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Topic: Idiot hiker rescued from Sandy snowstorm< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2012, 9:44 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hiker stuck on Appalachian Trail by snow from Sandy is rescued

QUOTE
Ainsworth set out on the Appalachian Trail on Monday, despite severe weather warnings as Sandy slammed into the East Coast, park rangers said.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2012, 9:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are just some actions which keep rescue billing from being something I completely reject and that's just been added to the list.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2012, 10:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"The difference between genuis and stupidty is that genius has its limits" -
Albert Einstein


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2012, 10:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The "severe" weather was only forecast to be a few inches of snow with some high winds. The new forecast for more snow didn't come in until Monday the deep predictions were't given until Tuesday.

The guys was a southbound thru-hiker. He got a forecast of a storm with up to 6 inches of snow so he continued. He would not have any more updates until the snow started pile up. He's situation come more from unpredictably than arrogance of skill
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2012, 10:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My first thought was 'Interfering with Natural Selection'

But at his age, his sperm count is probably low anyway
Doesn't have many brains either


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2012, 10:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(pastywhite @ Nov. 02 2012, 8:20 pm)
QUOTE
The "severe" weather was only forecast to be a few inches of snow with some high winds. The new forecast for more snow didn't come in until Monday the deep predictions were't given until Tuesday.

The guys was a southbound thru-hiker. He got a forecast of a storm with up to 6 inches of snow so he continued. He would not have any more updates until the snow started pile up. He's situation come more from unpredictably than arrogance of skill

Intersting how quickly some would condemn a fellow backpacker based on a new story written by someone who lives a couple thousand miles away.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2012, 10:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That storm was a thousand miles  across. "Predictions" weren't the issue I expect.

But then, close to every year such as this year, I read about what early winter storms and higher elevations combine to do with late season hikers.

Glad he was lucky.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2012, 11:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Nov. 02 2012, 10:30 pm)
QUOTE

(pastywhite @ Nov. 02 2012, 8:20 pm)
QUOTE
The "severe" weather was only forecast to be a few inches of snow with some high winds. The new forecast for more snow didn't come in until Monday the deep predictions were't given until Tuesday.

The guys was a southbound thru-hiker. He got a forecast of a storm with up to 6 inches of snow so he continued. He would not have any more updates until the snow started pile up. He's situation come more from unpredictably than arrogance of skill

Intersting how quickly some would condemn a fellow backpacker based on a new story written by someone who lives a couple thousand miles away.

Yep. I live about sixty miles away and got nary a flake. Some folks just need someone to look down on.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 3:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Nov. 02 2012, 10:30 pm)
QUOTE

(pastywhite @ Nov. 02 2012, 8:20 pm)
QUOTE
The "severe" weather was only forecast to be a few inches of snow with some high winds. The new forecast for more snow didn't come in until Monday the deep predictions were't given until Tuesday.

The guys was a southbound thru-hiker. He got a forecast of a storm with up to 6 inches of snow so he continued. He would not have any more updates until the snow started pile up. He's situation come more from unpredictably than arrogance of skill

Intersting how quickly some would condemn a fellow backpacker based on a new story written by someone who lives a couple thousand miles away.

It's the Smokies, folks.  "Chest-deep snow" is a freak occurrence.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 7:14 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cgaphiker @ Nov. 02 2012, 11:03 pm)
QUOTE

(Lamebeaver @ Nov. 02 2012, 10:30 pm)
QUOTE

(pastywhite @ Nov. 02 2012, 8:20 pm)
QUOTE
The "severe" weather was only forecast to be a few inches of snow with some high winds. The new forecast for more snow didn't come in until Monday the deep predictions were't given until Tuesday.

The guys was a southbound thru-hiker. He got a forecast of a storm with up to 6 inches of snow so he continued. He would not have any more updates until the snow started pile up. He's situation come more from unpredictably than arrogance of skill

Intersting how quickly some would condemn a fellow backpacker based on a new story written by someone who lives a couple thousand miles away.

Yep. I live about sixty miles away and got nary a flake. Some folks just need someone to look down on.

My house is about 1/2 mile from the park boundary and I didn't get snow either. The only areas got snow was the very highest elevations.  They got a lot but this was a freak weather event. It actually set a record for snowfall at LeConte (in October). This one snow event was more snow than they got all year last year -

If I had already been hiking for 1900 miles I got the same forecast this guy had I would have went on too. Other than his shoes he had decent gear. He was wearing trail runners (like pretty much all thru-hikers). He also spent 2 nights in the shelter and another night on the trail before he called for help.

I'm glad he is OK and hope he will continue his thru-hike.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 9:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Glad he is okay

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 10:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The guy doesn't sound like an idiot to me.

QUOTE
Ainsworth told his rescuers he was hiking the Appalachian Trail in reverse, and was actually in one of the most rugged sections of the trail this week, when the snow hit.  He said when he set out, he was expecting about six inches of snow.  Instead, he faced snow depths of 4 to 5 feet in places.  He was actually stuck for several days before being able to call for help.  He told his rescuers his feet felt like "blocks of ice."

