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  1. #1
    Demeter's Avatar
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    Scary experience in WV

    Led a hike to North Fork Mountain in WV on Monday. 6 hikers, prerequisite was for enough hike experience to handle weather changes and carrying additional water as it is a dry mountain. We each had 6l h2o for 13 lbs extra weight.

    Started snowing buckets at the trailhead, continued for 8 miles. We were wet and chilled, nothing major. One hiker started complaining of "not feeling well" and laid down on icy ground in her wet clothes for a break. Needless to say, the night went downhill from there.

    Hypothermia stinks! She was confused and had to be force fed warm liquids. Stabilized her for the night (2 of us are nurses), had to extricate her from mountain next day, trashing the hike for 3 of us!

    Just a warning about the early wintry weather this time of year: have a back up plan and prepare for the worst!

  2. #2
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    Wow. I hope your friend is OK. Were you prepared for that kind of weather?

    S

  3. #3
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Bad thing about hypothermia is you never realize you have it.

    Glad you all made it out okay, even if things weren't as pleasant as you would have liked.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  4. #4
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Being over dressed in the wrong clothes can be a major cause of hypothermia. Start to sweat with no way to vent and you can be in for a world of hurt. Glad she was in good hands.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  5. #5
    BrianWillan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demeter View Post
    Led a hike to North Fork Mountain in WV on Monday. 6 hikers, prerequisite was for enough hike experience to handle weather changes and carrying additional water as it is a dry mountain. We each had 6l h2o for 13 lbs extra weight.

    Started snowing buckets at the trailhead, continued for 8 miles. We were wet and chilled, nothing major. One hiker started complaining of "not feeling well" and laid down on icy ground in her wet clothes for a break. Needless to say, the night went downhill from there.
    As the leader of this hike in those conditions, perhaps you should have stopped much sooner and took shelter to avoid getting overly wet and chilled.

    As you've discovered most people overestimate their abilities which usually leads to problems. Unfortunately experience often comes from bad judgement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Wow. I hope your friend is OK. Were you prepared for that kind of weather?
    If this post from the original poster is from the same trip, then one can draw their own conclusions.

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=60992

    Cheers

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    Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment. - Unknown

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  6. #6
    DivaB's Avatar
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    Glad your friend was with others that knew how to deal it. Too bad it happened at all, very scary indeed. Especially since one doesn't realize it, and it takes the others such as yourself to jump in and see the symptoms.

  7. #7
    Senior Member AKA Pete's Avatar
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    Most people

    Having a hard time putting this thought in the right words.

    "The group" concept allows many to overestimate their ability to deal with bad situations - and since nobody is "in charge" the weak links are not identified until a problem crops up. Which can quickly become a survival situation as with the OP's case.

    Bad weather? The more experienced people have to keep and eye on the others, have more rest stops out of the winds with warming fluids and slow up the pace of the hike. I like to let the one with the most problems lead - followed by an experienced hiker who will not "push" the pace from behind.

    OK, so maybe you don't make the perfect campsite tonight, the weather will be better in the morning, maybe the next day, OK - not improve until you get home.

    Point being, with really sucky weather sometimes it's having fun on a short hike with everyone still having as much fun as they can. "Remember when the snow fell of the branch and..............."

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hangin' Burrito's Avatar
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    Yeah....definitely a very fortunate thing she was with a couple of people who have medical experience!
    Usually when there's a group hang around here there's at least a couple of EMT type persons. I certainly feel alot better about that.
    HB
    "Is this the best you've got?!!" (Shortoff Mtn., Linville Gorge 2010)

    "Life is tough.....it's even tougher if you're stupid!".....(John Wayne)

  9. #9
    Demeter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWillan View Post
    As the leader of this hike in those conditions, perhaps you should have stopped much sooner and took shelter to avoid getting overly wet and chilled.
    Admittedly a new leader here. This was quite the learning experience for me. I have a lot of time in milder conditions backpacking and in cold-weather car camping.

    Decided to hold off on cold weather leading until i get more time on my boots

    Btw, she was perfectly fine until after we got set up. Fortunately two of us are nurses and two of the gentlemen are hike leaders with a lot of experience, so we got her fixed up that night and off the mountain the next day.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Les Rust's Avatar
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    The key phrase here was "wet and chilled, nothing major." If you were wet and warm, then you're usually going to be ok; wet and chilledcan be major in flash. I'm glad that you were able to see and respond to the situation and that everyone got out ok. Some of the most important decisions we make are before we hit the trail--gear, clothing, planning, experience. You and your group now have more of the last that will help in future trips.

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