|The F4 Phantom over Vietnam.|
The F4 Phantom is a supersonic jet that was used between 1958 and 2016 in the United States Military. During the Cold War the American military was envisioning fighting Russian jets, so the F4 was designed to be a long range intercepter--an air-to-air combat machine.
During the Vietnam War, the military realized that they could use this airplane to deliver bombs, even though it hadn't be designed to do so. Because it had been built to fight other planes, it didn't have the indicators for missiles that other planes did--it should have already been flying faster or higher than the missiles coming from the ground making an indicator unnecessary. Captain Charlie Plumb who flew this plane during the Vietnam War said that he "had no indication when a missile was in the air. So we went down to Radio Shack and bought a fuzz buster (police scanner). The Russian built SAMs (Surface to Air Missiles) [were] on the same frequency as the California Highway Patrol! It had a little suction cup that went on the wind shield...and [there I was] flying a twenty million dollar airplane being protected by a twenty nine dollar fuzz buster."1
It's funny how sometimes it's the little additions make all the difference.
Something I learned a long time ago is that if I'm doing a climb with a carry over (where you hike off another way back to camp instead of rapping back down the same way) I prefer a small pack. This makes sense, I mean it's much easier to climb with a small pack than a big pack, even if it's empty. So the trick is to hike in with everything strapped to the outside, gypsy style.
I have a small pack that I'd avoided using for years because it didn't have any straps on the outside. I am a minimalist as far as pack features are concerned, so of course you can have too many straps on a pack, but one "compression strap" on each side to hold things like ropes, boots, and poles to the pack are really worth their weight. Recently I decided to do some finagling and added a pair of straps so I could use the pack more effectively. It's the little additions that make all the difference.
I used it this month on the North Face of Mt Borah in Idaho's Lost River Range. It's a beautiful feature in a beautiful place, and I was glad I able to finally get up there and see it in person.
|The north face of Mt Borah at sunrise.|
|Myself on the face.|
Photo: Jack Parks
|Jack up high.|
|The headwall's close!|
|Jack on the summit.|
|Good, ol' fashioned, beehive state ingenuity.|
1 Jocko Podcast 76 with Charlie Plumb - 6 Years a POW at The Hanoi Hilton