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MikeinMpls
distinguished member(674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/26/2020 08:16PM
Does anyone know the details of an incident on Fourtown yesterday morning that required the sheriff rescue team? One of the sheriff team only told me one member of a group was "tired," so obviously he didn't want to tell me anything (and I understand he didn't need to, for several reasons.) But if anyone can share some information, I'd love to know.

Mike
 
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PuffinGin
distinguished member (410)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/27/2020 08:57AM
I don't have information about this incident but decided to check here after seeing a Facebook post on St. Louis Co Rescue Squad's page (posted 13 hrs ago).

Copy of the text of that post:
"Kristian snaps a photo from an island on Fourtown Lake in the BWCA as a squall line passes overhead. In an operation that took most of yesterday, Kristian, Jake, Ami, Hannah, and Campbell rescued nine individuals who had become stranded in the backcountry. Friends, when venturing into the "B-Dub," wear your PFD whenever you're in a boat, have a solid Plan-B for when your Plan-A doesn't work, and carry a "bailout-bag" style daypack with gear sufficient for you to hunker down if you can't make it back to Base Camp. Enjoy the woods, but be safe out there, eh?"

I'm sure it is a privacy issue that prevents members of the rescue squad from sharing many details. Sounds like it was a difficult or at least time-consuming rescue and was successful.

I so appreciate all the great effort the rescue squad does to help folks in need in our area. The folks in the Rescue Squad are all volunteers! Thank you for all your work during rescue and all the training you do to be prepared!

I too will check back to see what others may know.

 
07/27/2020 11:28AM
Sounds odd for 9 people to be stranded on an island in Fourtown . . . maybe they lost their watercraft? But . . . ?
 
airmorse
distinguished member(2695)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/27/2020 11:41AM
Edit...

That does sound odd. I wonder if they are going to get charged for their "rescue". I've been tired many times. I did not know that calling the USFS was an option.
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/27/2020 12:02PM
I don't think there are any island campsites on Fourtown, unless campsite 1102 is. I did not get that far north, and map images don't make it clear. I'm sure others know. Nevertheless, I thought the group I saw at campsite 1105 arriving on Thursday were the ones they were rescuing. However, there was a steady stream of three and four canoe groups all week, as can be expected, so I may be wrong.

As for the possibility of losing a canoe(s): I can't imagine a group, even inexperienced, can lose four canoes... or if they did, lack any imagination of how to find them and get them back to camp.

I spoke to two squad members as they passed me. One appeared to be the supervisor, and he told me he didn't really know the substance of the rescue. I'm sure he did, of course. The other squad member simply told me someone was "tired." I respect the concept of confidentiality and I understand why they wouldn't share much. Of course, that just heightened my curiosity.

Hmmmm

Mike

 
missmolly
distinguished member(6919)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/27/2020 12:26PM
MikeinMpls: "I don't think there are any island campsites on Fourtown, unless campsite 1102 is. I did not get that far north, and map images don't make it clear. I'm sure others know. Nevertheless, I thought the group I saw at campsite 1105 arriving on Thursday were the ones they were rescuing. However, there was a steady stream of three and four canoe groups all week, as can be expected, so I may be wrong.


As for the possibility of losing a canoe(s): I can't imagine a group, even inexperienced, can lose four canoes... or if they did, lack any imagination of how to find them and get them back to camp.


I spoke to two squad members as they passed me. One appeared to be the supervisor, and he told me he didn't really know the substance of the rescue. I'm sure he did, of course. The other squad member simply told me someone was "tired." I respect the concept of confidentiality and I understand why they wouldn't share much. Of course, that just heightened my curiosity.


Hmmmm


Mike


"


If they were truly tired, that gives me an idea: The next time I'm craving pizza in canoe country, I'm activating my PLB.
 
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2330)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/27/2020 01:08PM
Stranded doesn’t necessarily mean they lost their canoes. Could be they just could not paddle into the wind to get back to camp from the island or somewhere else. The photo on FB showed a squall approaching. Maybe that’s what they meant by having a bailout bag with gear to hunker down.
 
07/27/2020 04:16PM
It just says they were stranded on an island, no mention of campsite, and there are islands on Fourtown.
 
dzander7
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
 
07/29/2020 09:48PM
This is absolute stupidity!



Fourtown Rescue
 
Minnesotian
distinguished member(1842)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/29/2020 10:01PM

I am speechless.
That is really dumb.
 
bentshaft
distinguished member (147)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/29/2020 10:05PM
dzander7: "This is absolute stupidity!

Fourtown Rescue "

Speechless
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13338)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/29/2020 10:07PM
Wow, just wow. It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant people are when they go into a wilderness area. Now I know to most of us here the BWCA is not a true wilderness. But to the group from St Louis Park this might have been the very first time in any woods. Not like Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. Way over estimated their ability. So many mistakes were made here. They were kind of lucky their poor judgement did not get them in any more trouble. I wonder if they can recoup some of the money for this rescue? Probably not. Hats off the the St Louis County rescuers. According to the article they get their money from donations, and I would hope this group donated.
 
nofish
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07/29/2020 10:18PM
When you find that you can't go any further with your canoes how is it possible that turning around and going back the way you came isn't the first option you select. To leave your canoes and your pfd's and decide to walk and then hitch a ride back to camp has got to be the dumbest decision I can imagine. After talking to the outfitter I also can't believe they thought calling a rescue squad was in order. They were not in a situation that couldn't be overcome by a little hard work and creativity. I hope the outfitter and the rescue squad sends them a bill for their time and energy required to get them out and to go retrieve all the gear.
 
jhb8426
distinguished member(1155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/29/2020 10:42PM
You just can't make this stuff up any more.
Unbelievable...
 
airmorse
distinguished member(2695)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/29/2020 10:43PM
That is 100% F'd up. I could not imagine ever doing anything like that. I realize we were all first timers at one point, but come on. They should be required to pay 100% of the bill and cover any expenses incurred by the outfitter to retrieve their equipment. WOW!!!
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12725)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/29/2020 10:55PM
Its getting out of control. Also I would like to see a intensive check on campers-how many really have a permit this year?
 
