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Rainier rescue in the Seattle Times 6/22

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Rodchester said:

But I'll give them some leeway untill I hear the whole story... From what I've heard so far it sound like they used bad judgment. (We'll see). If they didn't have the cell phone, and didn't make a call, the same outcome would have likely occurred... Because they had a cell phone, we have a news story. frown.gif

Leeway?! 9 People, unable to hunker down, able to get up there, and unable to deal??? The cell phone changed the entire equation.

 

Dwayner, sadly, is on the money.

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Quote:

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Rodchester said:

But I'll give them some leeway untill I hear the whole story... From what I've heard so far it sound like they used bad judgment. (We'll see). If they didn't have the cell phone, and didn't make a call, the same outcome would have likely occurred... Because they had a cell phone, we have a news story.

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Leeway?! 9 People, unable to hunker down, able to get up there, and unable to deal??? The cell phone changed the entire equation.

 

That's pretty much what I said (cell phone changed the equation)....but I'm willing to listen to all of the facts as they develop. But somehow I doubt they'll convince me otherwise. wave.gif

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I saw this on the news and I fail to see how they were 'rescued'. Sounds like they descented after waiting it out.

 

Like Rod said, because of the cell phone, the news stations were able to pick it up and report of their 'near-death' adventure. Talk about sensationalism.

 

Regardless of how much danger they were truly in, it was still stupid to climb in such obvious bad weather.

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Are you guys thinking that they would not have attempted the climb if they had not been carrying a cell phone? If that is the case, I might agree with JoshK about their mental capacity.

 

In what manner were they "unable to deal?" They called uncle, apparently, but most of us would say it is a good idea to call for help if you are in a bad situation and you have a cell phone. But it sounds as if they in fact DID deal. They got their asses kicked, but nobody was carried off the mountain, were they? Did somebody get frostbite? If they did, is that a clear indication of a party that "can't deal?" What is the standard here, by which we should judge YOUR next epic?

 

I'm not saying it was a good weekend to go up to Mount Rainier -- I wouldn't have headed up there this weekend. But the forecast I heard was not as dire as JoskK indicates and I really don't know what happened other than that nine people attempted to climb Mount Raininer in poor weather, hunkered down for a day or so, and staggered back down to Schurman. What more does anybody know about it?

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I still think they might have slacked on the preparation. Even if they were prepared to hunker down and even if they did not request a rescue, where were their snow wands? If you are heading up a large glacier in potential whiteout, surely they should have been prepared to get back down following their nicely wanded path, whiteout or not, and with nine people spaced out 15' apart, that covers some serious distance! I don't know enough about what went on up there, but could see how the media could sensationalize it. Carry wands when in potentially bad weather. Quite simple actually! And if the can't find the wands they placed, then they obviously need more experience to do so. My two cents.

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Here is the info I got from a friend who talked to one of the climbers in the party.

 

The weather was clear when they headed up. The weather was decent when they summitted. On the way down a lenticular formed and then not too long after they were in a whiteout. They could not find the snowbridge across the bergshrund. They looked for a while and then started to dig a couple of snow caves. One climber had a cell phone and decided to call for a rescue. While digging in, the weather cleared long enough to find the snow bridge and get below the shrund. Below the shrund they had a GPS waypoints to get them down. They did not have a waypoint for the snowbridge. It was basically a self rescue. I heard the rescue rangers were pissed because they didn't call back to say they were able to get themselves down. I think 2 members of the party had mild frostbite on their hands.

 

I don't know if the article mentioned it but there were 2 seperate groups that joined up once they were in the whiteout.

 

I didn't talk to the climber, I am just relaying what I heard last night. I could easily have some info wrong.

 

Chris

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Jeez, sounds like a couple of strategically placed wands by the 'schrund could have saved a lot of hassle on everybody's part.

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mattp said:

In what manner were they "unable to deal?" ...

What is the standard here, by which we should judge YOUR next epic?

 

Unable to deal means, you've got 9 people climbing the Emmons during inclimate weather. You climb and make choices until you're in trouble. Then you call 911 and request a rescue.

