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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 11:51 am 
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Steve Hohensee wrote:
Did I mention that everything starts to get wetter and wetter while you ride out these storms?


The goat mountain is one of three things, 1). Rock; 2). Snow/ice; or 3). A vegetative mat.

We of course opt for setting our tent on the vegetative mat that offers a nice cushion if you first remove all the sharp rocks. Generally there is shallow bedrock, a thin soil veneer, then moss and lichens. All is well until so much rain falls that the water cannot run off fast enough and when that happens, hunkering down has an expiration limit.

We were starting to have laminar flow of water under the bathtub floor of the tent, day lighting in the vestibule of the tent. Our expiration limit on hunkering down was going to slam shut real quick.


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 11:56 am 
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Day five came and went and our gear was incrementally getting wetter at a disproportionate rate.

We debated and decided that on day six we would have to pack up and head down the mountain, fog or no fog, feeling our way off the mountain if we needed to.

We had learned during our two hour hunt the location of a ridge off our mountain that led to a saddle, the drain from the saddle led down to the lake where we were dropped off and gad dry gear stored.


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 12:10 pm 
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Here is a photo of me from a 2006 goat hunt showing what real fog looks like. Visibility is thirty to maybe fifty feet. Imagine finding your way of a mountain in this stuff, that is what we would likely be facing.

Attachment:
GoatMtn_081806.JPG
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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 12:12 pm 
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Damion Lazzara 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?


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

Please continue :D


Brain cramp over! Me thinks I should retitle!


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 12:26 pm 
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Steve Hohensee wrote:
Here is a photo of me from a 2006 goat hunt showing what real fog looks like. Visibility is thirty to maybe fifty feet. Imagine finding your way of a mountain in this stuff, that is what we would likely be facing.

Attachment:
GoatMtn_081806.JPG

This is the very reason I'm currently debating the purchase of a GPS, just for hunting adventures.


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 12:39 pm 
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We woke up on the start of the sixth day of being tent-bound with that punch in the gut feeling, concerned anticipation for what we faced on our decent from the mountain in braille.

We ate and organized our in-tent gear and crawled out of our wet burrow. Water poured under foot. We were badly cramped and left weak from days of inactivity. Our breathe caught in our throats as we could see the edges of fog patches move across the vacuous valley; an edge on the fog means a deeper view into the distance. The ridgeline two miles distant came into view if only for a moment. Increasing larger openings in the fog floated up the valley riding the south winds.

We might be able to actually see our route down the mountain!

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 12:46 pm 
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We were fairly readily able to pick our way down to the saddle but as we approached the saddle we were pretty concerned that we'd get 'cliffed out' and not safely be able to descend the last two hundred yards. We had a few trick steps but found a route off the small cliff.

The saddle and downward turned out to be a far worse brushy, bouldery mess than what it looked like when we had flown in or from the mountain looking down. It would require careful and deliberate navigation, a common theme in slopes leading to and from goat country.

I snapped this photo showing a wall of fog quickly rolling in that hints at how quickly visibility can be eliminate.

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17-WallofFog (768x1024).jpg
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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 12:54 pm 
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Eventually, several hours later, a wet slimy dual staggered to our gear stash/drop off point. We called the air taxi and called for a pickup.

It is common on Southeast Alaska goat hunts to be trapped in a fog bank for days, everyday hearing planes flying below, in the clean, low elevation sky. Frustrating to say the least!

We had a beautiful flight back to town, flying over ridges we had hunted in the past, and ridges we will hunt in the future.

We communicated by hand signal in the noisy plane when we would see goats on the ridges below or where a great looking route from salt water to goat country appeared, paths to our future alpine adventures!

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 12:55 pm 
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Kevin Dill wrote:
I have a number of questions, but after the story ends.


Go-Yo!


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 2:08 pm 
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Loved the story...well told! Only someone who has been in a near-disaster can appreciate the gut-check / sphincter-clench that happens.

Did that orange-red tent interior affect your mood either positively or otherwise?

Single-wall tent? Condensation?

Notwithstanding weight issues, would 50' of small diameter climbing rope ever be worth carrying?

Small PLB?


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 2:42 pm 
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Kev, Red has been a good color and I haven't found it to affect my mood much when I'm stuck in a tent for days. I like how well it sticks out against the fog. You could easily be within 40 yards of it and not see it when the fog is dense. The red certainly helps in that regard. Or when I'm a long ways off and can clearly see where camp is located.

As for the small dia. climbing rope, we discussed this option after the fact on this hunt and will likely be packing some on our next trip. It would have taken a lot of risk out of Steve's situation.

