Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > The Adirondack Forum > Hiking in the Adirondacks > Northville Placid Trail
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-07-2005, 06:08 PM   #1
Rick
Bad Seed
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Glacial Erratic along Finger Lakes Trail 2005
Posts: 347
Death on the Northville Placid Trail Article

This is the Article titled "Death on the Northville Placid Trail" that appeared in the July/August, 1993 edition of Adirondac. I scanned the document into MS Word and cleaned it up. If anybody is intersted in receiving a copy, please send me an email at richard.story@sepracor.com

I cannot post it online as I do not have permission from the ADK.
__________________
Rick
The measure of your ignorance is your belief in tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the universe, the master calls the butterfly...
...unknown...
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2005, 06:20 PM   #2
sacco
no soup for you
 
sacco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,156
u got mail
__________________
Fly Fisher's Anglers Association- a fine drinking club with a fishing problem
www.GoFlyFish.org
sacco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2005, 06:40 PM   #3
Kevin
**BANNED**
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: West Sand Lake, NY
Posts: 5,857
u got (more) mail
Kevin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 09:00 AM   #4
fvrwld
Moderator
 
fvrwld's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: West Sand Lake, NY
Posts: 2,216
and even more mail
__________________
“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” ~ Aldo Leopold
fvrwld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 09:35 AM   #5
Mavs00
I am the sith
 
Mavs00's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,751
ditto
__________________
"I can feel your anger. It gives you focus. It makes you stronger. " Supreme Chancellor
Mavs00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 09:38 AM   #6
mtn.goat
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Sherrill, NY
Posts: 36
and some more
__________________
do today what others wont, so you can do tomorrow what others cant
mtn.goat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 09:56 AM   #7
Rick
Bad Seed
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Glacial Erratic along Finger Lakes Trail 2005
Posts: 347
And thanks to Redhawk for putting it through the PDF distiller, though I found I couldn't make any changes to it as I no longer a a writer!!!!
__________________
Rick
The measure of your ignorance is your belief in tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the universe, the master calls the butterfly...
...unknown...
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 10:41 AM   #8
ken999
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 954
Mail sent....
ken999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 11:12 AM   #9
johnstp
Member
 
johnstp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Jay, NY
Posts: 201
Ditto
johnstp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 02:44 PM   #10
Mavs00
I am the sith
 
Mavs00's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,751
Got my copy, thanks Rick.

WOW, very interesting story.

A couple of "Basic lessons" really jumped out at me in this story.

1) Unless you are familiar, and have a good understanding of the area, can read terrain well, or are experienced at bushwhacking. It behooves you NOT to deviate from the trail/itinerary/route you have left behind with friends/family unless it in an absolute necessity.

2) If you do, the "wait it out" school of survival is pretty much out the window. This guy sat and watched "his rescuers" fly over his head daily and "waited it out" in a location they would never have looked.

Best as I can peice together, his body was located somewhere near -THIS X- , It boggles my mind that he could not have made it out. He obviously was real sick, or not familiar enough with the topography of the area to know that had he kept following sucker brook (where he was camped) downslope (even a little each day), it would have eventually taken him to the Lewey Lake Campground. Makes you pause to think "HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE SURROUNDING TERRAIN WHEN YOU ARE HIKING".

Great stuff.

This article has got me even more excited for my bushwhack up Lewey Peak this weekend.
__________________
"I can feel your anger. It gives you focus. It makes you stronger. " Supreme Chancellor

Last edited by Mavs00; 02-08-2005 at 02:47 PM.. Reason: Got my copy, thanks Rick
Mavs00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 02:58 PM   #11
redhawk
Senior Resident Curmudgeon
 
redhawk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: In My Memories
Posts: 10,932
Tim, that hunter from Tupper Lake that died in the lean to on the NPT at Moose Pond a year ago November was from the area, and for all intent and purposes, should have been familiar with it.

The theory is that he got disorientated and wandered around (no compass or maps or gps, wearing cotton fatigues in November). I guess he figured that since it was just a "day trip", there was no need to take precautions........Obviously he was Dead wrong!. The temp was in the forties and it was drizzly and wet (thats the week I aborted my NPT end to end and came out) and he evidently got hyperthermia.

I think the most important thing to remember is that there really are no "safe" adventures. Whatever it be weather, injury, disorientation or even an animal encounter (people have been mauled by Martins, Fishers, beavers, minks, weasels, squirrels as well as the larger animals). anything can happen at any time.

