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Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hiking

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Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hiking

Old 07-29-15, 10:28 AM
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Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hiking

A friend of mine is an avid "mountain hiker" (not climber) and calls himself a self-taught expert. He's been doing this for 20 years, hiking mountains two to three times a year on his own (he's married and has three children).
Yesterday he posted on Facebook a pamphlet containing "Golden Rules" of mountain hiking at this specific mountain he is planning to go to this weekend. The first Golden Rule says "never go mountain hiking alone, always bring a partner" and he kind of mocks the first rule because he always goes hiking alone and "this rule does not apply to me."

Now, I had no intention making his business my business but out of curiosity I asked him what he would do if he was hit by a falling rock leaving him injured or unable to walk.
He responded with "there are always risks and besides, how many people die every year in car accidents." So I replied "dying in a car accident is tragic. Dying on a mountain because you went alone and didn't obey golden rules is Darwin Award material."

After my reply his friends and family chimed in sort of questioning the safety of his outdoor activities. He later send me a private message thanking me for ruining his weekend and getting his family all riled up.

He claims his mountain hiking contains very little actual climbing and does not require climbing gear. He usually follows a marked trail / path leading up the mountain. Though over the years he has posted minor bruises and cuts, and one time he got lost in the woods for a couple of hours. He also told me he loves to smoke weed once he's on top of the mountain.

Do I have to feel bad for pointing out the rules he posted? Or is mountain hiking not really that dangerous?
Old 07-29-15, 10:30 AM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

Let nature sort the issue out.
Old 07-29-15, 10:33 AM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

What does his smoking habits have to do with this story at all? Are you implying he's ignoring the dangers and being not smart because he smokes??
Old 07-29-15, 10:34 AM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

"This rule does not apply to me" will make a good epitaph for his tombstone.
Old 07-29-15, 10:39 AM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

A local guy here who I had a lot of respect for did the same kind of thing, and got into rock climbing. Didn't tell his wife, who thought he was just doing group stuff. He and another guy ended up falling about 300 feet to their deaths, and the wife had no idea for over a day because no one knew they were doing it.

Just common sense, especially if you have family.
Old 07-29-15, 10:39 AM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

Bad form to call someone out on their Facebook post.
Old 07-29-15, 10:45 AM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

I don't see a problem with it, although it's a good idea to tell people where you are going, and what your planned schedule is. It's also a good idea to tell people if you are rock climbing as opposed to a simple hike.
Old 07-29-15, 11:02 AM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

A friend decided he was going to walk over the Rockies a month or so back and ended up having to be airlifted off a mountain with altitude sickness. He's in great shape, a vet and did a lot of training leading up to his walk.

The lesson I took away is don't try to do that shit. Especially alone (which is what he was doing).
Old 07-29-15, 11:42 AM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

You guys are using extreme examples to project a simple hike on a marked path. Having done it regularly for the past 10 years, I tend to agree with your friend. Most of simple hike on a marked path are baby walks, the paths have been beaten down so much, rattle snake or bear are probably the likely danger you'll encounter than falling rocks or tripping and falling to your death. Given he's married with children, I'm sure he'd have told his wife where and when he's going to hike and when he should expect to be back. That should all that's sufficient to satisfy the Golden rule. These simple hikes are no more dangerous than say your weekend bike ride or a long run. Before calling out on his ego, I'd probably would have either done a little more research or actually participate some of these simple hikes. Heck, about 3/4 of all 14ers in Colorado are on marked trails. Yes, children have regularly summit most of these 14ers.
Old 07-29-15, 01:30 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

Originally Posted by hbilly View Post
A friend of mine is an avid "mountain hiker" (not climber) and calls himself a self-taught expert. He's been doing this for 20 years, hiking mountains two to three times a year on his own (he's married and has three children).
Yesterday he posted on Facebook a pamphlet containing "Golden Rules" of mountain hiking at this specific mountain he is planning to go to this weekend. The first Golden Rule says "never go mountain hiking alone, always bring a partner" and he kind of mocks the first rule because he always goes hiking alone and "this rule does not apply to me."

Now, I had no intention making his business my business but out of curiosity I asked him what he would do if he was hit by a falling rock leaving him injured or unable to walk.

He responded with "there are always risks and besides, how many people die every year in car accidents." So I replied "dying in a car accident is tragic. Dying on a mountain because you went alone and didn't obey golden rules is Darwin Award material."

After my reply his friends and family chimed in sort of questioning the safety of his outdoor activities. He later send me a private message thanking me for ruining his weekend and getting his family all riled up.

He claims his mountain hiking contains very little actual climbing and does not require climbing gear. He usually follows a marked trail / path leading up the mountain. Though over the years he has posted minor bruises and cuts, and one time he got lost in the woods for a couple of hours. He also told me he loves to smoke weed once he's on top of the mountain.

