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General => Epics and Accidents => Topic started by: DLottmann on January 20, 2014, 01:20:48 PM

Title: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: DLottmann on January 20, 2014, 01:20:48 PM
News from the
White Mountain National Forest
 
Release Date: January 20, 2014
Contact: Tiffany Benna, Public Affairs Officer
 
"Forest Service and Partners Rescue Four on Mount Washington
On Sunday, January 19, 2014, a group of 15 from Bloomsburg University attempted to summit Mount Washington.  The party left early Sunday morning making it to Lion Head mid-morning when five people descended back to Pinkham Notch and 10 continued on to the summit.  The group of 10 summited at 12:30pm and began descending in rapidly deteriorating conditions.  Four individuals were separated from the larger group while descending the summit cone. Wayne Ebling 59, from Cressona PA; Rhea Mitchell, 22 from Danville PA; Andrew Snyder, 22 from York PA; and Kelly Sloan, 33 from Bloomsburg PA passed a critical trail junction above treeline and became disoriented.  Winds were building to 65mph which created very low visibility and ground blizzards.  The four tried to dig into snow for shelter, called 911, and activated their SPOT device.
 
The NH Fish and Game was notified by the SPOT call system and NH State Police.  NH Fish and Game then called the United States Forest Service to alert them of the situation.  The two Agencies worked together and coordinated a number of teams in very difficult conditions.  Some of the regions strongest mountaineers and experienced groups battled wind gusts to 95mph, temperatures below 0F, and horrendous visibility to locate the lost party.
 
Members from Mountain Rescue Service (MRS), the New Hampshire Fish and Game, and US Forest Service Snow Rangers made up three mixed teams.  Teams hiked up the Lion Head Trail and were shuttled up the Auto Road to move across the Alpine Garden.  New Hampshire State Parks played a critical role with Snowcat support. Two snow vehicles moved rescuers up and down the mountain, and finally, the lost group on the descent. Additional support, equipment and rescuers from the Appalachian Mountain Club, The Harvard Mountaineering Club, the Mount Washington Observatory, Friends of the Mount Washington Avalanche Center and the Mount Washington Auto Road helped tremendously.
 
Search and Rescue operations concluded at approximately 3:30 am Monday morning when Snowcats arrived at the Glen house to off load all those involved to waiting ambulances.
 
Forest Service Snow Ranger Christopher Joosen stated “This was a colossal team effort from many groups in the New Hampshire Search and Rescue community.  This rescue effort, in some of Mount Washington’s worst weather, was an enormous success that saved lives within the missing group.  It was also another example of Volunteer Teams working together with Federal and State Agencies to help mountaineers who are lost and hurt.  Each organization played a critical role to the extent that lacking any of their contributions this mission may have ended very differently.”
 
The White Mountain National Forest operates the Mount Washington Avalanche Center to provide daily safety information and search and rescue services to the public.  Although beautiful, the mountains contain many hazards for visitors to be aware of which are reported on www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org by the Forest Service.  Avalanches, icefall, weather, undermined snow, and crevasses can all become objective mountain hazards that create a level of risk.  Knowing where they are and when they may be worse can help visitors make better decisions for their own safety.  For more information visit the Avalanche Center website."
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: markvnh on January 20, 2014, 03:35:47 PM
...and I thought I saw a quick news bit about someone getting lost in Ammonoosuc Ravine either Friday or Saturday. Anybody else see anything about this?
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: Pete Jackson on January 20, 2014, 04:09:03 PM
I was riding at Bretton Woods around the time those guys hit the summit, and I can distinctly remember looking over at Washington and thinking, "I'm glad I'm not over there today." Glad everyone made it down. Sounds like it was a well coordinated effort.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: Admin Al on January 20, 2014, 05:46:05 PM
I believe that there were more than one incidents over the weekend. I had two clients on Sunday and Monday who hiked Mt Washington on Saturday. They said there were folks up there in jeans and sweatshirts and one party of two sharing a single pIr of crampons!

SHEESH
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 20, 2014, 06:43:41 PM
Sure Al..but what about cotton t shirts ?  :)

A group of 15.. are you shittin' me !  They summited at 12;30 and it sounds like weather was already becoming poor (see above)  learn to run away
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: Admin Al on January 20, 2014, 07:06:55 PM
...learn to run away

absolutely!
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: sneoh on January 20, 2014, 08:57:27 PM
Willing to turn back short of objective and early; harder for some to practice (altho they KNOW it) than others.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: eyebolter on January 21, 2014, 05:40:57 AM
They dialed 911.

I've said it before, and I will say it again.  Cellphones are the worst thing to happen to winter climbing in the Whites. 

Kudos to all involved in the rescue, but they must be getting really tired of this nonsense. 
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: neiceclimber on January 21, 2014, 08:22:01 AM
Two ways to stop these things:

1) employ a ranger at Pinkham that you are required to meet with prior to hiking/climbing/skiing. They can check your kit and if they feel it's inadequate can suggest to not go for it. If you choose to and require rescue for any reason you pay. In addition perhaps another can be posted at the Huntington cut off bridge with the same rules as above. These rangers can also help to demonstrate how to use such things as flashlights, gloves, and boots.

2) sorry no winter access if you are from any major urban area or not from Northern New England. Sorry folks flatlander urbanites have no place in the hills. If you violate this rule, the only assistance you can receive are airdrops of fleece lined Carhart bibs, duck boots, and pemmican.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: DaveR on January 21, 2014, 09:26:39 AM
Two ways to stop these things:

1) employ a ranger at Pinkham that you are required to meet with prior to hiking/climbing/skiing. They can check your kit and if they feel it's inadequate can suggest to not go for it. If you choose to and require rescue for any reason you pay. In addition perhaps another can be posted at the Huntington cut off bridge with the same rules as above. These rangers can also help to demonstrate how to use such things as flashlights, gloves, and boots.