07/29/2020 11:04PM
I'm getting quite nervous that what has happened this summer in the BW is going to become more and more common which in mind mind is a terrible thing. Just like the pine tree cut down in the campsite last week it's becoming a weekly contest of stupidity.
 
07/29/2020 11:07PM
Maybe they need to add a rule that newbies hire a guide for their first trip or two. They could also teach proper LNT and clean camp lessons.
 
07/29/2020 11:15PM
OMG
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12725)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/29/2020 11:15PM
minnmike: " Maybe they need to add a rule that newbies hire a guide for their first trip or two. They could also teach proper LNT and clean camp lessons."

I hear what your saying and wonder about it. But I surely don't hope it comes to that. All of us are newbies at one time and survived. A small-very small percent does this happen too. Its a numbers game and there is more numbers(people) this year. I hope Outfitters etc. encourage at least one person have a little experience.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12725)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/29/2020 11:25PM
 
jhb8426
distinguished member(1155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 01:24AM
Hopefully these people learned a valuable lesson and will NEVER return to the BWCA
 
Duckman
distinguished member (404)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 05:24AM
If I’m on the rescue squad I would have been tempted to take some of the team and a few canoes and go haul their rigs back to them before going through that circus of getting them out.

“Here are your canoes, I see you still have way too much food, have a good rest of your trip.”

Now given the tired group’s decision making to that point, getting them out was probably the right call, but I still would have been tempted.
 
acanoer
member (36)member
 
07/30/2020 05:36AM
jhb8426: "Hopefully these people learned a valuable lesson and will NEVER return to the BWCA "

Hopefully they learn their lessons and return to do it the right way the next time.

In the 50 plus years of traveling and camping in the back country I have ran into all kinds some came back to enjoy it. Others learned it was not their thing.

Every one has to began some where.
 
07/30/2020 05:47AM
Stupidity on any given day, but during a pandemic they put themselves and the rescuers at an even greater risk. The adults in this group should be ashamed but as they say, ignorance is bliss.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6919)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/30/2020 06:24AM
I just hope this group is consistent. For example, if they're in a traffic jam, they should abandon their cars and walk home. Then, instead of calling 911 to report lost cars, they should call their local Chevy dealer and buy some new ones.
 
IndyCanoe
senior member (100)senior membersenior member
 
07/30/2020 07:00AM
I want to believe there is more to this story that forced their decision, but i am not hopeful after reading the article. It sounds like more preparation could have gone a very long way in this case. My number one fear while traveling in the BWCA is losing the canoe. I pull it on shore tie it up and still, first thing in the morning check to see if it is there. Other than catastrophic damage to the canoe I cannot think of a single reason I would leave it behind.

Image the folks that they waved down for a ride back to their camp and what was going through their minds. I assume at first I would be just speechless. Then, Wait you left your canoes behind .... am I on a prank show, where are the cameras... so wait really, you are serious.

It sounds to me like off season meetings between the outfitters this winter will have a higher than normal number of stories that start with "you are not going to believe" or "I thought I had seen everything until"
 
07/30/2020 07:32AM
I can’t believe how nice the Timberjay, rescuers and Piragis were in the article. You know they all have an opinion they would say in private. This probably the dumbest story I have ever read about the BWCAW. I thought it was an Onion story...had to check if it was April 1st.

T
 
dpreiner21
distinguished member (346)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 07:33AM
Wow, speechless. Also, what a horrible example to those kids.
 
07/30/2020 07:51AM
Duckman: "If I’m on the rescue squad I would have been tempted to take some of the team and a few canoes and go haul their rigs back to them before going through that circus of getting them out.


“Here are your canoes, I see you still have way too much food, have a good rest of your trip.”


Now given the tired group’s decision making to that point, getting them out was probably the right call, but I still would have been tempted."


That was my thought too. It's hard to say for sure what I would have done had I been in the group that initially helped them back to their camp. Part of me might have said " let's just take a couple hours to rest (or let's get a good night sleep) and then let's go back and get your Canoes" and then help them recover their boats. But part of me thinks about how few days I really get to spend enjoying my trip, do I really want to lose potentially a full day of time to help out people who obviously did not properly prepare or research their trip?
 
pos1
member (41)member
 
07/30/2020 07:54AM
Not sure how anybody can be surprised. I once saw a group of 4 at the Kawishiwi entry with suitcases and anchors. I’m hoping they stayed on that lake, but who knows.

Although I admit I’ve been trying to figure out how to put wheels on my CCS pack ever since...
 
07/30/2020 07:59AM
On our mid July trip we saw a group of four newbies going in on Lizz with two Kayaks and a Canoe. All three were portaged with one person in the front and one in the back. They were also carrying in several bundles of firewood. We talked to them a bit but we ourselves were pushing as we were on our way out and were a little behind our schedule. I thought back to some of my first trips and how I learned a lot of lessons the hard way, two of us trying to portage an oversize old plastic Canoe that I think weighed 120lbs.

In this case we could see these newbies taking it in how we and the other group that was right behind us were doing things. They asked some questions about what we brought, how far we travelled, etc. They were only going one more portage in and were planning to Camp on Caribou for a couple of days. At least this group seemed to be very self-aware about what their abilities were and had reasonable expectation.
 
07/30/2020 08:15AM
Apologies if this was posted already, but I did not see it. Here is the Timberjay article with more details.
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 08:50AM
As the original poster, and having seen this "rescue" unfolding, I am speechless. I believe I saw part of this group at another campsite where I counted 13 people, many being kids, having what looked like a neighborhood block party.

