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fern

MT Hood Continued

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Consider yourself fortunate to obtain the information you have to date.

 

None of us, who are not family members, are owed any information at all.

 

Yes, just be patient. More information will come out over time. It's hard enough for the searchers to communicate info they may have with themselves, especially when they change shifts. Remember the coal mine debacle a few years ago? Premature announcement that the coal miners were alive, but they were dead all along?

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Thanks for the link to the map--that is REALLY helpful.

 

Pardon my ignorance, but is it common thought that the climbers, after summiting headed down thinking they were on the Cooper Spur, discovered their error, dug the 3 person cave for the night at which point they made the decision to split up. Then the two climbers, leaving the injured James, corrected their mistake and went across the mountain to the Cooper Spur where they constructed the belay shelter -- their last known location? That sequence of events seems likely from viewing the map detail.

 

I looked up Cloud Cap Campground (which the map shows was directly above the belay shelter on Cooper Spur (can't tell how far from the map). The info I read said there was a gravel road leading to Cloud Cap -- is that really so?

 

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I know this board is not closely moderated, but I sure hope the posted picture gets deleted.

 

And I dont care how many mountains he's climbed, my dumb non-climber questions have got to be more welcome than Remo's contribution.

 

Thanks to so many of you for all for the time you have put in on discussion on this board. Truly, there are those of us on the board who dont know one end of a mountain from another, but you have had the opportunity to change our perspectives forever. I, for one, will never pass up a news story about mountain climbing. I did not understand what made people climb mountains,but now I do.

 

The tragedy on Mt. Hood brought me to this site, but the things I learned while here have been life changing.

 

Just, please, get rid of the picture.

 

 

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There is a gravel road leading up to Cloud Cap, but it's buried in snow not usually melting out until June. The usual winter approach is directly up (pretty much)from Tilly Jane to Cloud Cap. Far more direct line than following the road on foot.

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I just looked at the Oregonian's new map/photograph that someone posted earlier. If it's correct, I'm surprised that the three climbers descended so far to the east of Cooper Spur (and the cliffs of the Black Spider). Perhaps they were trying to stay in the lee of the ridge to avoid the winds from the south and west. If they went as far as the map/photograph suggests, it seems that they might have been able to keep descending down onto the Newtown Clark Glacier rather than traversing back to the west to reach Cooper Spur. On the other hand, I've been in enough windy, bitterly cold, white outs to know that it's incredibly difficult just to move, let alone navigate, and especially on steep and unfamiliar terrain (and apparently with an injured companion).

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Good call on the California cascades and peaks.

 

Lassen is a very fun mountain with a paking lot and road at the base when the road is open. It's nice and steep in the winter too so it gives a strenous ascent. There is risk, you could fall and hit a rock. The snow usually covers the switchbacks that you can see in summer so just go up.

Big plus is the active geothermal areas in the park. Lots of other nice climbs such as brokeoff mt. 9700 feet. Not big but great entry level experience, if there's such a thing. Both can be done in tennis shoes in summer.

 

I don't mean to nitpick, but Brokeoff Mountain is 9235'. I was up there last weekend doing some liesurely snow-camping. If you go in winter, bring crampons & axe (not just snowshoes/skis) - the last 600' or so to the summit were just a dusting of windblown powder over top of rime ice. From what I've read that's not unusual.

 

RIP Kelly James. Vibes of hope to the two missing.

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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?

[\quote]

 

I would sumarize that Kelly hurt his arm during the ascent from a falling rock. Now if they were climbing the left NF gully it tops out very close to the Cooper's Spur route. At this point you are on the summit ridge but not the summit. The summit is perhaps 100 yards away.

 

If you are injuried rather than screw around with trying to find a descent you are not sure of going down Cooper's Spur would the logical choice. Also although clear it could have been very windy as such they were seeking cover on the leaward side.

 

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

 

Have no idea on that one.

 

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

 

Could be the mixing of the term summit and summit ridge.

 

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?

 

One year I summited and meet two people coming down the south side who said they could not find the summit because of the clouds. Went I reached it I saw their tracks - they went right along the summit ridge and down to the Pearly Gates.

