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Old 07-22-2018, 02:05 PM   #41
JohnnyMac
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Poor Form?

When I was reading the "No Other Options" for the first time, I thought the author "Joe" was telling a story, a work of fiction. He writes a wordy dissertation but waits until the last sentence or two to reveal the person "died from her injuries."

Personally I found it poor form to write an embellished, first person account of someone's tragic death.
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:12 PM   #42
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I can understand that the author of the blog post himself has become a subject of this thread. However, I think the tone of his writing and his allusions are irrelevant considering the outcome. Nevertheless, he and is partner might have unwittingly played an instigative (not a real word, I know) role in the drama by making the lean-to seem uninviting. Speculative for sure but not unreasonable.

Any way you look at it, this event was a cluster, potentially originating from the messy lean-to at the outset. I have shied away from messy and full-looking lean-to's that were far from capacity twice in the past 2 years and opted to set my tent up nearby.

IMO DEC rangers should have been first on the scene. Especially in consideration of the weather. No matter what angle I look at this story from I can't help but think that, if anything, this could have prevented the tragic outcome.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:16 AM   #43
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Nevertheless, he and is partner might have unwittingly played an instigative (not a real word, I know) role in the drama by making the lean-to seem uninviting. Speculative for sure but not unreasonable.

Any way you look at it, this event was a cluster, potentially originating from the messy lean-to at the outset. I have shied away from messy and full-looking lean-to's that were far from capacity twice in the past 2 years and opted to set my tent up nearby.
Agreed. The guide could have also insisted that they make room on a bad weather night as well. And the two in the lean to should have insisted they stay in there with them(he doesn't mention that as a take home point). I remember someone I was hiking with, telling a story of being shut out of a lean to on a terrible night, where there was room and that the saying goes in such a situation, "The lean to isn't full until the last person gets in!"[on a terrible night].
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:26 AM   #44
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I wonder if we could lobby DEC to put plaques in each lean to that say something like "Remember to share your lean to".

While my experience certainly doesn't constitute a formal survey, my hunch is that a significant number of lean to users are simply unaware of the protocol.

The other possibility is that when I've encountered people reluctant to share, they are simply feigning ignorance.
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:33 AM   #45
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There is another lean-to nearby at Little Rock Pond. I wonder if that was occupied also.
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:49 AM   #46
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I'm not very well traveled in the 'dacks, and certainly not in the backcountry, but I was surprised to hear about this considering I know the exact spots referenced in the story. I went to that leanto with my young sons a couple years ago, and recall walking by the tent site on the flat piney section near Rock Pond as you approach the leanto.

Tragic event, would that things had gone differently. I'm disinclined to assign blame, everyone went in with best intentions and I'm sure did their best. I'm sure it'll be studied and maybe it would go better in the future.
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:14 AM   #47
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Tragic event, would that things had gone differently. I'm disinclined to assign blame, everyone went in with best intentions and I'm sure did their best. I'm sure it'll be studied and maybe it would go better in the future.
What the author and his friend did after the accident was heroic: however, he doesn't seem to feel obliged to not assign blame, finding fault with the first responders, but never acknowledging that if they had made room in the lean to for the party of four, this story has a completely different ending.
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:25 PM   #48
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I'm disinclined to assign blame, everyone went in with best intentions and I'm sure did their best. I'm sure it'll be studied and maybe it would go better in the future.
In attempting to draw out cause and effect in any chain of events (trying to figure out what the hell happened after the fact) it can look like blaming. Indeed, there is a fine line.
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Old 07-23-2018, 04:09 PM   #49
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I can understand that the author of the blog post himself has become a subject of this thread. However, I think the tone of his writing and his allusions are irrelevant considering the outcome.
Wasn't the author of the published (posted on a blog and pushed out to ADK almanack), first person narrative (most of the writing is about the author and his experience) the subject of this "article" (for lack of better term) to begin with?

Tone of writing and allusions give the reader an insight into authors mindset and point of view. It illustrates how narrow or wide a perspective the person has.

