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Mike_Gauthier

A very sad week

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there were two more fatalities today on mount rainier. that makes five in one week. additionally, there was another crevasse accident this morning involving three climbers and yet another climbing accident on the emmons glacier a few days ago.

i'm not going to discuss the details of these individual accidents at this time, but i would like to notify all climbers that the upper mountain is quite firm and very icy. some may think that the cramponing is good or that the ice is nice, but it's very important to note that the climbing conditions are more unforgiving than normal, especially for this time of year. simple slips and falls that would normally be easy to self arrest are not so easy anymore. until the upper mountain softens up, i strongly recommend that climbers take the extra time to place running belays, move slowly over "moderate" climbing terrain and think about what a slip or fall might do to your entire team. what is moderate terrain? routes like the emmons and ingraham glaciers are moderate terrain and despite their grade II rating, these routes claim more lives than liberty ridge and other more technically challenging lines.

i’m not trying to discourage or encourage climbers, i’m just putting out the word on what's happening. it’s hard up there, be careful.

climb, climb, climb on, but do so thoughtfully and safely.

mike

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finally a word of advice instead of the usual blah, blah, blah- and how sorry they were about the victims.

maybe the higher number of accidents on emmons is due to the fact it is much more popular. plus e lot of people go there and do not know squat?

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Thanks Mike, a sad week indeed. Also a sobering reminder that just because we are more careful, more aware, or "not going to make that mistake" does not mean we are immune.

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quote:

Originally posted by crazypolishbob:

finally a word of advice instead of the usual blah, blah, blah- and how sorry they were about the victims.

maybe the higher number of accidents on emmons is due to the fact it is much more popular. plus e lot of people go there and do not know squat?

Natural Selection.

It works.

But it just can't keep up with climbing's rising popularity.

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Very sad indeed:

 

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/134469872_rainier07m.html

 

Two more dead on Mount Rainier

 

By Gina Kim

Seattle Times staff reporter

 

Eight days after three people perished on Mount Rainier, the 14,411-foot volcano yesterday claimed the lives of two more climbers.

 

Benjamin Hernstedt, 25, of Tigard, Ore., and Jeffrey Dupuis, 21, of Big Flats, N.Y., were taking the popular Ingraham Glacier route on the south side of the mountain when they appeared to have slid down a steep slope, said Jill Hawk, chief ranger of Mount Rainier National Park.

 

Their bodies were discovered from the air around 5:30 p.m. at 12,500 feet and were recovered by a Chinook helicopter a few hours later.

 

It's not clear when the accident occurred, although a park ranger happened upon the two men at Ingraham Flats, at 11,200 feet, at about 9 p.m. Wednesday, when they were beginning an ascent to the summit. He asked why they were making the attempt earlier than most.

 

"The weather had been cold and windy, and he noted that they were traveling without overnight gear," said Hawk. "It's very common for experienced climbers to travel light, to do a summit climb and come back down, but you always want to be sure that they're experienced."

 

Hawk said most climbers leave around midnight or 1 a.m. for the summit.

 

"That was one reason why the ranger questioned them," she said.

 

Earlier yesterday, rangers got a call that a climbing party had fallen into a crevasse. A guide and two clients fell, but the guide managed to extricate himself. After assisting in the rescue of the two clients, rangers checked on the tent of Hernstedt and Dupuis.

 

"It was obvious that no one had been there for the evening," Hawk said. "It had been all night, 17 to 18 hours. They should have been back to the tent from the summit."

 

The search began for the men then. According to cards they filled out before their climb, neither had climbed Mount Rainier before, Hawk said.

 

It appeared the men had reached the summit and were descending when they fell, she said.

 

On May 29, Cornelius Beilharz, and Grit Kleinschmidt, both 26 and from Germany, and Keeta Owens, 21, of Lebanon, Ore., fell high on the mountain in fierce winds and a whiteout.

 

Andreas Kurth, 29, also from Germany, was the group's lone survivor.

