Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

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jessbee
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by jessbee » February 4th, 2021, 8:44 am

Here's the story from the hiker himself:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_ ... 0426161280

Sounds like it all began when he was relying exclusively on his phone for navigation and the battery died. Had planned to hike Eagle Creek but when he saw it was closed he went somewhere closeby. No headlamp, yada yada...
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Bosterson
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by Bosterson » February 4th, 2021, 11:10 am

What on earth. That is an insane story and that guy is pretty lucky he survived out there that long. Does anyone know where exactly he was found? (Was it on the 400 close to Wyeth?) I was really trying to figure out where he went and it makes almost no sense - though, of course, he was lost and dehydrated, so that shouldn't be surprising. If they found him on the 400, then he was going north(ish), and so must have left the Gorton trail maybe somewhere east of Indian Point? His "narrow crumbling slope" where he was thrashing and didn't think he could backtrack sounds like maybe the overgrown/damaged portion of the Gorton trail as it ascends to Nick Eaton, but if he had descended from that far up, I feel like he would have ended up going down Gorton Creek, or Wyeth Spur, and then would have ended up more or less at the Wyeth TH itself, rather than on the 400...

Anyway, hopefully this will lay bare the foolishness of trusting "just head downhill" as an exit strategy. The Gorge is too tricky to be trifled with, especially the area north of Gorton/Nick Eaton. (I have come up through many of those gullies and that area is maybe 2nd in ruggedness to Nesmith). There are so many lessons to take away from this - not just all the equipment the guy left in the car, or not relying on a dying phone battery (compasses, people!!), but it was cringe-inducing to read past the point at which he clearly should have turned back and retraced his steps, while it was still light. Taking 3 hours to get to Indian Point, and then continuing up an unknown and hard to follow trail, into the snow, with no compass and a dying phone, approaching dark and knowing you don't have a headlamp... Yikes. :?
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jessbee
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by jessbee » February 4th, 2021, 12:21 pm

Bosterson wrote:
February 4th, 2021, 11:10 am

Anyway, hopefully this will lay bare the foolishness of trusting "just head downhill" as an exit strategy.
Agreed! This was a big takeaway for me too. Didn't the lady who got stuck in a similar situation 2 or 3 years ago do the same thing? Try to bushwhack down a gully and fell and broke her ankle?
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retired jerry
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by retired jerry » February 4th, 2021, 1:46 pm

As I remember, the Asian guy that died in the southern Oregon coast range a few years ago went downhill into a canyon thinking that was a good idea

His family that stayed in their car survived

The car got stuck in the snow

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Bosterson
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by Bosterson » February 4th, 2021, 2:09 pm

Jerry, it depends on where you are. The lesson of that guy's story (besides not following Google directions - I'm still trying to remind myself of that) was to stay with your car. Re "just go downhill," my point is only that it's not a good strategy in the Gorge unless you're experienced in off trail (preferably in the Gorge) and also know where you are and where you're going. The people who usually get lost in the Gorge are precisely the people who aren't experienced and have no idea where they're going, so just going downhill is not usually a great idea, and especially in a place like the area north of Gorton. Having come up 3rd Gully, the Shooting Gallery, Wyeth Crown to Deadwood, etc, those are not places you'd want to just wander down into from above hoping that somehow everything works out... :?
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retired jerry
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by retired jerry » February 4th, 2021, 3:04 pm

I thought I was giving another example consistent with yours :)

Another thought is when you go out, constantly think about where you're going to exit. Look back where you came from. See where that is compared to landmarks like peaks and valleys.

Sometimes, I'll just enthusiastically take off then forget where I came from. Like, I'll go the wrong way at a trail junction.

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obera
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by obera » February 4th, 2021, 3:20 pm

I just read his recap of the event. Wow. Just wow. So many take aways. He got very, very, very lucky. I don't have anything else remotely kind to say. :shock:
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squidvicious
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by squidvicious » February 4th, 2021, 5:28 pm

None of that makes any sense. I don't have a facebook account--can people who are logged in get to the "answer any questions below" part? And are there answers? Because I have so many questions.

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Chip Down
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by Chip Down » February 4th, 2021, 6:05 pm

A post in one of my TRs:
Why would you need to backtrack if you couldn't find the trail down? Very few places in the Gorge would require this, since north takes you back towards the river.
My reply:
There are countless horror stories of hikers saying "I'll just go north, it will surely take me back to the river".

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Chip Down
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by Chip Down » February 4th, 2021, 6:07 pm

squidvicious wrote:
February 4th, 2021, 5:28 pm
I don't have a facebook account
:shock:
How...how can that be?
But seriously, I don't either, fuck facebook. :D

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