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fern

MT Hood Continued

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kay, don't think it was hall who posted here, it was cooke.

 

from reading his posts it sounds like they just met up this summer on rainier, so I don't think the 3 had much climbing time together. may not matter in this case, who knows right now.

 

I still believe that weather was a little risky this year for that climb. we've had one storm aftern another with only short breaks. yes that friday had a nice break but there was a whole series of storms moving in quickly after that. I just think the window of opportunity was a little too short for such a dangerous climb. I respect all opinions otherwise. I know this can be a wonderful winter route, but I believe it's usually done during the winter weather patterns show a strong ridge forecast for several days.

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Sorry to repost a link from the prior thread, but here is an analysis of the cost of mountain rescues made by the American Alpine Club. http://www.americanalpineclub.org/pdfs/MRreal.pdf

 

Climbers for the most part are a fairly independent group. Part of the concern of some climbers when the media starts focusing on events such as this, is that there will be regulations or restrictions.

 

While certain aspects of climbing have become mainstream (you see TV ads showing people climbing artificial walls while on a cruise ship), and the whole sport climbing scene, there is still a large segment of climbers that have dedicated their lives to pursue being in the mountains. Some of these climbers don't take vacations from work, but instead will find new jobs between climbs. The fear of some of these people are being told what they can and cannot do, especially by people who don't really understand the sport.

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I’m not a climber, so I’ll apologize in advance for “invading” your site. Like many others reading here, I’ve found cascadeclimbers offers the most educated and informative insights into what may have transpired over the last week. So thank you.

 

It is inevitable, of course, that people will question the cost associated with this rescue effort—and as someone posted, maybe even the right to climb. I guess it’s human nature for some to question and criticize things they don’t understand—whether it’s climbing or skiing or whitewater kayaking or dozens of other pursuits—when they go wrong. And truth is, they’ll never understand.

 

But I, for one, can’t think of a better use of our nation’s technology, military muscle, manpower and money than to try and save the lives of our citizens in need of help. I’ve never felt more proud of my Hood River County, my country and my fellow Oregonians than I have this last week watching those crews trudging up the mountain and those helicopters and planes hovering above it. It’s really an amazing and touching display of humanity.

 

Rather than questioning these efforts, I’d like to think our society could become inspired by them: that even in our high-tech, fast-paced, often-anonymous world, an entire community has rallied and risked their lives for the lives of three strangers. There truly is a positive message to be taken from this horrible tragedy.

 

My deepest condolences to the James family, and my heartfelt best wishes and hopes to the families and rescue parties.

 

Good points, good post.

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I know Brian Hall from the days when we played baseball together in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Though I have not seen him for quite some time, when I saw his picture on TV, I would recognize that smile of his anywhere. He is a kind and gentle soul and I miss my old friend. I pray for the time when I will see him again. I know the Lord is watching over him and Nikki. I also pray that we do not lose anyone else in this heartbreaking story.

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Thanks.

 

Apparently too many F bombs. I guess I offended someone with my language since my post seems to have been deleted.

 

FUCK! this forum and most of the idiots on it.

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Thanks.

 

Apparently too many F bombs. I guess I offended someone with my language since my post seems to have been deleted.

 

FUCK! this forum and most of the idiots on it.

 

I think its nappy time...or maybe a couple of beers.

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Thanks.

 

Apparently too many F bombs. I guess I offended someone with my language since my post seems to have been deleted.

 

FUCK! this forum and most of the idiots on it.

 

Go away. Now.

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It's very frustrating for me to hear descriptions of parts of the mountain and not know the mountain. I've tried to google images with limited success since you can't see things in relation to other things. Questions for anyone wanting answer.

1. Is there an online resource anyone knows of that shows the topography, with parts labeled? I saw two pictures on Google of two different glaciers, and they looked identicle.

2. Would Tie-In-Rock be THE highest point of the 'summit' where the elevation measurement is taken, and where most climbers who wanted to say they had been to the very top would want to reach? The media keeps saying that the caves were just below the summit, yet the helo pics show what looks like a very wide ridge that you could walk across for awhile. Tie-In-Rock is not like that. It's a pointed rock.