This also explains the ranger who turned around after passing me, went all the way back to Mudro, to fetch a lot of PFDs.

I wonder if in the standard outfitting contract it is stated the financial responsibility of a group when the outfitter has to send their people to fetch gear like this. This must have cost Piragis hundreds (or even more?) of dollars in labor costs.

Having witnessed the precipitous decline in preparation, respect, and LNT principles in 2020, I am eagerly awaiting how things will look in 2021, or whenever COVID restrictions ease and these people find outdoor places better suited to their abilities and values. At this point, I wonder if "the video" is sufficient anymore. That said, unless people are watching the video at a USFS ranger station or an outfitter, they are likely not watching it at all.

Mike
 
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(1482)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 08:52AM
If they were able to bushwack out, why couldn't they carry their canoes with them? If I were the rescue team, I would get the people safely out but that's it. Are they compelled to retrieve your equipment as well? I would have left it there. If I was the outfitter I would have charged the group for each day the canoes and equipment were not returned, or made them pay buy it. The party should have had to pay for someone to retrieve the equipment.

I can't imagine what the condition of the rental canoe fleet will be at the end of this paddling season. Be careful if purchasing any used equipment, especially an outfitter canoe. Get a lot of photos, buy from an outfitter that you know and trust, or better yet inspect it in person.
 
airmorse
distinguished member(2695)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 10:01AM
Couple of things after thinking about this.

Yes they walked out. If the water was that low they could have lined their canoes out. Being new they probably didn't know about doing something like that. They should have though. If that was me I'd be like ok the water is too low to paddle...hmmm...how can we get our canoes to deeper water. Oh...does anyone have some rope...alias that takes some grey matter.

I think every first timer should watch the video('s) at a ranger station with a USFS ranger present.

 
Pilgrimpaddler
distinguished member (171)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 10:23AM
I decided that a late September trip would be it for me this year, hoping that the current year's crop of clueless campers would be pretty much out of the woods by then. Now, I'm not so sure if that'll really be the case. I wonder if there will be any newbies that need to get rescued in October when they find themselves iced in?
 
HayRiverDrifter
distinguished member(716)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 10:28AM
Duckman: "If I’m on the rescue squad I would have been tempted to take some of the team and a few canoes and go haul their rigs back to them before going through that circus of getting them out.

“Here are your canoes, I see you still have way too much food, have a good rest of your trip.”

Now given the tired group’s decision making to that point, getting them out was probably the right call, but I still would have been tempted."


I agree that the best course of action in this case may have been to assist them in recovering their canoes. That assumes that everyone was in a safe situation. Wonder how that call went? You did what? You left your canoes? I wonder if Paragis was involved in the decision to just extract the people before the situation deteriorated further.

I am not sure that changing any of the requirements for getting a permit etc. would help. I like being able to print my permit an go.
 
Gaidin53
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
 
07/30/2020 10:34AM
Related to the group that ferried them back to camp. I’m all about first aid and helping people. With Covid concerns right now I’m not sure if I would have helped them. We’re being super careful going up and not Planning on eating out or using public restrooms. Now you are going to expose yourself on trip to a bunch of idiots. If they are that stupid out in the BWCA I’m sure they aren’t being careful about Covid. I don’t think my wife would have allowed me to increase our exposure. Yes in the moment we probably would have helped because we wouldn’t have had a real choice but man I’d have been unhappy about it once I knew enough about what happened.

I talked to Piragis who I’m outfitting with and mentioned it. As always they were super professional and didn’t say much but yeah the logistics of getting that gear and those canoes out of the woods was a challenge. I hope they billed them for all that work and added time and expense.

Also sounds like they were breaking the rule of nine based on another post I read. I’m sure the outfitter had to clean up garbage in the site since a group like this probably didn’t follow leave no trace.

Hopefully my trip plan will keep me far enough out to avoid most of the idiots.

Ryan
 
Aldy1
distinguished member (177)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 10:40AM
I think the only positive from these situations is to use it as a teaching lesson for future campers. They should release a greatest hits after the 2020 season is done of bad mistakes.
 
unshavenman
distinguished member(1284)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 10:42AM
It is certainly madness out there this summer. A couple days ago my buddy offered me his August 8th Seagull EP permit, but I declined. After seeing the huge crowds of newbies with their coolers, barking dogs, stereos and screen houses in the BWCAW on my June trip, I'm opting for a late September/early October shoulder season trip instead. I miss Quetico so much.......
 
WhiteWolf
distinguished member(4267)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/30/2020 11:05AM
My first thought (other than being dumbfounded about willingly leaving your canoes behind where the only mode of travel "out" is a canoe) is what would have happened if a worthy rescue was needed for someone with their life in jeopardy?
And as mentioned, these are parents.
Holy smokes.
Iam surprised they didn't cut up their paddles for firewood the first night.
 
Mocha
distinguished member(7150)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/30/2020 11:06AM
Hmmm...sure glad I'm not in outfitting anymore
 
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2330)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 11:24AM
WhiteWolf: "Iam surprised they didn't cut up their paddles for firewood the first night."
No need to! They probably portaged wood in that they bought at the gas station.
 
jwartman59
distinguished member(3149)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 11:26AM
I’ve seen a lot of stupid stuff in the bwca. Most of it just resulting in an opportunity to build character. This story wins for the stupidest decision made in the wilderness. Maybe I missed it being mentioned but I suspect this group and it’s ‘leaders’ were suffering from dehydration. Even with a good water purification method a swampy stream with beaver ponds makes less than exceptional drinking water. This groups actions are indefensible yet I would guess that had they been properly prepared with fluids this stupid mistake may have been avoided
 
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2330)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 11:38AM
Northwoodsman: "If I were the rescue team, I would get the people safely out but that's it. Are they compelled to retrieve your equipment as well? "
Nope, and they didn't.