The tragic outcome is utilized by the author to persuade readers that the response and rescue were inadequate.
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Old 07-23-2018, 04:44 PM   #50
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Wasn't the author of the published (posted on a blog and pushed out to ADK almanack), first person narrative (most of the writing is about the author and his experience) the subject of this "article" (for lack of better term) to begin with?

Tone of writing and allusions give the reader an insight into authors mindset and point of view. It illustrates how narrow or wide a perspective the person has.

The tragic outcome is utilized by the author to persuade readers that the response and rescue were inadequate.
All true but still, considering a person has died I don't consider the author's tone or insinuations to be relevant. I can understand how those who responded initially would disagree with me though.
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Old 07-23-2018, 04:44 PM   #51
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I can't cast blame on anyone involved in this tragic event. I am pretty confident there are many out there second guessing their actions, how could you not?
There was effort put forth, and it wasn't good enough to save this woman from a freak occurrence. This should evolve into a learning tool.
I spend a fair amount of time in the woods and I would of called 911. Because of this discussion I annotated all my maps with the DEC dispatch number.
I also concur that there should, some how, be more elucidation on lean-to protocol.
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Old 07-23-2018, 04:51 PM   #52
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When I first went through training as an aircraft mishap investigator, I was taught to list all "contributing factors" until I reached the final cause, the "primary factor" that was the root cause of the incident. In scenario testing for certification, that was the entire process to be followed.

More recently, mishap investigation training thought goes as such:
No accident is caused by a single hazard or factor, therefore, it is not very beneficial to categorize a factor as primary or contributory. A factor that seems to be less influential in one accident may be more influential in the next. Organizations tend to put more effort into correcting “primary” factors” and tend to delay corrections on “contributors”. Instead, an organization would be better served if it equally eliminated all factors (hazards) discovered to play a role in an accident.
An investigator will most likely discover many other hazards during the course of an investigation which may have NOTHING to do with the accident. These additional hazards do NOT belong in the accident report, but they must also not be ignored. They should be addressed in a separate hazard report or corrected in some other fashion.

Indeed this Adirondack camping incident seems to have so many "contributing factors" that changing any one single factor that has been discussed here may have changed the entire sad final outcome.
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Old 07-23-2018, 04:54 PM   #53
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This something that caught my eye as I read the blog post:
Quote:
After about 15-20 minutes of wallowing around—not even out of earshot of the vehicles at the boat launch—they decided that they couldn’t make it any further. The reasons were numerous—It was too windy, those other people are hiking there, that “they tried, they gave it their best shot.”
I find it hard to reconcile this with a 115 horse motor on a good-sized craft with two guys (author and friend) on board who most likely knew where to go.
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:16 PM   #54
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Agreed. There are several factors which could’ve prevented a different outcome.
First, it needs to be said that it was perhaps a bit irresponsible of a licensed guide to lead a weekend backpacking trip into the back country with the heavy winds & storms that we’re forecasted for that night. I myself had plans to camp out that weekend in the Pharaoh region but when I saw that forecast I thought it was probably best to wait until the next morning. Also, the Pharaoh region has no shortage of lean-tos (or tent sites), and it is not uncommon for people to move on if they see a lean-to is already occupied. There is another lean-to less than .5 mile away at Little Rock Pond, and another at Clear Pond about a mile away.
Further, it’s a bit irresponsible for Joe & his friend to not utilize the register at the launch, where it clearly indicates the emergency DEC number in case of an emergency.
And finally, I find it a little hard to swallow that the fire chief ordered Joe, his friend, and the firefighter with a chainsaw to return back to the launch as they were about to round the corner into North Pond with the canoe, only to return to the launch & wait for a powerboat that obviously didn’t work out.
Seems like some poor decisions by all.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:23 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Neil View Post
This something that caught my eye as I read the blog post:

I find it hard to reconcile this with a 115 horse motor on a good-sized craft with two guys (author and friend) on board who most likely knew where to go.
A canoe has a considerably shallower draft than a 23' vessel with a 115 hp outboard... (even if there are any navigational markers on Putnam Pond, it's doubtful they would be visible on a stormy night)
The first rule of a rescue effort is to avoid becoming / creating another victim, which would be the case if that boat ran aground in the dark (considering the operator in control was unfamiliar with the body of water).


