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Llamas on the Trail

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Re: Llamas on the Trail

Postby rlown » Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:27 pm

gdurkee wrote:Yep, dynamite. Very common when a horse or mule is close to the trail or water and there's not a pack of hungry bears close at hand. Short straw blaster.


Ok, I'll bite. Who is carrying dynamite in the backcountry?

Russ



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Re: Llamas on the Trail

Postby Ozark Flip » Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:37 pm

rlown,

Most carry dynamite for fishing. :lol: Just kidding!

I was told that it is the responsibility of the sommelier to drag your animal 100' feet from any trail or water. The backcountry ranger will then detonate it.

Flip
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Re: Llamas on the Trail

Postby rlown » Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:45 pm

soo,

On any given day, how much dynamite is our average backcountry ranger carrying, or is there another special bearicade that one has to carry their dynamite in?

I like the fishing idea. might actually be lighter than all the tackle i'm carrying. :-#
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Re: Llamas on the Trail

Postby ERIC » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:22 pm

Ozark Flip wrote:Precisely Eric....dynamite. Whew dogs, all the trees and brush turned redish brown.

I wondered if anyone else had heard of this.

Flip


Long story and details are fuzzy since the story was told to me some time ago, but the horse wasn't the only death on the trip. Apparently, the packer himself had a heart attack and perished the following night. And that's the G-rated version. The rest of the story having to do with the fate of the dead packer's body is pretty disturbing. :puke:

If anyone here knows Jim Fisher, then you probably know the story. :)
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Re: Llamas on the Trail

Postby rlown » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:26 pm

Sorry for the dynamite diversion, but i'd kinda like to know if my ranger friends out there carry dynamite.

Back to llamas. Homeranch, how do you train your llamas for carrying a "pack" if you will, and which packs/panniers do you prefer and why?

Russ
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Re: Llamas on the Trail

Postby hikerduane » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:37 pm

I guess I'll give the Backcountry Rangers a little more room. I'm surprised though, that the Ranger below Little Pete Meadow last summer was only using a fishing pole.:)
Piece of cake.
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Re: Llamas on the Trail

Postby homeranch » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:26 pm

Packs and Panniers are a great source of argument among llama packers, there are those who swear by one thing or another, I use what I got at a good price, Idaho Llama Gear, which is out of business now built aluminum Sawbucks from which the panniers hung. They work very well, for a saddle pad I use carpet samples from Home depot, they are thick and cushy and cheap.

Regarding transport, Even from Truckee in the Sierra the east side trails were up to 6 hours away, now that we are on the coast, times will be similar, but, there you go.

Another couple of llama items.

They walk at 2-2.5 mph, roughly what I hike at or a little slower, but a fine and reasonable pace. I seldom do more than 10 miles a day, which is a tad less than I do backpacking, but, keeping the beasts safe and sound is the most important thing. I do carry a pistol in case I have to put one down (easier than bashing in its head with a rock, but, I have never had to do so and never intend to.

Training, buy trained llamas, they don't cost much, I have never spent more than $1,000 and two of my strongest packers were free. As far as obstacle, creek crossing, leading, On the job training is the key. As you walk and train you and the llamas are getting fit.

I got my first date with my wife by convincing her little girls that they would just love a llama hike, but you have to clear it with your mother, naturally she had to come along, which was the whole point! Our lives together grew with llama trips, horsepack trips (yes we do that also) and hikes. Romantic little buggers those llamas are.
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Re: Llamas on the Trail

Postby gdurkee » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:27 pm

Sorry for the dynamite diversion, but i'd kinda like to know if my ranger friends out there carry dynamite.


Extremely good news. Backcountry rangers carry a lot of junk that we wouldn't otherwise carry were we not paid so much (e.g. a calculator to figure out our bonuses & 401K), but dynamite is not something we carry. Only trail crews and then only a few with a blaster's license. Even then, they don't routinely carry explosives unless they know they've got a big rock or something that needs blowing up. Then they order it and it's either flown or hauled in by mule.

Another dynamite story: I was rustling around looking for garbage at Vidette Meadow many years ago. I found a tin inside of which was a sheet of newspaper from 1918 and some weird copper tubes. Took it back to the station. My much brighter supervisor looked at them and said "hey, those are blasting caps." Yep. Trail crew blaster came in and blew them up.

Not as bright as we could be sometimes... .

g.
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Re: Llamas on the Trail

Postby homeranch » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:34 pm

gdurkee, you are a back country ranger in Yosemite?

When we were kids we went to Tenaya Lake every summer for two weeks. my dad would take off to Sunrise Lakes to fish and leave us really little kids to play at the lake and meadow. Ruined me for any sort of real job.

We had a ranger come and give great campfire talks, we would sing songs like "Little Chief Tenaya sat on a Fiya (fire)

Years later I learned that was Carl Sharsmith (did I spell it right)

By chance do you know Olaf Carmel former ranger, or Victoria Brown, former ranger, now at the Inyo in Bridgport (now being sometime in the last 5 years)
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Re: Llamas on the Trail

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:56 pm

Pardon one more dynamite diversion (with fish involved)...one of the greatest Eastern Sierra fishing legends concerns the dynamiting of Upper Horton Lake. I'm not sure when the incident occurred. I'm thinking 70's because the story was told to me in 1981 at lower Horton by Bishop mountaineer Sy Osofsky. Apparently some guy walked into the Bishop Fish and Game office one afternoon and proudly showed off some immense 20 inch goldens he caught in Upper Horton. Story goes that the DFG folks arrested the guy on the spot. They had noticed that the eyes of the goldens were bloodshot, a sure sign of being depth charged with dynamite.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Llamas on the Trail

Postby dave54 » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:02 pm

Ozark Flip wrote:...Anyone know the proper protocol for disposing of a pack animal? I was told by a backcountry ranger and I was shocked. It would be interesting to see what others say....



Actually, the research branch of the Forest Service once published a paper on how to dispose of backcountry carcasses using explosives (early 1990's or late 80's?). I searched online in the tech libraries a few months ago but could not find it. I used to have a hard copy.

It was a serious study, initiated after inquiries from field personnel. The researchers went out and actually blew up carcasses of cattle and horses, using different amounts, different types, and different placements of explosives. Published the results of the recommended methods to get good dispersement and using a minimum amount of explosives. Don't want to use any more than you have to, after all if it is in a Wilderness you have to pack the boom stuff in on your back, and there are Wilderness Act restrictions...

Maybe Mythbusters will pick this one up? :lol:
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Re: Llamas on the Trail

Postby rlown » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:06 pm

ok,

Any chance this topic can get back on track about llamas, packing, and not dynamite?

Russ
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