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HST Good Loops for Backpacking Mid March?

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Re: HST Good Loops for Backpacking Mid March?

Postby Jes » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:06 pm

Thanks all, I mean it! I needed the thrashing and the help has been great for those that have been pm'ing me and those that have not. It's a lot of knowledge you guys carry and I'm trying to soak in as much as possible. I have compiled a good list of gear for summer weather and almost done with it, with much needed help I received. I do have one question though, as it is late and my spring break coming up soon, I have decided to go to Death Valley…. But I really, really would like to do the Grand Canyon, but the to fax over a permit request and wait is to long for the amount of time I have till I want to leave. I was wondering if you guys would know if I can obtain one walking in, I mean I know I can, but in Mid March would I be likely to get one or would it be a waste of a drive. Or should I just do numerous day hikes? Also I am going to get a new sleeping bag, but for now it depends one which trip I do as Death Valley weather is at about 40f at night right now and Grand Canyon is at around 20f, I'm sure they will change come March somewhat but though you guys could give me some advice on the permit issuer I'm facing towards the GC?



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Re: HST Good Loops for Backpacking Mid March?

Postby oldranger » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:16 pm

My experience, though many years ago is that if you choose one of the less used trails you should not have a problem getting a permit. Call up their permit office to confirm.

By the way, wise decision to put off the Sierra until this summer.

Mike
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Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: HST Good Loops for Backpacking Mid March?

Postby Mike M. » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:40 pm

My experience, though many years ago is that if you choose one of the less used trails you should not have a problem getting a permit. Call up their permit office to confirm.

Especially if you enter on a weekday. Monday through Thursday is best.

Mike
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Re: HST Good Loops for Backpacking Mid March?

Postby Jes » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:52 am

Ah Thank you @ old ranger, and Mike M. I will be calling the office out there, although I tried before and got a busy tone. I found a new number to call today and will be calling tomorrow. I planned on a Monday so this is great new Mike :) Thank you both again.
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Re: HST Good Loops for Backpacking Mid March?

Postby hurricaniac » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:01 pm

My son-in-law is a senior member of the SAR team here in Seattle. Their motto is "We don't rescue smart people."
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Re: HST Good Loops for Backpacking Mid March?

Postby rlown » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:06 pm

Tom_H wrote:Russ, I am glad to see you are changing your point of view a little too. In another thread where some other inexperienced person asked about going in mid-winter, after I said one needs specialized training, you replied to that person saying he did not need specialized training. I also remember when someone asked about curriculum for a high school class. WD recommended the NOLS textbooks. You quite angrily jumped all over her saying she was wrong and that the teacher should just take the kids and go have fun. Your point of view was not only incorrect, you were really rude to WD.

Eight people dead in 18 months is enough. Those of us with experience have a responsibility to give sound advice. This macho rugged individualism attitude is fine if you know what you are doing, but when a neophyte comes along and one of us tells him to just get out there and do it, that person is simply acting like a teenage smart-aleck. Grown-ups have a responsibility to act like grown-ups.


Umm. Have you checked out NOLS costs lately? Might be nice to run a survey here to see who has taken NOLS classes and who cares. I've changed nothing in my approach to common sense.

It's great if you want to be coddled, and follow the leader. Most don't and most haven't.

I've never wanted to harass the SAR gods. I hope I never have to.

People die doing this stuff. For different reasons other than not taking a NOLS class.

If something smells wrong, I turn back. If the weather is bad, I don't go. If i'm already out and the weather is bad, i hunker down (always carry extra food). I don't need to pay a NOLS semester to learn that. In fact, I didn't and I'm still here. Bet most on this board have the same experience, barring medical mishaps.

You need to tone down the death part of this..

We teach if they ask. We didnt have that option before the internet unless we met someone, but all the new people need to know is the gear and the timing. Not force them into a curriculum.

Russ

PS: with the recent storm, Mid March is off w/o skis and winter knowledge.
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Re: HST Good Loops for Backpacking Mid March?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:40 pm

I do recall I was referring to the BOOK that NOLS wrote regarding backpack and climbing safety. I believe these books are about $20-$30. And yes, taking actual instruction is wonderful. (I went cost free on a scholarship). I got started with the Spokane Mountaineers who had a "mountain school" - free. We used Mountaineering, Freedom of the Hills. It still is a great book to read- applicable to backpacking as well as climbing. There are many other fine books out there. Reading a few good books does not preclude going out and experiencing too. Colleges used to have "outing clubs" - not sure if they still do. It is unfortunate that many of the organizations that used to do a lot of training are no longer doing it (too much liability nowadays). Scouts are still a good place to start too. And one of the tried and true ways to get going is to find a mentor. If some young person came up to me and said, will you take me backpacking, I sure would!

