Late Nov. rain conditions in Wangapeka/Karamea?
I have an 8-day window for a possible tramp 11/17-24, and an important aim will be to do some trout fishing. That's why I'm picking the fishiest area from my several February tramps back in 2010 :) How likely is it that rains will spoil my fishing and make me feel stupid for flying all the way over from a business trip in Melbourne? I confess I'm having decision paralysis on this. A month or five weeks is enough time to find good fishing conditions; but with just a week to spend, am I setting myself up for disappointment? Please let me know all thoughts and opinions, thanks!
Whether or not to take a PLB - consider this very apt quote from NNW on bushwalk.com Not taking a PLB - what's the worst that can happen? You die. Well, no - that's the second worst. The worst is that people looking for you die. Take a PLB.
I always carry a PLB but I have to confess it never occured to me that there could be a moral imperative to carry one on the grounds that it makes SAR easier and safer. I'd always just thought of it from my own safety perspective. Thank you for so eloquently pointing that out.
i've read so many stories about some of the best alpine climbers in the world having accidents and dying in the most silly ways you wouldnt believe possible for such skilled mountain people to die... simply because they thought they could relax and not pay as much attention to safety and it caught them out , even though they had survived countless days in the most dangerous places in the mountains... when i needed rescueing it was because of a pre existing injury that flared up i've been tramping since hte 80's and never had another issue that required me to be rescued, but I still consider that i may still need rescuing. i don't have any health issues that would cause an issue, but i still think tramping you never know what could happen theres so many variables, put one foot wrong on ground you think is stable that proves to be unstable... the only certainty in life is death. there was a lengthy debate on the alpine club facebook page, i was amazed how many of them were against using beacons, especially given how dangerous alpine climbing is... quite a few of them believed in self rescue only and never relying on outside help for rescue... OK so outdoors people can tend to be very independant and self sufficient, but no one is an island... the transport you took to get into the mountains you relied on a whole lot of people doing their jobs correctly so you could travel in the transport you took and arrive safely, once apon a time you couldnt live without adults doing things to keep you alive.... and one day you may eventually be reliant on other people to keep you alive when you're in your old age and cant support yourself..
Very well said waynoski, thanks :) As far as actual action goes, there's no doubt that I'll carry the PLB after engaging in this thread. If something goes seriously awry and I need a rescue, it would be an almost unbearable shame, after this :) But I love these discussions, and what I mean by thinking things through, is things like this: let's say a tramper had a bad fall during a bad rainstorm and had a bad, immobilizing bone break. The person is lying off the trail a bit, and, after time, despairs of anybody coming along, and fires a PLB. You show up a minute after that, and learn that the PLB has been activated. Do you NOT help the person? Do you not try to make them dry and warm, while you wait for a rescue that may not come for quite a while, given the storm? If you're capable, do you not help them to the shelter of a hut? Because the PLB has been activated? Is that what you're talking about? I get the thing about inconveniencing other people with your rescue, and I've heard plenty about it from Alaskans and other people who disapprove of my solo kayaking, PLBs inclusive. But what does it really mean? Does it mean that we don't help each other, if and when we can, when technology exists to call in professionals? Remember that people tramped for a long old time without PLBs, and somehow it worked out. Part of my calculus here is that I'll probably rarely be out of shouting distance from the trail, and that my daily motorcycle commute on CA freeways is hundreds of times more risky than the tramp I'm contemplating. I'm way more likely to need a rescue there than I'm likely to be hit by lightning! True! But consider that you could be completely free from the danger of lightning strikes by staying completely indoors, all the time. I doubt anyone on this board could contemplate such a life. At this point, I definitely would like to be rescued, with or without a PLB (and yeah I'll carry the damn thing and register my intention online), but I would also welcome dying on my feet. You may think that's BS, maybe, but maybe you don't think about dying of Alzheimer's or cancer as often as I do. It is awful. I have seen it and I do not want it, at all, and I have no desire to create some Ivan Ilyich situation lying in a bed making my family suffer in any way. So I'd accept dying on the Crow River, if that's where my path ends. Not freeway 85, now way, so I split lanes no higher than 25 mph, but the Crow River is fine :) In a half-serious vein, in which the serious half is dead serious (hehe), I've formulated a new saying based on Francis Bacon's saw on marriage: "A young man should take wild risks because he foolishly feels he is immortal. An old man should, because he wisely knows he is not."
inconveniencing other people means without a beacon, the search and rescue operation is far more time consuming and usually requires far more people to spend more time just trying to find an overdue person... theres no question about not helping anyone who is in need of help regardless if they have set a beacon off, first aid is paramount if there is any injury or health issue, giving maximum help regardless of whether a beacon has been set off or not... prompt medical response is always important.
Three points you seem not to have fully grasped : 1. You *can* move after setting off a PLB - eg if you are moving to a safer location. True, not good to set it off and continue walking - use common sense. 2. PLB is for life-threatening situations - you *can* be comfortable and still be in a life-threatening situation. Your example is certainly life-threatening so pull the pin - but if possible to move to a hut; it would be stupid not to move. 3. Who said not to offer assistance to someone in need ? I can understand disapproval of solo kayaking (& tramping) because the risk is higher (only a little, imo) when solo - but that argument has nothing to do with providing help on the spot. BTW, SaR actually prefer to recover live people rather than dead ones - hit the PLB sooner rather than later.
I'm not too fussed about obliging nor expecting everyone to carry a PLB, despite my earlier comment. Go back 10 or 15 years and it's not as if things were fundamentally unsafe. People took other measures for safety, all of which should still be considered important. If that's the case then a PLB makes a relatively safe situation even safer. It makes things much safer in a few specific circumstances. It makes searches more efficient. It probably saves public money, although arguably that comes at considerable private expense. In reality, PLBs are being promoted as an essential thing. There's a fundamental thing of many people not taking other safety steps, and so obliging everyone to carry a PLB tends to compensate for much more risk and inefficiency than it should otherwise really need to, and a side effect is that there are probably now more searches initiated than might previously have been needed, just due to people who now have them not clearly understanding if they really need help. But if you're not carrying one for whatever reason, I think it's important (as it always was anyway) to do the basics. Ie. tell a trusted contact of your plans, stick to them (and they should have enough flexibility to account for when a primary plan mightn't have been possible), make reasonable preparations for things going wrong, because sometimes they will, understand and remain within the limits of your abilities, and do everything possible to ensure that if someone has to come looking for you - as they will - then it's an efficient exercise.
How often do plbs get used? Our tramping club has 4 and the all go out on trips most weekends. In 3 years there have been 3 activations. The 4wd club I used to belong to had a similar number and a similar number of activations. In their case though one activation was due to coming across someone else in trouble and 1 activation was due to someone that had already died from a heart attack. (there was a doctor on that trip). I own a plb but only because we got them wholesale in a bulk buy.
I'm on my third unit now. I've carried one now since 2000. I've only activated a unit once. March 2012. The fellow i was taking to see a plane wreck, on a daywalk, snapped an ankle bone on a tree root. It was at 1200m, in the rainforest, and a chopper winched him out with minutes left on station.
Ok a plb costs the same as a entry to mid range pack or a reasonable left boot. It weighs the same as a lightweight parka and takes up as much room as 2 muesli bars. You might never use it but if the need arises chances are you wont lament not having bought one along for very long. (broken leg in good conditions maybe a week after your food or water runs out) I know its what we all used to do but how many trampers are still out there never having been found.
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