How long do footprints last? | High Sierra Topix  

How long do footprints last?

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
User avatar

Re: How long do footprints last?

Postby maverick » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:17 pm

AlmostThere wrote:
At this point it would make more sense to search for gear remnants or other evidence.
I would ask those who knew Larry's gear what he carried, and pass out lists to everyone
going out, so if they come across anything they'll know whether it's just lost stuff that
fell off someone's pack.


Yes, this list of gear has already been made (pictures included). Thanks AT
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org



User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8040
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: How long do footprints last?

Postby Rockchucker » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:53 pm

No way Larry's footprints are still visible. I day hike the Sierra's weekly, my prints last at most 4 weeks. And I know exactly where to look.
I'm no suture for my future.
User avatar
Rockchucker
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 407
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:22 pm
Location: Bishop, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: How long do footprints last?

Postby Baffman » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:16 pm

Not eerie, but pretty damned cool to see Sierramel involved in this topic as well!
User avatar
Baffman
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:35 pm
Location: Fernley, NV, formerly Independence, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: How long do footprints last?

Postby gdurkee » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:56 am

Mav: Hmmm. Interesting point. Under certain conditions, yes, you can see tracks as they melt from covering snow. The original track compresses the snow into ice; when it's later covered by more snow and then the top layers melt, those tracks are harder and show as raised above the surface.

Of course, in the case of Larry's search, there were so many tracks made by searchers that might not be useful, in addition to the very narrow conditions under which that can happen.

The other point of tracks in snow is they show up very well from the air. I was once able to follow two skiers from a helicopter even after a two day storm had covered their tracks. When they crossed a lake, the smooth conditions showed the underlying ski tracks pretty clearly as differences in shadow/density as the fresh snow settled.

Also, I've seen tracks made in mud -- especially by horses as Mike says -- show very clear and fresh the following spring. They get frozen and are preserved pretty well in the fall. And, of course, there's the famous 3.5 million year old footprints discovered by Mary Leakey and team some years ago:

Image

But, all that said, back to the original question. In normal sand or dirt, a footprint gets pretty fuzzy by about day 3, though still very recognizable.

g.
User avatar
gdurkee
Founding Member
 
Posts: 658
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:20 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: How long do footprints last?

Postby maverick » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:01 pm

George wrote:
Mav: Hmmm. Interesting point. Under certain conditions, yes, you can see tracks as
they melt from covering snow. The original track compresses the snow into ice; when
it's later covered by more snow and then the top layers melt, those tracks are harder
and show as raised above the surface.

Of course, in the case of Larry's search, there were so many tracks made by searchers
that might not be useful, in addition to the very narrow conditions under which that
can happen.


Thanks George, good and useful information. :thumbsup:
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8040
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: How long do footprints last?

Postby sparky » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:08 pm

I am pretty confident that something happened before the storm. I feel the air searches would have seen tracks in the snow. Unless he was in the window/pyramind peak area as it wasn't searched.
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
User avatar
sparky
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:01 am
Experience: N/A

Previous

Return to The Campfire



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests