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peter707
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PostThu Dec 28, 2023 10:43 am 
Cotton sweatpants in what will soon turn into a whiteout & heavy snow on the Camp Muir route, November 7 2020
Cotton sweatpants in what will soon turn into a whiteout & heavy snow on the Camp Muir route, November 7 2020
I was new to mountains out here and wanted to get some experience. He had got touring skis so was fairly well equipped. We had signed up for an RMI trip but figured we'd give it a go to muir in the fall/winter to get some real experience low on the mountain. We'd made it to Muir before on a nice summer day. The forecast got worse from 'good enough' to 'bad' as it got closer but we still wanted to go. We were early so we got about 700' vert around rampart ridge while waiting for the gate at Longmire to open. 2/8 daylight hours have the gate shut in the AM. The stoke was high, and I insisted that we not just go to Muir but that we lap it! My friend laughed. The snow was solid enough to stand on without punching through. He offered me some extra snowshoes at Paradise but I said I didn't need them since I'd just walk on the snow??? The weather went from 'bad' to 'worse'. While probably a foot of fresh snow it had blown around into deep piles that I'd posthole to the waist. After 3 hours of max effort I only got to 7300ft from 5500ft (2.5 miles horizontal)! We turned around at about 12:50 and needless to say did not lap the Muir snowfield. My friend (on skis) was patient and stayed with me, which I very much appreciate. A solo skier joined our group since my friend was an expert navigator and had a Garmin and visibility was non-existent. My pants long been soaked, melted, and refrozen and were fairly solid and cold by this point. The snowboard down was fun once we got to the trees although many rocks were sticking up. I got the board for free after season renting it twice, I don't mind sliding on rocks. After this I learned about proper attire (not cotton), floatation (when you need it you really need it), navigation (gps with long battery life), weather forecast (check them), and tire chains (some people we saw drive into ditches without them). Not everyone was so lucky (or had as good friends) that same day on that hike - https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/he-came-back-from-the-dead-mount-rainier-missing-hiker-starts-to-recover-after-getting-rescued-amid-whiteout-conditions/

awilsondc
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coldrain108
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coldrain108
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PostThu Dec 28, 2023 10:44 am 
Duck Hole was our favorite hang out in the 'dacks. Sandy busted out the dam and it is now a wetland instead of a lake. We would canoe in from Henderson Lake, haul boats up to the Preston Ponds and make our way to the Duck Hole shelter. 1990 was my last visit to the Adirondacks, as I moved to SEA that year. Had my bachelor party at Duck Hole... I saw the Grateful Dead at the Lake Placid Olympic Arena in 1983. Amazing concert! One and only time I was drunk for a Dead show...lots of drinking establishments in Lake Placid, with rainbow colored drink specials. Got to hang with the band at the after-party.

Since I have no expectations of forgiveness, I don't do it in the first place. That loop hole needs to be closed to everyone.

Joseph
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kiliki
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PostFri Dec 29, 2023 10:33 am 
This is not as bad as many but Necklace Valley is infamous in our house. It was the worst bugs either of us had experienced and slogging up that last 3 miles being eaten alive was flat out miserable. Bugs were so bad that we camped at the very first spot we saw and I went in the tent, zipped it up and refused to come out. I hadn't brought anything to read so I basically just laid there all afternoon and evening. My husband tried fishing but within 10 minutes he and the dog were in the tent with me. We essentially just stayed in the tent and waited to go home first thing next day. There was also a slippery log crossing over a raging creek and our dog slipped on that but I don't want to think to hard about that to remember the details.

Chief Joseph
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ScottP
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PostFri Dec 29, 2023 6:36 pm 
October1987 After a mildly hungover pre-dawn start summiting Shuksan via the Fisher Chimneys, we meet two people during the descent fully dressed in rain gear on top of Winnies Slide. It is far from cold, let alone raining, and they are just hanging out at the top of Winnie's Slide, as if waiting for a bus. We trade greetings and then they describe being belayed up the pitch by the party we had passed going up while on our way down the Hellís Highway. They had decided to bail but their rope wasn't long enough to get to the bottom of the icy pitch. Taking pity on them because they seemed out of their element, we suggest they use our rope to get down the Slide. One rappel and a down climb in the medial moat later, Kevin, Doug and I impatiently wait an excessive amount of time to be sure that these guys get out of Winnieís grip safely. What should have taken minutes ends up costing us nearly an hour of waning daylight. With them finally on the flats of the Upper White Salmon, we bolt headlong down the Chimneys to our bivy site, arriving after the sun has set behind Mt. Baker. Wanting to reach the trail proper before full dark, we forego the few extra minutes it would take to fill our empty water bottles from the melt of the lower Curtis. It is a mistake that we will soon come to regret. Thirst sets in almost immediately. By the time we reach the main trail it is full on dark. As it turns out, my headlamp was the only one with functional batteries. Kevin and Doug spend the next few hours stumbling along behind, trying to remember where the obstacles lay from what they can see ahead of my feet. The casual trail from Lake Ann to the car at Austin Pass feels like a death march. Extremely parched and glycogen deficient, we plod along like zombies. A lint covered, partially melted pack of Rolos emerges from somewhere within Kevinís wool knickers. The treats provide us with just enough energy to make it up what turns out to be the crux of the trip; the last half mile of regulation forest service switchbacks. The drive back home is spent swilling Gatorade purchased in Glacier.