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First, it needs to be said that it was perhaps a bit irresponsible of a licensed guide to lead a weekend backpacking trip into the back country with the heavy winds & storms that we’re forecasted for that night.
Perhaps it should also be recognized, even as Joe writes, that the forecast did not predict the severity of conditions experienced that night.
Further, many if not most guided trips are planned well in advance (probably outside the 3-day "reliable" forecast window).
Also, we don't know if any discussion of postponing / cancelling / changing itinerary took place.

It is noteworthy that Joe questions why a group of hikers would seek shelter / campsite so early in the day (should be obvious to anyone who's been out before impending storm).
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:32 PM   #56
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Perhaps it should also be recognized, even as Joe writes, that the forecast did not predict the severity of conditions experienced that night.
Not to disagree but the weather forecast for that Friday night called for high winds & possible severe thunderstorms. It was the only reason I decided to wait until the next day. When I traveled up Crane Pond Road that following morning I expected to see several downed trees across the road. To my surprise there were none, but there were indeed lots of downed branches scattered along Alder Meadow Road.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:45 PM   #57
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At least Joe is re-examining his narrative:

From original:
" I think we would have been better off paddling to the launch, driving to the 24-hour Walmart in Ticonderoga, buying a couple cheap chainsaws and shovels, and paddling back out there ourselves."

To:
"Would we have been better off paddling to the launch, driving to the 24-hour Walmart in Ticonderoga, buying a couple cheap chainsaws and shovels, and paddling back out there ourselves? Probably not, but the thought crossed my mind."

Joe, you're a good guy. You did what any decent person would in helping to notify authorities, but there are times when circumstances are beyond our control...
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:22 PM   #58
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We have some nasty weather here at home right now, this afternoon I cleaned up some fallen branches in the yard that had come down. 5 minutes after coming back in, more rain, a 6" diameter 20' long branch just fell exactly where I had just been. You never know, The summer after I got out of the service I was woods surveying in New Hampshire a similar sized branch fell and hit me directly on the head, nocked me to my knees, I can still hear the crunch in my head and neck, fortunately I was wearing a helmet. I remember thinking, 4 years in the military and come home to get done in by a branch in the woods.
I read the ranger reports every week, hearing about other peoples emergency's helps you be a safer person in your travels. On the other hand fully 1/3 of so called rescues are people that are exhausted and want help or are lost 200yards off the trail . One was a guy that read the trail sign he was standing in front of to the dispatcher???? Someday someone will die because rangers are off on another wild goose chase. For me the GPS and phone are just another tool secondary to my map and compass, and their batteries never go dead.

I just put the DEC dispatch # on my speed dial.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:29 AM   #59
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Putnam Pond is also known locally as Putts Pond, and the road that leads to Putnam Pond is named Putts Pond Rd, as the street sign indicates on Route 74. The author (from Connecticut) is clearly unaware of that fact and/or must have not noticed the street sign, hence the confusion.
Not to pile on Joe but when someone places a 911 telephone call using a land line, emergency dispatch systems pick up the home owner's name, street address as well as being highlighted on an integrated county map. Even in Mayberry.

So did he embellish his dialogue with the 911 dispatcher?

Joe's narrative was most everyone they came in contact with was old, out of shape and an idiot. Not his word but that is the impression I got from reading his story. And that's what it is.
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Old 07-24-2018, 05:29 AM   #60
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Not to pile on Joe but when someone places a 911 telephone call using a land line, emergency dispatch systems pick up the home owner's name, street address as well as being highlighted on an integrated county map. Even in Mayberry.

So did he embellish his dialogue with the 911 dispatcher?
In one of the other articles, it said that he ran into a crew clearing brush and branches from the road and one of the crew used their radio to call for help. I wonder where that came from?
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