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AW

Via Internet: Stranded on Baden-Powell Jan 2014

"Don Buchanan (trail name: Don Viejo), then 85, spent a night on a ledge in California’s San Gabriel Mountains on January 25, 2014.
by Don Buchanan, as told to Amanda Hermans "

http://www.backpacker.com/skills/...mountain-and-running-out-of-time/

".....Instead of hiking 8.7 miles and 2,800 vertical feet to the summit via the PCT, as I’d done every other time, I would go up the backside of the mountain using an old, mostly forgotten trail that I found while scouring maps of the area.....From the Vincent Gap trailhead, I turned left instead of the usual right  to hike the 2 miles to the ruins of Big Horn Mine....

In the underbrush beyond the mine, I found the trail I was looking for. The path was only about a foot wide, but the going was easy. After 5 miles[AW: .5 miles?] of cruising, I passed a couple of hikers who had turned around because they were worried about increasingly steep drop-offs. I paid no mind; a little exposure doesn’t bother me. The biggest dangers I had seen were the overgrown patches of Spanish bayonet bushes, a cactus with long and knife-sharp fronds.....

In the early afternoon, I came to a right turn where the trail narrowed and traversed a rock face. A 200-foot drop rested just beyond my left shoe, and, in the middle of the trail, stood a spiky, 3-by-3-foot Spanish bayonet, itself partially hanging over the void. To my right, an old rope hung from a metal piton, presumably to aid hikers through the exposed part...But then only a quarter-mile later, the path disappeared completely and I was still miles away from the top....

The scramble quickly proved harder than I expected. The terrain was loose. I had to pull  myself up by grabbing onto bushes. Climbing like this demanded all my focus; I must have been at it for four hours. Finally, I gained a ridge—the first flat ground I’d seen in a while. I expected to see the summit, but I was still 1,000 feet below it, with another valley in between. I was completely exhausted, full of cactus wounds, and dusk was settling in. It wasn’t until this moment that I realized how badly I had miscalculated....

I surveyed my ridge. It was narrow and below was the incline that I had just climbed up. There was no way around it; I would have to wait here for rescue. I took a seat on a triangular rock that was about 2 feet wide and started a vigil that would last all night, at least....."
HikeUp

Too cool. Thanks Adubs.
girlhiker70

DON VIEJO

Cool story! I never heard of this guy.
I hope that I am still hiking at that age
Smile
tekewin

Great story and a tough bird. Don't we all aspire to be there at 85?

lol it's this same guy!

http://sangabrielmnts.myfreeforum...y-who-made-this__o_t__t_5776.html
HikeUp

LOL
Hikin_Jim

The ultimate in 85 y.o. studliness.

HJ
oldcoot

Encountered him climbing Markham (solo) in September 2014 (I was 68 at the time)...amazing and cool guy...

oldcoot

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