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#294030 - 11/03/19 09:30 PM Death at Howse Peak
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1393
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Long, detailed and sobering news story of a mountain climb in Albert Canada that claimed of the lives of 2 climbers.

For me, reading through the story, one common theme was about risk and how much climbers push the risk envelope and also how much rescuers also risk their lives.

Also apparent is the effect this tragedy has had on family and other loved ones lives.

A trio of world-class alpinists died in an avalanche during a descent from one of Canada’s most dangerous mountaintops in April. Marty Klinkenberg travelled to Banff National Park and Spokane, Wash., to piece together the untold story of their fateful climb.


https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/a...-on-an-alberta/
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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.

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#294034 - 11/04/19 12:23 AM Re: Death at Howse Peak [Re: Teslinhiker]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2422
Loc: Big Sky Country
Good article but I could only read half of it. I don't wish to speak ill of the dead but it seemed pretty reckless. SAR folks are pretty dedicated but it seems irresponsible to even hope for them to perform a rescue when extremely risky endeavors are undertaken.
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#294036 - 11/04/19 03:01 AM Re: Death at Howse Peak [Re: Phaedrus]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7054
Loc: southern Cal
Look at the current thread regarding the Denali plane and the decision not to retrieve either the plane or the bodies because of the extreme hazard.

In SAR, one of the usual objectives is to retrieve the bodies, in whatever condition they may be. There are both humane and legal angles to this. But no one is asked to take undue risks to accomplish this. Makes sense to me. usually the bodies, if located, are recovered.
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#294037 - 11/04/19 05:39 AM Re: Death at Howse Peak [Re: Teslinhiker]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2422
Loc: Big Sky Country
I don't want to sound overly harsh, hikermor. I too believe it's important work and recovery is a worthwhile goal if it can be accomplished without further loss of life. But I ever die somewhere "out there" I sure don't want anyone else dying to bring back the 200 lbs of meat that will be my corpse. A living person is more valuable than a dead person.
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“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#294040 - 11/04/19 04:43 PM Re: Death at Howse Peak [Re: Phaedrus]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7054
Loc: southern Cal
The real problems occur when someone goes missing and remains so, even after prolonged, vigorous search efforts. Depending upon the jurisdiction and circumstances, several years must pass before probate occurs and estates are settled.

Body recoveries are a different thing altogether. the team has the time to get everything right (especially important in technical rope work situations) and it can even be an opportunity to give newer rescuers a chance at a more advanced technical role. There have been occasions where air support has been utilized if ground transport was arduous.

Probably one of the most hazardous aspects of a volunteer SAR worker is the initial drive to the assembly point.

Phaedrus, you don't sound overly harsh at all - not a nice guy like you!!
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#294042 - 11/04/19 07:43 PM Re: Death at Howse Peak [Re: Teslinhiker]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1123
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Couple of weeks ago went to help with my son's High School climbing club. The place we went to had just hosted a memorial fund raising climb in honor of Jess. We passed by the wall where the competition was held. It is mind boggling to see the chalk marks and dangling quick draws more than 100 feet above on overhanging rock where the competitors tried to high point. The ropes would have hung free of the base by 20 feet or more when they were to be lowered off. Jess's local community of friends are very gifted, hard working and accomplished, just as his dad is.

The tragedy shows that even if you are a superior climber thru genetics, training and experience, the objective hazards of a route still remain.

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#294043 - 11/04/19 08:31 PM Re: Death at Howse Peak [Re: Phaedrus]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1123
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
Good article but I could only read half of it. I don't wish to speak ill of the dead but it seemed pretty reckless. SAR folks are pretty dedicated but it seems irresponsible to even hope for them to perform a rescue when extremely risky endeavors are undertaken.


Often the SAR people are the same ones climbing the hard routes. In other words, the pilots, climbers, Jeepers, horseback riders, hunters, snowmobilers, divers, boaters, skiers, cavers etc. can be out volunteering to recover their own. They don't expect rescue, but are happy to help colleagues.

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#294045 - 11/04/19 10:27 PM Re: Death at Howse Peak [Re: Teslinhiker]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7054
Loc: southern Cal
Generally, the objects of SAR operations have one thing in common - lack of experience. People with expertise in the varied pursuits listed above do occasionally need help, but it is rare.

It is "helping colleagues" so much as "it will be so easy to lend a hand and assist this person."

Often you have no idea of whether the person needing help is experienced or not, not does it matter.
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