The stupid things I did before I knew better...

Minimally moderated forum for climbing related hearsay, misinformation, and lies.
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by simonov » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:33 pm

Gafoto wrote:That is some classic gear there redneck. Did you summit Rainier with your Vasque boots and wooden axe?

With the axe, yes, but I rented some Scarpas in Ashford.

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by lisae » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:57 pm

Stupidest thing I ever did, relating to outdoor stuff, was not to dig out my headlamp when I went through the caves at the Pinnacles. I thought I didn't need to, I would be able to follow John as he had reflectors on his shoes. Well he was moving fast and I couldn't keep up. I put my hand on what I thought was a wall. It was a gate, it moved and I fell into the standing water. Soaking wet, muddy up to my mid back and banged up knee. I had to wring out my pants once we got to the dam, while a lot of tourists watched.

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Dave Daly

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by Dave Daly » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:12 am

Dropped acid, snorted coke and crank, and ate a few schrooms.......during my first 4 years in the Marine Corps!! :shock: :shock: :lol:

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by RickF » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:47 pm

Like some of the previous posters, I wore levis jeans and cotton t-shirts on my early hikes. I thought I was getting pretty sophisticated when I graduated to wearing shorts and carrying a pair of levis in my pack as survival gear.

One of my most important learning experiences was getting caught in a thunderstorm halfway to the summit of San Jacinto without any rain shell. When bolts of ligthning started dancing all around us, we turned back. I got drenched, it was a long, cold miserable day. I didn't even have any dry clothes at the trailhead.

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by silversummit » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:25 am

My mistake was thinking backpacking would actually be fun using a backpack something like the drawing below.


The frame was wood and there was a thin web waist belt. It was horribly uncomfortable and rubbed wrong in every way possible on my scrawny body. Since I was tall for my age I ended up carrying extra weight for smaller girls in my group - :roll:

I hated the trip and the twenty miles in the summer heat in the Blue Ridge along with a heavy old sleeping bag, metal canteen, no sleeping pad and of course everyone wore jeans!

Eventually friends talked me into trying more trips with new fangled inventions like "tube tents" and foam sleeping pads and I bought my own first back pack and I never stopped

Okay guys! Don't enjoy the 'butt' shots too much! Tube tent camping at it's finest ala 1966!


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by Noondueler » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:01 am

My first backpack outing I put bananas in a bear cannister outside the tent while camping near Bishop Pass in the high Sierra in late October and they were hard as a rock in the morning.
I was so devastated I haven't backpacked since!

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by Dartmouth Hiker » Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:11 am

Let's see...

Inadvertently climbed Katahdin without any food, which my dad and I somehow left behind in the car. We did have water, though...oh, and my dad thought it'd be a good idea to climb the mountain in a dress shirt and polyester pants. I chewed him out pretty good for that one, and he never did so on a hike again. Apparently some guys who passed us on the way up made a bet on whether we'd reach the top (we did).

We climbed up the Thunderbolt Ski trail on Greylock in December, with only about 3 hours of daylight left when we started out. We had no equipment beyond some water and a map, and I almost didn't even bring hat or gloves "because it wasn't that cold out". Several dangerous snowy slopes and treacherous icy patches, and one summit, later, we were nearly back at the car, but nearly out of daylight. And then we ran into a hiker even worse off than we were! He was apparently miles from where he needed to be, and after looking at our map took off; hopefully he made it.

Spruce Knob, also in winter. The plan was, the gate probably being closed, my dad and I would walk the ~20 miles roundtrip to the top, mostly in the dark. We had two flashlights, each with maybe 2 1/2 hours of light to them. Very luckily for us, the gate happened to be open, but we still had a nice treacherous drive most of the way up in my dad's Geo Metro, nearly sliding off the road onto the steep mountainside once or twice. Again, we somehow made the top and lived to tell the tale.

In my defense, I was no older than 14 for any of this :oops:

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by Hotoven » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:06 pm

Noondueler wrote:I was so devastated I haven't backpacked since!


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by tyler4588 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:26 pm

On my first backpacking trip, we didn't have a backpacking stove, so we took a two stove Coleman range with three propane tanks onto the trail. We brought six cans of chili and we only stayed out for one night. The chili did not sit well...

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by Gafoto » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:53 pm

tyler4588 wrote:On my first backpacking trip, we didn't have a backpacking stove, so we took a two stove Coleman range with three propane tanks onto the trail. We brought six cans of chili and we only stayed out for one night. The chili did not sit well...

I had a Carls Jr. breakfast burrito just before hiking up Mount Whitney. Worst idea in the history of mankind. Bar none.

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The stupid things I did before I knew better

by Ambret » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:38 am

My first time on a big mountain (Shasta), my college buddy and I got to 12,500' before turning back due to rockfall. After breaking camp at Helen Lake, we headed down but did not bother to put crampons, thinking the snow was soft. And before you know it, I'm on my back sliding down fast. First thought: "Roll to left, use ice axe for self-arrest." Second thought: "Uh, that would be the ice axe that is firmly strapped to the backpack?" Fortunately, I stopped before the snowfield ran out onto some very uncomfortable looking rocks. Dusting the snow and ice off, I turned to see my friend sliding down the slope, fortunately also stopping just in time. Me: "You slip too?" Him: "No, it just looked like a fast way to get down."

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by stonefree » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:35 am

I remember being eight or nine years old and climbing a 60 degree dirt cliff near my house. My brother and I would take took two claw hammers and used them like ice axes to claw into the dirt and pounded in ten inch tent stakes as protection. It's good that no one ever slipped.

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I used to

by eazup » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:25 pm

rappel on 1/4" nylon cord from the hardware store with a munter hitch and a screwlock, using a harness I tied from a piece of said rope. Also thought it was fun to test the dynamic properties by free falling before coming to a screeching halt. :shock:

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by sierragator » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:02 am

Me and another climber ascending hard, frozen snow up the north face of Thor with crampons, but no ice axes. Got very lucky on that one and it was a dumb move. We were both newbies at the time.

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Mark Straub

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by Mark Straub » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:18 pm

Carrying about 5 pounds of sugar, 4 liters of water, a messkit, and other assorted crap up Mt. Pugh, normally a one-day mountain that we made two. My pack was 45 pounds, and I was wearing cotton. As I always did, until I found out it is a bad idea in the PNW to wear cotton even to take out the trash.

Scrambling up a frozen waterfall, approximately 30 degrees at the bottom steepening to 40. Wouldn't be too bad, if I had crampons, ice axe, experience, or boots. I didn't. I was wearing sneakers, stranded on the top of an ice flow. I almost died. I learned a valuable lesson from that trip.



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