From the Timberjay: "The rescue squad, as its name suggests, only rescues people, not gear, which left it to the local outfitter to figure out how to recover all the gear as well as the group’s canoes now abandoned miles up a weed-choked stream. "
 
Michwall2
distinguished member(946)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 11:58AM
Timberjay Article

Unbelievable stuff.

 
AdamXChicago
distinguished member(1096)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 12:21PM
I’m still hoping this was an “Onion” article. What is happening out there???
 
merlyn
senior member (100)senior membersenior member
 
07/30/2020 12:26PM
" If stupidity got us in this mess, how come it can't get us out ?"
Will Rogers
 
WhiteWolf
distinguished member(4267)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/30/2020 12:46PM
"Canoe Area" is in the name of the park.
This is akin to climbers cutting the fixed lines before they get down.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6919)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/30/2020 01:03PM
Here's an article I wrote about two men who also abandoned their canoe.

However, the circumstances for the two men were vastly different and oh, lawdy, did they pay and pay for the major mistake of buying a crappy canoe.
 
07/30/2020 01:06PM
I wish The Wisconsin Dells, Dollywood, Mouse World and summer camps could open fully soon and take pressure off the outdoor recreation areas. Kids gotta have some kind of adventure one way or the other.
 
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2658)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 01:18PM
Say "Hello" to the new breed of BWCA canoeist.
Why, oh, why didn't they backtrack? Laziness? Foolish sense of entitlement?
I actually feel bad for them. A danger onto themselves out there and not a clue.
 
07/30/2020 01:58PM
Crazy, and I'll just echo most of what's already been said. One thing not really mentioned - there were 2 dads, 1 mom, and six "kids", no ages given. If some or all were younger, it may account for decisions made by rescuers, etc. I'll bet these people won't be telling their story on social media . . .
 
WalleyeHunter24
distinguished member (133)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 01:58PM
These people need to stick to car camping and stay the "F" out of primitive and sometimes hostile wilderness environments such as the BWCA. No need for cell coverage. If someone if that concerned, get a weather radio and a satellite phone or stay home.
 
WalleyeHunter24
distinguished member (133)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 02:02PM
jwartman59: "I’ve seen a lot of stupid stuff in the bwca. Most of it just resulting in an opportunity to build character. This story wins for the stupidest decision made in the wilderness. Maybe I missed it being mentioned but I suspect this group and it’s ‘leaders’ were suffering from dehydration. Even with a good water purification method a swampy stream with beaver ponds makes less than exceptional drinking water. This groups actions are indefensible yet I would guess that had they been properly prepared with fluids this stupid mistake may have been avoided "

AMEN!
 
GeoFisher
distinguished member(1538)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 03:39PM
missmolly: " Here's an article I wrote about two men who also abandoned their canoe.


However, the circumstances for the two men were vastly different and oh, lawdy, did they pay and pay for the major mistake of buying a crappy canoe. "


Nice story......
 
07/30/2020 03:48PM
missmolly: " Here's an article I wrote about two men who also abandoned their canoe.


However, the circumstances for the two men were vastly different and oh, lawdy, did they pay and pay for the major mistake of buying a crappy canoe. "
Great story. Thanks for sharing.
 
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2330)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 04:00PM
boonie: "Crazy, and I'll just echo most of what's already been said. One thing not really mentioned - there were 2 dads, 1 mom, and six "kids", no ages given. If some or all were younger, it may account for decisions made by rescuers, etc. I'll bet these people won't be telling their story on social media . . . "
The StarTribune referred to the group as "nine stranded adults and teenagers".

 
07/30/2020 04:18PM
Any chance they were billed for the rescue?
 
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2330)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 04:48PM
fadersup: "Any chance they were billed for the rescue?"
Very unlikely. Most federal, state, and local agencies in the US do not charge back for rescues, as I understand it. There may be exceptions. This is because the do not want fear of a large or excessive bill to prevent people from calling for help until it is too late.

Knowing this and seeing these circumstances, however, I can't help but wonder if our good CO Williams did not at least consider writing 9 citations for boating without a PFD as these folks essentially admitted they did when ferried back to their site. Hopefully Piragis charged an appropriate fee for recovery of the gear, which I am guessing took 4-6 employees the better part of the day.
 
Northwoodsman
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07/30/2020 04:50PM
Jaywalker: "Northwoodsman: "If I were the rescue team, I would get the people safely out but that's it. Are they compelled to retrieve your equipment as well? "
Nope, and they didn't.

From the Timberjay: "The rescue squad, as its name suggests, only rescues people, not gear, which left it to the local outfitter to figure out how to recover all the gear as well as the group’s canoes now abandoned miles up a weed-choked stream. ""


Thanks Jaywalker. I missed that part.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6919)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/30/2020 04:51PM
GeoFisher: "missmolly: " Here's an article I wrote about two men who also abandoned their canoe.



However, the circumstances for the two men were vastly different and oh, lawdy, did they pay and pay for the major mistake of buying a crappy canoe. "



Nice story......"


Hey, George! Harrowing, huh?

I especially liked the following quotes. Typically, when people talk to the press and know what they say is going to be published, they speak carefully and formally, but not this source. He spoke to me with both barrels blazing:

“When I first saw their canoe, this Mickey Mouse, ratshit canoe, I found it hard to believe anyone would be foolish enough to take that route with such poor equipment...Whoever sold those boys that canoe should be locked up."
 
cyclones30
distinguished member(2541)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 05:33PM
It seems like the best option would be to turn around when you realized your planned route was dry/impassable. What do you do if you're driving and hit a road closed sign. Do you park your car and start bushwhacking to get to walmart? No...you turn around and go another way. Yes it may take longer, yes it may be annoying, but guess what.....that's your option.
 
jhb8426
distinguished member(1155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 08:56PM
acanoer: "Hopefully they learn their lessons and return to do it the right way the next time."