Sounds great but ask Marc Chauvin how that works.   He was denied the right to climb in Baxter SP because the rangers said his rack and was inadequate!



Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 21, 2014, 09:30:04 AM
Does that mean the northern NE 'es won't be allowed on nice warm winter rock..don't be silly. Just because you live in northern areas, doesn't mean you






























Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: JBro on January 21, 2014, 11:13:38 AM
Two ways to stop these things:

1) employ a ranger at Pinkham that you are required to meet with prior to hiking/climbing/skiing. They can check your kit and if they feel it's inadequate can suggest to not go for it. If you choose to and require rescue for any reason you pay. In addition perhaps another can be posted at the Huntington cut off bridge with the same rules as above. These rangers can also help to demonstrate how to use such things as flashlights, gloves, and boots.

2) sorry no winter access if you are from any major urban area or not from Northern New England. Sorry folks flatlander urbanites have no place in the hills. If you violate this rule, the only assistance you can receive are airdrops of fleece lined Carhart bibs, duck boots, and pemmican.


It's probably better to either just charge everybody, or charge nobody.   
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: crazyt on January 21, 2014, 11:42:12 AM
Why do we feel the need to protect people from themselves?  Do we want to sterilize the mountains liked we've done to society?
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: neiceclimber on January 21, 2014, 12:31:27 PM
I think you guys missed the sarcasm.

However, if my memory is correct ( I maybe projecting here) the vast majority of those needing rescuing are from very urban areas. The recent amonoosic rescue was from NYC. These four from Penn. the Lafayette guy from MA. Auto road people from Around Montreal. All the lost skiers in VT are NJ,NY, and MA or recent transplants. So I'm not to far off base by suggesting to decrease rescues you could ban urbanites from the woods. Certainly it's just as logical as having some fat bureaucrate deciding whether or not your rescue was worthy and not needing to be charged. Its also equally as intelligent as proclaiming that because you fucked up/ are inexperienced that you should be left in the woods as a punishment and lesson to others.

To further the flames. How many of you that claim we are "sterilizing the mountains" by helping people that perceive they are in danger have ever volunteered for any type of rescue group? Or how many have actually been in a situation where you needed help? Ever seen any one truly injured?
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: steve weitzler on January 21, 2014, 12:44:32 PM
Here I go again but.......I would have told them to figure it out themselves and call me in the morning!!!!
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: markvnh on January 21, 2014, 01:14:14 PM
Time to limit cell coverage in the mountains! Maybe some sort of technology that works by limiting how far from roads and how high the coverage works.

The alternative is make everyone use Sprint or T-Mobile - same effect as above!

What happened to those days when you were responsible for yourself, prepared properly and has already been said - knew when to turn around!   
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: pappy on January 21, 2014, 01:22:22 PM

To further the flames. How many of you that claim we are "sterilizing the mountains" by helping people that perceive they are in danger have ever volunteered for any type of rescue group? Or how many have actually been in a situation where you needed help? Ever seen any one truly injured?

I smashed the crap out of my tib/fib in a fall on Discord at Poke-O, think Joe Theisman smashed the crap. Fortunately, there were a half dozen climbers around, one of whom was an orthopedic surgeon. After stabilizing things we quickly decided that calling anyone would be counterproductive, we had more than enough qualified labor to get the job done, and, f$3k, it was Poke-o, so I was five minutes from the road. A buddy of mine fell on an ice climb miles back in the woods in NC because he was being stupid (he would whole heartedly agree) and broke his pelvis. So made him comfortable, hiked out, called the local climbers (pre-cell phone), someone got a Stokes, and we hauled him out, again deliberately not calling 911. In both situations it would have seemed strange to do so. That's not to say that MRS isn't a great resource and there are times when people get themselves into really bad spots, either through dumb or acts of God (I do have a soft spot for those who get there from an excess of aggressiveness) where that is the best or only option and thank god it is an option. But they really should be the Maytag repairmen of the mountains.


Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: lucky luke on January 21, 2014, 03:18:54 PM
will need help of old eric, Jackson and other here.


when you analyze the situation, you can find three reason of it. First, it is real danger versus false danger. Second, local versus guide and third accident kill the industry.

1- real danger...it is minus thirteen outside here in Quebec. On the bus corner, where people wait, teenager girls stand in the cold without hat and, I saw some wearing dress with some kind of attractive socks (don't know the name). The weather is it the real danger here. NO. They know where they are going and are adapt at the situation. If you take some one from PA. Zero degree is an exception and when the temperature is so low, they stay inside. I saw in Miami people wearing fur coat at sixty five. So, the real danger is not the temperature, it is the way people act in cold weather. They are not prepare: it is the real danger.

2- As we understand that people are not prepare, we understand that the two latest accident (lip slide of tuckerman and this one) are cause by route finding. People who climb are not acustome to route finding in bad weather. They can't find there way. they have all the other skill and, for that reason don't want a guide. They just want some local whit some knowledge of the area to find the route when they come back. Or they want courses to know how to avoid avalanche slab as they come down the hill. Or they want to know how to climb. So, if the real danger is route finding, they most be some local that can follow the groupe and advise the leader of the direction or danger that coming with a six or seven hours compensation. Not guiding the party or taking the lead of the party. If you asked to rick, Mark and many other, they will told you that they went to yosemite and, in exchange of few box and food, they help people to realize there project. If we have in mt washington local who doesn't guide, but just assist people to have a nice day in the backcountry. So, if they don't miss the direction, just a local will make money with no need  to use MRS. But to gain experience, you most lead a group and you most go outside the confort zone. And the Mt washington is a good project to train leadership...when you have a strong background in hard situation.

