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Teen rescues grandfather in Baxter SP; upset with park policy

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  • Teen rescues grandfather in Baxter SP; upset with park policy

    https://bangordailynews.com/2014/07/...h-park-policy/

    "Their unnerving experience in the dark Maine wilderness brings to light a policy of Baxter State Park that people may not be aware of ó that park rangers donít always help search for stranded hikers."
    We are closer now than we were five minutes ago

  • #2
    When my grandkids are teenagers and I am 70 something I hope their parents have taught them not to leave grandpa alone on a mountain so they can go fishing and then blame the rangers for not rescuing me for a ride home because they are tired.
    "Climbing is about freedom. There's no prize money; there are no gold medals. The mountains are all about going there to do what you want to do. That's why I'll never tell anyone else how to climb. All I can say is, This is how I prefer to do it."
    Ed Viesturs

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    • #3
      Not to appear insensitive to his plight but the incident supports the proposition that a headlamp is an "Essential Item" for day-hikers. No where to go if you can't see the trail.

      Glad to hear it ended well but how about them Maine Rangers, huh? No injury, no rescue. That's hardball right there!
      Looking for Views!

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      • #4
        My favorite part of the story is when it grew too dark to see the grandfather simply sat down and waited. "I wasn't in any danger and it was going to get light in another 7 hours".

        No headlamp. tsk, tsk. Although I always think that one day it could be me making an error.

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        • #5
          I noticed this one sentence in the article....

          “The only thing I was really feeling bad about is that there wasn’t cell service and I knew that my wife was going to be worried,” Spring said.
          If he had a cell phone on him, and depending on the model, it may have had a flashlight function available. Heck, years ago when beepers were all the rage, I used mine as a flashlight when out in the woods after dark one time.
          Firetowers - 29/29
          46ers - 4/46

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Neil View Post
            My favorite part of the story is when it grew too dark to see the grandfather simply sat down and waited. "I wasn't in any danger and it was going to get light in another 7 hours".

            No headlamp. tsk, tsk. Although I always think that one day it could be me making an error.
            Why I bring 2 headlamps and extra batteries to boot. For some things, redundancy is a blessing :-)

            From a SAR standpoint, the grandfather deciding to stay put instead of risking getting lost was a wise decision, for his benefit and that of any rescuers. I don't know if anyone has heard of the "Hug-a-Tree" program, where children are taught how to survive in the wilderness should they get lost (my SAR team teaches HaT), but one thing that is taught is to stay put.
            We are closer now than we were five minutes ago

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
              Glad to hear it ended well but how about them Maine Rangers, huh? No injury, no rescue. That's hardball right there!
              I've gone through the Baxter State Park Authority's website, looked at the rules and other policy info, as well as did Google searches. I cannot find anything online from BSP that clearly defines this policy. (If someone has a link to such, please post it)

              I was in BSP over a week ago (my 2nd visit) and usually read the signs. Neither I nor my friends saw anything alluding to such policy.
              We are closer now than we were five minutes ago

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              • #8
                Many years ago when I was young and foolish (now I'm old and foolish), I was hiking in to a remote off trail spot to meet up with my brother who had gone in earlier to set up. On the way in my flashlight quit. Wow, amazing how pitch black it was. I had a clear based compass and I held it over my watch and pressed the light button on the watch, it gave off enough light under the compass to see the needle. I would line my self up and walk like a blind man for a little ways and repeat. After about 2 hours of that my brother finally hollered me in.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MtnManJohn View Post
                  Why I bring 2 headlamps and extra batteries to boot. For some things, redundancy is a blessing :-)

                  From a SAR standpoint, the grandfather deciding to stay put instead of risking getting lost was a wise decision, for his benefit and that of any rescuers. I don't know if anyone has heard of the "Hug-a-Tree" program, where children are taught how to survive in the wilderness should they get lost (my SAR team teaches HaT), but one thing that is taught is to stay put.
                  Taught my kids "hug a tree" from the time they were old enough to walk in the woods. Thanks for the memory....and reminder.
                  HPHikingmoo

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MtnManJohn View Post
                    "Their unnerving experience in the dark Maine wilderness brings to light a policy of Baxter State Park that people may not be aware of — that park rangers don’t always help search for stranded hikers."
                    What a contrast to the rangers of the NYSDEC, who are directed by law as the responsible agency for search and rescue on state lands. The DEC is also by regulation responsible for training of volunteer groups and certifying members in wildlands SAR techniques.

                    http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/43084.html
                    http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/2371.html
                    http://www.nysfedsar.org/news.php
                    "Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before." - Alexander Graham Bell

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                    • #11
                      Regarding my comment about BSP rules and sign verbage, I happened across a photo someone took of a sign in BSP which says "YOUR SAFETY IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY" and "RESCUERS CAN BE MANY HOURS IN ARRIVING". One could say that clearly implies BSP's rule of not doing a SAR unless the person is known to be injured. However, if you think about it, these are also applicable in the Adirondack Park.

                      We are closer now than we were five minutes ago

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                      • #12
                        Don't blame the ranger for your own stupidity/arrogance/ill-preparedness

                        Plenty of Fail in this story to go around. I'm sorry, but short of a medical emergency, people need to take responsibility for themselves and be prepared to spend a night in the woods.

                        ...because self-rescue is always the best and first option.
                        Bingo. And I have no issues with some people learning this lesson the hard way. 10 Essentials and all that jazz.
                        http://www.adkhighpeaksforheroes.com

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                        • #13
                          I'm not going to debate the policy, or point out that a flashlight would have prevented this whole thing from happening, or wonder why anybody would leave their 75-year-old grandfather to fend for himself on Katahdin, but how in the world did he end up sitting alone in the dark? Was he the last person down the mountain? You'd think at some point he would have figured out he wasn't getting out by dark and asked another hiker for assistance. Or other hikers might have talked to him and suggested it would be getting dark soon. I find it odd he ended up alone and in the dark. I'm interested to know how this played out.

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                          • #14
                            We may or may not find out, but I believe there is more to this story.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Makwa View Post
                              ......You'd think at some point he would have figured out he wasn't getting out by dark and asked another hiker for assistance. Or other hikers might have talked to him and suggested it would be getting dark soon. ......
                              I'm speculating that something like that happened and the rangers were already aware of the situation when they sent the other member of the party back to find him.
                              I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.

                              - E. B. White

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