|By ChaseLeoncini |
From San Diego, California
Aug 1, 2013
Welp.... Here we are again. Cruising the forum trying to find ANYTHING to kill the time. Anything we can contribute to or reflect on. Something to learn or teach, somewhere to LOL or ROTF. . . and there just isn't anything. We checked RC.com and there aint shit over there, as usual soooo... Let's hear those scares of a lifetime (so-far ;) ).
BUT! I know, i know, we've seen this thread 1000 times. Right. But let's see some other stories that aren't just about climbing. Climbing stories are of course welcomed but let's see some stories about: Snow, Surf, Skate, Ski, Bmx, Mountain Biking, Motocross, Dirt Biking, Quads, Drag Racing, Drifting, Scuba Diving, Sky Diving, Hunting, Horseback or Bulls. Did anyone ever get lost somewhere crazy? Nearly eaten alive? Anyone get stuck in a machine or trapped in a cave? Hell, anyone stepped on an urchin or lost their flip flop? Give us something entertaining to read! We got too much time! Let's kill it!
I got one to start....
|By ChaseLeoncini |
From San Diego, California
Aug 1, 2013
6 months ago I met this new dive partner in a scuba rescue class i took here locally (ironic kinda). We decided to go out for a night dive.
We go out. Its pitch black this day, especially floating around at 80' deep. After a while i tap him and tell him to turn. We agreed on the surface we'd turn around at 1200 (a decent amount of air to safely return with even some extra). He looks at me funny and i throw up the T with both my hands again. (I keep a light on my forearm that lights up my hands in the dark). He nods with acknowledement and continues what he was doing. . . hm. He must have a plan or is gonna wait a bit longer. I follow...
At 1000 air left i grab him and flash to 5's in his face. He nods again, this time a bit more frustrated. He then turns back east and heads toward the shore. Sweet.
...wait a minute. Where's my gopro? Awe shit it was right here. The lines gone! I spin around looking all around the floor; its nowhere! After 20 seconds I look up and he's disappearing into the black. I got his attention with my light and he turned back towards me. He asks me what's wrong and i pointed to his gopro. He knew right away and began to dive deeper to look. At 80' with 1000 air i dont have time to be going deeper. I grabbed his BC (life jacket if you will) and pull him back up telling him forget it. He takes lead east again and i follow. Incredibally bummed.
At about 50' I was clawing through the sand when my gopro and its line floated in front of my mask. WTF!? I motion for Bob and he and i laughed about it.
Just then a seal swoops in front of our light and snacks on a fish. Scares the shit out of you at first because you just see this huge black creature haulin ass towards you in the dark. We watched for a moment and then i shined my light back on my wrist computer, 500! We need to ascend now! I tell my partner i got 500 left and he gets pissed! I'm like wtf? ive been telling you every 250 f***** pounds. We agree to rise to 30' and level off. I went up and looked downto see him still cruisin east on the sand. My thinking is well i got 500 air if i run out ill have to surface if he's not with me. I cruise back down again panicing because in the dark i cant see my air unless i stop and take the time to shine my light on my watch. Im not gonna do that ill waste more air! I grab him and tell him to go up, He doesn't want to. I pull him, he pulls me. I pull him, he pulls me. Finally after fighting with him he just throws me and im like wtf? Then he gets small, fast. Literally a second later i feel my feet kicking out of the water.
(A note: Ascents like the one i just made you can give you the bends. Basically, too much nitrogen absorbed in the body and when not properly decompressed causes nitrogen bubbles in your blood that can kill you. Picture shaking a soda and taking the cap off. The fizz. )
i flip around facing west. In an instant i realized that while fighting with him i must have been breathing heavily which caused me to float, then the air expanded in my bc due to less pressure and i began to ascend rapidly. Of course, being night with 10 ft viz, i didn't see any of it happening.
So, there i was, staring at the endless blue, the moon, and the stars, alone, thinking am i going to fuckin die?
I turn around and see that the shore is probably 600' away. If i do have the bends, i'm not gonna make it.
I relaxed myself and as calmly as i could swam for the shore. I thought at any second (after his safety stop) that my partner would join me. He never did. He had a huge tank. So, i just watched his little light buzzing below me at around 30', and kept swimming.
Long story short(er) i didn't have the bends (although i did get a pretty bad headache once i was home. ???), and when i discussed what happened with my partner he told me that my light on my forearm blocked everything i was showing him. He never knew how much air i had until i told him 500. He took no blame but i still feel it was partly both our fault.
That's one story. Let's keep this going.
|By johnnyrig |
Aug 1, 2013
What do you do when you're lost in a blizzard at 7400 feet, in the dark, with no survival gear?
| || really dude... you gota take pictures NOW? take another one... I f&*n dare you... |
We'd spent four days trying to fill a cow elk tag in the Jarbidge wilderness of Nevada, hiking and driving without seeing any sign of an elk. It snowed on us a little, and we had hiked up and down until our legs were sore and it was all we could do to fix dinner and crash back at camp. Nobody else was around, 60 miles from nowhere, in winter.
| || camp |
The scenery is breathtaking, and there are some impressive looking chosspiles that just beg to be climbed by some brave and foolish soul.
| || desert |
| || mountain |
On the fifth day, we got an early start to the south of where we'd been. My partner stayed in the truck to sleep while I got a true alpine start and was on the ridgetop by daybreak. The wind was miserable. But here, FINALLY, there were tracks. No elk, just sign they'd been there, then gone. The wind was miserably cold. It came in sneaky breezes that crept coldly under the jacket, and jagged gusts that stabbed at the cheeks and through the thinsulate.
