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fern

MT Hood Continued

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I just want to say that I find the current level of speculation, narrative reconstruction, hypothesizing, and detail scrounging to be disgusting and - contrary to what you might think- incredibly insenstive to the families involved. You don't know the families. If you did, you'd give your support on the phone and not here. Thinking about my family coming across shit like this and seeing complete strangers attempt to assemble the details of my demise makes me ill.

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To those folks back in the midwest, or haven't been on a big mountain in winter...here are some photos of hood on random winter occasions on different sides of the mountain. No climbing shots are included to spare the innocent climbing partner his/her 15 minutes of fame. If you enjoy them then your argument against winter climbing is now invalid. Photos not to be reproduced without my permission please.

 

IMG_2105.JPG

 

steel_cliffs.JPG

 

hood_nf_03.jpg

 

hood_05.JPG

 

hood_02.JPG

 

hood_01.JPG

 

hood2.JPG

 

hood.JPG

Edited by michael_layton

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I came up with some locations based on this pdf in Google Earth, How do you post kmz files here?

 

 

 

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your pictures helps us to learn volumes here! we are glad that you are able to post to us such a beautiful sight.

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I consider myself a backpacker and have bp'd 14ers in CO but I have no experience in mountaineering on this scale. What is standard proceedure when faced with a situation similar to this. I know that digging a snow cave is essential but does one stay there or get out after weather clears or what? I know some of the more experienced climbers on this forum can give some advise. I guess my instinct would be to stay until weather clears and then try to get lower to avoid storms and such. I imagine that you wouldn't know whether or not a search party is going to come for you. Is this correct? I've toyed with the idea of doing some winter backpacking but feel that I'm too inexperienced to do it.

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nice pics Mike.

as for this:

I just want to say that I find the current level of speculation, narrative reconstruction, hypothesizing, and detail scrounging to be disgusting and - contrary to what you might think- incredibly insenstive to the families involved. You don't know the families. If you did, you'd give your support on the phone and not here. Thinking about my family coming across shit like this and seeing complete strangers attempt to assemble the details of my demise makes me ill.

no offense to the families, my heart goes out to them. But seriously, I don't think any of the guys would want their actions to result in cascadeclimbers.com becoming a G-rated site where climbers can't analyze cause moms are reading.

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Nice photos Mike!

 

Rather not add anything to this than necessary but there seems to be some confusion. For the record, the "Y" cable photo on all those news sites is just some steel cable that tied down the old summit shack (long-since destroyed).

 

Here's the media photo (rotated for some reason):

 

y-shape_rotated.jpg

 

Here's the actual climber's anchor (webbing and pickets), with their steps leading to it:

 

steps_anchor.jpg

 

Two different things. Do not use this photo w/o talking to me.

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Could someone tell me what are acceptable questions-posts-comments to be made on this forum?

 

I have been so interested in the expert answers of those climbers who are regulars on this forum as I have followed this story for the last several days. I have asked no questions and made no statements, stupid or otherwise. But many veterans are very critical of our newbie questions. I would be very willing to "follow the rules" if I knew what they were.

 

So far, here's what I have gathered are unacceptable questions and comments:

 

1)no conjecture about what might have been done differently (very understandably unacceptable under the circumstances)

 

2)no questions or conjecture about the injuries sustained by Mr. James.

 

3)no questions about the weather, or how to find out answers to questions about the weather (thus the response "its called a search engine").

 

4)no synopsis of news reports for those of us who do not have tv and highspeed internet access.

 

5)no questions or comments about news reports that we are able to get, since the news commentators are ignorant

 

I believe one veteran poster said that he just wanted us to go away. Is this forum basically a closed forum that has unfortunately been breached by those of us who are too stupid to ask the right questions? If not, please let me know what the right questions are.

 

I have really benefitted from what info I could glean from this site. It's just hard to wade through all the rude comments.

 

Thanks.

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Pure speculation.It sounds to me like a likely scenario is that they made the summit with Kelly hurting an arm somewhere along the way. Got to the summit and the weather did not permit them to go further and backed down the north face to get out of the weather. Dug in the belay cave to wait out the weather. Finally decided to go for help, went left to dig in a better cave to leave Kelley, then went for help, either up or down. Pure speculation, but sounds like a reasonable explanation for the two caves.

