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Locked into Muir Hut - Be careful

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  • manfred_kopisch
    We finished yesterday the JMT with our two daughters. It was again a wonderful experience - despite all the thunderstorms with rain and hail. One story I
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 19, 2012
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      We finished yesterday the JMT with our two daughters. It was again a wonderful experience - despite all the thunderstorms with rain and hail.
      One story I wanted to share - as a warning - is our experience of being locked into Muir Hut.
      On 8/12 a storm prevented us from going over Muir Pass and we seeked shelter in Muir Hut. Inside was already one hiker who had blocked the door with a big rock from the inside and didn't open to my 9 year old daugther when she opened the upper door from the outside, but couldn't open the lower door (due to the rock). I had to push the door open with brute force to get my family in. The guy just turned his back in his sleeping bag and didn't answer any questions, why he would block the door.
      The next morning he got up around 5:45 am and left the hut. That woke us up and my daughters now wanted to go to the bathroom, but couldn't open the door. So I got out of my sleeping bag to help, but it turned out I couldn't open the door either. The upper door was looked from the outside with a hook. It couldn't be released from the inside and the upper door kept the lower door closed.
      We were stuck and hoped for another hiker to come by and free us. But that didn't happen. Shortly before 8 am we were finally able to free ourselves by bending a wire into shape, sticking it outside at the top of the door and lifting the hook up from above.
      It added more adventure to our trip - but was unasked for. And being stuck in the hut with a 9 and 10 year old girl who need to go to the restroom was not the kind of adventure we were looking for.

      So as a word of advice - be aware of the people who are with you in the hut and what they do, when they leave.

      Best Regards,

      Manfred
    • charliepolecat
      It is sad - and possibly dangerous - that there are such people on the trail, but once you found the imbecile had blocked the door on the inside, why didn t
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 20, 2012
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        It is sad - and possibly dangerous - that there are such people on the trail, but once you found the imbecile had blocked the door on the inside, why didn't you then set up your own tent? It's what I would have done. Why take the risk?
      • Kim Fishburn
        It sounds as if the guy wanted some privacy, and if that is the case he should have found a private spot. One well off the trail. I have little respect for
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 20, 2012
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          It sounds as if the guy wanted some privacy, and if that is the case he should have found a private spot. One well off the trail. I have little respect for people like this.



          From: manfred_kopisch <manfred@...>
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2012 7:28 PM
          Subject: [John Muir Trail] Locked into Muir Hut - Be careful

           
          We finished yesterday the JMT with our two daughters. It was again a wonderful experience - despite all the thunderstorms with rain and hail.
          One story I wanted to share - as a warning - is our experience of being locked into Muir Hut.
          On 8/12 a storm prevented us from going over Muir Pass and we seeked shelter in Muir Hut. Inside was already one hiker who had blocked the door with a big rock from the inside and didn't open to my 9 year old daugther when she opened the upper door from the outside, but couldn't open the lower door (due to the rock). I had to push the door open with brute force to get my family in. The guy just turned his back in his sleeping bag and didn't answer any questions, why he would block the door.
          The next morning he got up around 5:45 am and left the hut. That woke us up and my daughters now wanted to go to the bathroom, but couldn't open the door. So I got out of my sleeping bag to help, but it turned out I couldn't open the door either. The upper door was looked from the outside with a hook. It couldn't be released from the inside and the upper door kept the lower door closed.
          We were stuck and hoped for another hiker to come by and free us. But that didn't happen. Shortly before 8 am we were finally able to free ourselves by bending a wire into shape, sticking it outside at the top of the door and lifting the hook up from above.
          It added more adventure to our trip - but was unasked for. And being stuck in the hut with a 9 and 10 year old girl who need to go to the restroom was not the kind of adventure we were looking for.

          So as a word of advice - be aware of the people who are with you in the hut and what they do, when they leave.

          Best Regards,

          Manfred

        • rnagarajan
          I m not a lawyer but locking people in a hut at a high mountain pass sounds to me like a pretty serious criminal case of unlawful detention. I hope the guy was
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 20, 2012
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            I'm not a lawyer but locking people in a hut at a high mountain pass sounds to me like a pretty serious criminal case of unlawful detention. I hope the guy was reported and somehow held accountable.

            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "charliepolecat" <kennethjessett@...> wrote:
            >
            > It is sad - and possibly dangerous - that there are such people on the trail, but once you found the imbecile had blocked the door on the inside, why didn't you then set up your own tent? It's what I would have done. Why take the risk?
            >
          • Paul
            I think I understand that there was a threat of a thunderstorm. If that s the case, I think going into the hut was the right decision, especially with kids in
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 20, 2012
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              I think I understand that there was a threat of a thunderstorm. If that's the case, I think going into the hut was the right decision, especially with kids in tow.

