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#200564 - 04/20/10 03:15 AM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: Dagny]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1390
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Dagny:

The terrain in the area is fairly flat, however keep in mind that this time of year, it is extremely muddy on most of these northern roads. The daytime temps were in the low 40's with night temps dropping down around freezing.

Whatever caused these people to be stuck out there, the young woman who walked the 60 to 70 km ( 36 to 42 miles) over these roads then died has to be given a lot of credit for her attempt to get help. She was buried today.
_________________________
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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#200582 - 04/20/10 01:02 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: Teslinhiker]
roberttheiii Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 329
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Sorry to start a flame war...but for the record, I trained all winter (coldest I ran in was 22 degrees) in Vibram Five Fingers (no foot support) with a single layer of thin wool socks for foot insulation. There were also days I ran through mud (obviusly above freezing) with soaking wet feet. Sneakers would be comfy wink

I also KNOW I could NOT run 40 miles, but I suspect I could walk it.

I don't mean to take credit away from this woman. She did a heck of a thing. Actually, if you read my post, I conceded that in circumstances without a muddy road to follow I would almost certainly parish!

I believe I read something by Doug someplace about how a major disadvantage to people these days is never "roughing it" out at night. I think a lot about that. Sure I spend time outdoors in cold weather, but I never spend the night out, I always retreat to a nice warm house or car or sleeping bag, whatever. Thus I agree, and concede, after 6 or 12 hours of walking the exposure factor would be substantial! I know after spending 6 or 8 hours in 2 degree whether my body is whooped, and 12 hours in the 20 something area is no joy either. I may not make it in a similar situation! One never knows.

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#200587 - 04/20/10 01:36 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: Dagny]
roberttheiii Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 329
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Also - Susan brings up the sweat thing.

I've broken a sweat in low temps countless times, duck hunting, skiing, running, splitting wood, changing a tire in five degree weather in the woods in the middle of the night, pushing aluminum boats across frozen swamps, etc. and I've never sustained some life ending chill as a result. I have gotten a little chill, and then opened up or removed whatever jacket I'm wearing to let some steam out. I think this is because, as I mentioned, at some point I go inside, be it 5 minutes later or 12 hours later. I also rarely venture out with a cotton base layer, though I have, and it didn't end me, but I expect wicking layers help. I guess the whole sweating and freezing to death thing happens over longer periods? Something I admittedly don't know anything about!

R

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#200595 - 04/20/10 03:30 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: roberttheiii]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
As long as you're moving you're fine - assuming your clothes are not totally absurdly inadequate for the weather.

The trouble is that when you stop it is virtually impossible to keep warm without external heat (fire) or insulation (sleeping bag). If you're wet or damp you chill faster. Wearing wool pushes the envelope, but does not reverse the laws of physics: If you're dressed for moving you WILL be cold when you stop. Just rest long enough and you start to chill.

I have never tried sloshing through mud for 12 hours, but I guess I would be pretty hard pressed for a little rest & rehydration, eating about half a cow and sleeping 16 hours. OK, I guess I COULD manage without the two lasts items if I really had to, but not rest & rehydration. Those are not optional items.


Edited by MostlyHarmless (04/20/10 04:00 PM)

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#200596 - 04/20/10 03:42 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: Teslinhiker]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker

Whatever caused these people to be stuck out there, the young woman who walked the 60 to 70 km ( 36 to 42 miles) over these roads then died has to be given a lot of credit for her attempt to get help. She was buried today.


Thank you for that link, Teslin. According to the article the car went off the road.


"...their car veered off into a slough while navigating short cuts through backroads. Canepotatoe ventured out looking for help after the 911 calls were made."



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#200598 - 04/20/10 03:56 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: roberttheiii]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2751
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Here's one more link. A few more details, but nothing about what the lady was wearing. http://www.630ched.com/News/National/Article.aspx?id=206097

Without knowing more about her clothing and level of fitness, it's hard to make any useful comment. I would only speculate that she may well have survived with clothing that was better suited to the situation.

She certainly was a tough lady. 60-70 km in mud, in that temperature range, without food and suitable clothing, is a recipe for misery. And tragedy.

In a situation like that, it's pretty easy to get wet from a slip and fall, a light rain shower, a bit of sweat, and even falling dew/frost. Combined with inadequate clothing, lack of food, stress and exhaustion, and you have a cascade effect. Hypothermia can sneak up on the unwary pretty darn quick.

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#200599 - 04/20/10 03:58 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: Susan]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2396
Why wasn't any family looking for them?

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#200606 - 04/20/10 06:06 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: TeacherRO]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
"...walked 60 kilometres through boot-sucking mud before collapsing on the side of the road and dying of exposure."


Sounds awful.


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#200608 - 04/20/10 06:27 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: TeacherRO]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"...a subsequent call came in to the operations centre that diverted (his) attention.."

I have the feeling that's going to be the bottom line here.

"Why wasn't any family looking for them?"

They weren't where they were supposed to be, and the whole area was very remote. The people who live on reservations tend not to be all that loaded up with good vehicles and lots of money for gas. And the sociological problems on reservations could have caused most of the people there to not even be aware they were gone.

As others here have said, when things go bad, it's usually multiple facets of it that go bad that causes life/death situations, and this was one of them. If they hadn't gotten onto the wrong road, if they hadn't slide off the road, if the cell coverage and cell phone conditions had been better, if the weather had been better, if the dispatcher had been having a slow day and been able to focus more on their situation, etc.

When things go to 'ell, the domino-effect can be a killer.

Sue

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#200685 - 04/21/10 03:48 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: roberttheiii]
THIRDPIG Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/26/01
Posts: 81
As far as blaming 911, I would need more info. From what i read they got a call, "I'm stuck in the mud I need a tow truck ", and the call is dropped. So the question is did they send one?

From what I know of working within the 911 system for over 20 years, but in an urban area, thats not going to get a emergency responce, and around here they might tell you call AAA......

and if they call a tow truck,911 is not going to follow up on it.

Out in the sticks ok, they may need more help, but all they asked for was a tow.

Now from covering two expressways, I can say with certinty that most who call 911 have no idea where they are ! Most accidents will not be at the location we're first given. It'll be 2-3 exits from the one they tell us. They say east bound 490, when they'll be west bound .

Its SOP for us to have the trucks each go a differant way in the hopes one of us will find it, and this is in the 3rd largest city in NYS. Out in the wilderness I can only imagine trying to find someone.


Edited by THIRDPIG (04/21/10 03:50 PM)

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