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ON the Internet, we're all mistake free!

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Re: ON the Internet, we're all mistake free!

Postby Jimr » Fri May 11, 2012 12:51 pm

RoguePhotonic wrote:Since I have never done drugs ... I guess I haven't had that privilege yet. :p


Yur not missing anything.
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Re: ON the Internet, we're all mistake free!

Postby maverick » Fri May 11, 2012 1:14 pm

Jimr wrote:
I almost got lost in Dusy Basin, but then I was frying on acid at the time. Thank goodness
for yellow tents.


Wow, you must have been really toasted to get lost in Dusy Basin. Yellow tents in
place of yellow submarines! :D
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Re: ON the Internet, we're all mistake free!

Postby Jimr » Fri May 11, 2012 3:00 pm

I kept it together enough to know to keep moving downstream as I was fishing up stream before I came on. Fortunately, I wasn't yet toasted or I may have been looking for a yellow submarine. It is amazing how easily a yellow tent can disappear into the wilderness. Of course, with all of the colors and trails, perhaps it's not so amazing after all.
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Re: ON the Internet, we're all mistake free!

Postby AlmostThere » Fri May 11, 2012 6:14 pm

I had a gal show up on a group hike and follow me up the trail telling the other hikers how she would follow me anywhere, she trusts me, etc. I told her what I tell anyone - anyone can get lost if they aren't paying attention, and the key navigation skill you need to drill into your head is just to be aware from the start which way you are going, where you are on the map, etc. so that when you hit a junction of a trail you know which way even if you can't find the sign. And then I told her about the night I wandered for an hour in the Little Yosemite Camp looking for my hammock after going to the restroom (only hammock in a camp full of tents) because I had got just a bit off course and kept going north - south over and over in my state of hazy semi-awake ??? at 2 in the morning.

I suppose that might have something to do with why she hasn't been hiking with the group since, but maybe that is a good thing.
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Re: ON the Internet, we're all mistake free!

Postby rlown » Fri May 11, 2012 9:43 pm

i get lost in the fog.. but i have a compass. so, at least I know which direction i'm lost in. spent a nice night on Herd Pk with a log behind me and a roaring fire in front of me. I always carry a lighter.
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Re: ON the Internet, we're all mistake free!

Postby Electra » Sat May 12, 2012 6:47 am

I have had my share of 'incidents' , mostly on challenging personal trips and especially way back when as i stumbled thru the night on early fast-pack adventures exhausted and cold yet determined to 'see the light' of morning.

One 'bad' decision I made that really snowballed was a guiding decision I made to take a trail i never had been on thinking it would make a HOT hike easier for my clients. Wrong! We were at the Fernandez trailhead in Ansel Adams Wilderness and instead of taking the main Fernandez trail which makes a gradual climb, I decided it would be best to take the Walton trail as it was the hottest day i had ever experienced (90+ degrees) in the mountains. Part of my decision was based on the fact that i had a client who happened to be a wee bit overweight and dressed in blue jeans and a long sleeve flannel shirt and I hoped the route would be easier for her, more shaded and maybe sub-conciously, allow me to see some new country and not 'deal' with guiding the same trail in stifling conditions.

Well, let's just say i had to deal in a big way as 1) the trail was exposed right away 2) the trail eventually descends a few hundred feet to a creek before climbing again 3) my pretending that i had been on the trail before was not coming across with a lot of guides confidence 4) said client was already not faring well on the first climb a mile in 5) I was the only guide on this 6 person trip requiring me to do everything two guides would do.....A few miles in as we climbed out of the canyon, the heat and bugs were relentless and everyone was spent especially the client who refused to put on cooler attire. I now had to carry most of her pack pushing my pack weight to about 95 pounds. It was at this time that my bro-in-law who was on the trip and is a doctor began suggesting that the client was acting funny and he though she may be bi-polar as he was staying in back and had been talking to her. I figured she was just agitated but began hiking with her and playing closer attention.

Long story made short as there are dozens of other things that happened, we ended up stopping early the first day (below treeline and hammered by skeeters) and my clients who could read a map questioned my choice of trails and the client turned out to be manic and in her best exorcist voice threatened to throw my bro-in-law in the fire on day two!! I aborted the trip a day early and to this day, my bro-in law thinks i am a god for how i handled the trip and adversity!! ...I feel a bit ashamed by it all but learned some valuable lessons.

Lots to learn from one simple mistake that caused a domino effect. Said client would have been challenged anyway and would have freaked out regardless of the trail taken but i surely compounded the challenges and made everyone's trip worse. We refunded everyone's money yet all the clients returned the following year so as we all can agree on, any time in the mountains is usually time well spent. I could write an AAC report about this trip. Any other 'freak out' (non-drug) stories anyone care to share??
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Re: ON the Internet, we're all mistake free!

