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Thread: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

  1. #81

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    I don't understand why Drew needs to tell you that it will be cold out West, in mid-late December.
    If you're not ready for below freezing weather, please don't come.

    But if this discussion is about where to do some decent photography...

  2. #82
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    SF Bay area, CA
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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    I never second guess anyone. I'd rather that they be offended by me repeating this kind of advice than risk an accident. I go through the same mantra with every friend or neighbor who aspires to get seriously outdoors or even road-travel in Winter. In fact, I even refuse to allow people to hike with me into the mountains without real boots and adequate physical conditioning. All it takes is once. I just read an account of one part-time summer backcountry ranger who retrieved over twenty bodies in a decade of such summers. Then he himself went missing. A couple months later someone found his decayed foot inside a boot way downstream from a crossing he had made thousands of times before alone. Nobody know the real story to this day, or what happened to the rest of him. For years I always carried a spare coat with me for even dayhikes as Fall approached. If I didn't have that spare to hand out, either several people would have been dead by now who were underquipped for sudden weather changes, or I myself would have been in serious risk trying to hike out without sufficient outerwear myself. Young fit types can be the worst. I've seen em jogging the trails ten miles back without even a waist pack with a raincoat or sweater in it. A single twist of the ankle in those ridiculous jogging shoes and they can't run any longer to keep up body temperature, and would have gone hypothermic when the weather suddenly and dramatically changed with the impending afternoon thunderstorm. People also freeze to death every winter in their cars when they
    don't plan for potentially getting stuck. Even a few blankets would have kept them alive. So on the one hand, I apologize if I sound unnecessarily redundant;
    on the other hand, I don't apologize.

  3. #83

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Anglesey, North Wales, UK
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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    So on the one hand, I apologize if I sound unnecessarily redundant; on the other hand, I don't apologize.
    + an infinite number of times

    Absolutely right, you can die quite easily by not being prepared. Winter and summer are the extreme times, but you can get caught out any time, anywhere.
    REMEMBER YOUR/THEBOY SCOUTS MOTTO BE PREPARED DO NOT DIE BECAUSE YOU ARE EMBARRASSED BY PREPARING YOURSELF OUT PROPERLY - WHEN OTHERS GO UNPREPARED

    Like Drew I see a lot of accidents waiting to happen in both the mountains and on the sea (my house is on the coast alongside the beach and within 20 miles of Snowdonia.). We see the rescue helicopters, the coast guard, the RNLI all of whom risk their own lives to save others.

    Life is short enough - why curtail it by being unprepared?

    regards
    Tony

  4. #84
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    I'm with Drew W. At least a few times I saved climbing partners and hiking strangers in serious trouble with hypothermia. And most of them knew how to be prepared but were not. And I have saved my own hide in sudden white out conditions at 14,000 feet. And I knew personally a few that did not come back from the mountains. A line from an old Dirty Harry movie has been my mantra, "A man has got to know his limitations."

  5. #85
    J. Austin Powers appletree's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    I got back two days ago (well, Christmas eve).
    I survived. It got pretty dang cold a few nights in Sequoia NP and then King's Canyon.

    Hiked to the top of Yose Fall (was a bit let down I couldn't even see Half Dome, haha).

    Overall the trip was great. Did almost run out of gas. Like literally on fumes in the middle of the desert when driving from Joshua Tree to Death Valley.
    Other than that, everything went well. Even with no chains. I got pretty lucky dodging weather.

  6. #86
    J. Austin Powers appletree's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    Also, I got caught once being un-prepared. And stupid. Luckily it didn't bite me, but easily could have.
    I hiked Yose Falls. Never initially intending to actually hike the entire thing. I was just going to go 1-2 miles in. But this was never really clear to me nor did I do any homework.

    So, I go pay for my campsite the next morning [by the way, can't all the parks just do it the same way??] and talk to the ranger. He suggests I start off with that hike not end my day with it.
    I take his suggestion and plan to do it first, hoping to finish by 2ish so I can drive around and see some more sites from the car/pull over to the side. It is around 9:30AM.

    I set out and eventually realize that damn my pack is heavy. I start to notice that literally no-one has a large pack...except for those camping overnight, or so various people told me.
    I always realize there are NO mile markers or signs or much of anything. And before I know it it is 12:30 and I finally ask someone. They say, oh yeah you are only about 45 mins to the top. Then someone tells me, well the end is subjective, you can just keep hiking if you wanted to.

    So now, I am like dang. Might as well just keep hiking to the top. I brought one Nalgene of water and a cliff bar. Nothing else except cameras, film, matches, and other odds and ends.
    I get up there around 1:15 and decide I can only shoot until around 2PM and need to head back down, because it will get dark around 4:30.
    To which I remember, dang I left my headlamp and flashlight in the car...

    So I shoot until 2PM and head down. Keep in mind, when I got to the top I truly thought to myself I was a little worried. Because I was exhausted. I wanted to throw my pack off the cliffs to the bottom. Haha.
    And I started thinking, damn, I am going to do this, but it is going to be tough.

    I muster up and head down. Well, as you can imagine, I am probably 60% of the way down and it starts getting a bit dark. And I have not seen much of anyone for a while.
    Eventually it gets pretty dang dark and I am going real slow. I had knee surgery in February, so I am being gentle. I did have poles which I am happy I used them (for the only time on the trip).

    I get about 3/4 mile from the bottom and notice two people sitting there. They said, we were waiting for you since we passed you up a while ago and noticed you had no light. Walk the rest of the way with us.
    And so I did. I got back into my car around 5:45ish.

    It would not have taken much for me to slip, twist an ankle while alone, run into a mountain lion or bear, etc. I felt truly embarrassed...as an eagle scout who always quotes BE PREPARED. I definitely was not prepared. I never should have gone to the top.

  7. #87
    Les
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    Dec 2011
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    Seattle, WA
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    731

    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    Good to hear you made it and are OK. Bruised ego will heal :>). Although this is bit of spilled milk, any extensive hike where a flashlight will be used.....spare battery should be considered, as well. Well, that also goes for camera meter....if you use such. Hope you had a good time and would be nice to see some pics....hope they are not dark :>).

    Les

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