3. Are the huge ragged rocks where it showed the airlift taking place the pearly gates? Or are those big nasty rocks part of the hogback? There appear to be more than two, and its been said that they tried to decend a path between them and couldn't find it due to conditions. I don't know which two are the 'gates' and haven't seen all of them shot in one photo with a camera that's wide enough. That must be the south side cause all the postcard pics show the n. side.

4. I don't know that I buy the sheriffs account of what happened, that the 3 spent the first night together in a cave, especially after hearing the interview with the first rescuer to reach Kelly. I've heard for a week now that the south side is so much easier to climb than the north side. Could wind conditions and visibility on the south be SO much worse than the north, that whatever the reason was that the two climbers felt they HAD to get off that mountain immediately would cause them to backtrack and go down a very difficult descent? Is that consistent with typical of Pacific storms, that the wind encircles around from the west to the south, rather than the north? And if they tried to go back down the same path they came up, where are the foot tracks?

5. I've read how many people 'set out' to climb Mt. Hood every year, but that doesn't mean they go to the top. I've seen pictures of people in t-shirts and shorts climbing Mt. Hood and standing next to glaciers at the top. Some pics had MINIMAL snow at Elliot, surrounded by dry rock. What months are best to go to get a happy medium between some snow, but no where near what there is now? Can you EVER hike/rock climb to the very top without climbing 'gear' or hanging from anything? Is it considered so dangerous and narrow, such that if you fall to one side, you're gonna keep falling awhile and potentially get hurt? I'd never want to get hurt up there under any circumstances. I'd want to go to the top, but how high should I go and when should I do it? How many hours up and down if you camp or stay as close up as possible to cut down time the next day? Where's the closest to the top they'll let you camp out at night if you took sleeping bags so that you didn't have to do both directions in one day? or is that possible?

6. I heard a rescuer say today that you could last through several days in a 32 degree snow cave when it was -30 outside. I had assumed that the severe cold is what made them take desperate measures to save their lives. Even with a food shortage and a severe arm injury, what would then cause you to not just stay put for longer?

7. Are anchors used to go either up OR down? What do we know as fact, based on a Y shaped anchor pointing downward? I googled pics on anchors and found nothing like that. I can't envision them using that for anything. They said it was to hold them to the side of the mountain during a storm. Really? In a Y shape pointing down? These weren't window washers. Would they have used other ropes to tie to the anchor to lower themselves down a level, then leave the anchor there? What do they then do for ropes if needed again? The pic looks very steep unless the cam was pointed straight down at the ground. I wish we could get some pics of that thing in relation to the side of the mountain. Every bit if info just opens a can of questions for me. This is like a mystery and I feel like a detective. This isn't suppose to be like the Jon Benet case.

8. The sheriff said that aluminum anchors were dug into snow. Bad choice of words perhaps, but snow won't hold any weight. Did he mean rock beneath snow? What's a good web page for 'anchors 101' cause right now I don't even know how people get those hooks into rock, and I certainly can't see doing it in a blizzard conditions.

 

If anyone wishes to answer part, not all of this, please list the corresponding number. Thanks in advance and excuse my ignorance.

 

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As a budding triathlete, I spend too much time biking, running and learning to swim to ever have thought about climbing. Until now that is....

 

I found this forum while on a quest to better understand what is going on with the climbers on Mt Hood. Inherent in any sport is adversity and I found the adversity faced by these climbers and climbers in general compelling and wanted to know more.

 

Reading about your climbing adventures, including the one that included fuggedaboutdit is just amazing. We all die, but only some of us really live. These climbers were truely living.

 

 

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bears repeating,

...

2) The climbers gave themselves an adiquit and acceptable weather window in which to complete their climb of this particular route. The weather was very good on Friday - Good decision on their part.

...

 

There is still something I am very confused about and cannot really much information from different (reliable) sources. Based on Sheriff's scenario they all summited on Thursday (Friday perhaps would still make no different). The weather was supposed to be good on both days (as you pointed).

 

1.What would be the reason then they climbed down back north side instead of the south side, as they supposedly planned?

 

2.Is it possible that the mountain (or its top) was covered with clouds on those days or perhaps they rather summited on Saturday.

