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Topic: Given our penchant for judging...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2012, 9:34 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I may guilty of judging people for their bad choices, but I have refrained from posting in the idiot thread because I have made worse calls in my life.  The comments in that thread make me wonder what kind of things were said before those of us in the Grand Canyon came back to civilization.

For those of you who are new-ish around here, 5 and 1/2 years ago, 5 people from these forums, and my wife, all set out on a May Bp in the Grand Canyon,  Temps were hotter than we expected, and our group started lagging behind the itinerary. We hiked in the mid-day heat for 3 days.

On day 3, at noon, my wife succombed to heat stroke and died in 45 minutes.  By the time any of us knew she was in trouble, it was too late.  I look back on that trip often, and kick myself.  Sometimes I go for several days without thinking of that trip, but more likely it crosses my mind 2-3 times a week.

Some folks might think we were/she was stupid for going on the trip, or not being more cognizant of our group.  It is true we made several mistakes that trip, and the survivors learned from them.

I just think sometimes we err as is our human way, and it is not often we pay a big price for it.  SAR is there because we need it.  Maybe not everyone, but enough of us to matter.

My friends and family realize how often I mention April, and some have quietly let me know they miss her, too.  Echo is my SIL and joined here so she could keep up on my mental health, at the time.  Why she sticks around is beyond me.  :)  


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2012, 9:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Dig it. Well said, man.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2012, 10:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

No one can say it better than some one who has lived it and it needed to be said. Thanks, Ol-zeke...
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2012, 10:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Typically the level of kindness and understanding that we show others is linked to how well we know them or those close to them. Bottom line is most all of us could be more considerate. Most things are abundantly clear in hind sight, and rarely does a person purposely do something to harm themselves.
I am sorry for your loss Ol-Zeke and for any anguish you have had.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2012, 10:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You just don't get to get rid of me.

 And I miss April all the time, even though she was known for judging my bad choices and very verbal in pointing them out.  

Still, when I look at how I made it 49 years, I know there are several times It wasn't my choices that let me survive until now, it was more dumb luck and good Dr.s so I try not to judge anyone but me.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2012, 10:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So sorry that you lost April that way. There was nothing that any of you could have done since everything happened so fast and without notice. Sometimes the BEST amongst us are the first to go as several members here can attest to. Most of us probably prayed to whomever hears our prayers to take us instead, but those prayers went unanswered for whatever reason.

The holidays can be a time of remembrance of both those that we have loved and lost, and a feeling of gratitude for those that we allow to touch our hearts once again. You are an inspiration to me for reaching out to others and finding love again. Hang in there Ol-Zeke.

Thank you for your kindness during the last year when you reached out to me when I was feeling low. You helped a stranger who needed a guiding hand that day. That spirit of kindness and generosity speaks volumes.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2012, 10:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As I mentioned in another thread, I tend to cut other people some slack.  On those occassions when I did not cut others some slack, I almost always regret my harsh attitude.  

I have made some very poor decisions in my life and got away with most of them.  Some of these poor decisions were out BPing.  I got away with all those.  I admit, I was damn lucky on a few occassions out in the backcountry.

Anyway, I try not to condemn or look down my nose at those who get into trouble due to poor decisions out on the trail.  I also have made it a personal goal to redouble my efforts to be safe out there and to encourage others to do the same.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2012, 10:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well said, Zeke.  I, too, try to stop and think before condemning others, as we came very close to having a similar tragedy due to a few minutes of inattention during a ranger-led hike when Eldest Son was four.  It took over a hundred people to bring him back to us, and I will never cease to be grateful to each and every one, though I wouldn't know them if I ever saw them again.

Sometimes I forget and beat up on strangers for bad choices.

Sometimes I wake up in the night in a sweat thinking about those 6 hours when he was lost.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2012, 11:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's better to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially when our first instinct is to judge.

A kid at my son's school was killed in a car wreck this week and the first thing one of my friends said was, I hope he wasn't texting.  Well I hope not, too, but gosh, that's a pretty harsh assessment after hearing that a kid died.

(And there's no report that he was texting - just lost control in a bad spot, likely driving too fast, hit a utility pole, which caused his car to flip over a fence, and he died instantly.  It's so sad for his family and friends and the entire school, really.)


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2012, 11:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As a macho stoic, I've kept my eyes dry through some tough things...but I'm here to to tell you that I profoundly lost my s**t when I heard that news.

I can count on one hand the number of men I've met who honor their loved ones like you honored April - you talked her up whether she was present or not.  This profoundly impressed and inspired me.  So to this day I have a hard time accepting the fateful cruelty that you should lose her.  

Having shared only a couple trails and campfires with her, perhaps I'm not qualified to say this...but it seemed to me that April would not have taken kindly to people judging you for what happened.  Including yourself.

