A Slippery Slope

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Joined: 06/03/2010

Slippery Slope

         My first mistake was only hiking in the
foothills around Simi Valley and not getting higher into the Angeles Forest for
a more rigorous terrain. I figured this out after I had ventured onto a shale
covered slope on my way to the top of a steep ridge I was headed to scouting for
elk. I was several steps in when I knew I was in trouble as I placed my foot on
a loose patch of shale that covered the steep slope and I began to slide.

         I realized very quickly that the shale
was extremely loose and slippery so any misstep would precipitate a more
serious slide that could pull me down the slope that might end in a drop off
into a valley far below. I had no desire to find out if I could survive such an
ordeal so I slung my rifle on my back and dug my toes in deep and used my hands
to grab anything not loose so I could get across the shale to solid ground.

         I was a novice at mountain hunting and
I was in the rugged Bitterroot Mountain area of Idaho trying to shoot my first
elk. My friend and I had prepared all summer hiking but we both were unprepared
for the rugged slopes and ravines where we were hunting. Our guide had taken us
on horseback up to the mountain spike camp and dropped us there to hunt alone for
five days and we had a sobering awaking when we saw the spike camp had been
ravaged by a Grizzly looking for food in the cook tent as evidenced by beaten
up tent support posts and a smashed peanut butter tin. We slept with our rifles
at hand that night and sleep didn’t come easy.

         All this had led up to my ordeal on the
shale slope and I think I prayed more at that time than I ever had before. I
often think of the old Army saying that goes something like “There are no
Atheists in a foxhole”! I know there aren’t many old dumb hunters trying to
cross a shale slide in the mountains! Luckily I smartened up real fast and
became a survivor that trip and I’m old enough now to be thankful I did. I had
a few more almost close calls like a charging bull moose but nothing like that slippery


ace's picture
Joined: 06/09/2010
more of the same

Hi Chris

Remember back when I was a kid still in hi school and the old man and I were hunting over on West Twin.
Dad and I were crossing a slide above a crick and I was across but the old man got about have way and there he was, spred out and stuck!
I sat my rifle down and made a dash across and grabbed his model 8 and then he made it the rest of the way.
thanks for the memories.
ps that was about 1954