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Don't be a Trail Idiot Part 3: Deathwish

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

This form of Trail Idiot has been "Trending" for a while now. It's the Wildlife Selfie Trail Idiot.

On a recent trek near Big Sur California, a pair of Black-tailed deer walked out of the woods onto the trail and walked along the trail for some time. A couple of people noticed this and ran over to get their selfie with the deer. They got pretty close to the deer, and the deer were showing signs of stress. At this point, I was hoping the male deer would open up a can of whoop-ass on them but the deer turned and walked back into the woods. Fear not, the Wildlife Selfie Trail Idiot did get a parting gift. They were knee-deep in poison oak and didn't even know it. Deer can cause serious injuries and sometimes even death, give the wildlife some space.

A popular Southern California "Peak Bagger" trail is the Devil's Backbone on Mount San Antonio (Baldy). This trail is extremely popular in the summer months but can also get very busy in the winter. This brings us to the I Think I Can Trail Idiot. In just one month 3 people died on Mount San Antonio from falling down Ice chutes on this trail and within that same time frame, 22 hikers had to be rescued for various reasons. This leads to stories in the news like; "Mt. Baldy deaths lead to questions about trail safety". The trails have been there for decades, it's not the trails it's the I Think I Can Trail Idiots that are the safety issue. If you do not have the proper skills and gear don't do it. The Devil's Backbone trail is beautiful in the summer as well, maybe wait for the snow and ice to melt.

Social media is everywhere, even on the trails. More and more people are posting pictures and videos of themselves walking on trails, standing on summits holding signs, looking at views topless, and so on. This brings us to the Tik Tok Trail Idiot. The Mount Baden-Powell trail is another popular Southern California trail and is usually pretty full of "Peak Baggers" every month except during winter when the roads are closed. The trail to the summit is fairly steep and rocky or covered with exposed roots in many sections. On this occasion, a young lady was traveling down the trail as we were going up. The Tik Tok Trail Idiot was a few switchbacks above us filming herself with her phone and not paying attention to her foot placements. Within moments of noticing her, she tripped and took a face plant right into some rocks. Lucky for her the oversized and overpriced sunglasses she was wearing took most of the impact. She ended up with scratches on her face but, ok. She could have seriously been hurt or killed. Your life isn't worth a few social likes, pay attention to the trail and your surroundings.

Mt. Baden-Powell summit with Mt. Baldy in the background, which still has snow in June.

These forms of Trail Idiots are not only putting themselves at risk but also affecting everyone else who is being responsible. Many Government and State-run Parks are closing down sections or the whole park to minimize the cost associated with rescues and lawsuits.

If you want some extra Trail points, pack out some trash or perform some trail maintenance to fix damaged areas.

The great outdoors is there for everyone to enjoy. Do your part to see that everyone does, Safely.

The photographs contained in this website may not be reproduced without the express consent of Shutter Bison.

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