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fern

MT Hood Continued

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Will an analog transmission send GPS info?

 

Yes, in theory. An analog call can transmit the GPS data. However that is only if the phone is analog capable and GPS enabled. Very few of them are at this time. Also analog signals are sort of a last resort for phones. Once you are analog it is questionable if the call will make it at all.

 

But definatley worth trying.

 

Thanks for the useful post.

 

Guess I'll hang on to my current dual-mode phone, even if it is about four years old now and a little beat up (but lacking GPS): there were a number of posts in the previous thread about how analog reception is more widespread than digital, especially in remote areas and particularly on Mt. Hood.

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Folks, I know the searchers are the best qualified to take care of matters and I have much confidence that they will do the best thing, but I'd really like to see some effort put into having a a helicopter fly slowly and low up and down Zig-Zag and White River Canyons looking for signs of the two missing climbers; I've seen nothing to indicate that this has been done...

 

These folks have been doing SAR missions on Hood for who knows how long. I trust that they are considering all possibilities and are distributing resources the best they can. Every operational detail of who did what and when and where is generally not released to the public (and probably exists in a disarray of paperwork and notes and maps and computer files right now).

 

...I've seen and heard nothing to indicate that a thorough aerial search of the southern flanks has been attempted. This bothers me.

 

If it's trees down there, you're not going to see any people from the air.

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I don't think most cellphones have a GPS... I thought they calculate the triangulations of the celltowers themselves to get coords, instead of having the celltowers compute it?

 

Was my understanding too, Gary according to what I read on KATU:

 

"Normally, a provider uses the three closest towers to triangulate an area where a person may be located. However, James' phone was at the periphery of cell phone coverage area and registered to only one tower. But based on the region of the tower that it hit, T-Mobile was able to narrow down the possible location: just below the 11,239-foot summit of Mount Hood, on the northeast side."

 

http://www.katu.com/news/local/4908701.html

 

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One of the challenges with cells is that the 911 folk have no idea where the caller actually is. It has been federally required that all new phones be GPS enabled. Most of them do not actually have GPS capability but they do have an antennae that picks up the signal. This is then retransmit in the raw state to the emergency operator. Some of the newer phones with higher computing capability also have a crude GPS map that allows them to at least tell you Long./Lat.

 

It is a personal comfort concession that these "big brother" phones only are required to talk to 911 operators.

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For what it's worth, the final plot of Kelly James' phone location was within about 100 meters of its actual location. This was after extensive work with t-mobile over several days. Your mileage may vary.

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One of the challenges with cells is that the 911 folk have no idea where the caller actually is. It has been federally required that all new phones be GPS enabled. Most of them do not actually have GPS capability but they do have an antennae that picks up the signal. This is then retransmit in the raw state to the emergency operator. Some of the newer phones with higher computing capability also have a crude GPS map that allows them to at least tell you Long./Lat. Then this is definitely the kind I want, hopefully with analog capability also.

 

It is a personal comfort concession that these "big brother" phones only are required to talk to 911 operators.

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I don't think most cellphones have a GPS... I thought they calculate the triangulations of the celltowers themselves to get coords, instead of having the celltowers compute it?

 

Was my understanding too, Gary according to what I read on KATU:

 

"Normally, a provider uses the three closest towers to triangulate an area where a person may be located. However, James' phone was at the periphery of cell phone coverage area and registered to only one tower. But based on the region of the tower that it hit, T-Mobile was able to narrow down the possible location: just below the 11,239-foot summit of Mount Hood, on the northeast side."

 

http://www.katu.com/news/local/4908701.html

 

Very impressive.

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I agree accuracy can vary and certainly be less than what I quoted, but the accuracy has nothing to do with cell towers on a 911 call. It has to do with how many GPS satellites your phone can receive. (Yes, you have a tiny GPS receiver inside your phone) The more sky, usually the better accuracy, so above tree line is usually very good. Now if you can't hit a cell tower from the mnt then you are SOL b/c you can't transmit that fine GPS coords from your phone.

 

I don't think most cellphones have a GPS... I thought they calculate the triangulations of the celltowers themselves to get coords, instead of having the celltowers compute it?

 

Many cell phones for sale since early 2002 are 'E911' capable. That means GPS info can be transmitted. I agree the system is not mature or uniform within the US. Check your manual if you aren't sure.

 

The phone is embedded with a Global Positioning System chip, which can calculate your coordinates to within a few yards by receiving signals from satellites. In the E911-capable phone, the GPS chip does not wait until it senses danger, it's switched on whenever your handset is powered up and is always ready to transmit your location data back to a wireless carrier's computers.

 

Ok, enough cell phone stuff for me.

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Folks, I know the searchers are the best qualified to take care of matters and I have much confidence that they will do the best thing, but I'd really like to see some effort put into having a a helicopter fly slowly and low up and down Zig-Zag and White River Canyons looking for signs of the two missing climbers; I've seen nothing to indicate that this has been done...

 

These folks have been doing SAR missions on Hood for who knows how long. I trust that they are considering all possibilities and are distributing resources the best they can. Every operational detail of who did what and when and where is generally not released to the public (and probably exists in a disarray of paperwork and notes and maps and computer files right now).

 

...I've seen and heard nothing to indicate that a thorough aerial search of the southern flanks has been attempted. This bothers me.

 

If it's trees down there, you're not going to see any people from the air.

 

OK. It's good to hear your insight.

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To reconfirm Sean's statement about reaching the summit, it's important to note that in the unedited version of today's news conference, when discussing the photos taken by Kelly James' camera, he confirmed that they had all reached the summit...that the photos show this...

 

 

Edited by kjlfaiejlifli

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kjlfaiejlifli wrote: To reconfirm Sean's statement about reaching the summit, it's important to note that in the unedited version of today's news conference, when discussing the photos taken by Kelly James' camera, he confirmed that they had all reached the summit...that the photos show this...

 

Assuming that climbers shepherding an injured climber in rapidly worsening weather wouldn't stop to take pictures, does that mean that Kelly James was injured after they had reached the summit and began descending (apparently going a bit too far to the east, at least if they intended to go down Coooper Spur)? Or perhaps it means he was injured, but the injury, at least at that point, wasn't unduly severe.

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At what point do they allow climbers back on Mount Hood? If the climbers are not found this winter, how long till the snow melts or conditions permit access to the gullies where they supposedly fell? Does this incident make Mt. Hood a more attractive destination this summer?

I'm just a lurker. I drive an 18 wheeler by Mt. Hood every week and have wondered what it would be like to climb it.

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At what point do they allow climbers back on Mount Hood? If the climbers are not found this winter, how long till the snow melts or conditions permit access to the gullies where they supposedly fell? Does this incident make Mt. Hood a more attractive destination this summer?

I'm just a lurker. I drive an 18 wheeler by Mt. Hood every week and have wondered what it would be like to climb it.

 

Climbers are allowed on whenever. SAR teams will not continue their search untill spring when the winter snow begins to melt.

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The phone is embedded with a Global Positioning System chip, which can calculate your coordinates to within a few yards by receiving signals from satellites. In the E911-capable phone, the GPS chip does not wait until it senses danger, it's switched on whenever your handset is powered up and is always ready to transmit your location data back to a wireless carrier's computers.

 

So how come cellphones can stay on for 100-200 hours and track GPS whenever it's on, as you claim, whereas GPS devices only last 10-20 hours?

 

And why can't I pay Verizon $100 extra up front (or $1 per use) for me to grab my cell's own GPS coords? They're always looking for itemized ways to make money.

 

What's your qualifications for talking about this?

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To answer the cave question. The cave was found by trying to connect the tracks leading to Wyeast to the tracks on the Cooper Crest. The cave where James was found was not visible on the slope and was only found by probing the snow while traversing beneath the East Face. The entrance was completely covered by snow with no external markings, no foorprints around the cave, no wands etc. These could have been blown away by 100+ winds. Needless to say the cave could not be seen from the air. The cave was found near a small rock outcrop that would have helped escavating the cave. It was big enough for 3 people, had not collaspsed. Since I know how some folks react to information, I am hesitant to describe the site or equipment, suffice to say that there was not the equipment resources needed to stay at that elevation and temperature for any lenght of time.

 

From a rescue point of view, RESCUE personnel would have needed complete visibility to find the cave where James was. Had we somehow reached the summit earlier in the week, there was no chance that the caves would have been found given the weather and the search area.