 

Thankfully, the weather cleared and they were able to walk down. Still doesn' t change the fact that they cell-phoned and requested a rescue. Seems odd that there NINE people up there. It seems reasonable to assume they could have taken care of business without calling for help, especially since they didn't need any in the end anyway!

 

Hey Matt, you can judge my next epic by what I do and how I respond when "it" hits the fan. Accidents happen, so do bad choices, but it seems ok to me that on some occasions, we call it like it is.

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Hans -

 

Is it the fact that one of them dialed "911" that you take as an indicator that they "couldn't deal?" So far, we have heard that (1) the weather was good enough that at least some parties got up and down OK, (2) they had and used a GPS but whoever did so may not have entered a waypoint at the bridge over the 'Schrund, (3) they got down under their own power, (4) injuries were minimal, and (5) they weren't even delayed very long. Again, I don't know what happened and they may well have been idiots, but it sounds to me as if they were reasonably well-prepared for what they encountered (better than most parties who get caught in storm weather at 13,000 feet, I bet), and they got themselves down. Too bad they didn't call 911 a second time to say they were on their way down, though.

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As Catbirdseat mention, I also know a few of the party members (I hate to admit). They have been know, (or at least one has been know) to push the limits on a lot of situations. It's just not worth it!

I enjoyed the weekend in my back yard working on my climbing wall. Can't say that I scored any "Honey Do's" points though, got ride of those a while ago!

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calling for a rescue and then packing up and moving your group later on w/o calling back is incredibly uncool. hellno3d.gif I hope there is a reason for the lack of communication.

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HANS SAYS:

 

Still doesn' t change the fact that they cell-phoned and requested a rescue.

 

And that is why I'll listen to what they have to say. If they felt that they were in a bad situation and felt that hunkering down and digging in was prudent, and were calling to say:

 

Hey Mike G. we're OK, just digging in high on the peak because of white out conditions. We'll stay in touch and let you know if we actually need help. Any idea on when this is supposed to clear up?

 

And then the media or the Rangers blew it out of proportion, then I'll be more forgiving. But I don't think that is what happened here. And if they actually didn't call back to say they were no longer stuck and were moving, that is BAD. evils3d.gif A total dick move that could have cost lives of SaR people, assuming they were actually trying to move up to provide aid.

 

So I'll wait till I get the full story, but so far I think they screwed up. thumbs_down.gif

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I personally thought all the media hype about a rescue, was pretty funny. As far I was concerned there was no real story. Looked like they walk out on there own. Come on please, shit happens. That is the great thing about climbing mountains, the only thing that is predictable is that moutains are unpredictable. There has been plenty of time where it was suppose to rain or snow the whole time on an intended climbed and it turned out beautiful. I watched the news report, read the article, and spent a night on Rainier in a snow cave at 13800 in whiteout conditions this year. I guess maybe if I flipped my cell phone on and called someone, maybe we could have cameras waiting in the parking lot and have all this smack talk about us.

 

BTW Matt your right, sometimes we look at the weather and it suppose to be wonderful so you make decisions that are not the best. Traveled light, no tent, summer bag, minimal clothing, luckily it just made for one misserable night, though I figured I had several more in me. It is just part of the game, playing in the mountains.

Thanks to any of you that had seen our Dead Guys Ales that had melted out, and you didn't drink them, you guys are the coolest. bigdrink.gif

 

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I heard that they called 911 twice. Twice to report that they needed a rescue. Not sure about a call back.

I never called them idiots, and will not do this, and that's not what I'm indicating. I said that they didn't "deal." Totally different situations.

Like to think that you'd tough it out Matt, and not reach for the phone so quickly, then walk down the mountain later to report that you don't need the help.

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The fact that they called in the rescue in the first place was lame. Hunkering down and sitting out a storm hardly qualifies as "shit hitting the fan".

 

I'm wondering if the call was the result of group consensus, or the act of one guy who got scared?

