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White Mountain Facebook Rescue

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    • White Mountain Facebook Rescue

      We had an interesting hiking incident take place up here this week. A hiker got in trouble on Franconia Ridge in the Whites and for some reason thought the first call he should make looking for help should be the the local hiking page "Hike the 4000 footers of NH!"

      His post was, “send help, stuck by cairn on Old Bridle in alpine between hut and Lafayette Summit. Wind took map and compass, white out conditions.” Needless to say this caused quite a bit of excitement in the FG group. The thread appears to have been deleted, otherwise I would send you a link.

      Here is a newspaper article on the rescue...

      unionleader.com/news/safety/fa…ff-8777-4a58d75fabbb.html
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • wow...interesting stuff. he dug a snow hole where he spent 7 hours waiting for SAR to arrive. accepted the likelihood of death...

      the victim speaks:


      [IMG:https://scontent.fatl1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-1/c19.0.112.112a/p112x112/44461437_10157737320487506_5960519479828938752_n.jpg?_nc_cat=105&_nc_ht=scontent.fatl1-1.fna&oh=5d34914097b71e235826a17073444724&oe=5CA780C8]



      Rescue update: I'm home, probably some mild frostbite but nothing serious. Thank you to all who took me seriously because it was serious. I'll give the whole story below but first I want to emphasize that 911 was my first call and it should be yours in that scenario too.
      I started hiking up to Lafayette around 2am. For those who don't know this about me, I love sunrise hiking. I've seen over half of the 48 at sunrise or sunset at least once. I left my plans with some close friends. I had checked the forecast and it wasn't anything out of the ordinary for winter(ish) time on the franconia ridge. A few hundred feet below the summit I noticed deteriorating visibility and turned back. Anyone that decides against summiting due to condition changes knows how agonizing it is, and that we would do the same thing again and again to mitigate that risk. For the record, i've done franconia ridge 8 or 9 times and 5 in winter. I know the territory and I know the trails.
      I cairn hoped a good ways back until I hit a dead end around 8am. I bushwacked around (maybe taking more aggressive routes than advisable, at one point I was down the treeline/shrub line on the bowlside of lafayette) to find the next portion of trail. I couldn't. Visibility was down to probably ten yards from 8am through when I was rescued. I spent a solid two hours trying to figure out which way to the shoulder for a return to the hut area for a safe return. Earlier in the bushwack I lost my map, compass, and bivy because I went for a snack and the bag containing the items landed on some hard crust for the wind to remove from the mountain (protip, don't keep those the items together in a bag).
      So I returned to the cairn I found earlier. I tried to call 911 but it didn't go through. Maybe as the result of the thick cloud, maybe the result of the 50+ mph winds, or maybe my cell carrier sucks. Either way i couldn't get a call through so I texted the people I left my plans with and posted here because for unknown reasons I was able to. Hate me for posting that on here if you want to, but I would rather have random people on Facebook calling for a SAR just in case my friends didn't have access to their phones or whatever.
      So the rescue is initiated around 10am. I dug myself a snow hole next to a rock, put the final touches on my parkas and hard shells, and lay on my bag. They couldn't get to me until 5pm died to the harshness and visibility conditions. I lay in that hole for 7 hours. 7 hours of trying to figure out if all my gear would hold out. Of figuring out what the last words I want to be to my family and friends. To record a list will and testament. To come to terms with the people I've bettered and worsened, the friendships and relationships i've had, to understand that this might be it. I accepted the likelihood of my death today.
      I held out in that hole for 7 hours, being blasted by artic temps and 50 mph+ winds while it also buried me in fresh snow. SAR came as it was getting dark, they too faced difficulty navigating those conditions.
      You can hate me for getting rescued or for posting here to help get one underway. The fact of the matter is if I had been unprepared or if I was lacking soft skills I would not have made it out
      Cheers
      2,000 miler
    • Astro wrote:

      Wow, I promise you not find me up there in the winter.
      me either. if i could afford it i'd buy a condo on the beach in florida so i could escape our severe georgia winters!

      edit to add: all the years i lived in homestead and then miami it only snowed once. and when it did it was front page news. now that's perfect!

      [IMG:http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xEAdhJzZ_EM/TxStE5P2f_I/AAAAAAAADlQ/aA_LyqpCSYQ/s1600/snow+mh.jpg]
      2,000 miler

      The post was edited 2 times, last by max.patch ().

    • max.patch wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      Wow, I promise you not find me up there in the winter.
      me either. if i could afford it i'd buy a condo on the beach in florida so i could escape our severe georgia winters!
      edit to add: all the years i lived in homestead and then miami it only snowed once. and when it did it was front page news. now that's perfect!

      [IMG:http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xEAdhJzZ_EM/TxStE5P2f_I/AAAAAAAADlQ/aA_LyqpCSYQ/s1600/snow+mh.jpg]
      That was my sophomore year of high school. It was just flurries for us, so I don't consider my first real snow until almost 5 years later in college.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • IMScotty wrote:

      Funny thing was is was a pretty nice day here in the flatlands. Some of the people in the Facebook group thought it must have been a hoax.
      My first thought also...that he is lucky people believed him. It sounds like they were able to corroborate the story fairly quickly.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • CoachLou wrote:

      I am not not happy that after 60 years of hot blooded, cold loving, ice skating cold weather camping bliss, my 61 year old bones are starting feel the cold!
      Move south my friend.
      Y'all might of won the war, but some would say we still have better weather. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • We can pack tomorrow, tonight let's flip a coin
      Heads Carolina, tails California
      Somewhere greener, somewhere warmer
      Up in the mountains, down by the ocean
      Where don't matter long as we're goin'
      Somewhere together, I got a quarter
      Heads Carolina, tails California
      2,000 miler
    • LIhikers wrote:

      Kathy and I don't know where we'll move to in retirement but we have decided the place has to have a "real" winter, whatever that means.

      To me that means cold enough for ponds to freeze for ice fishing, and enough snow for snow shoeing and skiing at least for a bit of the year. Some years Mass. barely qualifies.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Heading to NC to pick up my dad to take him to FL for his birthday Wednesday (with brother and sister). Get to spend a few days in warm FL, but then have pay for it a the end of the month when I take my wife to Northern IN for family reunion. Of course if there is snow and ice that means she gets to drive. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • max.patch wrote:

      Wise Old Owl wrote:

      Anyone bothered by the fact its WINTER? why was he up there in the first place..... Inquiring minds would like real posts... don't hold back.
      some people enjoy winter hiking. to each his own.
      shoot woo --- i don't understand why you would choose to live in the icebox called pennsylvania. but like i said -- to each his own.
      Yup you are right... I cannot understand it... clearly its not a personal choice.
      Be wise enough to walk away from the nonsense around you! :thumbup: