Forum Index > Trail Talk > Hiker Safety, tips, close calls, lessons learned
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
wiki summary
 
This wiki post can be edited by any member
Member





wiki summary
 
This wiki post can be edited by any member
PostWed Dec 13, 2006 12:21 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Any member can edit this post

What is the point of this post?


Wiki summmary last edited by ratherbhiking on Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:10 pm (this post can be edited by any member)
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
AR
724



Joined: 22 Aug 2007
Posts: 1503 | TRs
Location: Saratoga Passage
AR
724
PostSun Jul 13, 2014 10:08 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I can't stand the thought of having to carry those things.
Yeah, I'm just going to wrap that thing around and not harpoon myself in the process.

--------------
...wait...are we just going to hang here or go hiking?
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
mehitabel
archyologist



Joined: 23 Mar 2009
Posts: 513 | TRs
Location: the Emerald City
mehitabel
archyologist
PostMon Aug 11, 2014 8:08 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
If you are planning to do trips where you might have steep  snow  or moderate frozen snow, you need to have an ice axe, and you need to have spent  a few hours on a steep slope with safe runout practicing self arrest from all possible positions, including backwards head first. My  Black Diamond axe weighs 3/4 pound and unless I know for sure the snow is gone or there are no steep places I carry it. Poles are no good for steep stuff.  And you need to have a leash and keep the leash on your wrist. Once when climbing I dropped my iceaxe onto a dicey slope and fortunately my husband was able to retrieve it or I would not have been safe descending. Now I always keep the leash on tight.

Poles are nice for  moderate snow, but on the other hand for moderate, unfrozen snow you don't need anything,  just need to know how to stop yourself by rolling so you face the snow and push yourself away from the snow while digging in your toes.

--------------
toujours gai toujours gai
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Siberian
Member
Member


Joined: 11 Nov 2014
Posts: 2 | TRs

Siberian
Member
PostWed Nov 12, 2014 8:14 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I think the point of this post -- in answer to someone's question -- is to bear in mind safety rules while participating in outdoor activities -- and that is very wise.

A co-worker stated to me once, that every sport has its own rules -- and if you don't follow those rules, eventually something bad can happen and then you will not be able to enjoy that sport -- or worse.

I see snowboarders every year --- and snowmobilers -- head to the passes when every area in the mountains is high risk for avalanches.  How many of you out there faithfully check the NW Avalanche Center's avalanche forecast before you venture out into avalanche terrain?  If you don't, you're making a huge mistake.  You're flirting with death.

I am a dog musher, and it is really, really important to me to get the dogs on a snow run.  But there are times when I will not even drive over the mountain passes in my dog truck, when the risk is high for avalanches at every elevation -- simply because there have been several instances in recent years where motorists were hit by avalanches on the interstate when it was supposedly safe from avalanches -- right after DOT did avalanche control.

You have to use your head, and not simply follow your emotions.  It is not the end of the world if you don't go climbing, hiking, snow shoeing, X-country skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, or dog sledding -- or whatever you want to do out there -- if conditions just are not right.  But it can be the end of your world as you know it if you don't pay attention and follow good common sense.

The snow in the Pacific Northwest tends to be wet -- lately even in Eastern Washington where the climate is drier -- and that snow is as hard as concrete when it settles -- you won't be able to free yourself if you are hit by a slab avalanche with that type of snow.  One year, up at Snoqualmie Pass, there was a rash of avalanches that totally wiped out the first section of the Snow Lake Trail; there must have been close to 100 acres of timber blown down like toothpicks, totally stripped of their limbs and foliage -- that mountains side looked like a scene from Mount St. Helens.  I'm telling you -- you do not want to mess with avalanches.  The force of them is beyond anything that you can possibly imagine.  And when there is faceted snow beneath other layers in the snow pack making everything extremely unstable -- you can even remote trigger an avalanche from a slope way up above you from down below where you are standing.

So take an avalanche course and learn about this winter hazard and follow good common sense.  Be safe out there -- so that you can live to see another day and enjoy the snow sport of your choice well into old age.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
mastertangler
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Feb 2015
Posts: 67 | TRs
Location: florida
mastertangler
Member
PostSun Feb 22, 2015 7:16 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Easy to overestimate your abilities......never been down? Think your indestructible? Think again......

Give yourself an "out" in case you have to bail and a way to contact the outside world if your solo.

Several years ago I had an outfitter drop me, my canoe and supplies for a two week trip in a fairly remote wilderness setting (Woodland Caribou Provincial Park). His instructions were to pick me up in 2 weeks at another distant entry point.

First day I decided time was waning and on the last long portage of the day I decided to load up and do 2 trips across the trail instead of 3. A wee little stumble and a popping sound put me down hard as my knee decided it was time to reveal a previous injury. I had to crawl back to the waters edge, fortunately a rare sandbar. Unable to stand I crawled about and set up camp for the night. Sometime in the night I decided to force the issue and straightened my leg......nice loud popping sound which hurt like heck. At least it was back in place and I could actually stand up and hobble around.

But I was in the proverbial rock and a hard place. Although I was only 1 day from an entry point, there was no vehicle waiting and in a park which receives precious few visitors. I could stick it out for a week hoping someone will come along but then I would have to ask a huge sacrifice and imposition, evacuate me......and not just back to the entry point but then 2 hours down a 2 track washed out trail of a road.

What to do? In the end I pressed the button on the SPOT and 3 hours later a helicopter with 2 bad ass S&R guys were loading me and my gear out. Funny, it was the first trip with the SPOT and I picked it up primarily to give my wife some peace of mind by sending "I'm OK" messages each night. After all, I've never been hurt in the woods.......

--------------
Lets Go!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Pyrites
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Sep 2014
Posts: 929 | TRs
Location: South Sound
Pyrites
Member
PostThu Jun 25, 2015 4:44 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Why aren't mobile cell towers such as this brought in early in someS&R efforts, or are they?

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/photograph/4286/5/42325/
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
cdestroyer
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Sep 2015
Posts: 277 | TRs
Location: montana
cdestroyer
Member
PostWed Oct 14, 2015 5:01 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I have never been lost. I am one of those poor souls with some kind of built in gps system. Even as a child when after a weekend of camping and returning home in the dark, dad would set me in the front seat and say, okay how do we get home and I would point out the turns and roads, never made a mistake...This is not to say I have not been turned around on occasion especially in some areas of western washington where the brush is quite dense and one area looks very much like another..You just need to keep your wits and backtrack.
When I hike I carry a lensatic compass and maps of the area and I have aready studied the map and know pretty much they lay of the land. I make it a point that after 20 minutes of hiking even on the only trail available to turn around and study the back trail. This keeps you from wondering on your hike out who put that boulder there or I dont remember that downed tree being there..Gee maybe during the night someone moved everything.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
cdestroyer
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Sep 2015
Posts: 277 | TRs
Location: montana
cdestroyer
Member
PostTue Oct 20, 2015 9:18 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
A lot of very good advice in these posts. I have never hiked any foreign country so I can't comment on what to do there. Western Montana where I grew up is quite mountainous and the weather can change overnight. In the olden days equipment was no where what was available many years later. I have found in cold temps at high altitudes butane type bic lighters tend to not gasify/light. The old zippo lighters when properly filled and the wick trimmed short will last a couple of weeks. Cheat fire starters are also a good idea. I make my own from a pitch stump. I cut them into two inch lengths and they can be shaved off into smaller pieces. I always carry a magnesium firestarter. It has a short learning curve to use properly but when lit it burns at 2000 degrees and even damp wood found under a log after a soaking rain will ignite.

My emergency medical kit contains: 4x4 bandages, surgical tape, scissors, scalpel, sutures, a small bottle of iodine, aspirin, butterfly bandages, a whistle and the usual assortment of standard bandaids. I put it all in a water resistant plastic bag inside a tin box. My sister in law glued her fingers together once with quick glue and I realized the use of that glue to seal a cut so I also included a bottle of that.

I don't like  D or C type flashlights because of their weight and because most have either a slide or push button switch which can be activated by accident unless you reverse one of the batteries. I prefer the metal AA flashlights that require you to turn one end to activate. I carry two of these. As mentioned a head mounted light was a good idea.

I also include several flavors of high calorie/protein bars for that quick energy either while hiking or emergency food.

I think I mentioned I carry a compass/map and have learned how to navigate by sighting on a distant high point and map location.
I mostly hike alone but someone knows where I am hiking.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Pliny
Member
Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2004
Posts: 18 | TRs

Pliny
Member
PostWed Mar 09, 2016 11:59 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I have seen the ice ax/self arrest video before.  What strikes me, is that what have been taught, and teach, is how to do a self arrest without crampons, and that includes getting your toes in.  The toes actually do a lot of the stopping.  99% of the time in the Olympics when we are no steep snow we are not using crampons.   I once fell in the cascades and arrested just before going over a cliff.  I am sure glad I used my toes and put all my weight on the toes and ice ax; the fastest way to arrest.  When I have arrested a rope team with crampons on, I certainly did use my front points.
PS I just looked it up in the anniversary Ed. of Freedom of the Hills and it says on p.344 that the self arrest is traditionally taught w/o crampons may not be a good idea with crampons, but on the other hand, it says, they may actually help.  Come to think of it, the class I help teach does do quick arrests in snow when on a rope in hard steep snow (not ice).