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nice pics Mike.

as for this:

I just want to say that I find the current level of speculation, narrative reconstruction, hypothesizing, and detail scrounging to be disgusting and - contrary to what you might think- incredibly insenstive to the families involved. You don't know the families. If you did, you'd give your support on the phone and not here. Thinking about my family coming across shit like this and seeing complete strangers attempt to assemble the details of my demise makes me ill.

no offense to the families, my heart goes out to them. But seriously, I don't think any of the guys would want their actions to result in cascadeclimbers.com becoming a G-rated site where climbers can't analyze cause moms are reading.

 

It's not climbers who are analyzing.

 

I'm quite serious. This is COMPLETELY DISGUSTING. It is like godammned People magazine.

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I consider myself a backpacker and have bp'd 14ers in CO but I have no experience in mountaineering on this scale. What is standard proceedure when faced with a situation similar to this. I know that digging a snow cave is essential but does one stay there or get out after weather clears or what? I know some of the more experienced climbers on this forum can give some advise. I guess my instinct would be to stay until weather clears and then try to get lower to avoid storms and such. I imagine that you wouldn't know whether or not a search party is going to come for you. Is this correct? I've toyed with the idea of doing some winter backpacking but feel that I'm too inexperienced to do it.

 

The correct answer is: it depends. Your party should constantly assess its situation and do the best possible thing, given the information you have, your supplies and gear, your health and fitness, the weather, avalanche conditions, your experience level, and the terrain, to ensure survival for all members.

 

It's likely that, given their experience, this party made reasonable choices given their situation. Hopefully, the 2 still missing continue to make them.

 

A party should never assume (and no one I know does) that they will be rescued.

 

If you're interested in winter travel, which is wonderful, by the way, consider taking an avalanche safety course, and perhaps a course on backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, winter survival, whatever your preference.

 

I'd say if you've been considering it, do it.

 

 

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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I consider myself a backpacker and have bp'd 14ers in CO but I have no experience in mountaineering on this scale. What is standard proceedure when faced with a situation similar to this. I know that digging a snow cave is essential but does one stay there or get out after weather clears or what? I know some of the more experienced climbers on this forum can give some advise. I guess my instinct would be to stay until weather clears and then try to get lower to avoid storms and such. I imagine that you wouldn't know whether or not a search party is going to come for you. Is this correct? I've toyed with the idea of doing some winter backpacking but feel that I'm too inexperienced to do it.

 

This is a damned if you do and damned if you do not. When a storm hits you really do not know how long it is going to last. The mountains make thier own weather. It could be a blue bird day at Timberline but with high winds up top - winds that you can not always see because there are no clouds or the typical snow plumes coming off (snow plumes are formed by the wind picking up the snow).

 

So here is the delima we have been stuck here for XX days and have run out of gas/water/food. If we stay here much longer there is no way we are going to make it through another night. We have enough strength but the weather is bad. WTF do we do??

 

I have been pinned on the top (~14k) of Rainier several times - with high winds (30-60 mph winds with no vis). Like with these climbers going back down our acsent route was not really a option and like these guys we had descent weather just an afternoon cloud cap came in. Though we knew the terrain to a certain degree (i.e had been in the area before but forgot one clue for the descent). As such we holed up (several climbers joined us - safety in numbers). The other time samething but different area. However, in both times in a tent but that does matter too much. The point is moving was not much of an option. becuase we were getting cold and wet. As soon as we could see (one case 3 hours latter, the other 18 hours later) we boogied out of there as soon as we could see well enough to move without falling into a crack (i.e creavse).

 

So it is really a judgement call. Much of it falls under the title of group dynamics.

 

 

 

 

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I consider myself a backpacker and have bp'd 14ers in CO but I have no experience in mountaineering on this scale. What is standard proceedure when faced with a situation similar to this. I know that digging a snow cave is essential but does one stay there or get out after weather clears or what? I know some of the more experienced climbers on this forum can give some advise. I guess my instinct would be to stay until weather clears and then try to get lower to avoid storms and such. I imagine that you wouldn't know whether or not a search party is going to come for you. Is this correct? I've toyed with the idea of doing some winter backpacking but feel that I'm too inexperienced to do it.

 

Dolphy-

This question is more appropriate to be posted in the Newbies forum. Not slamming you, but its a tangent question and deserves its own discussion in the proper venue. Not here.

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"Could someone tell me what are acceptable questions-posts-comments to be made on this forum? "

 

Been trying to figure that out myself. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm sensing that there are a lot of frayed nerves because this situation hits very close to home for many.

 

Just thicken your skin, post or ask what you want, but don't take it personally if you get slammed or if your post gets deleted.

