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Thread: A couple of recent Helicopter Rescues at BSP

  1. #1
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    A couple of recent Helicopter Rescues at BSP

    Lots of slip and fall injuries in both the Whites and BSP in the last week.


    Doubletop Mountain
    https://bangordailynews.com/2021/08/...unty-mountain/
    I can guess where she got in trouble on that steep stretch just off the south summit.

    Katahdin
    https://bangordailynews.com/2021/08/...-off-katahdin/
    Plenty of spots on the Hunt trail to get in trouble.



    An earlier in the summer from Chimney Pond
    https://bangordailynews.com/2021/06/...s-on-katahdin/

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    Senior Member MikePS's Avatar
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    Always loved the trail from the south to DT, for many years my favorite Baxter hike. But there a couple of hundred yards of that trail that are truly precarious, I now only use the approach from the north. As a solo hiker it could be a day or two before other hikers come along, I have done that trail many times without seeing a single other person. Hope everyone is ok.

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikePS View Post
    Always loved the trail from the south to DT, for many years my favorite Baxter hike. But there a couple of hundred yards of that trail that are truly precarious...
    That trail seems like a good candidate for a few ladders. I remember hanging off tree roots going up/down the steep section below the summit.

    Cheaper than stone work, quick to build and install, and a lot safer than present situation.
    A man needs to know his limitations -- Dirty Harry / Clint Eastwood

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    That trail seems like a good candidate for a few ladders. I remember hanging off tree roots going up/down the steep section below the summit.

    Cheaper than stone work, quick to build and install, and a lot safer than present situation.
    Wooden ladders will deteriorate, and become a liability over time. If they are replaced before that, great, otherwise, not so much.
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    There are such things as aluminum or steel ladders There is an old short section of steel fire tower ladder on the north approach to Doublehead from Nesowadnehunk campground . If open faced steel C shaped rungs can be inserted into holes drilled into the rocks they last a long time. The Hunt Trail (AT) up Katahdin has a few insert type steel hand holds and I think a couple of rung type assists.

    The choices on the south approach problems to Doublehead are a major very expensive and time consuming relocation like was done on the lower Abol trail over three seasons or installation of climbing aides on the current route. I do not see the ADK approach of rope hanging down steep section as something BSP would do. I do not think there are any prohibitions on ladders or rungs at BSP but the preference seems to be relocations adding in switchbacks with drainage control. I have heard but not seen that the major rebuild of the Abol trail is already suffering issues in spots with erosion caused by water running down the trail due to a combination of steep pitches and ineffective water diversion structures. Al three trails get a lot of use and there is a significant issue that many folks would rather walk around steps than use them. Unless thoroughly built up with scree walls and vegetation, rock steps tend to end up with ditches on either side of them by folks taking the perceived easier path around them.

    MATC tends to use the rock steps and scree wall approach but its time consuming, the major rebuild of the AT on the East slope of Whitecap took over 20 years of pro trail crew time. They also subscribe to the approach used by RMC that if one person can move a rock its not heavy enough for a step. The section of the AT in the Barren Chairback Range in the western side of the 100 mile wilderness is an impressive piece of work where rocks slabs were mined and then drilled and split to make a long series of steps up a slope.

    BTW, BSP closed the Marston Slide trail decades ago as rebuilding it to be safe was not possible. They replaced it with the current Marston Trail (which is suffering erosion issues in the steep section above the pond).
    Last edited by peakbagger; 08-19-2021 at 09:27 AM.

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    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    We are going through the same thing here in the ADKs. The current position can be neatly summarized: "We don't want to "improve" a section of trail with aids, so our only option is very difficult re-routes. And we have no resources to complete the very difficult re-routes. So we will accomplish nothing at all. And by the way, thanks for your tax money."

    Steps cut into rock, and metal ladders and rungs do last a very long time. Look at the rock steps the Anasazi made thousands of years ago that are still usable.

    But here, we only just recently got intelligent enough to start using pressure treated wood for ladders and boardwalks. And we are stuck with a massive inventory of rotted out "natural material' trail maintenance work left over from decades of stupidity, that will probably never get repaired (at least not in my lifetime).

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    We are going through the same thing here in the ADKs. The current position can be neatly summarized: "We don't want to "improve" a section of trail with aids, so our only option is very difficult re-routes. And we have no resources to complete the very difficult re-routes. So we will accomplish nothing at all. And by the way, thanks for your tax money."

    Steps cut into rock, and metal ladders and rungs do last a very long time. Look at the rock steps the Anasazi made thousands of years ago that are still usable.

    But here, we only just recently got intelligent enough to start using pressure treated wood for ladders and boardwalks. And we are stuck with a massive inventory of rotted out "natural material' trail maintenance work left over from decades of stupidity, that will probably never get repaired (at least not in my lifetime).
    Pressure treated wood certainly lasts longer, but ...

    there are downsides.
    Tom Rankin
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    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    These things have long been known, and were accepted as a tradeoff. Certainly, I don't plan on eating the wooden steps...

    But the manufacture of CCA treated wood stopped in 2004, and the current wood is ACQ treated; much less toxic.

    Up to date, more balanced info here:

    https://info.fbibuildings.com/blog/cca-vs-acq-lumber

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    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    These things have long been known, and were accepted as a tradeoff. Certainly, I don't plan on eating the wooden steps...

    But the manufacture of CCA treated wood stopped in 2004, and the current wood is ACQ treated; much less toxic.

    Up to date, more balanced info here:

    https://info.fbibuildings.com/blog/cca-vs-acq-lumber
    I was told by the DEC that it is this change of formulation that led to the current use of pressure-treated wood in the Adirondacks.

  10. #10
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Thanks, TEO; that's good info.

    DEC should have always used pressure treated, even in the CCA days. No material harm in use on a hiking trail. But at least they finally came to their senses. Now if we can get some of NY's 200 BILLION $ budget to repair all the rotted out trails, that would be a real breakthrough!

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