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  1. #21
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    This and also perhaps not bringing a tent/tarp is something that the current system of reserving shelters sort of breeds, and a good argument against it. I do feel this is a flaw of the current system, also pushing people to make their reservations (which I have seen) seems like a liability.
    Any GSMNP ranger is going to throw the rules and reservation system out the window when a situation involving personal safety like this comes up.

    I was planning a hike along Hannah Mtn trail in November that included a crossing of Abrams Creek with a 7yo along. When I called up the Rangers to get an idea about current conditions, I was told to set up camp right on the trail if I needed to do so to remain safe if I found the water levels to high for a safe crossing and needed to retreat back up Hannah Mtn... i.e. he was more concerned that I stay safe that I "follow the rules". (BTW... we successfully navigated the crossing with out putting our selves at unreasonable risk... and as a side note, those cold creeks don't seem to feel quite as bad on a cold November day compared to how cold they seem to feel on a warm May afternoon.)
    Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 04-07-2015 at 08:39.

  2. #22

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    Whew! Sounds like "The Perfect Storm"! Everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. I hope they all end up okay.

  3. #23

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    A profile map doesnt look it, but thats the toughest section of trail in the park imo. For people not in trail shape, probably 4-5 hr of hiking. Glad all are ok.

    If the shelter was full of thru hikers, they may have felt they had to move on.
    Not sure what they were thinking, because you shouldnt expect to displace anyone from a shelter, even if you have reservations, if you show up at 10 pm.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 04-07-2015 at 05:07.

  4. #24
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    Proudfoot and Samson should be commended for their intervention and willingness to get involved. They are the heros in this incident.

  5. #25
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    Here's an update from the guy who was rescued:

    http://ux.wbir.com/story/news/2015/0...-die/25395007/
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  6. #26
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    Glad all are ok, but he doesn't seem to give much credit to the other hikers who put themselves out, and endangered themselves to find and care for him. That's a little disappointing.

  7. #27
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    I wonder how much the "ultralight movement" contributes to incidents like this. There is nothing wrong with an experienced hiker finding ways to hike lighter without the gear that a novice requires to survive the same conditions. But a novice setting off for a "bucket list" adventure hiking at 4000' elevations in April with a 40 degree bag and no shelter makes me wonder how many "hike lighter" books that novice devoured while dreaming of that adventure.

    Maybe there ought to be a rule of thumb for the relationship between pack weight and experience. My guess is that anyone with less than 500 miles of long-distance backpacking experience under their belt should probably have 30 pounds or more on their back for a week in the woods.

  8. #28

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    No ultralight book I've ever seen suggests going without shelter or an inadequate sleeping system. These guys were inexperienced. Ultralight trends had nothing to do with it.

  9. #29
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    Harrison, not sure if this applies in this case, could have just been lack of research on the part of those who got into trouble, just using the gear that has always worked for them in Alabama. Would need more specific information than I have seen thus far to come to that conclusion.

    Your point is, however, something we should think about whenever advising new hikers, and something we should all take to heart.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    Glad all are ok, but he doesn't seem to give much credit to the other hikers who put themselves out, and endangered themselves to find and care for him. That's a little disappointing.
    Quite disappointing, really, but perhaps left on the editing room floor? Good on you, Proudfoot & Samson. You made us proud

    But he did give credit to God, so there's that. (Ironic, though, given that you could just as easily argue God was attempting to thin him out, but was thwarted by thru-hikers...)

    Obviously terribly foolish to go for a walk in the woods without a makeshift shelter in APRIL. Had these guys done any preparations or training before this hike? They look pretty far from trail shape, even for weekenders. Dad looks like a heart attack waiting to happen.

  11. #31
    Registered User CELTIC BUCK's Avatar
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    Proudfoot & Samson in showing great skill Saved the older hiker; who seems to have no idea how long he was out there from his comments .There were angels out there doing great survival work. Their names are Samson & Proudfoot. GREAT JOB Guys

  12. #32
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ground Control View Post
    Dad looks like a heart attack waiting to happen.
    To quote madgoat (as I saw him use this graphic in a recent post)
    badform.jpg

    Keep in mind that these are public forums and the people involved very well may see these comments... and I believe that to be an uncalled for comment.


