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peakbetty

Baggin' and Taggin'

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I climbed the Emmons a number of years back, and found a person sitting in a sleeping bag at 12,500 on the way down...from what I could tell the individual's party had actually "bagged and tagged" this person on top of a huge snowbridge on top of a large crevasse...probably because it was "flat". We let the person come down with us, but at the time I didnt realize this was common practice.

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I don't think there is any big deal as long you leave them where they are not in harms way. That said, the only person I have bagged and tagged, was myself up on Rainer, I was spent and wanted my friends to make it up to the summit.

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I agree with archenemy. If they are just lazy and out of shape let them go back down or safely wait it out. (or better yet I wouldn't have chosen to climb with them) But bagging and tagging someone who is vounterable is just selfish. It's one thing when the risk is so high and rescue is almost impossible say high on f'n k2 or something. But if you can help it and you leave them and they are sick then you are an a-hole. Or you didn't pick partners well and therefore deserve what comes your way. Even if it means you have to go back.

"but hey it's just my opinion"

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I guess the "it depends" is the best guide. (Not RMI trip)I bagged myself on Ingraham Flats one year because I just didn't feel well. I had the comfort of being able to walk around, take a nap, pee, poo etc...my friend on the other hand got bagged on disappointment cleaver. I felt sorry for him. He was in the direct sun the entire day, and when our party collected him on the way down, he was wasted and fried from the intense rays of the sun. I guess the moral of the story is, if can sense that it isn't your day, bag yourself in convenient spots and let the others try for the summit.

 

The great part of the story was that because I didn't exert myself that morning & had the some sense of "team", I was able to stay with my other friend who got altitude sickness - until he was able to recover suffienctly to get down. The others in the group - the bastards - left him at Muir and proceeded to paradise without caring for him. They were just too tired to think straight and just was too anxious to get off the mt.

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The great part of the story was that because I didn't exert myself that morning & had the some sense of "team", I was able to stay with my other friend who got altitude sickness - until he was able to recover suffienctly to get down. The others in the group - the bastards - left him at Muir and proceeded to paradise without caring for him. They were just too tired to think straight and just was too anxious to get off the mt.

 

Good for you for taking care of your friend. At the risk of sounding like a bleeding heart mountainsoftie, I am beginning to think that actions like yours are the most important part of climbing.

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There's a difference between "bagging and tagging" someone and abandoning them. I've bagged and tagged a few people for sure; RMI does this at Ingraham Flats and at the very top of the DC where it's safe. Sending a solo climber down from up there would be ludicrous from a risk management standpoint. Of course there are those stories where back in the old days, they'd take your boot shells to insure you wouldn't try to go down on your own.

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Or up. My only experience with this was, many years ago when I helped guide several groups of climbers up Rainier one summmer, and some of them who we left behind this way felt better after they sat still for an hour and started crawling up the mountain on their own.

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Everyone moves faster and more efficiently solo on this kind of ground. Pacing rules all. Once you go above your personal endurance threshold, you have at most a few hours before you crash. Chances are about 100% that the slowest member of the team will crash, unless they are smart enough to pace themselves in spite of others' himming and hawing. You're screwed the second you start trying to 'keep up' with anyone. It's not surprising that guided noobs have no understanding of this and have to get ditched. But the guide has failed in some aspect when he has chosen a pace that is too fast for the lowest common denominator.

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