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quote:


maybe the higher number of accidents on emmons is due to the fact it is much more popular. plus e lot of people go there and do not know squat?

quote:


It boils down to numbers .. more people there are, more chances for accidents. Statistically, Mt Blanc is the deadliest Mtn in the world, given the Massive numbers

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It bodes the question, Are there too many climbers in the mountains with too little experience or is it just as Sleeveless states, that it is just a numbers game? I am writing an article for Climbing magazine on this very topic. With the easy access to Mtns. like Hood and Rainier and others around the world like Mt. Blanc and Aconcogua coupled with large urban areas and the glorification that the mainstream media has placed on all aspects of climbing, is it that people do not realize the danger of stepping onto a glacier, even if it is a dogleg route like the SOuth Side route of Hood. I am not some Mark Twight scoffing down upon the peopns of the climbing world, just your average weekend warrior who has invested a great deal of time and effort into improving all of my climbing skills, safety and technical. Maybe people do not understand the inherent dangers when it is a bluebird day and the lights of their city can be seen while they chat to their friends on a caell phone. Maybe the proximity of these mountains to major city does not remove one less experienced in climbing from the comfort and security blanket that the city affords and they feel they are still in that environment. What are your thoughts? I am not asking for regulations, but it may be necessary for the general public to learn that this endeavor is a serious committment. Sure, we all have a good time up in the mountains, but most of us are constantly aware of the dangers that are around us. Thoughts? Am I totally off here? I am just going on my 5 years of experience in the Cascades and my two years in the Tetons. I have also seen huge differences between mountains like Aconcogua the numbers of people up there who appeared to have little to no experience and then spending some time in the Cordillera Blanca and seeing practically no one for weeks. So, I agree with Sleeveless that it is a numbers game, but with those numbers come more less-experienced "recreational darwinists". Thoughts?

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quote:

Originally posted by ryland moore:

It bodes the question, Are there too many climbers in the mountains with too little experience or is it just as Sleeveless states, that it is just a numbers game? I am writing an article for Climbing magazine on this very topic. With the easy access to Mtns. like Hood and Rainier and others around the world like Mt. Blanc and Aconcogua coupled with large urban areas and the glorification that the mainstream media has placed on all aspects of climbing, is it that people do not realize the danger of stepping onto a glacier, even if it is a dogleg route like the SOuth Side route of Hood. I am not some Mark Twight scoffing down upon the peopns of the climbing world, just your average weekend warrior who has invested a great deal of time and effort into improving all of my climbing skills, safety and technical. Maybe people do not understand the inherent dangers when it is a bluebird day and the lights of their city can be seen while they chat to their friends on a caell phone. Maybe the proximity of these mountains to major city does not remove one less experienced in climbing from the comfort and security blanket that the city affords and they feel they are still in that environment. What are your thoughts? I am not asking for regulations, but it may be necessary for the general public to learn that this endeavor is a serious committment. Sure, we all have a good time up in the mountains, but most of us are constantly aware of the dangers that are around us. Thoughts? Am I totally off here? I am just going on my 5 years of experience in the Cascades and my two years in the Tetons. I have also seen huge differences between mountains like Aconcogua the numbers of people up there who appeared to have little to no experience and then spending some time in the Cordillera Blanca and seeing practically no one for weeks. So, I agree with Sleeveless that it is a numbers game, but with those numbers come more less-experienced "recreational darwinists". Thoughts?

If you start off a post with "it bodes the question" I pity your editor at Climbing Mag. (that sinking ship). Hint look up "bodes" in the dictionary before you practice your magniloquence next time. [Roll Eyes]

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quote:

Originally posted by Sleeveless:

Statistically, Mt Blanc is the deadliest Mtn in the world, given the Massive numbers

I think pecentage-wise K2 is the deadliest. Perhaps you meant Mt Blanc is has the highest toll of deaths?

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Bad things happen, planes crash, cars run into things, houses burn, people fall off mountains and bits and pieces of mountains fall onto people.

Is a beginner, less experienced climber more/less likley to get killed on a dog route than an experienced climber on a hard route with lots of objective hazards? Check the stats in the Himalaya, hard men/women get the chop at a fairly high rate. However, it doesn't generate the media focus. The ever increasing number of climbers certainly relates directly to an increase in the number of accidents.