3- will finish later, note to keep my idea... Accident always bring a bad effect on the industry. People are afraid that a situation similar exist. Showing that you have the best MSR...means also that you have a lot of accident. Sunday, it was fifteen people from a school of PA who was in dificulty. Do you think that one of them will come back again and risk there life? People are not crazy, if they paid one hundred dollar, six dollars fifty per person, to have a local and make a good, fun trip in extreme weather... at least five of them will come back with friends and family and some of them will take courses, they will rent room in hotel and go to the restaurant. It is tourism. On the other side, if you play the game that climbing is dangerous, you will have an accident if the avy post is hight, take an avalanche course... you won't find your way down, but we have the best rescue...your money and your life between our hands. Not as good??? 
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: DLottmann on January 21, 2014, 05:31:12 PM
2- As we understand that people are not prepare, we understand that the two latest accident (lip slide of tuckerman and this one) are cause by route finding. People who climb are not acustome to route finding in bad weather. ...

You are 100% correct LL... "route finding" and "white out navigation preparation" is an oft neglected skill in aspiring mountaineers... it's the same damn turn that countless people (and quite a few guides) have missed, and it is a simple 111 degree bearing from Split Rock to Alpine Garden Trail... that snowfield has misled so many people...

Here is my personal White Out Navigation Plan for winter route Lion's Head... feel free to use/share it...

http://davidlottmann.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/route-card1.pdf (http://davidlottmann.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/route-card1.pdf)

Most of these folks have walked 70+ degrees off route to get to Tuckerman Junction... a simple glimpse at a compass from Split Rock could REALLY prevent these from happening... but how many leave map & compass behind because "they climbed it before"... too many I am sure...
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 21, 2014, 06:03:40 PM
Can I say pompous fucks ?

I am a 'flatlander" I guess, but saying people don;t know about being in the mountains is bullshit. Yes i have done work with MRS..and yes i give them $$

This sound s like the 'guides mentality " setting in to me.  because some one is a guide doesn't mean they know  it all and are beter than anyone else i know amga guide s that I wouldn't give the time of day....calling 911 doesn't make you an asshole .
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: DLottmann on January 21, 2014, 07:57:48 PM
Can I say pompous fucks ?

I am a 'flatlander" I guess, but saying people don;t know about being in the mountains is bullshit. Yes i have done work with MRS..and yes i give them $$

This sound s like the 'guides mentality " setting in to me.  because some one is a guide doesn't mean they know  it all and are beter than anyone else i know amga guide s that I wouldn't give the time of day....calling 911 doesn't make you an asshole .

You can, as I think trying to restrict the main majority of WMNF visitors in such a way really would be "pompous". Skilled alpinists come from cities as well as small mountain towns, the only reason we hear so much about "MA/RI/CT/NJ" climbers getting into trouble is they make up 90% of the user group... so I also missed neiceclimber's sarcasm.

I think you are wrong about "guides mentality" setting in though... the vast majority of guides I know are the least likely to bash those who require rescue as harshly as we seem to do online... they also almost all volunteer to assist though MRS...

I've spoken with some people very close to those rescued and discovered originally they called 911 for advice, and were told "stay in place"... this is important. A 911 operator may not understand how "sheltering in place" might put a climbing party at greater risk. They also had no idea if help was on the way, and were psychologically ready to survive the night... so let's go easy on the accusations.

I have confirmed they had a compass, but no map/GPS... this boils down to a very common navigational error that has been made by countless parties (along with some local climbing guides who have climbed the mountain 100+ times), and one member exhausting themselves on the ascent so that when the error was made they felt they could not continue. I do think had they not a cell or PLB they would have probably self-rescued... but once that call to 911 was placed and they were told to stay put the rest was history...
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: darwined on January 22, 2014, 07:36:40 AM
$3. per car parking fee for Pinkham Notch.  The money goes towards rescues and education of winter hikers.  I'd pay it.  Would you?
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: markvnh on January 22, 2014, 09:29:48 AM
Appropriately enough - in today's Union Leader:

CONCORD — Fish and Game Department officials hope a new "Hike Safe" card provides about $110,000 for search and rescue operations.

Hikers who purchased the card would not be billed if they ever needed to be rescued.

At a public hearing on House Bill 256 before the House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday, key committee members pushed agency officials to include a group rate for organizations such as the Boy Scouts or a town recreation department.

The House voted to preliminarily approve the bill that must pass scrutiny from the committee overseeing taxes and fees.

The Fish and Game Department and lawmakers have tried for years to find additional revenue to cover the cost of search and rescue operations, which cost more than $300,000 a year.

Currently $1 from boat, snowmobile and off-road vehicle registration fees go into the fund, which raises about $180,000 a year. The shortfall comes out of the general fish and game fund, which is revenue from hunting and fishing licenses.

Yet hikers and climbers, who do not pay into the search and rescues fund, account for 57 percent of the missions, said Maj. Kevin Jordan, assistant chief of law enforcement for the department, while those who pay into the fund account for 14 percent of the missions.

The bill's prime sponsor, House Minority Leader Gene Chandler, R-Bartlett, said the situation is not going away and needs to be fixed.

"This doesn't solve the problem, but it is a good first step," he said. "The highest department estimate (of what the card would produce) is still short of what the department needs long-term."

The bill has the backing of the New Hampshire Off-Highway Vehicle Association, whose president, Harry Brown, said it is long overdue.

"We like the playing field leveled," he told the committee. "It's unjust and unfair to have two groups who utilize (search and rescue) services very little bearing the costs. This is cost-shifting."

