November 9, 2017 at 1:38 pm #199014
What’s your “no-go” criteria?
I’ve had to cancel, postpone, and re-route several NWOL trips for various reasons:
1. Roads were excessively soft. I don’t like digging deep ruts in the roads. Not long ago I was asked to not use a certain road, because it was so soft. That road has very little gravel or rock, and in summer is very silty. When rain and snow soak it, the route quickly becomes very soft.
2. Drifting snow cut the two-track down to a very narrow route, with a tremendous drop-off on one side. It simply had gotten too dangerous to take a group in there. Highly likely that somebody’s rig would slip off the edge, and highly unlikely that anyone would survive that tumble to the bottom.
3. Crazy bad weather! If there’s a huge winter snow storm coming… One of those giant storms that drops LOTS of snow… No, I’m not real interested in getting the rigs all stuck in a deep fresh snow.
4. Wildfires! Seems the summers the past few years in the Northwest have had some horrific wildfires. No point in taking a group into the path of a wildfire, or enduring terrible smoke.
Other “no-go” reasons?
Thanks, GuyNovember 9, 2017 at 9:07 pm #199017
Ole HellevikParticipantBasic Member
Some of mine would be…
1. When I’m needed at home or at work, for reasons that weren’t planned
2. Rig was totaled… Or if I blew a tire and I am waiting for a replacement
3. If I’m going on my own I need to be able to put on my hiking boots and make it out should something happen. If I don’t feel up to it (weather, or I’m under the weather) I won’t goNovember 10, 2017 at 2:34 pm #199020
Morris YarnellParticipantBasic Member
Especially if no one has done it before but someone says ‘It will be fun, even if we get stuck’ It looks OK on one of the sites (can’t remember the one) though. Having done this stuff before I know my limits.
Excessive heat or cold, its got to be a reasonable trip. Not up for freezing my tail off.
Over 500 miles just to get there before we even hit dirt. Although from here to Moab might be an exception.
…and the things Guy mentioned.November 15, 2017 at 6:41 am #199045
My big three over the years:
Drug wars: Planning my first trip down Baja, Tijuana was pretty much a DMZ. The drug wars were in the news every other day and everyone I knew personally (none of which had been there) were telling my I would be crazy to go… I caved to emotional and peer pressure. Then did more research, talked with people who go down there regularly and made the trip a couple of years latter.
Snow and switch backs: this combination seem to be my kryptonite. Something about the laws of gravity and the coefficient of friction sets off alarm bells in my head and has turned me around more times than any other thing.
Heat stroke: always put your friends before finishing a trip (or things). Enough said.November 15, 2017 at 4:38 pm #199049
LGRT – I appreciate all your “No Go” criteria.
Drug Wars – as a law enforcement officer, believe me, I know what gets smuggled across our southern border and goes into the hands of Hispanic street gangs. And how dangerous they can be. As a Marine, I worked some very sensitive missions near the border, to interdict those shipments… It was… interesting. Yes, that’s a good word. I used to go to Mexico now and again for recreation. Mountain climbing, or just goofing off, usually in seldom traveled areas. No more. And likely for good reason. Frankly, the Mexicans need to make Mexico viable. It could be an incredible place. Am afraid it’s going to take a big payment in bloodshed to get it there. ‘Nuff said.
Snow – OMG yes! That danged stuff is fun to play with. I’ve been camping, hiking, snowshoeing and Nordic Skiing in the snow and ice for decades. But dang… That stuff will reach up and snatch a rig and send it right off the road! You’re right. Caution is advised.
Heat Stroke – when I was young and tough I seemed immune to heat problems. I’d go for a nine mile run in 100+ degree temps with no problem. Now? I sit in the shade, read a book and drink ice water to stay cool. Then, when that fails, I go inside to the comfort of air conditioning. I’m a wimp in the heat these days.
Regards, GuyNovember 27, 2017 at 6:21 pm #199182
Harry MaylorParticipantBasic Member
Around these parts and in particular at this time Geology and Hydrology are two of my all time no go’s. Landslides or the potential for them keeps me home every time. Flooding or excessively high water crossing levels are another no go for me. The worst is the two combined which is what BC is now facing. There have been groups trapped due to landslides or rivers taking out bridges not something I want to experience. There is a lake in BC that in the middle of winter (thankfully) had a landslide that obliterated the road but that was not the worst. The landslide hit the lake and created a Tsunami so strong it wiped out the south campground then slammed into the north bank cutting of that campground. I had seen the area a few years after and it’s humbling. Had anyone been in that campground they would have been killed and never found.November 27, 2017 at 6:58 pm #199183
Ya, okay, that counts as serious!
GuyDecember 28, 2017 at 2:27 am #199640
November windstorms and trips into the NW Forest
You mentioned soft roads – I just want to second that. Spring runoff, combined with thin snow hiding where the trail actually is often lead to rigs accidentally driving off trail in a sensitive meadow. It’s often not intentional, and the only way to avoid that accident is to not go when things are that fragile.December 28, 2017 at 12:50 pm #199646
November windstorms and trips into the NW Forest You mentioned soft roads – I just want to second that. Spring runoff, combined with thin snow hiding where the trail actually is often lead to rigs accidentally driving off trail in a sensitive meadow. It’s often not intentional, and the only way to avoid that accident is to not go when things are that fragile.
As we both found out first hand in Manastash in 2008. When it starts out goo, then goes WAYYY south, in an instant…December 28, 2017 at 12:51 pm #199647
Exactly.December 28, 2017 at 1:13 pm #199649
Some places are closed on the shoulder seasons for that exact reason. Ran into that at Bethel Ridge onceDecember 28, 2017 at 4:12 pm #199650
Yes, some closures on Table Mountain near Blewett pass too, seasonal. Normally opens up shortly before the NWOL Rally.December 28, 2017 at 9:34 pm #199656
Dale AveryParticipantBasic Member
Listen to your intuition. If you are doing something that you’ve done dozens of times before or for the first time, and suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck start twitching, stop, turn around, and try something else for the rest of the day. I swear that intuition saved my bacon a number of times when I was in hairy situations in ‘Nam. Damn, that will be 50 years ago in 2018, so it must work!
Listen to those that are with you and respect their fears. If you don’t, even if everything ends up alright, they will probably never go out in the field with you again. I love a nice windy mountain trail up to a ridgeline or mountain pass. Camping up there and watching the stars at night is magical and transformative for me. For Wifey, not so much. I’d much rather cut back a bit on my adrenaline rushes and have her out with me then to lose those experiences we can enjoy together.
I took a Land Rover training course long ago when I had my 1990 Rangie. The most important thing I took home was their maxim of “as slow as possible, as fast as necessary.”
Finally, if the vehicle isn’t up to snuff, don’t go. Your life may depend on it.December 30, 2017 at 4:14 pm #199683
Good stuff Dale. I teach that stuff about the hairs on the back of the neck, or that “gut feeling” in my self-defense courses.
GuyJanuary 3, 2018 at 2:07 pm #199708
Nicholas BrattonParticipantBasic Member
Permitting and closures. The very first (and most important) Leave No Trace principle is “Plan ahead and prepare.” This includes knowing the access status of the places you’ll be traveling through/to. It is every traveler’s individual responsibility to do homework in advance to figure out if areas are closed for environmental (washouts, fire, etc.) or seasonal reasons. Factor these into your trip planning in terms of route or timing or both.
Similarly, make sure you have any necessary permits for places you will go, be that NWFP, Discovery Pass, etc.
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