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "charliepolecat" <kennethjessett@...> wrote:
              >
              > It is sad - and possibly dangerous - that there are such people on the trail, but once you found the imbecile had blocked the door on the inside, why didn't you then set up your own tent? It's what I would have done. Why take the risk?
              >
            • manfred_kopisch
              We reported the guy to Ranger George at the Le Conte Ranger staion. He talked later to him and was told that the guy was tired when leaving in the morning,
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 20, 2012
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                We reported the guy to Ranger George at the Le Conte Ranger staion. He talked later to him and was told that the guy was tired when leaving in the morning, that he just did what the sign outside said "Please lock door when leaving" and he didn't realize that it couldn't be opened rom the indside. While his story was not believable -- how could anyone assume you can unhook that hook on the ouside from the inside? -- he got away with it.

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "rnagarajan" <ravi@...> wrote:
                >
                > I'm not a lawyer but locking people in a hut at a high mountain pass sounds to me like a pretty serious criminal case of unlawful detention. I hope the guy was reported and somehow held accountable.
                >
                > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "charliepolecat" <kennethjessett@> wrote:
                > >
                > > It is sad - and possibly dangerous - that there are such people on the trail, but once you found the imbecile had blocked the door on the inside, why didn't you then set up your own tent? It's what I would have done. Why take the risk?
                > >
                >
              • John Ladd
                ... the case, I think going into [Muit Hut] hut was the right decision, especially with kids in tow. Muir Hut is definitely NOT a good place to be in a
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 4, 2012
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                  On Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 8:18 AM, Paul <ppatmag@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I think I understand that there was a threat of a thunderstorm. If that's the case, I think going into [Muit Hut] hut was the right decision, especially with kids in tow.

                  Muir Hut is definitely NOT a good place to be in a thunderstorm.  It would attract lightning and is not protected by a lightning rod.  Being locked in is still worse, of course.

                  Per NPS SEKI Wilderness Trip Planner 2012: 

                  "Do Not seek shelter in the Mt. Whitney Hut or the Muir Hut - lightning can be conducted to individuals inside."

                  http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/upload/2012-Wilderness-Trip-Planner-Text-22-32-Edit-2012-6-8.pdf

                  Click OK to open pdf file, and scroll down to the Lightning Section.

                  Common misconception, sadly, that the Hut is a place of safety.  It's not.

                  John Ladd
                • marre_e
                  Hi Manfred--it was fun to meet you along the trail, at Red s and at the water crossing near Center (?) Basin. We finished a day after you and you must have
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 4, 2012
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                    Hi Manfred--it was fun to meet you along the trail, at Red's and at the water crossing near Center (?) Basin. We finished a day after you and you must have really beat feet to get ahead of us--we never saw you since before Forrester. Congratuations.

                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "manfred_kopisch" <manfred@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > We finished yesterday the JMT with our two daughters. It was again a wonderful experience - despite all the thunderstorms with rain and hail.
                    > One story I wanted to share - as a warning - is our experience of being locked into Muir Hut.
                    > On 8/12 a storm prevented us from going over Muir Pass and we seeked shelter in Muir Hut. Inside was already one hiker who had blocked the door with a big rock from the inside and didn't open to my 9 year old daugther when she opened the upper door from the outside, but couldn't open the lower door (due to the rock). I had to push the door open with brute force to get my family in. The guy just turned his back in his sleeping bag and didn't answer any questions, why he would block the door.
                    > The next morning he got up around 5:45 am and left the hut. That woke us up and my daughters now wanted to go to the bathroom, but couldn't open the door. So I got out of my sleeping bag to help, but it turned out I couldn't open the door either. The upper door was looked from the outside with a hook. It couldn't be released from the inside and the upper door kept the lower door closed.
                    > We were stuck and hoped for another hiker to come by and free us. But that didn't happen. Shortly before 8 am we were finally able to free ourselves by bending a wire into shape, sticking it outside at the top of the door and lifting the hook up from above.
                    > It added more adventure to our trip - but was unasked for. And being stuck in the hut with a 9 and 10 year old girl who need to go to the restroom was not the kind of adventure we were looking for.
                    >
                    > So as a word of advice - be aware of the people who are with you in the hut and what they do, when they leave.
                    >
                    > Best Regards,
                    >
                    > Manfred
                    >
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