About 22,000 off-road vehicles and 60,000 snowmobiles are registered each year.

Under the bill, the cost of a hike safe card would be $25 for an individual and $35 for a family. Jordan said the target is 5,000 cards, which would produce about $110,000 a year.

Under the bill, those who pay the registration and license fees as well as the hike safe card holders would not be billed for searches and rescues.

The hike safe card is modeled after a similar program in Colorado that has been in place for a number of years. Local hiking organizations and groups like the Appalachian Mountain Club have said they will promote the cards.

Committee chair Rep. Susan Almy, D-Lebanon, and former chair Rep. Norm Major, R-Plaistow, wondered why the agency had not included a group rate for organizations like the Boy Scouts or a recreation department who might take a group out on a hike.

Jordan said the policy would be if the leader had a hike safe card, others in the group would not be charged for a rescue.

But Almy asked him to consider a group rate and said the committee would explore it as it discusses the bill.

From 2006 to 2012, his agency responded to 957 incidents, Jordan said, and the majority is for missing or injured hikers or climbers.

Other rescues are for those who do pay registration fees and for licenses, and for missing persons or runaways.

"What is killing us are the constant smaller calls," Jordan said.

The state can charge hikers for the cost of the rescue, but most do not pay the bill.

State budget writers have been reluctant to use state general fund money to pay for the rescues and instead have proposed other methods to no avail.

A commission studying alternative ways to raise revenue for the department would be continued under the bill, as would a committee looking at how best to pay for search and rescue operations.

The committee did not make an immediate recommendation on the bill.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: nuts on January 22, 2014, 09:39:34 AM
Technology does create a false sense of security; it is however, not the issue here (these four could be dead had it not been for that call-- which didn't go out until after dark, this speculation can be endlessly debated).  Washington is a violent mountain with unusual and enticing accessibility.  The only method of preventing the stupid shit that's been happening for decades is to limit use to those who are capable.  Katahdin is a good example. 

I generally shy away from these discussions.  However, fixed lines keep appearing on Lion's Head Trail further enabling those who aren't capable of moving higher-- there was a fixed line Sunday that has since been removed.  Let's make a community effort to not leave fixed lines and to remove them if we see them appear.  I've also gotten to the point where I have tactful conversations with hikers who seem underprepared.  We're responsible for each other in the mountains.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: darwined on January 22, 2014, 09:41:26 AM
I think it's a commendable idea but,  how many climbers would willingly pay for the card?  Would they make it law that those without a card would be responsible for the cost of a rescue?  Would the AAC rescue insurance buy you a "get outta jail free card"?
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 22, 2014, 09:54:38 AM
Mark-- we have s imilar thing here in CO...hunters, fisherman, off road users etc get a card  or you can pay $3..it works pretty well as it also provides some $$ for training.

Maybe it's like medical and car insurance... you pay or you PAY ?
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: markvnh on January 22, 2014, 09:58:03 AM
I'd buy a card even though I'm covered from being an AAC member. Hopefully I never use either and use good judgement before getting into a bad situation.

However all of us no matter how careful we are assessing objective and subjective danger - can still be involved in an accident.

I spent many a trip to the Canadian Rockies hanging out and not climbing based on bad weather even though that was my purpose for making the trip - the risk wasn't worth it. In the end my life is more important than the money I may have spent to get somewhere to climb.

And I do think allot of issues are caused by "summit fever." "We've driven from wherever and I'll be damned I'm getting to the top" type mentality. Fortunately some people are willing to listen to reason from those with more experience or there might even be more rescues. I've had "tactful conversation" with people and they've headed my advice and have actually been thankful for that advice.

Fixed lines on Lion's Head!!! Oh boy...
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 22, 2014, 10:18:41 AM
" The Everest of the NE"  I can see it now...
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: markvnh on January 22, 2014, 11:06:44 AM
I guess we actually think alike John (and like Lagunitas beers). I was actually gonna write:

Fixed lines first for Hillary's Step and now Lions Head...

I guess with either set of fixed lines you get people that have summit fever that probably shouldn't be there...
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: frik on January 22, 2014, 11:16:46 AM
While not a particularly bad idea, the "card" is solving the wrong problem. The card is an attempt to address the issue of how to pay for rescues. But the real problem is that there are too many retards doing to many retarded things.

People who pay for rescue insurance, will expect to be rescued...no matter what.

Does anyone honestly think the same people who admitted they were "unfamiliar with the area" and chose to head up MT Washington in the winter without a map, will purchase rescue insurance? 




Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: lucky luke on January 22, 2014, 11:54:58 AM
card is just to pay search and rescue and to prove that they are useful.

MSR is necessary, but it is a climbing tradition that skill people help non skill people to get out of a problem. They can help in three way, first by making a rescue, second by teaching technique and third by bringing them where just one technique doesn't work. In climbing hard you want to reach the summit to be accept in a group; in climbing safe you want to come back from amazing experience in the wild.

Accessibility, as using bolt, fix line, etc, gave a false sensation of invulnerability to beginner. Those who have less money will think that in paying a card, they will pay the invulnerability. And those who make money with stupid climber will place more equipment to gave them a false sensation of power.  That is wrong for safety. (institutionalisation of climbing as a sport with ethic and competition, like sport climbing, are not placing bolt for safety...it is a sport different than climbing; the overlapping of an institutional sport and a sport outside the bondary manage by people are dangerous) 

There is not a lot of accident by people who hike the Mt Washington to loose wait, as a personal chalenge...and it is not those kind of person who had accident. Most of the time, it is those who have a superficial knowledge of what is climbing a mountain who risk two much.

Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: JBro on January 22, 2014, 12:21:17 PM
I thought I heard it all before, but fixed lines on Lions Head?

