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Force of the Wind

Have an interesting or epic climbing story? Post it here.
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Force of the Wind

Postby skier25 » Sun Aug 20, 2006 4:52 pm

Forgive me if this tale didn't take place in Colorado, but the power of the wind can be staggering at times. If you have ever had any experiences where the wind has just blown you away (so to speak), it would be cool to hear about them.

I just recently returned from a weeklong Canoe trip in Canada and Minnesota. While I was there, an awful storm called a "derecho" blew through our campsite. The wind gusts were incredibly strong. Minutes before the storm hit, we were able to set up our tents. One man had just finished staking out his tent when he got inside with all his gear. His tent is of streamline fashion similar to a mountaineering tent, and was fully staked down in 6 places. All of a sudden, a huge wind gust ripped the tent out of the ground with the man inside!! He was blown across the ground like a leaf, fighting to find the closed zipper! He tumbled a total of 60 feet! When the wind resided, he found the zipper and discovered that the wind had placed him 3 feet from a 10 foot cliff, leading into the lake! Any further, and he could have drowned in his tent! (Think of what people would have said to explain his death at the funeral!) He's alright, and I hope to never happen upon these circumstances in Colorado!

It is truly incredible how powerful the wind can be. (Another story about wind is posted here: http://www.summitpost.org/mountains/tri ... in_id=5071)
Carry an ice axe and a clear mentality; they can both save your life.
I get acute mountain sickness when I am away from the mountains.

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Postby heim0087 » Sun Aug 20, 2006 5:02 pm

Where were you for your canoe trip? I'm assuming you are talking about the Boundary Waters and Quetico. I moved out here from MN a year ago, and truly miss the North woods. The mountains are great, but I miss the water. If you did go to the BWCA, what lake and shoreline were you camoing at? I have had similar experiences with storms in that part of the state.

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Postby Scott P » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:03 pm

(Another story about wind is posted here:


Yep, that was my story. Before that I have had tents ripped apart, stoves blown away, and been pushed down by the wind, but never had it pick me up. It probably won't happen again either. :wink:

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Postby paully » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:47 am

I was literally blown off my feet when descending Mt Sherman a few years back. I was descending a steep portion on the Sherman side of the Sherman/Gemini saddle and a gust just hit me full on. That's the worse if had, although I've had winds like that actually help me keep my balance (i.e. blowing me upward while I'm descending something steep).

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Postby TK » Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:25 am

I also think the most difficult thing about Sherman is the wind. There was a stretch along the summit ridge where I could barely stand up, and found myself crawling over short distances of terrain where I should have had no trouble walking.

At the trailhead, I remember meeting a local rancher who said there was a wrecked plane near the summit, which probaby was taken down by violent winds. I couldn't find the wreck, but have no problem believing his story.

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