 

Beating it to death in the media only fuels the fire for regulation. And, quite frankly, one can't regulate out the dangers inherent to climbing.

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Sorry Dru, I will be sure to use as less "magniloquent" [Wink] phrase the next time. You might do better grading the new sections of the verbal SAT than sitting behind your computer all day like ODDTODD.com and spraying everyone else to make yourself feel better about your life. On top of that, you still didn't even attempt to give your own perspective, which I have actually admired from time to time on this site. Why don't you actually deal with some of the realities that are facing you as a climber. Who knows, maybe that could have been you below the climbers who fell on Hood? [Roll Eyes]

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quote:

Originally posted by freeclimb9:

quote:

Originally posted by Sleeveless:

Statistically, Mt Blanc is the deadliest Mtn in the world, given the Massive numbers

I think pecentage-wise K2 is the deadliest. Perhaps you meant Mt Blanc is has the highest toll of deaths?

if you are talking % fatalities per successful summiter it is annapurna that is the deadliest not K2.

 

but those Himalayan stats are bogus because they compare deaths from all attempts, to successful summiters. so if you die in basecamp, before ever setting foot on the mountain, you still count as a fatality. they should compare the fatalities to # attempts not # of successful summiters. that would reduce the %death by about a factor of 10.

 

you can find the table of the bogus stats, on the Desnivel website, and lots of other places.

 

[ 06-07-2002, 10:55 AM: Message edited by: Dru ]

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Gator:

 

Thanks for the advice, I was thinking the same thing this morning. Let me see if I can break it down for folks with a short attention span (like me) [Confused]

 

USE YOUR HEAD PEOPLE! It is the most important single piece of gear you have!

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Actually, even the phrase, "begs the question" would be incorrect in this context. "Begs the question" does not mean "raises the question". It means someone is making an illogical argument by taking for granted the point they are trying to present. [Roll Eyes]

 

ex.

"I think you are stupid because you are obviously dumb."

 

-Iain (lord of nitpicks)

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My wife ran some numbers a while back that showed that K2 and Everest were very close if not the same in percentage of climbers dying that had summitted. If I recall correctly, the summit success to death ratio was the same on Everest as it was on K2. Agian that is the ratio, not raw numbers.

 

Of course these were available numbers and I cannopt say the numbers she was working with were 100% accurate.

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quote:

Originally posted by ryland moore:

I am writing an article for Climbing magazine on this very topic. Thoughts?

 

experienced "recreational darwinists". Thoughts?

IF I WRITE SOMETHING YOU GONNA USE IT FOR THE RAG?? IF SO, I'LL SUE YOU!!!!! [Roll Eyes]

 

SECONDLY AND PROBABLY 3RDLY(DRUL POINTED THAT ONE OUT)

 

RESEARCH YO!!! YOUR SURVIAL DEAL BELONGS TO HERBERT SPENCER....AND I AM NOT FIT, BUT I SURVIVE!!!!

 

LET ME KNOW?!

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Nelly states: Is a beginner, less experienced climber more/less likley to get killed on a dog route than an experienced climber on a hard route with lots of objective hazards? Check the stats in the Himalaya, hard men/women get the chop at a fairly high rate.

 

Nelly, I do not disagree with this statement but I think that my question is, is a beginner who is climbing with beginners more/less likely to get killed on a dog route than an experienced climber on that same route. I do not think that the problem, if there is one, is less experienced climbers going out on technical routes in the major ranges around the world, but inexperienced folks in the mountains most easily accessible here in the Cascades. Yes, Mt. Blanc has the highest number of deaths annually, but it is the number of climbers that go there combined with the lack of experience that is the problem. Is this happening here? Can we expect Mt. Hood or Rainier to be on that list in the near future? After my experience two weeks ago on Mt. Hood, I don't really have an urge to go back, or at least do a route that would warrant a descent down the SDOuth Side. After climbing the Leuthold and heading up the summit ridge, everything was perfect - the weather, the climbing, the snow conditions. Until I reached the summit. The summit was filled with people - about 60 or so - with many more heading up the SOuth Side - roped up above the bergschrund and in line one right after the other. I estimated that I saw around 20 people chatting away on their cell phones like it was Monday morning at the local coffee shoppe. "Dude. guess where I am? Top of the fucking world, Baby!" to "Did you catch SNL last night? Who hosted?..... Oh my Gawd, No Way!" to "The Cell reception sux up here!" Does this mentality piss you off? For me, I will be spending my weekends deep in the North Cascades this Spring and Summer.

