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#215246 - 01/18/11 11:37 PM Re: Truly Unprepared [Re: Hikin_Jim]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Short Hike Syndrome should be (c) Teslinhiker from now on, it has the ring of truth. (fully equipped) daypacks should be like seat belts, you just get used to putting them on and you feel naked without them if you don't. The only time I don't hike with one is on a quick 2 mi run up nearby Rattlesnake mountain, which averages 40-100 hiker per hour it seems, and that's often when I really wish I had my gear, especially the FAK, for kids who fall down etc.

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#215258 - 01/19/11 01:42 AM Re: Truly Unprepared [Re: Lono]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1379
Originally Posted By: Lono
Short Hike Syndrome should be (c) Teslinhiker from now on, it has the ring of truth. (fully equipped) daypacks should be like seat belts, you just get used to putting them on and you feel naked without them if you don't.


Thanks, I coined that term a few years ago. We live where "Short Hike Syndrome" is very common due to our large metro area abutting the easily accessible, yet rugged and unforgiving PNW coast mountain range. As you can probably guess, this results in far too many SAR call-outs year round to find those missing "short hike" people who fail to equip themselves to survive...
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#215267 - 01/19/11 03:09 AM Re: Truly Unprepared [Re: Teslinhiker]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6583
Loc: southern Cal
The Japanese-Whillans dialogue you quote reminds me that the Japanese alpine Club used to charter aircraft to fly to Europe each summer for climbing - three going to Europe, two returning (or so I have been told)
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#215295 - 01/19/11 01:09 PM Re: Truly Unprepared [Re: Lono]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3599
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Lono
The only time I don't hike with one is ... when I really wish I had my gear


?? Sounds like it's a habit. Did I misread? :))
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#215308 - 01/19/11 03:52 PM Re: Truly Unprepared [Re: hikermor]
njs Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 41
Loc: Colorado
When it comes to short trips, I don't think it is a lack of gear that necessarily puts people at risk but a lack of awareness. By that I mean, constantly assessing where you are with respect to the trail head, your energy level, and the weather etc. A short trip is by definition just that, meant to be short. By ignoring your situation and wandering around as though you have all the time in the world you will run up against reality and get caught out. If your plan is to explore and not keep track of your situation, carrying a small pack with basic survival gear is a good idea.

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#215314 - 01/19/11 04:58 PM Re: Truly Unprepared [Re: hikermor]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077

Quote:
With National Park Service employees taking the lead, 30 searchers from four agencies and the crew of an infrared-equipped helicopter searched for four-and-a-half hours on the evening of Monday, January 3rd, before rescuing an unprepared woman from below freezing temperatures and a night out in the wilderness. The 57-year-old woman left her van for a short day hike a little before noon that day. A protection ranger conducting a trailhead sweep found her van still at the trailhead at 5:30 p.m. He looked through the van’s windows and determined that it belonged to a solo hiker who would want to be back before dark. When she did not return by dark, the park launched a search. Teams of searchers from all divisions of Chiricahua began the operation and were joined by searchers from Fort Bowie, Coronado, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Border Patrol and by a SAR helicopter from the Arizona Department of Public Safety. NPS employees found the woman around 10 p.m. She was exhausted and in the early stages of hypothermia. She told her rescuers she knew she would not have survived had they taken much longer to find her.(emphasis added)


Is there a card registration scheme that you fill out (put in your vehicle window) to tell folks that you will be spending the night out (or even multiday hikes) in these national parks. Launching a full scale SAR search just because a hiker hadn't returned by dusk seems like a huge over reaction especially as the hiker has only been out on the hill for only 6 to 8 hours before calling in the Cavalry.

It seems very unusual for a full scale SAR search to be initiated without a relative or the hiker themselves calling in overdue.

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#215315 - 01/19/11 05:34 PM Re: Truly Unprepared [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6583
Loc: southern Cal
To repeat, Chiricahua is a very small park, although it is at the north end of the Chiricahua mountains which are quite extensive, with a well developed trail system than affords many multiday trips. However, within the park, the longest trail can be easily done in about half a day. There are no connections with long trails outside the national Monument.

One of the reasons the ranger was doing his evening check of the trail heads was to determine if everyone had gotten out. Note that his call was the correct one.

I would be very leery of leaving a public notice on my car that gave the length of the trip. It is an open invitation to car clouting in too many places. A good many trail heads and parking lots, especially in the western US have no people around, only parked cars most of the time, which encourages breaking and entering.

In many of the larger parks, there are permit systems that tend to track backpackers, although the primary purpose of these systems is to spread use around, and minimize resource damage.
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#215326 - 01/19/11 09:09 PM Re: Truly Unprepared [Re: hikermor]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Quote:
Note that his call was the correct one.


Yes, it may have been the correct one, but again the Ranger has assumed that the person who has not returned to the vehicle by nightfall was unprepared and unable to cope with a night out on the hill. What is there to stop, for example myself deciding to stay out overnight (deciding there and then to see the sunset and sunrise in such as spectacular place), and just as I have crawled into my bivi/sleeping bag (I might have even consumed a quarter bottle of Scotch Whisky tired ), not have a Helicopter and Arizona's finest descend on my campsite ruining a quiet and peaceful night out in the wilderness communing with spirit of Geronimo. wink

No one asked the nosey park ranger to go out and rescue anyone.





Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (01/19/11 09:11 PM)

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#215327 - 01/19/11 09:30 PM Re: Truly Unprepared [Re: hikermor]
Ann Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/04/11
Posts: 42
Loc: Western Washington
Quote:
He looked through the van’s windows and determined that it belonged to a solo hiker who would want to be back before dark. When she did not return by dark, the park launched a search.


I wish we had details on exactly what he saw that caused him to reach that conclusion. Clearly he knew what he was doing. I'm wondering if the "back before dark" part might have been something like a jacket that was left casually tossed somewhere near the driver's seat, indicating that the hiker had decided against preparing for cooler temperatures? Just a guess...

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#215332 - 01/19/11 09:53 PM Re: Truly Unprepared [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
I've been through that area. Those who have been there recently correct me if I'm wrong, but that National Monument isn't really a big monument, and the trails as I recall really aren't the kind where one would stay out overnight.

UPDATE... I just looked at their website. The website says that they have just 17 miles of hiking trails. Total. That's not much. The website says:
Quote:
Backcountry camping is available in the surrounding Coronado National Forest land. Call the Douglas Forest Service Office for more information 520-364-3468, or check www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado.
In other words, no staying out over night in the Nat'l Monument. Given that, I can see why a Ranger would expect everyone out by dark.

HJ
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