Scouting Trip Gone Wrong

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by 1SevenZero, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. 1SevenZero

    1SevenZero Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2012
    So here is a story on a scouting trip taking a turn for the worse in a funny way.

    My buddies and I are planning on doing the high buck hunt again. Trying to improve our odds we decided to get some scouting in. (Unfortunately we all have families and full time jobs, so it's really hard for us to find the time.) Anyways the stars aligned and we made our plans.

    Hike in in the morning, glass the evening, the morning, and hike out. We checked the weather....30% chance of rain.

    So we drove 2 and half hours to our spot and started bushwhacking. About 2 hours into our climb the thunder and lighting rolls in with a light rain. No problem. We decide to hold up and see if it's going to pass.

    Then comes the hail (spelling). First, they are about the size of peas which makes us all laugh a bit. Then they start growing.....and growing....and growing. They grew to the size of golf balls (no exaggeration). To make it worse the trees were thin at that altitude and not providing cover.

    My buddy in the Army Poncho was bent over so his pack covered his head, my other buddy had his head wedged between 2 trees, and I ended up falling while trying shift around a tree. The slope was steep enough I slid down into the open. So....I ended up rolling up into the fetal position and placing my pack on top of my upper torso and head to protect myself.

    After about 20 minutes the hail stopped, and gave way to a heavy rain. We continued our climb until it started getting dark. We finally decided to stop and set up camp, despite our not being where we planned.

    As we start to setup camp round 2 of the hail storm starts. Same as before....starting small and building up in size and intensity. Fearing it was going to do that all night, and not give us the opportunity to glass the next morning, we decided to call it and retreat off the mountain.

    As we proceeded to climb down the ridge we were pelted with hail for about 15 min. And this hail was not ordinary. It was precision guided. Other than the repeated pounding to the head, I took multiple hits to my knuckles, one to my thumbnail (ouch!), and one to the ear (that one lead to a lot of profanity).

    So here are some pictures. Unfortunately I only got a couple. I attempted to take some video, but my phone shut off after 6 seconds.

    Attached Files:

  2. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2009
    Thanks for that story. It seems that you don't remember the trips that always go right but you'll always remember THIS one. And as the saying goes, "You don't pick and epic, it picks you." See any deer........?:rolleyes::D


    P.S.---I was running in the Hardrock 100 mile endurance race in Silverton, Colorado several years ago and the same thing happened with the hail in an open area at around 13,000 feet. All you really have is your fanny pack so we had to put it on our head to keep from getting pelted. It was not fun and I know how you felt---it just plain friggin hurts.
  3. jeff 300

    jeff 300 Well-Known Member

    Mar 27, 2005
    sorry but i have to


    glad yall got off the mountain ok you just never know up in the high country
  4. 1SevenZero

    1SevenZero Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2012

    Haha.... I knew someone would have a clever one liner. :D
  5. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2006
    Thanks for the story and photo's!
  6. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2012
    Good story.

    As a Ski Patroller I can tell you there is a lot of truth in the saying, "mountains make their own weather". You just experienced a few instances.

    Our Ski Patrol book, "Mountain Travel and Rescue" is a good read on the subject of mountain travel. Plus you can take the two courses by the same name if you are proficient in backcountry skiing. Both require winter backcountry ski travel with your pack and overnight bivouacs.
  7. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    Great story thanks for posting. Have had similar the difference being I always seem to be horse back and you're right when at timber line there is not much cover. Horses first instinct is to get the heck out of there so things can get real crappy real fast.

    Welcome to the great outdoors...never a dull moment!!