PLB. . . . I have one and have used it with a lot of frustration. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I've been on hunts where there is no reception and it was completely useless. I've had significantly better luck with sat phones.

Considering we had running water under the tent for almost 5 days straight, we did fine. It will condense significantly if the interior is completely zipped up. But we keep the inside door open and it is actually warmer since it doesn't condense as much and eveything stays a lot drier.

Many lessons to learn still. . . Always learning.


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 2:56 pm 
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Kevin Dill wrote:
Loved the story...well told! Only someone who has been in a near-disaster can appreciate the gut-check / sphincter-clench that happens.

Did that orange-red tent interior affect your mood either positively or otherwise?

Single-wall tent? Condensation?

Notwithstanding weight issues, would 50' of small diameter climbing rope ever be worth carrying?

Small PLB?


Kevin, I will chime in on one, as I know a bit. Research on how color impacts mood has not led to any particularly conclusive findings. Further, to the extent that there is an effect, it is pretty clear too that there are individual differences in how colors impact perceptions, moods, and emotions. In other words, someone who is batshit crazy may react differently to a color than normal well adjusted folks like you and me. In other words, how someone like Steve reacts to that color is probably not generalizable to us. ;)

( didn't want to pass up the chance to call Steve batshit crazy).

Thanks Ben and Steve for the story! A trip you will never forget and one you don't want to repeat; but I am thankful to have read about it. Next time, I am sure you will have sunshine and goats chasing you down to jump on your arrows.

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 3:11 pm 
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That tent is a Helleberg Nallo 3 and actually the interior lining is yellow, same as on their green tents.

Bat$hit crazy? Maybe my grandmother is Nancy Pelosi, lol.


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 3:15 pm 
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Kevin Dill wrote:
Notwithstanding weight issues, would 50' of small diameter climbing rope ever be worth carrying?


I spent some time in the REI climbing area last week in ANC looking at both climbing rope and strap.

The straps seem to have the same break weight but seem much lighter. Anyone here knowledgeable on the two?

I bought 200' of climbing rope back around 2002 but rarely carry it for the weight, bulk issues vs likelihood of use. I think 50' is a better answer.


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 3:32 pm 
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BTW how did your shoulder stand up to all of this? I can only imagine that if you had to rely on your bum wing to get you out of that chute, it was likely a pretty painful scenario?

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 3:50 pm 
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I just bought 240' (actually 480' and split it in 1/2 with a friend) of 1/4" Dyneema rope. If it weighs 3# (I should weigh it just so I know for sure), I'd be surprised. 15 times stronger than steel cable of the same diameter. It also floats, UV and cut resistant. I bought the rope in hopes of hauling a moose out of the drink this year.

I also bought a "Hitch Master" rope pulley system without the wheels. YouTube or Google that one and you will probably be as impressed as I was. It's a product that is sold out of Alaska, and was at my house in 3 days for only $10 in shipping.


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 3:52 pm 
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Ted Kinney wrote:
BTW how did your shoulder stand up to all of this? I can only imagine that if you had to rely on your bum wing to get you out of that chute, it was likely a pretty painful scenario?


I don't think I realistically could have climbed out where Benny did, older, weaker man and wing not at 100%.


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 4:35 pm 
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Ben Pinney wrote:
Kev, Red has been a good color and I haven't found it to affect my mood much when I'm stuck in a tent for days. I like how well it sticks out against the fog. You could easily be within 40 yards of it and not see it when the fog is dense. The red certainly helps in that regard. Or when I'm a long ways off and can clearly see where camp is located.

As for the small dia. climbing rope, we discussed this option after the fact on this hunt and will likely be packing some on our next trip. It would have taken a lot of risk out of Steve's situation.

PLB. . . . I have one and have used it with a lot of frustration. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I've been on hunts where there is no reception and it was completely useless. I've had significantly better luck with sat phones.

Considering we had running water under the tent for almost 5 days straight, we did fine. It will condense significantly if the interior is completely zipped up. But we keep the inside door open and it is actually warmer since it doesn't condense as much and eveything stays a lot drier.

Many lessons to learn still. . . Always learning.



So according to the thoughts I've read, color is a completely individual thing in a tent. I know that light transmission can be a big thing when you're camped and confined under dark skies. You would like the brightness of my white tipi, but not if you couldn't spot it in the fog. I prefer a natural lighting inside a tent.

For rope you might want to check out ebay. There's a guy who sells new remnant sections of BlueWater rope. They are the leftover ends....not full length...but brand new. gringoflojo is the seller.

