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  1. #21
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    i did not list all the reasons......
    "ALL" the reasons aren't important.

    But what is really interesting is that I've been visiting the park for over 20 years, I'm a member of the 900 Miler Club, and I'm only just learning that GSMNP has some forest that depends upon wild fires just like the forests I've heard about in documentaries about fires out west.

    I guess since I'm not local, I never hear about all the "regular" fires that occur in GSMNP, only "the big ones" that make national news.


    Sort of reminds me how I only recently learned that drowning was the second leading cause of death in GSMNP. I already knew that motor vehicle accidents were #1. But not until the subject came up here in WB several months ago did I learn about the numerous drownings that occur. Similar to these frequent small fires, I generally don't hear about "yet another drowning" in GSMNP. The only time I've ever seen a new story about someone drowning was about 15+ years ago when a boy drowned around Abrams Falls during a school field trip. In that case, I guess it made national news because "a child died during a field trip to a national park" rather than "another person drowned in GSMNP".


    Speaking of Abrams Falls, I've mentioned before in WB that I found it laughable when I read a new story about the 10 most dangerous hikes in National Parks, and the trail to Abrams Falls made the list. From my point of view, it's a pretty simple and safe trail with numerous other places in the park being more dangerous. But from the point of view of the park service... several drownings have occurred making it one of the most frequent places people die in the park (again, after traffic accidents).

  2. #22
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    It wouldn't take much to have a tree or a big limb fall on the shelter and cause it to close, while you are hiking to it. If it were me, I'd pitch my shelter and continue on the next day with my hike. Is it breaking the rules? I don't know......

  3. #23
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    I guess since I'm not local, I never hear about all the "regular" fires that occur in GSMNP, only "the big ones" that make national news.


    we hear about them through various means----calls from viewers, emails from viewers and the Park, and scanners.....

    we often wont report the small ones or the natural ones...........just really depends upon what else is going on......



    The only time I've ever seen a new story about someone drowning was about 15+ years ago when a boy drowned around Abrams Falls during a school field trip. In that case, I guess it made national news because "a child died during a field trip to a national park" rather than "another person drowned in GSMNP".


    i covered that one.......

    went to the backside of the cove where the trailhead is and it was loaded with rescue vehicles......

    i was actually in townsend for something else that day, and saw an ambulance along with bunch of other emergency vehicles heading towards the cove.....

    called the station and went into the cove.....


    when I read a new story about the 10 most dangerous hikes in National Parks, and the trail to Abrams Falls made the list. From my point of view, it's a pretty simple and safe trail with numerous other places in the park being more dangerous. But from the point of view of the park service... several drownings have occurred making it one of the most frequent places people die in the park (again, after traffic accidents).


    along with the one above, i have covered at least one other drowning at abrams falls.....

    along with (although a different time) another drowning there.....

    and one lady who drowned after the storm blew through and knocked over the tree, trapping her underwater down at the rangers station at abrams campground.....

    seemingly, the greenbrier section where the creek follows the road, has been a bad spot for downings.....

  4. #24

    Default The What if? shelter closures

    I’ve had the entire park close while I was hiking in it. It was open when I started and they closed it mid trip due to a hurricane.
    I figured they’d want me to get out safely so I split my remaining mileage into 1 more night instead of 2. I figured they’d understand and be happy I was safe.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmax View Post
    It wouldn't take much to have a tree or a big limb fall on the shelter and cause it to close, while you are hiking to it. If it were me, I'd pitch my shelter and continue on the next day with my hike. Is it breaking the rules? I don't know......
    If structure damage was the reason for the closure, this seems like a good choice.

    If bear activity and I only found out about it when I reached the shelter near the end of the day, I'd consider hiking another mile or two before pitching my tent.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    that is not true.....

    they have closed shelters down for other reasons-----for example, about 12-15 years ago, they closed a shelter down for an entire month so that one of the trail groups could use it for a base of operation when they were doing work in that area............

    i hiked by it and saw how they had it set up (with a car camping propane two burner stove, a fence around the cooking area, and a oujia board).......
    I was on the Rocky Top trail crew probably 20 some years ago and we used the Birch Spring shelter site as our base camp. The shelter had been removed by a previous crew. We spent some time cleaning up roofing and other debris to pack out but most of the week we built sidehill north of the shelter site. We did have a propane stove and a fence around our kitchen. Don't remember any ouija board.
    More walking, less talking.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    "ALL" the reasons aren't important.

    But what is really interesting is that I've been visiting the park for over 20 years, I'm a member of the 900 Miler Club, and I'm only just learning that GSMNP has some forest that depends upon wild fires just like the forests I've heard about in documentaries about fires out west.

    I guess since I'm not local, I never hear about all the "regular" fires that occur in GSMNP, only "the big ones" that make national news.