 

 

 

 

 

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I haven't logged on to cc.com in years, couldn't even remember my old logonid. Anyway . . .

 

I came here looking for information after only getting back to the internet yesterday evening. It has taken hours of slogging through worthless posts in this thread to try and glean a few useful nuggets of information. It has been an extremely time consuming and frustrating effort.

 

People, I beseech you, please exercise some judgment when you consider whether to post on a thread such as this one, and unless you are absolutely certain that you have something useful to add I'd encourage you to refrain, especially the non-climbers. This thread (and future threads of the same nature) would be much more useful if you would spend more time reading and left the posting to those who know what they are talking about. If any family or friends of the climbers are still reading this thread, or if they come back to read it later, then the useless posts are only cluttering what useful information they might find here, and even quite possibly confusing their understanding of this event.

 

A suggestion for the mods and managers of this site: in the future when an event like this occurs it might be a good idea to call "all hands on deck" and turn up your moderation level a bit more. I would suggest you try to maintain one thread for useful information only and other threads for other purposes, such as for the non-climbing public to get their questions answered. As an "expert" source your site has a role serving both the climbing community and the general public that lies somewhere between the officials and the traditional media, and so it would behoove you (and it would provide a much more valuable service to all of your audiences) to take more of a PR management approach when high profile incidents like this occur. Just a suggestion. The circus is only going to get worse with future incidents.

 

My thoughts are with the loved ones of these climbers, there but for the grace of God go I. And many thanks to the SAR people for all that you do.

 

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First of all my deep sympathy to the families of these climbers. I myself climbed with Nikko in 2005 and I have been worrying about him and the other climbers since all this began. Today I still hold a glimmer of hope that Nikko and Brian are found.

 

Without making any judgment on their actions, I have been contemplating an alternate scenario to what has been discussed up until this point. I have tried to stick to facts and not speculation, but without the climber's to tell us what happened we may never know the whole story. Some of the information we get is presented as fact, and later turns out to be inaccurate. I'm sure as time goes by more factual information will surface and perhaps we will know a little more about the decisions that were made and be able to develop a more informed sequence of events.

 

All this being said, and using information gleaned from this site as well as from the media, here is an alternate scenario...

 

Is it possible that all 3 climbers were well when they dug the snow cave on the east side of the mountain? Perhaps they could not find their way to the Gates because of the weather or fatigue. Perhaps they chose to dig-in for the night on the east side to be out of the wind. They faired okay through the night. They arose at some point as the weather worsened and thought they still had a window of opportunity to get off the mountain. The wind was too high to go over the top and down the south side. The three felt they still had a chance and so they did not call for help. Instead, wet from the condensation in the cave, and with a developing storm, they began to descend. They would be cold and shivering as the dampness on their bodies froze. They set up an anchor and began the process to rappel down. An accident occurred. Someone slipped. James attempted to stop the fall, but dislocated his shoulder while holding the fall. His attempt at preventing the fall was unsuccessful. With his last energy and with hypothermia developing, he craws back to the cave. Once inside, he uses the last of his energy to make a desperate call for help on his cell phone.

 

If it is true that he made statements about Nikko flying and Brian gone for help in town, then perhaps with his condition worsening and with his mind unable to accept what he had seen, this was his mind trying to cope with the accident.

 

This might explain why the other two never called, the dislocated shoulder, the strained comments made by James.

 

No judgment here, no criticism of these guys, just another scenario for consideration. If I have missed a crucial piece of fact that contradicts this theory, then I apologize. I mean no harm to anyone. Just seeking closure. I welcome the thoughts of other experienced climbers.

 

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Gary,

 

There are a bunch of new phones on the market that do allow you to use the gps functionality. Some of these can do maps and directions for driving around town and stuff like that. I beleive most of them require a subscription fee for this service. AFAIK this technology is only in the E911 phones, with the user interface available in select models.

 

i.e. http://support.vzw.com/capability/VZ_navigator_popup.html

Edited by TrogdortheBurninator

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I have a question. Do "Climbers" ever ask stupid questions. Some of you are pretty full of yourselves. If you already know everything, why are you here in the first place getting yourself all worked up. My first time being here but its like a bunch of kids. No mountains here in Southern Missouri, I am what you call a hill walker. I can walk over hills better than anyone I know.