I'm assuming the plb might have been a SPOT? Those are a privately operated system and prone to issues I've heard. Units by FastFind and Cobham are much more reliable as they are registered to NOAA and operate through the SAR/SAT system. My little FastFind Ranger is a highly regarded plb costing about $250...always in my pack or pocket.

Great story and good opportunity to share knowledge.


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 5:35 pm 
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Mike Vines wrote:
I just bought 240' (actually 480' and split it in 1/2 with a friend) of 1/4" Dyneema rope. If it weighs 3# (I should weigh it just so I know for sure), I'd be surprised. 15 times stronger than steel cable of the same diameter. It also floats, UV and cut resistant. I bought the rope in hopes of hauling a moose out of the drink this year.


You will only need 190' Mike, cut fifty feet off and send it to me! :lol:


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 7:45 pm 
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Another mighty fine story Steve!
Six days in a tent is an extreme test of will power!
The one part of the story that is KTE is "DONT PANIC"
I had a similar experience a couple years ago except I fell, the only reason I'm still here is thanks to a small tree that I went face first into. Better than the 100m drop.
Good yarn Steve!

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 8:07 pm 
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Richard Flett wrote:
I had a similar experience a couple years ago except I fell, the only reason I'm still here is thanks to a small tree that I went face first into. Better than the 100m drop.


Do tell more, heck lil Richie, sounds like an entire story to tell 'yer mates, mate!


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 8:20 pm 
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Good job Ben and Steve!! Fantastic story, thanks for sharing it!!

And Steve....if Nancy Pelosi were your grandmother......"I don't think I could bare it..." (from Tombstone :lol: )

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 8:36 pm 
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Great Story! Hung on every word. Glad you both made it!
I've been in crazy situations Sheep hunting a time or two. Usually by my self. :roll: You get following a sheep trail and next thing you know you're on a ledge staring into a bottomless canyon. ;)
I carried some rope after a few trips just to have something to hang onto if I needed to climb down a scary stretch. There are lots of loose chunks of rope dangling about Canmore.
I never spent 6 days stuck in a tent tho. No thanks.
One night at minus 20.
Oh and the term is Wisconsinite Steve :D


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 9:30 pm 
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Steve Hohensee wrote:

I always try to capture in my facial expression, the frustration of not being able to hunt goats when I was there and raring to go.

Attachment:
13-DayHowMany (1024x768).jpg


That is the same look I get when I ask a question during a Council meeting...


:mrgreen:


Glad you boys made it out. Maybe 100' of 5/16 Dyneema rope next time might be better than a wedge of cheese in your pack!


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 9:33 pm 
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I guess we were all typing at the same time; and are all Monday morning quarterbacks!


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PostPosted: January 17th, 2015, 11:09 pm 
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Great story!!!!


Who was big spoon or little spoon? :ugeek:

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2015, 7:32 am 
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That tent looks like it gets smaller with each passing day.


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2015, 10:12 am 
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Yes, the curry goat at the Indian all you can eat buffet for $8.99 is looking like a real bargain now. No pucker factor involved...unless too much curry spice is added!


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2015, 10:55 am 
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John Vargo wrote:
...unless too much curry spice is added!


I'm glad you added this because if your Indian buffet is anything like mine, there is a quite high pucker factor quotient 20 minutes later

... KTE

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2015, 11:34 am 
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Steve Hohensee wrote:
Mike Vines wrote:
I just bought 240' (actually 480' and split it in 1/2 with a friend) of 1/4" Dyneema rope. If it weighs 3# (I should weigh it just so I know for sure), I'd be surprised. 15 times stronger than steel cable of the same diameter. It also floats, UV and cut resistant. I bought the rope in hopes of hauling a moose out of the drink this year.


You will only need 190' Mike, cut fifty feet off and send it to me! :lol:


Just because I was curios, I went and weighed the rope.

Here is the rope with a standard pen shown for reference...

Image

Here it is on the medical scale...

Image

Here is the weight of 240' of 1/4" Dyneema rope... Weight was 1.75# (breaking strength of over 8000#)

Image

As mentioned earlier, I bought an entire spool of this rope off of EBay and split the rope, and cost, with a friend. I also just bought a rope fid off of eBay, and when it arrives, I plan to weave loops into the ends of the rope for both of us. He doesn't know that...well now he does as he just read this and has a smile on his face. :lol:

I attempted to do the weaving with a homemade fid the other night, but it was wasted effort and I realized why there are commercially available finds at an affordable price offered.


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