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Mountian climbing in Dec, surprise!, surprise!

  1. Dec 13, 2009 #1

    Integral

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    http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20091213/US.Missing.Climbers/" [Broken] claims yet another fool.

    Some people just seem contemptuous of mother nature. Now rescue teams are put at risk and taxpayer money is wasted for what? So they can try again next year?

    Were I the dictator there would be no winter rescue, you go in, you get yourself out. They should be required to carry a beacon for spring time body recovery.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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  3. Dec 13, 2009 #2

    FredGarvin

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    As someone who used to do high altitude rescues on Mt. Ranier, I agree 100% with you. It's bad enough when one's hobby or passion involves getting injured and driving up medical insurance costs for everyone, but when you force other people to put their necks on the line for your sorry butt...If you're stupid enough (or arrogant enough) to think you can beat mother nature, you deserve to get your butt stranded up there.

    I see it every year with also the morons that think ice fishing in the later end of March is safe.
     
  4. Dec 13, 2009 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEbMJuyRnHc
     
  5. Dec 13, 2009 #4

    Chi Meson

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    I've climbed Hood 4 times. 3 from the south side, once from the east. The West side is not the easiest ascent route, so these guys were deliberately trying something really hard, but not out of the realm of possibility.

    I don't know enough yet to assess their level of stupidity.
     
  6. Dec 13, 2009 #5

    mgb_phys

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    It happens very easily, last weekend I snowshoed up the mountain behind my house - it's only 1000m high with a restaurant on top, not exactly Everest it wasn't snowing and the weather was fine.
    But it was icy and I didn't have an ice axe with me, I slipped 20-30 ft down a slope and hit my ribs on a tree. I was still shaken enough not to do the summit.
    One of my party was a much more experienced climber but he slipped and went first face into the trees - fortunately in the party was a mountain rescue instructor and a doctor but it still took an hour to get to him and get him back on the path, he needed a few stitches and had a concussion.

    The next day somebody else had slipped on the same face and fell 400m - he didn't survive.

    I'm still a bit sore when I roll over in bed or sneeze.
     
  7. Dec 13, 2009 #6

    lisab

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    http://www.timberlinelodge.com/" [Broken] is on Mt Hood, at 5,960 ft (1,816 m). The view of the mountain from there is spectacular, it looks so close...like you can simply walk up and sit on the top of the mountain in an easy afternoon.

    Mt Hood kills climbers just about every year...I wonder if this perceived "easiness" explains some of those deaths.
     
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  8. Dec 13, 2009 #7

    FredGarvin

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    I remember the UH-60 accident. Amazing footage. Flying a helicopter in the mountains is a very tricky job. Impossible when you can't pull your head out of your *** and properly calculate your gross take off weight. Never send a boy to do a man's job.
     
  9. Dec 13, 2009 #8

    Chi Meson

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    Part of the problem is you can drive from sea-level to 6000 feet in less than two hours. Then you can start climbing and add another 4000 feet of altitude in another 4 hours. So within five or six hours you find yourself gaining 10,000 feet. That is guaranteed to bring on acute mountain sickness.

    It is always recommended to spend the night at 5000 or 6000 feet before beginning an ascent. If you are caught in bad weather with AMS, things are much worse.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Dec 13, 2009 #9

    FredGarvin

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    Those guys that climb Mt. Everest spend a few weeks at base camp for that reason, don't they?
     
  11. Dec 13, 2009 #10

    Integral

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    I have lived my whole life in Oregon and have never been to Timberline. In my defence I grew up in Southern Oregon so Mt Hood is a long drive. We did Crater Lake for our day drive. I have climbed the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Sister" [Broken] (9000ft)
     
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  12. Dec 14, 2009 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    Tsu and I once went to an awesome gourmet BBQ on the terrace at Timberline, on a beautiful summer's Sunday afternoon. It was absolutely wonderful! I think it is still done every summer. At the time we lived very near the base of Hood, so it was easy for us, but still well worth an afternoon if you are in the area.

    If anyone gets a chance in the summer, on the way up to Hood, stop at the ski bowl and ride the alpine slides. They are one serious kick in the butt!!! You do have to get a car with good wheels, but if you do it can get downright scary. With a good car, you can even go beyond 90 degrees on the turns and fly right off the track and land in the rocks [which is not a good idea]. So you can get about as crazy as you want.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOhpfZ8XGTs
     
  13. Dec 14, 2009 #12
    I think altitude sickness definately plays a serious role. Here in Colorado, we climb 14-ers (14,000+ feet), but since we live at around 6,000 to 7,000 ft, we're halfway there.

    I did Mt. Belford (14,197 ft) in September. As we're fairly well acclimated to higher altitudes, it wasn't much of an issue. Still, we took it easy, and still did about 9,000 vertical over about 10 hrs total hiking time. The trailhead starts around 9,600 feet, and we set up "base camp" at around 11,343 feet, leaving a relatively easy 3,000 ft ascent for the next day.

