It is currently September 24th, 2017, 5:15 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 103 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
  Print view Previous topic | Next topic 
Author Message
PostPosted: January 15th, 2015, 5:39 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
Back in 2009 Doc Pinney and I planned on a mountain goat hunt. Well, you probably just read in the current issue of The Professional Bowhunter about Benny's early goat hunt where he shot a nice billy the first morning of that season. Since Benny had filled his tag I went solo that year.

Before this past season Benny committed that if he filled his tag early I had a Sherpa, just like the good ole' day, before he was an Alaska resident! So sure enough Benny killed a big ole' billy this year and indeed I had myself a personal Sherpa for this trip!

It is time to "come clean" on this 2014 mountain goat hunt.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 15th, 2015, 5:43 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
The past several years we have been expanding outward from our "home base" ridge and this trip was one of those "lets try the NEXT ridge" experiments.

Even thou we were close to an area we have walked in during past year we flew, about a 15 minute flight. Here is an alpine lake that we landed on and the surrounding goat country.

Attachment:
1-A_Lake (1024x768).jpg
1-A_Lake (1024x768).jpg [ 332.27 KiB | Viewed 3398 times ]


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 15th, 2015, 5:44 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
The backside of the mountain we would eventually climb was a near vertical wall of bare rock and ice.

Attachment:
2-P8230003 (1024x768).jpg
2-P8230003 (1024x768).jpg [ 424.19 KiB | Viewed 3398 times ]


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 15th, 2015, 5:47 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
We were landed on the lake without issue and deposited at the inlet stream. Here's Benny prepping his pack, mine of course was ready twenty minutes ahead of his, like always....

Attachment:
3-GearPrep (768x1024).jpg
3-GearPrep (768x1024).jpg [ 612.38 KiB | Viewed 3397 times ]


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 15th, 2015, 5:51 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
We set out by walking along the banks of the inlet stream, then in the stream itself. A wall of intertwined alder and willow formed a near impenetrable barrier. Eventually we selected a side channel that led to the mountain of our choice and faded upward into a ever steepening chute.

This is a photo of the mountain across from us as we proceed up the ever steepening chute.....

Attachment:
4-CrossValley (1024x768).jpg
4-CrossValley (1024x768).jpg [ 394.48 KiB | Viewed 3397 times ]


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 15th, 2015, 7:20 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
If there was a fitting movie for this day it might look something like this:

Attachment:
AGoodDayToDie.jpg
AGoodDayToDie.jpg [ 21.41 KiB | Viewed 3374 times ]


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 15th, 2015, 8:19 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 2:26 pm
Posts: 594
Location: Lake Mills, WI
Goats and the country they live in have been a long time dream of mine. They will most likely remain just a dream, so this story will help to fulfill it.
Great start, and I'm looking forward to the rest!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 15th, 2015, 8:59 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
Does everyone here remember the story in Greek mythology where the beautiful sirens singing would pull men navigating ships into the rocks and to their deaths?


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 15th, 2015, 9:05 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 8:07 am
Posts: 897
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Membership Status: Regular Member
:x :x :x dude, you are leaving us hanging. You're killing me!

_________________
Have you visited our two newest sponsor sites yet?

The Twisted Stave
Golden Specialties


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 15th, 2015, 9:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 5:45 pm
Posts: 234
Membership Status: Associate Member
Goats don't sing. Get on with it.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 15th, 2015, 9:57 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
Steve Hohensee wrote:
Does everyone here remember the story in Greek mythology where the beautiful sirens singing would pull men navigating ships into the rocks and to their deaths?


Why yes, Steve, I remember reading about that in 7th grade literature!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 15th, 2015, 10:01 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
Well tooth doc and I got in one of these ephemeral streams that, as it works its way up the mountain, becomes deeply incised and ever steeping, turning into a chute. You get kind of sucked into continuing versus climbing out and crawling thru brush.

These chutes are very common in mountainous/avalanche country and the scree under foot becomes increasingly less stable.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 7:22 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 11:02 am
Posts: 1118
Location: Michigan
Membership Status: Regular Member
Steve Hohensee wrote:
Steve Hohensee wrote:
Does everyone here remember the story in Greek mythology where the beautiful sirens singing would pull men navigating ships into the rocks and to their deaths?


Why yes, Steve, I remember reading about that in 7th grade literature!



