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#284035 - 03/10/17 10:36 PM Two Blizzard Survival Stories
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2592
Loc: Alberta, Canada
--1--
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/...y-mountain-face

Boulder, Colo.: Climber has a 500 m fall, dislocates arm, builds two snow caves, uses gear to melt water, and eventually self-extracts to a road two days later. Winds were up to 140 kph.


--2--
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/six-people-stranded-rescued-leaf-rapids-1.4018568

Northern Manitoba: Six people in two vehicles were stranded in heavy snow, at -30 C with winds to 80 kph. It appears they had proper clothing but very limited gear otherwise. No cell phone coverage. They used the larger vehicle with a few candles for shelter. Two of them walked to a communications tower, broke into the shed, found an emergency phone and some survival supplies.

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#284036 - 03/11/17 12:19 AM Re: Two Blizzard Survival Stories [Re: dougwalkabout]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5991
Loc: southern Cal
Remarkable stories....500 meters is quite a distance to slide. I do wonder why the folks with the vehicles weren't carrying some gear with them. Fifteen pounds of food,water, fuel, and a stove and they could have been quite comfy.
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#284037 - 03/11/17 12:32 AM Re: Two Blizzard Survival Stories [Re: hikermor]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4591
Loc: SOCAL
15 pounds is a start. Then you add more water, a first aid kit and spare batteries for both flashlights and your lantern. One blanket becomes three and then you add a sleeping bag. The freeze dried food needs more water and a stove. Then additional fuel for the stove. Your spare socks becomes a polar suit with insulated boots and a parka. Hiking across a frozen landscape to a cell phone signal becomes a walk in the park.

15 pounds becomes 150 pounds and you need a truck...which I have. Better to just not start and tough it out -- cold and hungry.

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#284039 - 03/11/17 05:36 PM Re: Two Blizzard Survival Stories [Re: Russ]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5991
Loc: southern Cal
Russ, you can do very well with much less than 150 pounds- consider that a reasonable backpack load for a weekend will weigh in the neighborhood of 45 pounds or so...

I checked out my trunk and the contents were:

sleeping bag - absolutely essential IMHO - should be rated to 20F

day pack - w/FAK, 10 essentials bag, water, and snacks. A

tool kit - jumper cables, socket set, shovels (two) folding saw (two),
pick, hatchet

small plastic crate w/ folding esbit stove, cook set, esbit fuel, alcohol stove and fuel

large FAK

coveralls and exposure suit

Elsewhere in the vehicle I had a small knife and flashlights.

I would estimate that all of the above weighed about twenty-five pounds or less. I only had about a gallon water all told - which is a bit on the thin side and i could stock more food.

Forget freeze-dried. I prefer well wrapped snacks like Clif bars and canned items, nuts, and similar. FD is for backpacking where water is available.

I could easily stay in or near my vehicle with its contents for a night or two, and I roam around in sunny SoCal. If I head for higher, colder, and wetter places I would probably add a bit more.

My vehicle, a small sedan, is a genuine solar cooker in the passenger compartment. It is usually parked in full sunshine. The trunk, by comparison, is surprisingly cool. I am not worried about long term storage of food and water there.


Edited by hikermor (03/11/17 05:39 PM)
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#284040 - 03/11/17 05:58 PM Re: Two Blizzard Survival Stories [Re: hikermor]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4591
Loc: SOCAL
The hyperbole above shows how you can get from enough for a day or two, to more than enough to sustain a family for a week. It happens very gradually and as long as the room is available it is not self-regulating. I really do need to downsize a bit -- too much redundancy.

Meanwhile I added an inflatable LUCI Lux Inflatable LED Solar Lantern light to the kit ... wink Very nice light, thanks for the tip.

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#284042 - 03/11/17 11:02 PM Re: Two Blizzard Survival Stories [Re: dougwalkabout]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2592
Loc: Alberta, Canada
From my POV, the common takeaway for both stories is the importance of shelter in extreme conditions. Neither shelter would have been even remotely comfortable, but it tipped the balance in their favour.

