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cluck

3 Lost on Mount Hood

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Making my first post to say I'm also thinking of all involved up there and sending best wishes and positive energy to everyone on the mountain. Hang in there!

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Not to rain on anyones parade with the cell phone signals moving, but there may be some false assumptions being made. When they ping the phone, they show the probable location with a larger circle of accuracy, just like a gps does. It says, you are somewhere in this circle. They have gotten two good traces of pings, with the centers of the circles in different locations. However, there is a small area of overlap in the accuracy circle. So yes, maybe there was some movement, I sure hope that is the case. However, it may be that the phone is located in that overlaping area, and has not moved at all. I am praying for a good outcome, and for the safety of all those still on the mountain looking. Our role (AMR RAT Team)in the mission is done until there is another clackamas/southside mission, or hood river requests our services.

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I hope that these guys make it out. I can imagine being stuck up there, and that's a difficult thing. My heart's out to them that all ends well.

 

One thought, and just a thought and speculaton, which may or may not be helpful. Most think that the guy that is hurt or maybe hurt is alone. This is based off a phone call where he said, "The others went to look for help." I could be wrong here (I haven't read everything about this), but that simply could've meant, since they are near the summit, that they climbed up or down a little to scout things out, and returned to the cave. After that no cell coverage again. Storm comes in and they decide to stick it out.

 

 

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Pardon my ignorance but why don't the search teams move up the mountain in multiple camp style like Everest? Is there a way to stage camps up the mountain (snow cave to snow cave), use GPS's and avoid avalanche danger? Presuming of course you can hike in the wind...I really don't know much about Mt. Hood but I'm curious.

 

I mean, if the weather is bad for a week solid, is there nothing to do but wait?

Edited by jfmctlaw

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Planning an expedtion style approach used at places like everest takes months and months of planning, as well as lots of highly trained sherpas and whatnot to make it successful. Mt. Hood is not so high that the altitude is the problem, which is one of the main reasons for using an expedtion style of climb. This just happens to be a poor weather time of the year. Once the weather breaks, the will be teams at the summit within 3-5 hours on the southside, which may be the best route to go to reach the snowcave bound climber that is supposedly right near the summit.

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I don't know about seige style tactics for SAR. I have not seen that before.

 

What PMR has done in the past is to send a team up to bivy and run a wand line out on either side of the bivy. That way people stumbling down might intercept the line and get let to the rescuers location. The bivy is usually at a choke point where a couple of decent routes might intercept.

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Anyone check the telemtrys this morning? It went absolutely nuts on the mtn last night. MHM's telemetry shows 2.3"s of liquid precip since 8pm. That equates to 23+"s of snow up high. The temps were very warm, so the precip fell as rain in the parking lots, but up high it would be wet heavy snow. I'm sure the avy danger has to be even more insane then it has been the past few days.

 

http://www.nwac.us/~nwac/products/OSOMHM

 

http://www.nwac.us/~nwac/products/OSOTML

 

My friends tell me when I post excessively about storms (which I always do in a skiing context), I jinix them. I'm hoping I can do so now.

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My friends tell me when I post excessively about storms (which I always do in a skiing context), I jinix them. I'm hoping I can do so now.

 

I pray your bad luck pays off once more. It is sure frustrating knowing they are just out of reach. Weather sucks, supposed to for the next couple days. Pray Pray Pray....

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Hi Everyone:

I have just come off 2 day of searching on the North Side. Conditions were challenging. Monday had high winds and driving rain/snow, very limited vis. Wind slab was quickly forming. Winds strong enough to lift folk off their skis at 7200ft. Tuesday, the winds increased and now had all the recent snow to blow around the mountain so that it looked like a 50ft snow wave constantly rolling down the mountain from evry direction. Temps were -6C at 12.30pm at 7300ft. Natural avalanches were heard releasing higher on the Mountain. Snow surface varied from bullet proof to snow pockets with track infill happening within minutes on Tuesday afternoon. One of our big objectives was to cut for sign from Newton Clarke over to the Coe . Assuming that they were on foot, boot pen might have been deep enough on Monday to be observed but that possibility decreased tuesday and the winds hurled the snow down mountain.

 

One of the huge tasks on the search is to monitor where the searchers are. This requires radio coms and the more people in the field the more difficult it is to keep everyone in radio contact. There are dead spots on the mountain when a group drops into a drainage and breaks radio coms for a hour or maybe more....more issues with more folk in the field. The rescue can be brought to a slow down by resource management. So a big THANKS to everyone who wants to head up to the hill and help with the search. I know how fustrating it would be for me if climbers were missing outside my area.

 

On the location of the snow cave, even the pings are not real accurate. Enough to say that the margin of error can stretch from the top of cooper spur route to the queens chair. There was a huge lenticular on the hill all day with a big snow halo observed from the northside indicating the serious wind at the summit.

 

Also everyone that has climbed the mountain also realizes the difficuly of searching several hundred feet down the northside along the entire northface with the winds blowing from the south and west at your back at 90+ mph, vis reduced to zero.

 

Hope this helps you

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Sean I was thinking about calling up to see if they needed more man power. What your are saying is that they have enough people?

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In the field were Portland Mountain Rescue, Eugene Mountain Rescue, Corvallis Mountain Rescue, Crag Rats, 304th Pararescue, NorthWest Search and Rescue, Mountainwave, Forest Service Personnel, Clackamas County Personnel. I apologize if i have forgotten anyone. Most teams well capable of keeping searchers in the field every day. The Sheriff is the incident commander, I am just a searcher, so i dont know all the details and plans and resource requirements. I have climbing partners outside of the unit and have not been asked to get them involved.

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So I know these guys were traveling with minimal gear, but did they opt to leave wands behind as well? Not trying to be a negative nancy here, but for god's sake, that is probably the most useful tool to finding one's way back home, or to be found. Likewise, I'm not sure what route they were on, whether it was a slog or an alpine ascent, but if no wands were used, it's going to make things that much harder for both rescuers and climbers alike.

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So I know these guys were traveling with minimal gear, but did they opt to leave wands behind as well? Not trying to be a negative nancy here, but for god's sake, that is probably the most useful tool to finding one's way back home, or to be found. Likewise, I'm not sure what route they were on, whether it was a slog or an alpine ascent, but if no wands were used, it's going to make things that much harder for both rescuers and climbers alike.

they weren't descending the ascent route (or even that side of the mountain)- and wands placed in the north face gullies on hood wouldn't last more than an hour or so in weather like this anyway

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From the comments on that page:

 

4.December 13th,

2006

3:31 pm Having “climbed” and “hiked”, I would argue that the fundamental distinction between climbers and hikers is ego. If you encounter someone in boots with an outsized opinion of his accomplishments on a mountain - you’ve met a climber.

 

— Posted by Peter Reese

 

Dude obviously hasn't done enough climbing to build up the ego!

 

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"The value of the mountains is that of the men who measure themselves against them; otherwise they are no more than heaps of stone". Walter Bonatti

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Just a couple of thoughts. Clint wands are not too helpfull in 70+ mph winds as they break, or get blown over. Also, questioning what these guys did and did not do correctly is not really helpfull right now. It certainly sounds to me like these guys did nothing different than what I would have done, but either way right now it does not matter.

 

For all those wanting to go help cheers to you, but if they need more searchers they will call in other mountain rescue teams from accross the northwest. The sheriff will be very cold to the idea of random people showing up to help due to insurance, training, and other issues.

 

Want to help?

http://www.pmru.org/ in portland

http://www.seattlemountainrescue.org in seattle

 

volunteer with your local mountain rescue group.

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...and www.cwmr.org in Yakima/Tri-Cities.

 

volunteering every day, not just when it makes the news, is what it's all about.

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Minnesota is pullin' for you guys. You know what to do. There are a bunch of us that wish we were there with you. Can't wait to read the TR!

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