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Discussing Date of Exit and Cut-off Times

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Re: Discussing Date of Exit and Cut-off Times

Postby WarrenFork » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:19 am

FeetFirst wrote:@Maveric, Good reminder-thanks. The recent examples really drive it home.


Actually the examples amount to straw men in terms of the OP's argument. Both Matthew Greene and Michael Meyers were climbers on day hikes. All this fretting about exit dates is irrelevant in their cases. And as far as Meyers is concerned, he could have been on his phone to law enforcement recounting every step of his route and it would have made no difference. He was swept away by an avalanche and buried. No one could have reached him in time to save him.

As far as the larger issues are concerned, I wholeheartedly concur with markskor.



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Re: Discussing Date of Exit and Cut-off Times

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:27 am

Two things not mentioned.

Insurance companies want proof of death. Having closure is more than an emotional need. SAR teams do not see such things as irrelevant -- trainings are sometimes continuing searches because we know that sometimes, evidence is found years later. My former SAR team recovered remains that were several years old, not because it was trivial, but because that is what SAR does -- we bring people home.

Communication of all aspects of any trip, day or otherwise, is always going to be relevant. I received a frantic phone call one evening from a friend who knew I was SAR, begging for advice. Mom of an adult 20something son in tears because her son and his girlfriend had not come home or made contact the evening after a day hike. I gave her all the standard advice including phone numbers. She called a bit later to tell me (embarrassed) that she had misunderstood them -- they were going hiking the following day. They'd been at the mall, at the girlfriend's house, at a movie, and not hiking at all....
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Re: Discussing Date of Exit and Cut-off Times

Postby maverick » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:15 am

WarrenFork wrote:
All this fretting about exit dates is irrelevant in their cases. And as far as Meyers is concerned, he could have been on his phone to law enforcement recounting every step of his route and it would have made no difference. He was swept away by an avalanche and buried. No one could have reached him in time to save him.


The day hike, and climb was addressed in the OP, and it is true that in the Meyers case it would not have made a difference, but if someone sustained an injury from which they could survive from, for at least a relatively short time, then the 12 day or even a 6 day delay becomes a major issue, maybe not in your case, but maybe to others who may want a chance at survival.



Mark wrote:
Sorry Mav, on this one, respectfully have to disagree (and for a while now, have held my tongue too.) What you demand is not always possible, and even if it were, really only benefits others - those at home. What if there is no one at home?


I know Mark how you feel about this issue. :)

Yes it does benefit those at home too, a major benefit not a crutch, because if their is no body, their is no closure, period. Ask the Green Family, or any other person who's loved one perished in the backcountry and there was no body found, whether they would prefer to have one or not?

Their is always a friend who can be a designated contact, if one wants to be found, but if a person excepts the dangers, and has no family who requires ones body for closure, or you do not have a wife and kids who could benefit from the insurance money, then sure let the Sierra claim you, if that is your desire Mark, you do not get any argument from me on this point.
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Re: Discussing Date of Exit and Cut-off Times

Postby zacjust32 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:03 pm

maverick wrote:you do not have a wife and kids who could benefit from the insurance money, then sure let the Sierra claim you, if that is your desire Mark, you do not get any argument from me on this point.


Takes a lot of guts to come to a decision like that Mark, and I respect that. It should be mentioned that your feeling is probably the exception, not the norm. I would still encourage people to have a backup plan, especially those not as experienced. I think Mav's directing this thread towards newbies who don't automatically think about stuff like this and aren't as prepared as the more experienced community here, and for that reason I say highly encourage them to alert friends and relatives. You may be prepared for an unfortunate event, but many aren't, and it's those I'm most concerned about.
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Re: Discussing Date of Exit and Cut-off Times

Postby oldranger » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:46 pm

I agree with most of what mark said. I carry a spot locator because my wife insists not a safety device. I think both of Mav searches are ok because they supported the family's desires. But like Mark, as I've stated many times, if I disappear let me be! My family understands this and there are no insurance or other monetary concerns. Would I use the spot if capable and seriously injured, yep--I've got it so I'd use it but I'd much prefer not to carry the extra few ounces or have to send out an ok message every evening which is more than a little annoying. But a happy wife ….

As for when does she call out for help? 2 days late. This not my choice but hers. (go figure why she wants me back?) But to call it off if it extends past reasonable time for survival.

It will be interesting next Summer when she is off on the Wonderland Trail in Washington and I am wandering around off trail in the Sierra or White Clouds.

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Re: Discussing Date of Exit and Cut-off Times

Postby maverick » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:52 pm

Zacjust32 wrote:
I think Mav's directing this thread towards newbies who don't automatically think about stuff like this and aren't as prepared as the more experienced community here, and for that reason I say highly encourage them to alert friends and relatives. You may be prepared for an unfortunate event, but many aren't, and it's those I'm most concerned about.


