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LostCamKenny

WTF! Climber falls on St Helens!

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Hard to imagine why his buddies didn't do anything.

 

where are people getting the notion that his climbing partners did nothing for him? I guess I've not seen any of that in the news -- is there some inside information I'm missing?

 

I'm wondering what the hell you expect his partners to do? Do any of you take a rope, ice screws, pickets, and a second tool on a helens climb? I likely never will. So are his partners suppose to downclimb the crater wall with a bd raven pro or two and 'rescue' the guy? On a 70 degree slope?

 

Someone is living in a fantasy world. Please wake me up if it is me who needs to re-evaluate the slope angle and should re-consider bringing such gear along for winter helens climbs.

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where are people getting the notion that his climbing partners did nothing for him?
From the news.
"Bohlig's climbing partner made it safely down the mountain"

 

I guess I've not seen any of that in the news -- is there some inside information I'm missing? I'm wondering what the hell you expect his partners to do? Do any of you take a rope, ice screws, pickets, and a second tool on a helens climb? I likely never will. So are his partners suppose to downclimb the crater wall with a bd raven pro or two and 'rescue' the guy? On a 70 degree slope?
No.

Armchair quarterbacking isn't a good thing as none of us were there. The news is notoriously incomplete and fragmented on stories like this. There were other climbers around at the time as they called 911, they didn't try to go for it either and there's probably a good reason they didn't take a shot at it. Or they did and we didn't hear it from the news. We can't speak to any of this in truth. For myself, from being up there, I can say that I would have tried to have walked towards the north and down then around what amounts to what is a fairly gentle slope. I have not made that hike before as they don't want anyone in the crater, then hopefully the helicopter would have dropped supplies to me for overnighting. It might not be a feasible thing to consider, especially without skis. Possibly, despite the minimal snow we have seen this year, there could still be waist deep snow there and passage neigh impossible with my walk-around idea. We really don't know anything, we weren't there. Eventually we will hear the whole story I'm sure, until then, I shouldn't be speculating and I apologize for doing so.

 

:brew: Here's to hope of a rescue still, and not a recovery.

 

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It is frustrating to hear the different accounts going on in the media. I hope this will help set things straight.

 

I got the call for a injured climber about 1:00 PM Monday. Packed my gear and headed to Marble Sno-Park. Along the way I found out a climber had fallen off the rim. This would be the second time in my 23 year as a rescuer to hear those dreaded words. A prvate helo flown by the most experienced St Helens pilot there is was called.The plan was to fly eight rescuers into the crater to treat and move him to a safe pick up area. Myself and another rescuer were the first flight. We first located the subject, he was almost down to the glacier. We flew over half a dozen times dropping streamers to help the pilot get some depth perception. This was in very turbulent air coming from all directions. We saw no movement from the fallen climber. It was decided to drop one rescuer and gear at the sugar bowl to lighten up the aircraft. My partner got out and we again flew back into the crater to attempt a one skid landing anywhere that was possible. We flew another 20-30 minutes before trying to let me off near the subject. Again ther was absolutely no movement from climber, snow was drifting over him from the rotor wash and no movement. We got within 3 feet of the ground but did not have any rotor room or any safety margin left in the aircraft. The pilot aborted the attempted landing and returned to the Sugar bowl to pick up my partner then returned to Marble snow-park. A USCG ship came from Astoria. Our pilot escourted the USCG into the crater then retuned home. The Coast guard with ten times the horsepower could not establish a safe hover to lower a PJ down to the subject. The USCG returned to Astoria. There ws much dicussion about going in on foot to access the climber. I figured it would be a 8-12 hour hike ( if it was possible at all).The Skamania sherriff decided to suspend ops for the night.

I just recieved confirmation that a US Navy helo has winched the subject out.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of the fallen climber.

"Be safe,think clearly, climb hard!" Kapman

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Uhhh... That would be one tough ski.

 

It might have been...but if it was my partner and I had skis with me I would have done it....if it wasn't a sheet of ice anyway. Good to hear that the Navy got him out...hope he survives.

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I don't believe from the posts above that he has survived. Condolences.

