Double H: Double Hard

Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2006 21:13:58 -0500
From: Neil Aring
Subject: Re: [High_Adventure] Double H

Scott Simpson wondered
>Harder in the sense that it's more physically demanding or harder in the
>sense that you have to pay attention to where you're going?

Double H is harder both ways. A ranger stays with you for safety reasons. HH is not a scout camp like Philmont and since you are off trail if you get lost it is not just a matter of taking a wrong turn which needs to be corrected. You could get seriously lost very easily. Add to this the fact that there is no surface water other than stocktanks at the scattered wind mills, a crew without good navigation skills could get into serious trouble quickly. Our Ranger was very unobtrusive and was, like the advisors, along for the ride while the boys did the navigation and decision making. The Ranger carries a radio and has to report in every evening as a further precaution. The other factor is that unlike Philmont you are very far away from any support . The Ranger and his radio are the only way to get help in case of an accident and that help could take hours to reach you.

We were at HH in July and it was blazing hot. Hiking off trail is definitely more difficult and tiring than hiking the trails at Philmont. It's tougher psycholigically also. As the crew gets tired at the end of the day everyone has a tendency to start wondering if there might have been a better way and second guessing what the navigators chose.

Of course having said that the advantage to HH is that you really get the feeling of being "out there" on your own. And I think because of the navigation and off trail hiking you tend to connect more to the land and be more aware of the landscape. It's neat to to take a bearing and head for a rock formation miles away across a valley, not see the formation for a couple of hours, and then come up on it - confirming your navigation skills.

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