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kweb

5 climbers missing on Hood

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I'm so glad I'm moving to Seattle, far away from that Death Mountain. Wonder if they got their 20% off at REI's big sale before they headed up? The line was really long to check out, it pretty much went all the way up to the top of hood as you can see here:

img5504mp8.jpg

maybe they were trying to cut in like the folks down and left are doing here:

down_from_gates.jpg

 

 

Far from check out and the %20 off coupon

shadow.jpg

 

 

Next customer please

downclimbing_leftchute.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by layton

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Well, hell, Layton, I was looking for "adventure"... and they do promise a store chocked full of adventure...

 

 

Looks like I found a part ot that "adventure"....

 

 

 

 

Standing in line that is....

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I immediately got cranky when this came on the news. Calling for a rescue because of a whiteout? Unexpected storm? Had a GPS and couldn't figure out how to use it? Unbelievable.

 

Anyone know these guys?:

 

Brian Anderson, 24, Portland

Ben Elkind, 22, Portland

Bryce Benge, 29, Lake Oswego

Jeremiah West, 28, Portland

Brian Weihs, 39, Hillsboro

 

 

 

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I was thinking the same things....weather forecasts are handy things....and I don't get how this keeps happening with people carrying a gps, then not being able to use them.

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thus the value in a having a tauntaun w/ you on the hoodmordwand- they can smell the roasting whaumpaum rats at timberline lodge from anywhere on the mountain and home in on the p-lot in even the most whited out conditions...

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I immediately got cranky when this came on the news. Calling for a rescue because of a whiteout? Unexpected storm? Had a GPS and couldn't figure out how to use it? Unbelievable.

 

 

 

(edit) I deleted this because it was used out of context. My mistake!!(/edit)

 

Edited by Frikadeller

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I agree W/Frikadeller,

 

Its only Mt. Hood that has the f'ed up reputation!!!

Make people pass a test or have a talk w/ an ranger first before being allowed to climb. I climbed it a couple of years ago in the fall. I wouldn't mind a going through a screening process 'if' I climbed it again.

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(*edited out thanks to reporting of actual circumstances below*)

 

layton I'm not seeing the express line (one plank or more) anywhere on those floormaps. Did they sell out of skis already?

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First, Mt Hood does not need a ranger to check that everyone is qualified to climb it. How quickly is forgotten the mis-guided bill requiring MLU's above some elevation on Mt Hood. People just under-estimate the mountain.

 

Trying to climb a non-South Side route within a small window of time before a forecasted weather system moves in (~24 hrs) provides little margin for error. This is one of the most common reasons, if not #1, that people are getting into trouble on Mt Hood lately.

 

Then, many of these climbers have a GPS, which is essential for navigating in a whiteout. So what if you've only put a few South Side waypoints into the GPS? Not a big deal if you can locate yourself on a map in bad weather using your GPS. Make it easy - have the UTM on the map. That is another error people often make - having a GPS and map and not being able to use them together. The South Side makes a great place to practice with UTM and GPS and traveling in whiteouts - just plan to do it before you're forced to.

 

Now finally, correction from the news reports, because this thread has really strayed by assuming these climbers were at 9800' on the South Side. The climbers were at 9800' on Leuthold/Reid. They received coordinates from the rescuers for Illumination Saddle, and had their own waypoint for Timberline. Rescuers ascended to guide them down but before reaching them, they were able to walk out. Kudos to these climbers for keeping it together during their downclimb. The outcome could have been much different.

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They received coordinates from the rescuers for Illumination Saddle, and had their own waypoint for Timberline.

Did they approach via Illumination Saddle? If so, why didn't they just have the GPS on, on the way up? Retracing your tracklog can be the easiest and most powerful way to use a GPS, especially in a whiteout.

Rescuers ascended to guide them down but before reaching them, they were able to walk out.

Is it safe to assume that this was an unsolicited, precautionary decision made by rescue folks? (edit: I should have worded this 'did they ask for someone to come get them?')

Edited by ashw_justin

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Did they approach via Illumination Saddle? If so, why didn't they just have the GPS on, on the way up? Retracing your tracklog can be the easiest and most powerful way to use a GPS, especially in a whiteout.

 

Agreed. I think it can be assumed they learned a lesson here.

 

Is it safe to assume that this was an unsolicited, precautionary decision made by rescue folks?

 

They called for help and activated their Mountain Locator Unit (MLU). Activation implies a request for assistance ("this is where I am"), if it's already known you need help.

 

Unlike a PLB (personal locator beacon), which provides GPS coordinates to a satellite, the MLU requires a receiver to find the subjects, much like an avalanche beacon, though very different in how it works. The MLU makes it possible to pinpoint a location if it's stationary, or to assess the direction in which it is moving. Again, correction from past media reports, an MLU does not activate a rescue. A phone call from the climbers or a contact activates it, among other ways. If an MLU signal is then picked up, rescuers know that the climbers need help.

 

Remember, MLU's are old technology and have limitations. Also, if you've activated the MLU, then found your way, then your cell phone dies, there's no way to tell rescuers - so you keep on walking until you can. That's what leads to an overlap.

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Retracing your tracklog can be the easiest and most powerful way to use a GPS, especially in a whiteout.

 

Use caution with tracklogs. They're useful but have limitations. If the uncertainty in GPS coordinates is very large, the tracklog may provide poor data. Vertical accuracy is not good and headwalls may block satellites from half the sky. In addition, if you descend a different way than ascended, tracklogs can be of minimal help. Good to log several waypoints along the way too.

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Well how about a waypoint at the saddle, which it sounds like the rangers provided to them via cell-phone?

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Agreed about pre-programming waypoints.

 

Re: innaccuracies- proper use of a GPS includes being able to estimate signal quality/consistency, so one should at least know when to trust it or not. Also, contrary to the widespread opinion that GPS elevation readings are poor, I've generally found them to be pretty accurate above treeline (>4 strong signals).

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First, Mt Hood does not need a ranger to check that everyone is qualified to climb it. How quickly is forgotten the mis-guided bill requiring MLU's above some elevation on Mt Hood. People just under-estimate the mountain.

 

 

(edit)

 

Get your shit straight, or forget the trip.

 

 

 

 

Weather is ALWAYS a factor.....

 

(earlier junk was inflamitory, and thus deleted)

Edited by Frikadeller

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Sounds like we have been duped by the media on this one. They came down on the same day, on their own. I would hardly say that climbers were 'rescued' off of the mountain as reported. I'm totally guessing, but perhaps they were walking out anyway, and just called for some directions.

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It kind of sounds like we have been duped by the media on this one. They came down on the same day, on their own. I would hardly say that climbers were 'rescued' off of the mountain as reported by the media. I'm totally guessing, but perhaps they were walking out anyway, and just called for some directions.

 

No dupe here. There are always inconsistencies in media reports. There's no hotline to call for directions. PMR has performed numerous "virtual" rescues over the years by providing UTM coordinates or compass bearings. When possible, it gets uninjured climbers on the move immediately, faster than waiting for rescuers to reach them.

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It's not a rangers job to evaluate people. I generally find the process annoying, as a climber.

 

Posting a list of waypoints at the ranger station - sounds like a great idea.

 

But - they ought to start fining these idiots. Worked wonders in Yosemite. Slap them with the full cost of their rescue plus maybe a $5000 minimum punitive, publish a few incidents in the papers, then see how many go up there without their wands and a clue.

 

JLP

 

Edited by J_Pointer

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