I like how that group was seemingly unprepared, but somehow remembered to bring a SPOT device. How do you not bring a map but instead bring a SPOT device?

$25 for rescue insurance is a pretty good deal!   
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: markvnh on January 22, 2014, 12:57:36 PM
Frik,

You're right they probably won't pay for rescue insurance - then they should be billed the full cost of the rescue if "help" is called out. I hope I never have to use my AAC insurance and can guarantee I'd have to be in an immediate life threatening situation to use SPOT (which I don't own) or dial 911 (which most times I leave my phone in the car).

Which doesn't mean that I'd never use help - I'd just try and get myself / partners outta the situation without help first. Which every time I see stuff like this local I think back to Doug Scott essentially crawling from the summit of the Ogre with two broken legs. Saw his slide show once and it was epic.

Mark
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 22, 2014, 01:27:23 PM
Maybe not..but  if they caught caught in some shit and had to pay..maybe think twice.

I think that the Rangers should be able to close the mountain down....then if you go up and get whacked,,you pay
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: eyebolter on January 22, 2014, 01:32:26 PM
Technology does create a false sense of security; it is however, not the issue here (these four could be dead had it not been for that call-- which didn't go out until after dark, this speculation can be endlessly debated). 

I think the cell phone IS the issue here.  Dollars to doughnuts those guys would not have been up there in the pre-cellphone era.   


Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: eyebolter on January 22, 2014, 01:34:19 PM
I thought I heard it all before, but fixed lines on Lions Head?


I better get on it next time it gets fixed!  That way I won't have to carry all those ice screws up there....
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: pappy on January 22, 2014, 01:39:11 PM
OK, the old dumb guy needs educating again: What is a SPOT device?
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 22, 2014, 01:42:28 PM
Made famous the that idiot a few years ago who got  stuck in a slot in Utah...personal locater beacon
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: sneoh on January 22, 2014, 01:48:17 PM
I think that the Rangers should be able to close the mountain down....then if you go up and get whacked,,you pay
This appears like a reasonable & good idea.
What are the counter issues/points? (I am sure there are)
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: The other tomcat on January 22, 2014, 01:51:42 PM
" Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement". At one point or another I have made many of the same mistakes, most of the time just got lucky. Whiteout, nightout, avalanche and various combinations thereof.

It's fun and easy to criticize these incidents, especially when you live in the valley and can just go another day. For these dreaded "people from away" it isn't always as easy an option. Pretty much nobody buys softshells, hardshells,layering systems, cotton tee shirts, plastic boots, beacons and wands, maps, compasses etc with bluebird days in mind. They may only get a few days of winter to use the stuff. Not saying they didn't make a bad call, I guess some of you never have.

What are YOUR stories and memories made up of? The days you greased up Glass Menagerie, or struggled up -20 gully? I know my answer.

Before any fee system goes in place I'd like to see the paperwork on how they come up with the "costs".

Edit to add: While I typed, sneoh added his comment. Ever seen that video where Kevin Mahoney talks about what a great training area this is for the greater ranges, you go out in bad conditions, -30 etc...? You would really want rangers to be able to close the mountain? Really?

P.S. I take a strip shirt just about any time I head up to the ravines, Gully #1 or any time I think I'll get soaked on the approach. Mine is Ibex wool, I've never come close to getting cold changing topless to a dry layer even below zero.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: sneoh on January 22, 2014, 01:56:11 PM
Tom, you have a good point too but there are two parts to what John said, ie, "....then if you go up and get whacked,,you pay".
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 22, 2014, 01:59:07 PM
i don't know..maybe..maybe not. I guess I could see it happening on Washington more so than other mountains.. just saying that if it WAS closed and you went up anyway, your responsible    maybe that should happen anyway  ::)

I do remember Bouchard saying the best alpine training was in NE because of it being "roadside"
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: The other tomcat on January 22, 2014, 01:59:40 PM
Problem as I see it Soon is the judgement call is made by people who really don't give a shit if you ever get out in the mountains. Is falling and breaking your leg less stupid than getting lost?
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: The other tomcat on January 22, 2014, 02:02:09 PM
Of course it happens more on Mount Washington vs. any single mountain out West or whatever, virtually all our budding alpinists must focus on one peak...

Standing by for lecture about Katahdin.... :)
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 22, 2014, 02:13:20 PM
Breaking a leg may not be very bright but.....getting lost because you stayed to long.. well that's another story in my book. and yes EVERYBODY fucks up at somepoint.

Katahdin ? Is that a dangerous place  :D
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: frik on January 22, 2014, 02:23:52 PM
Mountains are supposed to be dangerous... that's part of the point in climbing them. Folks who venture into the mountains should be responsible for getting their asses home weather or not some official decides conditions warrant a "you are now liable" warning.  It wasn't that long ago when this was the case. Rescues were a mostly volunteer effort and not very reliable. You went into the mountains knowing there would be no rescue...if you ever even thought about it.

Rescue insurance for $25 IS a good deal, however this isn't really insurance in the strict sense... it's just a random pool of money we all hope is enough to defray the ever increasing costs of rescuing an ever increasing number of morans doing an ever increasing number of moronic things.

Yes people make mistakes, have oops moments.  Heading up Mt Washington mid winter totally unprepared is not a mistake. I can't say what is is, other than maybe some form of mental illness having to do with a severe lack of judgement combined with an over regard of ones own abilities.  A mistake is leaving the bottle opener in the car.



Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: JBro on January 22, 2014, 02:32:46 PM
OK, the old dumb guy needs educating again: What is a SPOT device?