The lesson to be learned from you and April has nothing to do with the outdoors, nothing to do with SAR.  It has to do with honoring your loved ones while you can.  I'm going to make sure my girlfriend benefits from this reminder for a good long while.    :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2012, 11:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As an old guy your age, I too have made some very bad decisions during my life especially as a young man that I will eternally regret to the extent it has painfully dominated my whole adult life physically and mentally.  

Calm considerate constructive criticism sometimes has value when we humans make mistakes. Such is especially a very sensitive issue in professional work places of large companies that have land mines everywhere for those that consider spewing.   But recognizing and sometimes discussing mistakes is a way we can learn and improve.  Name calling especially in the title of web board threads is poor form and ought to be criticized by members.   Hiking, backpacking, peakbagging, climbing, mountaineering all have various dangers, some life threatening, so there is somethings we as a community can discuss to reduce those dangers.  

Sometimes that may include discussing items in the news where outside individuals or groups have apparently made some poor decisions though the details are rather brief.  When one discusses such, it is often more proper to make good use of relative terms instead of absolutes although the latter sometimes is obvious. And to keep personal attacks and name calling out of speculation.  

Other times it may be a member within a web community that has made a possible poor decision and if so that ought to be discussed less directly if at all.  If someone has a need to say something to anyone else it ought to be through private PM's.  During the last couple weeks a member of another board I frequent backpacked into an area just as the last storm hit the Sierra and never came out despite considerable SAR searches.  I could have easily made a case that he made some poor decisions given weather forecasts but let that alone and just focused on providing analysis useful for the search.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 12:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well Said

Reflections of what was guides us throughout our lives, when I look back at what I have seen and done I have no true room to judge others on their decisions, I can only hope to improve myself.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 12:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This is why I posted that comment in that other thread.
Very easy to judge others (and I do too...) sitting in front of the computer in our comfort zone, out in the wild things can be different.
I was rescued in the middle of the Roaring Forties (Tasman Sea) after  the yacht I was crewing on capsized.
Yes we were in the wrong place at the wrong time, however the guys on the cargo that collected us did not mind because they had a very hard time themselves that night..(losing several containers overboard)
My walking mate a couple of years ago was rescued in Alaska a few days after he fell into a frozen river .
The reason he survived was because of his skills, not easy to survive a full dunking at -40f .
However on the Internet some had to comment about how foolish he was, people that had no clue whatsoever about how experienced he was.
One of my early hiking mates was killed in his early twenties in an avalanche.
He was a qualified alpine guide by then.
Accidents happen, if you are not there don't assume.
(sorry Ol Zeke for what happened to you)
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 1:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That's a good story to tell...as often as you feel up to telling it,  as others may learn from it and be safe.  
My blog is full stories of my "idiocies" for just that reason.  If  anyone learns from my mistakes and is safe....then it was worth me telling the world what an "idiot" I was.  
And for some reason, I missed hearing about your loss originally, and I feel so bad for you.  But...thanks for writing about it as after reading about it I'll remember it and not let that scenario at least happen to me...


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 6:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think we are all quick to forget we all wear different shoes and have different life experiences. Whether we have had a close call or know someone who has, those times of fright/nervousness/regret have shaped us.

I know in the past I have gotten defensive about this generation of Veterans when others say they don't compare to the 'Greatest  Generation"because of what my family has been through. It is only because we almost lost my brother in law in Iraq and he lives with the shrapnel in his sinuses, and the PTSD on a daily basis.

I try to show empathy and not just sympathy in all situations. We never know what size and color shoes someone is wearing, or what miles they may have walked in them previously...


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 8:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well said and thank you for sharing that with us.   I suspect, though, that you're simply a kind and considerate person, even if you don't want to admit it.  :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 8:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Nov. 07 2012, 7:34 pm)
QUOTE
 The comments in that thread make me wonder what kind of things were said before those of us in the Grand Canyon came back to civilization.

I do not recall anything horribly judgmental being said and certainly nothing by any regulars here.  As I recall it took us less than an hour to determine it was your group that was in the news.

Spindle and I, along with a few others, were on top of any and all posts.   Some may have thought unkind thoughts, but those words did not survive here.  We had your back!!


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 9:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Zeke, I had no idea.  My condolences.  We all make mistskrd.  Some times they aren't even mistake, just a series of unforeseen and unpredictable events.  For many of it's just a thin line, luck or whatever, that has prevented tragedy.  To handle it the way you have, speaks volumes about your character.  I would hope that I would have the same fortitude and character as you should I ever have to endure something like that.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 10:22 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I enjoyed hiking with April :) I always think fondly of one trip, the one on Eagle Creek where you two were in your prime of being pervs - lol!! We had a great campfire and I burnt popcorn - even Ory was in a good mood :D

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 10:49 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What a tragic story.

There is a very old-fashioned phrase that one doesn't hear much anymore: "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

Whether you dig the "God" part or not, it's still an excellent principle to live by.