You have more patience than I and I've been at it as long as you...
 
3Ball
distinguished member(734)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2020 09:58PM
At least it seems certain that they won't be back.
 
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2658)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2020 04:28AM
Was thinking more about this later in the evening, last night. Someone mentioned dehydration in this thread. If dehydration can mess up the decision-making processes in the noggin I suppose it can lead to a series of bad-to-absurd decisions. I had not considered advanced stages of dehydration and how it can affect judgment. If they consumed enough alcohol the night before it would certainly add to a 'soupy' gray matter.
Just trying to wrap my mind around the incidents of this group while striving to maintain my faith in the average fellow-Americans. (It's been fading, lately.)
 
unshavenman
distinguished member(1284)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2020 08:41AM
missmolly: " Here's an article I wrote about two men who also abandoned their canoe.


However, the circumstances for the two men were vastly different and oh, lawdy, did they pay and pay for the major mistake of buying a crappy canoe. "

Great story Missmolly, thanks!
 
Jakthund
member (13)member
 
07/31/2020 09:49AM
Obviously they made many operational mistakes. Although the biggest mistake might have been lack of communication and planning. I'm sure if they had mentioned their route to the outfitter, they would have been warned about the water levels. It seems like common knowledge to anyone who travels in the area and the low levels are not unusual in dry years.
Or they could have come to this board as there were several threads discussing water levels. I was through the area in mid July and posted this on the 20th in the trip planning forum on a thread that had been open for a couple weeks.

"Just came out on Saturday. Crooked Lake Loop - up through Horse an back through Fourtown. Ran into a couple of young guys on Gun that tried day tripping down the Moosecamp and had to turn around. If those 2 lightly loaded couldn't get through, I don't think it is passable. "
Have to admit, when I heard of the rescue, my first thought was something like this had happened.

"Every minute of planning saves 10 minutes in execution" - Brian Tracy
Although the return here would be far greater,
 
Jakthund
member (13)member
 
07/31/2020 09:49AM
 
BrownBear1950
member (11)member
 
07/31/2020 01:14PM
The StarTribune has been going downhill for along time.
 
schweady
distinguished member(6984)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/31/2020 03:56PM
BrownBear1950: "The StarTribune has been going downhill for along time."
Easy to guess where the animosity comes from, but was there something the STrib reported incorrectly in this story about which you'd care to enlighten us?
 
jillpine
distinguished member(506)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2020 04:20PM
I've found myself more than once while watching the USFS videos thinking they are pretty tame and watered down. They don't really tell the whole story to a new person of a) what awaits you out there and b) what NOT to do. As in, SHOW it to them. Show them litter in the latrine, cut-down pines and a portage garage sale. Show them the mess that someone else is left to clean up. I think it would be helpful for newcomers to see specific examples of "don't do this".
Unless a newcomer has a mentor, chances are high they're going to do stupid, dangerous and damaging things.


 
LindenTree
distinguished member(2555)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2020 04:29PM
mjmkjun: "Was thinking more about this later in the evening, last night. Someone mentioned dehydration in this thread. If dehydration can mess up the decision-making processes in the noggin I suppose it can lead to a series of bad-to-absurd decisions. I had not considered advanced stages of dehydration and how it can affect judgment. If they consumed enough alcohol the night before it would certainly add to a 'soupy' gray matter.
Just trying to wrap my mind around the incidents of this group while striving to maintain my faith in the average fellow-Americans. (It's been fading, lately.) "


Good point Michael,
I will not dispute that there was poor planning on route decisions and perhaps the amount of water and or filtration brought along. Dehydration alone may not be enough to contribute to that poor decision making they made on their part. However if they were starting to get into the early heat exhaustion stages it would most assuredly contribute to poor decisions being made. Heat exhaustion can be likened to being drunk. I have gotten heat exhaustion a couple of times in my firefighting career. It is nothing to be taken lightly and can quickly lead to heat stroke. I have also treated a number of people for heat exhaustion, it needs to be taken very seriously.
I'm not saying that they had heat exhaustion since I saw nothing in the paper stating that, but it is possible. They could have self treated themselves without even knowing the symptoms by finding shade and hydrating while waiting for the canoes they flagged down to pick them up and take them to their camp.
 
jhb8426
distinguished member(1155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/01/2020 01:02AM
BrownBear1950: "The StarTribune has been going downhill for along time."

What has that to do with this??
Got a burr under yer saddle?
 
Aldy1
distinguished member (177)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/01/2020 01:04AM
jillpine: "I've found myself more than once while watching the USFS videos thinking they are pretty tame and watered down. They don't really tell the whole story to a new person of a) what awaits you out there and b) what NOT to do. As in, SHOW it to them. Show them litter in the latrine, cut-down pines and a portage garage sale. Show them the mess that someone else is left to clean up. I think it would be helpful for newcomers to see specific examples of "don't do this".
Unless a newcomer has a mentor, chances are high they're going to do stupid, dangerous and damaging things.



"


I agree with this. Seeing what not to do is a great way to learn - in addition to the correct way to do it.
 
08/01/2020 07:09AM
Michwall2: " Timberjay Article


Unbelievable stuff.


"


The wanderings of untrained minds.....this one is hard to comprehend
 
MN_Lindsey
distinguished member(2133)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/01/2020 10:31PM
I literally cannot believe what I just read from the Timberjay article!
That's insane to just leave your canoes!
 
trailchief
distinguished member (211)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/05/2020 06:55PM
Seriously! I don’t care if I was running on no sleep and hung over, heat stroked and peeing what looked like coffee! Abandoning my canoe would never cross my shriveled, deranged brain!
 