 

The south side is in general easier to descend but then again if you can not find it then you go with what you know. They would have been seeing the Spur route all day.

 

 

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Thanks for posting the (pdf) picture. It clarifies a lot.

 

By the way, I did not sleep well and woke up with huge headache, but in my warm bed.

 

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...

One year I summited and meet two people coming down the south side who said they could not find the summit because of the clouds. Went I reached it I saw their tracks - they went right along the summit ridge and down to the Pearly Gates.

 

The south side is in general easier to descend but then again if you can not find it then you go with what you know. They would have been seeing the Spur route all day.

 

 

That is absolutely correct. But according to what Sheriff has said in the video, they were in that area, above it.

 

The inconsistent info was confusing me.

 

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Folks,

 

It is time to start accepting the inevitable outcome of this tragedy, stop asking questions, and hope that some day the remains of these two fine climbers be found on the icy slopes of Hood.

 

Soon enough the Sherrif will change the title of the mission from rescue to recovery. The sooner the better I think.

 

May baby Jesus be with you.

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Its sad my friend, but I fear that you are correct. Gods speed gentlemen,Gods speed...

 

Thoughts and prayers to the families

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Yah...crazy thing for me was that was my first Rainier summit as well. We both summited about 9am the same day via the same route. Small small world.

 

Me too. We were the team with the prayer flags. Jerry had a "No Whining" sticker on his helmet :-)

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I never know what the speed of the wind is while I climb (it is already irrelevant) just feel its effect. There was, however, one instance that I was provided with such information at the Paradise climbing RS (after I was back). It was 90 miles per hour. It was a very remarkable climb especially seeing five other climbers heading the summit from the opposite direction. It was a climbing ranger from Camp Shurman with four from Nepal in very fanny uniforms. There was no way to safely stand on the top. I imagine how much fight these three on Hood had to put to stay alive.

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Post deleted by Didgie

 

Sorry I was responding to an earlier post of someone interested in climbing Hood. These three were clearly very experienced climbers not in need of a class.

Edited by Didgie

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If you want to climb these peaks, PLEASE take a class with the Mazamams, Mountaineers...! Learn and PRACTICE what you're doing before going up!

 

My understanding is that these were not weekend warrior yahoos...they were experienced climbers who took proper precautions/gear etc. Mother nature doesn't discriminate and all the training in the world may not have changed the outcome.

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This map and the text with it will help answer some of your questions:

 

http://www.oregonlive.com/cgi-bin/prxy/accessor/nph-repository-cache.cgi/base/pdf_captions/1166505904155620.pdf

 

Kelly was found in the first cave in which all 3 spent the first night. From all indications, only the other two went on from there and constructed the second cave, which some consider not really a cave, but more like a hasty shelter to get out of the weather while they worked or rested. It was in the second cave/shelter that they found the sleeping pad. My guess is that the two used it to sit on while working or else just left it behind because they didn't plan to spend any more nights sleeping on the mountain after that--just my guess.

 

As to the phone call from James to his family, I've read the report about it from his son and don't recall anything about him not have a bivy sack. In fact, in a note left ahead of time, the climbers said they DID have bivy sacks. In the phone call, James did say he was lying on his pack, but that doesn't necessarily mean he wasn't also in his bivy sack as well. A pack would provide extra insulation from the snow covered ground. Also, information relayed by James in that call may be unreliable as he was possibly seriously injured and in some parts of the call, sounded very confused.

 

I don't recall reading anything about James condition when he was found, other than that he was lying in a fetal position and was fully clothed.

 

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I liked what Sheriff has said in the last conference especially his attitude (I was able to see only the beginning because the reporter started commenting...).

 

Please do not understand me incorrectly, I am too realistic to be positive in case like this and, but I would never say it is over till it is. I am not trying to level up hope, that is not what I have learned from my experiences. However, there is always a question to ask, "Did you see the body?"

 

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I'm really amazed at how hesitant the sheriff is to call it a recovery...the pressure he must be under must be intense, as it's a delicate balance between hope and false hope.

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News conf in a few mins.

 

Geez, I wasn't going to transcribe it.... I was just letting people know. You guys are going overboard here.

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