The climber did remarkably well, although arguably he would have risked less by staying put until rescuers came looking.

The people in their two cars could certainly have had more gear, and would have been less dependent on good luck. No doubt they will have extra blankets and candles at hand next time.

Breaking into an industrial facility (assuming you can even do so, in this era of copper theft) in the hope of finding something useful is a very long shot. I assume this was a telephone microwave relay tower, hence the phone inside for technician use.

The best preparation for driving in a blizzard is to stay home. When I have to set out into a potential blizzard, I am generally loaded for bear.

However, to my embarrassment, in one instance I was on a milk run -- only a few miles -- and hit a hard packed drift. My car got high-centred, and there was glare ice under the tires. A truck stopped to help, but I had used my tow strap for something else and the trucker's recovery strap was too big to attach anywhere. So, as the wind howled, I lay on my back and shoveled underneath, cursing myself as a bloody idiot the whole while. Still kicking myself over that one.

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#284043 - 03/12/17 12:14 PM Re: Two Blizzard Survival Stories [Re: dougwalkabout]
Sergio Offline
Stranger

Registered: 03/11/17
Posts: 1
Survival in Extreme Conditions is hard but it also give lot of memories
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#284044 - 03/12/17 03:38 PM Re: Two Blizzard Survival Stories [Re: dougwalkabout]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5991
Loc: southern Cal
"The climber did remarkably well, although arguably he would have risked less by staying put until rescuers came looking."

What would have triggered a SAR operation? Did he leave word with someone dependable? If not, what he did was perhaps the best thing to do. At any rate, it worked.

He was evidently well equipped. Melting snow implies that he had a stove and cook set.

The routes on pyramid Peak are described as third and fourth class, which indicates you would have a rope and presumably a pardner to make effective use of the rope. Still he would not have been the first to solo on such terrain.

I am still surprised at the 500 meter length of his :uncontrolled descent." As a rule of thumb, about 40 feet (13 meters) of vertical, unimpeded fall will usually result in a fatality. With a bad landing, even less energy is required to kill. He was VERY fortunate.
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#284045 - 03/12/17 04:10 PM Re: Two Blizzard Survival Stories [Re: Sergio]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4591
Loc: SOCAL
Snarky contributions above aside, my truck always has a 96 hour kit. Drinking water is in a 3 gallon jug as well as the water in my backpack; an additional 1 gal jug for is kept for utility purposes, but if necessary, it's potable too. Food is stored in an Igloo brand cooler and there is a Rubbermaid brand container for blankets, tarps, stove, fuel, tools, et al. My GHB is included as part of the kit but not in the container.

Depending on climate -- here, at my destination and en route -- I may carry an additional large duffel which I refer to as my winter kit. Everything in the kit is made for cold weather: head-to-toe (balaclava-to-socks, wool and technical synthetics), insulated boots and a few pair of gloves. The parka I recently purchased became part of that kit immediately after trying it on for fit. If the weather en route is an issue (a mountain pass or three come to mind), the parka goes up front with me. That very nice Tilley ball cap will be on my head.

Besides the staying warm & fed thing, there's communications. To help with that, the Nokia 3310 due to be released in the coming months (2Q17) will go into the kit or possibly into the truck console as a spare. Everything The Telegraph knows and Nokia 3310 comparison, 2017 vs 2000 and Nokia 3310 reboot.... If the new version is built as well as the original, it will be both an inexpensive and rugged emergency back-up.

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#284047 - 03/12/17 04:26 PM Re: Two Blizzard Survival Stories [Re: hikermor]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2592
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: hikermor
"The climber did remarkably well, although arguably he would have risked less by staying put until rescuers came looking."

What would have triggered a SAR operation? Did he leave word with someone dependable? If not, what he did was perhaps the best thing to do. At any rate, it worked.


Valid point. I assumed a solo climber would leave word, but maybe he didn't and thus was highly motivated to walk out. As usual, the level of detail is frustratingly sparse.

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