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Rainier rescue in the Seattle Times 6/22

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Sorry to offend you Ryland. I understand the usefulness of wands and I promise I won't laugh at you but they are not any panacea. In my opinion, they are really no more reliable than a GPS because the key wands may blow over in a windstorm and you'd have to have way many of them to mark the entire route to the summit and back so even if you mark the key places, you can still wander around in the fog and if you get snowfall or blowing snow with your fog, you still have to be able to navigate. As often as not they end up just being more stuff to haul up and down and, if they are used, they frequently end up left behind as trash that may or may not mark the right way for subsequent parties. I do not know if a few wands at the key crevasse would have made any difference this past weekend.

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No offense, Matt. Just have a differnce of opinion. If placed properly, wands do not blow over, but may get knocked over by another party's rope etc. Usually the most heavily travelled routes are already wanded on Rainier, like Ingraham Direct because they are guided and the guides leave wands up for the season. Typically all you need to do is add a few more at a few choice locations and you are set! I have gone up Rainier and had to turn around because I knew I would not be able to find my way back until the weather lifted, and I have continued up in complete whiteouts using wands as I knew I could find my way back down. It is always a judgement call in the mountains. Not even criticizing these 2 parties all that much, but like in Accidents in Mountaineering, you can always learn from others mistakes. I'm glad to hear they summitted and made it down safely. Just may have been a little too quick with the cell that is all. Shit happens in the mountains and none of us are exempt. Except Trask, and that is cause he never goes yelrotflmao.gif

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To all you people making vicious comments about the judgement of others: if you climb enough, one day you will find yourself in a similar situation. You will find out how it feels to be criticized. My attitude is, "but for the grace of God go I." I'm not religious or superstitious, but it fits better than any other phrase I can think of.

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a lot of us have been in those situations and gotten our selves down... on the other side...most of us wouldn't have tried to summit in those conditions... electrical storms aren't the greatest time to try ranier... rolleyes.gif

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Summiting at 11 a.m. seems knid of late to me confused.gif

 

Not saying it is dangerous or that this is why they got cought, but it sounds kind of late. Don't most groups summit around 6-9 a.m.? wazzup.gif

 

Just curious on the summit times of most teams/climbers.

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Thinker said:

a few more details:

http://heraldnet.com/Stories/03/6/24/17122578.cfm

From this newer article:

"Visibility was only about 10 feet, and winds whipped at 60 mph. They wore six layers of clothing on their upper bodies and three on their lower bodies, but still began to feel the effects of minus 30 degree temperatures."

 

hmmm. here is another source quoting -30 degrees and 60 mph winds. These conditions yields a wind *chill* of -76 degrees (and a frostbite time of 5 minutes) from the NOAA website. Are we sure this wasn't in Alaska someplace? rolleyes.gif I think without down suits they wouldn't be able to climb in such conditions, but what do I know?

 

I find the quoted conditions unrealistic for summer time on Rainier. Do you? thumbs_down.gif

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Rodchester said:

Summiting at 11 a.m. seems knid of late to me confused.gif

 

Not saying it is dangerous or that this is why they got cought, but it sounds kind of late. Don't most groups summit around 6-9 a.m.? wazzup.gif

 

Just curious on the summit times of most teams/climbers.

 

I was up there 2 weekends ago. We summited at 7:30 AM and when we got down close to camp around 10:30 - 11 AM we saw people starting to head up!! So, that makes summiting at 11 AM not seem so late I guess. I wouldn't want to be up there that late though.

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hmmm. here is another source quoting -30 degrees and 60 mph winds. These conditions yields a wind *chill* of -76 degrees (and a frostbite time of 5 minutes) from the NOAA website. Are we sure this wasn't in Alaska someplace? I think without down suits they wouldn't be able to climb in such conditions, but what do I know?

 

I'd bet that they are saying that 60 mph winds created a -30 wind chill temp..... confused.gif

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With a temperature of 15 degrees F, which is quite plausible, and a wind speed of 60 mph, also quite possible, the Wind Chill Factor would, indeed be -30 F. So enough already! That is f'ing cold and it would be easy to get frostbite.

