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Sat Mar 3 - Sangre 13er 5-Pack (FKA Princeton SW Ridge)

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?
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Re: Sat Mar 3 - Sangre 13er 5-Pack (FKA Princeton SW Ridge)

Postby geojed » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:03 pm

This is the only post I shall make on this.

I've resisted responding in order to prevent another epic Jed-bashing, but I feel I should lay out some pertinent info.

Sarah contacted me through the 14ers Facebook page since I posted on there regarding this hike. She said this would be her first Winter climb. I was really concerned that she wouldn't know what to bring for a Winter climb, so over several days leading up to the climb we PM'd and texted back and forth about what gear she should bring. I informed her that the forecast was for -1F w/ 20-30mph winds with LOTS of fresh snow (the forecast said 10-20" was supposed to have fallen, in actuality it was about 1-2"). She said she had a warm ski jacket and ski pants and hat, so I tried to think of gear that she would need that she might not think of since this was her first Winter climb.

I told her to bring:

Snowshoes,
waterproof/warm gloves,
waterproof/warm boots,
goggles,
gaiters,
and to wear two pairs of warm wool socks.


She didn't have ski goggles so I borrowed some from my next door neighbor.

She didn't have snowshoes, so I recommended that she rent some from REI, but then Aaronmojica had said he had an extra pair, so I PM'd him about her borrowing his extra pair of snowshoes and poles.

Unfortunately, she mistakenly thought the "gaiters" on her ski pants would be sufficient for this climb, and that her layered gloves would be sufficient. It turned out that neither pair of gloves she had were waterproof.

Also when I texted her about warm/waterproof boots she said that Keen had just sent her a pair and that they should work. Well, Keen does make winter snow boots, but the "boots" she had were actually just normal low-top, non-waterproof, meshy trailrunners, which I didn't realize that's what she actually had on until at the end of the day when she got back to the cars and I was helping break off the ice balls that had formed on her sock cuffs.

I also guessed correctly that she'd be bringing a Camelback, so I reminded her that she needs to remember to blow out the tube after every drink or the tube will freeze. I even demonstrated at the TH how I push the tube all the way back into the bladder sleeve in my backpack to keep the tube from freezing.

Maybe I should've gone through a more thorough gear check with her at the TH, but I thought I had communicated/recommended all of the gear that she would need for a Winter climb.

On the ascent, Brian texted me saying that he and Sarah were sticking together on the climb up so I knew she wasn’t left alone. Kudos to Brian!!! =D> =D> =D>

While we were descending I gave her some hand warmers and an extra pair of wool gloves I had. They probably didn’t do much as her other gloves were wet from snow.

Missing the bootpack trail on the way down and ending up in the bottom of the gully was really unfortunate. They weren’t the only ones to miss it as Matt Lemke did the same thing and ended up post-holing down Gibson Creek until reaching our snowshoe track from on the way up. I tried texting and calling Brian several times to get status updates while they were coming down, and was worried sick until I finally heard from Brian after they reached the snowshoe trench.

I really feel bad for how things turned out for you Sarah, your perseverance and will to finish is something I am in awe off. I’m not sure I would have done so well in similar circumstances. I hope you recover quickly and look forward to hiking/climbing with you again in the future.

Cheers,

Jed


:-# :-# :-#
• It's by getting away from life that we can see it most clearly... It's by depriving ourselves of the myriad of everyday experiences that we renew our appreciation for them...I've learned from my experiences in the mountains that I love life. — Dave Johnston
• Mountains are not climbed merely to reach a geographical location — but as personal and spiritual challenges to the participants. — David Stein
• The best climber in the world is the one who’s having the most fun.— Alex Lowe
• Why do I climb the mountain? Because I'm in love! — The Captain

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Re: Sat Mar 3 - Sangre 13er 5-Pack (FKA Princeton SW Ridge)

Postby SarahT » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:08 pm

First I want to thank Jed for organizing this hike. It was great to meet you and everyone else that came along. I'm looking forward to doing it again before too long.

Secondly, some of you guys should be ashamed of yourselves for berating this poor girl after her painful ordeal (mostly on that other thread). She's admitted her mistakes. Jeesh. Let me tell you its all fun and games until you make a mistake and find yourself in the spotlight one day. It doesn't feel so good. Show some compassion.

I think this was the first time I ever “signed up” to go on a hike with a large group of complete strangers and I have to admit that the trip dynamic was quite different than I am used to. It kinda threw me off balance. I felt like a “newbie to the situation” and wasn't quite sure how to act sometimes. With more and more of these large group hikes happening maybe its not a bad thing to talk about “rules and expectations” for lack of a better term and if/how they are different from those pertaining to more traditional hiking parties. Here are some things that stood out to me coming from a background of smaller hikes where I know nearly everyone:

1)At the start of the hike people just started trickling up the trail into the darkness as they finished getting ready to go. I didn't know how many people were ahead of me, how many behind, whether the ones up front would wait, what anyone's experience/ability level was, etc. I am used to starting a hike together as a group and having at least a general idea of the experience levels of my partners.