It's basically a rescue beacon. You push a button and it alerts somebody (I think you pay a subscription fee) that you are in trouble and sends them your GPS coordinates. That somebody then alerts the proper authorities. It gets service where cell phones don't.

I find it troubling that a group would bother to carry a SPOT and yet not carry a map.

Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: pappy on January 22, 2014, 03:16:33 PM
OK, the old dumb guy needs educating again: What is a SPOT device?

It's basically a rescue beacon. You push a button and it alerts somebody (I think you pay a subscription fee) that you are in trouble and sends them your GPS coordinates. That somebody then alerts the proper authorities. It gets service where cell phones don't.

I find it troubling that a group would bother to carry a SPOT and yet not carry a map.

What (other pointless stuff) will they think of next. I'd certainly rather pay for the hiker card than a subscription fee to assuage my paranoia, but I'm probably too cheap to pay either. But I guess if I got a SPOT and a PAS and a few other acronyms I should be adequately protected from my own stupidity.

It's very troubling that they would have one of these instead of a map and compass. Reminiscent of the guy on the glacier in Alaska who proudly said he and his buddies didn't need to rope up crossing the glacier because they all had avalanche beacons.  ::)

Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: darwined on January 22, 2014, 04:35:00 PM

Katahdin ? Is that a dangerous place  :D

Just bring a couple extra cotton tees, a cell phone, a spot device, and some ham sammiches and you'll be fine.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 22, 2014, 04:51:20 PM
Last time i climbed on the big K i certainly had t-shirts and

 sammies..it was before cell phones, but i did bring a hammer and some pins !



I think spot annual subscriptions are $200..not sure though
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: DLottmann on January 22, 2014, 05:52:55 PM
The problem with "closing" IMO is when someone gets hurt when it is officially "open", they try for litigation.

Live Free or Die... I hate when things are closed (looking at you Spring skiing in Katahdin).
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: frik on January 23, 2014, 08:35:25 AM
For as long as i can remember, climbers have been complaining about the access policies at Katahdin. Now after a few retards need rescuing on MT Washington, people are willing to implement the same policies here?  After a few people get hurt ice climbing on Cathedral maybe we should close that too.... where does it end?

"Warning; the state of NH board of outdoor safety has closed Frankenstein cliff to climbing for the upcoming weekend due to high probability of above freezing temperatures."

FT

PS: Yes i know the state of Maine has recently relaxed their safety policies at Baxter... 
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: darwined on January 23, 2014, 09:01:40 AM
For as long as i can remember, climbers have been complaining about the access policies at Katahdin. Now after a few retards need rescuing on MT Washington, people are willing to implement the same policies here?  After a few people get hurt ice climbing on Cathedral maybe we should close that too.... where does it end?

"Warning; the state of NH board of outdoor safety has closed Frankenstein cliff to climbing for the upcoming weekend due to high probability of above freezing temperatures."

F

PS: Yes i know the state of Maine has recently relaxed their safety policies at Baxter...
. I completely agree with you but,  the suits aren't going to let rescues soak up piles of money forever.  The AMC should step up to the plate on this one.  3 bucks a car
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: frik on January 23, 2014, 09:40:02 AM
Well the state or anyone else for that matter isn't actually required to rescue anyone right now. As soon as you start charging a fee, there becomes an implied obligation. 

Just stop nighttime rescues, and the helicopters, you've probably solved about 90% of the funding issue right there.

Problem solved, now can we go back to threads involving stupid shit LL says?
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: neiceclimber on January 23, 2014, 09:49:03 AM
In reality, closing the mountain or charging 3 bucks to park isn't going to solve a thing. There's just too many access points. Also, how does charging 3 bucks help stymie the costs for MSR in Franconia or Willard?

Same thing with the hike safe card. Sure 25 bucks from every hiker sounds like a lot of money, maybe even enough to offset the costs of a few rescues. However, the actual costs of the card in terms of printing, distribution, education, advertising, filing, fund administration, etc... Greatly reduces the actual usefulness. Then comes who gets the reimbursement? And eventually what do you do with the left over funds at the end of every fiscal year? Could the Franconia Fire Dept apply for excess funds to be used for new ambulance tires?

Pretty soon NH is going to have to change their motto to "live free and the cost will kill you"

 What the world really needs is someone to invent a retard-O- meter. I've been working on one but the stupid thing only beeps when I'm in the room.

Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: The other tomcat on January 23, 2014, 10:09:33 AM
With all due respect, I always call these forums discussion boards, so I end up mystified why people respond directly to the post just prior by quoting the entire thing above. It seemed to me that was part of the demise of RC.com.

I find myself imagining I am at a cocktail party where everyone repeats what you just said before they answer...

Not directed at Darwined, just seems silly to me.

Carry on as my friend Dale would say...
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: Admin Al on January 23, 2014, 10:29:52 AM
I like the card idea... I would buy one, just to support the cause if nothing else.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: frik on January 23, 2014, 10:29:59 AM
With all due respect, I always call these forums discussion boards, so I end up mystified why people respond directly to the post just prior by quoting the entire thing above. It seemed to me that was part of the demise of RC.com.

I find myself imagining I am at a cocktail party where everyone repeats what you just said before they answer...

Not directed at Darwined, just seems silly to me.

Carry on as my friend Dale would say...

I totally agree.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: DLottmann on January 23, 2014, 12:58:26 PM
This was just shared on Pemi S&R FB page... I'm sharing it here as I think it's a good example of how not everyone who needs a rescue was being careless. Sometimes shit happens. When it does, it's great to see a response like this one;

"A thank you note from our December 27 carryout from the rescued person, Peter Hapgood.