Do I have to feel bad for pointing out the rules he posted? Or is mountain hiking not really that dangerous?
Mountain climbing is very dangerous. Over the years, I've experienced various levels of it (sprains, scrapes, luckily nothing broken). Additionally, there's different levels of what people call "mountain climbing".

It only takes a split second to put your foot just ever so slightly wrong in an area that won't support your weight and/or make your body lean in a wrong direction, and you're screwed.

As you get older...theoretically you also become more "experienced", but you also get more careless. I can sense this from your discussion with your friend of what will eventually happen. Your friend needs to take a step back and understand what he's doing. I've read about so many guys getting killed it's not funny. Mt Hood routinely has people who die from common mistakes. Even while staying on a trail. Because trails can be misleading, depending on weather conditions.

I don't have a problem with people mountain climbing/hiking alone as I've done this 90% of the time. However. You have to make a plan, know where you going, don't divert from your plan, and make sure you have the proper gear. Notify somebody of where you're going and your expected return.

It sounds like he's mostly taking trails up to a mountain, but this can be very dangerous as well, depending on the time of the year. I've almost slid off the side of a cliff because of melting snow in a small area which created a muddy trail for only 30ft or so. The trail was covered by dense plants, and I didn't see it until...I slipped. I had to grab some shrubs as I slowly went towards the edge. Scared the shit out of me. Trails aren't made to be safe. The safe part is all up to the climber and hiker.

If your friend smokes pot, well, all you can do is advise him to have a nice insurance policy on himself for his remaining family. That's just a smart thing to do. Considering medical costs these days, even a broken ankle can cause massive financial impact, depending on where you go for the treatment, and the required transportation.
Old 07-29-15, 02:03 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

Originally Posted by SuperJim88 View Post
You guys are using extreme examples to project a simple hike on a marked path. Having done it regularly for the past 10 years, I tend to agree with your friend. Most of simple hike on a marked path are baby walks, the paths have been beaten down so much, rattle snake or bear are probably the likely danger you'll encounter than falling rocks or tripping and falling to your death. Given he's married with children, I'm sure he'd have told his wife where and when he's going to hike and when he should expect to be back. That should all that's sufficient to satisfy the Golden rule. These simple hikes are no more dangerous than say your weekend bike ride or a long run.
I would agree if you had said "That should be sufficient to guarantee his safety." But if the "Golden Rule" is "never go mountain hiking alone, always bring a partner", then I'm sorry, but anything short of bringing a partner is insufficient for satisfying the Golden Rule. I believe the hiker in question is being called out more on his hypocrisy (blatant) than on his disregard for safety (sounds minimal).

Originally Posted by SuperJim88 View Post
Before calling out on his ego, I'd probably would have either done a little more research or actually participate some of these simple hikes. Heck, about 3/4 of all 14ers in Colorado are on marked trails. Yes, children have regularly summit most of these 14ers.
I don't think you'd be allowed to participate in any of the simple hikes. His friend prefers to hike alone, I'm guessing he doesn't want to share his weed. Based on the last two sentences of your post, I'm also guessing its a valid concern.
Old 07-29-15, 02:05 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

He's not actually mountain climbing, he is an Ashely Madison member.
Old 07-29-15, 02:06 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

Originally Posted by hbilly View Post
After my reply his friends and family chimed in sort of questioning the safety of his outdoor activities. He later send me a private message thanking me for ruining his weekend and getting his family all riled up.
At this point, I would have sat back and smiled. Seriously, if you rip on a buddy, and his friends and family all chime in and support what you wrote - that is as clear as it gets!
Old 07-29-15, 02:09 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

Originally Posted by Shoveler View Post
I would agree if you had said "That should be sufficient to guarantee his safety." But if the "Golden Rule" is "never go mountain hiking alone, always bring a partner", then I'm sorry, but anything short of bringing a partner is insufficient for satisfying the Golden Rule. I believe the hiker in question is being called out more on his hypocrisy (blatant) than on his disregard for safety (sounds minimal).
That doesn't guarantee his safety either. If he tells his wife he will be back by 9 PM, and he gets seriously injured at 5 PM, then that is a long time for him to be lying there seriously injured. He could very well die before his wife even gets suspicious of him not being back on time.

Nothing can substitute for actually having a partner right there beside you. If you get hurt at 5 PM, then your partner can go get help immediately. You don't have to lie there for hours hoping someone finds you.
Old 07-29-15, 03:02 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

From the sounds of it, the hiker would probably follow the take-a-buddy rule but he's such an insufferable twat he could never get anyone to agree to go with him, hence the solo attitude.

