I was taking some pics for a review Frau Stranger is working on when...BOOM...snow bomb to the head heh. Always look for windowmakers, snow load and large birds of prey in the trees above you. Learn from my mistakes. Don't wait until it happens to you!
Always Look Up
Shiver me timbers
That's a wake up call for sure!
Widowmakers are always a concern. I was chatting with Patrick about that on my last trip we met up...told him this story:
Maybe it was from too many days sweating and eating dehydrated food, but I thought it would be hilarious to set up my tent under this widowmaker to take a photo of the "worst campsite ever". A few minutes effort and I managed to get it set up over a couple of logs looking half normal, directly under the trunk hanging down...got a great photo, then managed somehow to delete it while looking through photos and chuckling in the tent that night!
I just listened to an interview with Roman Dial about his new book, The Adventurer's Son. His son was also named Roman and may have been killed by a tree fall on a off-trail solo campsite in Costa Rica.
I recall a few years back in the Whites setting up camp and having dinner before noticing a dead birch looming where it might land on me in the night. Despite being ready for bed I picked up the tent and moved it to a bumpier, but less dangerous spot.
This isn't the Backcountry forum though. I just wanted to remind folks not to get killed, soaked or pooped on while working on their reviews. Seemed a pretty good tip to me :p
Working in the woods you learn to look up, all the time. We call it forester's neck when you get sore. I used to wear a hard hat all the time with a brim. Keeps the rain off.
This concept is really important when you decide where to camp and sleep, especially in wild country that has never been logged. Look up and check for snags, dead tops, loose branches, leaners and anything else that can kill you with a little wind.
With all the bark beetles damage we also have to look well sideways here in the southwest. A couple years ago we were backpacking with a friend and the wind was up. Nice on site for camp they got tired of me walking off distances and trying to find a spot I thought was safe. It took some time in that forest. Later in the day we saw three trees totally fall and the top third of a fully healthy tree blow right off and crash to the ground. Many more fell out of our sight. They understood after witnessing those shattering and very deadly and thunderous explosions.
Listen to ghostdog.
Reminds me of a film put out locally here Last year
The poet put a tear in my eye and relayed what it means to live in the mountains
Hope you enjoy and turn it up
The question is...did Frau Stranger wait until you stood directly beneath the snow-laden limb before shaking it loose or did it happen on its own?
Me and Mrs. Kiwi do this to each other, at least once, every winter. The trick is to be sneaky enough so the other doesn't notice until they are pancaked with snow.
One of the good things which, I'm sure, will result from this shut-down is the large-scale removal of widowmakers from our public lands.
I maintained a class-B sawyer certicification, which designated me as capable of felling all but the nastiest, multi-tree snags that one might find. Class C being the most proficient, folks who could fell a tree which would tip a tree into another tree which would tip into another tree, otherwise preventing it from falling onto a power-line or campsite.
Witnessing a class-C sawyer fell trees is really a thing of beauty. Given that such sawyers generally prefer to not have to account for witnesses during their felling, I must assume they are relishing this opportunity to drop the most complex cases.
I'm glad you only got a refreshing alert, LoneStranger.
Always Look Up also applies to siting you tent. Jus' sayin'...
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