    Sort of reminds me how I only recently learned that drowning was the second leading cause of death in GSMNP. I already knew that motor vehicle accidents were #1. But not until the subject came up here in WB several months ago did I learn about the numerous drownings that occur. Similar to these frequent small fires, I generally don't hear about "yet another drowning" in GSMNP. The only time I've ever seen a new story about someone drowning was about 15+ years ago when a boy drowned around Abrams Falls during a school field trip. In that case, I guess it made national news because "a child died during a field trip to a national park" rather than "another person drowned in GSMNP".


    Speaking of Abrams Falls, I've mentioned before in WB that I found it laughable when I read a new story about the 10 most dangerous hikes in National Parks, and the trail to Abrams Falls made the list. From my point of view, it's a pretty simple and safe trail with numerous other places in the park being more dangerous. But from the point of view of the park service... several drownings have occurred making it one of the most frequent places people die in the park (again, after traffic accidents).


    The Smokies also contend for most missing persons (up there with Yosemite and the Grand Canyon) right??

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackmagic View Post
    Seems like a question for the forest rangers.

    In general, it's a good idea to go always include an emergency shelter in your pack, even just a Mylar bivy, in case you or someone in your party are injured and have to wait for rescue.
    Agreed with this, it's always a good idea to carry a shelter during a long distance trek, regardless of where you are or what shelter reservations have been made. It's hard to tell when shelters will fill up and require a carried shelter to be used, especially when weather rolls in.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    I agree about always carrying a tent or whatever shelter is your preference, but what shelters have burned on the AT?
    https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/sho...ers-Burnt-Down
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue indian View Post
    The Smokies also contend for most missing persons (up there with Yosemite and the Grand Canyon) right??

    I dont have the numbers or data but by just taking a guess (and not listening to that nut job big foot hunter who also delves into missing persons)——I would tend to think this is true just based off of visitation numbers.....

  11. #31
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    I agree about always carrying a tent or whatever shelter is your preference, but what shelters have burned on the AT?
    I couldn't answer that, but Tucker Johnson on the LT just north of Maine junction is one of many that have burned on the LT in Vermont over the years. Most are wood, many have fire pits, all are periodically occupied by humans that sometimes do stupid things like burn shelters down - accidentally or intentionally.

    The bigger point is you just never know what you'll find when you get there, so carrying your own shelter is just plain smart.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by soilman View Post
    I was on the Rocky Top trail crew probably 20 some years ago and we used the Birch Spring shelter site as our base camp. The shelter had been removed by a previous crew. We spent some time cleaning up roofing and other debris to pack out but most of the week we built sidehill north of the shelter site. We did have a propane stove and a fence around our kitchen. Don't remember any ouija board.


    that's not the shelter i was referencing.......

  13. #33
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by soilman View Post
    I was on the Rocky Top trail crew probably 20 some years ago and we used the Birch Spring shelter site as our base camp. The shelter had been removed by a previous crew. We spent some time cleaning up roofing and other debris to pack out but most of the week we built sidehill north of the shelter site. We did have a propane stove and a fence around our kitchen. Don't remember any ouija board.
    What was the reason for the removal of that shelter?
    Seems like I might have heard long ago, but if so, I don't remember.

  14. #34
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    What was the reason for the removal of that shelter?



    it was in a place that go little sunlight and the roof got covered with moss, then basically dirt.......

    it was always damp and dirty down in that shelter........

    for me------after they removed it-----it has become one of the best backcountry sites in the park.............

    and it was torn down maybe in 98 or 99....

    i know it was torn down shortly after i moved down here the first time and that was fall of 97...

    i got to see the shelter a couple of times passing through there...

    the park has also torn down a few non AT shelters over the years----like the ones that used to be at CS 5 and CS 16....

  15. #35
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    "it was in a place that got" is how it should read...

  16. #36
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    the park has also torn down a few non AT shelters over the years----like the ones that used to be at CS 5 and CS 16....
    Yeah, I learned about the one at #5 getting torn down "the hard way".

    The 2nd time I ever camped in GSMNP was at #5. While planning for the trip, my back country trail map showed a shelter at the site, so I didn't pack a tent. It wasn't until AFTER I arrived at the back country office to get a permit did I learn the shelter had been torn down just the year before.

    Fortunately, the weather had called for rain... and having never seen a back country shelter, I brought along a pair of tarps in case the shelter roof wasn't particularly water tight.
    Instead, the tarps turned into a ground cloth / A-Frame shelter. When it started raining, I wasn't a happy camper, but we stayed dry.

    So I "accidentally" learned of the importance of bringing "emergency shelter", even when you're planning on camping in a shelter.
    Since then, I've grown wiser in my back country skills and always have some sort of tent or tarp even when I plan a trip that only stays at back country shelters.

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