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#190846 - 12/15/09 01:41 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: ponder]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2131
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Dagney, well said. As smart as I think I am, I know things I do would appear completely boneheaded to others.

To Sue and Ben, I understand your frustration. I've felt that myself in other lesser situations.

I so sorry to hear that one person didn't make it, and I just hope the other two are found safe. After all, that is why we come to this forum - to learn and share about being equipped to survive the unexpected.

Ken

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#190850 - 12/15/09 02:08 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: KenK]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
The latest news tonight (Mon) says that Mr Gullberg's body was found at the bottom of a 1500 foot headwall, and that he had taken "a long, slow fall". He was killed by hypothermia, and not by the fall. Since he was unroped, this continues to fit the scenario that he was going for help - but took a bad route down the mountain. The other team members have got ice axes and could presumably have carved out a snow cave. But this is 4 days now without good insulation, and unless they've got a stove and lots of fuel (for making hot drinks) their body energy is at serious risk.

other Pete

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#190852 - 12/15/09 02:21 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: Teslinhiker]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2918
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Teslinhiker, I respect your comments.

Perhaps you should consider sticking around. I think you could add value.

In this forum, it's acceptable to call "BS" when you see it -- as long as you can back it up of course.

The temptations of the armchair opinion are many; I'm guilty of a few.

But in my experience, the people around here defer to "boots on the ground" experience, and aren't too proud to say "I was wrong, I spoke too soon." That's how it should be.

Tell us more of your colleagues, and of your experience.

Regards,
Doug

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#190857 - 12/15/09 02:51 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: dougwalkabout]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
I'm sorry that I sound so callous to some of you, but I have been seeing things like this happening for multiple DECADES.

Around this forum, the usual attitude is "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best".

But some of the ice climbers (not all) seem to have reworded it a bit to "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, unless we want to make a fast trip up a dangerous mountain, where we shall just assume that everything will be fine and we'll just trust to luck."

Now, I am not saying they shouldn't go, or should be forbidden to go by anyone else. Everyone has to die sometime, and I guess some want to pick their own time.

But it's getting others involved that is where I am having the problem. When a mother decides to sit out a Category 4 hurricane with her three toddlers, who's to blame for their deaths? When a too-fast driver sails off into a canyon with two dogs aboard, who do you feel the most regret for? When Harry Truman (of Mt. St. Helens fame) literally committed suicide on the mountain, he kept his cats with him. $#&%$ Harry Truman, it was his decision.

The bottom line is, I don't care about people who deliberately make the decision to put their own lives in danger. I just don't. It's their victims who get my sympathy. Sorry.

Sue

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#190863 - 12/15/09 03:18 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: Susan]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2918
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I know that Mt. Hood has quite a reputation. I don't have the facts to comment on this specific situation.

But I do know that I accept certain risks and hazards in my outdoors trips. I try to prepare for any reasonable contingency, including being prepared to turn around and go home. And I certainly try to avoid any situation that puts others in danger.

But sometimes, the bear gets even those who are adequately prepared. And that's when we have no choice but to ask for help from the fine LEOs, Park Rangers, and SAR members who stand and serve.

So, I don't thing generalizations are helpful. Each situation should be judged on its merits.

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#190864 - 12/15/09 03:29 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: Susan]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Just read some of the CNN coverage etc and had a quick look at the contour map for the area. There are a couple of things I find a little baffling about this story.

Timberline Lodge is on a 5900 feet contour and one of the climbers bodies was found at 9000 feet and it would appear from the media coverage that Mr Gullberg could have been above 10,000 feet.

So we are talking possibly a 4000-5000 climb in winter with a known storm front predicted for the area yet the group left at 1.00 pm in the afternoon. I'm not aware that the group were equipped to spend the night out on the hill. This seems extremely late in the day to have started their climb especially if their aim was for the summit.

This sounds like another all too typical mountaineering incident of not knowing when to forget the summit and just turn back when time has run out or conditions begin to turn for the worst. Unfortunately I'm afraid that the chances of Miss Nolan and Mr Vietti being found alive are virtually non existant. Certainly a tragedy for all concerned.

Although it is easy to speculate but I suspect that Miss Nolan's body will be found at a considerably lower altitude on the mountain than Mr Vietti's body.



Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (12/15/09 03:35 AM)

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#190865 - 12/15/09 03:56 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1413
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
There a lot of misconceptions, false reporting etc. My friend and the other 2 climbers are experienced and would never attempt a climb at such a late hour. They started their climb out at around 1:00 am PST Friday morning...not pm.

From cnn.com.

When the three hikers set out at about 1 a.m. PT Friday (4 a.m. ET), they were planning a fairly easy, "semi-technical" hike in which they would come down the south side of the mountain, said Deputy Scott Meyers of the Clackamas County, Oregon, Sheriff's Office.


Thanks to many of you here who have written many gracious comments. It is refreshing to see that not all are so callous and judgmental here.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#190867 - 12/15/09 04:17 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: Teslinhiker]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Hi Teslinhiker.
Weather is unpredictable at the best of times. Mountain weather is even worse. It seems they got caught by an extreme case.
I don't think anybody was really expecting this weather system even with the weather warnings.
It has been a record setter.

The question for me is this one, "Is there anything we can learn from this while we are here?"

_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#190870 - 12/15/09 04:58 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: Teslinhiker]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
There a lot of misconceptions, false reporting etc. My friend and the other 2 climbers are experienced and would never attempt a climb at such a late hour. They started their climb out at around 1:00 am PST Friday morning...not pm.
...

Thanks to many of you here who have written many gracious comments. It is refreshing to see that not all are so callous and judgmental here.

There's a book I just read, Mountain Rescue Doctor, that talks about SAR from a MD's perspective.

Seems the 1am hike on Mt Hood is a common theme/occurance. Kind of similar to the 6pm assault on Whitney, hoping to make the peak by sunrise.

I haven't followed this story, or this thread, enough to make any worthwhile observations. But from the initial story, it seems that climbing this time of year isn't unheard of or necessarily a death sentence. Perhaps the only real mistake was the weather forecast?

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#190872 - 12/15/09 05:43 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: Teslinhiker]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Quote:
There a lot of misconceptions, false reporting etc. My friend and the other 2 climbers are experienced and would never attempt a climb at such a late hour. They started their climb out at around 1:00 am PST Friday morning...not pm.


So the groups aim was actually for the summit getting to the summit around or just after daybreak in the morning after a 7 or 8 hours arduous climbing in the dark, in the middle of winter during the extremely cold night/early morning hours at altitudes over 10,000 feet on snow slopes greater than 45 degrees, which are subject to the obvious avalanche risks.

From the same CNN story;

Quote:
When the three hikers set out at about 1 a.m. Friday (4 a.m. ET), they were planning a fairly easy, "semi-technical" hike in which they would come down the south side of the mountain, said Deputy Scott Meyers of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.


And the news media call that a semi technical hike!!, the reality I'm afraid is more likely to be characterised as extreme mountaineering considering the risks they were taking on such a long and difficult climb.







Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (12/15/09 06:02 AM)

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