These kinds of things are why I am still afraid to go past the normal paved trails in zion.
--- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Gary" <g121562003@y...> wrote:
> I once had to go two days without food while on a simple hike to
> Glacier Point while in Yosemite the winter of 1979/80.
> I used to spend the winters there when I was in my early twenties.
> This winter of 79/80 I had been in Yosemite since late december and
> in january met two guys from England who were looking to see Yosemite
> valley from above on the rim somewhere. Being I knew the area, I told
> them we could go up to Glacier point and see the valley from there.
> The weather had been clear and we got our permits to go up to Badger
> Pass ski area where we would start our hike.
> We could have gone up the Four Mile trail but it was very icy as I
> had been up it a week before and thought it would be too difficult to
> hike up.
> So I opted to go on the skiers bus up to Badger Pass and hike up the
> road the nine miles to Glacier point. The weather forecast called for
> good clear weather for all the 5 days we planned to do the hike.
> The snow was deep and we had snowshoes (my wooden Tubbs and their
> rented metal ones). The first day we made it only 3 miles beyond
> Badger Pass as we did not get started till after arriving on the bus
> about noon. The snow was about 3 feet of powdery corn snow and got
> heavy to lift on our snowshoes as we hiked on the road.
> The seocond day we walked 4 more miles and exhaustedly stopped again
> about 2 miles from Glacier point. The third day we got up very late
> and did not break camp because it was snowing hard all morning. By 3
> in the afternoon it stopped snowing and we packed up and left for the
> point. Being winter tho and the sun being lower in the sky we did not
> make it to G.P till after dark.
> It was snowing again by the time we were on the point and we could
> not see beyond our flash lights. I knew there was a building up there
> for the tourists in the summer which was open on three sides and we
> opted to find and stay in it out of the storm.
> We split up and each went looking for the building in the hard
> falling snow.
> While looking in my direction I came to a slope and tought the ground
> had gone out from below me. I looked down after a couple steps and
> realised I was standing on snow pack right at the edge of the Glacier
> Point Apron with the hand rails under my snowshoes. One more step and
> I would have fallen about 2000 feet into the snowy depths.
> One of the other guys had found the building and we all went to it.
> We sat up the tent in the middle of it and crept off to sleep. The
> next morning the snow was still coming down so hard that if we went
> farther than a few feet from the shelter we could not see the
> So much for a great veiw of the valley. In the afternoon the sun
> broke out of the clouds and for a breif moment we could see Half Dome
> sticking out and El Capitain also but nothing below us. Then the
> storm erased the view and we went back into the tent. The next day we
> were supposed to be heading down the Four Mile trail to the valley.
> But the next day was as bad if not worse than the day before. The
> snow had buried the building and our tent in a snow drift. After
> digging out and packing up the tent and gear we decided to hike back
> towards Badger Pass, as the route to the Four Mile trail was blocked
> by high drifts and it is steep at the top.
> But soon the weather cleared and we hoped we could make good time
> going down the road. But again by mid afternoon the storm had come
> back and we were again stopped by it. We sat up the tent and huddled
> in. Our gear and clothing being soaked and frozen. The weather did
> not let up and we ended up staying our 6th night on the rim.
> The next day the snow was falling fast and we could not see to go
> down the trail together. We decided that we would take turns walking
> without our pack on to break trail thru the deep snow. It was about 5-
> 6 feet deep and deeper where the snow was in drifts. So we took turns
> most of the day and each walked about a couple hundred yards out and
> back. I once fell in the snow and it took me a half hour to swim my
> way back to my feet.
> We made it 4 miles that day back to the ski area. We still had 3
> miles to go and we sat up the tent. The next day our seventh we woke
> to clear blue skies where you could see it thru the trees. But one of
> the English guys boots had frozen solid during the night. He could
> not put them on so wee tried to get a fire going to warm them but
> could not as evry bit of wood was too damp or frozen.
> So we stayed in the tent with hopes that the sun would warm up the
> ground and we could get on our way. It did and the other guy and I
> donated all our spare socks to the frozen boots guy and he strapped
> his snowshoes over the thick layer of sock and we got on down the
> About an hour later we heard a helicopter go back and forth over us.
> Then over its load speaker a ranger told us to go to the next
> clearing and stay put. We did and after about a half hour they can
> back. It took them another half hour to try to land as the snow blew
> up when the blades got close to the ground.
> We finally got to the helicopter and were on our way to Yosemite
> At the valley floor they took us to the clinic and ran some tests to
> see how we faired. My body temperture had dropped to 93 degrees and
> the doctor told me I would not have survived another night.
> WE had only planned on five days worth of water and food so we had
> gone 2 days without anything to eat and we had melted water in water
> bottles in our sleeping bags at night while we slept.
> So I almost had died twice on that trip, once almost stepping off a
> 2000 foot cliff and second if I had died from hypothermia.
> I have never since experienced anything like that. And hope I never