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Search and Rescue in the Catskills recently redux

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  • Search and Rescue in the Catskills recently redux

    Couldn't get the link to work so I copied the whole page.



    Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers include: Town of Shandaken Ulster County Search: On Jan. 22 at 8:52 p.m., DEC's Central Dispatch received a call from Ulster County 911 reporting an overdue/lost hiker. The subject had been bushwacking with a group of 17 other hikers who made their way to Fir Mountain and then on to Big Indian Mountain. At Big Indian Mountain, the subject became tired and was left behind by the group at approximately 1 p.m. The group exited the trailhead at 5 p.m. at McKinley Hollow Road, where the subject's vehicle was parked at the trailhead. Four Region 3 Forest Rangers searched the Big Indian Wilderness Area throughout the night with negative results. Eight additional Forest Rangers were requested from Regions 3 and 4 to be at the command post at the Belleayre Mountain maintenance building the next day. On Jan. 23, Forest Ranger crews departed for their assignments, focusing on the trails and stream beds. A crew working from the McKinley Hollow Trailhead located the subject hiking out approximately three quarters of a mile above the lean-to. The subject was escorted out of the woods. During an interview the subject explained that he had hunkered down in a protected drainage for the night and began hiking out at daybreak. All crews were cleared of the scene by 9:30 a.m. . Town of Hunter Greene County Rescue: On Jan. 29. at 1:20 p.m., Central Dispatch notified Region 3 and Region 4 Forest Rangers of a subject who fell off the Kaaterskill Falls. A 26-year-old female was hiking on an undesignated herd path above the designed trail that leads to the middle pool of the falls. The subject slid and fell approximately 80 feet to the bottom of the lower falls, sustaining injuries to her head, back, and legs. Forest Rangers, Fire, and EMS personnel stabilized and packaged the subject and carried her out to the Route 23A trailhead. From there she was transported by ambulance to a helicopter and transported to an area hospital. Town of Hunter Greene County Rescue: On Jan. 29 at 2:10 p.m., Greene County 911 reported that a 27-year-old male fell approximately 50 feet while ice climbing in the Dark Side climbing area off of Platt Clove Road. Forest Rangers, paramedics, and fire personnel reached the subject at 4:35 p.m. after a difficult hike. After assessing and treating the subject for head injuries and hypothermia, he was able to hike out with the assistance of technical rope systems and was transported to an area hospital. Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC's Hiking Safety web page and Adirondack Backcountry Information web page for more information.

  • #2
    Well,
    There are seventeen hikers that ought to be ashamed of themselves.
    Don

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    • #3
      Hey Jim, I drove past the trail head parking area for Biscuit Brook on Saturday and there were so many cars that cars were boxed in. Was this a 3500 club hike?
      A good reason to keep the group size small enough so that you can count them on both hands. Losing a hiker on a trailed hike is not easy, but I guess it happens.

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      • #4
        No Mike, it was not. In recent years the 3500 limits hikes to 12 for safety, LNT, wilderness ethics and for quality of the experience. In the past it was a different story.

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        • #5
          I had a chat with a HVH on a club hike that I co-led about the size of their groups. Of course, his answer to me was the DEC says 20 is the limit. My answer back was, if you "aspire" to be a 3500 Club member, should you not go by their rules and limit to 12 ? I think the club could do more to encourage that. I know it can't be enforced, just the same as you don't really know if they hike all the peaks. The info/tally sheet doesn't have it listed , really the only way to know is to sign up for a club hike. Those meet ups have none of that info. It might just make a difference to some newbies if they know the rules. Worth trying harder to educate them I think.


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          • #6
            Even 12 is too many in my opinion. I'm not sure what the ideal limit is but it certainly has to be less than 12.
            Project Full Deck Blog.
            Make a "Full-Deck" Donation to SAR

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            • #7
              I sometimes think 1 is a good number, a bit lonely, but still a good start.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mudhook View Post
                I sometimes think 1 is a good number, a bit lonely, but still a good start.
                You a fan of 3 Dog Night?
                Project Full Deck Blog.
                Make a "Full-Deck" Donation to SAR

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                • mudhook
                  mudhook commented
                  Editing a comment
                  way back when...

              • #9
                I have organized and/or led hundreds of hikes of every description (4kers, bushwhacks, traverses etc) on both sides of the border over the last three decades.

                My observation is that in a hike with signifcant ascent, say Algonquin from the Loj, a group starting out at eight or more will likely decay into at least two parties at one of the more difficult parts of the climb, in part due to the spread of aerobic capabilities.

                Coincidentally, this same number, by and large, is where the group dynamic shifts from tribal to mob. Thus, in larger groups certain participants take less responsibility for their own behaviour and look out less for their fellow hikers.

                The ideal hiking party size is four to six.

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by HH1 View Post
                  The ideal hiking party size is four to six.
                  I kind of agree, but the 3500 Club, for which I lead hikes frequently, has an upper bound of 12. Leaders can set a lower limit if they so desire. We do not let just anyone sign up, they have to prove they have the gear and some experience hiking in similar conditions to what we expect on that particular mountain. We do turn people away.

                  I have met with HVH leadership. They said they would try to do a better job of group size, and they did, at least at the time. If someone wants to look up the regs for bushwhacking in that region of the Catskills, be my guest, but 17 is just too many, IMO. But then again, if you are not 'leading' that many people, who cares?

                  The HVH policies are almost always a topic of discussion when I lead 3500 Club hikes. I usually tell people that with 25,000 members, it must be tough to ensure good hike 'leaders' are out there. I know for a fact that they have reliable people. But unless I am mistaken, anyone can join and 'host'/'organize'/'lead?' a hike.
                  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

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                  • #11
                    17 people bushwhacking? I'm guessing more like 1 or 2 bushwhacking...the rest looking at the boots directly in front of them.
                    Nature we have always with us, an inexhaustible storehouse of that which moves the heart, appeals to the mind, and fires the imagination - health to the body, a stimulus to the intellect, and a joy to the soul. - John Burroughs

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by TFR View Post
                      If someone wants to look up the regs for bushwhacking in that region of the Catskills, be my guest, but 17 is just too many, IMO.
                      The only regulation I can think of that would apply would be the prohibition against "organized events on state land" consisting of 20 or more people. Whether a group hiking together constitutes an "organized event" or not is a bit of a gray area, but I'm personally of the opinion that you can't have that many people doing anything without some level of organization.

                      More importantly, though, I'm also of the opinion that 17 people on a group hike is just too many, regardless of regulations. Even 12 seems like a lot to me, and I would hesitate to lead a group that large unless there was someone else with experience in leading hikes with me.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by PA Ridgerunner View Post
                        17 people bushwhacking? I'm guessing more like 1 or 2 bushwhacking...the rest looking at the boots directly in front of them.
                        First person: "aw man this is so-o-o friggin' thick"
                        Seventeenth person: " Nice trail but I thought this was supposed to be a bushwhack"
                        Project Full Deck Blog.
                        Make a "Full-Deck" Donation to SAR

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                        • #14
                          No the seventeenth said " Hey I wasn't last in line when we started"

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by PA Ridgerunner
                            17 people bushwhacking? I'm guessing more like 1 or 2 bushwhacking...the rest looking at the boots directly in front of them.
                            Back when I was in the Boy Scouts, we were hiking in New Mexico with burros. The only thing the burros saw was the ass in front of them.


                            Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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