Dear Search and Rescue Volunteers,

My name is Peter Hapgood, though you may know me better as Callout #15. I want to thank each and every one of you that put your life on hold to come to my assistance on the Old Bridle Path on December 27th. I was overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity and compassion of the 25 volunteers that braved the cold and dark to assist a hiker in need.

Earlier that day, my hike on Mount Lafayette was interrupted by a twist, a fall and a crunch. Though I'd never broken a bone before, I knew in an instant that something unfortunate and irreversible had just occurred. From where I landed I was able to trace with my eyes the contour of the ridge I'd need to descend to get back to the trailhead. It would be 3-1/2 miles down a steep, rocky, snow & ice covered trail. I rested for a bit before getting up and trying to walk, but when I did it was obvious that I wouldn't be able to manage the descent on my own.

I was relieved to discover I had cell phone reception, and dialed 911. They listened as I sheepishly explained my predicament, then patched the call over to the NH Fish and Game Department. Without a trace of hesitation, I was told that a team of rescuers would come to my assistance. Within 45 minutes after making that call, I had the good fortune of meeting Jeff and JoAnn Fongemie. Without even discussing it amongst themselves they altered their plans. They spent the next 8 hours keeping me company, carrying my pack and assisting the other rescuers. My wait would have been very lonely without them.

It never escaped me just how hard each of you was working to lower me down the trail. You each made me feel like there was no other place that you'd rather be. In just a few short hours, you transported me from a world of darkness, snow and ice, to the comfort & warmth of an ambulance. I don't believe I've ever been so happy to smell diesel fumes!

I was sad to learn that one of the members of the SAR team sustained an injury during the decent. I hope it was minor and that recovery is quick.

You didn't have to drop everything to come to the mountain. You didn't have to carry all that gear up just to turn around and come right back down. You didn't have to come to my rescue...but you did. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Thank you to James Kneeland for providing telephone updates to my wife throughout the afternoon and evening. To all the volunteers of the Mountain Rescue Service, the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team, the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department & the U.S. Forest Service: Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: lucky luke on January 23, 2014, 01:58:26 PM
Mountains are supposed to be dangerous... that's part of the point in climbing them.

I think that it is a misunderstanding of why we climb the mountain. Mountain are not dangerous. I saw dog attacking an human, never saw a mountain attacking some one. We climb mountains because they are there.

I think that mountain is risky and people who violate his serenity without respecting them will pay the big price. It is always our decision to go or not in the mountain and even if we have objective danger, it is our duty to understand the phenomena and to protect our self.

When accident happen, I think that it is an honor to be able to help, not a job. And every of us most know how to help an other or, at least, self rescue. 
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: DLottmann on January 23, 2014, 02:17:49 PM
I agree with you 100% LL... and that was the most clear and spot on post I have ever read from you.

Has hell finally frozen over? Kinda felt like it this morning...  :D
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: frik on January 23, 2014, 02:43:23 PM
OK Luke, mountains are not dangerous, but they are risky. I bow to your unsurpassed skills as a rhetorician.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: danf on January 23, 2014, 05:01:34 PM
However, the actual costs of the card in terms of printing, distribution, education, advertising, filing, fund administration, etc...
My guess is, the most practical way to do it would be to make it an "add-on" to the online hunt/fish licensing system.  Basically it could be like buying a hunt/fish license but you have the option to buy the card separate from the licenses or possibly in conjunction with the licenses.  BUT, that makes too much sense to me so F&G being a government entity probably will come up with something entirely different to sell the damn things.

The problem that I see with the card is that it will be just like the cell phones for some people, making them MORE likely to call for a rescue when they really shouldn't need one in the first place...
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: darwined on January 23, 2014, 07:24:36 PM
Ding ding ding! Good idea
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: DLottmann on January 23, 2014, 08:39:10 PM
Appropriately enough - in today's Union Leader:
...
The Fish and Game Department and lawmakers have tried for years to find additional revenue to cover the cost of search and rescue operations, which cost more than $300,000 a year.

Currently $1 from boat, snowmobile and off-road vehicle registration fees go into the fund, which raises about $180,000 a year. The shortfall comes out of the general fish and game fund, which is revenue from hunting and fishing licenses.
...

You know I don't know exactly what these vehicle registration fees cost, but if only 1$ goes into the fund, and that raises $180,000 a year, leaving a shortfall of $120,000/year, raising the registration fee by only $1 would easily cover the shortfall...

I know, this isn't passing the burden on to climbers, but how many boat, snowmobile, and off-road vehicle owners are really going to care about a $1 a year increase in their registration fees? Maybe a lot... but I really doubt it.

That also means there are 180,000 people registering these vehicles... there are not 180,000 winter mountaineer's/ice climbers in NH...

I would buy a card if this bill passes, but I share the concerns already voiced that having a card may make some people feel entitled to a rescue, even when they could get out themselves... The simpler fix would be to just raise the above mentioned fees by a buck, and continue to seek some donation to S&R in cases that appear frivolous...
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: The other tomcat on January 23, 2014, 08:46:46 PM
Just thinking out loud here...people always joke about the money guides make, then it seems they do most of the heavy lifting, for free, and many have WFR's etc.., so how about using a card you already have! ( I'm an evil capitalist ), call 1-800-deepshit and for XXX.00, a call goes out to the same people who do it for free, they come get you, much less drama and embarassment, no newspaper report, money goes to the right people and the Fish and Game can keep ticketing snowmobilers...

Any fees collected by the government are gonna get worked over hard on administration costs. It's not one size fits all, sometimes you need a snowcat or whatever but half of these seem to be handholding walk outs.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: danf on January 23, 2014, 10:21:16 PM
DMan, I know you quoted the article, but how many times have reporters either gotten facts wrong or left out pertinent details?  I'm sure $1 from every OHRV registration goes into the pot, but I highly doubt it's to the tune of $180k.  I think part of that $180k comes from hunting and fishing license sales as well.  If it was earlier in the evening I'd look into it some, but if there's a $120k shortfall every year then that tells me that what they do have isn't entirely from the OHRV people...