Postby TehipiteTom » Sun May 13, 2012 2:13 pm

Dan brings up a really essential part of preparation for anyone leading a group: screening the trip members. The wrong person on a trip could ruin the others' enjoyment, truncate the route (if they're out of shape), or even get himself/herself or others into dangerous situations. The Sierra Club Outings people do lots of training on member screening, but even so sometimes people will slip through.

It's less of an issue if you're not a group leader, but it's still important to know who you're hiking with, and what their capabilities and limitations are. (Also helps to have a sense of personality and hiking style.)

I've made a few mistakes in screening, and at least one difficult decision that turned out the be absolutely right.

On my first trip there was a 72-year-old guy who looked great on paper, but if I had looked more closely I'd have realized his recent trips were all much less strenuous than ours; we hiked him out after the first day, so it didn't have much of an impact on the trip.

On another trip there was a woman who had suffered a head injury a couple of years before but said she was fully recovered. By the second day she was having serious trouble with her balance...and this was on trail, and we had days of off-trail travel to come. Before the trip, she had completely glossed over any lingering effects of her injury (which, besides balance problems, included occasional paranoia and other delusional thoughts). We got her out, and continued with the rest of the group.

I had one trip with two guys (buddies) who were just complete jerks: constantly slamming me behind my back, second-guessing every decision I made, and generally being relentlessly negative. Part of the problem, I later realized, was that the older of the two was not in nearly as good shape as he thought he was...but instead of admitting it to himself he made his problem my fault. The two guys wrote in formal complaints (the only ones I ever got), the Club surveyed the other trip members, and the upshot was all but one other trip member complained about them.

The one time I really dodged a bullet, it was a tough call. She was a doctor, and I always liked to have a doctor on the trip--it just gave me an extra level of confidence in the event of injury or other medical issues. She also had a chronic condition that didn't adversely impact her ability to do the hiking (she was in great shape, very active, and did a lot of really strenuous travel), but did impose some very complicated dietary limitations. She wanted to come along but bring her own food to cook herself; that, of course, isn't how it works on Sierra Club trips. I probably could have worked it out with her, but over the course of the conversation I got a really bad feeling about her personality, and a strong sense that if she came along she would be real trouble. I turned her down, and the food thing was the pretext, but the real reason was this sense I had that I couldn't put in concrete terms.

That year or the next, she did go on someone else's trip...and was a complete nightmare. She single-handedly ruined the trip for a lot of people and was, in fact, the reason that leader stopped leading. So in that case, at least, my gut feeling was absolutely right.
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Re: ON the Internet, we're all mistake free!

Postby markskor » Sun May 13, 2012 4:20 pm

TehipiteTom wrote:
I had one trip with two guys (buddies) who were just complete jerks... The two guys wrote in formal complaints (the only ones I ever got),

OldRanger and I spent more than a few glorious off-trail days Yosemite wandering with Tom. (Wonder if he meant us) - Next year too and we both found him almost tolerable.
Only complaint you ever got you say? FYI, We would have all complained too but didn't know we could do that.
Tom, who should I write to ?
Wait, you said formal - leaves me (and definitely Mike) out.
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Re: ON the Internet, we're all mistake free!

Postby sparky » Sun May 13, 2012 8:11 pm

Jimr wrote:I kept it together enough to know to keep moving downstream as I was fishing up stream before I came on. Fortunately, I wasn't yet toasted or I may have been looking for a yellow submarine. It is amazing how easily a yellow tent can disappear into the wilderness. Of course, with all of the colors and trails, perhaps it's not so amazing after all.


A very fond memory of mine is hiking a moonless night in the forest tripping with 7 or 8 close friends. We had an amazing and wild trip that night.
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
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Re: ON the Internet, we're all mistake free!

Postby TehipiteTom » Sun May 13, 2012 8:24 pm

markskor wrote:
TehipiteTom wrote:
I had one trip with two guys (buddies) who were just complete jerks... The two guys wrote in formal complaints (the only ones I ever got),

OldRanger and I spent more than a few glorious off-trail days Yosemite wandering with Tom. (Wonder if he meant us) - Next year too and we both found him almost tolerable.
Only complaint you ever got you say? FYI, We would have all complained too but didn't know we could do that.
Tom, who should I write to ?
Wait, you said formal - leaves me (and definitely Mike) out.

:lol:
No, I had lots of fun with you guys (and plan to have more). This was on a Sierra Club trip I led....and it was 16 years ago, so I doubt the one guy is even still backpacking, given the shape he was in.
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