 

3. Is it certain from the footprints on the summit or other evidence if exists that the three of them summated?

 

Sorry for asking these questions by my logic and very limited experience would indicate that south side would be much safer and quicker to descend. Why they did not?

 

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Hi LH -

#1 - This site has some route information, although perhaps less complete than you'd like.

http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/150189/mount-hood.html

 

#5 - I think people have climbed to the top via southside w/o gear, but that is a very very very risky thing to do unless you're a climber and know exactly what to expect. The big-helicopter-crash accident of a few years ago occurred on the "easy" route (in case you hadn't heard of that yet: basically one roped climber fell, pulled his team off and they slid into 2? more teams on the way down, all tangled up and into a big crevasse. Some of them died, and one of the rescue choppers crashed - very sad). You'd need crampons, axe, and experience, minimum, or w/o the latter, hire a guide.

 

If you are contemplating it, I recommend starting w/ some of the less technical mountains that can actually be "hiked", but w/ some scrambling and route-finding and camping and weather issues (like Lassen, Shasta, many mtns in the Sierras, Rockies, etc), then take a class to learn about basic glacier travel, practice the stuff you learn in class... and you might be ready.

 

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May have to wait and ask them why when they pop their heads out of the caves, but there could be numerous reasons for not descending the south route. If there is a whiteout, they could follow their tracks back to where they came, but perhaps could not have determined where the route to the south side was. Could have been the wind or other weather conditions that got them to cave in and wait out some weather, weather that just did not clear. When going up a mountain it is typically easy to figure out which way to go – Up! When standing on top, every direction is down, but picking the right direction from the summit ridge is more difficult if you are disorientated in fog. The one direction that they would have been sure of is where their tracks are. Looking at the “belay” cave, it did not look as though they dug that intending to stay a long time, possibly just to wait out some weather. The weather got worse, dig another cave to get out of the weather. All speculation of course, but those would be very reasonable explanations for the evidence being found and reported. Could be other reasons, could be other explanations. Does that help?

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Re: cleopatra

I do not consider climbing this route anymore.

Edited: I think you were not replying to me, sorry.

 

Re: high_on_rock

Sorry, but haven’t answered my questions satisfactory.

 

Thanks for trying though.

 

Is there any one who would be able to answerer these questions please?

 

Edited by mrd

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i cant bare to wade through all the info here. i have read the things i feel i need to read. I feel deeply for the families of the climbers. climbing is a dangerous sport no matter what you climb. i hope they find the other 2 climbers alive and well. Iiaxxx dear, i hope you are well, i am thinking about you.

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Hello.

 

I found the following post on another forum and thought you might be interested in reading it. I hope you don't think I'm silly for putting this here but I know first hand how some simple information never makes it to the most important people.

 

I am not a climber. I'm just a person praying all of you stay safe.

 

--------------

 

Patti McInroe Says:

December 18th

I was up on mt. hood snowshoeing yesterday (sunday). We were in a clearing and had a perfect view of the South side of the mt. hood. We were watching all of the helicopter activity searching for the climbers and all of the sudden I saw a flash that looked like a shiny mirror reflection…like a mirror calling for HELP. It came from about half way down the mountain and right in the middle. I hope they look on the south side. They could be stuck and unable to walk. I thought about it all night and hope this info can be passed on.

 

Very concerned!

Patti

 

here's the link:

 

http://thehendricksreport.wordpress.com/2006/12/18/the-adventurist-makes-contact-with-mt-hood-sheriffs-department-after-tip-left-on-site/

 

 

 

 

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I don't think anyone will really ever know the answer to those questions except the 3 deceased. Besides, its meaningless answers to a moot point.

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These climbers were truely living.

 

 

i do not want to sound crass. i have nothing but sympathy for the climbers and their loved ones.

 

but dude, have you read the news. they are not alive.

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LH -

 

I hope some of the following helps-

 

Tie-In Rock is the very large rock located on Cooper Spur just before the spur begins to steepen. Do a Google Image search "mt hood north side" and you will find an image with red lines indicating climbing routes (be cautious with this information - just because someone put an image up with routes doesn't mean they either exist or are any good). Tie-In Rock is the large rock surrounded by snow directly below the "ur" in the word Spur. The north face "gullies" are sort of indicated by all of the confusing vertical red lines that rise from the Eliot (only one "l" in Eliot) Glacier.

