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Mike_Gauthier

2002 SAR Reports

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It is also worth mentioning that the Mountaineers group was extremely prepared, having their own litter...(snip)
wow! an improvised thing or an actual rescue litter and backboard?

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iain said:

It is also worth mentioning that the Mountaineers group was extremely prepared, having their own litter...(snip)
wow! an improvised thing or an actual rescue litter and backboard?

 

 

kitty litter...

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Ironic is the human emotion that occurs to me when I reflect back on the five glorious days of climbing and lounging that my party enjoyed between the May 29th and June 5th tragedies. On our leisure hike up Liberty Ridge we experienced no wind, not one cloud above us, and even camped on the Summit Col, in part because of the unusually nice weather. But just a few days earlier or later, people were battling the elements, and losing. I know the mountain and the weather does not know the emotion ironic. And I can't say that it was because my party patiently waited for a weather window. We were just lucky East Coasters who happened to fly United Airlines into Seattle on May 29, and depart June 5th.

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Yes, B-rock, the same Wickwire. I had thought there was some thread about it here, but can't seem to find it. Here's his latest project (and reference to the Rainier accident):

outsideonline news

 

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b-rock said:

Is the 'Wickwire Party' in the Hommer case Jim Wickwire? confused.gifrolleyes.gif

 

I believe it was, indeed, Jim Wickwire in that party. I seem to recall reading that in the Spokane Valley Tribune, or some such paper.

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JoshK said:

So is that helicopter still lying, mangled up, on the carbon?

 

Yes, read the closing statement (before the "Observations" section) of the Whitcomb Incident.

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Nope, didn't make it to that side of the behemoth this year. I'm just going off what I just read in Mike's link to the incidents.

 

I would expect that with all other mountain/aircraft crashes, the site is probably Off Limits for scavenging souvenirs and such until a full investigation is completed. In other older news, there is still a plane on the mountain (somehwere high) that crashed like 50+ years ago or so, and it's still a federal crime to remove stuff from the site if you find it. I think it's because people died in that crash.

 

I don't know what rules take over in the case of the Bell Jet Ranger since everyone aboard walked away. Mike G. would know more or be able to correct me on any of these points. Care to comment, Mike?

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At Gauthier's lecture at TNF in SEattle last year, he had some killer photos of the crashed copter. It stopped about a hundred yards short of a massive bottomless crevasse-- a stroke of good fortune for those inside, to say the least. Mike seemed to think that winter avalanches would probably push the copter into the crevasse, and that this year it will be nowhere to be found.

 

I think there are two other planes on the mountain. I recall that a small plane crash landed near the summit, the pilot was rescued but the plane couldn't be salvaged. The other was an army transport during WWII that hit the South Tahoma Headwall. The South Tahoma Glacier was closed for a number of years afterward, but it's all open now. Presumably the debris are embedded quite deeply in the glacier after 59 or so years. There is a memorial to the crash victims at a viewpoint on the West Side Road, not too many miles from the washout, that has an amazing view of the whole west side of the mountain. It's definitely worth a visit, especially near sunset on a sunny day.

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iain said:

It is also worth mentioning that the Mountaineers group was extremely prepared, having their own litter...(snip)
wow! an improvised thing or an actual rescue litter and backboard?
I believe this group was from the Intermediate Climbing Course. They were teaching leading on alpine ice. The guy fell and all his screws pulled out. This was the Brunson SAR from 1997. The Mountaineers usually have an evacuation litter on hand at field trips for self evacuation of climbers with (usually) sprained ankles and knees, etc.

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catbirdseat said:The Mountaineers usually have an evacuation litter on hand at field trips for self evacuation of climbers
way to think positive!

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It's amazing to think that a few thousand years from now what's left of a copter will be spit out in the morain. It seems the ice would preserve it somewhat, right? I guess that means my gret-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren can go looking for my "aincient" crampon at the bottom of the price glacier years from now! fruit.gif

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I remember reading an account of a Swiss alpinist who disappeared high in the mountains in the 19th century, only to be delivered to the terminal moraine a hundred years later. Jim Whitaker's Everest partner, who perished in a Khumbu Icefall serac avalanche in 1963, was delivered up only about 20 years later. This was in time for his family members to reclaim and re-inter his body, as I recall.

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regarding the helicopter. it's gone, gone, gone. we found no sign of it last fall... i'm sure it will turn up at the cabon terminus in the future...

no, the area is not closed to climbing. and i wouldn't waste my time (or life) chasing booty from it either...

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damn I was hoping to salvage some replacement window rollers and stock radio for my jet ranger on blocks in my driveway

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Just curious, iain... Since a JR has skids, do you really need to put it up on blocks...? grin.gifgrin.gif

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