Even with all my experience, I still try to read backpack instruction books. I always learn something new.

And yes, most people who just go out and "do-it" trial and error come back alive. But some do not. But what I think is just as important, is that if you have a horrible first experience, you may quit altogether. I hope I do not become an old-timer who feels "I got mine and now stay out of my wilderness so I can have it all to myself". I want to see young people out there and I want them to know how to be safe. And safe is not to say no risk. And common sense does not cover it for the city-bred or if they never had a family that exposed them to the outdoors. For example, if you do not know the facts about lightning, "common sense" tells you to go sit under a tree to get out of the rain.

The Sierra is much more forgiving that a lot of other mountain ranges. The "just do it" method in Alaska, Canadian Rockies, to name a few, up the risk of getting into trouble.
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Re: HST Good Loops for Backpacking Mid March?

Postby rlown » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:40 pm

Common sense doesn't tell you to sit under a tree in lightning. It's about being in the lowest point you can get to to be safe(r).

Not sure where you were going with that.

Most of your points are valid.. read, learn and don't die. And this is the Sierra, and not Alaska, Canada, etc. Pick a time you know and go. Know your requirements for the time frame.
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Re: HST Good Loops for Backpacking Mid March?

Postby sparky » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:21 pm

Thank you rlown for bringing a little sanity. Seems our culture is getting to be so damn overdramatic. Hell, dying isnt the worst thing that can happen to you....try living life in a bubble!! Sheesh!
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
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Re: HST Good Loops for Backpacking Mid March?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:26 am

Where I was going with the lightning example is that "Common sense" is born of experience in the environment you live in. If you live in a place where you have no experience with lighting you do not automatically think about it. I grew up in the PNW - wet, rain but not much lightning. Our first "common sense" thought as kids was to get out of the rain - go sit under a tree! Later when I learned about lightning in the mountains, I LEARNED about low points - that was not something already in my "common sense" basket. Not everyone grows up in an environment that teaches common sense with respect to the outdoors. I had students at NOLS who grew up in the inner city- never walked off pavement, never seen stars! Their common sense was geared to survival in the ghetto - lots of skills there - I would not have the "common sense" to survive there. I was raised to trust people, that all people had good souls. It would never cross my mind that someone would want to kill me. Bottom line-- YOUR common sense is not MY common sense. So, no common sense alone does not cut it in the wilderness. And common sense is in really short supply when you are teenagers! That is why the army recruits "invincible" 18-year olds.

I agree that we can get too overblow with the safety thing. There are abundant risks in backpacking but most can be mitigated with the proper actions. Short backpacks in the Sierra, especially on the trail, are not a lot more than extended walks in the park. And "solo" on the JMT is hardly solo backpacking. Since I have done most of my outdoors as alpine climbing, backpacking is pretty mellow.

But I stop at the point where I would not say to someone wanting to do something really stupid - go do it and suffer the consequences. As a parent many times I would have loved to tell my know-it-all teens, OK just do it and see where it lands you. A lot of smaller things, yes. But the biggies, no. You also do not let a 2 year old run out in the street and get hit by a car to teach them not to run out in the street. Some beginning backpackers, because of their lack of exposure to the wilderness, are sort of like 2 year olds. Now, the experienced who knowingly take on unnecessary risk for fame, or whatever, go ahead.

And just because I did some stupid things in the wilderness when I was young, and got by, does not mean I advocate that method of learning.
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Re: HST Good Loops for Backpacking Mid March?

Postby sparky » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:06 am

The HST mentoring program. Call now for the low low introductory price of $1,000 a day! Who wants to be first to take Jes out on an excursion? :nod:

Seriously though, that would be kind of neat! minus the $1,000 of course
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Re: HST Good Loops for Backpacking Mid March?

Postby rlown » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:13 am

I think all you have to do is ask to tag along on a trip with some on this forum via PM. Some would say no, but some might say yes.
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