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Climbing accident at Mt. Hood

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
post #2 of 15

When will people learn. If you take Mt. Hood lightly it will kill you. This was forecasted weather.

post #3 of 15

Hood just keeps taking them. Something like 213 deaths and 40 bodies still up on the mountain never found. How many times does the story start out "They were experienced climbers"

post #4 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post

When will people learn. If you take Mt. Hood lightly it will kill you. This was forecasted weather.


I'd be interested to know what exactly leads you to the conclusion that the victim took it lightly?  

 

The victim was a regular on TelemarkTips.com forum and was highly experienced and very well thought of:

http://www.telemarktalk.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=69003

post #5 of 15

Bob, you are right, its best to not jump to conclusions.

Even the most experienced can take slight missteps and miscues that can lead to trouble.

 

 

I'm reminded of this thread started by Bob Peters a few years ago, about our very one Altaskier, which came out okay but could have been different if they'd done even one thing wrong.

Why AltaSkier Never Posts Here Anymore?

 

 

From my personal experience around motorcycle racing and enduro riders, I see how experience and success in an extreme sport can lead to diminished respect for the elements, but when the elements spank you, that respect comes back quickly. 

 

good thoughts go out to those touched by this incident on MtHood.

post #6 of 15

Mt Hood and Mt Rainier are two of the deadliest mountains in North America.  They have killed more people than anyone will ever know.  They are also within an easy commute and viewed daily (when the weather permits) of major population centers.  There are a lot of black birds around both of these mountains.

 

This latest accident are not necessarily a case disregarding the risks, but many are.  There were more fatalities on Rainier earlier this month, a week after the deaths they still didn't know the identity of the dead; that is reprehensible. 

 

A thought off topic.  Perhaps it is time to REQUIRE climbers in the National Parks to use locaters.  We are using a lot of resources and endangering a lot of good people looking for bodies.  If you are going to hike into the Grand Canyon you are required to sign in and out, these mountains deserve at least the same level of respect.

post #7 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

A thought off topic.  Perhaps it is time to REQUIRE climbers in the National Parks to use locaters.  We are using a lot of resources and endangering a lot of good people looking for bodies.  I


First a minor point of order - Mt. Hood is not a nat'l park.  

 

And a question - are you a climber?  Or a rescuer?  

 

I don't think that a locater would have helped the person who died in this thread or the rescuers.  

post #8 of 15



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

 

 

And a question - are you a climber?  Or a rescuer?  

 

I don't think that a locater would have helped the person who died in this thread or the rescuers.  


Your points are well taken Bob, and you are right.  I am due and truly chastised. 

 

My post came from frustration more than anything else.  Due not consider myself 'a climber'; have climbed some peaks, roped up, done some cravasing and ice falls but nothing really technical.  Have been on some rescues and recoveries when needed.  Have also done some stuff that you could definitely place in the dangerous column. 

 

If we choose to put ourselves at risk, okay; that may be burned somewhere in the human Psyche. Endangering others or making their possible efforts to rescue us (or recover what is left) more difficult than necessary is just not cool.  It just is not that hard for people to sign in and out when climbing these peaks or restrictive for them to carry a beacon.  If things go horribly wrong these little personal inconveniences might save somebody elses' life or body, someone trying to help you. 
 

post #9 of 15

People never "learn" in the sense of stopping at the foot of the mountain. It is in human's nature to take the challenge even if the odds are against you. The reasons are different - adrenaline rush or sense of accomplished task but that's what made us as a civilization - taking on the challenge knowing it can be the last one. Call it "free will" or "stupidity" - the result will always be the same. People will climb Mt Hood (or any other mountain) despite the conditions and some will pay the ultimate price.

 

Unfortunately everyone can miscalculate or underestimate the challenge given the constant changing weather conditions in the Cascades - we can have a weather change from pouring rain to cloudless blue sky day few times a day even down in the metro area.

