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General => Epics and Accidents => Topic started by: tradmanclimbz on May 26, 2016, 05:09:45 PM

Title: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: tradmanclimbz on May 26, 2016, 05:09:45 PM
Just read about Geraldine Largay. So sad. She had a trail map and compass but instead haveing the dead reconing skills to know which side of the trail she had left and useing the compas to find the trail or simply picking a direction that would intersect the nearest road she used all her energy bushwacking twords higher ground trying to get a cell signal......
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: NEAlpineStart on May 26, 2016, 05:23:08 PM
Very sad. Her location was less than 1 mile down hill to the most popular trail in the East (and 10 minutes from a dirt trail that turned into a road). She survived for 26 days here! It is very tragic she lost her life over such a blunder. It's baffling to me.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/05/25/hiker-who-died-after-disappearing-from-appalachian-trail-survived-for-weeks/KAcHuKSdYVHNTNu0qQobvK/story.html

Reality is the VAST majority of hikers have zero navigation skills and rely solely on "following the trail". This mindset will forever produce rare tragedies like this.
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: JBro on May 26, 2016, 06:44:01 PM
Pretty sure the cell phone didn't kill her.
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: NEAlpineStart on May 26, 2016, 07:32:17 PM
...she used all her energy bushwacking twords higher ground trying to get a cell signal......

She survived 26+ days...so I don't think this is true. There's something here I don't think we will ever know. She set up camp and survived that long so close to salvation for almost a month...
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: JBro on May 26, 2016, 09:43:25 PM
Wow had no idea this was the thru-hiker called inchworm. I followed the story fairly closely for a year or two after she went missing and didn't know her body was found. Crazy to think she survived so long and how close rescuers got to her tent while she was still alive.
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: tradmanclimbz on May 26, 2016, 09:55:30 PM
My take on reading the article was that she focused her energy on trying to find cell service instead of useing her map and compas to get back to the trail or a road. the article that I read has excerpts from her journal. So yes INMOP the cell phone was a massive contributeing factor.  Without the cell phone she has no choice but find her way to the trail or a road. Instead she hangs tight hopeing someone got her text and is comming to save her.
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: JBro on May 26, 2016, 10:25:43 PM
Did the article say she had a map and compass? The majority of AT thru hikers don't bother with maps, they use sheets from a data book which uses a type of shorthand to indicate water, shelters, side trails, road crossings, distances to various things, etc. A fair amount carry a compass with no map but a surprising number don't even carry a compass.
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: tradmanclimbz on May 27, 2016, 06:22:10 AM
I read that she had a trail map and a compase.  her journal indicated that when she realized she was lost she focused her energy on trying to find a cell signal.
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: neiceclimber on May 27, 2016, 07:04:53 AM
trail maps for long distance hikes like the Appalachian trail and the Long trail are pretty useless for anything not on the trail or connecting to it, they usually only encompass a few hundred feet on either side of the trail. I imagine most thru hikers by the time they get a few hundred miles under their feet ditch the compass, I know I never carried one when I hiked the LT. Not sure what she thought she'd gain by calling for help, if she got so turned around taking a pee, how was she planning on guiding rescuers to her.
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: pappy on May 27, 2016, 08:41:34 AM
This is really baffling--an 'experienced hiker'  who had come ~1000 miles from Harper's Ferry and yet couldn't tell where she was in relation to the trail? And the Saddleback region is not that 'out there', I thought maybe she had been N of Monson in the Chairback region...that she even thought the cell phone was a solution is telling.
I carried a compass on the AT and PCT and probably used it a half dozen times, tops. But you've got to keep a general orientation in mind and relationship to the surrounding topography. As to maps, on the AT I ran into a couple in ME (I was N to S) that had come from GA using road maps, and did just fine, but the AT is blazed. That was '77, way before GPS.
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: frik on May 27, 2016, 09:24:44 AM
Cell phones don't kill hikers, Hikers kill hikers.
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: Admin Al on May 27, 2016, 10:27:18 AM
There is some talk that she was in the Navy training land and they wouldn't let searchers on that property. Not sure if that's true, or another government conspiracy theory. Regardless, cell phone or not, she made several obviously fatal errors. FWIW my understanding is that the forest where she went off the trail is quite dense. I read that she was not very good at orientation and may have been off her anti-anxiety medication at that time. At least her family visited her campsite and read her diaries. In a way it reminds me of the story Krakauer wrote about the young guy who starved to death in Alaska.

RE the cell phone vs compass issue... I thought most, if not all, cell phones have compass apps built in. I don't use them, the compass apps, but are they accurate in places like that?

Very sad...
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: Admin Al on May 27, 2016, 12:16:55 PM
the excerpts from her diary are especially revealing
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: strandman on May 27, 2016, 06:16:48 PM
Seems like a .......now we get the rest of the story thing... to me
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: JBro on May 27, 2016, 07:11:42 PM
the excerpts from her diary are especially revealing

Summary?
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: NEAlpineStart on May 27, 2016, 08:07:24 PM

RE the cell phone vs compass issue... I thought most, if not all, cell phones have compass apps built in. I don't use them, the compass apps, but are they accurate in places like that?


Yes. I use an App called "Theodolite" that is so accurate it can be used in surveying (that's the background of the app developer I think).

This promotional video is about 5 years old but still relevant regarding what the app does:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8qH0_DTLyc

No cell signal is required for this, or the navigation app I used most often, ViewRanger: http://www.viewranger.com/en-US

Both use the phone's GPS chip, which functions even when the phone is in Airplane Mode.

If interested in cell phone navigation benefits & limitations I went into some detail on what is out there in this post from December: https://nealpinestart.com/2015/12/09/should-you-use-a-smartphone-for-wilderness-navigation/



Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: Nick Grant on May 27, 2016, 09:42:20 PM
This is definitely a very weird story.  I haven't read any excerpts from her diary, but I agree with people who say that "Something was not quite right," but I'd add "with this woman."  Who would hang around doing nothing for twenty-six days?  You could walk to New York City in twenty-six days.  Could this possibly have any similarity to the Guy Waterman thing a few years ago?
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: tradmanclimbz on May 27, 2016, 11:16:16 PM
the article that i read  had excerpts and indicated that she tried pretty hard to find a cell signal. hung out on a mountain top for a long time trying to send texts and waiting for a rescue plane to see her shiny space blanket, ran out of food and water, got weak  and hunkered down. it also said she had a compase. With a compase or even a few sunny days in a row where you can navigate by the sun if you pick any direction and walk a straight line you will hit a road in a day or so...
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: strandman on May 28, 2016, 09:52:25 AM
I guess the old walk downhill method wasn't gonna be used here..or maybe even yellout ?
Title: Re: Cell phone kills woman
Post by: Nick Grant on May 28, 2016, 10:55:36 AM
The whole thing is very odd.  What experienced outdoor person (or even inexperienced) would do what she did?  Hunker down for an entire month?  Really?  She's right next to "Sugarloaf USA" for chrissakes.  And she's a hiker—why didn't she start hiking?  Isn't that what she likes to do?

If you want to read a great book (fiction) about someone (a nine-year-old girl) getting lost in the forests of NH and Maine, read Stephen King's  The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. It's a terrific book, especially if you like the Red Sox.