Park rangers were unable to reach Ainsworth because of the snow depth and his location, so the park contacted the THP for help.  The crew from Nashville met park officials at the airport in Sevier County for a briefing, then took off for the hiker's location.

According to THP, they were able to locate the shelter site where Ainsworth had stayed for one to two nights, then tracked his footprints in the snow for about a mile before spotting his camp.

The crew used the rescue hoist to lower one of the troopers to the ground, where the snow was chest high after stepping out. He then dressed the hiker in a "screamer suit," placed him in the hoist, and the troopers lifted him to the helicopter.

THP says the total rescue time took approximately 45 minutes, including a 17-mile flight to the top of the mountain where the hiker was located.


Guess all those people in manhattan who died in the storm were just idiots huh? Just a bunch of old people with low sperm count and no brain cells.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 11:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HighGravity @ Nov. 03 2012, 10:40 am)
QUOTE
The guy doesn't sound like an idiot to me.

QUOTE
Ainsworth told his rescuers he was hiking the Appalachian Trail in reverse, and was actually in one of the most rugged sections of the trail this week, when the snow hit.  He said when he set out, he was expecting about six inches of snow.  Instead, he faced snow depths of 4 to 5 feet in places.  He was actually stuck for several days before being able to call for help.  He told his rescuers his feet felt like "blocks of ice."

Park rangers were unable to reach Ainsworth because of the snow depth and his location, so the park contacted the THP for help.  The crew from Nashville met park officials at the airport in Sevier County for a briefing, then took off for the hiker's location.

According to THP, they were able to locate the shelter site where Ainsworth had stayed for one to two nights, then tracked his footprints in the snow for about a mile before spotting his camp.

The crew used the rescue hoist to lower one of the troopers to the ground, where the snow was chest high after stepping out. He then dressed the hiker in a "screamer suit," placed him in the hoist, and the troopers lifted him to the helicopter.

THP says the total rescue time took approximately 45 minutes, including a 17-mile flight to the top of the mountain where the hiker was located.


Guess all those people in manhattan who died in the storm were just idiots huh? Just a bunch of old people with low sperm count and no brain cells.

Maybe there's a difference between staying in your home during a storm and electing to take an unnecessary risk to engage in a purely recreational activity.

I saw reports predicting "up to a foot in snow" last week.  He chose to filter those out and only focus on the "6 to 4 inch" predictions.

He was obviously unprepared for the potential known conditions.

The storm was not a surprise.  all the local and national weather outlets were reporting that the combination of the massive low pressure system , the size of the wind field for Sandy, and the expected course gave rise to a real possibility of extreme results for wind, rain, and  snow.  His only preparation for those predictable possibilities was his cell phone.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 11:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't think you have any idea what you're talking about.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 11:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HighGravity @ Nov. 03 2012, 11:51 am)
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I don't think you have any idea what you're talking about.

Sure he does. He got all of that info while sitting on the couch watching tv.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 12:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some people plan better.  Others are just ignorant idiots needing rescue.

QUOTE
October 29, 2012

The state Department of Environmental Conservation issued a notice Friday that stated all hunters, hikers and campers should be out the woods by Sunday evening.

"Those planning to hunt, hike, camp, boat or paddle on the lands and waters of the Adirondacks (this) week should pay close attention to weather reports," DEC's notice states. "Nobody should be in the backcountry or on the waters when the storm hits."
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 2:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You keep acting like this guy is just some dumb schmuck who headed out for a day hike in a snow storm. He was as a SOBO AT thru hiker. He'd completed almost the entire trial and then survived several days in a freak snow storm before being rescued. Nothing indicates that he's an idiot. Your comments are idiotic. Usually you're smarter than this.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 2:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Of course in retrospect he made the wrong decision.  But maybe at the time he left, it wasn't that bad of a decision.  A person doing a thru hike might not be aware of all the news about the storm's potential and thus he felt comfortable with his decision.

Secondly, I wonder why are some so insistant on judging people in these situations, labeling them idiots, stupid, morons, Darwin Award winners, etc.; especially when we have so little info about these things.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 2:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(nogods @ Nov. 03 2012, 11:18 am)
QUOTE
I saw reports predicting "up to a foot in snow" last week.  He chose to filter those out and only focus on the "6 to 4 inch" predictions.

There was no suggestion of snow at all until last weekend. The weather service didn't issue a warning until Sunday, and then it was only for 4-7 in the highest elevations. Even if he was using the hostels, this would have been the last report he would have seen. It wasn't until he was already in the Smokies did the forecast change to 12-14 inches. During the day Tuesday the NWS again changed the forecast for up to 34 inches in the Smokies. They missed this by quite a bit.

Even based on your "up to a foot" forecast he wouldn't have had a problem. It was most likely just rain when entered the park. The area he was stranded ended up with chest high snow with much deeper drifts.