You are funny...now get on with it because it's winter and there are a lot of cranky people here!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 9:55 am 
Offline

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 2:29 pm
Posts: 987
Location: Iowa
Membership Status: Life Member
I had curry goat for lunch earlier this week at the Indian restaurant. I have a feeling that any curry goat that Steve-Ho eats is going to require a lot more effort!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 12:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 5:21 pm
Posts: 2674
Membership Status: Regular Member
I'd like someone to pm or text me when this story is complete. If it's February, I'll need a reminder... :?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 12:51 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 9th, 2012, 1:42 am
Posts: 100
Location: Portland, Oregon
Membership Status: Associate Member
Steve Hohensee wrote:
Does everyone here remember the story in Greek mythology where the beautiful sirens singing would pull men navigating ships into the rocks and to their deaths?


For the record, that would be Homer's "The Odyssey" (i.e., the adventures of Odysseus [Latin: Ulysses])

Please continue :D

_________________
"I have known many meat eaters to be far more non-violent than vegetarians." - Mahatma Gandhi

"All hunters should be nature lovers." - Theodore Roosevelt


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 1:02 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
Huh, its Friday and the Tooth Doc is off on Fridays. I should call and wake him up!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 1:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: January 16th, 2014, 10:23 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Membership Status: Associate Member
It's is good we are patient archers. I hear patience is a virtue, and a requirement for listening to another archers stories..


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 2:10 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
On ward we climbed up the ever steeped, more deeply incised chute, the scree loose under foot.

I was in the lead and I was looking for a path to climb out from the chute. We had dislodged at least one if not a couple 20 pound rocks; I had to yell "watch out" to Benny at least once as a rock bounced his way. We held our breath while navigating around or over half ton boulders so ass not to dislodge any small material holding them in place on the slope.

When you climb in steep country, where you go up, doesn't mean you can necessarily go down, safely.....


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 2:19 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 3:02 pm
Posts: 174
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Membership Status: Regular Member
I've been on plenty of steep slopes and many far worse than this one initially was. . . . . Key word is initially. Heck, we felt pretty safe though as the alders were most times within 20 - 30 yards and it would only entail some slightly cautious footwork to mosey over to the alders, grab ahold and start thrashing. The thrashing is what we were hoping to avoid when we initially began our climb up this chute. . . .

Steve and I have had many conversations about not getting into dangerous climbing situations and we're always trying to avoid the exact situation that we were unknowingly getting ourselves into. We've both been there and no goat or goat hunt is worth it. Between the two of us, we've been on over 30 goat hunts. We are very deliberate in choosing safe routes and not simply charging up the mountain at all costs. . . . apparently we were not deliberate enough.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 2:29 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
Ben Pinney wrote:
We've both been there and no goat or goat hunt is worth it.


No animal is worth the risk of dying over, well with the exception of mountain goats....


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 2:35 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
Benny remained 30 feet ro so below me in case I kicked loose a rock. I tried to work out of the chute by going upward but I got to a point where I didn't see a clear path further up and I didn't think I could safely descend back to my last footing without going into a slide, roll, and a likely out of control death roll. No it wasn't a shear cliff but I figured I'd have a 90% chance of an out of control fall if I descended.

This photo is one Benny took of me a hundred or so feet from where the chute got real tricky.

Attachment:
5.The Chute (1024x768).jpg
5.The Chute (1024x768).jpg [ 723.17 KiB | Viewed 3246 times ]


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 2:37 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
Here is another shot Benny had on his camera from the chute looking out and down towards our starting point on the lake.

Attachment:
6-LookingDown (1024x768).jpg
6-LookingDown (1024x768).jpg [ 637.17 KiB | Viewed 3245 times ]


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 2:41 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
This last photo actually shows where we were dropped off by the plane and our route up the stream, then the ephemeral stream, and into the chute up the side of the mountain.

Attachment:
Route).jpg
Route).jpg [ 442.56 KiB | Viewed 3243 times ]


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 3:05 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
So there I was on a little step of rock debris that formed a small little shelf about one foot square, hoping it wouldn't collapse before I could figure out my next move.

Benny was twenty feet lower on the slope in a spot where a vertical bank formed the side of the chute, the bank partially stabilized by a clump of alders. Benny, albeit lower in the chute was also already in a spot where it would be dangerous to retreat back down the chute. There was no point of him climbing upward as I had already pretty much demonstrated that was a dead end (no pun intended).

