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cluck

3 Lost on Mount Hood

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I am a volunteer for PMR (but do not represent their views). This suggestion will not necessarily help those of you wanting to help right now, but if you are interested in helping or supporting PMR long term, you can go to www.pmru.org and find out more. There are links that describe the application process.

PMR is a well-led organization and a great way to volunteer if you are a climber (or even if you’re not and just want to help with the mission of the organization). We always need strong climbers and I have found it to be a very personally satisfying part of my life.

 

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Clackamas has suspended operations for now untill they are requested by hood river again. Weather is not supposed to break again till next Tuesday.

 

:( Hoping for the best and they are all hunkered down, toughing it out like climbers do.

 

 

 

 

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Hay Rat thanks for the update. How are the search teams holding up?

Sending prayers and warm vibes to the searchers and the searched for.

 

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Sorry for the thread drift, but I really want to respond to this as I just spent a bunch of time Googling PLBs and MLUs.

 

I presume a MLU is the same as one of these things called a Personal Locator Unit selling for $599 US:

http://www.rei.com/product/47799529.htm

No an MLU is not the same as a PLB. The PLB communicates with a networks of satellites and will work anywhere in the world. An MLU sends out a terrestrial signal that can be picked up by an MLU receiver. Googling MLUs, I actually found a post here from PMR Iain describing the differences:

Land-based PLBs are becoming available in the lower 48 states (perhaps specifically the PNW?) after a pilot program in Alaska proved to be successful. They are very similar to the EPIRBs used on ships. Once activated, they are spotted by satellites and a location (if a GPS unit is attached or incorporated, otherwise it uses the frequency to triangulate) is transmitted to Langley, Virginia. They in turn contact local SAR resources to go find the beacon. They have coordinates to find the thing, but the beacon also transmits on the standard ELT freq. long used in aviation to find downed aircraft, so you can find them that way too. They will be pretty expensive for awhile yet. Some SAR groups are starting to train with them now, but I've yet to see one in the Oregon mtn rescue community. The "Mt Hood Locator" is still in use, but it is much more simple, using basically a bear collar system. It still works well, and was in fact used this January to pinpoint a lost group near the summit of Mt. Hood.

 

The rescue Iain is referring to in January 2003 I believe was a party of Mazamas who not only had a MLU, but had multiple cell phones and GPSes and were on the southside of the mtn where there is cell reception. If the Mazamas were on the northside, they probably wouldn't have been able to use their cell phones to request a rescue, so it would have taken longer before anyone went looking for their MLU signal:

http://www.pmru.org/pressroom/headlines/hoodstranded011203.html

 

Again, sorry for the thread drift. It was the Oregonian who brought the MLU subject up.

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Hey all - we'll spawn the MLU discussion off as soon as we can (only one moderator in this forum), so in the meantime let's drop it, and if you respond to the thread make sure you reply to a post that's not linked to that topic, since it will all go in one long string. (ie, don't hit reply to this post or the one before it, but go back to The Jerk's last post) Thx.

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Search teams seem to be holding up ok. Weather is frustrating all of us. They have been really good about rotating crews in and out of the field, at least on the Clackamas side. I have not had any interaction with anyone on the hood river side. It helps knowing there are lots of people out there pulling for us. I hope they can hold out up there. We are all praying for a nice break in the weather. We are pretty sure where the snow cave is; it's just a matter of having good weather to get there. They are not releasing the info on the snow cave location, I think partially to keep anyone from trying to go up and effect the rescue on their own, and possibly becoming another victim.

 

As far as the plb and mlu's are concerned, they are not the same. Like posted above, PLB's are using satellites and also portable receivers when you get close on the ground. PLB's are activated by the user, so they can summon help. MLU's simply transmit a signal out. When a search is initiated, receivers around the mountain are turned on to try and find a signal. Searchers can then track in on the signal. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but cell phone coverage is based on use, and most people who climb a mountain are not up there to gab on their phones. Somebody ripped on T-mobile earlier, but they have gone above and beyond to help us out on this situation, and we are much better informed on a possible location because of them.

 

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thanks for the update Rat.

 

The media has been digging a little deeper, now quoting fuggedaboutit's posts from CC.com. LINK

 

a friend who was up on palmer today described it as 40-50mph winds & visibility at 20 ft or less...

 

Best of luck for the lost, as well as everyone who's helping out.