Regardless, there does need to be a way to get the people most likely to call F&G for a rescue to pay their share.  The USFS charges a fee to park.  I know it's mixing national and state but why can't they charge an extra couple bucks on the parking and send that to F&G?  Especially since the majority of the rescues occur in the Whites.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: The other tomcat on January 23, 2014, 10:48:50 PM
You want to up the parking fee? Really? Have you ever actually seen how stupid the USFS spends the monies collected? Half or more goes to collecting it. They just built the THIRD Highwater Trail bridge in twenty years, they installed interpretive markers on the Boulder Loop Trail, then a few years later removed them. They moved the parking area back from Basin Pond, which was a place handicapped people could fish and see moose, then built a fishing ramp for the handicapped at the Covered Bridge. They advertised in the local paper for ways to spend the fees, then cried poor after Irene to the tune of seven million dollars from the American Reconstruction and Redistribution of Wealth Act. They tore out the beaver dam at Province Pond and then spent 126,000 $ creating 1.1 jobs for the duration of the new dam project to make it safer to live downstream where there are like seven more beaver dams.

I'll assume you know Crawford, Franconia, Cathedral, Whitehorse and parts of Mt Washington are state parks.

Not all states kiss federal ass. Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina is free of fees, and others are following suit. We should too.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: darwined on January 23, 2014, 10:55:33 PM
You want to up the parking fee? Really? Have you ever actually seen how stupid the USFS spends the monies collected? Half or more goes to collecting it. They just built the THIRD Highwater Trail bridge in twenty years, they installed interpretive markers on the Boulder Loop Trail, then a few years later removed them. They moved the parking area back from Basin Pond, which was a place handicapped people could fish and see moose, then built a fishing ramp for the handicapped at the Covered Bridge. They advertised in the local paper for ways to spend the fees, then cried poor after Irene to the tune of seven million dollars from the American Reconstruction and Redistribution of Wealth Act. I'll assume you know Crawford, Franconia, Cathedral, Whitehorse and parts of Mt Washington are state parks.

Not all states kiss federal ass. Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina is free of fees, and others are following suit. We should too.
you're way too reasonable
Go stand in the corner until you come to your senses
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: The other tomcat on January 23, 2014, 10:59:19 PM
All right, call me when dinner is ready... :)
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: lucky luke on January 23, 2014, 11:18:11 PM
OK Luke, mountains are not dangerous, but they are risky. I bow to your unsurpassed skills as a rhetorician.

In  french, the definition of danger is a possibility to be injure:

A risk is a situation where you can be in danger.

You always have the possibility to commit in a dangerous place. I think that you take a risk in doing so. But it is your decision, not the one of the mountain. Foir my part, I try to avoid situation where it can be dangerous. I climb a little bit more under my level, but i climbed for 25 years.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: frik on January 24, 2014, 08:23:25 AM
OK Luke when we start writing in French, then your comments may have a point.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 24, 2014, 05:23:22 PM
Dinners ready...I'll send coordinates via a SPOT device   8)
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: pappy on January 24, 2014, 06:24:40 PM

I think spot annual subscriptions are $200..not sure though

Are you shitting me? $200? That's like ~25-30 six packs of pretty decent beer. Anyone who would make that trade off isn't a climber by definition.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 24, 2014, 06:33:05 PM
and I think you still gotta buy the unit...$200 is per year subscription (I think)
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: eyebolter on January 24, 2014, 07:01:23 PM
You want to up the parking fee? Really? Have you ever actually seen how stupid the USFS spends the monies collected?

How about the handicapped accessible trail to the 5.8 crag at Rumney that doesn't even go all the way to the 5.8 crag? 

In all the time I've spent at Rumney, the total number of handicapped people I have seen there is zero, other than Hugh Herr.

Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 24, 2014, 07:10:07 PM
That's only because I have only bouldered at Rumney   :P
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: DLottmann on January 24, 2014, 08:58:31 PM
...the total number of handicapped people I have seen there is zero, other than Hugh Herr.

Hugh is definitely not “handicapped” by the definition of the word... more capable in the mountains than many people who still have original legs... so you really have seen zero :)
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: DLottmann on January 24, 2014, 09:02:01 PM
and I think you still gotta buy the unit...$200 is per year subscription (I think)

Subscriptions are $99-$149 a year depending on level of service...

http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=103

IMO they need to offer monthly plans at more reasonable rates... most people who would benefit from having one only need it for 1-2 months out of a year, so if you let consumers purchase a month of service for say, $20, it would be great for that trip to middle of no-where you are going on...

*still advocate self-rescue as help may be days away, but there is no denying SPOT’s have saved lives that wouldn’t have been saved otherwise...
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: pitonpat on January 25, 2014, 03:25:32 PM
Ironic that the name of Hugh Herr, who was himself rescued on Mt. Washington, comes up in this discussion.


Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 25, 2014, 05:37:32 PM
32 years later and people still don't descend in time.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: The other tomcat on January 25, 2014, 06:14:53 PM
Hugh Herr is an inspiration to us all, Sticky Bun Power! I often tell people how he came here and faced the music, and earned everyone's respect. He took adversity and turned it into gold. As fine an example of humankind as I can think of really.
Title: Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
Post by: strandman on January 26, 2014, 12:46:51 PM
In NO way am I trying to disparage Hugh..never..Even he would admit he fucked up. Everybody does sometime

Long live Sticky Bun Power...best route in the Gunks !