Author Topic: Looking at whats in front of us in the wrong way?  (Read 530 times)


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When I'm hiking I often seem to look at a situation and then afterward think to myself "that was a mistake." Simple things like the choice between following a zig-zag path or trying to go directly up or downhill, only to find it would have been easier and less strenuous to keep to the path. Choosing to walk through long and lush wet grass or to walk on the muddy alternative and then finding out because I'd chosen the grass that the muddy route was the drier one. Or crossing a stream, deciding to put a foot on a stable rock only to find out that it was unstable and ended up getting my feet wet. Or deciding that my legs are long enough to make one long stride over an obstacle and then to find out that I was wrong. I'm sure if I really put my mind to it I could think of lots of examples.

It was the Prime Ministers accident today that made me think of my personal mistakes. The newspapers have blamed a demonstrator (which I have no problem with) but what about the driver behind Mr. Johnson's car? Was it his or her poor distance judgment perhaps? How many times have we all been followed by cars that wouldn't have a chance if we had to brake suddenly. How many accidents do we see when it appears to be a simple shunt when the driver behind has gone into the rear of the one in front because he was just too close for the speed of the vehicles, or failed to take note of the weather conditions at the time?


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Re: Looking at whats in front of us in the wrong way?
« Reply #1 on: 18:25:09, 17/06/20 »
Not quite sure of the reply you are looking for. Seem to be a number of questions posed in there.

Driving it's the persons behinds responsibility to leave a safe gap to allow for an emergency stop.  I can think of a few occasions over the years when I have had to lift off the brakes to prevent someone running into the back of me, then modulate them to prevent me running into the car in front.  Motor bikes are the worst they simply don't have the stopping power or contact patches of sports cars.

As to mistakes going forward walking.  They are rare things indeed.  Many years of running across uneven wet rocks covered in seaweed in bare feet may have helped.  ;D


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Re: Looking at whats in front of us in the wrong way?
« Reply #2 on: 19:29:18, 17/06/20 »
Boris was just enjoying the sport of banger racing  ;D


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Re: Looking at whats in front of us in the wrong way?
« Reply #3 on: 19:30:01, 17/06/20 »
Regarding the PM's prang - close protection vehicles deliberately travel very close to prevent anything or anyone getting between them and the VIP car.  One of my drivers had done the duty in the military.  He demonstrated the technique to me once - it takes a bit of getting used too.

As to path choice - the well worn or indicated route is usually that way for a reason that will become apparent if you try the alternative.  There is a classic example near Val d'Isere.  There are two ski runs into the valley at one point.  The easier, red, route is signed down a hairy looking gully and the harder, black, route is signed along an easy looking broad track.  We called it the divorce route - one half would opt for the gully and the other would opt for the easy looking run.  What they did not know was a bit further round the mountain, the easy looking track came to an abrupt halt at the top of a steep and nasty mogul field.  The trick was to ski down the red and sit in the cafe at the bottom watching the "I told you so!" as people made their way down the black.  Later, as they skied past the cafe, you could learn a lot about non-verbal communication.

My most recent major error was recounted in post #1 in
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Re: Looking at whats in front of us in the wrong way?
« Reply #4 on: 10:26:58, 18/06/20 »
I went to an outdoors exhibition at the NEC a good few years ago, I had just retired. Got invited to do a quiz that resulted in an invitation to a walk leaders selection course. Took place in the Howgils; one of the tests involved sitting us down by a stream and each member of the team showing a way to cross. Nearly every one tried to suggest a way immediately in front or just down stream, where there were larger stones. Across the stream the ground rose very steeply into a gully and ridge.
I was looking a little upstream, where there were a line of small flat stones diagonally across the stream, it hit the bank at a shallow level, deceptively hidden, unless slight trail through the grass to the steep side of the gully had been noticed.
All the party seemed to focus getting strait into the bottom of the gulley, but behind us there was a rather offended looking ewe. It was just coming to my turn to offer a suggestion, when an outraged bleat came from behind us, and a very impatient sheep did a double skip across the diagonal stones, almost flew into the rising side of the gulley showing the neatest rising traverse that put her into the perfect spot to climb the gulley.
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Re: Looking at whats in front of us in the wrong way?
« Reply #5 on: 10:42:58, 18/06/20 »
Facing a five foot wide stream and and thinking I used to long jump a lot further than that as a kid, only to jump four feet and get wet or leave your trainers at the lift off point; giving you the dilemma of how to get back to them without making things worse.
I once faced with a very large puddle with five or six stepping stones at the beginning and then a four foot gap at the end; I ran along the stones and jumped and went thigh deep in the gap; only to look back and see that in the gap there were some more stepping stones but covered with sufficient water so you could not see them from the other side. Merde


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Re: Looking at whats in front of us in the wrong way?
« Reply #6 on: 12:36:35, 18/06/20 »
The textbook example of misery induced by cutting across the zigzags must be taking the Red Burn "path" while decending Ben Nevis. I have yet to meet anybody who found it a good idea.