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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)

:tup: YES

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Guys, I feel the itch to chip in and help out just like you do, but I honestly don't think its worth while at this point to put untrained people into the field until the weather clears up. If trained SAR folks are getting turned around at the top of the Palmer, its clearly brutal out there and only getting worse. The last thing we need is someone else out there in bad shape.

 

If a call from PMR goes out for experienced climbers to assist in the efforts, then I'll be there with lots of others from this site. Hopefully the insurance and liability BS won't keep them from asking for help when the weather clears if they need it.

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I guess no word on today's efforts?

Speaking as a person who has spent a week in a cave (involuntarily)- ever since there has always been a place for extra fuel and food in my pack.

 

It is now a mental game; it is their will to live, their faith, and their ability to keep their thoughts active. Especially the fellow who is alone. I sure hope I am wrong but he must have been hurt pretty bad for his partners to leave him. I am absolutely sure it was a decision of last resort to split up. 3 people keep a cave allot warmer than 1. I am hopeful that he just has a nasty broken bone.

 

As for the high tech stuff, I never have and NEVER will depend on such devices, yes they are convenient and are handy, but they should NEVER be considered essential, what is essential is good decision and technical skills, which these 3 apparently have.

 

To the families of these 3, have confidence in the mountaineers abilities and physical/mental toughness they will be down in a couple of days and will have some stories to tell, they will be totally surprised at the national exposure that this adventure has created. I assure you that each of the climbers has their loved ones squarely in their thoughts right now. They will not know what day of the week it is when they are found.

 

Edited for spelling only, sometimes my mind just runs fasten than my fingers.

Edited by Big_Mac

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good post big mac.

 

there are a lot of folks out there praying, meditating or otherwise pulling for the climbers and the search teams.

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If a call from PMR goes out for experienced climbers to assist in the efforts, then I'll be there with lots of others from this site. Hopefully the insurance and liability BS won't keep them from asking for help when the weather clears if they need it.

Well put Winter.

Sitting here with my pack loaded ready to go. :brew:

Someone please, ring the bell.

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Here's a bit of info from a Crag Rat friend of mine, sent a couple hours ago:

 

The situation on the mountain today was such that with today's weather it was the best opportunity to find the two men who were returning down the Cooper Spur route for help. They concentrated on the timberline of pretty much the north side from Newton-Clark Glacier to the NW side of Coe Glacier and especially your area on Eliot (I do research on the glacier). They were unable to climb to the area where the cell phone signal was located at the top of the Cooper Spur route because of 80 MPH winds and poor visibility. The bad news is that the weather forecast starting tomorrow is going to be real bad until Saturday. Friday will be the worst of the season with 100 MPH winds in the higher elevations and heavy snow Thurs. and Fri.

 

Not a whole lot of new info, but a bit.

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On Nov. 14, he posted that he planned to do the climb in one day and planned to use his new sleeping bag to bivouac and stay warm, if needed.

 

quote-Well shoot for it in a day, and if the conditions are [bad], then a . . . bivy somewhere along the way and over to the south side and down the next day.

 

Can't be much clearer then that from fuggedaboudit, bet they're on the south side fr sure.

 

HIGH avy warning tommorow, but with strong winds from the west/south/west the South side will be mostly wind sculpted - but still with pockets of loaded lee slope danger around.

 

 

Edited by dmuja

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If a call from PMR goes out for experienced climbers to assist in the efforts, then I'll be there with lots of others from this site. Hopefully the insurance and liability BS won't keep them from asking for help when the weather clears if they need it.

Well put Winter.

Sitting here with my pack loaded ready to go. :brew:

Someone please, ring the bell.

 

Hey, at least I feel better now, because I am sitting here with my pack loaded as well... I am waiting for that bell to ring as well..

 

-Otto

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It was tough out there again today. We had a team in position to go to the summit but the weather never cleared. It's simply not safe to head to the summit in 80 mph winds, whiteout, and high avi danger. Very frustrating to the rescuers who were ready to go but could not due to conditions.

 

We searched our standard lost climber collection areas on the south side and the Crag Rats did the same on the north but no clues turned up.

 

At this point, I'm praying for a break in the weather so teams can actually get up to the summit. Hang in there guys!!!

 

 

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I'm hoping the two stranded climbers who went for help decided to tough it out in a snow cave.

 

Most of you folks here already know of the benefits of a snow cave, but I thought the following information may be of benefit to the relations of the stranded three who read this thread and are uninformed.