I recommend practicing the self arrest annually.  why not practice both ways and see what you think?
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Antipeople4hiking
Member
Member


Joined: 14 May 2016
Posts: 7 | TRs

Antipeople4hiking
Member
PostSat May 14, 2016 2:47 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ya there is no point in this post confused.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
mbarto
mbarto



Joined: 17 Apr 2017
Posts: 2 | TRs
Location: bothell
mbarto
mbarto
PostMon Apr 17, 2017 9:50 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I always download a detailed area map (google maps on my Samsung) onto my phone before heading out.  If going overnight I always put my phone in airplane mode when reception gets spotty.  GPS still works and on more than one occasion I have guided myself back onto trails I'd lost.  My phone will easily last several days without powering down if in airplane mode.

Personally, I also find it helpful to study the satellite imagery at least a couple of times before my trips (with google earth you can actually follow your route in 3D.  no I don't work for google, but they have excellent maps).  This way I have a pretty good sense of the topography in my head.  I still bring the maps, but I have more confidence when I can match up my actual surroundings with the mental imagery from studying the route.

And this has already been mentioned, but if you have even a moderately difficult water crossing, the weather forecast is for rain, and you have to return this way: seriously reconsider the crossing.  I ran into a sticky situation on a solo trip last summer and was forced to take a risk on my return trip that I really wish I hadn't.  It all worked out ok, but I had to cross a very wet, very slippery log over a very dangerous raging creek that had been pretty tame the day before.  Not the way I want to get my blood pumping on a Sunday morning.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 22768 | TRs
Location: Cle Elum
Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob
PostWed May 17, 2017 8:29 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
If you remember to occasionally look behind you as you're hiking, the return trip wont look so wrong.

--------------
"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
asdf
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 153 | TRs

asdf
Member
PostMon Jul 03, 2017 9:54 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Backpacker Joe wrote:
If you remember to occasionally look behind you as you're hiking, the return trip wont look so wrong.

Plus you might get a good view too!  At least, you'll get it earlier.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
owmyknees
Member
Member


Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 39 | TRs

owmyknees
Member
PostTue Sep 05, 2017 11:07 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I was coming down from Mt. Maude this weekend through Leroy Basin.  The trail threaded out, and I guess I followed a wrong thread.  After considering the map, I knew I was off trail, but I figured I would gradually traverse across the basin and join it below.  The brush got thicker and thicker, all sorts of slide alder, and I was crossing deep creek gullies every 100m or so.  It was super hot in all of that brush.  I couldn't see my footing, and I ended up toppling over and scraping up my arms.  I began to panic a bit.  Got cliffed out a few times and had to walk uphill to continue my traverse.  Very flow going.  But the brush appeared to be opening up, and I aimed for the point on my map where the Leroy Creek trail crossed the creek, thinking that the area there would be flatter. Eventually I found some very light evidence of human feet and followed that, eventually ending up at the trail.  On the trail on the way down, I remarked on how many cliffs there were that would have been impossible to descend from.

Scared and tired, but not really in danger.  When I was first off-trail, and considering I had not ascended through Leroy Basin but was doing a loop, I should have gone back uphill to find the trail.  But after Mt. Maude, and the Carne High Route the day before, I was following the path of least effort (which turned out to be the path of high effort).

Good learning experience.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
DadFly
Member
Member


Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 53 | TRs
Location: Redmond
DadFly
Member
PostFri Dec 29, 2017 11:04 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Avalanche Danger is HIGH today. Be careful this weekend!

https://www.nwac.us/

--------------
"May you live in interesting times"

Keith
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
DadFly
Member
Member


Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 53 | TRs
Location: Redmond
DadFly
Member
PostMon Jan 15, 2018 3:18 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Avalanche Danger is down to moderate.
https://www.nwac.us/

--------------
"May you live in interesting times"

Keith
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trail Talk > Hiker Safety, tips, close calls, lessons learned
  Happy Birthday payton, arcticlights69!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy