Chris's "fear of water"...

Here you can discuss anything related to Christopher McCandless.
erikhalfacre
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Re: Chris's "fear of water"...

Postby erikhalfacre » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:36 am

The point about bane berries is interesting, but I was of the understanding that death by bane berry poisoning was unheard of because they have an intensely off-putting flavor. Mixed into large quantities of another edible berry though, perhaps they could be accidentally ingested.

The other question I would have though, would be are there any bane berries in the area of the bus? I've only ever seen the plant growing on forested mountain sides. I got some good photos of the plant near Exit glacier a couple years ago. I've never seen them in a tundra or taiga environment, but perhaps you or others have seen them in the area?
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Anewanddifferentsun
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Re: Chris's "fear of water"...

Postby Anewanddifferentsun » Tue May 01, 2012 2:31 am

erikhalfacre wrote:The point about bane berries is interesting, but I was of the understanding that death by bane berry poisoning was unheard of because they have an intensely off-putting flavor. Mixed into large quantities of another edible berry though, perhaps they could be accidentally ingested.

The other question I would have though, would be are there any bane berries in the area of the bus? I've only ever seen the plant growing on forested mountain sides. I got some good photos of the plant near Exit glacier a couple years ago. I've never seen them in a tundra or taiga environment, but perhaps you or others have seen them in the area?


If Chris, as Krakauer wrote, left the bus May 5 and wandered off toward the Toklat and returned in three weeks (on or around May 26; the berry photo was taken May 29), he certainly went beyond "the area of the bus." From his photographs, we know he hiked up the 3,000-foot forested bluff to the north of the Sushana. Does this qualify as a forested mountainside? Even if he ate bane berries and they did him no harm, Husky aptly points out the other risks - from undercooked meat, to water-borne organisms, to potentially poisonous mushrooms. Even long-term use of water-filtration tablets isn't good for you. Combine all these factors with a very lean diet, and one hardly needs seeds from the wild potato to die. Another factor to consider: what were Chris's water sources when he paddled his canoe on the Sea of Cortez, a trip in which he lost 25 pounds (reported by Chris in his journal)? Could he have swallowed some water-borne organisms during that time? Long before he ventured to Alaska, his risks were many.

erikhalfacre
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 12:48 am
Location: Palmer, AK
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Re: Chris's "fear of water"...

Postby erikhalfacre » Tue May 01, 2012 11:54 pm

By 'area of the bus' I meant the Northern Denali area. It seems possible, but again, I've only ever seen it grow closer to the coast and in heavily shaded areas. I'd just like to know if anyone who lives or travels in that area has actually seen the plant growing.
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