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Figger_Eight

Accident in Leavenworth

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I was at Icicle buttress watching Dave & co getting rained on when the chopper came by to see if they wanted a ride.

Apparently they soon noticed the guys with the orange blankets up 2000 feet on the other side above the Mountaineers Lodge. It looked like there were two sites about 500 feet in elevation apart. It was wet up there. They were in the gulley to the east of the buttress. The top party was above a step and the bottom party was down and east a ways.

Probably over a dozen rescuers up there.

Hope it wasn't too serious.

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The local radio station just said a 24-year old woman from Seattle fell/slipped while on Cocaine Crack on IB. Her partner stabalized her on a ledge and went down for help. They said she had a broken ankle. Really wet weekend.

 

rbwen

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I was at Icicle buttress watching Dave & co getting rained on when the chopper came by to see if they wanted a ride.

Apparently they soon noticed the guys with the orange blankets up 2000 feet on the other side above the Mountaineers Lodge. It looked like there were two sites about 500 feet in elevation apart. It was wet up there. They were in the gulley to the east of the buttress. The top party was above a step and the bottom party was down and east a ways.

Probably over a dozen rescuers up there.

Hope it wasn't too serious.

The Mountaineers don't have a lodge in Icicle Canyon.

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Icicle Buttress was Thurs. afternoon. She was lowered and carried out. Sunday's accident was Yellowjacket Tower and was much more serious involving head and neck trauma. He was removed by a Navy helicopter.

More than four accidents already this year up the Icicle. Be careful out there.

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Crap!!! I know everyone that was in the Yellow Jacket climbing party that day.

 

I pray that he recovers okay.

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The word I got was that he was climbing third/fourth class unroped in the "hidden gully" and slipped. When I did that climb four years ago, I roped for that pitch and put in one or two pieces. The climbing is not hard at all but there are a couple of loose spots and there can be sand on the rock.

Edited by catbirdseat

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Where is it that most Mounties climb leaders get hurt on the climb? The final pitch? I know it has somewhat of a "reputation." I've never done the route myself -- there are so many more appetizing things in the area.

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Who owns the lodge below Yellowjacket tower then?

Didn't the Mounties own one that burned down?

Spill cbs, the "factman".

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I hope the injured regains health quickly. I remember when I learned that if I didnt fall, I wouldnt get hurt. Doesnt matter how many bolts are there or are not there...

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As one of our esteemed veteran posters pointed out not long ago (was it Peter Puget?), we seem to see a lot of tales of accidents posted by or happening to cc.com regulars, too. Maybe as many "per capita" as the Mountaineers or perhaps even more.

 

Perhaps cc.com should be shut down in the interest of keeping gapers out of the mountains?

 

Or maybe simply in the interst of keeping gapers from spraying some unfounded "analysis" on Monday morning. My best to the injured climber, but I don't think we are doing well to argue about whether a bolt should be added to the top of Yellowjacket Tower or whether the Mountaineers are losers without some specific information and ideas to discuss.

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mattp, swimming upstream, wanting reasonableness at cc.com. It may be argued that shutting the site down may in fact increase numbers of accidents...(Good post BTW)

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Shit happens, especially when it rains.

 

Matt, its Monday evening, so I think I'm good here. I have only the best wishes to the person hurt. We all have people up there we're thinking about, and it especially sucks when it is someone you know. Take care and regardless who has the most accident reports, remember that you are mortal.

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If we can learn something from the mishaps from our fallen comrades that's great, particularly if the discussion is reasoned and respectful (2 things that can be rare here).

 

My hat's off to people like Genepires and Alpinistandrew who shared their own mistakes/bad luck stories, risking ridicule, so we can learn something. thumbs_up.gif

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I hope for a speedy recovery as well...