2)Lack of communication/direction. Most (including myself) did not know the exact route details when they left the trailhead. In fact, the route I thought we were taking wasn't even the one one on the agenda! When I plan trips for a small group of friends I do it such that my partners can come totally clueless and be just fine but this seems to NOT be the case with these big group hikes. A high degree of self sufficiency is required. I felt stupid for making this assumption and not researching all the details beforehand myself.

3)It was clear from the beginning that no attempts were being made to form a cohesive group. It was pretty much every man for himself. Faster folks did not try to wait for the slower ones. When Sarah started getting a considerable distance behind, Dominic & I got a little uncomfortable (we're used to sticking together). I said something to the rest of the group about her being pretty far back and reminding them that she'd never been out in winter. The response was that a second wave should be half an hour behind us and that she'd soon have company. Brian was still near her as well. I pushed the nagging feeling aside and continued on trying to behave appropriately in this new dynamic. Soon after breaking treeline Jed informed us he'd received a txt from Brian saying that he & Sarah had teamed up. I felt pretty good about the situation at that point.


Sarah - I had no idea about your lack of proper gear and I am very sorry to hear about your injuries. I guess this is one case where your strong sense of determination was actually detrimental. It was nice to meet you and I would be happy to go out with you again after you heal up & get some better gear. It'll be better next time, I promise.
Die Zeit ist unendlich lang und ein jeder Tag ein Gefäß, in das sich sehr viel eingießen lässt, wenn man es wirklich ausfüllen will.... Goethe
http://www.13ergirl.com/

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Re: Sat Mar 3 - Sangre 13er 5-Pack (FKA Princeton SW Ridge)

Postby ultragirl » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:56 pm

I am sorry. I never meant to insult anyone. You are all seriously amazing and I admire each & everyone of you.

My endurance is of a different nature. And while I can run for 24 straight hours, I realized it wasn't the same as climbing a winter peak. We all come from different backgrounds/experiences- myself included. Yes, I realize that it is more than just gear. But in my humble opinion I think it came down to gear on Saturday. I realize I have a LOT to learn. (And learn I did.) I hope you'll forgive me.

Peace!

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Re: Sat Mar 3 - Sangre 13er 5-Pack (FKA Princeton SW Ridge)

Postby Upstate Hiker » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:11 pm

Apology accepted.

With all due respect:

Orientation skills would have kept you from getting lost.
Avalanche class would have taught you to stay out of avy terrain.
Winter survival skills would have taught you the dangers of eating snow.
Proper snow travel techniques would have kept you from falling and would have reduced your travel time.

Sorry to be the jerk that points this out.

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Re: Sat Mar 3 - Sangre 13er 5-Pack (FKA Princeton SW Ridge)

Postby kansas » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:26 pm

Upstate Hiker wrote:Apology accepted.

Why are you accepting the apology?

From what I can tell, this entire incident had absolutely nothing to do with you, other than your desire to point out others mistakes on this forum. She had good info from Jed on what she needed to bring, she misjudged how serious things can get up there and luckily Brian is a solid, stand up guy. Lessons were learned on both sides, end of story.

Winter mountaineering is tough, nobody knows how tough until they give it a go.
"In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams."
— Jon Krakauer

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Re: Sat Mar 3 - Sangre 13er 5-Pack (FKA Princeton SW Ridge)

Postby astrobassman » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:28 pm

Upstate Hiker, you started off by ripping into Jed, and now Sarah again. Jed was just trying to pull together a good outing and meet new people, which he did, and Sarah learned a lot in the process, albeit not in the ideal way. Both seem to accept it for what it is/was. Maybe you should get into the mountains more instead of being the armchair QB and whining so much on the internet?

Re: Sat Mar 3 - Sangre 13er 5-Pack (FKA Princeton SW Ridge)

Postby AndYouSeeMe » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:35 pm

I really wanted to stay out of this, I really did.

So I will just say that I agree with astrobassmanColin 100%. Upstate you are coming off as quite the character here. I would love to hike with you sometime since you are perfect and have never made a mistake or needed to learn from a situation.

Sarah it was nice to meet you, albeit briefly, but I am glad everything worked out in the end. Also glad we were able to find the snowshoes and carry them down!

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Re: Sat Mar 3 - Sangre 13er 5-Pack (FKA Princeton SW Ridge)

Postby sgladbach » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:39 pm

In my not so humble and completely accurate opinion,

These general comments have some references to the Spread Eagle group, but are generic in nature and not intended to judge Saturday's group dynamic. Sometimes, however, I used that group's dynamic as an example.

A group that organizes on a public 14ers.com thread has a responsibility to all of its participants. Groups who do not wish to assume that responsibility should organize through PMs. That is not to say that the group must hike in formation or that a leader must be declared, but the group should assume a single safety dynamic.