LindenTree
distinguished member(2555)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/05/2020 08:18PM
trailchief: "Seriously! I don’t care if I was running on no sleep and hung over, heat stroked and peeing what looked like coffee! Abandoning my canoe would never cross my shriveled, deranged brain! "

We need to learn about the human body, it could save us some day.
Again, I have treated people for heat exhaustion, and had it myself a few times as a wildland firefighter. If someone was peeing coffee clored liquid, they would be in serious trouble.
POPC, Pee Often, Pee Clear.

The first signs of heat exhaustion I have is a feeling of sickness in my stomach like a slight flu, then it gets worse.

Second is a slight headache that gets worse. "That is when I know there is an issue"

Third sign is loss of coordination, similar to being drunk. "Now its getting serious"

Heat Stroke is next and is life threatening. Know your body and don't think you are different, we are all human.

Heat Stroke
 
jwartman59
distinguished member(3149)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/05/2020 11:45PM
This was Boy Scout basic training. I wish everyone had the Boy Scout training I had. Sure would solve many of the problems we are now dealing with. Neither of my kids would do scouts, both have tons of backwoods experience, yet they lack those esoteric, yet essential skills that you learn as a Scout.
 
montanapaddler
member (25)member
 
08/06/2020 01:40AM
cyclones30: "What do you do if you're driving and hit a road closed sign. Do you park your car and start bushwhacking to get to walmart? No...you turn around and go another way. "

As a highway worker I can tell you that a surprising amount of people decide the barricade is for "other people" and keep driving until something physically prevents them from travelling further.
 
treehorn
distinguished member(539)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/06/2020 09:54AM
Jakthund: "Obviously they made many operational mistakes. Although the biggest mistake might have been lack of communication and planning. I'm sure if they had mentioned their route to the outfitter, they would have been warned about the water levels. "

Just a note on this...

I realize this is one anecdotal experience, but we just did a trip over the past weekend and found the *not to be named, but well renowned* outfitter to be EXTREMELY lax in terms of making sure we were prepared and knew what we were doing.

We did know what we were doing, and I'm sure if we asked questions they would have been happy to answer. But they took no initiative to ask if it was our first trip, ask where we were going, if we had seen the videos, or even if we had a permit. They showed us to our bunk house the night before, and gave us our canoes the next day and that was it.

Far be it from me to talk crap about an established outfitter, but it seemed like because of Covid, they just wanted nothing to do with us. Maybe we just put out the vibe that we were more experienced, or they could tell based on the gear we were packing (or lack thereof possibly *no coleman hard sided coolers*).

But I wonder if outfitters trying to limit interactions with clients may be contributing to the instances of violations or stupid behavior we've been seeing this summer. I would think they still feel a responsibility to make sure each of their clients - whether it's a fully outfitted group or someone renting a canoe - has at least a grasp of the basics. "do you have a permit? where are you headed? do you have some food in case the fish aren't biting?" A couple of very basic questions could tip them off to someone who might not know what they are getting into and need some extra guidance.

And I'm sure most do this, but I'm wondering if this particular summer, they are not bothering as much, and it might be playing into this.
 
Canoearoo
distinguished member(2253)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/06/2020 11:13AM
I heard from someone who knows this group that they did tell the outfitter their plans and the outfitter didn't say anything about not going. I also heard they did pay a fine/fee. Sounds to me like maybe the video should add a part about never abandoning your canoe unless its crushed under a waterfall. Its common since to us all of use, but maybe not to others. When I went to Hawaii I had to watch a video about the dangers found in the ocean where we were snorkeling. A lot of it was common since, but I wouldn't have known that because I hadn't snorkeled in the ocean before. There is always 2 sides of the story and usually there is more than what you are told. I can see it now.. you just know there was someone who was in that group that said, "Hay guys, I think we should turn back." I bet they had a nice "told you so" later on.
 
heavylunch
distinguished member (133)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/06/2020 11:24AM
Wow, just wow. Makes me sad...
 
Canoearoo
distinguished member(2253)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/06/2020 11:25AM
A friend of mine reported a group to the rangers because the group was 13 people strong and 9 canoes. She approached the group and explained the rules and they basically told her to mind her businesses. The BWCA this summer is a little more rowdy than normal. I would expect more recuses like this before the season is done.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12725)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
08/06/2020 11:30AM
Canoearoo: "A friend of mine reported a group to the rangers because the group was 13 people strong and 9 canoes. She approached the group and explained the rules and they basically told her to mind her businesses. The BWCA this summer is a little more rowdy than normal. I would expect more recuses like this before the season is done."

A case like that if they really were together I have no problem with a1000 dollar fine and barred from the BWCA for two year or so. That many, bust of been a group of solo's etc. and probably didn't even have a single permit. Even the morning of entering a area, they could have a Ranger checking them as they entered and proper protocol.
If violations continue and nothing happens to them, it will become the new norm.
 
Canoearoo
distinguished member(2253)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/06/2020 11:45AM
missmolly: " Here's an article I wrote about two men who also abandoned their canoe.


However, the circumstances for the two men were vastly different and oh, lawdy, did they pay and pay for the major mistake of buying a crappy canoe. "


Great article! Thank you for posting it
 
4keys
distinguished member(756)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/06/2020 09:12PM
After reading a couple comments about info or lack of info given by outfitters to people, I wonder if there should be fill in the blank on the permit that asks how often you've been to the BW. If it's their first time, then an outfitter could have a list of things to ask them, like how do you plan to secure your food, what is your paddling experience / does it match your route, how do plan to pack out your garbage. (Or maybe a checklist that you print out with your confirmation ).