 

A Google Image search "mt hood south side" will provide an image captioned "Mt Hood South Side Climbing Route". Again, be cautious with the indicated route lines but you can see that the south side of Mt Hood is not as steep or rugged (generally) as the north side. The South Side Route is the easiest (careful with words like easy as they are relative, eh?) and by far the most attempted route on the mountain. Depending upon conditions (the mountain and the weather) and the skills and experience of the climber, the challenge to climb south side route of Mt. Hood can range from moderately difficult to life threatening at any time of year although most people climb the south side route during the "normal" season in and around April through June (give or take a week or two depending upon the winter snowfall, etc.).

 

A Google Image search "mt hood pearly gates" will provide you with a number of images of this south side feature (the Obsidians image gives a good idea). The standard south side climbing route ascends from the Timberline Lodge area to the right of the large volcanic plug where a snow ridge called the "Hogs Back" (where many climbing parties rope up - Google Images search "mt hood hogs back") leads up (and over/around the bergschrund) to and through the Pearly Gates (named for the beautiful rime ice that sometimes forms on the rocks of the "gate") to a short uphill section that leads to the summit ridge. Mt. Hood has a summit that is actually a gently undulating ridge line that is maybe 100 yards long or longer that runs generally east to west.

 

All of the routes on tne north side of Mt Hood are more difficult than the South Side Route with the possible exception of the Sunshine route (again, depending upon conditions, etc.).

 

The Cooper Spur route has the highest ratio of accidents per climber of any Mt Hood route in part because it looks "easy" but isn't and the consequences of a fall on the route are oftentimes deadly.

 

And the gully routes on the north face that rise above the Eliot Glacier are best climbed in late winter when the gullies are full of hard snow and ice that "glues together" (most of the time anyway) Mt Hood's loose volcanic rock. Without this 'winter glue' the route is incredibly dangerous and thus why it should only be climbed when in "winter condition" and then only by experienced, technically competent winter mountaineers.

 

If in doubt, hire a qualified professional guide service.

 

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3. Are the huge ragged rocks where it showed the airlift taking place the pearly gates? Or are those big nasty rocks part of the hogback? There appear to be more than two, and its been said that they tried to decend a path between them and couldn't find it due to conditions. I don't know which two are the 'gates' and haven't seen all of them shot in one photo with a camera that's wide enough. That must be the south side cause all the postcard pics show the n. side.

 

If it's the airlift I'm thinking of, yes, those are the Pearly Gates. Yes, it's on the south side. And I believe the info about them trying to descend down through them was incorrect from what I remember reading in one of the PMRers post in the other thread.

 

4. I don't know that I buy the sheriffs account of what happened, that the 3 spent the first night together in a cave, especially after hearing the interview with the first rescuer to reach Kelly. I've heard for a week now that the south side is so much easier to climb than the north side. Could wind conditions and visibility on the south be SO much worse than the north, that whatever the reason was that the two climbers felt they HAD to get off that mountain immediately would cause them to backtrack and go down a very difficult descent? Is that consistent with typical of Pacific storms, that the wind encircles around from the west to the south, rather than the north? And if they tried to go back down the same path they came up, where are the foot tracks?

 

Not sure why you need to "buy" the sherrif's account, but sure... I can see them going back down the way they came up. Yes... Pacific storms come in from the south or southwest and hence north slopes get a lot of windloaded snow. Yes, they're dangerous. BUT... you've got folks that were unfamiliar with the south route. They just came up a route they're now familiar with. They knew exactly what their issues would be on the way down. And in a way, it would be way easier to navigate down the north side in bad weather. Personally, depending on the conditions and location, I'm a big fan of going down the way you came up. I can totally see them doing that. Especially if they thought speed was a major issue due to the health of their friend.

