A cautionary tale

Items that do not fit the categories above.
Forum rules
Please do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website. For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
peter303
Posts: 3351
Joined: 6/17/2009
14ers: 34
13ers: 12
Trip Reports (3)

Re: A cautionary tale

Post by peter303 »

It was well forecasted that the last weekend of of July was going to be a terrible weather weekend. I even remarked about that in one of the 14er threads. I have the fortune of living in Colorado where I can just cancel trips on such weekends. Better weather will come. Out of staters may have to be more deliberate about changing pricey trips.
viejo
Posts: 283
Joined: 5/10/2007
14ers: List not added

Re: A cautionary tale

Post by viejo »

Based on posts so far, mine will not be a particularly welcomed reply, but feel it important to be expressed.

This was a planned night out with a known forecast of rain. To have spent such a miserable night and having to abandon gear to get out in the morning was not due to a series of unexpected mishaps. This was a lack of basic back country skills and preparation. Having the gear and ability to get dry and stay warm is a fundamental requisite to being in the outdoors. If things got this bad in a planned situation, imagine what might happen in an unplanned emergency.

The preponderance of good weather we're blessed with in Colorado can lead to a complacency in skills development and preparedness. The back country becomes relegated to the status of personal obstacle course, without getting the respect it deserves for even simple objective hazards such as wet weather. Accumulating a few dozen peaks on "the list" in good weather can lead to feeling experienced, when often it is only one or two experiences repeated on multiple walks.

Please consider putting together a list of appropriate skills to "check off" before going too far with peak lists. Weather preparation, emergency shelter, gear to keep warm and dry, navigation skills, route finding skills all might find a place on the list. The trend towards internet trained, paint-by-numbers hikers in the hills will results in just these types of avoidable situations.
nunns
Posts: 1186
Joined: 8/17/2018
14ers: 41
13ers: 4

Re: A cautionary tale

Post by nunns »

viejo wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:28 am Based on posts so far, mine will not be a particularly welcomed reply, but feel it important to be expressed.

This was a planned night out with a known forecast of rain. To have spent such a miserable night and having to abandon gear to get out in the morning was not due to a series of unexpected mishaps. This was a lack of basic back country skills and preparation. Having the gear and ability to get dry and stay warm is a fundamental requisite to being in the outdoors. If things got this bad in a planned situation, imagine what might happen in an unplanned emergency.

The preponderance of good weather we're blessed with in Colorado can lead to a complacency in skills development and preparedness. The back country becomes relegated to the status of personal obstacle course, without getting the respect it deserves for even simple objective hazards such as wet weather. Accumulating a few dozen peaks on "the list" in good weather can lead to feeling experienced, when often it is only one or two experiences repeated on multiple walks.

Please consider putting together a list of appropriate skills to "check off" before going too far with peak lists. Weather preparation, emergency shelter, gear to keep warm and dry, navigation skills, route finding skills all might find a place on the list. The trend towards internet trained, paint-by-numbers hikers in the hills will results in just these types of avoidable situations.
I don't disagree with you. The main purpose of posting my experience was to let people know that just because someone has climbed a bunch of peaks doesn't make them immune to things going wrong, especially if that person has holes in their outdoor survival resume, which I clearly do. You have presented your point in a respectful manner, which I appreciate.

Sean Nunn
"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." --Psalms 36:6
User avatar
LifeIsGood
Posts: 23
Joined: 4/30/2020
14ers: List not added

Re: A cautionary tale

Post by LifeIsGood »

None of us were actually there on scene, which makes it so very easy to criticize others through a keyboard.

It takes some guts to post a mistake publicly.

For myself- I’ve backpacked in for many peaks, probably over a hundred times, and try very hard not to get wet. With just scattered showers, I will sit under a tree and wait it out.

For more persistent rain, I may scrap the plan to camp- sleeping in the car at the trailhead then starting the hike at 3:30 or 4am as a day trip, as the morning hours are usually more calm and clear.

If I’m really actually hiking in rain, I’ll wear just the rain jacket and rain pants, with no clothing underneath, because it’s all gonna be soaked.