Looking back on our trip, we only used an outfitter to pick up the permit, and to spend the night in a bunkhouse. The clerk did have a check off list of things to cover with us, but it was mostly rental things and we had our own gear. And she looked to be in her early 20s, possibly her first summer there, so I am sure she doesn't have the experience / knowledge that an owner has, and wouldn't be able to offer much guidance to newbies.
 
VoyageurNorth
distinguished member(2606)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/07/2020 04:17AM
I'm not sure about a lot of the actual facts about this group, even being an outfitter myself, the real story is often different that the one being spread around.

Because I have an employee who works with the rescue squad I do know that the family/group did make a $1500.00 donation to the rescue squad. It was said that they made other payments/donations as well.

They were obviously unprepared.

John & I have been worried about the self issued/confirmation letter printing that the FS is allowing because of "virtual" stations for permits. People are wanting to find a place to get out and stretch but if they are not made to watch the video and maybe even take a small "test", even newbies can just print up the confirmation letter and go on out.

I talked to Maggie at the Kawishiwi Station and asked if the programmers could do something like not send the official confirmation letter out until the 3 videos indicated they were played. The "test" was something I just thought of.

She said she mentioned that to Rec.gov and so far no one/no programmers have come up with a solution for this season.





 
Jasonf
member (40)member
 
08/07/2020 08:17AM
VoyageurNorth:


John & I have been worried about the self issued/confirmation letter printing that the FS is allowing because of "virtual" stations for permits. People are wanting to find a place to get out and stretch but if they are not made to watch the video and maybe even take a small "test", even newbies can just print up the confirmation letter and go on out.


I talked to Maggie at the Kawishiwi Station and asked if the programmers could do something like not send the official confirmation letter out until the 3 videos indicated they were played. The "test" was something I just thought of.


She said she mentioned that to Rec.gov and so far no one/no programmers have come up with a solution for this season.





"


Even better just reopen the ranger stations like normal with usual vids/questions and follow distancing/mask guidelines? For my upcoming trip next week I received an email stating that if your permit pickup location was open you would follow the normal protocol and only print off your permit if your location was not doing permits. In looking at the list of open pick-up locations everything was pretty much open minus the ranger stations?
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/07/2020 10:08AM
The way to try to prevent this is >before< these people ever get to an outfitter or an EP. I'm all for a stronger video or form to fill out before a group leaves their home, outlining the dangers and difficulty of the BWCA. Every member of the group initials it and brings it with them when the permit is picked up.

If my idea above wasn't implemented until a group makes it to Ely or GM, I doubt they will change any of their plans at that late a point. I also understand that there is a certain subset of people who would read a "warning statement," so-to-speak, and downplay or completely disregard it.

I also understand the theory behind NOT charging for rescues. Authorities don't want people in trouble to not call for a rescue because of the potential charges involved. Maybe it's time to rethink that. Maybe that would deter some ill-prepared groups from going in. Maybe. I know there are firefighter and rescue personnel on this board that may have differing opinions.

In psychology there is something called the Dunning–Kruger effect. This is when people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. I think a lot of newbies probably canoed before on a local pond or lake, and decide to come to the BDub because they know how to paddle. As we know, and have seen, paddling the canoe is only one part of a bunch of things a tripper needs to know to be minimally safe.

Mike
 
PuffinGin
distinguished member (410)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/08/2020 01:29PM
VoyageurNorth: "I'm not sure about a lot of the actual facts about this group, even being an outfitter myself, the real story is often different that the one being spread around.


Because I have an employee who works with the rescue squad I do know that the family/group did make a $1500.00 donation to the rescue squad. It was said that they made other payments/donations as well.


They were obviously unprepared. ....
"


I'm very pleased to hear about the donation to SLCRS and other payments/donations.

I hope some workable solution can be found for helping the inexperienced before they get out and into a bind.
 
smoke
member (24)member
 
08/08/2020 01:50PM
MikeinMpls: "The way to try to prevent this is >before< these people ever get to an outfitter or an EP. I'm all for a stronger video or form to fill out before a group leaves their home, outlining the dangers and difficulty of the BWCA. Every member of the group initials it and brings it with them when the permit is picked up.


If my idea above wasn't implemented until a group makes it to Ely or GM, I doubt they will change any of their plans at that late a point. I also understand that there is a certain subset of people who would read a "warning statement," so-to-speak, and downplay or completely disregard it.


I also understand the theory behind NOT charging for rescues. Authorities don't want people in trouble to not call for a rescue because of the potential charges involved. Maybe it's time to rethink that. Maybe that would deter some ill-prepared groups from going in. Maybe. I know there are firefighter and rescue personnel on this board that may have differing opinions.


In psychology there is something called the Dunning–Kruger effect. This is when people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. I think a lot of newbies probably canoed before on a local pond or lake, and decide to come to the BDub because they know how to paddle. As we know, and have seen, paddling the canoe is only one part of a bunch of things a tripper needs to know to be minimally safe.

I was on a fire crew some years ago in Yellowstone at a time when we averaged six recoveries a season. You do not want people not reaching out for help because they
are concerned over the cost of a rescue. We were too often too late in many searches that became recoveries.
 
jillpine
distinguished member(506)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/08/2020 03:07PM
MikeinMpls: "The way to try to prevent this is >before< these people ever get to an outfitter or an EP. I'm all for a stronger video or form to fill out before a group leaves their home, outlining the dangers and difficulty of the BWCA. Every member of the group initials it and brings it with them when the permit is picked up.


If my idea above wasn't implemented until a group makes it to Ely or GM, I doubt they will change any of their plans at that late a point. I also understand that there is a certain subset of people who would read a "warning statement," so-to-speak, and downplay or completely disregard it.


