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#288992 - 05/16/18 06:38 PM Family of fallen Mount Hood climber sues
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1048
Loc: Channeled Scablands
It sounds like the rescuers had him in just four hours! That is an amazing short time to locate and recover someone on a mountain.

Aside from the fact that people should be responsible for their own actions, I can't see how this is considered a delay.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-new...ue-was-delayed/

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#288994 - 05/16/18 06:57 PM Re: Family of fallen Mount Hood climber sues [Re: clearwater]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2018
Loc: Colorado
I am sad for the fallen climber, disgusted by his family.

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#288995 - 05/16/18 07:25 PM Re: Family of fallen Mount Hood climber sues [Re: clearwater]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4914
Loc: SOCAL
Having read the article, it seems there was some confusion as to who was in charge — 9-1-1,passing to the Sheriff who told the guy on the mountain to contact ski patrol, then back to 9-1-1 and again to the Sheriff. A lawsuit should determine whether there was in fact a significant delay in getting a rescue helicopter in the air. I doubt they’re looking for $$$, but if they are the lawsuit may disappoint.

Quote:
... The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that John Thornton Jenkins fell down the mountain May 7, 2017. The lawsuit states that eight minutes later, another climber reached Jenkins and called 911 for help, but a dispatcher transferred the call to the sheriff’s office.

The suit says the sheriff’s office told the caller to contact ski patrol, which called 911 and was again transferred to the sheriff’s office.

A helicopter arrived four hours later and Jenkins stopped breathing in the rescue basket. ...

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#288996 - 05/16/18 08:59 PM Re: Family of fallen Mount Hood climber sues [Re: Russ]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6582
Loc: southern Cal
Understandably, the family is in anguish, and they probably have no experience in the logistics of SAR, especially when helos are involved. A four hour delay is not at all unusual and a ground response would certainly have been significantly longer. 600 foot falls, even on snow slopes, are often not survivable, even in the best of circumstances.

One suspects that the greatest delay was in locating and launching the helo, not in the series of calls that should have transpired in only a few minutes. Despite what you see in the movies, crews are not always standing by with a hot bird ready to launch, only minutes from the scene.

It does seem odd that on Mt.Hood, a frequently climbed peak, that rescue protocols were not clear. Again, much necessary information is not included in the newspaper article.

My SAR experience was in a situation that was helo rich. We had access to Highway patrol birds that were active, as well as a major SAC base with hot birds on standby, and even then, a two hour delay was not unknown. Life doesn't always follow the movie script....
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#288997 - 05/16/18 09:39 PM Re: Family of fallen Mount Hood climber sues [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4914
Loc: SOCAL
Yep, there is often something missing in news articles. Also note that the article quotes the lawsuit, which may not be stating actual facts but perceptions. There should be a recording of the 9-1-1 calls. I was involved in military aviation in a prior life and depending on crew availability and weather, 4 hours may be as good as could be expected. Facts will come out if it gets to court.

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#288998 - 05/16/18 11:40 PM Re: Family of fallen Mount Hood climber sues [Re: clearwater]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1048
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Due to crashes, for a time there was NO helicopter ambulance in Oregon. Only MAST ie military. The ski patrol in on the lower half of the mountain on it's most climbed routes during the summer too and may very well be the first responder of choice at lower elevations. The upper lift towers are sometimes refuge for Hood climbers lost in storms.

Allow rescuers to be sued and the number of volunteer SAR will drop off.

Require a quick chopper pick off anywhere, anytime and watch restrictions on activities increase. Like Penn State dropping their hiking programs because they
sometimes hike out of cell range and it is considered too risky.

Looks like the family is asking for $10 million.

Here are the 911 recordings. Lost of first responders immeadiatly on the scene including Doctor.

https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/c...d/283-552281630


Edited by clearwater (05/16/18 11:53 PM)

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#288999 - 05/17/18 12:21 AM Re: Family of fallen Mount Hood climber sues [Re: clearwater]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1048
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Just read more about it in the Oregon Live site. The climber fell high up on the mountain above the bergshrund. What he was doing above the bersghrund unroped showed lack of good judgement. When you solo climb 3rd to 5th class, you can't blame the dispatcher for your death.

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#289000 - 05/17/18 03:01 AM Re: Family of fallen Mount Hood climber sues [Re: clearwater]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6582
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: clearwater


Allow rescuers to be sued and the number of volunteer SAR will drop off.


It doesn't appear that any SAR volunteers are named in the suit. the plaintiffs appear to be going for the deep governmental pockets. I don't know about Oregon, but both Arizona and California, jurisdictions in which I have operated, have "Good Samaritan" statutes, which defend against lawsuits brought against civilians operating within their competence. i have never heard of a lawsuit involving volunteer SAR people.

Suing for ten mil??? Just imagine what a fraction of that amount could do to improve public safety. Countless possibilities....
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#289001 - 05/17/18 03:21 AM Re: Family of fallen Mount Hood climber sues [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4914
Loc: SOCAL
Ahh, so it is about money — cheapens the argument.

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#289002 - 05/17/18 05:33 AM Re: Family of fallen Mount Hood climber sues [Re: clearwater]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1111
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: clearwater
Just read more about it in the Oregon Live site. The climber fell high up on the mountain above the bergshrund. What he was doing above the bersghrund unroped showed lack of good judgement. When you solo climb 3rd to 5th class, you can't blame the dispatcher for your death.
Back in the day, I climbed that route a number of times. And I descended it several other times after climbing other, harder routes. The area where he fell is steep snow. It is not even remotely 5th class. It is in that gray zone of angle, not really so steep that one feels like they need a belay, but steep enough that to stop a fall you must self arrest instantly. Many climbers solo it, many others do it as a rope team. I don't ever recall seeing anyone belay it, though I'm sure some have. The article linked below estimates that 10,000 people a year attempt Mt Hood, the majority of whom are on this "South Side Route".

It appears that he didn't have an ice axe, but rather was using ski poles with a self arrest pick on one pole. That would not be my choice of tools for the route. With an ice axe, one can push the shaft in at each step, to provide a hand hold to prevent a fall from happening in the first place. And if one does fall, a quick self arrest might save the day. I haven't used a ski pole with arrest tool, but my sense is it is a poor second choice to a good axe.

This article has more details, including time lines.
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