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Is St. Regis mountain so dangerous?

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  • #16
    Hear the Footsteps

    Caltopo.com (currently) offers three Base Layer maps based on OpenStreetMap data.




    ​Caltopo's "MapBuilder Topo" base layer and "MapBuilder Overlay" display trails sourced from OpenStreetMap. However, the data is copied infrequently and may not reflect the most recent version available in OpenStreetMap.

    Here's an easy way to check for differences.
    1. Select OpenStreetMap for the Base Layer.
    2. ​Enable the MapBuilder Overlay.
    ​The dashed red lines are the latest version of the trails shown in OpenStreetMap.
    ​The solid red lines are Caltopo's copy of OpenStreetMap's trails.

    For example, here are obvious differences. Twenty days ago, using data recorded by JoeCedar, I updated portions of the Elk Lake-Marcy Trail, Bartlett Ridge Trail, and South Haystack Trail.

    Looking for Views!

    Comment


    • Hear the Footsteps
      Hear the Footsteps commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey, I worked at it and got the open street maps.
      Thanks TB.
      Don

  • #17
    I have given this topic a lot of thought over the years and have replied to countless threads lamenting how poorly prepared most hikers are. I agree with everybody's assessments of the state of unpreparedness seen in the ADKs. I have reached the conclusion that the best I can do is to offer assistance with a smile and help people in a friendly manner as possible. I hand out extra copies of maps. If it's one I printed off caltopo I tell them how great that site is and that it's free. I demonstrate what it means to be prepared by being knowledgeable about where I am and show them the maps and notes I carry in a casual way as I'm helping them with directions without being preachy about it or even mentioning what my prep work is. It's evident by what I'm showing them. Hell, I am a walking billboard for carrying electronics... SPOT device, GPS, and camera all strapped outside my pack. BUT... you'll never see me with a phone. It's turned off and buried deep in my pack. When somebody asks for help I always pull the paper map out of my pocket. I try not to look at the GPS unless I'm offering up an elevation. Then if I hand out a copy of a map I always dig into my pack for the second copy I have stashed in there to show that I have backups. Teaching without preaching and hoping people catch on. I've done it dozens and dozens of times and will continue to.

    Now I'll throw in my favorite personal "handing out a map" story. I was coming down the Beaver Meadow Trail after a day of Sawteeth/Gothics/Armstrong a number of years ago. As I was about 3/4 of the way down I came upon a guy laying in the middle of the trail. From a distance I thought he as dead but happily found he was only sleeping as I got closer. I woke him up and asked if he was alright. He told me a story of his friends ditching him after his pack broke and they didn't want to wait for him as he fixed it. He said he had to meet them back at camp later. I asked where he was camping. Around JBL he said. I informed him he was headed toward Lake Road in the totally opposite direction as JBL. I pointed him back up the mountain, gave him a copy of the map, and highlighted the route for him. And off he went. Lost, asleep, broken gear, no map, and $hitty friends. Lucky guy.

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    • #18
      At the top of the Bright Angel trail at the Grand Canyon, there is a sign with a depiction of 3 types of hikers (this is a rough translation):

      Beginners - Shows young people with a small child, sneakers, pack(?), no poles.
      Intermediate - 30-40 year old people, better gear, no kids
      Experienced - 50+, appropriate clothing, poles, boots, water, map, compass, the whole 9 yards.

      Maybe it just takes time for people to mature and understand that a hike in the ADKs is not just a stroll in the park.
      Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

      Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
      Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
      Past President Catskill 3500 Club
      CEO Views And Brews!

      Trail maintainer for the Dry Brook Ridge trail from Mill Brook Road to just past the Lean-to

      Comment


      • #19
        Just two weeks ago I also encountered a couple who were totally unaware of where they were. I had an ATIS group on Haystack, and at about 1 PM a couple came up to the summit. They were moving at a good clip and had much mud on their legs. The husband then asked, "Is this Marcy?" Initially, both I and my assistant leader thought he was joking; but even when I pointed to the obviously higher summit it took him a while to realize they were indeed on Haystack (Perhaps he thought Little Haystack was 'Haystack', so this higher one had to be Marcy?). He then stomped on the actual summit, saying something to the effect of 'got this one, off to the next,' and the headed toward Panther Gorge. That was when I called out that they were not headed to Marcy. They seemed to be further confused, so I asked where they had started and what their plan was. The reply was that they had started from Rooster Comb parking (O.K., so they are definitely in shape to have reached Haystack by 1 PM) and were doing the complete Range with an exit to the Garden. I told them to go back over Little Haystack and turn left (there is now a sign there fro Marcy.)

        As they came back past me, I offered to give them my ADK High Peaks map. The wife then spoke up that they had that map, "we just haven't looked at it since we left the parking lot". I assume they made it out in the end, and probably would have made it even if they had gone to Marcy via Panther Gorge. This encounter did, however, possibly explain how the two brothers doing the Range two years ago in June ended up In Panther Gorge with one continuing up Marcy and nearly dying from hypothermia and later eating a poisonous plant. The Rangers could not figure out what there plan was, but I now suspect that pair made the same mistake of not realizing that, unlike all the other summits in the Range, the summit of Haystack is on a spur trail where one has to retrace ones steps to continue on to the next peak.

