WhiteBlaze Pages 2022
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
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  1. #1

    Default Maine winter AT hike that went bad

    https://bangordailynews.com/2022/01/...O8nf8TZiNL7sac

    Got to wonder what they were thinking? Granted the snow pack in Maine is not a record but still enough snow in the woods to make breaking trail slow. And subzero nights (Nearby Rangeley was close to 30 below last night. This is the same area that the women got lost and passed away in her tent a few years ago. These hikers were lucky that the area is somewhat accessible by snowmachine.

  2. #2
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    This makes no sense at all. None. Zero. According to the article they didn't have food, water, proper gear etc., - add the older hiker is 70 years old. Not being "ageist" here, but I'm closing in on that age and there's just no way this is a thought out decision given the mileage, terrain, snow, lack of daylight, etc. It's honestly one of the stupidest things I've ever heard of. Good chance they could have froze to death if they didn't get through on cell phone to the Wardens.
    "That's the thing about possum innards - they's just as good the second day." - Jed Clampett

  3. #3
    Registered User One Half's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    This makes no sense at all. None. Zero. According to the article they didn't have food, water, proper gear etc., - add the older hiker is 70 years old. Not being "ageist" here, but I'm closing in on that age and there's just no way this is a thought out decision given the mileage, terrain, snow, lack of daylight, etc. It's honestly one of the stupidest things I've ever heard of. Good chance they could have froze to death if they didn't get through on cell phone to the Wardens.
    Right?! ***?!!!

    They should get a nice big bill for the cost of the rescue. And add a "stupid tax" on top!
    Last edited by One Half; 01-27-2022 at 21:00.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  4. #4

    Default

    Certainly one of the most bizarre accounts I've ever read.

    Sounds as if they're damm lucky to be alive.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    they're damm lucky to be alive.
    But humanity isn’t….

    What stupid couple of bags of chemicals.

  6. #6
    Registered User Toolshed's Avatar
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    Darwin Award Was Interrupted....
    .....Someday, like many others who joined WB in the early years, I may dry up and dissapear....

  7. #7
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolshed View Post
    Darwin Award Was Interrupted....
    LOL, yep still in the gene pool :-

  8. #8

    Default

    MATC did that as a day hike during the 75th anniversary event 15 or 20 years ago with support from a school bus. We met at Sugarloaf and took a long bus shuttle to Barnjum and then past a gate onto a private logging road that ended near the AT. We then walked a short distance and intersected the AT. We then hiked over to the last mile plaque and up Sugarloaf. Most of the us took the lift down to catch the beer and barbeque at the base of the mountain but without that motivation, the hike down the maintenance road would have gotten us down well before dark.

    That said that was in the summer on sunny day with 3 hours more daylight. Maybe there is a rest of the story but from the press account there was some serious lack of planning on their part.

  9. #9

    Default

    Did they have snowshoes?

    Even with snowshoes it is frequently very difficult for two fit people to average much more — and sometimes it's much less! — than 1 mph when breaking trail.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  10. #10

    Default

    No food.....no water.......no proper equipment.....what in the world could go wrong?

  11. #11
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Since it sounds like they only planned a day hike, the "no food, no water" makes SOME sense...
    But beyond that, they either definitely should have known better, or are just such beginner hikers they were foolish to start with a trip that long even if there wasn't snow.
    I know in several Facebook groups people repeat the mantra of the "10 essentials", but I personally change that and simply state that you shouldn't leave the trailhead without having everything you need to survive a night in the woods. If these guys would have approached this trip with that mentality, the fact they only got half way and had to stop at a shelter would have been no big deal. Even without food and water, if they simply would have had enough layer to survive the night they would not have been making headlines.
    Can't fix stupid

  12. #12

    Default

    SMH...
    and if it was a Day-Hike.....should have turned around at noon.....no matter what.
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
    Hammock hangs are where you go into the woods to meet men you've only known on the internet so you can sit around a campfire to swap sewing tips and recipes. - sargevining on HF

  13. #13
    International Man of Mystery BobTheBuilder's Avatar
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    Y'all are pretty harsh in your judgement. I mean, "Darwin Award was Interrupted..." and "LOL, yep still in the gene pool :-" are pretty cruel for a couple of people that made a mistake and had to call for help. If I read the story correctly, they walked back to their car and were uninjured. It may be a good object lesson, but I'm disappointed in the casual cruelty of the comments. As a community, we can be better.



    "Waning Gibbous" would be a great trail name.

  14. #14
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Nature would have been harsher.

    They may have walked back, but they were escorted by rangers with headlights. Had they not been able to get through on the phone - they would likely have lost fingers and toes, if not their lives.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BobTheBuilder View Post
    Y'all are pretty harsh in your judgement. I mean, "Darwin Award was Interrupted..." and "LOL, yep still in the gene pool :-" are pretty cruel for a couple of people that made a mistake and had to call for help. If I read the story correctly, they walked back to their car and were uninjured. It may be a good object lesson, but I'm disappointed in the casual cruelty of the comments. As a community, we can be better.



    So, how idiotic and irresponsible does someone have to be to earn your derision?
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  16. #16

    Default

    Cell service in that area is not great so they were probably a lot closer to freezing to death than most would expect. It is a lot easier than folks to expect to get into HT1 as the first thing that goes is high level thinking. They most likley would have not survived the night. Had they been just north of the ridgeline there is no cell service.

    HT I: Mild Hypothermia, 95-89.6 degrees
    Normal or nearly normal consciousness, shivering

    HT II: Moderate Hypothermia, 89.6-82.4 degrees
    Shivering stops, consciousness becomes impaired

    HT III: Severe Hypothermia, 82.4-75.2 degrees
    Unconscious, may be difficult to detect vital signs

    HT IV: Apparent Death, 75.2-59 degrees

    HT V: Death from irreversible hypothermia

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobTheBuilder View Post
    Y'all are pretty harsh in your judgement. I mean, "Darwin Award was Interrupted..." and "LOL, yep still in the gene pool :-" are pretty cruel for a couple of people that made a mistake and had to call for help. If I read the story correctly, they walked back to their car and were uninjured. It may be a good object lesson, but I'm disappointed in the casual cruelty of the comments. As a community, we can be better.
    I have to agree. While the guys that were rescued made poor decisions, it's not a justification for us to be harsh or cruel. Reminds me of this quote I've seen a few times:
    "Sometimes you need to be kind to others, not because they are nice, but because you are."

  18. #18

    Default

    Around HT 3 there is a well-know physiological reaction that occurs wherein the victim suddenly feels extremely warm and rips off clothing. Unless there is someone standing ready to intervene, 4 and 5 are practical givens.

    On his return from the South Pole in 1912, Robert F. Scott was found to have shed all his clothing. When the British rescue team finally found his (and 4 others') remains, they interpreted it as Scott having made the heroic decision to hasten his inescapable demise, when in fact this is probably what occurred. But the British public love that sort of stuff.

    The real miracle is Beck Weathers on Everest in 1996. He was probably deep into HT 4 and left for dead but managed to rouse himself and make it to camp.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  19. #19
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    I have to agree. While the guys that were rescued made poor decisions, it's not a justification for us to be harsh or cruel. Reminds me of this quote I've seen a few times:
    "Sometimes you need to be kind to others, not because they are nice, but because you are."
    I understand the sentiment, and it most definitely applies when people "make mistakes".

    But I also understand the sentiment expressed by cmoulder:
    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    So, how idiotic and irresponsible does someone have to be to earn your derision?
    Take the case of the woman who got lost in Great Smokey Mountains a few years ago while on a day hike out to Andrews Bald.
    I still don't understand how the story ended in tragedy given the number of mistakes required to get things to go the way they did.
    But nobody acted foolish. It was a short day hike on a very popular trail in relatively mild conditions. So it took "A Series of Unfortunate Events" and decisions for that story to end in tragedy.

    But these guys made foolish decisions from the start.
    What they attempted was a task that, for the inexperienced, was doomed to end in failure. They were fortunate that just enough went right that they survived.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    I understand the sentiment, and it most definitely applies when people "make mistakes".

    But these guys made foolish decisions from the start.
    What they attempted was a task that, for the inexperienced, was doomed to end in failure. They were fortunate that just enough went right that they survived.
    Maybe they just made the mistakes they did simply because they were inexperienced. If they ever make the same mistake again, then it would be justifiable to label them as foolish, or irresponsible. We’ve all made mistakes, some of them pretty foolish in retrospect, and hopefully learned from them.

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