Wow, that is a crazy story. It looks like she started the hike this past Sunday and was rescued on Monday.
jdemott wrote: ↑
February 7th, 2019, 10:14 am
Different people may draw different conclusions from this...my observation is that the situation would likely have been much less dangerous if she hadn't been hiking alone
. And obviously, for someone hiking alone in winter, ALL of the ten essentials are truly essential.
This is generally true - if one person is injured the other could go for help - but if both
are lost it's not necessarily a better situation, and it sounds like in this case large navigational problems led to this rescue. So I'm not sure a 2nd person would have helped in this situation, unless that person had additional equipment or better navigational skills.
As she notes at the end of her interview, 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. A paper map could have gotten wet and illegible though. But I would say that along with always having a headlamp (this is one of those lessons you learn the hard way by having to walk out of somewhere in the dark), one should always have a physical compass. Even without a map, a compass can at least point you in a direction, and if you know generally where you are, this is better than nothing.
That all said, I really do not understand some of the description of what happened to her initially up by Warren Lake:
So on my way back down I decided to check out Warren Lake. Navigating out of there proved to be very difficult with all the snow and debris on the trail. Even with using Gaia, I undershot Starvation Ridge and found myself separated from the trail by a ravine. I crossed it hoping to reconnect with the trail on the other side but had no luck. So I decided to backtrack and due to the slick terrain I fell into the ravine (Warren Creek) twice, falling further down each time.
If she was trying to find Starvation Ridge (top elevation 2800 ft), that means she had already been to Warren Lake (3700 ft), and was heading E/ENE. That terrain is not too tricky, even in snow, and I cannot (even while looking at a map) figure out where she would be "separated from the trail by a ravine." (From my recollection there is no place like this in that area.) She then fell into this ravine, which she refers to as Warren Creek, which is due north of the lake, not east of it where the Starvation trail is. So unless she was trying to follow the fake
Warren > Starvation trail that shows up on maps, I'm not sure how she got herself into Warren Creek to the point where she would be able to follow it downstream until she got stranded at Lancaster Falls.
Let's hope this is not actually an example of the fake Warren>Starvation trail claiming a victim. I don't know what Gaia shows, but it still should have been clear that there is a trail going around the S/E side of pt 3873. Everyone does make mistakes, and this is one of the most justified cases of rescue I've encountered in the Gorge (ie, it wasn't because she just did something really foolish and avoidable), but it's still a good reminder for people about how much harder navigation is in the winter, especially if you're used to following trails blindly in dry conditions and not self-navigating. Always carry a map and compass! I'm glad that she appears to have come out unscathed, and good on the Crag Rats for pulling her out of Lancaster Falls - that sounds very dicey!