I also understand the theory behind NOT charging for rescues. Authorities don't want people in trouble to not call for a rescue because of the potential charges involved. Maybe it's time to rethink that. Maybe that would deter some ill-prepared groups from going in. Maybe. I know there are firefighter and rescue personnel on this board that may have differing opinions.


In psychology there is something called the Dunning–Kruger effect. This is when people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. I think a lot of newbies probably canoed before on a local pond or lake, and decide to come to the BDub because they know how to paddle. As we know, and have seen, paddling the canoe is only one part of a bunch of things a tripper needs to know to be minimally safe.


Mike"

nail on the head, Mike.
And before there is anymore outfitter bashing, how many of you spend hours and hours of unpaid time and going the extra mile in your livelihood, during a pandemic with potentially life-crippling or life-threatening outcomes? Have you ever spent ten minutes eavesdropping on the crap these folks put up with? Complaining about high prices and long wait times and lack of whatever Coughlan's doodad wasn't on the shelf? They're issuing permits. For the government. And now they're not doing a good enough job handholding and teaching you all about the ways of the wild?? Forget it. That is a heavy lift. As liberal as I am, I have been supremely frustrated at the complete closure of our ranger stations. Lights out. Water pumps aren't available, no attempt at safe public interaction and education - just shut. Let the new folks figure it out from some videos with pleasant guitar music, some soft rain and wind as the only example of "rough times" and a happy group of diversely represented folks going off for a great time. It is not a realistic presentation of s*** that can go wrong. They should take body cam footage of paddling 3-ft rollers on Brule, pulling into a campsite in 95 degrees with rotting fish guts from the party who left that morning, or paddling around the lake at 5pm because you slept in, all camp sites taken ... next portage 256 rods. Guess what? You're going to hump your overloaded arse and head onto the next lake. You don't abandon your stuff and call 911. So this summer, the govt approach appears to be: let the outfitters make sure everyone is adequately prepared. I have used VNO many times through the years, as well as others on the eastern side, and can't believe how hard they work to earn their livings. I personally recall John looking me square in the eye and asking if I was sure I was going to be ok taking my 70-something mom alone across crab lake portage. Yes, and thank you for asking. Total respect for the hard work and risk they are experiencing this summer. And I'd like an honest answer as to why the USFS has been completely, 100% shut for public assistance. Thanks.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6919)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/08/2020 04:44PM
Jill, I see you have a little dragon in your bloodline. Mother's or father's side?

Kidding aside, I do get your point, which is that if potential "life and death" situations aren't essential, what is?
 
Gaidin53
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
 
08/11/2020 12:45AM
I just got. Back from a trip with the Outfitter quoted in some of the articles that I. Pretty sure outfitted that group. They were absolutely great and in no way were standing off. We completely went through food. Took some Stuff out with help from another employee because we weren’t sure about the gluten free aspects and my daughter is a celiac. They bent over backwards to accommodate the dietary issues and completely went over food and the packing out of it. Bear hanging they had one of the guides show me the better way to do the 2 pulley system they were sending me out with and it worked awesome. Asked where I was going? What my plan was? Understood that I understood plans can change since I had 2 new campers and that I knew my options. I got a little overwhelmed at the end with all the gear and how to portion it out to packs. Grabbed the guy Who helped me with the bear rope and frankly they all clearly had serious time canoe camping. I was like how would you pack this out. Ended up with 2 CCS food packs with multi color zipper packs in them and 2 Granite Gear Superior packs. By the end of the trip we had shifted some things but the amount of organization they sent us out with to start was awesome and made the trip so much easier! My whole family even understood the color system for the inner food bags, They kept our food pack overnight so the freezer stuff and cold stuff could stay in as long as possible. Picked it up the morning of entry since we were staying in Ely.

They would have answered and instructed me on anything I asked or did not understand! They can only help people so much that are unwilling to ask or think they know enough,

Challenge is we learned a ton ourselves on this trip. We’ll make some changes in menu for next year. We’ll carry one more pack so we can lighten out the packs for my wife and daughter. They were just too heavy. My basic thought is “you don’t know if you don’t go”. Outfitters have a super challenging line to walk. They are a business and they want people to come and enjoy this awesome experience. If they hold too hard a line they will seem aloof like this should only be for people that have already done it and people will take the business elsewhere. If they don’t push hard enough on trying to assess if people have enough experience they risk sending people out who are unprepared and clueless.

Ryan
 
schweady
distinguished member(6984)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/11/2020 06:27PM
Gaidin53: "I just got. Back from a trip with the Outfitter quoted in some of the articles..."
Ryan - Couldn't agree more with your assessment. So happy you had a good experience with them.
 
dex8425
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
 
08/12/2020 04:29PM
So, after reading the article and the thoughts on the thread, I immediately thought of our trip to Pukaska National Park on the NE corner of Lake Superior last September. My wife and I are very experienced ultralight backpackers and this was our second trip up there. We're in our 20's and appear very physically fit.

When we picked up our permit, which had to be in person, the ranger grilled us (rudely) about leave no trace principles, wilderness backpacking, and finally about our trip itinerary. He told us our trip "was impossible because no one has hiked 25k in a day here before" and then did not let us change our itinerary to go to different campsites. (he also lied and told us the other campsites were full, which we later verified weren't) He finally informed us how much a rescue would cost, and how long it would take for a helicopter to get us. Basically he assumed we would need rescue.

We were pretty pissed off and put off by his tone, as well as the length of conversation to get our permit. We did hike the "impossible" itinerary, though it was difficult because of the cold rain. We wanted to talk to him after our trip but decided against it.

Question: is his sharp tone, lengthy discussion about wilderness ethics and bluntness about the rescue cost what the BWCA needs for newbs? We certainly didn't appreciate it, but it would certainly deter people from calling for rescue help.
 
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