It addresses newbies and experienced alike, newbies may not understand or are naive to the dangerous, the experienced may believe they are invincible and can cheat death.


- Are we morally obligated to make the best effort to get out of the backcountry, and back to our spouses, kids, and family members?

- Would they consider us free spirited or selfish, if we did not make an effort?

- Do we have any financial responsibility to ensure, that our spouses and kids are taken care of if something happens to us while in the wild?
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Re: Discussing Date of Exit and Cut-off Times

Postby maverick » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:59 pm

Mike wrote:
But like Mark, as I've stated many times, if I disappear let me be! My family understands this and there are no insurance or other monetary concerns. Would I use the spot if capable and seriously injured, yep--I've got it so I'd use it but I'd much prefer not to carry the extra few ounces or have to send out an ok message every evening which is more than a little annoying. But a happy wife ….


Yes, remember you stating this previously.
In no way am I trying to change your mind in your beliefs Mike, they are yours, and you are of course entitled to them. With that said, it is proven that there is no closure without a body, and as humans we cannot start the grieving process without closure.
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Re: Discussing Date of Exit and Cut-off Times

Postby kpeter » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:47 pm

I am drawn by the spiritual/aesthetic attractiveness of the Sierra, I am not driven there by loathing of civilization. So I have a lot to live for, including the hope of returning many more times to the Sierra. So if I had some sort of serious incident, I would really like to be rescued!

However, if I died in the mountains I'm not sure finding my body would matter for the reasons you might think, but it might for different reasons. Neither I nor my family would be interested in retrieving a body for a ritualized ceremony. My family has always cremated and scattered ashes, never had open viewings, holds memorials with no body present, etc. But finding the body can help to answer questions. What happened at the end of their loved one's life? There have been quite a number of cases, for example, when people who die in the wilderness have time to write messages to their family, or photographs are found in the camera. Finding the body may find answers.

If anyone wants to know something about how finding a body can help bring closure to some families, please read one of these articles, about a man from my home town:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/7002 ... tml?pg=all

http://www.backpacker.com/trips/wyoming ... ner-story/

PS I suppose the Mike Turner example is probably the most classic case to illustrate why detailed itineraries, firm exit dates, personal locators, etc. are important, although that is not why I raised his case. I was thinking of the comfort for his family of having that remarkable journal, the photographs in his camera, and having the opportunity to pack in and hold a memorial for him at the lovely lake where he died. All of that as opposed to a lifetime of not knowing quite what happened.
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Re: Discussing Date of Exit and Cut-off Times

Postby sekihiker » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:58 am

My wife has always joked that if I suffer from dementia toward the end of my life, she is going to take me to the trail head and drop me off for my last hike. That sounds awesome to me. In an ideal world, that would be the way I would want to go. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it would probably involve some kind of recovery effort which could put others in harm's way and require a lot of unnecessary expense.

Dying with dignity is an elusive goal. I'll never forget the Indian character (played by Chief Dan George) in the movie "Little Big Man" having his efforts to go to the Happy Hunting Ground thwarted by a thunder storm.
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Re: Discussing Date of Exit and Cut-off Times

Postby Jimr » Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:57 pm

Loved that movie and that particular theme.
What?!
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Re: Discussing Date of Exit and Cut-off Times

Postby sparky » Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:08 am

Different strokes for different folks Mark. I have loved ones at home so me disappearing into the mountains never to be seen again is a big deal. We will do what we can to mitigate that. I am definitely feeling the spirit of your post, but many of our significant others have alternate opinions we must take into consideration.

Her que to call the authorities is at dark on my "exit day", although I always plan to exit the day prior. I always carry food for an extra day, and have an extra day on my permit to allow for error, but plan to exit the day before. (does that make sense?) That way if I am just running late, no harm no foul. So far that has never happened....and last year I hiked an unplanned and painful 30 trail miles or so because a knee injury diverted me from hiking any of the cross country passes out of the evolution area. Luckily I hit my planned exit time, and no call was made.

There are things worse than death.....burning questions or a plain fear of the unknown by those left behind is one of them. Not knowing what happened can especially eat up those that do not do what we do. So sorry Mark and rogue and anyone else, despite your wishes if you were to disappear you can bet your ass a rag tag ad hoc party of internet geeks will come looking for your empty shell.
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Re: Discussing Date of Exit and Cut-off Times

Postby dave54 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:35 am

Wife and I post our itinerary to dropbox where our daughter can read it. Post photos, messages, and updates whenever we have cell coverage. She also posts photos and messages which we retrieve when we can. Even then it may be several days to a week (or more?) between accessing dropbox. There is usually a tall point somewhere we can get at least a weak signal, at least enough for a text. The truck has a cell signal booster. There are portable signal boosters, but that is extra weight and bulk.

Neither of us worry about it. She knows we are out having fun and spending her inheritance.
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