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I'm so dumb I don't deserve to breathe

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I'm so dumb I don't deserve to breathe

Postby Castlereagh » Thu May 19, 2011 1:31 am

Weather reports had snow snows falling in pretty much every mountain range in Nevada. I decide to give it a try anyway; the plan is to drive down Phinney Canyon, hike up to a saddle, onto a ridge, then up and down a few bumpsto Grapevine Peak. Foggy morning, some snow flurries, and limited visibility...I walk up to what I thought was the saddle, gain a ridge, go up and down a few bumps, and end up on top of Wahguyhe Peak, on the smack dab opposite side of the saddle. Obviously I'm oblivious to my mistake until I'm back in the car, driving back the road I came but thinking it's going the wrong direction. Nope, I'm just an idiot.

Image

I don't even know what to think about today. Was it a failure? I still climbed a peak, only 110 ft lower. It wasn't the one I wanted though.
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Re: I'm so dumb I don't deserve to breathe

Postby lcarreau » Thu May 19, 2011 4:40 am

Man, you're NOT stupid.

You're just "Riding the Storm Out!"

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Re: I'm so dumb I don't deserve to breathe

Postby Noondueler » Thu May 19, 2011 4:53 am

Well I don't know how to give CPR but you are apparently still breathing anyway. That's funny! Of course I can relate because of my trip to the peak. (I saw you just voted on the trip report) Did you tackle that scree slope? hehe.
I also posted a mountain rock on the peak which you are welcome to sign. :D
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Re: I'm so dumb I don't deserve to breathe

Postby Josh Lewis » Thu May 19, 2011 4:57 am

I've had a trip at least once were I wondered "Am I on the right Mountain?". I was in deep snow with foggy conditions solo with many trees all around on the mountain side, but I figured "well if I'm having fun, it doesn't matter than!". So the goal to me is not the important part of mountaineering, it is the adventure!
My Websites: Alpine Josh · Alpine Ascent · AceMaps
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Re: I'm so dumb I don't deserve to breathe

Postby CSUMarmot » Thu May 19, 2011 5:34 am

Coincidentally, I did kinda the same thing today. Went to climb Bald Mountain today, a mountain I can see from my porch and look at every day. The damn mountain has a radio facility on top with tons of towers and stuff with a dirt road to the top, so it should be obvious to find right? Well I hit a cloudbank about 300' from the summit, followed a road to a switchback, figured I didn't need to follow it any longer and just headed up the hill. Long story short, there was one tower on top, but since visibility was limited to 50 feet, I didnt see the true summit with all sorts of radio towers and stuff a quarter mile away. Shoulda followed the road...
Dammit kid get off mah lawn!!!
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Re: I'm so dumb I don't deserve to breathe

Postby SKI » Thu May 19, 2011 1:25 pm

Haha smooth man.

I'm personally guilty of something similar myself-

A few years back I went to go climb Lassen Peak in the winter and tried to take my own shortcut to the peak, rather than just head up the cat track. Climbed for what seemed like forever to a rocky summit with great views of Shasta, Brokeoff and Lassen... Wait, LASSEN PEAK!?!?!

Shoot man, I climbed the wrong peak in the dark!

Feeling pretty ridiculous, I waddled down from Eagle Peak and chocked it up as a lesson learned in routefinding.

I think that we all do stuff like this sometimes. Either way, beats sitting at home on the couch :)
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Re: I'm so dumb I don't deserve to breathe

Postby surgent » Thu May 19, 2011 5:32 pm

Remember, the guys trying to climb what we know today as Mt Whitney way back in the 18 somethings climbed the wrong peak on more than one occasion. So you got another peak to add to your list. It was a productive day nonetheless.
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Re: I'm so dumb I don't deserve to breathe

Postby Castlereagh » Fri May 20, 2011 1:21 am

Good to know I'm not the only one who's made this mistake. I guess the lesson is that at any point in time the mountains can make you look foolish if you're not looking. Scott, now that you mention Mt. Whitney I actually remember a similar story too...one of the Colorado 14er pioneers (I forget which, maybe Blaurock) once climbed Mt. Oklahoma when he meant to climb Massive, ended up in a different drainage, and had to hitchhike back to his car. (BTW, I carried your guidebook up Hualapai about a week ago)

It feels better a day later though, some time to reflect on things.

Noondueler wrote:Well I don't know how to give CPR but you are apparently still breathing anyway. That's funny! Of course I can relate because of my trip to the peak. (I saw you just voted on the trip report) Did you tackle that scree slope? hehe.
I also posted a mountain rock on the peak which you are welcome to sign. :D


Oh, that scree was horrible...and the entire time I'm thinking too that I didn't see any mention of scree at all in the Grapevine route description or climbers log...
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Re: I'm so dumb I don't deserve to breathe

Postby surgent » Fri May 20, 2011 5:28 pm

I've never went up a wrong peak. My occasional problem is coming down the wrong ridge, which I've done a couple times and once, caused me to spend the night in the dark, bashing my way back to my truck. This hobby/sport/pastime can really teach you a lesson, sometimes over and over again. I've learned that I am never as good as I think I am.

BTW, thanks for the testimonial. I'd hate to think I got someone lost on Hualapai! :)
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Re: I'm so dumb I don't deserve to breathe

Postby MoapaPk » Fri May 20, 2011 6:20 pm

Castlereagh wrote:Weather reports had snow snows falling in pretty much every mountain range in Nevada. I decide to give it a try anyway; the plan is to drive down Phinney Canyon, hike up to a saddle, onto a ridge, then up and down a few bumpsto Grapevine Peak. Foggy morning, some snow flurries, and limited visibility...I walk up to what I thought was the saddle, gain a ridge, go up and down a few bumps, and end up on top of Wahguyhe Peak, on the smack dab opposite side of the saddle. Obviously I'm oblivious to my mistake until I'm back in the car, driving back the road I came but thinking it's going the wrong direction. Nope, I'm just an idiot.

I don't even know what to think about today. Was it a failure? I still climbed a peak, only 110 ft lower. It wasn't the one I wanted though.


Wahguyhe is a much nicer peak than Grapevine, and has a more straight-forward route. If you had gone down the wrong side of Grapevine, you would have been in real trouble. Grapevine has an awful lot of lumps, and lacking a GPS, you really need to be able to see the hierarchy of lumps to find your way.

It's very easy to get turned around in a whiteout. I used to carry a compass in a shirt pocket when navigating in limited visibility, and was surprised how often I found myself going nearly 180 degrees in the wrong direction.
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Re: I'm so dumb I don't deserve to breathe

Postby mrh » Fri May 20, 2011 8:50 pm

surgent wrote:I've never went up a wrong peak. My occasional problem is coming down the wrong ridge, which I've done a couple times and once, caused me to spend the night in the dark, bashing my way back to my truck. This hobby/sport/pastime can really teach you a lesson, sometimes over and over again. I've learned that I am never as good as I think I am.


Thats my trick as well. And I keep doing it over and over. The last time I ended up so far from my truck with injured feet that I had to spend the night in a SST to keep from freezing to death.
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Re: I'm so dumb I don't deserve to breathe

Postby surgent » Fri May 20, 2011 11:02 pm

MoapaPk wrote:...It's very easy to get turned around in a whiteout. I used to carry a compass in a shirt pocket when navigating in limited visibility, and was surprised how often I found myself going nearly 180 degrees in the wrong direction.


Huzzah!

Two years ago a friend of mine (DartmouthHiker here at SP) and I hiked Mt Glenn in southeast AZ, with low cloud cover, enough to cause whiteout with maybe 25 feet of visibility in places. And twice, we got started down the wrong ridge when we swore we were going the right way. It is so damned easy to get off track. Scarily easy.

Even just going around an obstacle, like a downed tree, can throw you off your bearing when you think you're "back on track".

On my first attempt of Rainier, we hiked from Muir down to Paradise in whiteout for the final 2K feet. Only the footprints in the snow and wands kept me on track. I couldn't see a damn thing, except white. Utterly disorienting.
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