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  1. #11
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Epic trip and great report! And yes, that photo #14 with the ice blasted trees is a classic!!

    This is one of those trips you will never forget. The easy ones kind of run together in the memory banks but the Type 2+ really stand out.

    Inspires me to get back up to the Catskills soon. Gimme a holler when you guys are heading up that way again. Giant Ledge is a gorgeous venue, as you likely know.

  2. #12
    Dirtbaghiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    Epic trip and great report! And yes, that photo #14 with the ice blasted trees is a classic!!

    This is one of those trips you will never forget. The easy ones kind of run together in the memory banks but the Type 2+ really stand out.

    Inspires me to get back up to the Catskills soon. Gimme a holler when you guys are heading up that way again. Giant Ledge is a gorgeous venue, as you likely know.
    Most definitely will!! I know my next available dates are in March.. so as soon as the dates are confirmed i will let you guys know!!
    Yeah, i love Giant Ledge...
    20160318_163353.jpg 20160319_144810.jpg

    Ahhh.. a few years back.. maybe 4 or 5 years ago.. and there she is.. My bivy again.. lol.. Giant Ledge. Catskills!!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtbaghiker View Post
    We did a weekend backpacking trip up Hunter Mountain in the Catskills NY last weekend. Friday and Friday night temps hit 0 degrees, if not a little below 0. Slept in my hammock near the John Robb Lean To.. At about 3400- 3500 ft.
    Saturday we hiked a short trail across to Hunter Mt ski lodge for a burger. A nasty winter storm was rolling in as we headed back to our camp site. It was getting windy and began to snow. I was contemplating about taking my hammock down and going to the ground due to the heavy winds. I waited too long, and the gail force wind shredded my DCF tarp. I had no choice now but to take my hammock down and retreat into the shelter! Unfortunatly, the storm was blowing a direct hit into the lean to. Thankfully, i was fully prepared for this and i had my ground pad (thermarest SOL Z Lite) and my Borah Gear Snowyside Event bivy. We hunkered down at about 3:30 pm and did not get out until the storm passsed at about 8 am! I would say it was consistant 30-40 mph winds with gusts from 50- 60 mph.. For a good 12 hours straight pounding with cold, snow, ice and fog! It was a full force whiteout blizzard on the side of the mountain at 3500 ft. The morning was beautiful, dumped about 8 inches of snow and ice and everything looked so beautiful. I have to say, that bivy saved my life!! Yes it was a miserable night hunkered in there.. Condensation from from breath was freezing inside the bivy and causing ice to form, my 0 degree quilt was wet from moisture and snow.. But i was warm all night! It did suck when i had to get out to pee.. In hart of storm.. The wind blew my bivy up and snow got i side a bit.. But i was warm. In the morning, the lean to was full of snow and ice and i was basically sleeping on my small pad, and snow and ice.. But i was warm and survived the storm. Thankyou Borah Gear for making that Bivy. At about 8 ounces and packed so small.. It is a no brainer for me to bring it on all of my winter trips escpecially when im using my hammock.. GOod forbid i have to go to the ground.. It happens!


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    First, Iím glad you survived.
    However as backpackers we have an obligation not just to ourselves but to first responders as well.
    The storm was forecast and should not have been a surprise. There is a website: Mountain-forecast.com that will show you a 3 to 6 day forecast for the mountain you intend to hike.
    I have turned around just a few hundred feet from my destination because Trail conditions were unsafe. Weather was fine but the trail was too ice for simple micro spikes. The lake I wanted to reach will be there in the Spring and if itís not we will have much bigger problems anyway. I thought of my family and those who would have to carry my body down the mountain if anything would happen due to me pushing on when I shouldnít have.
    Happy and Safe hiking.
    If you think you are too small or too unimportant to make a change try
    sleeping in a room with a mosquito.

    Dalai Lama.

  4. #14
    Dirtbaghiker's Avatar
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    I wasn't surprised by the storm..hence we chose to camp close to a shelter..I had my bivy and a ground pad. I'd say I was prepared well for the situation. I was a bit surprised that the tarp shredded when it did. Mountain -forecast .com yes we use that.. Thanks though for the heads up.

  5. #15
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtbaghiker View Post
    I wasn't surprised by the storm..hence we chose to camp close to a shelter..I had my bivy and a ground pad. I'd say I was prepared well for the situation. I was a bit surprised that the tarp shredded when it did. Mountain -forecast .com yes we use that.. Thanks though for the heads up.
    Yep, looks to me like you were ready. With a pad and Bivy and the near by shelter. Not to mention a near by ski area where you could get a hot hamburger to eat!

    And even a possible bail out to your vehicle,as long as you didn't allow yourself to get even a little hypothermic before bailing out. It can be hard to navigate through the blowing snow once you get a little stupid from hypothermia. But, you were i a group and hopefully at least one of you would be OK to guide the other.

    Sounds like an excellent way to test your skills to see if you could get away with hanging during that storm. You couldn't, and because you were prepared, you not only survived, but did so in reasonable comfort. (but for reasonable comfort, I might have needed an inflatable(self inflating or blow up) pad on the hard shelter floor. But I'm kind of whimpy in my old age. But you did a good test for storm survival. After all, on those longer trips, sooner or later storms are going to catch us.

  6. #16
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FromNH View Post
    First, I’m glad you survived.
    However as backpackers we have an obligation not just to ourselves but to first responders as well.
    The storm was forecast and should not have been a surprise. There is a website: Mountain-forecast.com that will show you a 3 to 6 day forecast for the mountain you intend to hike.
    I have turned around just a few hundred feet from my destination because Trail conditions were unsafe. Weather was fine but the trail was too ice for simple micro spikes. The lake I wanted to reach will be there in the Spring and if it’s not we will have much bigger problems anyway. I thought of my family and those who would have to carry my body down the mountain if anything would happen due to me pushing on when I shouldn’t have.
    Happy and Safe hiking.
    Sounds to me like the OP was completely prepared, so no worries.

    These things are always a personal judgement call, and the main parts of the go/no-go decision are experience, proven skill set and adequate kit. Heck, even without a bivy the remnants of the tarp would have easily sufficed in a pinch. Sometimes you have to improvise. I once had a toe cord break on some snowshoes but rigged up another with some 550 paracord. Not ideal, but worked fine for 2-3 more days.

    But if there's any doubt the wise choice is to turn around. A few years back, a couple of friends and I turned around only 0.3mi from the summit of Mt. Washington because we agreed that the conditions were so bad (80mph wind, whiteout) that it was dangerous and foolish to continue.

  7. #17
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    Again the most important thing is you made it. I might be overly cautious but our volunteers and heroic Fish and Game Officers have to risk their lives hundreds of times each year for people of various skills.
    I would have liked to go up into the Whites last weekend but opted for the fireplace instead. A few too many combat situations have quenched my thirst for adventures that can turn deadly very quickly. There is just no room for error in sub zero temperatures and high winds.
    I’m glad you had the presence of mind to take your back azimuth when settling out and making sure you could find your car in blinding snow if needed. A GPS is just not very reliable in a blizzard.
    If you think you are too small or too unimportant to make a change try
    sleeping in a room with a mosquito.

    Dalai Lama.

  8. #18
    Dirtbaghiker's Avatar
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    "Security is mostly a superstition. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run then outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing" ---Helen Keller.

  9. #19
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FromNH View Post
    Again the most important thing is you made it. I might be overly cautious but our volunteers and heroic Fish and Game Officers have to risk their lives hundreds of times each year for people of various skills.
    I would have liked to go up into the Whites last weekend but opted for the fireplace instead. A few too many combat situations have quenched my thirst for adventures that can turn deadly very quickly. There is just no room for error in sub zero temperatures and high winds.
    I’m glad you had the presence of mind to take your back azimuth when settling out and making sure you could find your car in blinding snow if needed. A GPS is just not very reliable in a blizzard.
    Well I cannot dispute the fact that there is certainly no shortage of morons who unwittingly get themselves into a jam.

    However I see absolutely nothing to indicate that this is the case here. Not even close.

    But it's relative. Something that is foolhardy and dangerous for some is no more risky than crossing a street in Manhattan for others. I could easily kill myself on a 5.7 climb in the Gunks and Alex Honnold would laugh, and onsight and free climb it in 2 minutes.

    You've gotta give people a little bit of credit sometimes. There is something to be learned from a "Type 3 Fun" situation where you're just putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes it isn't dangerous, just inconvenient and uncomfortable.

    Two friends and I once helped rescue some people in the Whites, a father and 2 sons. A storm was coming in and they had only 1 set of snowshoes and 2 sleeping bags for the three of them, and the storm had pinned them. And Pappy had run out of heart meds. We gave food, fuel and an extra sleeping bag to one son who remained with dad. The official total from the storm was 18" of snow, but the high winds has whipped up drifts that were more than 10 feet deep in spots between Guyot and and Zealand Hut. It took 4 fairly fit guys almost 7 hours to go 3.3 miles. This was pre-GPS and I was the navigator with map and compass. So we made it to Zealand and the hut manager got on the radio and NHF&G did the rest.

  10. #20
    ObdewlaX's Avatar
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    Looks like quite a trip... great pics & video. At least you guys had the lean-to to retreat to when the storm blew in! Good call on the bivy too, otherwise it could've really been a long night!

    Really pretty morning after pic!!! 👍


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