A simple hike gone wrong

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Jax created the topic: A simple hike gone wrong

I read this today and wanted to share it with you. it's so easy for people to underestimate their situation. it's not a long article, and the pictures are amazing, so take a look. I'll post the article itself here, but recommend clicking on the link.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/24/19655556-southwest-hiking-destination-gaining-deadly-reputation?lite

Southwest hiking destination gaining deadly reputation

By Paul Foy, Associated Press
They left their two young children with relatives and set off to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary at one of the most beautiful hiking destinations in the Southwest.
Months earlier, the luck of a draw had brought Anthony and Elisabeth Ann Bervel coveted hiking permits for The Wave, a region of richly colored sandstone patterns near the Utah-Arizona border.
But just hours into Monday's trek, 27-year-old Elisabeth Bervel died of cardiac arrest, becoming the third hiker in a month to succumb to the brutal summer heat and disorienting open country where no marked trail shows the way.
The deaths have prompted officials to reassess the dangers for people who make the hike and perhaps seek an outside investigation of the risks, said Kevin Wright, manager of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.

"We're considering everything at this point," he said.
Only 20 hikers are granted permits each day, a limit defended as necessary to protect the rock formations and preserve a sense of wilderness around the signature rock formation said to be one of the most photographed spots in North America.

Hikers are given plenty of warnings about how to survive. They also get pictures of prominent landmarks and access to eight guides who can lead the way.
"It's not like going to Zion National Park and hiking on an asphalt trail," said Kane County sheriff's Sgt. Alan Alldredge. "Once you hit the slickrock, nothing distinguishes the trail."
"It seems to go well for people going to The Wave," he added. "But for some reasons on the way back, they end up getting lost."
The Bervels, of Mesa, Ariz., lost their way on a three-mile cross-country route back to a trailhead, forcing them to spend extra hours under blazing sun in 90-degree temperatures and humidity, he said.
Officials said Elisabeth Bervel's legs gave out hiking in soft sand, and her husband kept going to find a cellphone signal to call for help.
He appeared to be in no danger from the heat or exertion. But Kane County officials said he was distraught when he sat down Monday night to recount the tragedy. A phone listing for Anthony Bervel had been disconnected Tuesday.
"This event once again demonstrates the inherent risks associated with hiking in southern Utah's desert country," the Kane County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "Even though the Bervels had tried to make sure they were prepared for this hike, the elements proved to be stronger."
The latest death led to further questions about the lottery system that makes it hard to land a permit for the hike that starts in Utah before reaching The Wave in Arizona. More than 48,000 people applied last year for 7,300 available permits, officials said.
Half of the 20 daily permits are doled out on a walk-in basis at a visitor's center in Kanab, with as many as 100 people showing up to get a permit for the next day.
The rest are awarded through an online lottery, with winners given a specific hiking date months in the future. For many, it's a lifetime opportunity, and the difficulty in getting permits prompts some people to go in the heat of the summer.
On July 3, Ulrich and Patricia Wahli of Campbell, Calif., were found dead in 106-degree heat.
About a year ago, a 30-year-old California man who spent much of a day at The Wave and tried to return after nightfall died after falling into a slot canyon, officials said.
"It does come back to personal discretion, and making choices," said Rachel Tueller, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Strip District of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which controls The Wave. "Anytime you go out on public land, it's a risk. You have to know your own capabilities."
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Memnoich replied the topic: A simple hike gone wrong

I see this all to often here in Co. People come in to go hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, skiing, etc... The come with the wrong attitude, unprepared, and then they become a victim. It's the city mentality is all I can think. They come expecting it to be easy, if they get lost, they'll just drop in to the Starbucks, there is one on every corner right, and get directions. If the weather goes bad, they'll just hop in the nearest store and wait it out. This stuff won't happen to me, it always happens to the "Other Guy". I've even seen it on here, people's response's to the Situation Awareness course, "I don't need to worry about how to do this stuff, cause I don't go out in the wilderness, so I'll never be in that situation". Really, you don't drive your car anywhere, you don't travel at all?

Ok, climbing down off of my soap box before I really get to ranting.

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Jax replied the topic: A simple hike gone wrong

Exactly. And that's why you're a good person to re-evaluate the course. :-)

The lesson I take from this is to be overprepared. I could easily be one of these people, not bringing enough water in the event of getting lost. However, I wouldn't just keep hiking at that point, I know the signs of heat exhaustion, and that's where I'd hope I'd do better. I think the guy who waited for darkness was trying to do the right thing, but he didn't have a flashlight, which reminds me to always prepare for the potential to be there overnight. Many lessons to learn from such a short article.
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Johannes (Yoshio) replied the topic: A simple hike gone wrong

Aye, I do think that in our Situational Awareness course there is much in which will help someone to do better in such situations but only then when he keeps an open mind and eye for those things and not approach it like Memnoich descript.

It is not too long ago that I had been out for a hiking in the European Alps and there I once again had to see with which equipment, if you even want to call it so, peoples went on those hikes. I really don't know and understand what they are thinking, but in a way, again what Memnoich wrote, might put it the best. They really might have in their mind that this is like strolling down the shopping mall but, obviously, it is not.
I don't want to say that I don't care about those people but for me there is also the issue that those people are not only putting their own well being if not life at danger but also those of the guys who have to go out rescue them in case of an self caused emergency. So, if those people really don’t care about themselves, they should, in my opinion, at least think about the others who have to jump in if they make a mistake.

With that, I don’t want to say that people untrained and uninformed should not seek out to enjoy those outdoor activities, but as with everything in life, at least everyone who is looking forward to do so, should be that matured to seek out information and guidance/training before doing something.

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Jax replied the topic: A simple hike gone wrong

It will be interesting to see what they do to mitigate the risk. Heat is a big challenge, and hiking 3 miles in very hot temperatures makes it much easier for people to get confused. Perhaps they can find a way to put in trail markers that don't damage the area. Or maybe we can use sensors to track people so we know if they are going off track or going so slow that something is wrong. We have the technology, it's a matter of figuring it out and finding the money to pay for it. I'm sure the hikers would pay a fee to cover it.
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