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Re: [pct-l] Jardine mania

On Wed, 4 Nov 1998 Montedodge@aol.com wrote:

> Yes , You can hike the Sierra,s with a purse for a pack and jiffy pop , but
> extra gear is of use in the Sierra,s. Crampons don,t fit on running shoes very
> well, I guess that,s why some people don,t consider them for the Sierra,s.
> Their are several nice LIGHT aluimumin crampons out there that work well with
> nomal HIKING boots (not nikes). You are safer and less likely to slip in early
> morning on the passes. People that are against crampons in Sierra,s are as a
> rule (Jardinites), light weight  hiking fanatics.

Nobody's ever accused me of being a Jardinite. In fact, I've spent
plenty of time disagreeing with his ideas. When I left Kennedy
Meadows, my pack probably weighed around 50 pounds (9 days food, ugh).
Still, in a normal year, I don't think you need crampons for the
Sierras. Now in a bad snow year like say, '95 or '98, crampons, snow
shoes, and possibly cross country skis should all be considered. In
'97, which was about as average a year as they come, the only place I
might have wanted crampons was on the north side of Mather Pass. I
descended early while the snow was still icy. In retrospect, I
probably should have waited another hour before descending but it
still worked out okay. 

I only saw one pair of crampons in '97 and it was being sent home from
Kennedy Meadows. 

> This is great on most
> sections on the trail or if you flip flop the Sierra,s, but in late June or
> early July , take your axe and at least some instep crampons. Some advice can
> kill a Jardinite hiker who did the AT last year. Better to take a few pounds
> of equipment and maybe not use it than need it and not have it. I personly
> watched a hiker fall 60 feet off Donohue Pass, (  An ice axe most likely could
> have stopped him ,plus knowledge of its use).

Don't get me wrong. It'd be fool hardy to try the Sierras without an
ice axe in June. I watched one of our list members take a tumble off
the cornice on the south side of Mather Pass and was very glad he had
an ice axe. He stopped after about 50'. Without the axe, I'd hate to
think of what might have happened. 

Some of the other thru-hikers were carrying trekking poles and
claiming that they were a sufficient substitute for an ice axe. I'd
have to disagree there. While they do a good job of helping to
maintain balance, they're useless once you take a fall. 

> For some people, going ultra
> light maybe the only way they can finish the trail in one season ( I know
> Strider has done 43 miles in a day with a full tilt kelty, not some lame 8
> pound purse!) 

Come on, there's no reason to mock people for doing things differently
than you would. 

> MOTTO HERE:  Be safe, go light but don,t be silly. If you are
> in the Sierra,s in early summer, take the proper equipment. This may sound a
> little harsh but could save a novice,s life.  

I'll agree with your motto but that doesn't mean people should
necessarily be carrying crampons. It's easy to fall into a trap of
imagining every possibility of getting hurt and carrying extra
equipment "just in case". The next thing you know, you're carrying a
100 pound pack full of climbing ropes, crampons, guns, cell
phones, bomb shelters, emergency appendectomy kits, etc. 


Karl "Birdman" Brandt PCT97 LT98                       (650) 725-3686

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