 

But please don't bog down this thread with questions about information that can easily be googled, keyword searched on this board, or learned from scanning the previous posts in this thread or on other threads on this website. That's just laziness.

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Could someone tell me what are acceptable questions-posts-comments to be made on this forum?

 

I have been so interested in the expert answers of those climbers who are regulars on this forum as I have followed this story for the last several days. I have asked no questions and made no statements, stupid or otherwise. But many veterans are very critical of our newbie questions. I would be very willing to "follow the rules" if I knew what they were.

 

So far, here's what I have gathered are unacceptable questions and comments:

 

1)no conjecture about what might have been done differently (very understandably unacceptable under the circumstances)

 

2)no questions or conjecture about the injuries sustained by Mr. James.

 

3)no questions about the weather, or how to find out answers to questions about the weather (thus the response "its called a search engine").

 

4)no synopsis of news reports for those of us who do not have tv and highspeed internet access.

 

5)no questions or comments about news reports that we are able to get, since the news commentators are ignorant

 

I believe one veteran poster said that he just wanted us to go away. Is this forum basically a closed forum that has unfortunately been breached by those of us who are too stupid to ask the right questions? If not, please let me know what the right questions are.

 

I have really benefitted from what info I could glean from this site. It's just hard to wade through all the rude comments.

 

Thanks.

 

I Can't Climb-

If you click on the Forum List, you'll find a number of different forums with titles and descriptions. Your post - and a number of others - would be very suitable in the Newbies forum. Elsewhere on this website, its assumed that readers and posters have a basic working knowledge of some discipline of the sport.

The sudden appearance of new members who do not climb, and profess a clear ignorance about the sport, but still wish to post their opinions, frustrates many of us regulars. It has been overwhelming.

 

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I live in the pdx area and the winter here has been lousy so far (they all are at some point). It definately was not a good time to climb the mountain. There were no surprises in the weather forecasts, big storms were forecast to move in well in advance. They had way too tight of a window and the storms have been coming in quite fierce all year. We've had at least 4 or 5 windstorms already in the valleys.

 

Like everyone I'm devestated by what happened, but I sure wish they would have not tried to do what they did this year.

 

I'd like to know many people besides these 3 and the rescuers have summited Hood this December? From the route they chose?

 

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To add to Layton's photos. This is a shot from the APPROXIMATE location of the snow cave on Cooper's Spur, That is the Elliot Glacier 2000 feet below.3229104_0440_r1.jpg

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Iain, thanks for sharing these photos they add a lot. This whole "Y" thing I found very odd. Your photo really clears things up.

 

Two questions, at this point in time are can you give a description of where exactly this is?

 

Also I notice in the lower right corner yellow rope or some thing - any explaination possible?

 

Something folks might find of interest. In the fall of 92 or so I did a solo climb of Cooper's Spur it was a mix of snow and pretty hard ice. During the climb I found many sections of 1" diameter goldline rope. It was rotten as all get out. Some sections were buried in the ice others melted out. I pulled on one section which easily broke. I watched it fall to Elliot glacier below. The mountian has lots of stuff on it.

 

Also what Iain refers to as the old summit shack was at one time a Forest Service fire lookout. Mt. Adams also has one that is still there as I remember. The rope I found was probably used in ascending the mtn. to the lookout. Copper's Spur is the most direct and quickest way up the mtn. It is also one of the most unforgiving if you fall.

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post misunderstood and deleted by griz

 

 

 

 

Edited by griz

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Here an inspiring pic of Mount Hood during the winter. You experience more of life in 1 minute in a place like this than in a week down in the city. By comparison, regular life is mind-numbingly dreary. Hence the addiction.

 

336310_Walkin_on_Sunshine.JPG

 

I can only imagine how many moments such as this Kelly, Brian, and Nikko must have experienced. We should all be so lucky.

 

Cheers, fellas. :brew:

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ICan’tClimb:

 

You list a variety of things that have been said “unacceptable.” In fact, each and every one of those things might be just fine for a thread such as this one. However, it is all a matter of taste and balance – which are clearly un-definable to at least a certain extent.

 

Take, for example: second guessing the decisions that the climbing party or the searchers made – especially when nobody knows much about what factors into any decisions actually made. When you enter that kind of speculation or critique into a discussion that is primarily devoted to the sharing of information about what is going on, and which is being visited by friends, family, and would be rescuers, you are likely to have someone criticize you for speculation if you start such a line of discussion. And the moderators are likely to see it as a distraction or worse. But there has been plenty of this along the way, and in the context of the discussion that has taken place over the last few days and some posts have seemed to be “improper” whereas others not so much. I’m sorry, it is just a fact that when it comes to taste and balance we will not all agree and one poster may disagree with another, as well one moderator may disagree with another.

