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  • Eddie Fournier
    commented on 's reply
    I know it gets bad press here, but Alltrails Pro can be a very powerful tool when used wisely (with backup map, compass & knowledge). You can use it in airplane mode. You can print very detailed maps from different sources (including OSM) and you can overlay heat maps showing where people actually walked even if there is no herdpath - I pulled out the one for MacNaughton and there is a clear "consensus" that shows on the Western approach. But I highly suspect that most people just use the free version, which IMO is close to worthless in the wilderness.

  • Commissionpoint
    replied
    The phenomenon of 'false positives' often plays heavily into the unpreparedness equation.

    A person gets the chance to hike Cascade from 73 on a mild day with a steady stream of hikers along the route in both directions clearly showing the way with nothing more than a bottle of Coke and a candy bar from Stewart's. They have a great time. They see wonderful views. They make lasting memories. They begin to make plans to do it again sometime soon.

    Two weeks later they are back and excited to tackle Giant. They consulted the internet. Bought a new daypack and a cool water bottle. Downloaded an app. Went to Stewart's for some supplies. They got their favorite sneakers on and they are all set to go.

    Except this time is different. The trail seems a bit more steep and rugged. The water bottle is empty and the snaks are gone before reaching the RPR junction. Its taking a lot longer than originally thought to reach the summit and there are some passing afternoon thunderstorms in the area. Fatigue sets in and an unbalanced step on some slippery rock results in a nasty non weight bearing sprain.

    I think this sort of thing happens quite a lot in the high peaks. The learning curve is steep in the beginning. So much to know, much of which actually comes with experience, creates a bit of a Catch-22. Knowing your limits, or better yet knowing that you really dont know your limits at all in the early going and being wise enough to gain the experience needed to improve your abilities by choosing routes that are low risk is definitely preferable to overestimating your skills and getting yourself into trouble. Unfortunately there seems to be less interest in actually learning how to hike and backpack in a responsible way these days compared to those who seem to just engage in egregious narcissistic social media self promotion.

    Leave a comment:


  • bikerhiker
    replied
    Ok. So speaking of maps, and map study, and research, and preparedness, and way too much reliance on gps and phone...

    On saturday i climbed Macnaughton up its brook from the west, and camped out at the designated site on Upper Preston Pond to really have time to enjoy the trip as thoroughly as possible.
    I have researched this hike for so many hours, from many sources and websites and especially this forum, and studied my bearings to the ridge from high and low on the brook as well as the possible return routes. i had backups of so many things in so many ways, and prepared more for this trip than any other before actually rolling out the driveway this past saturday. And it went so much more beautifully than i expected possible. Hardest but most rewarding mountain and area i have been to so far without doubt. Anyway...

    Here is the SAR-related kicker....On sunday morning on the trails, i met a family duo who were surprised to see anyone out by Henderson Lake lean-to (still a few miles from the preston pond site, and some distance further still from macnaughton brook by the other designated site where the real adventure just gets started), and it turned out they were going for MacNaughton via Hunter Pond area also.
    After hearing i summited the previous day, they immediately asked "is the herdpath there?" ....And i paused....and my answer was "do you have a map and compass?"....and the answer "Well we have GPS..."...They said they had done Grace up the Bouquet valley, and "if its anything like that it shouldnt be too bad.." And i interrupted and said "its not like the Bouquet, and its most likely like nothing you ever seen. The bouquet herdpath is a highway with guardrails compared to anything you will find a couple hundred yards past that campsite". After speaking for a few minutes we went our separate ways, and i was hoping i successfully dissuaded them from making a serious attempt up the brook, as there was no herdpath for them and no safety net other than the rangers already in uniform or at their homes on sunday morning with either a chopper flight or hours of marching full rescue packs to a remote wicked bushwhack between them and the ladies. I had a bunch of flagging in my pockets that i had picked the previous day on my way up, i dont remember if i told the duo that bit.

    I was hoping to meet an AFR or ranger the next few hours on the trails sunday morning to give them a heads up about the attempt from Macnaughton's west relying so heavily on a pretty much non-existent herdpath and gps, i didnt see anyone to give notice, but luckily when i signed out hours later i looked through the log and saw they had already signed out, with the added "could not find the herdpath"...
    They didnt say the actual words "alltrails", and didnt literally admit to not having a map and compass, but they might as well have done both.

    GPS and cell phones, ugh. I agree with so much said above, but going further on what TCD said, my dream is that every possible major trailhead becomes 24 hr paid parking with an attendant, raising money for the wilderness, and at the same time the steward or afr or ranger at the booth will not allow admittance if you cant answer basic knowledge questions and present your map/compass/headlamp/fluids/fuel/proper attire/etc. Ok, thats not realistic, but i did say "dream".

    Just out of curiousity, did the duo maybe see talk of MacNaughton's brook "herdpath" from a facebook page or some other social media? Definitely wasn't from this forum anytime recently, or the other usual good sources.

    Leave a comment:


  • Learning The Trails
    commented on 's reply
    I agree with HTF and FFB.

    Moderately trafficked makes it sound like it's a normal route. People will disregard the other warnings because they're already used to hearing "hiking the high peaks is hard."

    Signs and trailhead stewards discouraging the use of All Trails and other apps would be good... Though, I'm sure many will ignore them.

    I used to like All Trails. But, got over that quick.
    It's not bad for getting ideas of where to hike... But, it shouldn't be used as a resource for trip planning.

  • Old Hunter
    replied
    Well if they can climb back up to figure out where they are, let them walk out from there...or charge them accordingly for a non-necessary rescue. A few $10,000.00 rescues might bring awareness.

