Rescued hiker on Mt. Defiance

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Thuja
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Re: Rescued hiker on Mt. Defiance

Post by Thuja » February 9th, 2019, 12:54 pm

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Last edited by Thuja on March 8th, 2019, 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Water
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Re: Rescued hiker on Mt. Defiance

Post by Water » February 9th, 2019, 1:18 pm

i'm friends with one of the people who was on the rescue team. next time i see him at the hogsback (we often cross paths there) I'll ask for a short version if possible..
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Chip Down
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Re: Rescued hiker on Mt. Defiance

Post by Chip Down » February 9th, 2019, 6:32 pm

What an interesting discussion!
Kudos to the hiker for being willing to share her story in such detail.
Agreed. I hate it when hikers in distress decline to share their experience. BTW, it's entirely possible the hiker in question is reading this, so I will directly say "thank you for sharing your experience".
for someone hiking alone in winter, ALL of the ten essentials are truly essential.
Well, that is [and has been] a discussion of its own. I pack gear based on a number of considerations, which varies from hike to hike. I would never discard my own judgement in deference to some "authoritative" list of what I need to carry. The only absolutely mandatory item that must be carried on all hikes: Beer.
she should have brought a paper map and compass. Relying on only your phone is risky, especially in winter where batteries die quickly in the cold.

I generally carry a backup battery. But still, it's worth noting that a failsafe map is prudent. It's interesting to note how often these stories involve battery failure. I have to admit I should be more careful about that. I should carry both. But of course, spontaneity is a consideration.
I really do not understand some of the description of what happened to her initially up by Warren Lake.
Same here. It didn't quite add up. I've become very familiar with the area, and I was scratching my head at the narrative.
Let's hope this is not actually an example of the fake Warren>Starvation trail claiming a victim.

Aha! isn't that interesting? As discussed, not only does this trail not exist, it NEVER existed, and yet it appears on maps. Holy $h1t, it's 2019 and we're still in the dark ages of cartography ["here be dragons"]. Strange thing is, it's not even general public knowledge. Most people actually believe maps are generally accurate/complete, when in fact map publishers are not only wrong, they don't even give a rat's @$$ that they're wrong (with, of course, some exceptions).
Various people have gone looking for it in summer conditions and haven't found a trace. I personally crossed straight through where it would be while coming up from Cabin Creek Ridge and there is zero trail bench in that area.
I love being part of that prestigious club. :D I kinda want to flag the route with GPS, but that would involve learning how to use GPS :( .
I've gotten myself turned around a couple of times, and the sense of dis-orientation, especially when cloudy, clings to you like crazy ("I SWEAR that way is north, but my compass says it's east!").
I can beat that. I've been in situations where I pulled my compass out, just for fun, to see how close I could come to predicting North, and found myself 180 degrees off! How is that even possible? That's literally as far off as you can possibly be!
i'm friends with one of the people who was on the rescue team. next time i see him at the hogsback (we often cross paths there) I'll ask for a short version if possible..
I'm LOL at that.
"Hi John, good to see you. Hey, I'm curious about that Defiance rescue, but couldn't be arsed to pick up the phone. What's the story? I know it's 20 degrees and snowing sideways, but we can chat for a few minutes, right?"

I found this particularly interesting, having been on Defiance a few times this winter. More than once I was trying to follow trails but found it tricky, while another time I was determined to go offtrail but kept running into the damn trail! :?

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Water
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Re: Rescued hiker on Mt. Defiance

Post by Water » February 10th, 2019, 10:55 am

lol, 20 and snowing sideways? I'm a fair weather (everything).. 20 and sunny and windless. always seriously seem to see him just at the hogsback while we're hanging out for 10 minutes snacking n stuff. I don't have his phone number and I already saw a few people "what happened?!" with the one pic he posted on FB of them awaiting next step orders on the S&R trip..he didn't respond and knowing him he's not going to want to put any personal thoughts in 'public' writing. I've never heard him talk negative or dismissively about anyone he's been involved with helping, but there's a candidness if he's just saying a few words in person.
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mandrake
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Re: Rescued hiker on Mt. Defiance

Post by mandrake » February 11th, 2019, 12:40 am

There may well have been a trail through that area long ago. I've actually run across trail tread between Cabin Creek Ridge & Starvation Ridge. Obvious in some places, not so much in others. Possibly a trail was there once, but it likely didn't follow the nice curving line as shown on USGS maps. Trying to follow it would be impossible in winter.

Chip: friendly recommendation... you should consider taking a navigation class. :-)

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Rescued hiker on Mt. Defiance

Post by Don Nelsen » February 11th, 2019, 11:14 am

In July of 2010 I set out to find that trail segment and found nothing but game trails. I covered the area about 500 feet both east and west of where the map shows the trail and went down the slope until it became extremely steep, about 600 feet downslope from the main trail. I crossed over where it should have been four times to no avail. I also tried to find it from the lower end, following what looked like a promising tread that went a few dozen feet and but ended with no indication of a trail ever existing.

I think would be a fun project for next summer: A few of us off-trail types could go in there with a good GPS track of the mystical route and see what we can find.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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adamschneider
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Re: Rescued hiker on Mt. Defiance

Post by adamschneider » February 11th, 2019, 11:22 am

Is there high-resolution LIDAR data available for that area? Sometimes that turns up ghosts of old trails.

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Bosterson
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Re: Rescued hiker on Mt. Defiance

Post by Bosterson » February 11th, 2019, 12:05 pm

adamschneider wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 11:22 am
Is there high-resolution LIDAR data available for that area? Sometimes that turns up ghosts of old trails.
Yep. Nothing shows up in that area. Though the area is subject to erosion, so a disused trail could easily fade (vs a roadbed, which is a deeper cut). However, I've checked USGS maps for the Defiance quad, and the fake trail does not appear until the 1994 revision, so the trail would be both fairly new and fairly recently abandoned, which is an odd combination. My hypothesis is still planned spur that was never built.

LIDAR: red arrows are the Starvation trail as it comes off the ridge up to join the Mitchell Pt trail. The fake trail would run through the middle of the yellow circle.
LIDAR.jpg
Will hike off trail for fun.

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retired jerry
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Re: Rescued hiker on Mt. Defiance

Post by retired jerry » February 14th, 2019, 7:10 am

good story, she did not give up

a lesson - when she was on a trail, she should have stayed on it. Do not cut down along some stream because you know it leads down to civilization. Especially in the gorge because of cliffs.

when I'm by myself I'm more careful. With other person(s) we will more likely to attempt something riskier. That cancels out the benefit of one person going out to get help or assist. (rationalization of someone that goes by themselves?)

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jessbee
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Re: Rescued hiker on Mt. Defiance

Post by jessbee » February 14th, 2019, 8:07 am

retired jerry wrote:
February 14th, 2019, 7:10 am
a lesson - when she was on a trail, she should have stayed on it. Do not cut down along some stream because you know it leads down to civilization. Especially in the gorge because of cliffs.

when I'm by myself I'm more careful. With other person(s) we will more likely to attempt something riskier. That cancels out the benefit of one person going out to get help or assist. (rationalization of someone that goes by themselves?)
Agreed! That was an unexpected twist-- that she found the trail but then left it again.

I also feel like I spend more time calculating risk when I'm alone and I'm less willing to do things that I don't feel great about. In fact the only two times I had to do an unplanned overnight I was with others: one with a more experienced partner and the other with an organized group.

Had I been by myself, I likely would have turned back well before the point of no return or chosen a different objective.
Will break trail for beer.

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