Sixtymile - Grand Canyon Notes

About Loose Rocks

You are hiking off-trail - packs and all, and descending a steep slope with numerous loose rocky chunks of various sizes where there is no established route or game track. Some hikers in the group recognize that this can be a dangerous place and may want to do something to reduce the chance of an accident. What to do?

A. Experienced hikers quietly hang to the back of the group without comment so if anyone knocks a boulder loose it won't fall their way.

B. Suggest that everyone should stay close together and be careful - if a rock comes loose it won't gain enough speed to be a serious threat, but there will be no chance of a warning either.

C. Suggest that everyone should be careful and spread out so that if a rock does come loose, call out "rock" or "big effing rock" and anyone below can scramble out of the way (if possible).

D. Suggest any less experienced hikers (especially anyone who has already kicked one loose) go in front of the group and be extra careful - optionally, explain why or not.

E. Have hikers move one or two at a time, while others in the group stand aside of the apparent fall-line watching upslope, or if not a great distance, descend individually.

F. Different options or combinations of the above, depending on the situation.

G. None of the above - anyone can kick a rock loose anytime and this is a normal situation - any delay causing the the group to spend more time on the slope increases risk.

Consider your choices and then compare with my own options analysis.



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