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"They wandered until about 1 p.m., when they discovered that the other party had been turning its GPS unit on and off to save the battery. But in order for a GPS to funcion, the system needs to stay on, he said. "

 

Is this true for all GPS units? Seems a little odd.....

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There were only nine of them. I doubt that it ever happened. I think they hunkered down just out of sight of camp and waited for a storm. It's all a hoax to generate a long drawn out thread on CC.COM. Who has the book rights? Follow the money.

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Thinker said:

"They wandered until about 1 p.m., when they discovered that the other party had been turning its GPS unit on and off to save the battery. But in order for a GPS to funcion, the system needs to stay on, he said. "

 

Is this true for all GPS units? Seems a little odd.....

 

If you want to use the trackback function you need to keep it on so it can record your route. The trackback will follow you exact route back, or as close as it can get. If you only have a waypoint, it will give you the direct line to that point. So if you wandered through a crevasse field, a direct line will probably go right over one.

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And another thing. Last August a partner and I tapped the ice caves in the caldera. They were downright balmy compared to the windy and chilly night before camping in the caldera. I decided that if the sh*t ever hit the fan up there on a climb the caves would be the first place I'd seek shelter. No wind, air temps in the low 30's, some ice shelves and big boulders to bivy on....the perfect place to wait out bad conditions, esp if you're to the point of getting frostbite.

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Or if you can't find that, ice is to solid for digging in etc... look for a crevasse on purpose to rap into and ride it out on a shelf. Forget where I read that and possibly on this sight. It worked for them and they walked out when it cleared up. Makes sense to me.

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those people that survived the storm up on liberty ridge rapped into a crevasse for shelter if I recall.

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It was Aaron Misiuk and his partner who's name I can't recall. Spent five days in the crevasse. The partner lost toes to frostbite because he had leather boots, whereas Aaron was wearing plastics.

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Distel32 said:

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.

thumbs_down.gifthumbs_down.gifthumbs_down.gif

 

This statement is absolutely LAME. Is personal responsibility totally gone?

 

From the Times: "We did very well considering," Nancy Lamont said. "Nobody panicked. It was a very cohesive group. It was a strong group mentally, emotionally and physically and that's what helped us to survive."

 

These folks did call for a rescue, sort of like panicking. Calling 911 means HELP ME! It also sounds like they were lucky the weather broke.

 

From the Herald: "The LaMonts began to pray for a break in the weather. "

 

I'm irrevant, but what the hell good does that do? I suggest using wands and bringing along enough extra warm clothing and equipment to make an "sustainable" bivy so you don't have to call 911 for help OR rely on prayers.

 

I think the weather did turn fierce; is that so surprising and unpredictable?

 

When you call the authorities and activate rescuers from all over the region, others will question what you did. And for many, they recall other climbers who survived days and nights of tough weather in the mountains with exremely limited gear and NO cell phones.

 

Being "safe" is admirable, but it just seems that these folks really weren't adequately prepared mentally, physically, and/or with equipment to deal with even a "short" storm on the Rainier. As noted, they didn't even need help in the end, which is why it's odd that they called so fast for a rescue.

 

Hey Dru, your observation is spot on, let's build a Muir Hut at Camp Sherman to keep everyone safe instead of installing pay phones on route.

 

This will stir the post a little more. the_finger.gifwave.gif

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catbirdseat said:

With a temperature of 15 degrees F, which is quite plausible, and a wind speed of 60 mph, also quite possible, the Wind Chill Factor would, indeed be -30 F. So enough already! That is f'ing cold and it would be easy to get frostbite.

 

It would have to be between 5 and 0-degrees to get a -30 degree wind chill with 60 mph winds.

see here

I agree 15 degree (or even 5 degrees) and 60 mph winds are quite possible. We had 15 degree and 40 mph winds the weekend before up there and that was in great weather.

 

That wasn't my point though. My point was the media always glamourizes this kind of shit and it pisses me off. They were all to happy to print in big headlines "9 climbers stranded on Mt. Rainier" which is crap. I guess since there haven't been any local mountaineering accidents this year they are 'thirsty'. bigdrink.gif

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