But seriously, take-a-buddy is such a damn good idea. The safety benefit being paramount, there's also the deeper enjoyment through sharing experiences with a friend.
Old 07-29-15, 03:08 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

You would be surprised the number of people that solo hike a through hike or even a large section hike of the Appalachian Trail. A day hike is dumb enough but a through hike is suicidal to me. To me solo hiking is just a matter of time before something goes wrong, play those odds.
Old 07-29-15, 03:11 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

All he needed to do was post on his Facebook page that you had upset him and had you "like" the status. Problem solved.
Old 07-29-15, 03:28 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

Originally Posted by SuperJim88 View Post
You guys are using extreme examples to project a simple hike on a marked path. Having done it regularly for the past 10 years, I tend to agree with your friend. Most of simple hike on a marked path are baby walks, the paths have been beaten down so much, rattle snake or bear are probably the likely danger you'll encounter than falling rocks or tripping and falling to your death. Given he's married with children, I'm sure he'd have told his wife where and when he's going to hike and when he should expect to be back. That should all that's sufficient to satisfy the Golden rule. These simple hikes are no more dangerous than say your weekend bike ride or a long run. Before calling out on his ego, I'd probably would have either done a little more research or actually participate some of these simple hikes. Heck, about 3/4 of all 14ers in Colorado are on marked trails. Yes, children have regularly summit most of these 14ers.
I tend to agree. While I've always taken other people along on hikes simply because it's an activity I like doing with others, I don't see much of a problem with people who go alone, I'm assuming to get away from it all and get some peace and quiet by themselves. If he chooses not to bring a buddy on his hikes (anything beyond just a simple hike, I'd agree needs two or more) then letting people know where he's going is the next best thing, which he appears to have done with his Facebook post talking about the hike he has planned for the weekend.

However, that being said, the OP's friend was a dumbass from the start for posting the list of "Golden Rules" in the first place. If he has no intention of following them then posting them is pointless and can only bring out comments such as the OP's.
Old 07-29-15, 03:30 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

Pacific Crest Trail is one the of the most popular hiking trails there is. Many solo hikers.
While letting someone know where you are going is one way to be smart, that doesn't mean you cant get lost or hurt. But at least they have a good idea if they need to go looking for you. I myself would never go at it alone, but that's up to the hiker. But mocking the first 'Golden Rule' on FB just makes you look like an asshole IMO. Those are the guys that shit happens to.

As for the whole calling him out on FB thing goes, it's FB. People comment. That's what it's there for.
How did he not think anyone would reply to him pointing out he disregards the 'Golden Rule'.

Bottom line is there are many solo hikers out there but it really isn't a good idea on long trips. Even small hikes in the local mountains here have turned deadly for solo hikers. Anythig can happen and it's the risk you take.
Old 07-29-15, 04:08 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

His posting the Golden Rules was kind of dumb, but as others have said solo hiking in itself is not that risky. However, Murphy's Law can strike at any time (i.e. watch the movie 127 Hours). If his family is really concerned, they should pony up the cash for an emergency locator beacon.

All the trails around here are packed with folks from the city. Kill yourself on a trail in my neck of the woods and somebody is likely to stumble upon your cooling body in about 15-20 minutes.
Old 07-29-15, 04:37 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

Solo hiking is not smart, but maybe he could get a Sat Phone. That might make his family feel a little better.
Old 07-29-15, 05:09 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

I live in a place where pretty much everyone hikes, and I have never heard any such golden rule that solo hiking is bad. The rule is "always let people know where you're going and when you expect to return". There are some activities that are bad to do solo: backcountry skiing in avalanche terrain, for ex, but hiking up mountains isn't one. A Spot locator is all he needs to soothe any concerns.

Nevertheless, he was dumb for posting rules that he didn't intend to follow, notwithstanding that the rules were wrong to begin with.
Old 07-29-15, 05:13 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
I tend to agree. While I've always taken other people along on hikes simply because it's an activity I like doing with others, I don't see much of a problem with people who go alone,
Originally Posted by LurkerDan View Post
I live in a place where pretty much everyone hikes, and I have never heard any such golden rule that solo hiking is bad.
Alright!! Coloradans unite!! You people should listen more to Coloradans. When it comes to mountains, we know what we're talking about.
Old 07-29-15, 05:26 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

What's the hiking rule so that you don't mistakenly find yourself over the border in N. Korea or Iran?
Old 07-29-15, 06:31 PM
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Re: Weed smoking mountain hiking friend upset because I pointed out the dangers of hi

I'll add: If you can't read a friggin map, use a compass, lack common sense and are not in shape then, yes, solo hiking can be dangerous.

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