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cluck

3 Lost on Mount Hood

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In the conditions we've had, it would be easy to imagine them falling prey to the same south side disorientation problems we've all seen happen before...following the fall line down the Zig Zag.

 

Yup. I'm back at T-Line. Just confirmed they're checking the Zig Zag. It's so easy to fall for that fall-line mistake and miss the lodge, especially if you aren't familiar with the area.

 

The WX down here at 6,000 is 28 degrees, light breeze and no precip.

 

God bless everyone up there...

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I hope for the best still. It's been awhile since i read -148 F. I seem to recall those 3 toughed it out in a snow cave for a week or so (anyone remember how long?) with almost no gear or food. There seem to be dozens of stories of folks going for days in the steamcaves ontop of rainier during foul-weather. It can be done. These guys can make it.

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That's an interesting development that they all topped out. I retract my earlier sentiment and second guessing of the searchers activities.

 

I feel confident now that they will be found alive.

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That's an interesting development that they all topped out. I retract my earlier sentiment and second guessing of the searchers activities.

 

I feel confident now that they will be found alive.

 

Previous poster said "they" topped out. I took that to mean the two that were going for help. Don't think anyone has said they "all" topped out, although I didn't hear the actuall news conference myself. Just wanted to nip that possible misinformation in the butt.

 

Prayers go out to all involved...

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The Oregonian posted an update to the story that stated the following...

 

"Frank James, who flew in from Orlando, Fla., shared details about his brother's phone call Sunday at a news conference this afternoon.

 

He said Kelly James talked to his wife and two of his children during a four-minute phone call Sunday. Kelly James said the team had reached the summit, and implied that he was either injured or so exhausted from either cold or altitude that the others had left him behind in a snow cave to get help."

 

I take that to mean they ALL summited which leads me to presume he is in a cave on the South Side - not the North as previously reported.

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Sorry... I thought you were refering to gslater's reference that "they" topped out and wasn't aware of the Oregonian update. Thanks for the additional info.

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OregonLive has a story up about how Mountain Locator Units would have helped locate the climbers. What ran thru my mind when I read that was this: if the powers that be would provide decent cell phone coverage to the north and east sides of Mt Hood--like 99% of the US has--that would have provided equivalent, if not more, assistance to rescuers than an MLU. The cell phone is one of the most common electronic devices, so why can't the most climbed glaciated peak in the US get decent cell phone coverage on all sides and on all networks and bands? Someone should go ask the Tmobile spokesman that.

 

Anyhoo, sorry for the slight rant.

Edited by Gaper_Jeffy

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Anyone watching KATU a few minutes ago? They quoted Jay B, Ryland, and one other. Nice posts, all of you.

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The locators are a *@#$% farce. The press will be all over this. Of course if you can not get in range they do not doing one @#$% piece of good. Let alone people on the hill to help. They naturally fail to mentioned this little fact.

 

Here is one reason why the two climbers might have descended Coper Spur. They would have seen this route on their approach. As such, when the weather crapped out they might have decided that descending Cooper Spur was a better option because it would at least take them down terrain they had at least seen. Which would lead to terrain they had previously traveled. Also if one thinks about it Cooper Spur has better features for following in a white out than the south side. Of course this is pure speculation.

 

 

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In the video coverage of the Sherriff's press conference shown on the KATU website (also broadcast this afternoon), the Sherriff's comments suggested that their rescue resources were limited, and it sounded to me as though they'd consider volunteers with appropriate experience levels.

 

I don't have much experience with mountain rescue protocols, but what little I can recall from previous searches is that rescue organizations have traditionally been quite leery of accepting such offers, since they have no idea how skilled or experienced folks outside of their organization may be, and don't want to run the risk of creating a compound-rescue situation, where the unnafiliated volunteers themselves need rescuing. There's also the matter of outside folks being familiar with the communications protocols that they follow, etc.

 

If anyone out there is affiliated with the organizations doing the searching, perhaps they could chime in and clarify what, if anything, members of the climbing community can do to assist with the search and rescue effort.

 

The anchor on the KATU broadcast must have interpreted the Sherriff's comments the same way that I did, as she closed her comments with remarks about the Sherriff looking for more experienced mountaineers to assist with the rescue. If this is not the case, now might be a good time to chime in and provide a correction, or to clarify if there's actually something that people can do, as I suspect that there's quite a few people on this board that would be willing to lend a hand.

