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Scree - November 9, 2010

Mount quandry

Mount Quandry Rescue

Mount Quandry is one of Colorado's 14,000 foot peaks. Quandry is one of the easier fourteeners (14,000' mountains) to climb; but that is a relative classification. Located just a few miles south of Breckenridge, Quandry is one of the most accessible fourteeners and hence one of the most crowded. Well, except on snowy days after dark then you are alone on the mountain.

Over the weekend, a 22 year old climber called for help, high on the mountain. It was dark, he had left his pack below, his headlamp wasn't working, and he was probably cold and miserable.

Search and Rescue rescued him during the night.

The climber had done a few things correctly - he called for help, he stayed at the location waiting for help, and he manufactured enough warmth to survive.

In an online forum it was commented that he swallowed his pride and called for help. I am glad he did; but it would have been an even better idea for him to have swallowed his pride before he left the trailhead.

As climbers, scramblers, hikers, and backcountry users we have to continually make personal assessments of our skill levels. If we do not have the training and experience for the climb, hike, or adventure, then it is time for us to swallow our pride and not leave the trailhead. If we managed to fool ourselves and started the climb anyway, then we need to swallow our pride and turn around, if the skill level is over our heads.

To increase our skill levels we need to find someone more experienced to join us on our next adventure, take a skills class, and/or join an outdoor club. By increasing our training and experience we can learn to be a climber.

(Denver Post)

Mount Quandry Rescue Again

I have been preparing to write on the ten essentials each Monday for the next few weeks. So when I read this article I saw a glaring mistake the climber made on the Mount Quandry Rescue. The climber left his pack at about 13,000' and went on to the top without it. Even if the rescued climber had the ten essentials or even better the "ten" and more, the essentials did him no good because he did not carry his pack with him.

Never leave your pack. Learn to be a climber.

Jake and the Clock

Jake, our dog, hates the fall time change. He eats at 6. Breakfast is at 6 and dinner is at 6. He knows almost to the minute when it is 6 o'clock. He lets us know, that he can tell time by howling, barking, and nudging us until he feed him.

In the fall, he thinks 5 is 6. At 5 in the morning he begins to tell us it is time to eat. If we are still asleep, we will not be for long. He wakes us to make sure that we understand that he knows how to tell time. In the evening he also thinks we have forgotten his dinner.

It only takes a few weeks for him to adjust his eternal clock. In the meantime, I show him on my watch, exactly what time it is and try to explain. He just howls. It is still 6 to him.