 

For another example: “synopses of the news.” I have not read every post in the thread but I did see where some were complaining that somebody was merely retyping what was said on the news. Some see it as a rehash of information otherwise available with the click of a mouse and a waste of bandwidth; I myself actually appreciated it because I do not have high speed Internet or cable TV at home. But that is just me.

 

We are all doing the best that we can. I hope this bulletin board has proven helpful for some and that, on balance, our positive contribution has outweighed any distress caused by a lack of clarity in “the rules,” or any confusion or annoyance or insult that somebody may find in some of the discussion.

 

---

 

And, I will say that the poster who said he just wants all of you to go away when this is over doesn't speak for all of us. In my own opinion, this is a public bulletin board that should be available for use by those who want to utilize it as such. For my part, anyway, you are welcome to post here as long as you want to.

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I'll chime in with my $0.02 when it comes to describing why all of the newbies, wannabes and armchair mountaineers are facing some hostility on this forum regarding their questions and rampant speculations. I'm no Cascade climber, but I am a climber of 12 years from Colorado. The only real climb I've done in the Cascades is a one-push ascent of Mt. Rainier. If you don't know what that means, I don't think you have the experience to be standing on your soapbox telling the world what these guys should or should not have done.

 

Some "ground rules" as they are when talking to climbers in a climbing forum.

>>1)no conjecture about what might have been done differently (very understandably unacceptable under the circumstances)

 

Climbing is a very diverse sport conducted by a very small part of the population. Much of what we do is not understood by the layman and many of the techniques, strategies, etc. at times may seem counterintuitive. When climbers, who have spent years (or decades), working on their skills are suddenly questioned by armchair mountaineers from Peoria, we are naturally bothered by all those second guessing our hard-won experience. To speculate on the actions of experienced mountaineers when you have none, is foolish IMHO. Would you question the experience of a combat vet if you had never left the suburbs?

 

>>2)no questions or conjecture about the injuries sustained by Mr. James.

 

No formal information has been released about Mr. James' injuries as far as I know. To speculate about what may have happened, I think, is premature. Let's wait until we hear verifiable information before we begin judging what happened.

 

>>3)no questions about the weather, or how to find out answers to questions about the weather (thus the response "its called a search engine").

 

From what I have learned, the weather was clear and stable for the time period these men expected their climb would last. Unfortunately, the weather changed and the forecast wasn't entirely correct. Please speak up if you have never experienced an incorrect forecast or weather that has changed. Forecasts are fallible, weather changes - especially mountain weather, stuff happens. When experienced climbers head into the mountains, they craft their plans around likely weather they will encounter during their expected time out, extending it out perhaps 24 or 48 hours. You simply do not account for weather that might happen 7 days out when you plan on a 2 day climb. In any event, weather that far out can not be accurately predicted.

 

>>5)no questions or comments about news reports that we are able to get, since the news commentators are ignorant

 

Climbing is hardly a mainstream activity and because of that fact the media often reports facts incorrectly, misinterprets things or takes things out of context. Most media reports that concern climbing related activities should be taken with a HUGE grain of salt. Better to rely on the reporting of experienced climbers on forums such as this.

 

You do a disservice to everybody when you speculate about what may have happened when you have no experience to base your ideas on. There's nothing wrong with not having experience or knowledge (we all started there at some point), however it just bothers us climbers when people who don't know what they're talking about begin to spout off on all tangents.

 

And to you people who know nothing about mountain rescue, please stop offering your pithy suggestions. The guys and gals who are out on the mountain looking for these climbers aren't hacks. They know what they're doing better than you, better than me. They are following time-tested procedures and techniques that work. They have LOCAL knowledge of Mt. Hood, which most of the people on this forum, myself included, do not.

 

I apologize if this message comes off as being harsh, but my hope is to explain why climbers often take issue to unwarranted second guessing. What a lot of people fail to realize (from the comfort of the living room) is that the climbers and rescuers on Mt. Hood are taking into account a thousand more variables than most people ever realize. Just because something may seem logical while tapping away at the keyboard, doesn't mean it makes sense at 11,000'.

 

Batso

Edited by Batso

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