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cluck

3 Lost on Mount Hood

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Several peeps have wondered if they could show up and help search. Those of us in SAR and Mountain Rescue have responded to you all that others in places of power will pretty much say, "We won't let you, it's an insurance thing."

 

To that end, I provide this message for your general consumption:

 

Due to the ongoing SAR incident on Mt. Hood I thought I'd remind everyone of the policy on resource requests from Oregon.

 

There is no interstate mutual aid agreement in effect with Oregon. Therefore, we can not issue a Washington State mission number in support of such requests and any volunteers responding will not be covered under the Emergency Worker Program.

 

If we do receive a request for resources from Oregon (usually from an Oregon based LE agency or state emergency management) we always make this clear to them and ask for a point of contact. We will then advise those Washington State jurisdictions with the appropriate type units of the request from Oregon and emphasize that no Washington State mission number will be issued and that any volunteers interested in responding may contact the Oregon jurisdiction conducting the operation to determine what coverage, if any, there is.

 

Of course, the same policy is in effect if the request comes directly to the your agencies or volunteer units from Oregon counterparts.

 

The above message is from the WA State SAR Coordinator at the Emergency Management Division in Olympia. It's as high as it gets.

 

What does it mean? It means that if you are in SAR/MR in Washington, and you show up at Mt. Hood to help, you will not be covered by any insurance that WA State would normally provide if you repsonded to a mission in your home state. Essentially, you're on your own if you get hurt/killed/lose gear.

 

If you're NOT in SAR/MR, they won't even entertain your joining in the search. To put it succinctly, "they don't know you."

 

As mentioned before, join up with Mountain Rescue before an emergency arises, so that you are trained in mountain search and rescue techniques (which are rather different than self-rescue techniques you may already know) and prepared when another episode like this comes around again.

 

As a Mountain Rescue member for over three years now, I would dearly love to go and help, but I cannot in good conscience put my family at risk without the coverage that WA State would provide if the scene were north of that big creek.

 

Here's sending out massive quantums of positive energy to those that have, can, and will respond to the search call.

And to the three they're looking for.

 

 

 

 

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NFaceGully1.JPG

 

Red Box is about the extent of the above image, Cooper spur is in green, Elliot headwall is in the pink circle, sorta cant see it's whole extent in the photo, Sunshine route/Elliot Glacier route is about where the dark blue line goes, though it changes depending on the season and the difficulty with crossing the bergschrund. Actual north face gullies are in light blue, both of which are popular (althogh seldom climbed due to difficulty, and a short season when conditions are really good)... They don't have their own names other than left gully or right gully I believe. Can't see zigzag in this photo, as it's probably about perfectly on the opposite side of the mountain. Difficulty with the cooper spur is that it tends to pitch towards those cliffs in the lower left of the photo. A slab avalanche would probably head in exactly that direction, making that route particularly dangerous in these conditions.

 

Edited for grammar

Edited by sweatinoutliquor

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Tried to upload some October pics of Cooper spur and the Eliot Glacier to give an idea of what is lying below the blanket of snow in the previous pic. Not sure if the images are attached or going to a PhotoPost? The rain is coming down here and the am paper is speculating 90mph sustained winds w/ gusts exceeding 120mph up on Hood late afternoon/evening. Take care SAR...and best of luck.

 

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SOL, you are the man. Crystal Clear. I was way off, trying to assign route names I'd seen to the 2 gullys. I knew ZZ was Sside just thought it might be around the fall line that you show as the Sunshine route/Elliot Glacier. Dang, "they're in a tight spot". His rack description implies he expected WI3, Is that the extent of the NF gullies rating?

d.

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Has anybody writen to the oregonian. Anybody who knows what they are talking about? Read Letters to the Editor. These people have no idea what they are talking about. "Thier route, from Cooper Spur up the Eliot Glacier and over the summmit, was overly ambitious during most months, but to do so in December is to defy Mother Nature." Would some one inform this person that this is a WINTER climb and this is the best time to do it. What everyone is forgetting is that if it weren't for an injury we would not be in this situation. Accidents happen everyday, they just take on a more serious tone in the mountains.

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There is no interstate mutual aid agreement in effect with Oregon. Therefore, we can not issue a Washington State mission number in support of such requests and any volunteers responding will not be covered under the Emergency Worker Program.

 

seems to me that this should change in the future.