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Figger_Eight said:

The fact that they called in the rescue in the first place was lame. Hunkering down and sitting out a storm hardly qualifies as "shit hitting the fan".

 

I'm wondering if the call was the result of group consensus, or the act of one guy who got scared?

 

 

My understanding is that one person called without consulting the leader. This is based upon what one of the party members told me.

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I was on the mountain!

 

The conditions were bad but they probably could have made it down. They thought they couldn't, so they called a rescue. Don't flame them for trying to be safe. I presonally believe they could have made it down but I'm not them and neither are any of you. It was pretty much a whiteout, and despite the poor forecast you should all know that weather changes quickly in the PNW and there could have been a window, that is why we went up to camp, but decided to turn around. Their judgement may not have been the best, but they did what they felt was safest for them.

 

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"Severe and sudden whiteout conditions — including estimated 60 mph winds and 30-below-zero temperatures"

 

30 below? BWHAHA....riiiiight. Maybe wind chill. GOtta love the top notch fact checking in the reporting. hahaha.gif

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Lots of people seem confused about the difference between wind-chill and actual temperature, Josh. I was impressed that the story didn't mention their having been stupid or inept or having taken unnecessary risks and it didn't sensationalize the whole thing. It seems to me that the blood-sucking media whores that some here complain about must have taken the day off when this article was written.

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Yes, the story was unsensationalized which is great to see. I do find the 30 below thing pretty easy for them to check and get right however, and I suppose to some extent claiming "30 below" tempertures is a method of sensationalization (word?) too. I just found it pretty amusing considering how cold 30 below actually is.

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Anothing thing which probably didn't help was a certain ranger at the whiteriver station telling people, including our group, that "Conditions are perfect! Couldn't be any better!" without even mentioning the weather!!

 

If anybody on this site works at MRNP tell Dave G. (won't write his full last name) to start being realistic. He told a couplde about 45y-o (man and woman) that it was a perfect weekend. That should never have happened! It took them 5hrs to get from the trail head to the beginning of the inter glacier.

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I hate to be contrary here, Distel, but I guess I'm just in the mood to pick apart whatever anybody says. I think Mr. G. should expect that anybody going to climb Mount Rainier has checked the weather report and that if they ask anything at all about conditions they are asking about on-the-ground conditions like the trail, stream crossings, crevasses, etc. I wouldn't think it irresponsible or misleading for him to say "conditions are great" if that is what they were. Had he told you "the weather forecast is poor, you know," you'd be likely to come here and complain on this board that he was trying to scare you away from the mountain where you have a god-given right to climb.

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the_finger.gifthe_finger.gifthe_finger.gifthe_finger.gif

Fuck all these assholes--the weather was bad, they should have known it. I cancelled my climbing plans Fri. because it was OBVIOUS that the weather was going to suck goat balls. You Mountaineer “ hardman” bitches need to shove your cell phones up your asses!

 

I get tired of rescuing chestbeating, egocentric, no-it-all, motherfucking Mountie groups from the hills. I got paged to slog up in the crappy weather to get these jerks--just fucking hunker down and ride out the storm--there's NO excuse for anyone in the group getting frostbite; they should have been prepared!!!! But if it was a typical Mounties outing, there was like one sleeping bag for the group. This shit makes me so mad! madgo_ron.gif

 

the_finger.gifthe_finger.gifthe_finger.gifthe_finger.gif

 

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Some friends of mine were up at Emmons Flats this weekend and saw all of this going down...they said the weather at Schurman saturday evening was 20 F (they had a thermometer) and that is was quite windy...so who knows...it was probably damn cold on the upper mountain, but -30....hmmmm the windchill at 0 F with a 60mph wind is -30...I think they may be exaggerating a bit or something was lost in the translation to the media.

One thing that kind of grinds on me is that the Everett Mountaineers were on a climb that many of the folks needed in order to graduate from their basic course....I know its total speculation but do you think that that the fact that the students needed to summit to complete their graduation requirements contributed to their decision to go for the summit despite the rather nasty forecast?

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