/ Assistance: Tower Ridge gear recovery

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L finnegankp - on 16 May 2017
A couple weeks ago my wife and I were unfortunate enough to drop our GPS on Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis. We were just starting a section at the base of the first tower when it slipped from our pack and over the edge towards the eastern gully. We were on the far left at an anchor point marked by two rather old pitons. The GPS slid off a graded slope and over the edge but we believe it may have landed on a shelf about 30-40 meters below the anchor points directly east, below the piton anchor.

We are hoping to find someone that is looking to do Tower Ridge in the next week that would be willing to make a short detour during their ascent to see if they are able to locate and recover our GPS. We would happily pay somone £50 for their troubles.

If anyone is interested, please let me know as we're somewhat grounded until we can recover it as we don't have the available funds to lay out for a brand new unit.

Cheers,

Kyle
3
TobyA on 16 May 2017
In reply to finnegankp:

I hope you get it back, but don't let not having it stop you getting out - map and compass still works, and your phone may well work as GPS, mine does.
L finnegankp - on 16 May 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Totally agree and we use a map and compass as well as the GPS, however the former can't record our route manin great detail. Phones have come a long way, but even so battery life on them is fairly short and batteries aren't user replaceable in many of them (including my S7). The map and compass + phone option is great for shorter trips, but isn't an entirely feasible option for long multi-day and multi-week trips.
7
olddirtydoggy - on 16 May 2017
In reply to finnegankp:
When you say 'grounded', are you still stuck up there without it? Would you like me to call someone?
Post edited at 22:54
derryclimbs - on 16 May 2017
In reply to finnegankp:

Genuine question... Why do you need to record your trip in great detail?
1
Robert Durran - on 16 May 2017
In reply to finnegankp:

> Totally agree and we use a map and compass as well as the GPS, however the former can't record our route in great detail.

If you really feel the need for that you could always use a pencil (widely and cheaply available) to draw a line on the map.

> The map and compass + phone option is great for shorter trips, but isn't an entirely feasible option for long multi-day and multi-week trips.

It is entirely feasible even without the phone. I believe some people managed to do without a mobile phone on a regular basis before they were invented.

James_Kendal on 17 May 2017
In reply to finnegankp:

To make your phone battery last all day in the mountains, put it in Flight Mode / Aeroplane Mode.

GPS still works in flight mode as long as you have already downloaded the map, so you can navigate and record your route but save the battery that would be used transmitting on max power trying to get a signal.

Switch briefly back to normal when you need to make a call or read UKC.
1
Dave Perry - on 17 May 2017
In reply to finnegankp:

The only reason I'd bother look for it is to see how much smashed up it was. If it fell that far I'd guess its dead and slid into some scree.

If I wish to record my routes, I use pen, paper, & map, so it shouldn't restrict you in anyway. Goodluck
bedspring on 17 May 2017
In reply to derryclimbs:

Genuine question... Why do you not record your trip in great detail?
6
Fruit on 17 May 2017
In reply to finnegankp:
This started off as a sensible (and generous) 'we've lost some gear can you help us' post. Then it went a bit weird 'were groundered' without our GPS. What are you, robots?
Post edited at 08:46
JMarkW - on 17 May 2017
In reply to derryclimbs:

because they want to? because they want to overlay the track on a map after?

I often do this when I have been out kayaking, look at the route speed, navigation, etc. Some other people don't i think though
4
Camjames - on 18 May 2017
In reply to Dave Perry:

How clever you are.
4
Trangia on 18 May 2017
In reply to James_Kendal:

> To make your phone battery last all day in the mountains, put it in Flight Mode / Aeroplane Mode.GPS still works in flight mode as long as you have already downloaded the map, so you can navigate and record your route but save the battery that would be used transmitting on max power trying to get a signal.Switch briefly back to normal when you need to make a call or read UKC.

That's a really good tip. I didn't know that, so thank you, ever since getting my map app I've been bugged by poor battery life when using it
JMarkW - on 18 May 2017
In reply to Trangia:

I do this when I'm on a plane next to a window and I'm bored. Works now and again
Allovesclimbin - on 18 May 2017
In reply to finnegankp:

Never used a GPS or phone for navigation . Hope you get it back but why not map compass and pencil and map ?
1
veteye on 18 May 2017
In reply to Allovesclimbin:

Agreed. Why not get out in poor weather and use map and compass as a training exercise for one of those times when your GPS dies or you drop it/lose it. I usually go munro bashing on the weekend before Christmas when the weather is poor and I see it as a challenge. I never have a GPS. I go on my own, and feel that I make more map reading mistakes when I go with other people as I think we are less wary when others are around.
Nevertheless, I keep wondering about buying either a GPS watch(Suunto or??) or a separate GPS device for the Alps/speed.
Roberttaylor - on 18 May 2017
In reply to veteye:

I have a fancy suunto watch that I use for navigation and recording my routes. I'm perfectly capable of navigating using map and compass (and a sextant, star chart etc. if those are available) but I like having the extra features of space age tech on my wrist. Altitude, both from GPS and barometric pressure, the ability to set waypoints, accurate information on height gain/loss, distance covered. For an upcoming trip to the Alps I've downloaded GPS coordinates for a number of summits, cols, bivvy huts and refuges that I am likely to want to find.