 

 

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Got this:

 

Hood River County Sheriff’s Office

COOPER SPUR SEARCH

Press Release

12/14/2006

 

On December 13, 2006 the search mission on Mt. Hood continued for Brian Hall, Jerry “Nikko” Cooke and Kelly James. Again, the three men were not located today.

 

We have not confirmed a report that Kelly James attempted to make a 911 call on Monday morning at 7:20am. If a call was attempted it was not completed. We do know that the phone was turned on at 7:20am. There was enough of a signal at that time to get a GPS reading. Hood River 911 sent a text message to the phone saying “call 911.” The text message was received by the phone, but the message was not opened. It may be possible that text was mistaken as a call, but it is unknown at his time.

 

Several times through the day on 12/11, 12/12 and 12/13 the cell phone was pinged by T-Mobile. On 12/12 at 10:55pm T-Mobile received a signal on the phone indicating it was back on, when it had been off. That was the last signal that was obtained. Every ping since that time has shown that the phone is not on. The phone is pinged every 5 minutes.

 

Today, Hood River 911 asked T-Mobile to send the phone a text message asking that the phone be turned off until 12/14 at 9:00am to save power. The phone has not been on to receive that message. If the phone is turned on we will be notified immediately. Please be aware we are still trying to learn the technological ability relating to the cell phones. The FBI has offered to help us on this front as well as helping to trace signals. Two FBI agents arrived from Portland today and are assisting the search team.

 

ARACAR with owner John Blitch arrived today with UAV equipment and four operators. They have brought 6 UAV’s with them to use in the search operation. They were not able to fly the aircraft because of wind. Although the aircraft have the ability to fly they can not be used accurately in winds above 35-40mph. The ARACAR team will remain in the area and are waiting for the weather to break.

 

Search operations on the mountain continued with ground search crews. Air operations were not possible due to high winds. Winds were gusting to at least 70mph. 1042nd Air National Guard was grounded an not allowed to fly.

 

Five ground search teams comprised of 13 members from Crag Rats, Corvallis Search and Rescue and the 304th Rescue Squadron continued by searching the following areas:

 

1. Team #1 searched south to Timberline Trail and Gnarl Ridge. The team reported that weather conditions would not allow them above the tree line. They did make it to approximately 6500’.

2. Team #2 searched the Timberline Trail and attempted to cross Eliot Glacier. The team reported icy conditions with strong winds and were forced to turn back. They continued to search toward lower Eliot and E. Langille Glacier.

3. Team #3 searched the area of the Tilly Jane Warming Hut, where the three climbers spent the night on 12/07. A note was found in the log book that was left by the three men. The note read “12/7/06, Thanks for your hard work on this great Shelter. We did not plan on staying, but the warmth of the fire changed our minds. We climb as a group of 3 and we left a $20 bill. We will leave tomorrow for the north face! Wish us luck! Nikko, B Hall, Krazy Kelly” No gear was found at this site.

4. Team #4 searched Pollalie Drainage.

5. Team #5 searched lower Tilly Jane.

 

 

An operational plan was developed for 12/14/06. We continue to search out resources as well. The weather outlook for the search on Thursday is very poor. We are expecting extreme winds and up to 18 inches of snow.

 

We will not be able to search above 6000’ once again. Search teams will be transported up to the Cloud Cap base camp in the morning. There are several searchers who are staying the night at the base camp. Searchers from Portland Mountain Rescue along with the Crag Rats and 304th will begin search operations.

 

New resources will be heading to the search area on Thursday. The Air Force 304th Rescue squadron will be adding new members to the search. A 10th Special Forces S.A.R. team will be joining the search effort. Eugene Mountain Rescue will be joining the effort late in the day and will be available into the weekend.

 

The 4th Battalion 160th SOAR of the National Guard is attempting to gain authorization to support the search with a Chinook Helicopter. Nevada air National Guard is attempting to gain authorization to assist with a C-130. However, they have been grounded due to extreme winds.

 

Etc., etc, etc.

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There is no interstate mutual aid agreement in effect with Oregon. Therefore, we can not issue a Washington State mission number in support of such requests and any volunteers responding will not be covered under the Emergency Worker Program.

 

seems to me that this should change in the future.