    However, these guys did get caught unprepared. One of the reports stated that hiking a section of the AT was on this guy's "Bucket List"... implying that they were inexperienced at this type of hike. Sounds like their inexperience allowed them to plan for the best, experience the worst, and the combination allowed them to make some poor choices more experienced or more knowledgeable hikers might not have made.

    But then again, how many of us have not made the mistake of pushing our selves beyond what we were prepared for?

  13. #33
    Registered User Joey's Avatar
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    Great job by Proudfoot and Samson! Those guys are true life savers! BUT, this goes to my argument of charging for rescues in the cases of negligence and disregard. Being a SARTEC, I've been on many rescues and about 95% of them were due to (for lack of a better word) stupidity! I've made the argument in our county that we should be able to charge for rescues, and it actually got some serious attention! But when all is said and done, Im glad they were rescued and survived!

  14. #34
    Registered User Joey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    To quote madgoat (as I saw him use this graphic in a recent post)
    badform.jpg

    Keep in mind that these are public forums and the people involved very well may see these comments... and I believe that to be an uncalled for comment.


    However, these guys did get caught unprepared. One of the reports stated that hiking a section of the AT was on this guy's "Bucket List"... implying that they were inexperienced at this type of hike. Sounds like their inexperience allowed them to plan for the best, experience the worst, and the combination allowed them to make some poor choices more experienced or more knowledgeable hikers might not have made.

    But then again, how many of us have not made the mistake of pushing our selves beyond what we were prepared for?
    I agree with your very last quote Hookoodooku! I was guilty of that in November 2003! We pushed real hard one day on the Black Mtn. Crest Trail! I wound up getting very sick and became dehydrated! I pushed even farther trying to get to the trailhead! Didn't happen! Was carried out 2am in severe weather conditions and suffered severe dehydration an hypothermia! Stayed several hours in Spruce Pine ER recovering! Thank God for my hiking partner! But I did send donations to both agencies that helped carry me out!

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    badform.jpg

    Keep in mind that these are public forums and the people involved very well may see these comments... and I believe that to be an uncalled for comment.
    Point taken, HooKooDooKu. Mean-spirited (or at least insensitive) on my part; Mea Cupla.

  16. #36

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    I am honestly not trying to be mean.
    But from the pics ive seen, the rescued man, was no lightweight.
    I expect physical condition played a big, big part. I expect they underestimated the trail.
    Poor condition, poor decisions, lack of adequate gear or contingency planning all amounted to big trouble.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 04-07-2015 at 22:56.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    No ultralight book I've ever seen suggests going without shelter or an inadequate sleeping system. These guys were inexperienced. Ultralight trends had nothing to do with it.
    I couldn't tell you how many guys I have seen on this site debating whether or not to take even a tarp on the AT because of the shelters. Yeah, they're shouted down, but they still show up demanding shelter space on the trail every year. And the 40 degree bag is a telltale itself -- they don't sell stuff like that at Walmart.

    I don't know any more than anyone else about those guys, but when someone says hiking a section of the AT is on his "Bucket List", I suspect he's done some research by the time he shows up there. And I wonder if that research may have contributed to this incident.

    My point is that a newbie reading this site on any given day could easily come away thinking he's doing something wrong if his pack weighs more than 10 pounds. Someone should point out from time to time how dangerous a 10 lb pack can be for someone who doesn't have the experience required to develop the judgement necessary to safely hike long distances with so little gear.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison Bergeron View Post
    I couldn't tell you how many guys I have seen on this site debating whether or not to take even a tarp on the AT because of the shelters.
    The Smokies are a little different with the shelter only camping regulations, so not having a tent is pretty common for those just hiking in the park. However, as this case illustrates, having one of those cheap "emergency" bivy sacks would have been useful.

    Poor judgement as a result of inexperience and poor fitness were the root cause of this incident. Other then the fact that he had a 40* sleeping bag, we have no idea the amount or quality of gear these fellows had.

    Thankfully for this guy there was a "higher power" at work in the form of some concerned hikers which saved him.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  19. #39
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    Without all the details, it's over with. Fozzie and 3 kids from a Christian university in Ohio (can't remember names deserve a lot of credit. They went out that night and helped find those boys. Fozzie even helped haul one a few miles back to the shelter

    Anyways, it wasn't stupidity, it was blatant naivety. They didn't have a shelter or decent raingear but at least they had the family bible and a handgun.

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