Crap.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 3:14 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
There was a rock spine to my left with a couple wispy alders but my gut said they would not hold if I put weight on them. The rock was crumbly I thought if I could pull myself up onto it that I might be able to work a seam to a higher handhold up a second, left, sub-chute. Problem was there was no handholds to pull myself onto that spine and there was no handholds to pull myself further up the main cute. To my right was a rock face at maybe 70 degrees slope with loose rock fragments covering the surface, molded onto the rock from years of snow, ice, and water flowing down the chute.

I couldn't go up, I couldn't go left, I couldn't go right, and I couldn't go down. I could actually go any of those directions, but a fall was almost certain if I tried. Time slowed down. I was trapped.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 3:14 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: March 12th, 2011, 12:34 am
Posts: 2855
Location: Moose Pass, Alaska
Membership Status: Life Member
But how about Benny? I couldn't save him. Could he save himself?


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 5:34 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 3:02 pm
Posts: 174
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Membership Status: Regular Member
By the time I realized we were in as bad a situation as we were, I also could not go back down. The ground was supersaturated and each attempt at a step sent the earth sloughing off below our feet. I'd been in this type of situation twice before and each time had vowed never to let it happen again. It was a good idea in theory. I quickly noticed two things: 1) I was in a really bad way. 2) Steve was in far worse way than I was.

The nearest alders were only about 10 feet above my head but it was a cut bank. My pack was around the 45 - 50 lb mark. As Steve mentioned above, with that extra weight hanging off our backs, it would only take a very small slip to overcome our control. We would be cartwheeling down the cut into eternity. Before I could even think I'd quick stepped up the slope and was hanging onto an alder branch at head height. Safe. . . or so I thought as I re-grouped. . . . but those short seconds of regrouping made me realize that I was in a potentially far worse situation. It took a considerable amount of strength for me to maintain my grasp on the alder, the earth would sloughing below my feet in significant amounts and I only had so much time before my foot hold would be gone and I'd literally be hanging on for dear life. Somehow I had to drag myself up and over the cut bank. I would have no more foot holds. I felt my energy draining as I looked down below. I could not go back. This was it.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 6:17 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 2:26 pm
Posts: 594
Location: Lake Mills, WI
This story would be told much faster had it been me there instead of you.
I'd have been dead by now.
Obviously the two of you survived, so on with the rest of it.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: January 16th, 2015, 6:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 13th, 2011, 3:02 pm
Posts: 174
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Membership Status: Regular Member
I thought about my young family back at home and how ridiculous it was to be in this situation. I HAD to make this work. Scrambling and pulling I knew that if the branch pulled out or broke it was over. This was very real. Don't fret, just climb. Pull up, grab the next alder with one hand and pull again. The ground sloughed away and my feet were dangling as I reached the height of the cut bank. It felt like I was hanging upside down.

I grabbed another alder, maybe six inches to a foot at a time. Slowly I moved up. the height of the cut bank was now at chest level. In a few seconds I'd know my fate.

A branch grabbed my pack.

I cursed and pulled even harder. For a moment I thought about Steve watching me. I don't know why I thought about this. Time seemed to slow. It was hot, I was dehydrated and my mouth was parched. ( The feeling I had in this moment was something that would return to me in the next several days just as I began to drift into sleep. It would jolt me awake.

Suddenly the branch lost its hold and I heaved another foot higher, my waist was over the bank and only my feet dangled below. I rested a few seconds and then pulled one more time up into the alders. Scrambling I lodged a foot against an alder and laid down cursing. . . never again. This was not worth it. My family deserves better. I wasn't out of the clear yet though.

The small ledge I was on was nowhere near flat and it was the very tip of the alder finger on the other side of which was another chute. At least half of it was undercut and I had a horrible feeling (probably unwaranted) that the whole dirt ledge I was on would destabilize. I had maybe 15 feet of near vertical alder / rock face to climb before I could consider taking my pack off and feel out of danger. I climbed up but now with alders to hold. Just at the top another very large and firm alder grabbed ahold of my pack pushing me down. I didn't have the strength to go back down to lessen its hold and keep firm footing. I could only push and try to rotate out. As the branch lurched off of me it took my hat and whipped down grabbing a microspike off one of my feet. I fell forward to relative safety. Slithering upward through the brush I found what looked to be a bear den / bed under some very densely interwoven mountain hemlock branches and took off my pack.

I could breath and think for a moment. Slowly, keeping firm hand and footholds, I worked my way to where I could see Steve down in the chute. He looked to be in a worse situation that i'd even realized.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 103 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  



Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
greenmiles v1.1 designed by CodeMiles Team -TemplatesDragon-.