 

I totally agree, Dave. It's my understanding that OR units can come to WA to help us, and they are covered, but not the other way around. Mystifying... :confused:

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Sweatinoutliquor, Notice I said that it was the BEST time, not the only time. Yes I knew that trip was going to be brought up when I wrote that, and yet I still posted my thoughts. We can drag that trip up from the the depths if you want. My my point is still the same. What these guys did was not unreasonable. They were not defying mother nature by going this time of year.

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Please be aware we are still trying to learn the technological ability relating to the cell phones. The FBI has offered to help us on this front as well as helping to trace signals. Two FBI agents arrived from Portland today and are assisting the search team.

 

It's kinda trippy that we all carry these things and nobody but the Feds really know how they work :ooo:

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I wasn't giving you a hard time about it... Sorry to dredge up... I just thought it was funny to hear that come from you because you are the only one I know who has braved that route in conditions that weren't as ideal as those found in winter (and I still think you are crazy for it, but give you tons of credit for the accomplishment)! I totally agree that winter is the ONLY time of the year for this trip. I posted the link partly to indicate how much more difficult and inappropriate the conditions are at other times of the year. I would happily remove my link if you or anyone else thinks it's inappropriate at this time.

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Sweatinoutliquor thanks for making your intentions clear. I have no problem with that then. Just was not sure what your point was.

 

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maybe to point out to the uninitiated that climbing a NF Hood route in winter is actually safer than climbing it in summer? generally speaking, of course.

 

seems like most non-climbers find this counter-intuitive.

 

 

 

 

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couple of things

 

1. sux to be those guys and cannot hope enough that they are okay.

2. the sno-cats need a blade to be effective in deep snow...just like an bulldozer.

3. sled dogs and what not would be the ideal tool for travel in these conditions and the nord breeds tend to have an ability to seek the shelter that all animals crave in conditions like they are experiencing right now. dogs can also be good to searching as we all know.

4. das parka is a nice jackets but we all now the limitations of these garmets.

5. as far as the book "-148" they were properly equipped for their climb in the winter and that is the #1 reason art davidson and crew survivied, also they stayed together which can lend huge support to each individuals ability to survive mentally.

6. the locater beacons like avy beacons instill a false sense of security in all situations. they are more of a body recovery device then something that will make good decisions and assist physically in a safe climb.\

7. the "light and lucky" school should only be practiced by people who are within in their ability. this goes especially for weekend warriors.

8. the searchers(you have to find someone to rescue them) are doing a great job and should all be comended for staying with the fight even though the cards are down.

 

i used to and at times still do participate in sar call outs, and it is hard to maintain a positive frame of mind through the ordeal, the best bet for anyone wanting to help in the immediate should contact the american red cross in hood river/ the dalles and offer your support there.

 

good luck everyone involved.

 

 

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There is no interstate mutual aid agreement in effect with Oregon. Therefore, we can not issue a Washington State mission number in support of such requests and any volunteers responding will not be covered under the Emergency Worker Program.

 

seems to me that this should change in the future.

 

I totally agree, Dave. It's my understanding that OR units can come to WA to help us, and they are covered, but not the other way around. Mystifying... :confused:

 

Whats up with that? During a rescue recently on mount Baker BMRC got some help from accross the boarder. Seems if Canada can help us, then we should be able to help other states!

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My thoughts are with these men and their families in this difficult time.

Edited by mrmack

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hey mrmack, I'm guessing you don't like my boy Ivan too much, but I'm sure he regrets what he said, so why don't you just leave that alone, OK?

 

and to John - not so tasteful dredging that stuff up, I think.

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I just saw a report saying that they got a ping of the cell phone late Tuesday. Now it seems that he's turning the phone on and off to conserve batteries. If this is so, it is good news indeed.

 

If he can conserve batteries until he knows weather improves for a rescue that will improve his chances tremendously.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/12/14/missing.climbers.ap/index.html

Edited by catbirdseat

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interesting I thought this was in regard to James giving his phone a mysterious ping-click on Tuesday ........

 

Gents getting onto this thread quite late but was the weather favorable for the three the day of the ascent up Cooper ?

 

have to say here down in southern Oregon we are getting quite a few conflicting reports from CNN, MSNBC and FOX.

 

have been on this route in late October and what a great ice route on and off Cooper onto the Eliot headwall.

During blizzard white-out conditions, another story altogether, this all reminds me of the ascents in drastic conditions up on Mt. Shasta via the Hotlum headwall

 

E ~

 

God's speed guys !

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