1.Sarah had a responsibility (which it seems she met) to identify herself as an inexperienced winter mountaineer.

2.Though no such commonly accepted criteria exists on this forum, the person to whom she identified herself (Jed) must accept responsibility to tell her the trip is not appropriate OR give her the necessary preperatory information. If the person who recieved the Noobie's info is unqualified to help, the climber should be referred to another trip participant who can help make that call. Jed seems to have performed well in that role.

From here on , things could have been improved.

3. Yes, indeed, even in the dark, we should look at each other's footwear and ask pertinent questions about other gear, ESPECIALLY of those who've identified themselves as inexperienced. ( Commonly, in this situation, I show up at the TH with extra pairs of expedition mitts because I still haven't impressed my dictum, "Mittens Madatory, Gloves Optional." )

4.This is the time the inexperienced hikers should identify themselves to the rest of the group. Those not accepting a role as part of the group dynamic (....I have to be back in Denver at 5:00; I'll not be participating in the group...) should also identify themselves at this time.

5. Strongest hikers should keep the weakest in the forefront of their minds. Too often, I see the strongest hikers, those most able to be of assistance, reaching the car far too early for their strength to be of use. On your way down, help the newer hiker make a realistic determination about their progress and safety. Be realistic. Don't expect the other hiker to turn around if they are simply slow. They have worked hard to get here. Help them make a safe decision, not one that is convenient for you. (Think Anatoli Boukreev on Everest, 10-11 May 1996.)

6. A strong experienced team member sticks with the newbie (good job Brian.) All other members travel in a minimum of pairs. Or else, identify yourself as a non-member.

5. The inexperienced hiker has an absolute responsibility to turn back when they are weakening, when the group asks them to, or when a an experienced idividual asks them to.


7. The group accounts for all of its members before finishing the day. Good job to the Spread Eagle group.

The expectations need to change when a 'group' has been gathered. Again, if this is not your thing, head out w/ a few buds gathered through PMs or head out solo.

I go on a variety of trips. if I go out as part of a public group, I try to be responsible to that group. I enjoy this type of trip immensely, but not all the time. I often go out with a few "known" friends and maybe throw in a wildcard. Recently, I enjoyed a trip like this to Phoenix Peak; it worked out very well. The "wild card" was clear in relaying his abilities, knowledge, strenghts, and limitations. The holes were easy to fill in, because the communication was clear. Sometimes, often when the "right" partners are unavailable, I head out alone. There are many peaks where I wouldn't want to be responsible for a Newbie and I either get an experienced partner or head out alone. I get flack for solo trips, but they can be much safer than taking along beginner (i.e. Thunder Pyramid this winter. I'd have gone with Sarah T. Kiefer and the like, but nobody was available.)


To reiterate, there is no need to respond to these comments. They are 100% correct.
"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?

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Re: Sat Mar 3 - Sangre 13er 5-Pack (FKA Princeton SW Ridge)

Postby Upstate Hiker » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:48 pm

When did this become a personal attack on me? I think Sarah was apologizing for her statement about mountaineering being nothing but ultramarathoning with gear. The mistakes that were made on this trip were more than the run of the mill newbie mistakes and are a good lesson for all of us. I never claimed to be perfect.

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Re: Sat Mar 3 - Sangre 13er 5-Pack (FKA Princeton SW Ridge)

Postby Upstate Hiker » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:49 pm

kansas wrote:
Upstate Hiker wrote:Apology accepted.

Why are you accepting the apology?

From what I can tell, this entire incident had absolutely nothing to do with you, other than your desire to point out others mistakes on this forum. She had good info from Jed on what she needed to bring, she misjudged how serious things can get up there and luckily Brian is a solid, stand up guy. Lessons were learned on both sides, end of story.

Winter mountaineering is tough, nobody knows how tough until they give it a go.


Let's not forget that she chose to ignore Jed's advice.

Re: Sat Mar 3 - Sangre 13er 5-Pack (FKA Princeton SW Ridge)

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:54 pm

I take Iman's approach:

Your playin cold music on the barroom floor
Drowned in your laughter and dead to the core.
There's a dragon with matches that's loose on the town
Takes a whole pail of water just to cool him down.

Fire! fire on the mountain!

:-"
Everyday is a G r A t E f U L Day here in the CO

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Re: Sat Mar 3 - Sangre 13er 5-Pack (FKA Princeton SW Ridge)

Postby Dex » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:23 pm

sgladbach wrote:In my not so humble and completely accurate opinion,

To reiterate, there is no need to respond to these comments. They are 100% correct.


Great post.

My only comment. There is an amazing amount of things to know when hiking a 14er in the winter - from how to tie your boots to what to eat to what type of hat to wear so you don't sweat and most of all safety.
Montani Semper Liberi
"Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous." Barry Ritholtz

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