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Re: "WILD"...You "ain't" seen nothing yet

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  • Ned Tibbits
    [pct-l] Rescued PCT hikersGood one, Reinhold! I always like to hear the voices of the seasoned, the wise, the aware. As you say, many will aspire to thru the
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 20, 2013
      [pct-l] Rescued PCT hikers
      Good one, Reinhold!  I always like to hear the voices of the seasoned, the wise, the aware. As you say, many will aspire to thru the long trails for healing without knowing what they’re doing, what they’re up against, or what it realistically “takes” to even hike the first day, much less the remaining few thousand miles!
      But we (those of us who have done the trail, who have known a relationship with the ‘wild,’ who realize that it is something to be respected) have been experiencing a more than steady growth over the past 10 years in the numbers of naïve, inexperienced, romanticizing backpackers determined to enjoy the ‘call of the wild.’ They come with their beaming, excited faces in a sea of others like lemmings not knowing there is a cliff of personal challenge ahead.
      It is our part to try to educate, train, and in every way prepare them for the ‘Realities of the Trail,’ both good and bad, if they are to succeed in discovering the deep rewards lived by the many-month life spent absorbing the trail’s rhythms!
      Ned Tibbits, Director
      Mountain Education
      Sent: Sunday, October 20, 2013 10:01 AM
      Subject: "WILD"...You "ain't" seen nothing yet

      Well said Steve,...but you  "ain't"  seen nothing yet.

      Used to be that "thru-hiking " the PCT was best left to experienced hikers.

      For some time now statements on the list, like the ones below, have served
      to mislead inexperienced hikers about the true nature of the trail and draw
      and entice an ever increasing number of novice, inexperienced hikers to
      attempt to "thru-hike" the PCT without realizing what they are getting into.
      The result is an ever increasing need for SAR rescue missions.

      Ooohhh....the PCT is a piece of cake.
      Anybody can do it....grandma can do it.
      You don't need experience, you learn as you go.
      You don't need a map or compass...the trail is easy to follow.
      And, if you get lost you can always call 911.
      SAR will rescue you...for free.

      But,  you  "ain't"  seen nothing yet Steve.

      The book "WILD"  has taken that..."Ooohhh,...it's a piece of cake...grandma
      can do it" attitude nationwide...even world wide.
      And now the movie version will glorify that ...."ooohhh"....attitude and novice
      hikers from all over the world will be dying to "thru"  the PCT.

      After all, if grandma can do it everybody can do it and if we get lost or get a
      blister we can always call 911.
      Those nice folks at  SAR  will rescue us and we get a free helicopter ride.

      So....Steve,  Ned,  Ron,....get those SAR teams ready.
      Something tells me you guys will have some busy seasons ahead of you.

      Like I said......."YOU  AIN'T  SEEN  NOTHING  YET."

      JMT Reinhold


      [pct-l] Rescued PCT hikers

      Steve Rolfe steve.rolfe at comcast.net
      Thu Oct 3 22:54:10 CDT 2013
      Steve wrote:
      For the past week I've been very worried about thru-hikers still 
      on the trail. 
      The conditions must have been/still are miserable, or worse -- 
      life threatening. 
      It seems my concern was valid, I suspect we will hear in the next 
      few days more are in trouble.  
      I hope not.  
      The quote copied from a post on this list serve yesterday disturbs 
      "We finally made it to Trout Lake today and another huge storm is 
      rolling in," Arnold wrote. 
      "Everyone says we can't make it because of the weather situation, 
      and to be honest it's quite terrifying, but I can't fathom coming 
      this far and giving up."  
      For many years here in Washington I was involved in search and rescue. 
      Bringing back bodies in bags is disturbing, especially since I 
      cannot remember a case where the cause was an "accident".  
      Every time the people involved ignored risks that should have 
      been obvious, and were obvious to the many others who avoided 
      those risks.
      Long ago I learned success in a climb is not making it to the 
      summit, but making it back down -- alive.  
      The same applies to a thru-hike.
      For some there is a mindset that virtue is how much punishment 
      one can take.
      Please don't misunderstand me; I don't mean to criticize the 
      person who recently posted this story on the list serve.  
      Stories about hiking 200 miles in sandals because of gigantic 
      blisters are entertaining and educational, but the goal of a hike 
      should not be how you persevered through hardship, but how you
      wisely avoided hardship (and danger) in the pursuit of joy.  
      I'm glad this person was capable of dealing with their blisters.  
      But, shouldn't they have known enough to deal with this problem 
      before it became a calamity.  
      Stopping at the earliest signs of a blister and taping one's
      feet is good practice -- it is not "giving in" to one's pain.
      Many thru-hikers prepare carefully and are safety conscious.  
      Typically those are the ones who are successful and enjoy their 
      I'm concerned, however, by the attitude of a few I read about in 
      this list serve that glorifies the achievement, but neglects to 
      understand or acknowledge the true character of the challenges.
      Stopping one's thru-hike because the weather is life threatening is 
      not "giving up".  
      It is an honest recognition of the risk and challenge.  
      It shows maturity, judgment and character.
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