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Panther, Couchsachraga and a surprise ending! - 2/10/13

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  • Panther, Couchsachraga and a surprise ending! - 2/10/13

    I had this hike planned for a week and was hoping to grab all 3 Santas, but you know how that goes. My wife, Leesa, decided to accompany me as far as she could, which was Panther. We arrived at about 7:15, right behind MooseBeware. As we were gearing up, The Tandem pulled in as well. All of us were hoping for the hat trick. It was -14 degrees when we started out.

    MooseBeware took off 1st on her skis. Leesa and I (and our dog Rev) followed shortly afterwards, and The Tandem were gearing up when we started. Two cars were in the lot when we got there, and they looked like they had been there overnight. The trail was broken all the way up to Herald Square. Leesa and I arrived there at about 11:45, then went over to Panther. A few braids were sorted out and we were on the summit before noon.

    Back at Herald Square, Leesa had decided to head back. I told her I planned to do Couch and then I'd decide if I wanted to continue on to Santanoni or not. Rev wanted to stay with me. At the point, MooseBeware popped into Herald Square after losing a little confidence in finding the herd path to Couch.

    Leesa headed down and MooseBeware, Rev and I went to tackle Couch. It was about 12:15. Rev knew exactly where to go, and I followed her, breaking trail since she didn't do such a good job. MooseBeware followed us and we made pretty good progress, getting to Couch at about 1:45.

    This is where things turned interesting. Rev and I ate a quick lunch on Couch, then MooseBeware was anxious to head out. We started back and got to the Couchie swamp when Rev decided to follow her nose off trail. I told MooseBeware to continue ahead while I went in search of Rev. Having no luck, I very regretfully started back. Rev has done this to me 4 or 5 times before. She is a hound and you can't change her.

    I started back up to Times Square dragging Rev's coat and my hat to give her a scent to follow. About 1/2 way back to Times Square I ran into the couple "Tandem" from the forum. They were heading in to Couch and they had their headlamps ready, knowing they would be getting out after dark. They said that if they saw Rev, they would try to get her out with them.

    I continued on, and caught up to MooseBeware at Herald Square. It was now 3:15. She decided Couch was enough for today and I wasn't going to do Santa, since I was hoping Rev would catch up to me. MooseBeware and I descended together to Bradley Pond (it was less than an hour going down). She stopped for a minute at the Beaver Pond and I continued on.

    I got back to the car at 5:30. Still no Rev. Leesa was very upset, of course, as was I. The Couchie swamp is no place to lose a dog. After a few minutes MooseBeware came out on her skis. She packed up and headed out.

    Leesa and I decided we would wait at the parking lot awhile and see if Rev would come trotting out, or if Tandem would come out with Rev. We turned the car with the headlights facing towards the trail and waited....

    Wouldn't you know it, at 6:30, Rev came trotting out on her own! She had been lost from me since 2 and she had come from the Couchie Swamp back to the trailhead, following my tracks and scent. During the last hour, she was moving in the dark.

    To say the least, we were both overjoyed. We gave her her dinner and she was asleep for the ride home.

    I'll still have to go back to get Santanoni, but the mountain will always be there. I got my Rev Back.

    MooseBeware - Nice hiking with you. Sorry the whole dog event put a damper on together again with no dog drama.

    The Tandem - Thanks for your willingness to try and get Rev back. Hope to see you on the trail in the future.

    I'll do my blog report with pictures tomorrow. I'm mentally exhausted for today.
    Last edited by Telemarkmike; 02-11-2013, 07:02 PM.
    offonadventure.com

  • #2
    Wow, I don't know if I could have left the Couch swamp without my dog. I am not being judgemental and my dog is not a hound. I am glad everything turned out OK. It is amazing how the dog found his way back to the parking area.
    What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    • #3
      Originally posted by RTSpoons View Post
      Wow, I don't know if I could have left the Couch swamp without my dog. I am not being judgemental and my dog is not a hound. I am glad everything turned out OK. It is amazing how the dog found his way back to the parking area.
      Yeah, I know it sounds harsh, but I can't follow the dogs tracks and expect to catch her, and I can only yell for so long. I've now lost her on Wakely, Gilligan, Saunders, Spotted and Couchie.

