Ranger Dave on dangerous times

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      I was up over last weekend on Vivian and saw a lot of unprepared people.  This is probably the most dangerous time of the year because of the weather.  You see, down in town it’s summer, up in the 80’s or even 90’s.  People come up on the trails not knowing it’s still winter up there and they are completely unprepared for the snow and cold.  I saw running shoes, shorts, some micro spikes, some crampons, some ice axes, some gear and some no gear.  One person would have crampons on the other didn’t have any, what’s the point of that?  Some had the crampons with no ice axe!  How are you going to stop a fall and slide on the ice without an ice axe?  The two MUST go together.  So, I’m going up tomorrow for the weekend on Vivian to High Creek overnight Friday and Saturday.  There is still a lot of snow up there, ice axe and crampons ARE MANDATORY!  I did not need snow shoes myself and will not be bringing them this weekend, but….  snow shoes are a safety piece and I can not tell you to not bring them, I’m just telling you that i’m not.  If you plan on staying overnight, it’s cold, probably 20 degrees, that’s what it was last weekend.  Don’t believe the forecast, always drop 10 degrees off it.  Remember, during the day it can be really warm and everything gets soft and mushy but then freezes solid ice during the night.  Areas that don’t get sun can remain ice.  Also remember my moto:  ALWAYS BE PREPARED TO SPEND THE NIGHT, yes on day hikes.  You don’t put on your seat belt just on the day you’re going to get in an accident do you?  Three things to carry that can save your life if you get lost or injured and have to spend an unplanned night.  Sleeping bag, foam pad, and bivy sack.  Just 5lbs of gear, that’s all it is, DO IT, please.  Make sure you have your permit, because if I catch you without one I call in the helicopter and take you to jail.  Don’t worry, the helicopter pilots like the practice.  See you up there mountaineers.

      Ranger Dave out.

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