    Even though it was September, we hit a blizzard just after we summited, and that lasted on and off for the next two hours throughout our descent back to base camp.
     
  14. Dec 14, 2009 #13
    It's certainly true that there are stupid climbers (usually not for too long). The guy who had to cut off his own hand comes to mind. I was generally inspired by his courage, etc., until I started reading his book "Between a rock and a hard place" (or something like that). Then I wasn't so inspired. Generally poorly prepared and poorly thought through 'expeditions' on his part, bound to catch up to him eventually.

    OTOH, there are sometimes very well planned and well executed attempts at challenging feats that, nonetheless, go awry. In each of these kinds of activities there is a risk residue that cannot be reduced below some epsilon. Can't tell yet which this one is (but the Baysian classification at this point would have to go with 'stupid').
     
  15. Dec 14, 2009 #14
    Who cares, would you be able to cut off your own hand... I'm not sure if I would be able to do it.
     
  16. Dec 14, 2009 #15

    Evo

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    We had this discussion a couple of years ago, if climbers refuse to take electronic locators with them, then no attempt will be made to locate you. These climbers did not have the locators.

    I also think that anyone climbing that would like to be rescued should post a hefty bond to cover at least the cost of a one day search, with the agreement that if any rescue effort is made that exceeds the amount of the bond, that they agree to pay any remaining costs.
     
  17. Dec 14, 2009 #16

    ideasrule

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    I'm not sure that having your hand crushed under a rock while dying of thirst is any more comfortable than cutting the hand. The hand was completely dead anyhow.
     
  18. Dec 14, 2009 #17
    Yeah, I understand that, I still wouldn't know if I'd be able to cut off my hand... like it's my freaking hand.

    Regardless I think that while some people may be stupid and go mountain climbing and get lost/stuck/injured then they definitely should be rescued. There are people who have specific jobs of rescuing these people. It doesn't matter how stupid a persons actions are to get them into the mess they still deserve to be helped when they need it. If people are willing to go the lengths of risking their own personal safety to rescue these people then they so be it. Who are we to judge THEIR actions of going to save these people?

    You are no longer judging the actions of the people who were stupid and got stuck, now your judging the people who go to save them... by saying that they shouldn't do it. Why?

    It's like the coast guard going out to save stranded sailors who knowingly go out into a storm... are we going to sit here and judge the coast guard saying that they shouldn't be going out to save those people? I'm sure the coast guard takes great pride in saving these people no matter how stupid they are and do not mind at all risking their lives to save these people. Of course they also go to great lengths to reduce the personal risk towards themselves but they still go out into that storm and attempt the rescue operation.
    So this is my question to you guys:
    Why should you mind that they risk their lives going to save these people...

    I've recently enlisted in the army and it doesn't really matter if people say 'oh such and such a area doesn't deserve you to risk your life to help them'. Should I care about what those people think? In my opinion any person is worth saving and helping out when they need it, regardless of how stupid they are.
     
  19. Dec 14, 2009 #18

    Evo

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    No, people here are saying that it is terrible that the people who do mountain rescue are unnecessarily risking their lives for idiots. There are real emergencies they need to be available for instead of searching for idiots.

    If idiots choosing to do something idiotic for the fun of it want to be rescued they should

    1) carry emergency locators.

    2) pay for the rescue

    It's not like that idiot family last year that decided to "take a shortcut" through a dangerous pass that was shut down, in order to cut a few hours off their drive and got stuck. Well that's really stupid, but it was the idiot husband that endangered his entire family and it wasn't planned "for fun". that's what the rescue people are for.
     
  20. Dec 14, 2009 #19
    Wong. The rescue people are to rescue anyone who needs rescuing. Just because you think they are 'unnecessarily' risking their lives doesn't mean they are.

    That goes back to my point, you are judging THEM, not the idiots who need to be rescued. I think that is very wrong. Why don't you go tell them that they are unnecessarily risking their lives to save these people... see what kind of feedback you get.
     
  21. Dec 14, 2009 #20

    Integral

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    You have really missed the point sorry, it is not the rescuers that I have trouble with, it is the fools who take unnecessary risks for no good reason. Why should these supposedly experienced mountain climbers climb in December when it is well known that the weather at the mountain tops is highly unpredictable and can change in just a few minutes. On top of that these guys had the bothered to look at the weather could have known that we were going to see a change for the worse. Well now they are all dead (or very likely) yet the brave volunteers are out there risking their lives. That is what I object to.

    As for sea rescue if those in need of help are fishermen doing their life's work I have no trouble with helping them. On the other hand if it is some landlubber that wants to take his 12' open boat with an outboard motor out just see the 30' waves, I say let Davy Jones have him, and give him a Darwin award.

    Perhaps if these guys realized that when they leave the pavement that there is no help to bring them home they would either not leave the pavement or at the very least be prepared to get themselves back if trouble strikes.

    Rescue efforts are not cheap, they consume taxpayers money just because some fool wants to have fun. Not on my watch.
     
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