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cluck

3 Lost on Mount Hood

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Food for thought,

If you the mountianeers know mt.hood so well, and with some of you guys it is like your backyard, then why did not someone employ you all, the men who know of her evils, to find the other 2 guys, and to begin with all 3, ..........i wonder did anyone stop and ponder the idea ,to ask a professional that has beat mt.hood on what their thoughts are , and what they should do or where to look now?

 

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The Crag Rats and PMR mountain rescue teams are made up of local climbers who know the mountain intimately. We have been involved with the sheriff from day 1.

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My experience tells me the sheriff's analysis is a distillation of everthing he has learned from all sources; i. e. mt. rescue personnel, rangers, past accidents, etc. I have not climbed Hood but have climbed most other name routes in Pac. N.W. My analysis would be same. Terrible prevailing wind would "drive" the climbers where he believes they tried to go. Caves appear to be on leeward slope and a logical place to seek refuge.

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You folks who know the mountain: do you think the possibility that the two missing climbers made it to the summit area and descended to the S/SW, only to pass Timberline Lodge in white-out conditions, has been adequately addressed by the search team? This happens to novices, and the two climbers were not familiar with Mt. Hood; who knows how capable they were with a compass in their shape.

 

I haven't been able to see yet any pictures of the snow-caves - the links given earlier lead to pictures way too big for my laptop monitor - in context with the footprints leading up and down from them; I take it the footprints that went up don't continue on the other side of the ridge?

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You folks who know the mountain: do you think the possibility that the two missing climbers made it to the summit area and descended to the S/SW, only to pass Timberline Lodge in white-out conditions, has been adequately addressed by the search team? This happens to novices, and the two climbers were not familiar with Mt. Hood; who knows how capable they were with a compass in their shape.

 

The Sheriff stated clearly in the 9AM press conference today: "Our investigation down below has not revealed that they walked out." I think they have well and truly covered this possibility. He showed all the areas that search teams have covered on the map in the 2.00OM conference.

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yes, they could very well be experts, ,,,,,,,,and we have the expertise of the mountianneers .....i would put my money on their head first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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By "the Gullies" do you think they mean below the Black Spider - or are "the gullies" right above the spider? I don't think i recall an area known as "the gullies."

There are several black spider routes through that face, and most are connected to gullies.

 

photo courtesy of shredmaximus:

2182black_spider.jpg

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does anyone have any links to pics of the rescue sites yet? I'm interested in seeing pics of the snow caves and their relative distance from each other.

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Although it might have just been slack, and maybe they've checked already, I'd be interested to know what's at the other end of the nat. pro. anchor.

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Not that this thread needs another post, but I thought I'd share some of my own opinions on the matter.

 

I just heard a radio show (AM 570) discussing how irresponsible these climbers were attempting the mountain in December. They were saying that the people who were searching for the trio all had families and are being put in harms way. These guys aren't ballet instructors, they're professional mountaineers trained in mountaineering, medicine, and assessment of environmental variables. If I'm not mistaken, SAR is a completely voluntary service. Nobody is forced to participate, and I kind of doubt that any of the SAR members feel that way. Furthermore, SAR members are climbers and skiiers in their sparetime, and I'm quite sure there are at least a couple on the team who have summitted Hood (and other PNW mountains) in December - and don't think it's irresponsible. The idea that nobody should climb Hood in December is ridiculous to me, and anyone who believes that doesn't have a clue what they're talking about.

 

The fact is, climbing is a year-round sport. That will never change. If these guys were skiing in the backcountry and got into trouble, would everyone say how irresponsible they were for going out on skis on... SNOW in ... DECEMBER and risking theirs and others' lives for the sake of recreation? No way. Granted, there are many climbers who would not have chosen the first week of December following a series of serious storms to make the climb (I'd probably wait until February when there's traditionally a nice stretch of clear, mild weather), but I'm not training for Everest either and I may not be as qualified as these guys were.

 

Saying that Hood (or other mountains) shouldn't be climbed in December is about as dumb as saying pleasure pilots shouldn't fly in airplanes over mountain ranges or bodies of water in December. If the plane crashes, that selfish pleasure pilot will have put many rescuers' lives in danger, all for the sake of a scenic ride.

 

You're not going to get people to stop climbing mountains in December. The mountains belong to everyone.

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Although it might have just been slack, and maybe they've checked already, I'd be interested to know what's at the other end of the nat. pro. anchor.

 

It lead to the empty snow-cave - the empty one with the equipment and room for three (probably the one that was occupied first).

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What Sheriff has said about the scenario what has happen I am glade I do most of my climbs solo.

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'Why is this being run by a Sheriff's dept?'

 

this was my question...

 

FWIW....., Sunday, December 17, 2006, Oregonian.

 

“About 730 people got lost or needed rescue in Oregon last year. Only 24 were climbers, and fewer than 12 percent came from out of state.” Susan Nielson columnist for Oregonian. http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/susan_nielsen/index.ssf?/base/editorial/1166234137153910.xml&coll=7

 

Same resource questions go into whether there is a paid or volunteer fire department, ski patrol, or a mixture.

 

Here is the site for annual Oregon SAR reports, etc. http://www.oregon.gov/OOHS/OEM/tech_resp/sar.shtml

 

Gruss Gott, positive thoughts for the families. Danke.

 

There's one more group involved in the search and rescue work done on Mt Hood, one that very few folks will see: the Forest Service. Almost all of Hood is a federally designated wilderness area; there are no mechanical devices allowed within the boundaries and the Forest Service is required to manage the wilderness area in accordance with Congress' wishes.

 

Every helicopter overflight and C-130, as well as any landing, requires a special sign-off from the regional head ranger and this goes back to Washington DC for review. So ground-based SAR is the first action taken on Hood, usually with excellent and positive results.

 

So there are great suggestions on this thread for higher-intensity SAR techniques and activities, but there are limitations on Hood that are beyond what most people see, although PMR, CragRats, the 304th and others are very familiar with the process.

 

You can bet there will be another very professional review of this SAR incident when everything is complete and any possible improvements considered.

 

BTW, I don't climb much anymore and certainly not at the level of the climbers on this board, but I do spend my summers hiking trail 600, mostly on the north side, as a Wilderness Steward, a volunteer USFS program that covers and cares for the wilderness area. Wilderness stewards evangelize LNT and work with the "hikers" to ensure the wilderness is protected and the "hikers" remain safe. The Mt Hood Wilderness is heavily used by hundreds of thousands of people each summer, some who venture into the very area of this search wearing flip-flops and shorts.

 

These same SAR teams we've seen for the last week help haul lost kiddies and everyone else out of slightly lower elevation locations during the summertime that we see on-screen today. I, for one, am extremely happy to have the sheriff call them when someone doesn't show up on time or is declared lost.

 

Thank you to all the SAR folks.

 

Mike

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Not that this thread needs another post, but I thought I'd share some of my own opinions on the matter.

 

I just heard a radio show (AM 570)

 

 

 

That's what you get for listening to right wing talk radio crap- the very idea of climbers helping other climbers equates to socialism and lack of personal responsibility. And worst of all: "I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO PAY FOR IT!!!!" :rolleyes:

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Although it might have just been slack, and maybe they've checked already, I'd be interested to know what's at the other end of the nat. pro. anchor.

 

I was wondering the same thing.

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Hi Everyone: I was a member of the summit team on Sunday. I would like to help answer some questions but this thread is so long (been on the mountain 4of7)and not sure what has been covered unless i read all the latest pages. I know Iain has covered a lot of it. Maybe we should start a new thread.

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