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A "Cautionary Tale" from High Country News
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David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
A "Cautionary Tale" from High Country News on 06/29/2012 16:04:42 MDT Print View

Not sure I would have drawn the same conclusion as the author.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: A "Cautionary Tale" from High Country News on 06/29/2012 16:58:05 MDT Print View

Everyone has to make their own conclusions/decisions. Can't fault them for that, even if we would do different ourselves.

a b
A society of one. on 06/29/2012 21:14:59 MDT Print View

Potential hazards of solo travel are innumerable.
The rewards of solitude are likewise beyond numerical expression.

Something happens when you are alone in "lonely" country that is diffcult to express.

I love the times I have shared with companions on the trail and they were full, rich experiences i treasure.

Then there are the solo times which are intense on a whole different level and I treasure them too.

I don't think fear of what could happen, alone out there, should be the driving factor in any decision.

The risk of solo travel is ALWAYS worth taking.

Edited by Ice-axe on 06/29/2012 21:16:00 MDT.

R... ...
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
Re: A society of one. on 06/29/2012 23:23:21 MDT Print View

In this example, if he was only hiking with the 100 lb woman, but the boulder mover wrestler muscle physics dude was not there, they would have ended up with a late rescue and amputation.

Hiking with a buddy is nice, convenient but also overrated, unless you and your buddy are equally skilled in S and R.

When i take along my young nephew or my indoor office type friends, they are a liability for me, and I'm their guide and first aid guy.

Who will help me when i am hurt? At best they can run downhill and call for help, but my pals will get lost on a single trail with switchbacks.

Only two people i trust to save my life on the trail one dude is ex-mil married pw now and not allowed to break his leash. The other is a 65 yr old guy who can still do the right thing although he rarely goes up the mountain these days because of health and fam.

Carrying a PLB or SAT phone can summon up a helicopter lift and rescue crew, if you want to solo hike but your spider senses are worried.

On the opposite of ultra lite, he can carry a car jack to raise that boulder...

Captain Hindsight.

Edited by RogerDodger on 06/29/2012 23:25:21 MDT.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
cautionary tale on 06/30/2012 11:08:38 MDT Print View

The person who penned this real life changing experience was loose rock scrambling with light climbing up cliffs with chimneys from what I read in the story.

I like solo hiking and backpacking but I pick my routes carefully and able to scout ahead for danger and able to change my route so I don't put myself in the position I don't return. Sure solo hiking has it risk but it more of a risk to drive a car or ride bicycle along side the road.

Life is a risk if you don't take risks you may miss out on the fun things in life.


Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
A butterfly flaps its wings... on 06/30/2012 16:57:46 MDT Print View

I'm with Terry, living your life ruled by 'what ifs' is not a life well lived.

My sarcastic-to-a-fault mind immediately read the trigger of the incident and thought "Well, if you were hiking alone you wouldn't have turned around to look for the friend, and never brushed the boulder. Accident avoided."

I know, it's flippant and insensitive, but in my mind, it illustrates the same point: Everything you do causes ripples in what might or might not happen in the future. Avoid unnecessary risks, but realize that you can't control everything, even sitting on your couch. Go have fun.

To play Devil's Advocate: It's entirely possible that if hiking alone, she might have never touched the boulder, made the loop an hour faster and been just in time to get smeared by a semi on the way home.

Edited by COHiker on 06/30/2012 16:58:33 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: A "Cautionary Tale" from High Country News on 06/30/2012 19:25:16 MDT Print View

Could have also squashed the author like a bug and we would have no article to tear apart. That would be tragic.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
truth on 07/09/2012 10:41:36 MDT Print View

many people find they can not stand themselves and use incidents like this to mask that truth.

Edited by asciibaron on 07/09/2012 10:45:24 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Hiking/caving with others is dangerous on 07/09/2012 12:31:02 MDT Print View

In the same way that the author draw the conclusion that hiking alone is dangerous...... I was in a similar situation while hiking in a cave with a group. We were climbing a talus slope and one of the others in the group was following too close behind me when a boulder moved as I lightly touched it causing it to move and temporarily pinning him in an identical manner described in this story. In my companions case he could have written that it's more dangerous to go with a group.

Mark Fowler
(KramRelwof) - MLife

Locale: Namadgi
Solo is safer on 07/12/2012 06:59:56 MDT Print View

The chance of an an accident or injury increases proportionally with the size of the group so solo walking is safer than walking with a group. What changes with a group is the response to an accident.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Solo is safer on 07/12/2012 09:59:37 MDT Print View

given what i experienced with a group i was new to, i would have to agree with Mark. there are some people who are a liability and it's not a matter of if but when with them. i'd rather not be around when their time is up.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Solo is safer on 07/12/2012 10:54:00 MDT Print View

If I'm solo I tend to be a little more careful - no one to bail me out

If I'm going with someone else, I'll do riskier stream crossings and stuff