 

I'm not a climber, but I can understand how treacherous is Mt Hood. When you stand on the top of the lift and look up the hill it looks like the summit is just few hundred yards away and you can just hike up there. And some are doing it. And then the conditions go bad...

 

My thoughts with the climber's family and friends, i know how it is to loose a close one

post #10 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

Your points are well taken Bob, and you are right.  I am due and truly chastised. 

 

My post came from frustration more than anything else.  Due not consider myself 'a climber'; have climbed some peaks, roped up, done some cravasing and ice falls but nothing really technical.  Have been on some rescues and recoveries when needed.  Have also done some stuff that you could definitely place in the dangerous column. 

 

If we choose to put ourselves at risk, okay; that may be burned somewhere in the human Psyche. Endangering others or making their possible efforts to rescue us (or recover what is left) more difficult than necessary is just not cool.  It just is not that hard for people to sign in and out when climbing these peaks or restrictive for them to carry a beacon.  If things go horribly wrong these little personal inconveniences might save somebody elses' life or body, someone trying to help you. 
 


I didn't mean to chastise you, I was just trying to find out where you were coming from on the issue.  

 

Beacons sound like a good idea just to say it, but I was wondering what the nature and the state of the technology are, and what the costs would be.  

 

Do the beacons exist right now?  Do the beacons transmit all the time?  If so, how would you differentiate the people that need help from those that don't - especially if there are hundreds (or more) people on the mountain?  If not, what happens when someone is hit unexpectedly when their beacon is off?  

 

Do the beacons transmit through snow?  How far?  Avalanche beacons are only good for a few meters of distance.  

 

What are the costs of the beacons?  Who provides them?  If they're expensive (or even semi-expensive), what about people that want to climb, but aren't particularly well-to-do?  What about mountains that don't require checking in/out to climb - who administers the program to check for beacon compliance, and covers those costs?  For that matter, on which mountains would you require beacons?  

 

A lot of well-intentioned people have a lot of input about situations that they perceive as dangerous - "They should require..." and "I don't see why they can't..." - but they don't really consider the technologies and on-the-ground issues involved.  

post #11 of 15



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

   

 

Beacons sound like a good idea just to say it, but I was wondering what the nature and the state of the technology are, and what the costs would be.  

 

Do the beacons exist right now?  Do the beacons transmit all the time?  If so, how would you differentiate the people that need help from those that don't - especially if there are hundreds (or more) people on the mountain?  If not, what happens when someone is hit unexpectedly when their beacon is off?  

 

Do the beacons transmit through snow?  How far?  Avalanche beacons are only good for a few meters of distance.  

 

What are the costs of the beacons?  Who provides them?  If they're expensive (or even semi-expensive), what about people that want to climb, but aren't particularly well-to-do?  What about mountains that don't require checking in/out to climb - who administers the program to check for beacon compliance, and covers those costs?  For that matter, on which mountains would you require beacons?  

 

A lot of well-intentioned people have a lot of input about situations that they perceive as dangerous - "They should require..." and "I don't see why they can't..." - but they don't really consider the technologies and on-the-ground issues involved.  


Don't have a lot of answers yo your questions, and have nothing to do with this other than what little I have read or heard on the regional news.   There has been a lot of death and carnage on these mountains, if it can be reduced without unduely limiting climbing, good.

 

Mt Hood S&R had a beacon selected that they would purchase and rent to climbers pretty cheap ($10 comes to mind).  Do not know the system or its' protocol, but would trust an S&R organization like them to pick a tool that would work.  Give the climbers a short course on them and you would have checked in a climbing group and insured there is some safety equipment with them.  Have the refundable deposit and you would insure they check off the mountain too.  It should be even simpler at Mt. Rainier where National Park service is involved and most climbers start out from Paradise Lodge.  Other advantages for climbers would be current weather info, and a chance to talk to somebody who knows the mountain and its moods.

 

As for what mountains beacons should be required on, past these two I have no clue. These two have readily control ed access, killer weather and terrain, and a magnetic attraction to lowlanders.  But as for other mountains, there is no scenes in making rules that can not be enforced.

