Regarding the thread on the death of a hiker on the Appalachian trail in Maine, a bit of new information has come to light. A quick analysis shows a few facts.
"On the initial missing persons report that was filed, [Mrs] Largay’s husband itemized a number of items that he knew she’d been wearing or carrying. Under the category labeled “GPS, PLB, Compass” — the acronyms referring to Global Positioning System, Personal Locator Beacon– the responding warden wrote: “SPOT. Left at motel.” SPOT is a company that makes, among other things, satellite-based devices that allow hikers in remote areas to communicate their whereabouts to others without the benefit of a cellular signal."
[H]er skeletal remains were found on a high piece of ground about 3,000 feet from the trail, where she apparently set up camp after becoming lost."
Another source yielded this tidbit.
"Mrs Lee told me that Geraldine had a lighter and waterproof matches. She stated that she did not know how to use a compass, She didn't even know if Geraldine had a compass.
Mrs Lee reiterated her statement regarding Geraldines lack of confidence and her inability to cope with the obvious rigors of the trail"
"She was relying on her blue Samsung slide cellphone to keep in touch with her husband, who met her every few days with supplies. After she became lost, she tried texting her husband, but because there was no cell service, he never got the message."
"Her doctor would tell investigators that once she ran out of the medication she took for anxiety, she could suffer panic attacks."
. . .
"Shane Vorous, who operates the Stratton Motel with his wife, Stacey, said Thursday that they try to tell hikers where they are likely to get cellphone service and where known dead zones are along the Appalachian Trail."
. . .
"Everyone relies on their cellphone so much,” Critendon said. With a lot of hikers, that is a problem, because there are so many ups and downs in that area, and it is so remote. I think of lot of hikers don’t realize it.”
. . .
"Lee, Largay’s friend who had hiked the trail with her until they reached Maine, told investigators that on several occasions Largay had become lost or had fallen behind, and Lee had to backtrack to find her. It wasn’t clear if Largay was taking prescribed anti-anxiety medication at the time."
The article goes on to state a compass WAS found with her.
The additional excerpts (below) give the position of her body as N44 59.011 W70 24.099. Pulling it up on google, she was about about 2300 feet from a road (SW) and about 1750 feet from the trail to the SE.
Apparently, the Maine Warden service recently released some 1500 pages of files about the event.
It looks like a couple of grievous error were made. .
1. Failure to know how to use map and compass, the most basic skills ensured she would get lost after leaving the trail.
2. Her apparent reliance on cell phone to maintain contact. Especially given the known dead spots in the area. A little research on the hikers part could have prevented this.
3. Continuing alone on the trail after her companion quit.
Given her Anxiety issues, her having fallen behind before and her inability to use map and compass seem to be significant.
4. Failure to take the SPOT device with her. Almost goes without saying that such a device could have brought about her quick rescue.
I seriously have to wonder, How long did she wander around AFTER she realized she was lost? I doubt she traveled that far off the trail to relieve herself. Judging from her distance from the trail, she continued for some time AFTER realizing she was lost. Was her anxiety a contributing factor? Most likely, as it was a known problem for her.
This is a truly sad case and a death that did not need to happen. But it highlights the importance of the basics. Although she most likely did the right thing by staying put when she was lost, had she done so much sooner, it is likely that search teams with dogs would have located her quickly.
Additional excerpts may be found here:http://www.centralmaine.com/2016/05/25/r...woods/document/
Last words. . I realize that I am a new poster here at the esteemed forums for equipped.org. However, in analyzing failures, we all learn. . I am curious to know what other members get out of the same information, and come to a differing conclusion.
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