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The locators are a *@#$% farce. The press will be all over this. Of course if you can not get in range they do not doing one @#$% piece of good. Let alone people on the hill to help. They naturally fail to mentioned this little fact.

 

SS,

 

Can you clarify what you mean by them being a "farce." I am assuming you are speaking of the mountain locator units??

 

They have been used in the past on the mountain and signals have been picked up from the summit at Timberline Lodge.

 

What experiences do you have to indicate otherwise?

 

Mr_D

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Jay, if you watch the current KATU video (the one that qoutes cc.com, including you), it seems that people from WA and other states want to spell the OR folks that have been working so hard, but there is some sort of rule that they can't cover out of state people with insurance, so they can't have them out searching "officially".

 

Don't let this post stop you if you were thinking of doing it, but if you do decided to head down, it might be worth a call before doing so. What a shame it would be on the insurance company if they could not bend the rules in a case like this.

 

 

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Sorry... I thought you were refering to gslater's reference that "they" topped out and wasn't aware of the Oregonian update. Thanks for the additional info.

 

I really hate to get into this speculation, but if the guy in the cave actually used the words "topped out" and said that his friends had "gone on" for help it changes things. It seems to me that if he were on the actual summit he would have been specific and said his companions were "descending" to get help.

 

"Topped out" could translate into being dug in at The Queens Chair - perhaps meaning they completed the Sunshine Route or strayed right on Eliot Headwall? This would also fit his characterization of his friends "going on" for help as opposed to "going down" for help.

 

Words have meaning and at this point I don't think it's inappropriate to try and read between the lines. ??

 

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Anyone watching KATU a few minutes ago? They quoted Jay B, Ryland, and one other. Nice posts, all of you.

 

Kinda trippy seeing CC.com posts splashed across my TV screen...

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Jay, if you watch the current KATU video (the one that qoutes cc.com, including you), it seems that people from WA and other states want to spell the OR folks that have been working so hard, but there is some sort of rule that they can't cover out of state people with insurance, so they can't have them out searching "officially".

 

Don't let this post stop you if you were thinking of doing it, but if you do decided to head down, it might be worth a call before doing so. What a shame it would be on the insurance company if they could not bend the rules in a case like this.

 

 

Could you post a link to the video? I couldn't find it on the site, and I suspect that other folks who might be looking for information might run into the same problem.

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Is there any new important information? Did rescures turn up any signs of the climbers today? Tracks, equipment? Did they reach the summit?

 

 

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if PMR or anybody needed help this would be the perfect place to ask for it - there must be a hundred of us here who've climbed that hill 3000 ways to sunday (and could gladly use an excuse to skip work to do something that normally has zero practical use at all)

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does anyone know of a link or phone number or something where one can volunteer to search? i am not an experienced sar dude but i also know that i wont go up and get lost or hurt.

 

edit: maybe a mod can start another thread about technology and locator units and stuff. i have some stuff to say but not sure this is the right thread....

Edited by hawkeye69

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Wish all the best to the rescuers tomorrow. I've got faith that tomorrow will be a wonderful day. Following closely from NYC being a recent transplant from Portland and a climber myself.

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This has brought me out of lurk mode.

 

Im game to go. Anyone know who we can contact about making sure its not a wasted drive? Other wise maybe we should just come up with our own crew and go to it. There would be a lot to do fast. Gear list and such.

 

I didnt sleep much last night thinking about them. Im willing.

 

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Semi Official Update - I was at the Clackamas County Command Post when the final teams came off the mountain today. They found no signs of the climbers on the southside or in zig zag/paradise. They searched these areas due to the infamous fall line on Hood that is well known to locals, which none of these guys are. The teams attempting the summit today were turned back at the top of the palmer snowfield by whiteout conditions and high winds. The weather break everyone was hoping for never happened. I can't speak for the Hood River sheriff about taking volunteers on as searchers, however I am pretty sure you would not be allowed on any of the MRA type teams that have been used so far. Clackamas has suspended operations for now untill they are requested by hood river again. Weather is not supposed to break again till next Tuesday. Keep the vibes up, I know the rescuers out their appreciate your support.

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