If you are interested in tracking how quickly you can move then I can definitely recommend using one. The slightly older suunto ones (ambit 2) are available for a lot less now the newer ones are available.
elliptic on 18 May 2017
In reply to Allovesclimbin:

> Never used a GPS or phone for navigation . Hope you get it back but why not map compass and pencil and map ?

Pencil paper and envelope still work fine for communication. And yet here you are chatting on the internet ;-)
1
Timmd on 18 May 2017
In reply to Fruit:

> This started off as a sensible (and generous) 'we've lost some gear can you help us' post. Then it went a bit weird 'were groundered' without our GPS. What are you, robots?

Perhaps they're not very confident without a GPS? I don't suppose it matters to anybody who happens to be doing Tower Ridge anyway?
3
L finnegankp - on 18 May 2017
In reply to finnegankp:

We would be happy to go the map, compass, pencil and paper route. Did it for years, but as Roberylttaylor noted, the GPS increases ease and available options. If its lost for good, then we'll look into maps, but as we mentioned in the original post, our funds are very limited as we've just moved over to the UK from abroad. And while maps aren't exceedingly expensive and range between £9-15 each, they can only cover so much of an area and only support here in the UK, whereas our GPS had detailed topo for the UK, most of Europe, Canada and the US. Its far more expensive to replace the GPS with all the maps to cover even just the climbing areas.

So while I appreciate the suggestions and being clever, we really were just hoping to find a good samaritan that might help us recover the GPS.
deepsoup - on 18 May 2017
In reply to finnegankp:
> And while maps aren't exceedingly expensive and range between £9-15 each, they can only cover so much of an area

About that - if you have a printer, especially an A3 printer, this might be worth a look:

https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop/os-maps-online.html
https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk

I print and laminate my own OS maps (to scale) for sea kayaking, and have a growing pile of handy little waterproof maps that I can scribble temporary (but waterproof) notes on with a chinagraph pencil. It's brilliant - well worth 20 quid a year to me.

> So while I appreciate the suggestions and being clever, we really were just hoping to find a good samaritan that might help us recover the GPS.

There were always going to be some smart comments about how you don't need GPS, and some (imo) wise council that you should really have a paper map as well even if you do have the GPS.

If these posts are getting you down, don't lose heart. Each post is also a bump that makes it a bit more likely (or given what you're asking for perhaps I should say a bit less unlikely) that someone who can help you out will see your thread.

Timmd on 18 May 2017
In reply to finnegankp:

Helpful bump
2
climbwhenready - on 18 May 2017
In reply to finnegankp:

Have you never had a technical failure in the mountains?

It sounds like you are relying on a GPS for all your mapping. If that's the case, I suggest you seriously think about some "what if" scenarios.

There's a reason a lot of people are "being clever", as you put it.
8
Camjames - on 18 May 2017
In reply to climbwhenready:

I would say a lot of people are being clever and condescending . I suspect more people get themselves lost using a map and compass than those using GPS alone.
3
JDC - on 19 May 2017
In reply to Camjames:

I think the only reason people are being "clever and condescending" is because of the OP's original comment about being grounded until they got their GPS unit back...
Robert Durran - on 19 May 2017
In reply to Camjames:

> I would say a lot of people are being clever and condescending . I suspect more people get themselves lost using a map and compass than those using GPS alone.

Of course. I've never used one, but I believe a GPS tells you were you are at any moment, so it is impossible to get lost with one (unless it fails). I'm not sure what your point is.

The simple point the "clever and condescending" people have been making is that it is perfectly possible to do without GPS (contrary to what the OP seemed to be claiming).

tom_in_edinburgh - on 19 May 2017
In reply to Camjames:

> I would say a lot of people are being clever and condescending . I suspect more people get themselves lost using a map and compass than those using GPS alone.

The other obvious point is that a GPS which fell 30 to 40m and has been left outside on a mountain for a couple of weeks is probably f*cked.
1
deepsoup - on 19 May 2017
In reply to JDC:
> I think the only reason people are being "clever and condescending" is because ..

True. And also because this is UKC, which is often a condescending dickhead rich environment. On some subjects more than others. Whenever GPS is mentioned, there's barely room to fold a map without elbowing one in the eye.

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The other obvious point is that a GPS which fell 30 to 40m and has been left outside on a mountain for a couple of weeks is probably f*cked.

If it fell 30-40m through free space before landing on a rock you'll undoubtedly be right. If it's one of the tougher ones though, it's also quite possible that it's OK.

bpmclimb on 19 May 2017
In reply to finnegankp:

> We are hoping to find someone that is looking to do Tower Ridge in the next week that would be willing to make a short detour during their ascent to see if they are able to locate and recover our GPS. We would happily pay somone £50 for their troubles.

We were on Tower Ridge just the other day. Unfortunately, despite spending most of the day scrambling around looking for your GPS, we couldn't find it. May I still have the £50 for my trouble, please?
1
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Timmd on 21 May 2017
In reply to bpmclimb:

> May I still have the £50 for my trouble, please?


That'll mean you didn't do it out of kindness..? ;-)


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