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This site was created as a journal about adventure in the mountains, on the bike, in the ocean and enjoying the great outdoors. From time to time I will post these experiences so others may learn more about them and hopefully enjoy them as well.

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2009-03-28

Ostrander V7 - Day 1: Classic Backcountry Mistake

Today was our first day of our annual trip into Ostrander Ski Hut. For me the trip of 9 miles, on skis, took 5 hours and 15 minutes. The weather was great and we had a nice lunch overlooking the yosemite valley, while perched on Horizon Ridge. The Horizon Ridge route is not easy. With about 1,200 feet of climbing over the three miles to Heart Attack Hill. Usually this route wipes out one of us.

This year there was this one guy, let's call him Ponce, who was convinced he was not in good shape and was insistant that he would take the Bridalviel Creek Trail. A trail he had never been on but one that supposedly is much less hilly even though it is 1.5 miles longer.

We all tried real hard to convince Ponce not to do it alone and to follow us, even if he was slow. He would not listen and went off on his own. So our group eaded out on Horizon Ridge to the hut, while Ponce went on his way by himself. 4 hours later, when I was about 1/2 mile from the hut, we established radio contact with Ponce, who told us he took a wrong turn, accidently made a loop, and was now 4 miles from the base of Heart Attack Hill. In other words, after 4 hours of trudging around with a 45 pound+ pack Ponce was FARTHER from Heart Attack Hill than when he split from us at the Horizon Ridge trail.

All told it took him 10 hours to get in. We sent somebody from the cabin to grab his pack when we knew he was 1.5 miles away. Actually a good citizen as all our group was too tired.

The mistake? Never let somebody split from your group by themselves. It was almost bad, but luckily Ponce is here. He is hobbling and really sore.

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