Chief Joseph
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Dick B
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PostFri Dec 29, 2023 7:50 pm 
catsp wrote:
Coming from Washington in late November we dropped onto Gatun DZ, basically a low swamp at the time. It was apparently believed that a good way to acclimate would be to immediately road march from there with our wet boots, full gear and wearing helmets to our accommodations at Fort Sherman. Though only 7 or 8 mostly flat miles IIRC, the unaccustomed heat and humidity took out a fair number of people. When those carrying the heavier weapons (e.g., mortars, recoilless rifles, machine guns) dropped out, others grabbed the weapons and added them to their kit. Forcefully taking an M60 away from the platoon sergeant (who had only recently picked it up from a faltering gunner himself) so he could be forced onto a transport vehicle before he toppled over with heat stroke remains one of the best moments of my life. (Iíve never claimed to have lofty accomplishments.) The funny epilogue is that a number of people ended up with significant blisters. Rather than have them laid up for any time, the medics instead injected them with something that was supposed to firm up the blisters and get the people quickly back on their feet. Apparently, however, a mistake was made, and they were essentially injecting them with something akin to rubbing alcohol. You could hear the screams and swears from three buildings over. Haha. Best hike from hell ever!
I will piggyback on catsp's post about his military hiking experience. Almost any forced march by the military is a hike from hell. In late '59 I was in the middle of basic at Ft Riley Kansas. The phase I think we were moving into was called transition training. That was where we fired live ammo at popup targets as we moved thru a field. We also did the crawl on our belly under barbed wire while a machine gun was firing live ammo over our heads. Our first warning was don't stand up!! Food mostly consisted of C rations. We slept on the ground under a 2-man shelter halves also known as pup tents. Poison oak was in abundance, and no way to completely avoid it. Rifles we carried were still the WW2 Garand M1. A great weapon but pretty heavy. I don't remember how long the training lasted, but I think we were out there for several days. I'd estimate that we were around 10 miles from our barracks. When it was time to be taken back, our transportation didn't show up for sone reason. I guess it was just delayed but no indication as to when the trucks might arrive. Our company commander was a young gung captain and he decided a hike back would make us better ground pounders, so that is what we did. We were the only company to do so. The others just waited and got a ride. Marching protocol was single file columns on each side of the road and keep 5 yards of separation. These were called route marches & had a few problems. We learned quickly, on marches, to try to get near the head of the column. As a guy marched and began to tire, he would naturally slow down and the 5 yard separation would lengthen. NCOs were constantly on the prowl to keep us closed up. A laggard would then speed up to close the gap which meant that everyone behind him had to do the same. It ended up where the poor guys at the end were almost always constantly running or quick stepping to keep up. We were all carrying full field packs, helmets, plus our rifle, so we had a pretty hefty pack. To make matters worse, the deuce and a halves finally showed up but we continued our march and receiving taunts from the companies that were mounted as they passed by. Sometime, well after dark we arrived. We were not allowed any relief until the rifles were cleaned and back in the armory. All our field gear had to be stowed and we had a shower. Then it was lights out.