I once made a poor decision in the backcountry which nearly killed me (crossing a creek in a flash flood), and put my two boys in serious danger (spending the night exposed, separated from me by the channel I had barely made it across, which prevented me from returning to them).

It was a very, very humbling experience. I spent the whole cold, wet night not sleeping and wondering how I would ever explain to my wife that my poor decision had set in motion the circumstances that led to their demise. Thank God that did not come to pass. (Everyone was fine, albeit hypothermic, in the morning, and the water had receded enough to make the crossing that separated us possible, though still harrowing.)

We were within sight of the trailhead where the car was parked, which is why I foolishly forged ahead rather than hunkering down for the night before attempting the crossings of the multiple channels of flood surge.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 11:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cweston @ Nov. 08 2012, 10:49 am)
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There is a very old-fashioned phrase that one doesn't hear much anymore: "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

Whether you dig the "God" part or not, it's still an excellent principle to live by.

+1

The older I get the more I realize that luck plays a leading role in our lives. We can plan and prepare to the best of our abilities, but as the other old saying goes, "sometimes sh*t happens".


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 11:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've made my share of stupid mistakes....backpacking and otherwise.

Fortunately, in most cases, I've been able to learn from them.  This makes me a much safer backpacker than I was 22 years ago when I started.

I'm not afraid to call a duck a duck when I see one, but I also will be the first to admit I've done my share of quacking in the past.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 11:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Deborah @ Nov. 08 2012, 8:53 am)
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(ol-zeke @ Nov. 07 2012, 7:34 pm)
QUOTE
 The comments in that thread make me wonder what kind of things were said before those of us in the Grand Canyon came back to civilization.

I do not recall anything horribly judgmental being said and certainly nothing by any regulars here.  As I recall it took us less than an hour to determine it was your group that was in the news.

Spindle and I, along with a few others, were on top of any and all posts.   Some may have thought unkind thoughts, but those words did not survive here.  We had your back!!

That's how I remember it.

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(sarbar @ Nov. 08 2012, 7:22 am)
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even Ory was in a good mood

I resent this scandalous rumor!   :angry:



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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 11:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have some size-able character flaws, sometimes being judgemental among them. I try to be a better person every day, sometimes I am just what I am.

I remember when you guys put the trip together I questioned the timing of it in your trip announcement thread. After the fact as I remember I only offered my sincere condolences and I honestly do not remember any other negative judgements in that subsequent thread. If it didn't come across that way from me my sincerest apologies.

Zeke, you and Echo are in my mind like just about everyone else in this forum, people I'd be happy to share the trail with. I remember reading about how Rumi and Desert Dweller were the kind of dependable, trustworthy friends any of us would be quite fortunate to have along.

Just keep your stick on the ice as best you can man, that's all any of us can do. You're a good man.


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(VAN @ Nov. 08 2012, 6:34 am)
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I try to show empathy and not just sympathy in all situations. We never know what size and color shoes someone is wearing, or what miles they may have walked in them previously...

Well said VAN!
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 12:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for sharing your story, ol zeke.  Sorry for your loss, its something that is very difficult for me to imagine.  I heard your story before but never the specifics. My wife and I are hikers and now in our forties so it's important to be reminded to be careful.  
 It's just as important to live deliberately and let the past go.  It certainly doesn't sound like a circumstance you should fault youself about years later.  Remember the good times.  I doubt April would like to be thought of so often in that context.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 12:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In my way of thinking, it is one thing to say "that was a bad decision" and quite another to say "that person is an idiot".  Some may not agree, but that is how I split the hair.

Soren Kierkegaard wrote, "Once you label me you negate me."  Whenever we label someone, especially negatively, we dismiss that person and thus don't have to consider the facts because after all that person is an idiot/crazy/stupid/immature, or whatever negative label you wish to apply. And the really sorry part is we then cannot learn from those incidents because ... I'm not an idiot like that person.

I grow tired of threads which link to a news areticle and then declare the people involved to be idiots/ or whatever. Some even gleefully add they don't feel sorry for those involved.  Are we so lacking in self respect we have to go searching the news for people to belittle?

Soren Kierkegaard wrote something which is much more familiar to many ... "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."  Looking back, we can easily see our mistakes, even though at the time we may have felt we were doing correctly.  So, look back and learn, but live courageously going forward from moment to moment.

Rumi


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(RumiDude @ Nov. 08 2012, 9:27 am)
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Soren Kierkegaard wrote something which is much more familiar to many ...

I think that was Dick Van Patten
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(orygawn @ Nov. 08 2012, 9:50 am)
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(RumiDude @ Nov. 08 2012, 9:27 am)
QUOTE
Soren Kierkegaard wrote something which is much more familiar to many ...

I think that was Dick Van Patten

I stand corrected!  *bigeightisnotenoughgrins*

Rumi~the existential~Dude


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“This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all.”
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