I don't see where he did anything wrong. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 3:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Using nogods logic, I guess we should never venture more than a few feet from our homes.

Poo Poo happens. We all make decisions based on information we have at the time. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. You pays your money, you takes your chances.
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(nogods @ Nov. 03 2012, 10:32 am)
QUOTE
Some people plan better.  Others are just ignorant idiots needing rescue.

QUOTE
October 29, 2012

The state Department of Environmental Conservation issued a notice Friday that stated all hunters, hikers and campers should be out the woods by Sunday evening.

"Those planning to hunt, hike, camp, boat or paddle on the lands and waters of the Adirondacks (this) week should pay close attention to weather reports," DEC's notice states. "Nobody should be in the backcountry or on the waters when the storm hits."

The Adirondacks are a bit away from the Smokies, don'tcha think?

Honestly, reading the headline (and the OP title), my first reaction was "idiot" too.  But hearing more details, I'm not so sure I wouldn't have made the same decision in his case.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 4:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't think this guy is a complete idiot.

What I will say is completely my opinion here, others can say what they wish (free speech, right?) - for better or worse:

I was in the Smokies last weekend. I knew that Sunday there was a chance of it being rainy, so I took my rain gear with me. I use Intellicast for my weather forecasting. Highs were going to be close to 70 on Friday when we started, 60's saturday, and 50's sunday, with lows in the mid to low 40's (colder as the days passed). All I took with me for bottom insulation was my base layer pants that I wore in camp. Aside from that I had my hiking pants and that was IT for bottoms. I did have a fleece jacket in addition to my rain jacket, a light pair of gloves, and a beenie if I needed it.

We ducked out early Saturday (hurt my legs). At the time it was raining lightly - from about 11:00AM on, and the temp was going down. We ate dinner in Pigion Forge and it continued to rain a bit. Then we hit the road home Saturday night.

When we got home is when we realized what was happening - Newfound Gap was in for 2 feet of snow, and that's where we parked (Clingmans Dome) and started our hike. If we had kept going on the trail in to Saturday night/Sunday morning we would have been deeper in the back country and would have likely had to hunker down to wait out the storm too.

After this guy had been on the trail for so long I'd say he was a lot better off than we were. We likely had the edge up on gear, but he likely had been through a lot of varying conditions already and was well worked in to the trail.

I would venture to guess most backpackers don't like asking for help. That can be a double edged sward, and when you're in trouble it can get you further in to trouble. This guy needed help so he called for it. I don't blame him. Is he an idiot for being where he was? You can argue backpacking is idiotic in general, so no, I don't think he's an idiot solely for being where he was - I was there too and, as they say, things happen for a reason and we got out. Maybe we didn't look at the right forecast, and maybe he didn't either, but if you look at the forecasts and how inaccurate they were all the while there really wasn't much you could predict. I think the storm surpassed a lot of people's expectations and the forecasts didn't grow in their intensity until very close to when the weather event was going to happen - case in point is the amount of snow that fell in the mountains.

Did I mention being a weather man is the only profession you can be wrong in and still get paid?  :D Sorry, I just had to throw that out there to break up the mood.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2012, 4:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Go older backpackers.

Go Highway Patrol.


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(nogods @ Nov. 03 2012, 12:32 pm)
QUOTE
Some people plan better.  Others are just ignorant idiots needing rescue.

QUOTE
October 29, 2012

The state Department of Environmental Conservation issued a notice Friday that stated all hunters, hikers and campers should be out the woods by Sunday evening.

"Those planning to hunt, hike, camp, boat or paddle on the lands and waters of the Adirondacks (this) week should pay close attention to weather reports," DEC's notice states. "Nobody should be in the backcountry or on the waters when the storm hits."

He wasn't in the Adirondacks.  He was in the Smokies.  You're a lawyer, so I assume you can read . . . but maybe you missed that part OR you jus rilly bad at geogriphy.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 04 2012, 12:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, we all know that the "news" never gets anything wrong.....

Right? I'm right, right?


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 04 2012, 3:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This man knew what he was doing.
www.trailjournals.com/2012solo
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 05 2012, 8:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This isn't New York state.  It also isn't the Adirondacks.
I'm not positive on these #s, but I heard the area got 36 inches of snow, and the previous record October snowfall was 6".

He wasn't an idiot.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 05 2012, 11:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

But he was extremely fortunate: by continuing on into the storm rather than heading back to the trailhead when the conditions were deteriorating, freezing his feet due to his footwear not being up to the conditions and likely adding to his frostbite potential by not properly hydrating (he notes he had a liter of water with the source frozen) had his hiking on led him into a cellphone deadzone his frostbit feet would have proceeded to gangrene and killed him, if the wet cold didn't get there first.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 05 2012, 11:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Being an idiot myself, I'm not entitled to an opinion.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 05 2012, 12:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Saturday before storm it was clear and about 70 at 4200 feet on Noland divide trail. I thought a little rain was coming not 3 feet of snow. Hiker had no idea what was coming.
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