[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [pct-l] Crampons

On Fri, 11 Jun 1999 08:55:29 -0700 reynolds@ilan.com writes:
>The account on Charlotte Crews web page indicates that the hiker 
>killed had decided to exit instead of attempting Forrester Pass. He was 
>"tired of the ice, snow and cold".[snip] So, to me, ___'s decision to
exit look right. 

Criticizing accident-victims' decisions is a unfortunate practice among
us backcountry travellers; I guess we are just trying to learn from
others' fates... Haven't gotten to the website yet.

My point (if you'll re-read my post, Tom) was that it's not a good idea
to try to "save miles" by using unknown routes or unresearched High
Passes particularly in early-season. I never questioned anyone's decision
to exit - obviously, when you aren't comfortable anymore in the mountains
for any reason, you need to leave. Taking on unfamiliar terrain
especially when stressed is often a recipe for disaster, whatever
equipment you're carrying.

I reiterate: 1) please stick to the established route if possible,
particularly if you're not well-acquainted with the area  - "shortcuts"
stink. 2) if you _do_ decide on a change from the established itinerary,
please remain flexible - enough to back off if conditions look hairy. One
look at New Army from above in early season would be enough to turn most
people back to Cottonwood, guidebook or no. (If a guide, or an internet
pal, _does_  tell you that a pass or creek-ford is okey-doke and you
don't like the looks of it - for goshsakes, turn back. Don't bite off
more than you can chew just because it's There - or more convenient
mileage-wise. Taking big risks in the mountains looks tough/macho on a
CRT, but it's just not worth it.)

I'll never forget last year when you advised  hikers to use Shepard Pass
in spring to avoid the snows of Forrester; I'm still fuming about that as
you know. (You'd not done that pass at any time of year ever, and that El
Nino spring Shepard was a dangerous avalanche chute - it's not safe for
the average hiker right now _this_ year.)

Please excuse my passionate <g> tone, folks. Maybe it's just the ol'
maternal instinct, but I really care that nobody is injured or worse in
the backcountry. If I jump on the soapbox now/then, it's because I feel I
have something worthwhile to contribute (I never talk about places I
don't know well, techniques I do not currently practice, or gear I do not
use often for its designed purpose). Knowing the reception these posts
receive in some quarters makes it doubly-hard for me (that's why I mainly
stick to e-mail), but if something I write saves even one hiker from
careless advice, then it's worth it, I suppose.....      bj

Get the Internet just the way you want it.
Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!
Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.
* From the Pacific Crest Trail Email List |  http://www.backcountry.net   *