 

For the hike I can think of other icicle crags infinitely more interesting and probably better teaching venues than YJT. From the road to YJT and hook creek turnoff it's the shittiest part of the whole hike, even taking into account the shwack up hook creek. madgo_ron.gif

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Spoken like a vetran Hook Creek Shwacker. No trail this year either I take it. What routes do you think would be a good alternative? I am trying to think of some good 5.4 multipitch routes but I've drawn a blank. I suppose someone could go scrub something cool in honor of the fallen comrades at YJT. Maybe something above the Pearly Gates or nearby so they can use the Snow Creek parking lot. Place some good belay bolts and make it go to a sort of "summit" so it also has cool factor. 3 pitches would be perfect. VK, RC, DB- Any thoughts?

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I don't know about 5.4, but I've always thought Martian Diagonal and Midway were outstanding routes at 5.6. Both may be a little adventurous for some climbers but I have taken folks up both of them for their first climb.

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I'd have to say that probably Groundhog Day stands as the easiest three-pitch climb in the area. However compared to something like R&D, it seems difficult to the novice leader, even though it may seem easier to the follower.

 

I would agree that there is a need for more easy multipitch routes for beginners to practice on.

 

Anyway, I'll stick my neck out and offer my opinion about the spate of recent Mountaineer accidents. I believe that most of the people involved have been climbing for some time, so they aren't really novices. I suspect that they are people who haven't been getting out much.

 

The pace of life in the big city is getting to be where people have very little time to practice. Some people only have time to get out two or three times a year.

 

I always assumed that for every day I spent in the alpine, I'd spent one or two cragging in addition to staying in shape by running and biking.

 

I just think if you are going to play the game you need to commit to honing the skills to be safe.

Edited by catbirdseat

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How about beginners get their game dialed on single pitch and then move to multipitch? Plenty of easy stuff in this state... practically all the "selected" routes at WA pass are easy 5.8...

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For those of you, like me, who read these threads to learn from others, I'd like to bring the thread back around to this:

 

There have been several accidents in the Cascades this year, many of which involved not novices but experienced climbers with lengthy climbing resumes. In most cases, they have involved people on non-technical or easy terrain. A crampon catch on a hard snow slope. Not placing pro on a rock climb where the angle eases off. Not roping up for a 4th class move.

 

It's a reminder that we, as climbers, must be on all the time, and the consequences of one poor decision and 99 great ones can be disastrous. I love the focus that climbing requires, but I recognize the consequences of losing that focus.

 

Rather than blame an individual or an organization (totally off the mark in my opinion), we need to look into the decisionmaking patterns of otherwise competent, seasoned climbers to understand the roots of these accidents. "Shit happens" is not an adequate response.

 

I wish the climbers and their partners a speedy physical and mental recovery.

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It's a reminder that we, as climbers, must be on all the time, and the consequences of one poor decision and 99 great ones can be disastrous. I love the focus that climbing requires, but I recognize the consequences of losing that focus.

 

Well said. Climbing, esp. soloing, is just a journey into the innerspace mushsmile.gif

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As to this particular accident, we don't seem to have much information but in general, as one who has led group climbs and taken relatively inexperienced climbers out quite a bit, I'd say that class 3 - class 4 terrain presents more difficult challenges for party management than does the technical rock and the consequences of an unexpected slip can in many cases be greater, too.

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How about beginners get their game dialed on single pitch and then move to multipitch? Plenty of easy stuff in this state... practically all the "selected" routes at WA pass are easy 5.8...

 

This is perhaps the smartest thing yet said in this thread. Although beginners typically learn on 5.4 and 5.6, that type of terrain is really bad to fall on. Maybe have them learning on harder steeper stuff? Really, there is not too much difference between 5.4 and 4th class.

 

As for adding a bolt, its not going to make the mountians safe. Best to leave bolts off routes established without bolts. If someone doesn't think it is safe enough, don't do it. Nobody makes you climb.

 

Best wishes to the injured person. I hope he has a speedy recovery.

Edited by TimL

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