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#242335 - 03/03/12 03:55 AM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: TimDex]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1124
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: TimDex
So here's some details from the story -- about people who were in the Adirondack high peaks during winter:

*******************
"The first rescue occurred Saturday evening when DEC rangers plucked Jones, 42, off Algonquin Peak. He had tried climbing the mountain Friday but got pushed off course by a snowstorm. He bushwhacked down and rode out the single-digit night in a snow cave.

On Saturday, he continued downhill but, unable to find a trail out, called 911 at about 5 p.m. A dispatcher pinpointed the location and rangers on snowmobiles and skis reached him at about 6:45 p.m. Jones, who was suffering from hypothermia, was taken to a hospital where he was still being treated Monday.

Bradley, 36, was found Sunday morning off the trails a mile downhill from the summit of Mount Marcy, the state's highest peak at 5,344 feet. He had planned to snowshoe to the peak but got lost. His girlfriend called rangers at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, about the same time Bradley was trying to call, but he was unable to tell rangers where he was because his GPS had temporarily stopped working.

At about 5 a.m., after hunkering down in a snow cave, Bradley was able to call and, with his GPS working again, give rescuers better coordinates. They located him at about 9:30 a.m. He was treated at a hospital and released Sunday.

Sullivan, 62, was cross-country skiing nearing the region's Olympic facilities and was reported overdue by his wife at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Rangers started from each end of his route and worked toward the middle. He was found at about 9 p.m. after a ranger heard him shouting.

The rescues come less than a week after a Saratoga Springs snowshoer, Steve Mastaitis, spent a night in a snow cave he dug near the Marcy summit. Forest rangers rescued Mastaitis on Tuesday morning."

********************************

Four individuals: Jones, Bradley, Sullivan, and Mastaitis.

The older individual, Sullivan, seems to have left an itinerary, and to have stayed on known trails. The others were climbing Adirondack high peaks....in winter. And tho' the story doesn't say it, apparently alone.

Your thoughts?



My thoughts:

Jones got caught by bad weather and retreated. He dug in for the night. The next day he attempted to self rescue (commendable, in my opinion). Facing a second night out he finally called in about 5 pm, and was reached at about 6:45pm. About one hour and 45 minutes of ranger time (not counting evacuating him).

Bradley was reported lost at about 11:30 pm. He did the smart thing and dug a snow cave to spend the night in. He was able to call with his location at about 5 am, and was rescued by 9:30 am. Assuming the rangers launched at 5 am when he called, it took about four hours and 30 minutes of ranger time (again, not counting evacuation).

Sullivan was reported missing at 7:30 pm, and was located at 9 pm. About one and a half hours of time (again, not counting transport out).

As I noted, we don't know exactly when the searches were launched, or how much time was spent in evacuation, but all in all it doesn't strike me as a big expenditure of ranger time. No helicopters involved. Perhaps a few gallons of fuel for snow machines. Doesn't sound like particularly hazardous searches. The folks at 911 dispatch are paid whether it is a quiet night with nothing going on, or people lost in the woods calling in.

Note that in urban life, people do dumb things all the time, and police, fire, and ems come help them. For example, if you are careless with your cigarette butt and your house catches fire, you probably won't be directly billed for the fireman's time. If your stupidly leave your car unlocked and the keys in it, and someone steals it, the police will do what they can to help, and not send you a bill for their time.

Regarding "... climbing Adirondack high peaks....in winter. And tho' the story doesn't say it, apparently alone." I don't see being out in the mountains in winter as a great crime. It is called adventure. Many of us have done such things. Alone is a bit more dubious, but many of us have also done that from time to time. The main advantage of a partner is to help if you get injured. In all the cases described, the main problem seems to have been getting lost. A partner may or may not be of help in that case. I've gotten just as thoroughly lost with partners as without.
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"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#242338 - 03/03/12 04:47 AM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6710
Loc: southern Cal
Very well put. I am genuinely puzzled as to the apparent existence of a double standard for people in urban settings vs. outdoors.

Incidentally, most agencies (the NPS for sure) have the policy and the means to bill people for costs when they do something that is truly outrageously, stunningly bad. It is stated as something like " willfully creating a hazardous situation."
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#242354 - 03/03/12 02:21 PM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: Meadowlark]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Whenever we jump to negative conclusions, and start judging and name calling in these incidents, it makes me uncomfortable.

As a Scout Leader, I think we should be encouraging more peope getting of the couch and get out there. I can't tell you how many youth join Scouts and then never get any outdoor time because mom and dad have no experience. We have kids that don't get to get hiking or camping with us because their parents are afraid of the unknown, or at least don't value outdoor time. (One kid finally got to join us for a camping trip, afterwhich his parents pulled him out of Scouts completely because he had to use... shudder... an outhouse!)

EDUCATE. EDUCATE. EDUCATE.

The same goes for preparedness. EDUCATE. EDUCATE. EDUCATE. People don't know what they don't know. That doesn't mean they should hit the couch.

