Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
mrefranklin

Avalanche at 13,000 ft on Lib Ridge on May 28, 2001

Recommended Posts

...yikes - just the thought of being up on Liberty Ridge in yesterday's weather is pretty scary. Luckily the weather is good today - hopefully they'll get them out unscathed...

How was Ptarmigan Ridge? TR?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to try to denegrate this into another SprayFest, but I read this and had to ask myself...WTFO??

"The climbers apparently became stranded

when an avalanche wiped out their return

route a few hundred feet below their position

on Liberty Ridge."

Granted I am not super familiar with Lib Ridge, but I thought it was often done as a carry-over and down the Emmons or DC...

Perhaps this is just media speculation and there is more to it...or perhaps it's another case of climbers relying upon cell phones and suddenly are faced with an epic and opt out for the phone...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard to imagine how an avalanche could "wipe out" part of the route - I'm not really sure what that means. What I assumed that to mean is they saw/experienced an avalanche, realized the snow was extremely unstable, and thus couldn't continue safely. Of course, this is all speculation, so I'd better stop!

As for "return route" - perhaps they had started to bail?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Philfort,

Ptarmigan is supposedly in Epic shape. Unfortunately, we had a visiting climber on our team that wasn't up to the task once we got to high camp (it was a mitake to take him). Seeing a lenticular being blown in, my buddy and I made the call to descend rather than climb with him. We're going back in two weeks to do it again. This time, only experienced tried and true folks that I've climbed with before. It killed us not to be able to go up when it looked soooo good - especially when the route out took almost as long as going over the top and down Emmonds.

The entrance to the chute looks incredible with good solid conditions. Gotta try and get through there early though, so it doesn't become a "bowling alley."

The snow is pretty soft down to 9,000 feet or so but there should be nice prints on the approach now. Our team and one other swapped leads breaking it this weekend.

Love to hear if anyone has made it yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were up on Ptarmigan as well, we must have seen you as we were skiing out. We were too slow on the approach and did not think we could make the summit and descend without getting caught in the storm.

You are right about the conditions, the route looked to be in very good condition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update: they're still there, and it IS the group I was thinking of. Definitely saw them heading up. We even wished 'em safe climbing. Wonder what the hell they were doing that high that late in the afternoon. Might be that late-rising got them in trouble.

http://www.seattleinsider.com/partners/kirotv/news/2001/05/30/climbers.html

Danielpatricksmith, were you the folks that dropped down onto the glacier below the route and were getting ready to go up? Where did you turn around? I can't wait to hit it next weekend and try it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like everyone got picked off by the chopper in the nice weather this evening. Perhaps one of them will post the whole story on this site??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My roommates are friends with one of the guys, I'll make sure to get the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure hope those guys show some type of gratitude and good attitudes for the sake of public opinion. I didn't see them on the news personally, but the morning radio show was talking about them and complaining that their tax dollars paid for this rescue and the guys seemed to have a real bad attitudes.

I suppose I would be unhappy at having to have a chopper rescue too, but let's not get public opinion against us or rescues on the mountain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Give the dudes a break. I saw the snippet on the TV news last night... the poor guys were mobbed by cameras as soon as they hit the parking lot. They looked fried & a little dazed, and one guy very politely told the reporters that they "didn't really feel like talking right now", as they loaded their stuff into the truck. Regardless of what some morning radio-show hack might have spewed, I didn't detect any "bad attitudes" on their part... I'm sure these guys are plenty grateful for their rescue, and I'll bet they expressed this clearly enough to all of their rescuers during their summit bivy and chopper ride down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Juneriver:

Sure hope those guys show some type of gratitude and good attitudes for the sake of public opinion. I didn't see them on the news personally, but the morning radio show was talking about them and complaining that their tax dollars paid for this rescue and the guys seemed to have a real bad attitudes.

I suppose I would be unhappy at having to have a chopper rescue too, but let's not get public opinion against us or rescues on the mountain.

