flopping on the terminology.

    And just to one last time point out that I never mentioned the merit of taking or not taking these items (I did not include a pad in my comments). I simply was saying that I don't think the average hiker has a stove or a sleeping bag on a day hike. If you randomly surveyed hikers at various trail heads I think the statistics would sort that out. You seemed to be under the impression I was advocating for this approach. I was just trying to explain why I personally do it.

    And lastly on the sleeping bag vs pants/jacket thing I've tried exhaustively to explain this and not promoting it as better or safer. In combination with a bivy sack and pad I feel this provides comparable protection to a similar weight sleeping bag. Just as good? Maybe not. Again depends on the materials and construction of each item. But hardly at the bottom of the risk scale with having none of these items. I have mitigated my risk but probably not to the degree or comfort level that your system provides or you desire. I think the gap in risk everyone is referring to is not nearly as large as it is being made out to be.

    But I'm sick to death about talking about sleeping bags so I'll respectively still disagree with you on that point. I do appreciate the effort to go over the risk analysis part and explain what you were seeing versus just expressing your frustration with me.
    “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. #71
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    Look at the problem from a different perspective. Let's say you are organizing a winter day hike with a group of friends who don't own high-quality down jackets and pants. But they do own enough warm clothing for the conditions that are expected. You want to be prepared for an emergency, you don't expect them to go out and spend $1000.00 for something they probably will never wear, so you make a rule that someone in the group will carry your down sleeping bag and foam pad in case someone gets injured and can't walk.
    I would reply then that everyone in this group is taking on a somewhat higher level of risk by not having the jackets/pants (or sleeping bags) that the possible conditions would dictate and the risk of that scenario is being lowered for one potential person by having one sleeping bag. And I would also say that this is a perfectly acceptable and reasonable solution that I would have no problem doing. The level of added risk is marginal.

    Affordability is probably one of the top, if not the top, reason(s) we take on additional risk. Convenience is probably the other. Good gear is expensive and having all the proper stuff is heavy. I think that's why most people justify not taking it.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  12. #72
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitts View Post
    No! None of this makes sense! This is exactly what I'm talking about! You're conflating risk with severity.

    Risk = likelihood X severity

    You change the "likelihood" in your two scenarios. This is wrong. The likelihood of tripping and falling should be independent of the location in your two examples. The severity is much higher in one case which means the risk of a negative outcome is higher in that scenario.

    Let's take another 2 scenarios with a medical event resulting in a 6 hours loss of consciousness. Scenario A) is in the summer and scenario B) is in the winter. With equal likelihood, which season has more risk?

    Hiking without a stove, pad, and sleeping bag in the winter is more risky than taking those things. Period. I'm not judging your level of risk. I also hike in winter without those items often and know that when I do I take on more risk. I'm objecting to the claim that you have sufficiently mitigated that risk with puffy pants.
    Rescue me Doug Paul, too much math... I should delete this now.....

    However, the equation has many more variables in it though. Have I gotten a decent amount of the sleep the last couple of nights, we all have different senses of equilibrium/balance, am I hydrated, early stage of hyperthermia, am I fatigued, did I get lazy?

    No injuries due to hiking, (knock, knock,) however trip and falls that have happened have been near the end, when I've been tired or assumed I didn't have to pay attention to the trail as I was within earshot of the road or could see my car even. We are react differently to adrenaline so challenging footing you may do better at as you're pumped and highly attentive. (Providing you aren't climbing over your skill level.) I've never slipped on a headwall, a ladder, via ferrata, However, Greylock, The Crawford Path low on Pierce, high on Cabot, all on the way down, one I could see my car, the other was within 10 minutes., those are other stories.

    Where do medical conditions factor into the risk factor? Obesity, Hypertension? vertigo, diabetes? Symptoms has balance, I've never felt them, will I next time?

    Yes, if you are in a group, a pad and bag should be brought. If you're solo and unconscious in the winter for six hours, unless you got all wrapped up first, you likely may be dead. (I certainly don't wear enough walking uphill to stop moving for six hours in the winter, in the summer, that's a full nights sleep.)

    Risk Management, Risk Tolerance and Risk Avoidance are taken together, (or probability, I skipped most of my Stats classes) Technical Ice and Rock climbing are winter sports and falls are really bad. This is really more about what you've grown up with and what you are comfortable telling loved ones, I'm curious how much sleep Bob's wife got after he called and said I'll be out all night on Mt. Washington, I'll be fine, really....

    On an unrelated note, well, mountaineers and spouses. Beck Weather's Book is an exercise in Risk Tolerance and Risk avoidance. Up to Everest, he's risk tolerant and his wife is just tolerant. After Everest, her risk tolerance is zero and Beck's Risk Avoidance formula changes quicker than New England weather.Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Mike P.; 02-26-2021 at 06:45 PM.
    Have fun & be safe
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  13. #73
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    He's no troll. I contacted him a while ago and let him know his report was quite the rage on VFTT. Although he gave me permission to post his response (lengthy), I will not do so. He wondered why nobody else contacted him if they had questions, etc. He will not however, respond to any unfair criticism.
    I briefly considered e-mailing him with gps recommendation but then I thought that it would be a bit arrogant to make suggestions to someone who survived in conditions in which most likely I would perish myself. I'm pretty sure he has already analyzed his trip over and over again and will draw appropriate conclusions for his future hikes.

    Actually, this trip report reminded me of a similar case in 2015 when a mother with two kids got lost descending Mt. Marcy and survived the night in similar conditions: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2...-on-marcy.html

    I think there are good survival lessons coming from both events.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I would reply then that everyone in this group is taking on a somewhat higher level of risk by not having the jackets/pants (or sleeping bags) that the possible conditions would dictate and the risk of that scenario is being lowered for one potential person by having one sleeping bag. And I would also say that this is a perfectly acceptable and reasonable solution that I would have no problem doing. The level of added risk is marginal.
    Right. Now, look at this gear list for the ADK Winter School and you'll see that everyone must bring a puffy jacket and pants and the group carries one sleeping bag, pad and stove for the group. https://d7201642-0e35-436f-bdae-f866...ac1f4c45fe.pdf

    I can imagine that if one person has to use the sleeping bag, one or more members of the group will be expected to wait with the injured person while wearing "only" a puffy jacket and pants until a rescue party arrives.

  15. #75
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Affordability is probably one of the top, if not the top, reason(s) we take on additional risk. Convenience is probably the other. Good gear is expensive and having all the proper stuff is heavy. I think that's why most people justify not taking it.
    There is no justifying anything here. It's complete rationalization. This is the kind of mindset that get's people killed. As I mentioned in another thread already. Knowing one's limitations of the terrain in direct correlation to one's gear is paramount for survival. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
    Last edited by skiguy; 02-27-2021 at 01:32 PM.
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