 

If you were flying a small plane you would check the weather and file a flight plan.  You are going to the same kinds of altitudes on these mountains why not show them the same respect?  A lot of people have died on these volcanoes, there have even been helicopters lost during rescues on them. 

 

If climbing these peaks can be made safer, without limiting public access or grossly raising the cost why not?  It seems as logical as seat belts in cars. 
 

post #12 of 15

Wow, just catching up on this thread, there is some good discussion.

 

The thread I linked above has a link to an article in the SLC paper that is not good anymore, but the account of the climbing incident was posted by Altaskier, and is sobering to say the least.

 

This is a case where these experienced hikers filed a plan and did everything right, except take a wrong trail.

 

Its worth the read and gives an idea of how "real life" situations play out.

Mike(Altaskier)'s story

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/60232/why-altaskier-never-posts-here-anymore#post_785207

post #13 of 15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

Mt Hood S&R had a beacon selected that they would purchase and rent to climbers pretty cheap ($10 comes to mind).  Do not know the system or its' protocol, but would trust an S&R organization like them to pick a tool that would work. 


That Mountain Locator Unit ("MLU") system specific to Mt Hood is now obsolete in light of modern PLBs and PLB-like private-sector devices (i.e., Spot).  Even "pinging" a cell phone (as long as it's on) is better.

And neither a general rescue beacon nor an avalanche-specific beacon (max range of a couple hundred meters when searched via a helicopter-mounted avy beacon) would have made any difference in the tragedy currently under discussion:  the victim strayed too far to the right while skinning up (not really climbing) the seemingly wide and innocuous expanse of Snowdome, then in bad visibility either slipped or broke through a cornice onto the Coe glacier below.  He may very well have died instantly, and even if he was still alive for awhile, his general location was already known -- the weather hampered any rescue effort at the time.

post #14 of 15

      I was lost in a sudden fog on Mt Hood when I was skiing alone up on the glacier above Timberline Lodge late in the afternoon. The reason many people get lost as I did, some for days and some have died, is that the fall line if followed takes you to the right (looking down) of the lodge and eventually into the forest. If you're skiing down the glacier in fog, you have to keep working against the fall line to the left. I had heard a story of a group that was lost, and that they had been found way to the right, so I finally resigned myself to taking off my skis and heading to the left, and up, as I had skied past the lodge. The fog lifted and I saw the lift cable in the distance, off toward where I was hiking.  This was 1963. Listening to stories and legends can save your life.  

     Part of the issue discussed above^^^has to do with responsibility to others, S&R, family, friends. That book about the dog Merle, subtitle: thoughts of a freethinking dog, or something, goes way into it, and the point is as clear as the blue sky.

post #15 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

      I was lost in a sudden fog on Mt Hood when I was skiing alone up on the glacier above Timberline Lodge late in the afternoon. The reason many people get lost as I did, some for days and some have died, is that the fall line if followed takes you to the right (looking down) of the lodge and eventually into the forest. If you're skiing down the glacier in fog, you have to keep working against the fall line to the left. I had heard a story of a group that was lost, and that they had been found way to the right, so I finally resigned myself to taking off my skis and heading to the left, and up, as I had skied past the lodge. The fog lifted and I saw the lift cable in the distance, off toward where I was hiking.  This was 1963. Listening to stories and legends can save your life.  

     Part of the issue discussed above^^^has to do with responsibility to others, S&R, family, friends. That book about the dog Merle, subtitle: thoughts of a freethinking dog, or something, goes way into it, and the point is as clear as the blue sky.

There was a run in Tremblant that could have you taking a long tour in the bush too.  I don't know if there are any roads in the way now a days.

 

I've never been lost skiing, but I do recall thinking about installing some fog lights on the tips of my SGs.  Navigation is a little harder when you can only see 15 feet in front of you.  But the skiing is just as fun and exciting.

 

Yes you should think of your family and get a good GPS locating device; having a body makes it easier to claim the insurance.  Not having a body causes a delay.


 

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