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Get Out and Go
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PostSat Dec 30, 2023 3:48 pm 
Can't recall a particular hike from hell, but certainly the final knee-banging descent from the Enchantments to the Snow Lakes Trailhead could qualify as "hellish". After a long day, the parking lot comes into view, but the switchbacks don't seem to get you any closer to the end. waah.gif Likewise, I recall exiting the Little Wenatchee a few times under fading iight. You keep thinking the TH is just right up here, but it never is! confused.gif Hell is eternal! devilsmile.gif

"These are the places you will find me hiding'...These are the places I will always go." (Down in the Valley by The Head and The Heart) "Sometimes you're happy. Sometimes you cry. Half of me is ocean. Half of me is sky." (Thanks, Tom Petty)
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Bloated Chipmunk
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Bloated Chipmunk
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PostSun Dec 31, 2023 11:31 am 
Sill Hill Waterfall. Hours of bushwhacking through an old burn full of downed trees and poison oak, only to find the "waterfall" is just a lil trickle down a rock. Not recommended. down.gif

Home is where the hiking is. "Peaks that have come and gone four times should halt a man in his steps." -- William O. Douglas A balanced diet is a margarita in each hand.
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Bowregard
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PostSun Dec 31, 2023 12:32 pm 
When I was a teenager we used to vacation in British Columbia each summer to go fishing and we would hear stories about huge fish in some of the lakes that were difficult to access (i.e. 4X4 required or no road at all). One day my mom asked if I would like to hike into "Lost Lake" which was one that we had heard stories about. By my standards today the trail would be nothing but for my young self and Mother it was tough. But the part that turned it into a "trail from ..." was that once there we found roads, campsites, and people everywhere. I guess somebody built a road into it (that was not yet mapped) and people followed. Of course with that many people the great fishing was gone and I didn't catch a single fish there and all the effort we expended to get there could have been achieved with a short drive (if one knew about it). The only silver lining was that a nice family offered to give us a ride back to our car on the way out. smile.gif

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Hiker Mama
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PostTue Jan 09, 2024 8:16 pm 
Waaay back in the 80s, probably my first hike without an adult along, I was probably in my late teens and I brought a friend with me who had never backpacked and wasn't really ourdoorsy. Everything went wrong. It was the summer in the OR cascades, I think somewhere down near Mt. Jefferson but my memory isn't clear on that. My parents dropped us off at the trailhead and were camping at a nearby lake. We hiked in most of the way OK, but when we got to the first lake there was supposed to be a junction with a trail to the second lake that we would camp at. We thought we had found the trail to the second lake, but it ended up being a game trail probably, because it soon petered out. We were following the creek between the two lakes, and the slope got steeper and steeper. I could read a topo map, and I knew exactly where we were, but we weren't on a trail. It was hot and buggy, and I had made some homemade "hardtack" for snacks that was completely inedible. We were running out of water, and this was before the days of filters. My friend at one point slipped on the steep slope, and scraped the side of her thigh up pretty badly. Why we didn't turn around, I'm not sure, but we eventually made it to the second lake, but the main campsites were on the other side, and there was what looked like an uncrossable outlet stream that we didn't feel like we could make it over there. I thought, there should be a trail around the lake, but this one didn't have one. There were some empty camps on the side we were on, so we made camp as it was getting to be dinner time. My dad had given me one of those sterno stoves to use to cook on and boil water, and it totally didn't work, so we had to gather firewood, which was wet, to make a horrible smoky fire and try to boil water to make our ramen. After a super long time, we had a pot full of smoky tasting stagnant lake water that even Tang couldn't disguise. The sun started going down, and the sky started to glow - a huge thunderhead was growing and rumbling right toward us. It stalled right over us and we experienced torrential rain and the most intense thunderstorm of my life. My parents were back at their camp, terrified in their car, and terrified for us. I had just read an article about a Scout group that had taken shelter under some trees in a thunderstorm and got struck by lightning, and it gave signs that you are in danger of being struck. The hairs on my arms were standing on end, and I was sure we were going to die. Water was running through our tent, so I reasoned that even if we didn't get struck directly, we'd get electrocuted through the water. In this fictional scenario, my friend would die and I would survive and have to deal with it. Anyway, the storm eventually blew away, and somehow we slept in our wet bags, hungry and thirsty. I worried all night about how we were going to be getting back to the right trail. But when we woke in the morning, there were kids playing in the outlet stream and it turned out to be very easy to cross. We crossed right over, and the people camped over there asked us how we got there because they hadn't seen us hike past them. dizzy.gif We had an uneventful hike out, except that it was hot and we could barely swallow our smoke-tinged drinking water. So many mistakes made on that hike, it's a wonder more awful things didn't occur. Could have been a lot worse. My friend is still my friend all these years later, though she's never gone hiking with me again. embarassedlaugh.gif I didn't tell my parents the full story of what had happened until just a few years ago. They were just happy we had survived the thunderstorm.

My hiking w/ kids site: www.thehikermama.com

zimmertr
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