      On the Wakely trip, she was siting at the car when we got back. It's a little nerve racking when I lose her on a bushwhack, expecially in summer when she can't just follow the track in the snow. I can't leave her home though, being in the woods with me is what she likes best, and it's not practical to use a leash on the herd paths and bushwhacks.

      It beats the life she had in the shelter for 2.5 years, at least she is doing what she loves. It's a risk I just have to take. It's heart wrenching though, because I worry each time that I won't get her back. She has gone through extensive training for being off leash in the woods.
      offonadventure.com

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      • #4
        OMG!!!!! Mike I am so glad you guys waited. Kudos to Leesa and her tenacity. What a day indeed!
        #8335W, Solo Winter 46
        ADK Grid 331/552
        Catskill 35 (SSW) #1235
        ADK Quest #119
        NE 111 113/115

        NPT 2019

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        • #5
          Glad everything turned out OK, Mike! There is nothing like a happy ending! Two peaks & getting Rev back is a good day.....
          Limped thru the Northeast 115...

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          • #6
            I felt every step of your pain having lost Oliver while hiking Seymour with Alpinelamb. He must have decided to follow our tracks in the wrong direction back down from the false summit that day. Thankfully it was only a short period of time (15 min seemed like an hr) for us though. I don't hear all that well and thankfully Mary could hear him barking from a far distance. It was very unnerving to say the least.....gotta love our hiking hound companions Great ending Mike.

            Mike, do you carry a whistle with you? I carry Oliver's hunting whistle with me. It has a unique tone and I'm sure it helped turn him around that day.
            Last edited by Alpine1; 02-11-2013, 06:43 AM.

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            • #7
              Pets are family, which is probably why you had her with you to start with. That hike out without Rev must have felt like an eternity. Glad it all worked out.

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              • #8
                Mike! Great to hear your pup came back from his own adventure! Wonderful report.
                inclined to climb...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Alpine1 View Post

                  Mike, do you carry a whistle with you? I carry Oliver's hunting whistle with me. It has a unique tone and I'm sure it helped turn him around that day.
                  I have a whistle, but I'll check w/ the trainer for ideas about that. Thanks.

                  And yes, any time lost feels like an eternity.
                  offonadventure.com

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                  • #10
                    So glad to here Rev returned! I agree that the breed has alot to do with it no matter how good the training is. Nothing like the feeling of seeing her return. Bob

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                    • #11
                      So glad to hear everything worked out!!!! It's so scary to think of them so far out but the animal instinct is strong.
                      Crepuscular Rays: Dissolve into evergreens

                      There's always gonna be another mountain
                      I'm always gonna wanna make it move
                      Always gonna be an uphill battle
                      Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
                      Ain't about how fast I get there
                      Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side...
                      It's the climb
                      -Miley Cyrus

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                      • #12
                        "MooseBeware and I descended together to Bradley Pond (it was less than an hour going down)... I got back to the car at 5:30."

                        We made the descent from HS to Bradley Pond in 45 minutes! Back to the car in two hours (just a few minutes more for me) was a fast exit!



                        -C
                        #8335W, Solo Winter 46
                        ADK Grid 331/552
                        Catskill 35 (SSW) #1235
                        ADK Quest #119
                        NE 111 113/115

                        NPT 2019

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                        • #13
                          Nice report. Glad to hear you got your dog back.
                          46R #4772W

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                          • #14
                            I am not currently a dog owner, but after hiking a few times with my neighbors' black labs and assessing their route-finding abilities, I am pretty sure they can follow a human scent that is days old, let alone hours old and familiar. I am glad Rev caught up to you, but I am not at all surprised.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the report, and great news on the reunion at the end!

                              We are planning on attempting the Santas this coming weekend, with an overnight camp at Bradley Pond.

                              Last year we made it to Panther, after the previous two parties go lost in deep snow and never found Times Square. But it took us so long to make Times Square (deep, fresh snow, no prior experience in the Santas, losing the herd path multiple times from blow-downs, etc.) that we had no time for anything but Panther.

                              Now that I have been to TS once, I am fairly confident I can find it again, and do it in a reasonable period of time. But I have never been to Couch. Hopefully something will be left of your tracks in the coming weekend for us to find the way to Couch and back.

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