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The phone is embedded with a Global Positioning System chip, which can calculate your coordinates to within a few yards by receiving signals from satellites. In the E911-capable phone, the GPS chip does not wait until it senses danger, it's switched on whenever your handset is powered up and is always ready to transmit your location data back to a wireless carrier's computers.

 

So how come cellphones can stay on for 100-200 hours and track GPS whenever it's on, as you claim, whereas GPS devices only last 10-20 hours?

 

And why can't I pay Verizon $100 extra up front (or $1 per use) for me to grab my cell's own GPS coords? They're always looking for itemized ways to make money.

 

What's your qualifications for talking about this?

 

The power drain for your handheld gps type devices is mostly the display.

 

Verizon and Sprint do offer GPS services on some of their phones. Search for Verizon VZ Navigator.

 

I'm pretty sure Verizon also has a neat little phone you can give to your kid and you can track your kid on the 'net' using the GPS technology.

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At what point do they allow climbers back on Mount Hood? If the climbers are not found this winter, how long till the snow melts or conditions permit access to the gullies where they supposedly fell? Does this incident make Mt. Hood a more attractive destination this summer?

I'm just a lurker. I drive an 18 wheeler by Mt. Hood every week and have wondered what it would be like to climb it.

 

With apologies to the often-cranky old hands frequenting this forum: I know this is a newbie topic but there are many such visiting here lately; if you don't like my post, correct it or ignore it.

 

Well the peak has snow on it year-round but it's probably minimized by about the beginning of August; little new snow falls after May. But unpleasant storms can set in there even in the summer, even if they just bear rain and not snow.

 

Organized group climbing of the south side starts in early April and is usually over by early June on account of the rock-fall potential thereafter. It can start snowing up there again by the middle of October. Hell, it can snow up there even in June, but never much.

 

Even on a summer day, while it can be sunny and 80 on top, it can also be in the 40's with a stiff wind, and clouds can roll in and obscure the entire upper portion of the mountain then too: not much fun.

 

Even on a dry summer day a stiff wind can kick up a "grit storm" on top leading to a less-than-enjoyable experience. So I do understand the appeal of winter climbing - that's kind of why I'm in this forum.

 

So, for your first trip up there I recommend going with a guide of some sort at a minimum, and you really want to at least have some self-arrest training beforehand. I don't recommend you do a solo climb like I did on my first summit.

 

I'm told there are plenty of FRIENDLY old hands willing to assist you that the Forest Service - who supervises Mt. Hood - can put you in touch with. There's a poster in here, "finger of fate", whom I bet would be glad to help you: he used to be the FS's climbing ranger for Mt. Hood.

 

You can hurt yourself and others up there even in the summer if you don't know something about what you're doing, and no one ever really knows it all, regardless of the impression they try to give.

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LandShark, when a team is roped together, if one falls, the others may be able to stop the fall by going into arrest themselves. (Key word is "may" -- on the south side of Hood when icy, there have been whole parties falling into the bergschrund) Anchors placed as running pro may catch the fall too.

 

Regarding a dislocated shoulder, the arm may be next to useless afterward and need to be splinted, or the arm may be mostly functional once reduced. It really depends on the individual situation and medical history. Several years ago we had a party member dislocate his shoulder near Imperfect Impasse (his shoulder was a repeat offender), and after ferrying loads for him for the rest of the day, he was ok the next day.

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To answer the cave question. The cave was found by trying to connect the tracks leading to Wyeast to the tracks on the Cooper Crest. The cave where James was found was not visible on the slope and was only found by probing the snow while traversing beneath the East Face. The entrance was completely covered by snow with no external markings, no foorprints around the cave, no wands etc. These could have been blown away by 100+ winds. Needless to say the cave could not be seen from the air. The cave was found near a small rock outcrop that would have helped escavating the cave. It was big enough for 3 people, had not collaspsed. Since I know how some folks react to information, I am hesitant to describe the site or equipment, suffice to say that there was not the equipment resources needed to stay at that elevation and temperature for any lenght of time.

 

From a rescue point of view, RESCUE personnel would have needed complete visibility to find the cave where James was. Had we somehow reached the summit earlier in the week, there was no chance that the caves would have been found given the weather and the search area.

 

 

 

 

Wow. Serious wow.

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