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It seems the problem is not a uniquely an Adirondack one.

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  • It seems the problem is not a uniquely an Adirondack one.

    Another climber dies on Capitol Peak above Aspen, the fifth in two months

    A 21-year-old mountain climber dies, apparently while attempting a shortcut




    "Steindler lamented an increasing flow of people compelled to bag “fourteeners” — peaks that exceed 14,000 feet elevation — a heavily promoted recreational pursuit that draws inexperienced hikers to Colorado’s high country."


    http://www.denverpost.com/2017/08/27...ol-peak-aspen/


    Reads like a story in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. Luckily we have not seen the number of fatalities that they have had in Colorado.

  • #2
    Is the problem an Adirondack one at all? I can't think of any aspiring 46ers who died recently, except for the guy on Marcy who had a heart attack. (And I wouldn't exactly blame that on hiking, he could have had the heart attack climbing the stairs at home.)

    Or do you mean the "increasing flow of people"? If people aren't dying from it, it doesn't seem to be quite the same problem.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by autochromatica View Post
      Is the problem an Adirondack one at all? I can't think of any aspiring 46ers who died recently, except for the guy on Marcy who had a heart attack. (And I wouldn't exactly blame that on hiking, he could have had the heart attack climbing the stairs at home.)

      Or do you mean the "increasing flow of people"? If people aren't dying from it, it doesn't seem to be quite the same problem.
      Not every death in the High Peaks makes the news. It's not exactly like there's an epidemic of hikers dying, but every year there's usually a few more deaths in the Adirondack backcountry than the general hiking public is made aware of.

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      • #4
        I noted the lack of fatalities as being the difference, I was focusing more on the quote from the official lamenting the "increased flow of people" some who appear to be inexperienced hikers pursing the 14'ers. A similar topic of conversation on this board on more then one occasion as it relates to our High Peaks.. These inexperienced hikers are placing stress on an already maxed system. Reading the summary of the SAR and Ranger call outs seem to confirm this. A heart attack or bad fall are unexpected, that is why they are called accidents. Free climbing rock you have no business being on or hiking beyond your limits are not. The lack of fatalities does not seem to be for the lack of trying, the couple on Algonquin last December comes to mind as do the two guys who tried to the whole Great Range a year or two ago, who absent the kindness of fellow hikers could have also made the list. Or the women who brought her young children up Marcy last winter. As to fatalities that last one I recall would be the women on Marshall two winters ago.

        I just thought it was interesting to note the similarities in both the Rockies as well as the Adirondacks, hence the title of my post. I thought Mr. Steindler"s comments could just as easily apply to the Adirondacks.


        “Some of these mountains should not be climbed by people who do not have the experience to climb the steep high mountains. The 14ers of the Elk Mountains, with lots of loose rock, are just extremely dangerous,” Steindler said.
        “People should be in the mountains enjoying them, not turning it into some kind of competition where people are ‘bagging’ 14ers. They are missing the point of being up there in the first place.”
        Last edited by WBB; 08-29-2017, 03:55 PM. Reason: typo

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        • autochromatica
          autochromatica commented
          Editing a comment
          Gotcha, there's definitely a common interest in getting out.

        • Trail Boss
          Trail Boss commented
          Editing a comment
          On Marshall or MacNaughton? Hua Davis succumbed to hypothermia near MacNaughton.

        • WBB
          WBB commented
          Editing a comment
          My bad... MacNaughton.

      • #5
        I understood the OP. To me, the biggest shared concern is not the increasing number of people, but the increasing proportion of unprepared people, who have not done any homework before coming to the area. When we started hiking here in 1983, I bought the guidebook and read it in its entirety; studied the maps; checked the weather, and went with more experienced friends the first few times out. After that, it was pretty straightforward. Today, a lot of folks just don't want to take the time to learn anything before they head out. (Twice this season I have been flagged down by hikers on Giant who had absolutely no idea where the trails went, and we're asking me to basically explain the trail system to them.)

        I don't think we can do anything to fix the root cause of this. These are the same people who are texting while driving, and bumbling around in the supermarket walking into things while they are staring into their phones. I think all we can do is hiker education at the trailhead. And we are doing almost none of that now, so there's a fertile area for improvement.

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        • #6
          I think the Internet is the blame for a large part of the increase in unprepared hikers. 20 years ago (or even 10 years ago), the only way to find any information out about any hikes was to purchase a guidebook and a map. Not only are guidebooks and maps that are available for a fee checked to ensure a reasonable level of accuracy, they also come with information on regulations as well as minimum impact techniques. Sure, not everyone immediately turns to those sections upon purchasing the guidebook or map, but sooner or later they probably perused them and learned something. In any case, there was no alternative to finding out about hiking destinations without investing in a wealth of information so that you at least had it on hand during the hike if you didn't use it to prepare for the hike.

          Now, we live in a society where anyone can just type "Giant Mountain Trailhead" into their phone and instantly receive directions on how to access the trail (and at no cost!)... and not much else. Even if you do desire to put some effort into planning, there's no longer any obvious need to purchase a guidebook, as the internet contains a wealth of information (and unfortunately, much of it isn't always very accurate). I'm pretty sure I've read in several places that the sale of guidebooks (not just the ADK guidebooks, but guidebooks for any backcountry area) has declined significantly in recent years. I'm sure this was part of the impetus for the ADK to consolidate their guidebooks into fewer editions covering the entire Adirondack Park.

          Part of any educational message of mine for beginner hikers usually includes some variation of the message "By a map and guidebook. Yes, it's an added cost (but still less than what you spend on the gas to get to and from the Adirondacks for a single hike), and it will prevent you from encountering certain significant complications on hikes in the long run."
          Last edited by DSettahr; 08-29-2017, 05:54 PM.

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          • DayTrip
            DayTrip commented
            Editing a comment
            And the information found on Facebook and elsewhere is often highly "slanted". I was just commenting on another forum about a trail in NH, Flume Slide Trail, and how difficult it is. But over the past several years tons of braided side paths in the woods essentially avoid the entire trail and the actual difficulty of it. Then tons of people post on Facebook about how they just "crushed Flume Slide" or whatever when essentially they didn't even do the actual trail. Then tons of ill equipped and misinformed people head out to that trail because it is "easy" only to find it is not at all what they were told. Facebook groups are great sources of information but can also be highly misleading because you don't know the audience giving you the advice and they don't know you.

        • #7
          Originally posted by DSettahr View Post

          Not every death in the High Peaks makes the news. It's not exactly like there's an epidemic of hikers dying, but every year there's usually a few more deaths in the Adirondack backcountry than the general hiking public is made aware of.

          Really? I know about the utterly tragic death at Roaring Brook Falls, but that wasn't necessarily from pursuit of the 46.

          If there are other hikers dying, why aren't they being reported?
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