It's always best to prepare and provision for the worst case scenario.

One of the things I love about a gps is that I can plot points where I am closest to a road to get out if I need to, and even if not close, knowing the quickest way to the road if I need to get out is a plus. I have p[eople who will always know where I should be (and will work to get it , IF) and what channel to listen to on the radio for me. I carry maps printed from my software and whatever quads for the area I am in, two compasses and plenty of batteries for the gps/radio/headlamp. Firemaking equipment (always) and a survival blanket in my first aid kit. If you get lost bushwhacking, a distance from any trails a good smokey fire during the day and a bright one at night are your best shots. I also always carry something that is a bright yellow or orange for visibility.

I treat every trip into the woods as if it were my first and could be my last. Color me paranoid but alive!!
__________________
"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." Lyndon B. Johnson

Last edited by redhawk; 02-08-2005 at 03:10 PM..
redhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 03:14 PM   #12
Mavs00
I am the sith
 
Mavs00's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,751
Hawk, good point.

Lesson # .5 - Proper precautions are always needed for every trip undertaken, so that you can make SOUND judgements in the backcountry. Not that I think that this was really David's main problem. Sure he was low on food, and possibly sick. But was it really crucial to take an unknown trail, in an unknown direction that took him way outside any possible search area in the event he got lost?

If you don't have the tools (maps and compass) or the savy to use them, and unsure of what lies ahead, it seems to me that the last thing you want to do is freelance your way through the woods. Granted, many lost souls do exactly that, and many stumble thier way back home. All I'm sating, is THAT the best approach to take.

Hell, on the NP trail in summer, even if he just sat down in the middle of the trail, someone would have likely strolled by him within a day or two anyway. Certainly less than 55 days anyway.

ANOTHER GREAT POINT:

GPS, I don't always use it, In fact I try not to. BUT you can bet it's in my pack with spare batteries every trip. Right next to my compass and multiple maps.
__________________
"I can feel your anger. It gives you focus. It makes you stronger. " Supreme Chancellor
Mavs00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 03:29 PM   #13
Rick
Bad Seed
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Glacial Erratic along Finger Lakes Trail 2005
Posts: 347
Mavs,
I lay awake many nights after I read (and re-read) this article and had hiked the NLP wondering how this could happen, the only thing I could ever come up with is simply that Boomhower wanted to be lost for a while (similar to the fellow that was lost for 2 weeks in the High peaks area between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid a couple of years ago) to gain some attention.

Though it will always be unfair of me to state this, I always wondered if being slightly lost played into his equation for adventure and maybe somewhat like Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild) the situation quickly and disasterously spun out of control.

Though I do think in the Alaska situation, McCandless was a bit more knowledgeable and better prepared to sustain himself.

Both seemingly suffered the consequences of not carrying a good map - McCandless in not knowing there was a hand over hand river crossing cable car about a half mile from the Stampede Trail near a USGS river gauging station, and Boomhower for not knowing there was a ranger station 6 miles further on the NLP at Wakley Dam.

You indeed raise a great point - "What is around you on the trails you hike?" Especially on the NLP as you are in some extremely roadless areas for a few days at a stretch.
__________________
Rick
The measure of your ignorance is your belief in tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the universe, the master calls the butterfly...
...unknown...

Last edited by Rick; 02-08-2005 at 05:31 PM..
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 03:56 PM   #14
redhawk
Senior Resident Curmudgeon
 
redhawk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: In My Memories
Posts: 10,932
There is so much that is mind boggling about this. You could almost use this as an example of "what not to do", right down the line.

How do you not bring enough food, yet carry a Coleman lantern and fuel? No where does he mention trying to light a signal fire during the day. Quickest way to draw attention in the woods is with a smokey fire. He had lantern fuel so he could have gotten something started even if it was wet.

The thing about the Dacks is even though we have these wilderness areas and we can follow trails for miles without seeing a road, I don't believe there is anywhere in the Dacks that if you walk a straight line, especially toward a cardinal Compass Point, that you can go 15 miles without intersecting a road.