And lastly- we should all have the skills to start a fire to warm up and dry out, even when the forest is damp.
User avatar
mtree
Posts: 1190
Joined: 6/16/2010
14ers: List not added

Re: A cautionary tale

Post by mtree »

I think its great Sean posted his story. It shows everyone how a situation can spiral out of control without realizing it at the time. We generally react and make decisions without understanding the long term consequences of our short term actions. Even the most experienced and prepared hiker can make a mistake. Its just a different mistake. Such is life.
- I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you.
User avatar
CaptainSuburbia
Posts: 725
Joined: 10/7/2017
14ers: 58 32
13ers: 112 18
Trip Reports (33)

Re: A cautionary tale

Post by CaptainSuburbia »

mtree wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 9:47 am I think its great Sean posted his story. It shows everyone how a situation can spiral out of control without realizing it at the time. We generally react and make decisions without understanding the long term consequences of our short term actions. Even the most experienced and prepared hiker can make a mistake. Its just a different mistake. Such is life.
I'm glad he posted his tale as well. I'm assuming there were more than a few other not so pleasant experiences the past 3 or 4 days that we won't hear about or learn from.
Some day our kids will study Clash lyrics in school.
User avatar
SkaredShtles
Posts: 2154
Joined: 5/20/2013
14ers: List not added

Re: A cautionary tale

Post by SkaredShtles »

One thing that I've *always* made sure of with regards to backpacking shelter: ALWAYS full cover rain fly, ALWAYS full bathtub floor. Won't guarantee you'll stay completely dry, but improves the odds significantly, in my opinion.
timisimaginary
Posts: 555
Joined: 11/19/2017
14ers: 2
13ers: 1
Trip Reports (2)

Re: A cautionary tale

Post by timisimaginary »

quality gear matters. a cheap walmart tent may suffice 99% of the time, but that 1% of the time it doesn't could lead to some unpleasant or dangerous situations.
don't underestimate the backyard test. the next time a big storm is in the forecast, practice setting up the tent in the rain for the practice, and you'll know whether the tent/rainfly are easy to set up during a storm and effective at keeping you dry. better to find out in the backyard then 10 miles from the nearest car or dry shelter.
social distancing since the day i was born...
User avatar
highpilgrim
Posts: 3155
Joined: 3/14/2008
14ers: 58
13ers: 82 1
Trip Reports (1)

Re: A cautionary tale

Post by highpilgrim »

timisimaginary wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:03 pm quality gear matters.
Only if you want to stay warm and dry.

Or look stylish on them thar hillz.
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S Thompson

Walk away from the droning and leave the hive behind.
Dick Derkase
User avatar
painless4u2
Posts: 1230
Joined: 7/14/2010
14ers: 58
Trip Reports (8)

Re: A cautionary tale

Post by painless4u2 »

highpilgrim wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:12 pm Or look stylish on them thar hillz.
I thought I spotted you, Comrade.
fat hiker.jpg
fat hiker.jpg (42.33 KiB) Viewed 493 times
Bad decisions often make good stories.

IPAs + Ambien = "14ers" post (Bill M.)

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
User avatar
SkaredShtles
Posts: 2154
Joined: 5/20/2013
14ers: List not added

Re: A cautionary tale

Post by SkaredShtles »

painless4u2 wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:22 pm
highpilgrim wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:12 pm Or look stylish on them thar hillz.
I thought I spotted you, Comrade.

fat hiker.jpg
Cargo shants?!?

Color me intrigued...

:mrgreen:
nunns
Posts: 1186
Joined: 8/17/2018
14ers: 41
13ers: 4

Re: A cautionary tale

Post by nunns »

timisimaginary wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:03 pm quality gear matters. a cheap walmart tent may suffice 99% of the time, but that 1% of the time it doesn't could lead to some unpleasant or dangerous situations.
don't underestimate the backyard test. the next time a big storm is in the forecast, practice setting up the tent in the rain for the practice, and you'll know whether the tent/rainfly are easy to set up during a storm and effective at keeping you dry. better to find out in the backyard then 10 miles from the nearest car or dry shelter.
That is a GREAT idea.

Sean Nunn
"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." --Psalms 36:6
Post Reply