If we constantly jump all over people that need rescue, regardless of the details, that education is going to turn even more people away, or worse. I fell into a frozen creek when I was younger and I needed help. I wasn't shamed out of it or beaten about the head to never take risks and never ask for help. Thankfully I learned a little more and my parents kept encouraging me to get out there.

Just because we're better prepared than the average Joe, doesn't mean we own the outdoors, or that we're beyond mistakes or mishaps. It could happen to us too. We should keep that in mind. "Yeah but...." doesn't cut it if we insist on dragging everyone else over the coles with relentless unforgiveness.

What our experience should mean is that we have a responsibility to help people learn. Many of us ETSers are SAR, LEO, EMS, FD, nurses, Scout Leaders, etc... I think I can safely say that most of us are in it to help not berate. That's the spirit we should be encouraging here at ETS!



Edited by bacpacjac (03/03/12 02:54 PM)
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#242355 - 03/03/12 02:29 PM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: TimDex]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4998
Loc: SOCAL
I'm with AKSAR on this -- there's nothing egregious in any of the four events. People do hike solo in winter and sometimes things go south.

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#242358 - 03/03/12 03:03 PM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: bacpacjac]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1170
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
Whenever we jump to negative conclusions, and start judging and name calling in these incidents, it makes me uncomfortable.

As a Scout Leader, I think we should be encouraging more peope getting of the couch and get out there. I can't tell you how many youth join Scouts and then never get any outdoor time because mom and dad have no experience. We have kids that don't get to get hiking or camping with us because their parents are afraid of the unknown, or at least don't value outdoor time. (One kid finally got to join us for a camping trip, afterwhich his parents pulled him out of Scouts completely because he had to use... shudder... an outhouse!)

EDUCATE. EDUCATE. EDUCATE.

The same goes for preparedness. EDUCATE. EDUCATE. EDUCATE. People don't know what they don't know. That doesn't mean they should hit the couch.

If we constantly jump all over people that need rescue, regardless of the details, that education is going to turn even more people away, or worse. I fell into a frozen creek when I was younger and I needed help. I wasn't shamed out of it or beaten about the head to never take risks and never ask for help. Thankfully I learned a little more and my parents kept encouraging me to get out there.

Just because we're better prepared than the average Joe, doesn't mean we own the outdoors, or that we're beyond mistakes or mishaps. It could happen to us too. We should keep that in mind. "Yeah but...." doesn't cut it if we insist on dragging everyone else over the coles with relentless unforgiveness.

What our experience should mean is that we have a responsibility to help people learn. Many of us ETSers are SAR, LEO, EMS, FD, nurses, Scout Leaders, etc... I think I can safely say that most of us are in it to help not berate. That's the spirit we should be encouraging here at ETS!



Well said, +1
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#242490 - 03/05/12 02:37 PM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: Meadowlark]
TimDex Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 06/13/10
Posts: 56
Loc: New York State
Thinking it over, I believe you were right. Nothing is solved by calling people idiots.

I was particularly taken with bacpacjac's discussion.

So, let's revisit the issue, at another time, in a more temperate fashion.

tim

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#242517 - 03/06/12 04:13 AM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: bacpacjac]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
One kid finally got to join us for a camping trip, afterwhich his parents pulled him out of Scouts completely because he had to use... shudder... an outhouse!
I'd laugh except that I know you're serious.

And I'm all for getting kids into the outdoors. My daughter (yes, pretty thin excuse for putting up a photo of her, I know). smile


In all seriousness, I try to let her make some mistakes (hopefully not near 40 foot drop offs!). And I try to, well, educate her when things don't go well. She's turning out to be quite the little hiker.

HJ
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Adventures In Stoving

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#242527 - 03/06/12 11:10 AM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: Hikin_Jim]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6710
Loc: southern Cal
All I can say, as one father to another, is that you are going to need a mighty big shotgun....
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Geezer in Chief

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#242530 - 03/06/12 11:26 AM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: Hikin_Jim]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
She's a cutie, Jim!

It's a fine line, isn't it, between letting them explore and make mistakes, (a.k.a. learn) and keeping them safe. Teaching our kids how to weigh risks and consequences is an important job, and one that takes boots on the ground, and often a face full of dirt.

EDIT: The same is true for adults too, but somewhere along the line most us lose our sense of wonder and curiosity, and replace it with a more safe, sendentry and cautious approach. (Just watch a 40 or 50 something year old try to learn a computer program for the first time. It's almost fearful. Hesitant to touch anything in case they make a mistake.) I'm not adovcating recklessness, but too many people go away overboard with that safety first approach. Public humiliation and ridicule, or at least the perception of it, may just serve to push them even further that way.

(And nope, sadly, I wasn't kidding about the kid who's parents took him out of Scouts because he had to use an outhouse at camp. Outhouses are gross and infested with germs and diseases....)


Edited by bacpacjac (03/06/12 12:43 PM)
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT9fpZEy5XSWkYy7sgz-mSA

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#242545 - 03/06/12 04:24 PM Re: Multiple hikers rescued using 911 [Re: bacpacjac]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1124
Loc: Alaska
bacpacjac:

All I can say is You Rock!
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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