I doubt you would be in a chipper, talkative mood after such an ordeal either.

As for the talk show types, I never hear them bitch about the cost to taxpayers when the Coast Guard has to go out on a rescue of some boaters in trouble, but that happens all the time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a reason they're in radio...

As for the media:

"4 year girl brutally chopped to death by axe wielding man...film at eleven"

Reporter: "So when you saw the man chopping your daughter to bloddy bits...how did that make you feel"

Father: "....."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not trying to criticize. I know I would be in a bad mood after that kind of ordeal followed by a media highlighted rescue.

I just hate it when the overpowering message that ripples through the public is negative for climbers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Juneriver, I'm curious now... do you recall what radio show you heard these comments on?

{Gratuitous & pointless rant against overweight morning DJ's removed}

[This message has been edited by Kyle (edited 06-15-2001).]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The newspaper article this morning addressed this topic and it was interesting to see that, even though they highlighted the expense and stated that public payment for mountain rescues is controversial, they also quoted the park superintendent as saying that climbing rescues are in fact less expensive than all the searches for kids who wander out of campgrounds and they quoted the Sheriff as saying that the public pays to rescue people who do stupid things in other activities so it may only be appropriate for the public pay to rescue climbers (he didn't suggest that climbing was stupid, though, but only that even if you view it as stupid you should still support paying for the rescues). Though the article was written as if it were against publicly funded rescues, any careful reader would have definitely gotten the idea that there are two sides to the question and many, I would guess, might even be persuaded to see our side of the issue. I say, thanks to the Park Superintendent for trying to provide some balance to the public perception of rescue costs, and thanks to the PI for trying to provide real information about the issue!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what about this...

if a skier gets lost down here at mt. bachelor, they are automatically billed 1k an hour for the rescue efforts

and that rescue would probably only involve some ski patrol dudes and no chinook choppers!

hmmm, interesting. I'm not really for or against public funding of rescues, I just get upset when rescuers get seriously injured or killed during a rescue effort.

when i was in yosemite, i thought it was facinating to watch climbers get plucked of the nose for whatever reason by rescue crews, and i know the rangers love going for rides in the choppers down there!

touchy topic for sure! The fellas are very very lucky that they were scaling a peak where such a talented crew of rescuers and choppers were available to come to the aid!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On good ol' Q13 Reports last night they seemed to give a pretty even cast to the story; while the climbers definitely came off as tired and maybe a little resentful of all the media, the report made sure to mention that, as stated in the P-I's article, the park rangers thought they did everything right, and also that the climbers personally thanked the rescuers afterwards and were very grateful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please everyone; I'd be VERY curious to hear what you think about rescue cost recovery for climbers? It's a topic of national interest and one that brings our sport/hobby/lifestyle to the attention of general American pubic.

By the way, the 4 men in the avalanche were very thankful for the assistance; talking to media wasn't important to them. Sometimes you just have a bad day and you don’t want the entire country to know about it.

Gauthier

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm not mistaken, if you need to be rescued in Yosemite and are deemed irresponsible or unprepared you get the bill. If the rest of the parks departments could adopt something similar, that might be a step in the right direction. Unfortunately this also may open up a whole new can of worms in the court system with people disagreeing and appealing decisions made by the land managers. I also think Colorado's $5 (?) rescue insurance deal is a good idea.

[This message has been edited by EddieE (edited 05-31-2001).]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't mind paying a small insurance fee. I would be very sorry to have my meager savings cleaned out because of an objective hazard catching me and forcing a rescue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think rescue insurance like they have some places in Europe is a good idea. To be fair though it should be voluntary-if you don't want it you can pay for your own rescue. I think this would decrease the total number of rescues by making incompetent people think twice about taking on too much.

Barring that, I think we should continue with the system we now have. People should be free to get into any situation they want to whether others think it stupid or not because there are a lot of things that my taxes pay for that I think are stupid (like the drug war and limosines for the mayor).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×