    Leave a comment:


  • h96s99
    commented on 's reply
    It’s interesting to hear that people are now accessing just the slide from the col. I didn’t know that.

    I agree that the new slide is better than the old one. Aside from the easier access, it feels more dramatic and the unweathered rock is certainly more grippy.

  • FlyFishingandBeer
    replied
    “We can’t ignore that this area is equivalent to National Park any longer." Carefully worded but very debatable.

    Regardless of the amount or lack thereof in terms of gear a person packs, the vast majority of preparedness is what's in their head and heart. Are they fit enough to complete the trip, and what skills do they possess to avoid incidences in the first place? The 10 essentials aren't going to do a bit of good if the person relying on them doesn't understand their practical applications when things go wrong, or worse yet, when that person thinks that stuffing them into a backpack will prevent things from going wrong. Yes, a headlamp and jacket can help prevent mechanical injury and hypothermia if somebody gets stuck on a route after dark, but these items didn't help them make it back to their car in daylight and didn't prevent their wife/dad/girlfriend/lonely dog from making a call to the DEC to trigger the SAR event.


    It appears that nobody can argue that SARs are going up because more unprepared hikers are in the woods, but this huge influx isn’t happening in every public land space in the state. While anecdotal, my local parks have been relatively quiet lately compared to usual. So what’s the draw in the High Peaks? What’s attracting the type of person who won’t self-rescue but will climb back up a peak for better cell service so they can use a Blackhawk as their personal Uber? This is what needs to be addressed. Oh, and anyone who can self-rescue or chooses not to, or could have avoided getting lost but chose to navigate via cell phone should be charged for the SAR. I don’t agree with SVL’s statement about the ADK being equitable to a NP, but I can certainly empathize with his level of frustration.

    Don’t be afraid to call people out. You don’t have to be a D about it, but don’t avoid a situation that could save lives and/or SAR man power later on just because it’s easier to let the current situation go. If somebody asks for directions or “is this the way to get to___,” instead of “yes” try responding casually and non-accusatorily with something like “grab your map and let’s what we’re looking at.” If they don’t immediately produce a map, you both know they screwed up. Then you produce your own map, ask where they started from, and show them their entire route and indicate their cardinal direction of travel. I usually take a quick mental note of their group size, clothing, and obvious gear. Simple encounters handled appropriately do not have to make anyone feel judged or alienated and may end up saving that person’s life.

    Leave a comment:


  • FlyFishingandBeer
    commented on 's reply
    Better yet, maybe get the word out that people should stop using AllTrails entirely in this region. What percentage of SAR AARs each year mention some usage of that app when the person found themselves not where they intended to be? 30%? 50%? At this point people aren't getting home safe because of it, they're doing so in spite of it.

  • Hear the Footsteps
    commented on 's reply
    Just a comment on Moderately Trafficked. To me that means a lot. Wonder what the Alltrails uses as a yardstick to gauge frequency of travel on routes. Last time I climbed our group was lucky to be enough to be ahead of a couple other groups. We wanted elbow room when we climbed the technical part.
    Last edited by Hear the Footsteps; 07-29-2020, 01:07 PM.

  • Hear the Footsteps
    commented on 's reply
    I never climbed the old way. One of our climbing partners that day was the most surprised because the new slide is so much better in my regular climbing partners experience and opinion.

    I have climbed the whole thing Post Irene twice. Never had a climbing partner I could take. Now I do. I've also climbed just the new slide above the trap dike two more times. The climbing partner had dropped in below the col thinking it was on the way to Otis' Gully one time before I would go too. The first time I went, I think about a year ago, it was a bushwhack. Second time, which was on the day we climbed the 1990 slide couple weeks back, there was distinct herd path except where there were a couple of non threatening little waterfall drops. Meaning: Others have found this and are taking just the slide now.

  • Makwa
    commented on 's reply
    gebby is correct... the alltrails description is as follows:

    "Mount Colden via Trap Dike Route is a 12.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lake Placid, New York that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for rock climbing and nature trips and is best used from May until October."

    "DO NOT ATTEMPT WITHOUT CLIMBING EXPERIENCE. This is not a casual hiking trail. This route includes a difficult mix of hiking and scrambling with class 4 climbs. The trail and weather conditions may make this route even more difficult with snow or ice. The scramble is not for novice hikers! Proper gear is recommended. Please do your research before attempting this route."

  • Learning The Trails
    commented on 's reply
    gebby AT should remove the entry completely. People won't care that it says class 4 let alone know what that means.

  • h96s99
    commented on 's reply
    I’ve climbed the trap dike many times. The character and risk profile of the climb changed materially post-Irene. Add to that the proliferation of on-line resources that often convince people they can do things they shouldn’t be doing and you have a bad recipe.

    Two years ago I watched a father take his 11 year old daughter up the waterfall section. No rope. He was above her. It was very uncomfortable to witness. He spoke with me later that day, deconstructing his experience and acknowledging he made a bad mistake. Lesson learned, I hope, at least in this one case.

  • gebby
    commented on 's reply
    I looked that up yesterday. If you look up the Trap Dike route on All Trails, at least the description I found, they report it as a Class 4 climb. Perhaps they edited it?

  • Learning The Trails
    replied
    It was pointed out on SVR's twitter that the Dike is listed as a "Hiking Trail" on All Trails.
    Numerous people pointed out that it is not a trail but rather a technical climb.
    Someone tagged All Trails and they actually responded by saying they will look into removing the route from their app.

    Leave a comment:

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