This guy just didn't belong in the woods by himself, it's as simple as that. If there is such a thing as being a dead man the minute you start, this is certainly the case.
__________________
"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." Lyndon B. Johnson
redhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 04:47 PM   #15
ken999
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 954
I have to agree with Hawk here...one of the most important things one needs to be able to do while outdoors is build a fire.
ken999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2005, 08:53 PM   #16
Mavs00
I am the sith
 
Mavs00's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,751
After having been in there now (within a half mile from where he was found), I'm even MORE BOGGLED as to how he died back there. The woods are primarily hardwood and about as open as the "cinderella" forests of fairytails. Simply EASY bushwhack territory with anyone but the most clueless.

He MUST have been sick (very sick). He could have followed Sucker Brook to Lake Lewey (and the road) if he had a clue. It's not like it was carnivorous conifer forests that made travel difficult, it should have been an ordinary open woods walk for 2 (perhaps 2.5 miles).

Very puzzling. He should have been able to walk out in that first few day. This is one, I'll not understand for awhile.
__________________
"I can feel your anger. It gives you focus. It makes you stronger. " Supreme Chancellor
Mavs00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2005, 01:06 AM   #17
Trailpatrol
Member
 
Trailpatrol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Isanti, MN
Posts: 249
Somehow I missed this thread. Is the article about David Broomhouer or some other poor soul? Could whomever is sending it out, let me know. I use case studies like that in my Wilderness Firest Aid classes.

Ski safe,
Hans
__________________
"Come to the Forest, where the other you lives!"
Trailpatrol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2005, 01:07 AM   #18
Kevin
**BANNED**
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: West Sand Lake, NY
Posts: 5,857
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailpatrol
Somehow I missed this thread. Is the article about David Broomhouer or some other poor soul? Could whomever is sending it out, let me know. I use case studies like that in my Wilderness Firest Aid classes.

Ski safe,
Hans
I'll forward you a copy .
Kevin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2005, 01:27 AM   #19
redhawk
Senior Resident Curmudgeon
 
redhawk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: In My Memories
Posts: 10,932
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavs00
After having been in there now (within a half mile from where he was found), I'm even MORE BOGGLED as to how he died back there. The woods are primarily hardwood and about as open as the "cinderella" forests of fairytails. Simply EASY bushwhack territory with anyone but the most clueless.

He MUST have been sick (very sick). He could have followed Sucker Brook to Lake Lewey (and the road) if he had a clue. It's not like it was carnivorous conifer forests that made travel difficult, it should have been an ordinary open woods walk for 2 (perhaps 2.5 miles).

Very puzzling. He should have been able to walk out in that first few day. This is one, I'll not understand for awhile.
It's hard to understand a lot of stuff like this Mavs until you've been involved with a few recoveries.

This is the classic case of someone being completely unprepared un every way possible, gear, physically, mentally and experience wise.

It's one of the reasons I am always cautioning people. Even the simplist thing in woods like the dacks can turn fatal very quickly.

He didn't know what to take, how much to take, how to leave sign if he had to leave the trail he was supposed to be on, either didn't have or did not know how to use (all to common), compass and map or gps. Had absolutely no sense of what to do to get help....Smoky fire by day, bright fire by night....bright clothing or something in a clearing or up a tree...He should have almost have been able to hear traffic on the road...No whistle....no radio. He also must have drunk water that had not been filtered or boiled.
redhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2005, 01:35 PM   #20
Trailpatrol
Member
 
Trailpatrol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Isanti, MN
Posts: 249
Sobering

A long time ago I made the observation that the Rangers (and more often than not, the Gods In Gray --NYSP-- they were working with) would often keep us from working areas that were logical extensions of the primary search area. I could never figure out (and I had friends from my old SAR team in Cortland sending me updates) why, when they didn't find David on the N-P Trail, they didn't start hasty searching every single trail off of the main corridor. Of course it was all 15 years ago, and hopefully a lesson was learned once his journal was published.

You really have to feel for the guy. He lived through the entire search and only passed away after it was over. Then too, you have to feel for anyone who was involved with the search effort, and read this afterwards. There are enough critical stress issues when a search is unsuccessful, or the subject is found deceased. I've been in SAR in one form or another for 33 years, all of my adult life. It was gut-wrenching for me to read it 15 years later and 1200 miles away. I can only imagine what it was like to read his notes if you had actually worked the mission. No wonder the '90s saw so many of the veteran Forest Rangers retire early.

Be safe,
Hans
__________________
"Come to the Forest, where the other you lives!"
Trailpatrol is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.