SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.
Share your tales of travel & adventure with our step-by-step guide. Upload trail descriptions, photos, video, and more. Get Started
The DAILY DIRT - The nitty and the gritty of outdoor news

Lunchbox's Disaster Round-Up, 12-04

The beloved star of our in-book feature "The Predicament," Lunchbox the Cadaver Sniffing Dog, brings you a round-up of this week's outdoor predicaments, disasters, and near-misses

The holidays are upon us! That means lots of family, friends, and presents (I'm asking for a new rawhide, m'self). But all that warm togetherness means some people will get the urge to share their love of wilderness with loved ones—just as it's getting colder and darker.

Let's take a look at this week's outdoor predicaments and see if we can encourage some preparedness and foresight before the holiday season gets in full swing:

Woman falls 1,000 feet from Angel's Landing in Zion. A 50-year-old woman hiking alone along the precipitous Angel's Landing Trail in Zion National Park tripped and fell over 1,000 feet to her death, according to park officials. While there are chain rails along some sections of the trail, it is believed she fell in a section without them, a third of the way from Scout Lookout to the top.
Lunchbox's lesson: Angel's Landing is a scary trail—so much so that it made BACKPACKER's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes list. Hikers should not attempt this without being absolutely certain they can be comfortable in very exposed terrain. Subtle shifts in weather can dramatically worsen conditions in precarious situations like these (though officials say weather wasn't a factor this time). And again, hiking an extremely dangerous trail solo is a risky proposition. If another person were there, she might've been able to wait for help. Even then, exposed trails like this are simply very risky, and this woman might've just had a very unlucky accident.

Man stuck upside down dies in Utah cave. An extended family home for the holidays in Utah decided to explore Nutty Putty Cave; most members stuck to wide, well-traveled areas, but a smaller group ventured into tighter areas. A 26-year-old man soon became wedged upside down in an 18-inch wide, 10-inch high opening known as Bob's Push. Rescuers spent over 24 hours trying to free him, and succeeded, but then a cord holding the man failed, and he fell back into the crevice. After his second fall, his condition began to deteriorate, and he died early on Thanksgiving. Citing the danger of retrieving the body, officials decided to seal off the cave and leave his remains.
Lunchbox's lesson: This is a sad event. Spelunking is always risky, and the environmental factors present in caves—cold, wet, and dark as it gets—usually only compound the danger. It seems like this victim just got excited and went ahead, stranding himself in a situation he couldn't get out of. Sticking with the larger group in safe areas of the cave might've kept accidents from happening. Also, investigating the opening feet-first rather than head-first might've made for better survival/rescue chances.

British Columbia hiker survives 3 days alone in the wild with broken pelvis. A 26-year-old man on a solo hiking/photography trip in BC's Hornby Island took a wicked 20-foot fall, shattering his pelvis. Not planning for much more than a two-hour hike, he survived by drinking water off of blades of grass. Eventually, he fashioned a harness from leather straps on his army surplus pants and crawled across the ground for days until he reached a remote beach. There, hikers who mistook his screams for help as those of a baby eagle found him and arranged for rescue. He's expected to recover in 6 months.
Lunchbox's Lesson: Never doubt the power of a fierce will to live. Despite facing increasingly dire circumstances, this Canadian continued fighting and improvised clever solutions. "I didn't stop for a lot of philosophizing out there," he said. "It was do it or don't. The alternative was death."

Hike safe out there, people—I don't want to leave my rawhide to find you.

—Lunchbox


READERS COMMENTS

A
Dec 08, 2009

Angel's Landing isn't on that list :-/. The Maze and Buckskin Gulch are the only two listed in Utah. Am I missing something or does the link send us to the wrong article?

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
There's no trace
Posted On: Aug 19, 2014
Submitted By: big_load
Gear
shoe question
Posted On: Aug 19, 2014
Submitted By: TigerFan
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions