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How Not to Hike the Tanner

South Rim Hikes

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Linked Description  • Tanner Trail, AZ
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Canyonram
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How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Canyonram » Jul 29 2011 11:25 pm

This hiker illustrates the way to NOT hike the Tanner Trail in Grand Canyon. He films himself going down to Cardenas Butte and then thinking the better of the danger of continuing on. He's claims to carry 50-60 lbs of gear, inadequate water for the July weather, no sun protection, starts late in the morning, adbandons his gear, strips off his clothing and is exposed to the full sun, doesn't know the mileage, no map in use on the trail? (but on the video). Not sure if he has a permit---the Backcountry Office made a big mistake if they issued him one since this hike is beyond his current level of Canyon hiking ability.

He helps himself to water cached along the trail (hide those jugs unless you are donating them). I've left donated water along the trail before but I also label it as such. He way overestimates his travel miles---Cardenas Butte is about 4.5-to-5 miles down and then back up---he claims 30 miles in his final video frame. When he gets to the top, he stops to double check the information on the warning sign at the trailhead. Don't think he understands how close he came to heat stroke/dehydration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcYHNNxM4aQ

Perfect training video. The one right thing he did was 'ABORT' when he realized he was pushing it too far.

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azbackpackr
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by azbackpackr » Aug 10 2011 1:08 pm

I met Maverick. Sheesh. Later, he killed his wife and then killed himself.
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Jim_H
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Jim_H » Aug 10 2011 1:18 pm

azbackpackr wrote:I met Maverick. Sheesh. Later, he killed his wife and then killed himself.
Well, Mel Gibson is a little nutso. Just look at his filmography.
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Dave1 » Aug 10 2011 1:29 pm

Tough_Boots wrote:@Jim_H

Don't forget Tom Cruise! (Top Gun) :)

Supposedly that Maverick has been to the "green room" in Havasupai.

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Canyonram
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Canyonram » Aug 10 2011 2:15 pm

Laurent 'Maverick' Gaudreau and his wife Shirley were two of the more interesting people to live and work at the Canyon. For whatever reason, their lives were cut short with Laurent killing his wife and then committing suicide. It is still a sad mystery as to why this happened.

On occassion, 'Maverick' would indeed wear his black cowboy gear like his namesake.

http://grandcanyonnews.com/main.asp?Sea ... ID=651&S=1

I first met Maverick while I was on a R-2-R. He was giving me grief for the size of my Kelty pack and why was I carrying so much gear. I told him if I found him passed out on the trail I'd have enough room in my backpack to carry his mummified butt up to the South Rim. He laughed and we became friends.

He'd leave the other 'Mavericks' mentioned in the dust, even at 80+.
Last edited by Canyonram on Aug 24 2011 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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azbackpackr
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by azbackpackr » Aug 10 2011 2:38 pm

Dave1 wrote:
Tough_Boots wrote:@Jim_H

Don't forget Tom Cruise! (Top Gun) :)

Supposedly that Maverick has been to the "green room" in Havasupai.
Yes, according to Ghiglieri, he took Cruise there while guiding on a river trip. You can read about it in his first Canyon book, entitled Canyon.

On the river trip I just came off of, my boatman pal told me exactly how one goes about going to the Green Room. I had thought it was big, but it is only big enough for about 2 heads to pop up and breathe in there, he said. He also said the air is not very good in there. Sounded sort of dangerous. We didn't spend time at Havasu Creek, just about an hour. There are lots of places that are very hard or virtually impossible to hike to where we did spend time. The river is very busy in summer, also. I like to see places without the crowds.
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by writelots » Aug 10 2011 3:44 pm

Canyonram wrote: It is still a sad mystery as to why this happened.
I was thinking about this the other day - still amazing that we don't know what happened. So sad.
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azbackpackr
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by azbackpackr » Aug 10 2011 4:08 pm

I've heard a few stories (that I probably shouldn't have heard) but none of them really solves the mystery.
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by big_load » Aug 10 2011 4:25 pm

azbackpackr wrote:I met Maverick. Sheesh. Later, he killed his wife and then killed himself.
I hope you don't often have that effect. :o
azbackpackr wrote:I've heard a few stories (that I probably shouldn't have heard) but none of them really solves the mystery.
I suppose that's not surprising. What seems like an inescapable conclusion to somebody who does that usually looks like a bad solution to everyone else. :(

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Canyonram
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Canyonram » Aug 31 2011 10:16 am

Part of this thread has centered around the level of authority that the Backcountry staff / Park Rangers have in regards to controlling hikers within the Canyon. A case of child abuse was reported on Aug. 31, 2011 at the Canyon: http://azdailysun.com/news/local/crime- ... b1c92.html

(If link doesn't work, go to http://www.azdailysun.com and do a search for 'Canyon child endangerment charge')

I'm curious as to the reaction by members of the forum: (1) Do you agree with the criminal charges vs. the grandfather? (2) Did the Rangers go far enough? Or did they go too far? (3) If the children appeared dehydrated and under duress, should the Rangers allowed them to continue hiking out of the Canyon or should they have taken more decisive action to put a halt to the hike up on both the first and second hikes?

As to 'How not to Hike the Tanner,' on the same day that this abuse case was observed on a dayhike on Bright Angel, a hiker was reported deceased on the Tanner:
http://azdailysun.com/news/local/crime- ... b1c92.html

(If the link doesn't work, go to http://www.azdailysun.com and do a search for 'Officials: Hiker's body found in Grand Canyon Aug 30, 2011')

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by azbackpackr » Aug 31 2011 10:54 am

Canyonram wrote:I'm curious as to the reaction by members of the forum: (1) Do you agree with the criminal charges vs. the grandfather? (2) Did the Rangers go far enough? Or did they go too far? (3) If the children appeared dehydrated and under duress, should the Rangers allowed them to continue hiking out of the Canyon or should they have taken more decisive action to put a halt to the hike up on both the first and second hikes?
I am pretty sure that I was not alone in thinking, "Thank goodness that man is in jail" after reading the article. I agree with the criminal charges. I wonder what the parents think. I wonder if the parents are as bad as the grandfather. Hope not. I hope they throw the book at him. And yes, probably the rangers could have acted sooner, but it sounds like they were pretty well on top of things. I am not going to fault the rangers. They had to have enough evidence to bust the guy and make it stick, and yet still prevent the kids from dying out there. I really, really hope that man gets put away for some time. There is no excuse for what he apparently did to those kids. Let's hope for a very strict judge when this goes to trial.

I took my kids backpacking on some pretty tough trails when they were 10, 12, etc. New Hance-Grandview loop, Bill Hall, Hermit, etc. We always went in October, though, not in August. And I made sure it was fun for them. They hiked better than I did, in all cases!
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by big_load » Aug 31 2011 11:23 am

It doesn't sound like a difficult judgment call. I can imagine the uproar if one of those kids had died and word got out that the rangers were aware of the situation on more than one occasion without intervening on their behalf.

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by kingsnake » Aug 31 2011 11:28 am

Or John McCain (as long as we are talking about Mavericks) ;)
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azbackpackr
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by azbackpackr » Aug 31 2011 11:57 am

kingsnake wrote:Or John McCain (as long as we are talking about Mavericks) ;)
We're not talking about Maverick. Switch to Page 2.
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by hikeaz » Aug 31 2011 3:11 pm

joe bartels wrote:Glad he made it out okay! He's lucky he went in the dry month of June. Doubt he would have made it in the current humidity since sweating doesn't cool your core like it does when it's down near 4-8%
The exaggerated distance doesn't surprise me, I hear and see it almost daily.
What amazes me is that the guy took a TENT... in JUNE! A sleeping bag? Seriously? Tanner Beach 'dips' to about 70 at night.. may-be.
nonot wrote:The backcountry office is not at mistake of anything - they issue permits to anyone who legally asks. It is not their job to judge the worthiness of any individual that would apply for the permit, and that's the way it should be. If people overestimate their ability and die as a result, it is not the park's fault either, the park provides the warning material about the strenuous nature of the Grand Canyon. Let's not make the government into babysitters for each and every one of us, it has gotten far too close to that in our daily lives already.
: app : : app :

Yes - when folks decide to 'adventure', they risk death.. period. It doesn't matter if it is their fault or some freak malady - it was their 'choice' to undertake the 'adventure'. (minors are protected, sometimes after-the-fact, by our laws) Especially in this day-and-age, there is so much data available to help one make an informed decision from corroborated information. Even the hand-out from the park that is attached to each Tanner T/H permit reads:" Important Notes:
The Grand Canyon in general is infamous for summer heat and the Tanner Trail is specifically noted as being unusually hot. The wide open nature of this part of the canyon means the summer sun comes up early and sets late. No water means no vegetation, and that means no shade. River runners call this part of the Grand Canyon "Furnace Flats". Avoid this trail during hot weather.”

Speaking of river-runners.. if you show up at the ferry with a) the right safety equipment and b) a permit, you, too, can raft the Colorado through Grand Canyon that's the way it SHOULD be. Yes, some would consider it foolhardy to raft the GC without any experience, but many, many have, and lived to tell the tale - it's THEIR adventure... let 'em have it - anything else would be exclusionary. 'Experience' is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

There are railings at Yosemite, but folks circumvent them (that is their 'adventure') and perish over the falls - Should every NP visitor have their I.Q. tested before hiking, or before applying for some sort of permit? Could the Federal Employees pass?

Re. the youtube guy - He 'appeared' in decent shape and was relatively young, too - I bet he would have passed muster even if the BCO DID a visual physical assessment. Luckily, as dumb as he was, he wasn't terminally dumb.
kurt

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Canyonram
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Canyonram » Aug 31 2011 3:43 pm

Hello Hikeaz,

Did you have opportunity to look at the report regarding the arrest of the grandfather for child abuse on the BA?
http://azdailysun.com/news/local/crime- ... b1c92.html

Also, I posted a second link here that was moved to a separate topic under 'Grand Canyon fatalities' concerning a backpacker found deceased on the Tanner (at about the same time that the grandfather had his grandsons on a Canyon Death March).

Here's the link for the Tanner Trail fatality Aug. 29, 2011:
http://www.nps.gov/grca/parknews/2011-0 ... -hiker.htm

I posted it here because it dovetailed into the discussion & video fo the guy hiking the Tanner who got out alive. Except for the fact that the guy in the video got out alive, the two hikers have a lot in common.

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by azbackpackr » Aug 31 2011 4:22 pm

Canyonram wrote:I posted it here because it dovetailed into the discussion & video of the guy hiking the Tanner who got out alive. Except for the fact that the guy in the video got out alive, the two hikers have a lot in common.
Moving right along with the events of THIS WEEK: Regarding the man who died this week, I would like to see a followup story. It's possible the youtube guy and the guy who died don't have much in common as to physical fitness, overall health, age, etc.

Canyonram, that story of the grandfather and the three boys actually warrants its own thread, don't you think? It is quite a story. How much do you want to bet some other person will post it up on a new thread, not noticing that we have already been discussing it.
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Canyonram » Aug 31 2011 6:13 pm

The aspect of the child abuse case on the Bright Angel trail that lead me to post it on this current topic was the response of the Park Rangers after being alerted to what was going on. Part of this thread involved a debate on the role of the Park staff to either OK or probibit a hike. In the abuse case, the hikers were on a dayhike and the Park staff had no opportunity to advise, OK, or prohibit the hike. They did have opportunity to intervene once they were made aware of what was going on.

Hindsight is always 20-20 and I guess you can make a good argument that the second Death March hike was handled in the right way since the three boys made it to the Rim. The 'rationale' reported in the news article was that the Park staff wished to avoid a confrontation on the trail with the grandfather. There would have been plenty of reason to challenge that response had one of the boys gone down and died---how do you explain away several Park Rangers fully alert to what was going on while another Park Ranger watched from above via binoculars as the grandfather beat the boys up the trail instead of going down and putting a stop to the abuse??? Because they didn't want to get involved on the trail in a confrontation??? That would be something to include on a coroner's report.

My own preference would be for the Rangers to be more proactive and intervene on behalf of the children. . . even if it meant a confrontation with the grandfather. Personally, I'd rather explain why I beat the tar out of the grandfather compared to explaining why I allowed the children to be abused unto death. Even with the 'successful' outcome of avoiding a confrontation, I would have still preferred that the Rangers intervene ASAP. The children were still put through a couple of uphill miles of hell and will have those psychological scars to deal with. Hope they realize that what their grandfather put them through was not something that they will have to do to 'train' their own children.

I wonder how many think the grandfather was doing 'right' and was providing a 'tough love' approach to toughen up his grandsons? Wonder how many on this forum use the same tactic with youngsters? My high school football coach would run us into the ground on hot summer days to get us 'tough' for the upcoming football season using the old military concept of 'water discipline' and 'water rationing.' Both techniques have been long discredited. Apparently the grandfather in the abuse case didn't get the memo.

As to the Video Hiker and the deceased hiker along the Tanner, the one big difference is that the Video Hiker had access to some water left along the trail. Carrying a tent is an additional weight burden (that may have worked against the Video hiker) but is was also a source of shade that allowed him to rest before continuing up. Video hiker knew when to 'Abort' whereas the second victim insisted on continuing to hike up, even when advised not to do so.

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by azbackpackr » Aug 31 2011 6:32 pm

Lots of excellent points.

I hope no one on this website is as stupid and sadistic as that grandfather.

I agree, when you put it the way you did, that the rangers could have done an intervention earlier. They are trained law enforcement officers, should be able to handle an arrest on the trail. On the other hand, sometimes they withhold some of the pertinent information from the press. There may be aspects that we don't know about.
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by autumnstars » Aug 31 2011 8:40 pm

I'm guessing part of the rangers' reason in wanting to avoid a confrontation on trail was more that it could potentially be truly dangerous. On that trail, any attempt to fight back by the grandfather or to use one of the children as a hostage could easily result in a fatal fall - by a child, a ranger, or the grandfather.
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by PaleoRob » Aug 31 2011 9:08 pm

azbackpackr wrote:They are trained law enforcement officers, should be able to handle an arrest on the trail.
Most are not, actually. Common misunderstanding. Most rangers that one meets in the National Parks are interpretative rangers - no more equipped to make arrests than I. Same goes for backcountry rangers - they just happen to be in the backcountry. Unless you see a gun on a hip and handcuffs, the ranger you are speaking to is probably not an LE.
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