        Comment


        • FlyFishingandBeer
          FlyFishingandBeer commented
          Editing a comment
          RC trailhead to Haystack by 1pm as a day hike is really impressive. I can't imagine putting that much work into something and not making damn sure at some point along the way that I was headed in the right direction.

        • Trail Boss
          Trail Boss commented
          Editing a comment
          A case of more brawn than brai... well I won't be overly judgmental .. I'm envious of the ability to operate with so much energy that you need not be concerned with navigational errors.

          What? Wrong peak? I see an easy fix. We'll just drop 2000' into this l'il gorge here and regain it on the other side. Problem solved!

        • Orono Stewie
          Orono Stewie commented
          Editing a comment
          'Haste makes waste'. I suspect they did not 'summit' UWJ but roared by the sign, not that it's terribly important to stomp on the actual summit. I'm envious of anyone who can hike that fast. For sure, not my style.

      • #20
        That is pretty fast travel. (For perspective, the newest record (FKT - Fastest Known Time) for the Great Range is 5:27:30. Competitive folks who are close to the FKT make Haystack from the Roostercomb parking lot in about 3.5 hours, so after a 6 AM start, they are done with Haystack at 9:30 AM.)

        I was very glad to see the new "Marcy" sign at the Haystack junction when I was there earlier this year. The combination of the missing sign, and the trail bed being hidden behind the large square boulder had resulted in several lost or separated parties over the years.

        (The new sign very much does not look like a DEC sign...Tony, did someone else take it upon themselves to finally fix the problem?)



        Comment


        • FlyFishingandBeer
          FlyFishingandBeer commented
          Editing a comment
          If I could move that quickly for that long on ADK terrain, my hikes would still take the same amount of time. The difference is I'd be spending those extra hours lounging on summits and doing the exploration that I usually don't have the energy for, rather than slowly mouth-breathing my way up well-marked trails just to turn around and hike back once I reach a summit.

      • #21
        TCD; Yes, that is definitely an ATIS sign at the junction below Little Haystack, but the DEC has been increasingly slow in producing needed signs for us on ATIS trail junctions that are on State land. Having heard of a few others who went the wrong way at that junction, I decided to have ATIS step in to produce that sign. Of course, if one is just racing for the summit at that junction, one may miss that sign as the eyes will be turning left while the sign is on the tree to the right. That said, I don't think it is anyone's responsibility to "idiot-proof" every junction with duplicate signs facing every potential hurried user.

        Comment


        • #22
          Originally posted by debmonster View Post
          I think that one of the biggest issues connected to hikers getting lost is that most people don't want to pay for a map anymore, let alone actually learn how to use it.
          Buying a map shouldn't be an issue. One can print exceedingly detailed topo maps from online sources for free. I do this before every hike, as well as keeping a comprehensive High Peaks map in my pack at all times.

          Comment


          • #23
            Originally posted by Yury View Post
            This reminds me how I met a young athletic guy at the Loj parking lot.
            We struck up a conversation about our hiking plans.
            He told me that he planned to bushwhack Mt. Marcy from Avalanche Pass and asked my opinion on feasibility of such route.


            Neil, Trail Boss, what is your opinion on feasibility of such bushwhack?
            That makes no sense to me but I guess if he went over Colden north end, crossed the L. Arnold trail then crossed the boomerang ridge and headed for Marcy it could be done. If he actually attempted that as a day-hike may God have mercy on his soul.
            1111111111

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            • #24
              While we're on the subject of ill-prepared hikers while I was changing into rain gear in the S. Meadows sign-in booth a group came in to sign out. They were aiming for Marcy and some had no packs and wore those thick cotton hoodies and pants. Two had rain gear that looked like the clear plastic coverings they put over your dry-cleaned clothing. What was funny was the girl in the cotton outfit and no pack said to her friends, "the way this guy just looked at me, I don't know if we should go!" It rained all day and was cold. I have no idea how they made out but I suggested they turn back if the going got rough.
              1111111111

              Comment


              • Hear the Footsteps
                Hear the Footsteps commented
                Editing a comment
                This sounds like Saturday 9/9. I thought of climbing Phelps, Tabletop and tacking on Colden. Weather looked bad so I did TT then Phelps and went home. I saw lots of people with minimal gear going in on my way out. My hands were cold but I just put on the rain jacket no fleece. At higher elevations it was misty rain.

                At the HPIC PA I spoke to a Ranger who asked where I'd been which I told him and then I said "today is a good day to finish up early"

                On the drive out a good dozen people at the Cascade trailhead walking in to climb.

                Don

              • Neil
                Neil commented
                Editing a comment
                Don, that was Saturday. I did TT and Phelps. I started from S. Meadows around 10 or maybe a bit later. I ran into Mary Lamb at the bottom of the Phelps trail. T-Top was muddy at the top wasn't it?
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