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#190983 - 12/16/09 03:00 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: clearwater]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
What agency or agencies will do the official, in-depth report of this incident? Are their reports available online?

Thanks.

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#190984 - 12/16/09 03:07 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: Dagny]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6482
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: Dagny


The rescue teams on Mt. Hood are predominately volunteers. The helicopter and plane flights are factored as training that the National Guard, et.al. need anyway to maintain readiness.







An excellent point. This has been the situation for the last fifty years in most western states, at a minimum.

Another point is that something like only 3.4% of the victims of this particular unit, the one that typically gets the calls for Mt Hood, were engaged in mountaineering. 3% were mushroom collectors! This is pretty typical for other mountain rescue units as well, who often deal with motorists who fail to negotiate the curves on mountain highways, to name another victim group.

In a recent thread we discussed the impending demise of volunteerism, specifically with reference to volunteer fire units, due to increasing demands for training and certification. It is a shame, because volunteerism is an important part of our past (think the original Minutemen and barn raisings). SAR volunteers provide a great bargain for the tax payer.

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#190991 - 12/16/09 04:35 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: hikermor]
sodak Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 410
Well, I'll refrain from calling them fools (even if they are), if they refrain from expecting a rescue. I think that it's high time to start charging for S&R, and if people can't/won't agree to that, then simply designate areas such as this "no rescue zones". Enter at your own risk.

Works for me.

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#190993 - 12/16/09 05:15 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: sodak]
JohnE Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 601
Loc: Southern Cal
Absolutely, right after we start charging for fire and police services we can start charging for SAR. And lets not forget boaters, have a problem out at sea, the Coast Guard will be there with their credit card scanner in hand. Car trouble, sorry the highway patrol doesn't take cash, bring a card.

Given that no one here has the slightest idea whether the folks on Mt. Hood expected, demanded, would have accepted, or otherwise asked to be rescued lets just keep assuming that we know it all.

In the meantime, I sure hope no one here ever makes a mistake and pays the ultimate price for their error, those of us left will be so busy condemning their actions we'll probably forget that it was someone we might consider a friend.


_________________________
JohnE

"and all the lousy little poets
comin round
tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson"

The Future/Leonard Cohen


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#190994 - 12/16/09 05:57 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: clearwater]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: clearwater
Originally Posted By: JohnN


Regarding PLB batteries going dead -- I don't think it matters, esp. if it has GPS capability. Basically the message would have gotten through and they'd have the location unless they had moved from that location.



-john


If the batteries are dead, how is a message going to get
through?


My point was that the batteries don't have to last forever. If the location is determined, SAR will likely to to the location even if the device stops transmitting.

-john

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#190995 - 12/16/09 07:18 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: Pete]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Pete
.... Insufficient data. The media often forget that when they fail to report facts accurately, they may be screening out a solution to the problem that is taking place. The news is not about writing "stories" ... it's about getting the facts.


News today is first and foremost about speed. Accuracy is neglected. On cases like this, my basic assumption is that media won't be able to get ANY technical details correct. Doesn't matter if some detail is repeated in every news channel - it is the same misinterpretation of the same source, repeated by every paper and TV station because it makes a great story. Repetition doesn't make it any more true.


Luckily SAR operations is not run by media. Leaders of ongoing SAR operations will have a much better and updated picture and know a lot of stuff that never reach the media.


I disagree with those whose gut reaction it is to claim that SAR services should be restricted or paid for. Rescuing people seems to be a pretty good investment (and yes, that includes saving someone whose choices may have been negligent, stupid or uninformed). It is among the things I am most happy and willing to pay tax for.


And please don't tell me that experienced climbers don't know the risks and dangers of climbing and weather. All climbers above some minimum level know perfectly well that if they're stuck and the weather is bad, they will be on their own. The presence or absence of SAR services won't have any effects on climbers decision to climb or not to climb.


My deepest thoughts and sympathy for the climbers, their family and friends...

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#190998 - 12/16/09 09:13 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: dweste]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6482
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: dweste
What agency or agencies will do the official, in-depth report of this incident? Are their reports available online?

Thanks.


You will want to look at the annual issue of "Accidents in North American Mountaineering," authored by the American Alpine Club. It is one of those paper things....


Edited by hikermor (12/16/09 09:43 AM)
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#190999 - 12/16/09 09:26 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: Pete]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6482
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: Pete

Are these PLB's designed so that you must manually turn ON the emergency signal? If that's the case, and you happen to be killed by a sudden accident while travelling in the wilderness, then the beacon can never activated. Hence no signal, and no body recovery.

It would be smart for these devices to have a special "countdown mode" as one possible option. You set the electronics working (but not broadcasting a distress signal), and then you activate a clock so that it will automatically send a distress in 12 hours - unless you intervene and say things are OK. That way if you are killed outright, the unit still turns on later and somebody can recover your body. This idea could generate some false alerts. But it would allow bodies to be found much more quickly.

other Pete


What you are describing sounds like an avalanche beacon, which, indeed, the two climbers might be wearing. It is a small device that is activated once you enter possible avalanche terrain and is typically worn around the neck (although I am sure those who don't like jewelry can attach the unit to their car keys). In the event of an avalanche, those not inundated or the arriving rescuers can turn their unit to "receive" from send and scan the area for the signal from those who are buried. There is a bit of expertise in running a proper pattern. The technology often results in the more efficient retrieval of bodies, but it has saved many lives. The batteries will transmit for weeks.

I have no idea if modern technology or the spook gadgets the military might employ could detect the signal from the air.

I haven't messed with this stuff lately.

Oops....Pete, I see from an earlier post that you don't need the avalanche beacon 101 discussion.....


Edited by hikermor (12/16/09 01:14 PM)
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#191001 - 12/16/09 01:13 PM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: JohnN]
James_Van_Artsdalen Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: JohnN

My point was that the batteries don't have to last forever. If the location is determined, SAR will likely to to the location even if the device stops transmitting.

If the PLB has no GPS, or the GPS couldn't get a fix, then the accuracy of SARSAT is perhaps .5 to 1 miles.

The problem here probably isn't "can the batteries last long enough" but "can the survivors last long enough".

Even if they had activated a PLB on the first day a rescue might not have happened then. If the SAR team leader gets a notice at 1pm with bad weather moving in at 3pm or 4pm, the rescue might be put off until the next day rather than put SAR personnel on the mountain in bad weather as it is getting dark...

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#191003 - 12/16/09 01:27 PM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: James_Van_Artsdalen]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4864
Loc: SOCAL
Point being -- alive or not, rescue or recovery -- right now no one knows where the two remaining hikers are located. They're part of the mountain and may be for a long time -- No closure.

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