I braced against a pocket of rock and glassed. Nothing. North, south east west, nothing. I started down. I was tired, hungry, deflated. A damn miserable enormous gust came up and I hunkered in to the nearest alcove of rock, a mere two foot wedge that shielded my body if I nearly lay flat and wait for it to pass. So I glassed again just for kicks. Something moved on the last ridge in sight.
Was it a deer? Maybe a horse? Maybe just the sun (now it was finally up) reflecting off a far away choss pile. I wiped the frost off the lenses and looked again. Three brown spots moved again on the ridgeline. The little walmart binocs just weren't up to the task of definitive identification, no matter how I cleaned the lenses. So, down to the truck, at least with a bit of hope.
| || from the ridgetop |
The ridge was five miles as the crow flies, through the wilderness too. The road went around fifteen miles, and there was a little red line on the map that led up the ridge toward where the elk (if it was them) should be, if the road existed. We made the run. Ten miles of good dirt road, followed by two miles of muddy ruts that were mostly as frozen as our 5 gallon water jugs, then three miles of snowy switchbacks to gain the ridgeline that put us within a mile and a half of the herd. More tracks. NOthing moving.
Again, my partner waited in the truck (he's a city-folk kind of guy, this high altitude hiking with a pack in the snow just ain't for him you see, and he was exhausted). I crept through valleys and pinions, snowy tracks, and a bitter wind that picked up enough to keep the sun's warmth at bay. Popped over a ridge, and to my surprise, there was a herd of elk 6 or 7 hundred yards out, and downhill.
The wind was wrong, blowing directly from me to them. I was much too far to even consider a shot with my grandfather's gun. I had to get closer.
| || elk through binocs |
Now, most of you who've been to some great place up north where the elk graze in your front lawn probably think sneaking up on an elk is pointless, as there'd just be no sneaking required. I can assure you, outside the city they're a lot more skittish. So I crept, in some cases on my belly, until I was close enough for a certain shot. Boom. Thwack. And the herd ran off in the trees. Great. Now I'm stalking a wounded elk. NOT good. So off I went to track.
My elk went fifty yards, and was dead when I arrived.
Buddy in the truck awakes to a two-way radio screaming "help, help... I need help" and panic sets in. Where was I? WTF happened? What does he do now? But what I was saying was "elk, elk... I got an elk!" Anyways, he brings the truck to the end of the road, parked on a point at 7400 feet, within sight of me, and he heads down with an empty pack.
It's half a mile in a straight line uphill to the truck, through two washes and around a set of boulders as big as a three story house. We're hauling 60-80 pound packs of meat. The sun's going down. And a storm is blowing in. Fast. Temp's dropping, and now we're in a hurry. And flat-ass wore out. Buddy twists and ankle on the first trip. He sits out the second. I arrive at the truck at dusk, we converse about the possibility of a bivvy. But we need to beat the storm, get down off the mountain while we can. So with snow falling and sun fallen, I set out for the third trip, and at least one more to go.
But he follows me, all rested and stubborn.
Last of the elk is packed, and by now it's well dark. The snow is blowing, and we can't see more than a dozen feet or so with the headlamps. 50 feet and slam! Down he goes, the other ankle twisted. Damn! But he's up and moving, and we continue on. A hundred yards, and the snow is getting thick. Can't see landmarks. But we've crossed the first ravine, so it's just around the big rocks and uphill.
But the rocks are gone! Now that it's steep though, he ain't moving so good any more. The ankles both hurt. He asks how much further. I'm silent. He realizes we're lost. F*&k! Choice words between us. He slows down. Making three feet of progress a minute, and we got just under an uphill-thrashing, snow slogging, twisted-ankle, angry partner quarter mile to go. Did I mention the lost part? He wants to give up, stop and sleep now. I consider it...
Double f&*K! Left all the survival gear in the truck after the first trip in the haste to get the elk up! Not good... cold and wet now too. Not prepared for this. Don't want to die, don't want to explain losing him to his wife. I take his pack. We stay going uphill and right.
The ridge levels, the snow is piling up. We're in unfamiliar trees. The hilltop is round. Snow coming in thick and sideways. No sense of direction, cause it aint just sideways, it's swirling and we're on a knoll. Where the f&*k to now? Try to stop and build fire? Freeze through the night and maybe not make it? Leave him and try to find the truck? Oh hell no...
Phone has a damn compass! No cell service, no damn gps sattelites, but the damn compass works! We're going west, we turn south. Three hundred yards, up a hands-and-knees kind of pulling-on-brush slope and pop out at the truck. Ahhhhhhhhh...
Friend passes out. Full set of chains on all four wheels to get down the mountain, still sliding out of control at times, caught one chain in the steering and near went off a cliff. Finally, down off the mountain and straight to Elko for a hotel, hot shower, and food.
The guy in the suit in the hallway at 1am didn't say much, but then who would to a homeless-lookin dude all wet and bloody and smiling?
Best tasting meat ever. And we only almost died.
| || sunset |
|By ChaseLeoncini |
From San Diego, California
Aug 2, 2013
It would be moment like those that i would hope i just finished a season of Bear Grylls. Glad you guys made it out. And yes, the meal after a near death is always the best meal, and the sunset too is always the best.
I think its funny how when were in moments like those we think oh my God this sucks but after a few weeks we look back and see it as an adventure. Although we don't wish it upon us again, we urge for that same rush somewhere and another amazing story to tell again. A man vs nature. Legendary stories. Such, i feel, may be the reason we climb. Freedom, adventure, adreniline, and victory. . .
|By Merlin |
From Grand Junction
Aug 2, 2013
There are 30 pack of coors hunters sighting from the road and there are hunters. You seem like the second kind. Hell of a story :) My last elk should have been all turned to ground meat, glad yours is tasty.