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When Things Go Wrong
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
When Things Go Wrong on 09/23/2008 16:56:43 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

When Things Go Wrong

Joshua Billings
(Joshua) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz,Ca
Awesome report on 09/23/2008 23:09:42 MDT Print View

Awesome report Roger. Love your wonderful tent. Looks like a real winner. I may have read it but what is its weight in lbs.(or kgs. if you prefer).You are a very talented gear maker.

Pedro Arvy
(PedroArvy) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne
Sell those tents on 09/24/2008 02:07:50 MDT Print View

I told you you should start selling those tents Roger!

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
A wee bit blowy ! on 09/24/2008 03:27:13 MDT Print View

Great report Roger. Character building, as they say! There's something deeply satisfying about coming through a trip like that.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Awesome report on 09/24/2008 04:01:01 MDT Print View

Hi Joshua

Trust me - we love that tent too!
Tent plus poles: 1.77 kg (3.9 lb)
Modified tent stakes with modified heavier guy ropes: 18.3 oz (sounds heavier - yep! But they work well.)

This shows us camped last week above Bluff Tarn, in happier weather.
Above Bluff Tarn

A (blue) sod cloth has been added around the rear end to stop the spindrift from getting in. The back door has been enhanced, and the guy ropes are *much* stronger. The titanum stakes have been modified to stop the fretting - I hope to publish the details soon.

As for the talent bit - don't forget that this is about the 10th tent I have made - trial and error (in the field) count for a lot. You can never get it right the first time!


Edited by rcaffin on 09/24/2008 04:05:41 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: A wee bit blowy ! on 09/24/2008 04:03:41 MDT Print View

> There's something deeply satisfying about coming through a trip like that.
Make that 'deeply satisfying about surviving' and you might be closer to the truth. But you are right, and we knew it at the time. I am sure we said to each other during the retreat that we would look back on the trip with special favour ... if we got out!


Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Similar experience on 09/24/2008 07:16:22 MDT Print View

I remember Mt Anton well, was there in the early 90's, in April, we had a large storm come through, all the tents were buried in 2 feet of snow. Had to bail out down to Guthega, wading though deep snow drifts with 16 students was not fun. Fortunately we all made it and spent a couple of warm nights in the Australian Ski Club in Guthega.

We were well prepared, but maybe not well enough.

A fantastic area though and one I hope to get back to.

William Kline
(WindRiverMan) - F
Very interesting on 09/24/2008 07:26:29 MDT Print View

Great report. We just finished a week (Sept 6-12) in the Wind Rivers of Wyoming with (rather large) tarps and hammocks. We had thunder, lightning(sp?), rain to sleet/hail and finally snow, all accompanied by occasionally heavy wind. (Lows mid 20s-30sF) All went well( of course, it wasn't WINTER!), but I am always paranoid about the abilities ( or lack thereof)of tarps, in wind. Even though I once spent a month there ( 23 years ago)in a tarp, but in June, and did fine. June or not, we got snows over a foot/24 hrs once, with 24*F. None the less, now that I always try and go with tarps/hammocks, I still sometimes think back on the security of my little TNF Westwind 4 season tent that I had, which I thought of even more when looking at your tunnel tent. It was low to the ground, and heavier than your model ( old school heavier material, 4 season rated). But I sure never had any worries with the wind, especially if pitched small end into the wind. It was pretty bomb proof.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
RE:"When Things Go Wrong" on 09/24/2008 08:56:21 MDT Print View

Splendid adventure story Roger. Glad you both made it out unharmed. So when are you going to start selling that shelter? ;)

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Clear and Present Danger on 09/24/2008 11:01:12 MDT Print View

Good article and a subject we should remind ourselves of on a regular basis. Thanks for your contribution to the need for safety in "all conditions." John

Patrick Miron
When Things Go Wrong on 09/24/2008 14:23:29 MDT Print View

Thank for sharing this article with us.

I like the way you explain all things and detail.


David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 09/24/2008 14:33:05 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 01/18/2015 19:11:26 MST.

maurice tate
(mauricetate) - F
High Winds in Summer on 09/24/2008 15:17:40 MDT Print View

We tried the Kiandra to Kosi in summer years ago and we had to abandon it due to very high winds on the main range.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Similar experience on 09/24/2008 16:06:32 MDT Print View

Hi Roger B

> We were well prepared, but maybe not well enough.
That's the basic question, isn't it?

My own feelings are that it doesn't matter how well you are prepared, Nature in the mountains can overwhelm you. So then it becomes a simple question of whether you are able to handle the situation and retreat safely.

Of course, it also helps (a lot) if you can recognise your limitations and be willing to retreat when things *start* to get too much - before real trouble strikes. That may be where experience comes in.


George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: When Things Go Wrong on 09/24/2008 18:22:52 MDT Print View

Amazing. The avalanche ride - wow!

Sharing your thought processes that led to your decisions was quite interesting.

Glad you both returned safely and in good spirits.

(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
When Things Go Wrong on 09/24/2008 20:32:04 MDT Print View

Re: “…the wind was too strong for us to stand. Sue was blown over several times, making the wind speed probably in excess of 150 kilometers per hour (93 miles per hour).” Did your faces suffer frostbite?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: When Things Go Wrong on 09/24/2008 22:45:29 MDT Print View

Hi Robert

> Did your faces suffer frostbite?
Fortunately not. Several factors worked in our favour:
1) We had our backs substantially to the wind all morning.
2) The severe wind hit us on the crest rather suddenly, and we backed off quickly down a gully.
3) It is rarely extremely cold under storm conditions here in Australia. The temperature during our retreat started at -5 C at 6 am and warmed up to -1 C around midday (Maxim Data Logger on pack).

The very light wind-shedding outer layers we had were extremely effective.


Edited by rcaffin on 09/24/2008 22:45:59 MDT.

Dan Healy

Locale: Queensland
Re: Re: When Things Go Wrong on 09/25/2008 04:46:34 MDT Print View

great story there Roger... and you can certainly point to experience in designing tents! Yours have certainly come along since the early ones. Good on you

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: When Things Go Wrong on 09/25/2008 05:20:31 MDT Print View

That's wild. The only times I've been in winds that high were in high temps before and during a hurricane. I can only imagine adding snow and heavier clothing to the experience. I liked your comments about what worked and didn't work, and your abilities to change with the obstacles. Details of hardware failures are always a bonus for MYOG folks to learn from the experiences of others and change design of their gear in order to have a better experience. I'm neither the MYOG type nor someone who lives in this type of climate, but I still enjoyed the interesting details of your trip. It's good to see you and your wife made it back safely. Safety and sense makes it possible to do it again.
Thanks for the article.

Ed Huesers
(iglooed) - MLife
Re: Re: Similar experience on 09/25/2008 20:04:19 MDT Print View

Hi Roger,
What an experience! Glad to see your tent made it through it with flying colors. A good design for sure. I used to have an old tent that I would trust in the wind but it got old.
Looks like a lot of knowledge gained on this trip. Good on ya.