Categories

Disclaimer

De meningen ge-uit door medewerkers en studenten van de TU Delft en de commentaren die zijn gegeven reflecteren niet perse de mening(en) van de TU Delft. De TU Delft is dan ook niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van hetgeen op de TU Delft weblogs zichtbaar is. Wel vindt de TU Delft het belangrijk - en ook waarde toevoegend - dat medewerkers en studenten op deze, door de TU Delft gefaciliteerde, omgeving hun mening kunnen geven.

Grand Idiotic Hike

I’ve made in Aspen this weekend. My initial plan was to make a circuit tour in Hunter Creek-Frying Pan wilderness area east of the city to cover 40-50 km of trails. I was planning to start Friday morning and, with some luck, be back in town Friday close to midnight, or, without, Saturday morning. Eventually, I was met by mountain resque in 3 km from the town: that was Monday 2:30 pm. A long relaxing weekend.

My mistake had deep roots: relaying on indirect sources of information like Internet and topo-maps. The trails looked perfect on the maps. Four years ago during my previous visit to  Aspen I made 40% of the circuit to find resonably well-marked and walkable trails. By symmetry consideration, that should apply to the rest of the circuit. It took me a while to understand that the trails became increasingly worse and eventually ceased to exist. By that time it did not look like a good idea to turn back, since there were no trail in any direction. Indeed, later I have heard that the trails are abandoned decades ago. 

My GPS unit honestly wanted to help for 2,5 days, last half of the day showing 0% of charge remaining (and the trails that unfortunately did not exist). Later I had to relay on my recollection of the local geography and teenager experience of beyond-the-route hiking in Siberian hills. The later was not completely irrelevant: I would define the local forest as mountain "taiga", and the landscape of creek-cut hills and rocks looked familiar.

Unfortunately, I think I developed a light mountain madness: sometimes I’ve heard and seen strange things and decisions I made on the way , while looking back on it, did not look at all optimal. For instance, when I found a trail it took me several attempts to figure out a good direction: the right answer eventually was that no direction is good. If there were no such things, I’d be back on Sunday morning.

Anyway: my wife called mountain rescue Monday 2 a.m. and they meet me several miles near the city. While I did not need the directions anymore, I certainly appreciated the lift to the town, luxurous meal and tons of warm attention  they provide. Thank you, Scott Messina, for finding me, Hugh Zuker for being a president of such needed NON-PROFIT VOLUNTARY organization. They of course cooperate with law enforcement: it was my pleasure to meet the sheriff and his deputy. Many thanks to everybody.

Finally, I propose that Pitkin county (that could be the richest in US) invests in restoring the trails. First, that could save several lifes of Internet-dependent geeks, Second: though this may sound shameless after making so much idiotic things, but I enjoyed the hike. It’s a truly beautiful wild country. Would not mind to repeat it: if there are trails…

 

 

Be Sociable, Share!

4 comments

That’s a great story Yuli! It must have been a bit disappointing to be ‘rescued’ when you almost reached your goal.

So am I, Frank:)
Next time in Algonquin:)

Wow, that sounds scary! We are all glad that you made it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2011 TU Delft