what to do?
Subway trip June 10th. As we dropped a vehicle at the exit, a single hiker hitched a ride with us to the trailhead. Fine, not a problem. Started out on the trail and it quickly became apparent he was going to track with our group of 8. Had a hiking pole, a single drybag rigged with nylon rope to sling over his shoulders. He was from a Southern state, about 50 and overweight. Not a lot of social skills.
We kept getting questions about the route. During the descent into Russell Gulch the drybag kept getting stuck, it probably weighed 30 lbs. Going was not easy. We moved on to the boulder rappel and started moving our group down the route. This gentleman arrived and wondered about the best way down. No harness but did have some rope. No wetsuit. I determined he had a permit or would have sent him back.
We did not assist him down the boulder, and moved on down the canyon. There were groups behind us. I'm just wondering what the ethics of a situation like this are? Would you have said anything to him? I'm still feeling a little haunted by the experience.
BTW, Subway was in wonderful condition, beautiful light and we had an outstanding trip.
06-12-2012 10:53 AM
That's a conundrum. This oughtta be an interesting thread.
Hmmmm. 50-ish, overweight, and no social skills. I know what you are thinking. IT WAS NOT ME. (Yes, I lived in Texas and can put on a drawal on demand)
This is a tough one. He clearly wanted to do it himself as he went by himself and apparently had a single permit.
I for one never have a problem helping others in a canyon particularly when they have problems or look like they are going to have problems. I think you probably handled it just fine. If there weren't other groups behind him then I may have stopped for lunch or a long break and let him get well ahead just in case. I may have kept him in my sights if I really thought there was going to be a problem until the last challenge at the pools section/last rap. After that, it is just river walking and boulder hopping and I would likely have instructed him to look for the exit sign and then bolted out of there. I would think you have no particular duty to include him in your group though. I am sure there are some who would feel no sense of obligation whatsoever anytime but that is not me. I'd rather spend a little time helping than reading about some rescue I may have been able to help avoid.
Bottom Tier Superhero
I'm not responsible for the safety of those outside my group.... so no ethical dilemma for me.
How much I decide to interact with others outside my group depends on many things... I often help other groups if I can see they are in way over their heads.... I've also told my partner lets get the hell outta here before we have to rescue their dumbasses before....
Dunno. Sounds like he did ok though? Didn't hear about a rescue.
Yeah, if he was surely going to get hurt, then I'd intervene. I've seen lots of cold, wet, fat, slow, under equipped hikers in The Subway. They always make it out. (I know... almost always).
I often wonder how some hiker's adventures are going to unfold, but never bad enough to stick around and find out.
Given your circumstances, I probably would have done the same thing.
no conundrum. leave him behind and forget about him. he was on his own when you met him and that way when you left. not my responsibility to protect you from yourself. if i did come on him and he truly needed help then i would help him.
I can see your point, but you are still full of shit!
WoW! Small world! We (A group of 5) passed you just at the bottom of the slickrock before entering the trees at the start. We were the group that scurried by you and stayed high on the slickrock as you were searching for the trail into the woods. BTW...if you stay high on the slickrock you'll avoid hiking thru the woods entirely, and that's how we got so far ahead of you. Anyway as we walked down a wash between the manzanita we came to a Ponderosa next to the wash and saw the man you are referring to. To us it seemed that he had camped beneath the pine tree? He was certainly not looking as though his intent was to descend and thru-hike the Subway? With some sort of shoulder bag I guessed that he was just out for a stroll the evening prior and was just beginning his morning quest? Anyway, he didn't ask us if he could tag along and we exchanged greetings, then bid farewell. If he'd asked us to tag along I probably would have asked his qualifications and inquired as to what equipment he had with him, i.e. wetsuit, gloves, harness, food, water, etc.? I would have wanted to know what skills he had that would enable him to continue?
Originally Posted by waterluver
Anyway, we haven't heard of any hikers in the Subway that were in need of assistance. I did however get put on alert of a family of 5 in Kolob Creek that was well overdue and also a group of 2 in Imlay that was overdue. I was to initially hike Kolob Creek all the way out thru the Narrows on Tuesday morning, but the family walked out monday evening safely but 24+ hours off schedule, then I was asked later that evening to hike Imlay Tuesday morning to search for the party of 2 that was overdue and was notified around midnight that they had walked out of the Narrows once again safely 24+ hours overdue! Whew!
Wow...folks have epics. Durable little buggers, eh?
Bottom Tier Superhero
Canyoneering is a fine healthy sport. It is much healthier than most; look at football, where 50,000 sit on their ass to watch a handful of players.