 

5. I've read how many people 'set out' to climb Mt. Hood every year, but that doesn't mean they go to the top. I've seen pictures of people in t-shirts and shorts climbing Mt. Hood and standing next to glaciers at the top. Some pics had MINIMAL snow at Elliot, surrounded by dry rock. What months are best to go to get a happy medium between some snow, but no where near what there is now? Can you EVER hike/rock climb to the very top without climbing 'gear' or hanging from anything? Is it considered so dangerous and narrow, such that if you fall to one side, you're gonna keep falling awhile and potentially get hurt? I'd never want to get hurt up there under any circumstances. I'd want to go to the top, but how high should I go and when should I do it? How many hours up and down if you camp or stay as close up as possible to cut down time the next day? Where's the closest to the top they'll let you camp out at night if you took sleeping bags so that you didn't have to do both directions in one day? or is that possible?

 

If you never want to get hurt, then I advise you to stay home. The south side of Hood is technical, but folks do it with minimal/no gear often. Is it wise? Probably not, but it's a personal choice. The most benign snow conditions up there are probably late June/early July. But weather is the total key.

 

6. I heard a rescuer say today that you could last through several days in a 32 degree snow cave when it was -30 outside. I had assumed that the severe cold is what made them take desperate measures to save their lives. Even with a food shortage and a severe arm injury, what would then cause you to not just stay put for longer?

 

Snow caves are cozy (relatively) in nasty weather, but you get cabin fever just like anywhere else. Personally, if I was in the situation I imagine I'd not necessarily be thinking straight being dehydrated, getting minimal sleep, being mildly hypothermic, etc. and probably not make the same decisions I'd make given different circumstances.

 

7. Are anchors used to go either up OR down? What do we know as fact, based on a Y shaped anchor pointing downward? I googled pics on anchors and found nothing like that. I can't envision them using that for anything. They said it was to hold them to the side of the mountain during a storm. Really? In a Y shape pointing down? These weren't window washers. Would they have used other ropes to tie to the anchor to lower themselves down a level, then leave the anchor there? What do they then do for ropes if needed again? The pic looks very steep unless the cam was pointed straight down at the ground. I wish we could get some pics of that thing in relation to the side of the mountain.

 

Yes... anchors are used to go up or down. The "Y" anchor is a rope looped around a rock. The upper portion of the "Y" is buried under the snow. They could've rappelled down the tail of the "Y" or descended it using mechanical descender/ascender devices or a friction knot arrangement.

 

Every bit if info just opens a can of questions for me. This is like a mystery and I feel like a detective. This isn't suppose to be like the Jon Benet case.

 

It's not. It was an accident. You're not a detective, there is no mystery. There will be a formal investigation into all this when all the facts are known and then - maybe - it'll be pieced together what happened. If you really really want to know what happened, go buy "Accidents in North American Mountaineering 2006" next year when it is published by the American Alpine Club. I'm not trying to be irreverent - this was a terrible accident and my heart goes out to the families of everyone involved. But speculating and second guessing based on supposed facts reported by the news (sorry BarkerNews) at this early stage is not a really good use of armchair training time.

 

8. The sheriff said that aluminum anchors were dug into snow. Bad choice of words perhaps, but snow won't hold any weight. Did he mean rock beneath snow? What's a good web page for 'anchors 101' cause right now I don't even know how people get those hooks into rock, and I certainly can't see doing it in a blizzard conditions.

 

Snow will hold plenty of weight with a properly driven picket (aluminum anchor). I think his choice of words was probably just fine. If they were truly "dug" into the snow, then the picket was probably placed as a deadman - which means the picket is placed perpendicular to the line of action of your rope and it's buried in a slot in the snow. Snow is then packed down on top of it. You'd probably be hard pressed to pull a good one out with a Suburban.

 

 

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These climbers were truely living.

 

 

i do not want to sound crass. i have nothing but sympathy for the climbers and their loved ones.

 

but dude, have you read the news. they are not alive.

 

the news that i just watched had part of a news conference with one of the climbers family members. he said that the James Kelly said that he always felt closest to god when he was climbing. perhaps the comment is that these men were doing what they love(d) to do. some people go to church to pray and some of us climb or hike something to have a conversation with god. this is absolutely a tragedy, but let us not forget that climbers (all of us) CHOSE to climb.

Edited by Muffy_The_Wanker_Sprayer

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