Some who wander are lost.

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Rockskipper

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This guy got lost while skiing near Marble, Colorado, and managed to self-rescue. I'm posting this because he has a FB post that I found really interesting (and educational) about his experience. I'm not on FB, but was able to read it anyway.

Here's the link:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/greg-berry/some-who-wander-are-lost/1525725360842073/

Here's the news story:
https://www.postindependent.com/news/local/skier-shares-harrowing-story-of-night-out-in-marble-backcountry/

Here's a quote:
One thing I do want to mention is being overly-positive. I know it’s really easy to let enthusiasm and the inherent positivity of being out in the wilderness in the winter overcome conservative decision making. I know that I often treat time in wilderness as an escape, or a respite, or a home for my soul, to balance out the crazy stress of modern life. I know I’m not the only one who yearns for a simpler life, and for more time in touch with not just nature, but wilderness. And, while the positive mindset is what helped me get myself out, it also contributed to getting into all that trouble. The same is true of stubbornness. I could have easily dropped into the hot springs on Saturday morning, but I wanted -- NEEDED -- to move, to climb, to get up high on a mountain. It’s a powerful drive. And, the crazier the society gets, the more and deeper some of us are driven into the wilderness.
 
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Perry

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Very interesting read. Could have been any number of us.


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Outdoor_Fool

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I like the last line of the Post Independent story . He's sorry that he will not promise to always go out with someone else.

I promised my wife once we had kids that I would stop the solo trips. That lasted less than a year so she eventually bought me a SPOT. I love going on trips with her and the kids but sometimes that won't work and she's awesome enough to let me go solo, or as she says "...like I have a choice."
 

Perry

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I think it's one thing to go solo after letting concerned ones know when to expect contact from you and where you are going and that's where you go. Its completely different changing where you go without any way to convey that back to base. Further, the more extreme the conditions, season, weather, terrain, etc., the more important this becomes.
 

MikeM

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Wow, quite a story, and I'm glad he is ok.

Unfortunately, I think we've all been in that situation. You're out on a hike/ski/bike ride/whatever, and you see another trail/skin track/ or just something that catches your eye. So, you deviate from your original plan. Doesn't always cause trouble, but when it does, it makes rescue all that much more difficult since you're not where you're "supposed" to be. Or, at least not where you told people you were headed. So, they don't know where to look.

I can think of one time in particular, a few summers ago. I was going to climb xxx peak in the Pintlers. I got a late start due to a brewery stop on my way home from work the night before. Got a mile or so into the hike and thought, "if I head straight up that face, I could make up some time instead of going around the 'normal' route". Well, I got maybe a few hundred feet below the summit block and realized it was a bad choice. There was a few more technical moves that I was expecting, way more exposure than I was used to, and I really didn't have the gear for any of it. But, I was so close! So, I continued on, but not without having to dodge some dangerous rockfall. I ended up making the summit safely, but looking back, I made the mistake of going off-course. Then, made the mistake of persevering even after realizing I was on the wrong route. I ended up being fine, other than being late for supper and getting an earful for that, but it could have gone wrong in a hurry had that rockfall been any closer, or had I fell and no one would have known that I had gotten off-route.
 

Outdoor_Fool

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That's what I like about the SPOT and similar technology, as long as I'm not unconscious or dead, I can relay my location, because as we all know, things change.
 

Rockskipper

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I carry a PLB, which I like because there's no subscription cost, though they are much more limited communication wise - emergency rescue only.
 

Perry

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I carry a Delorme InReach which provides basic route support, gps tracking, weather reports and two-way text via satellite including SOS communication to SAR. It’s not a cheap device and does have a service fee. The texting alone is worth it to me whether you’re solo or with others. Like @Outdoor_Fool it gives my wife much piece of mind. I also like to know things are all okay at home. I’ve used it to let the home base know of route changes, delays or even early exits. I’ve even been able to help my wife through a couple emergencies at home. Well worth the cost to me.

Does it make everything safe while in the back country? No. But it’s far better than not.


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LarryBoy

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I carry a PLB, which I like because there's no subscription cost, though they are much more limited communication wise - emergency rescue only.
That's precisely why I carry a PLB rather than a SPOT. To me, carrying a spot is like wearing a leash. When I'm out there alone, I want to be alone. At the same time, the PLB gives my family confidence that if I ever need a helicopter ride, I can call for one.

This guy's tale is very thoughtful and very instructive. A series of decisions - one goes wrong, and the whole thing goes sideways. Could've been me.
 

SteveR

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His very honest and open account is a good read for anybody who ventures into the outdoors. Like so many incidents- the result of a chain of relatively minor events, and the human factor.
A couple of comments on the Spot and InReach.
-I carry a Spot much of the time, never had to use it for an emergency. While I have had no issues with sending out "Checking in, everything OK", or "OK, but I'm going to be late" preprogrammed messages, I have heard of problems with sending from others.
-InReach has had some issues with inadvertent SOS calls being sent. I know of 2 from people that I know personally. The first was caused by carelessly shoving the device into a backpack while it was turned on, in the process sliding the "safety" to the "armed" position, and then somehow pushing the SOS.
-The other InReach false distress call was the result of a friend sitting on his pack, with the device turned on and stowed away in an accessory pocket within.
In both instances SAR was notified and rescue teams were helicoptered in, meanwhile both parties were blissfully unaware of what was going on.
These were both with older models of the InReach. Possibly the newer versions are less prone to user error.
 

Perry

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His very honest and open account is a good read for anybody who ventures into the outdoors. Like so many incidents- the result of a chain of relatively minor events, and the human factor.
A couple of comments on the Spot and InReach.
-I carry a Spot much of the time, never had to use it for an emergency. While I have had no issues with sending out "Checking in, everything OK", or "OK, but I'm going to be late" preprogrammed messages, I have heard of problems with sending from others.
-InReach has had some issues with inadvertent SOS calls being sent. I know of 2 from people that I know personally. The first was caused by carelessly shoving the device into a backpack while it was turned on, in the process sliding the "safety" to the "armed" position, and then somehow pushing the SOS.
-The other InReach false distress call was the result of a friend sitting on his pack, with the device turned on and stowed away in an accessory pocket within.
In both instances SAR was notified and rescue teams were helicoptered in, meanwhile both parties were blissfully unaware of what was going on.
These were both with older models of the InReach. Possibly the newer versions are less prone to user error.
I’ve had one SOS false alarm. Luckily I knew when it happened and quickly turned it off. It is a poor design in the older model. I think the new “plus” model has a better design. On the up side Garmin did a follow up email with me to confirm it was a false alarm on my part and not a failure on their end. I was impressed.

These days I’m more careful :)

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fiber

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If you want safety, stay at home. Climbers crave the independence and focus that being in dangerous situations force. Society has indoctrinated us to expect safe passage. It more people consciously took risks, I think our society would be much healthier.
 

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