 

It's probable the climbers dug their caves in a hurried fashion so time didn't allow for the elaboration of a cave with the floor higher in elevation than the top of the entrance opening (the best at conserving heat); the floors of their caves are probably close in elevation to the bottom of the entrance opening. These men have the best chance of optimum comfort, considering the circumstances, if they are able to substantially block off the entance openings with cut snow blocks to limit near complete the exchange of interior air with exterior air. It is important to maintain some amount of air exchange as, although initially there is an amount of air available in the snow of the walls and roof of the cave, it is limited and thoroughly unavailable once the surfaces are glazed by the humidity from body perspiration and breath.

 

The air exchange factor is usually dictated by the offsetting considerations of warmth versus the need for fresh air and even claustrophobia. The temperature inside the snow cave can easily be 20-30 degreesF higher than outside; twenty degrees outside in gale winds translates to over 40 degreesF inside and calm. The down-side of this situation is that the cave may be nigh undetectable from the outside particularly since it's been snowing and blowing masking the entrance to be indiscernable from the surrounding snowfields. The guys will be checking the weather often, but won't break out of the cave until the weather breaks.

 

These guys are sitting/laying on their packs to limit the transfer of body heat into the snow or rock floor. They are adding small amounts of snow often to their water bottles to help sustain their supply.

 

After these considerations, the waiting game is the crux of the matter. I was forced by weather to spend three days and four nights in a snow cave similar to the one described above and faired well; I skiied out twenty-three miles after the weather broke.

 

I want the relations of these men to know it is likely their situation is not as grim as you may fear.

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cluck: to you and all the boys...a 1000 :brew: and endless hot tubs for everyone. THANK you...for everything. On every level, you guys definitely :rawk:

 

Kelly, Brian and Jerry: God bless and remember to smooth out the small peaks in the cave, they'll drip. Stay sane and hang in there. We're waiting for that TR. :tup:

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I'm here on the East Coast. Fox News just said that the phone signal was detected again yesterday and that the Cell Phone company could tell that the phone moved. They did not say how far, but said that such movement indicates that James is still alive. My impression is that he is just moving about the cave.

 

News conference is scheduled for 9:00 am PST.

 

 

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As a survivor of an SAR on the East Coast I wanted to send my warm thoughts to the West and to the crews working the mountain.

 

Watching this closely from Boston and hoping all turns out well for everybody.

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If a call from PMR goes out for experienced climbers to assist in the efforts, then I'll be there with lots of others from this site. Hopefully the insurance and liability BS won't keep them from asking for help when the weather clears if they need it.

Well put Winter.

Sitting here with my pack loaded ready to go. :brew:

Someone please, ring the bell.

 

All you guys who want to go should volunteer when there's not an emergency... Then you can get trained and go next time there's a call. I doubt very much that anybody involved in this rescue has time to go through your climbing resumes and decide who's experienced enough to deal with eighty mile an hour winds, no visibility and extreme avalanche danger.

 

Sounds like the guys on the mountain have the experience to know what to do. As has been repeatedly stated, they're probably all holed up on the peak in two separate snow caves. Hopefully they have the food and the fuel to hold out. On an attempted one day ascent they may have gone very light on these items...Indeed, it would not suprise me if the guy that was left in the snow cave at the top, was left with the vast majority of these supplies while the others tried to find their way down. I think if most of us were to leave somebody behind who was injured we would be apt to leave that person with all the food and fuel...

 

Jason

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Well put Jason. It does not only take the knowhow to get in and out but also what to do when you find the person.

 

Another tidbit coming from a SOLO First Responder...is that hypothermia is a real bitch. It does not take much drop (1-2 deg F ) in body core temp to start impacting ones ability to make good judgments. Even if the fellow at 10300 knows what to do at sea level, once he gets into a bad situation, I hope that he can keep it together enough to light the stove, heat warm liquids and keep himself alive. This is where his fellow climbers would have been very helpful. There must have been a very good reason for them to have left him alone.

 

Our prayers are with you all.....climbers and rescuers. Thanks to the ones that want to "get involved"!!!

Edited by Telektr

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To reiterate what Jason said, those of you who are ready to help out maybe you should get involved with PMR so that you are on the call list in the future. In the past I have thought about getting involved but wrote it off after I found out how much time it might take away from my climbing. But after this incident I am realizing how selfish that thinking was and maybe the time to do something about that has arrived. I suspect I am not the only one who has gone through this line of thinking.

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letsroll, your line of thinking is exactly why I elected to learn and become part of the solution. I far from know it all but what I do know, feels good.... so do it...

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