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Erik, I do not work for Climbing but am writing an opinion article. I do not have an editor, I am just a guy off the street who finds it necessary to point some things out-kind of like we all do on this site. You could write one if you wanted. Anyone can. I am not doing research for the article, as my opinion has not changed. Just wondering what others opinions are.

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Anyone can write and submit but few get printed.

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quote:

Originally posted by ryland moore:

Sorry Dru, I will be sure to use as less "magniloquent"
[Wink]
phrase the next time. You might do better grading the new sections of the verbal SAT than sitting behind your computer all day like ODDTODD.com and spraying everyone else to make yourself feel better about your life. On top of that, you still didn't even attempt to give your own perspective, which I have actually admired from time to time on this site. Why don't you actually deal with some of the realities that are facing you as a climber. Who knows, maybe that could have been you below the climbers who fell on Hood?
[Roll Eyes]

The reality facing me as a climber is that I still haven't sent Royal Flush [Mad] stupid rock [Mad] If only tape was not aid. [Roll Eyes]

 

Dude if you are going to tell us all how you are a professional writer maybe you should expect some comment on your verbiage cause it makes you sound like you are spraying if you say you are a pro while demonstrating you dont have the skillz.

 

Anyhow has Climbing agreed to print your article yet or is it going on the slush pile?

[Confused]

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Ryland,

The last two weeks have seen deaths of experienced climbers and inexperienced climbers, on technical routes and on not-so technical routes. This makes it hard for me to view the current events as obvious proof that there are too many inexperienced climbers out there. Perhaps the message is "you might die climbing", period.

 

I don't think the general public needs a wakeup call to tell them this. This message has been loudly broadcast the last few days.

 

By the way, your rant about people committing the sin of using cell phones on the holy summit of Mount Hood makes you sound like "some Mark Twight scoffing down upon the peopns of the climbing world". [laf]

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Believe me (as you have already pointed out) I am not a professional writer and got just under 500 on my SATs. My vocabulary sucks, but it still does not negate the fact that we are faced to deal with the situations that face us in the mountains. No, climbing hasn't agreed to print anything, nor am I expecting them to. But I still think that we will be forced to deal with this situation in the near future if we haven't already had to do so. For example, when I first started climbing eleven years ago, I was with an experienced guy climbing in the Tetons. As we passed by a small group, not wearing helmets, belaying improperly and using a rope that looked more like a static line or those tree climbing ropes you see foresters using, my partner turned to me and said, we better stay away from those yahoos or they may get us into trouble or force us to have to rescue them. Maybe they were old-school or hard-core, but I have heard many climbers say this when they see someone doing something they shouldn't in the mountains. Is it my job to point out their errors? Or do we continue to "stay away" so that we won't have to deal with a rescue or them causing us harm? What if someone had emntioned in passing to the guys on Hood, "Maybe it is not such a good idea to stay roped up above the 'schrund, or do you think you guys might be a little too close to the party above ya? Or to the guy on the snowboard attempting the descent of Cooper - Are you sure you wanna board down a route you didn't climb first? I have always taken the avoidance, out of sight, out of mind approach, but am reconsidering my actions. So what if the guy tells me to fuck off - I don't know what the hell I am talking about. I will probably never see the guy in my life again. But, what if I say it to a less experienced climber and it makes him pause for a moment to think that maybe he/she is over their heads and is reconsidering their actions. It could prevent an injury. Thoughts?

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i call it when i see it. is that what you want to her ryland???

 

you see someone making a big mistake call them on it...i expect people to call me on it too....like you said you will probably never see them again.....

 

checks and balances...

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