 

The same cornice almost got me a few weeks ago while snowboarding. I was eating an Apple for lunch when the whole thing cuts under my feet. I was able to jump off the block and face first dived back onto the ridge, made an awful noise as it rushed down into the crater. I felt bad as it scared the crap out of a large group of Mazams that were up there.

Sounds like we're lucky you're still here. Glad you weren't preoccupied with another task and had quick reflexes.

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easy to make fun of the dead n' dumb kenny - recall there ain't much that seperates the 2 of you - i rode a cornice once and damned stupid for it too - would hope i wouldn't be so daft as to do it in place so otherwise benign, but none of us are that far away from it..

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easy to make fun of the dead n' dumb kenny - recall there ain't much that seperates the 2 of you - i rode a cornice once and damned stupid for it too - would hope i wouldn't be so daft as to do it in place so otherwise benign, but none of us are that far away from it..

huh? you must be mistaken, dood - there ain't no jokin here! this is terrible. i can't hardly imagine how his family feels right now, not to mention his partner.

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easy to make fun of the dead n' dumb kenny - recall there ain't much that seperates the 2 of you - i rode a cornice once and damned stupid for it too - would hope i wouldn't be so daft as to do it in place so otherwise benign, but none of us are that far away from it..

huh? you must be mistaken, dood - there ain't no jokin here! this is terrible. i can't hardly imagine how his family feels right now, not to mention his partner.

shit, maybe you should have made fun of him then - how many times has the cornice warning been sounded?

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easy to make fun of the dead n' dumb kenny - recall there ain't much that seperates the 2 of you - i rode a cornice once and damned stupid for it too - would hope i wouldn't be so daft as to do it in place so otherwise benign, but none of us are that far away from it..

huh? you must be mistaken, dood - there ain't no jokin here! this is terrible. i can't hardly imagine how his family feels right now, not to mention his partner.

shit, maybe you should have made fun of him then - how many times has the cornice warning been sounded?

 

many times, eh?

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It is frustrating to hear the different accounts going on in the media. I hope this will help set things straight.

 

I got the call for a injured climber about 1:00 PM Monday. Packed my gear and headed to Marble Sno-Park. Along the way I found out a climber had fallen off the rim. This would be the second time in my 23 year as a rescuer to hear those dreaded words. A prvate helo flown by the most experienced St Helens pilot there is was called.The plan was to fly eight rescuers into the crater to treat and move him to a safe pick up area. Myself and another rescuer were the first flight. We first located the subject, he was almost down to the glacier. We flew over half a dozen times dropping streamers to help the pilot get some depth perception. This was in very turbulent air coming from all directions. We saw no movement from the fallen climber. It was decided to drop one rescuer and gear at the sugar bowl to lighten up the aircraft. My partner got out and we again flew back into the crater to attempt a one skid landing anywhere that was possible. We flew another 20-30 minutes before trying to let me off near the subject. Again ther was absolutely no movement from climber, snow was drifting over him from the rotor wash and no movement. We got within 3 feet of the ground but did not have any rotor room or any safety margin left in the aircraft. The pilot aborted the attempted landing and returned to the Sugar bowl to pick up my partner then returned to Marble snow-park. A USCG ship came from Astoria. Our pilot escourted the USCG into the crater then retuned home. The Coast guard with ten times the horsepower could not establish a safe hover to lower a PJ down to the subject. The USCG returned to Astoria. There ws much dicussion about going in on foot to access the climber. I figured it would be a 8-12 hour hike ( if it was possible at all).The Skamania sherriff decided to suspend ops for the night.

I just recieved confirmation that a US Navy helo has winched the subject out.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of the fallen climber.

"Be safe,think clearly, climb hard!" Kapman

 

thanks so much for the report - condolences to the family!

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I appreciate your clarification, billcoe-that was a stand up response. I hate to harp on it but anyone here who criticized his partner for 'not doing anything' should really check themselves.

Next time any of us is up there, try to figure the best way to get to the bottom of the crater without dying or doing a fullon route around the flanks and up through the breach?

 

His partner, Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Scott Salkovics, is a pilot and a mountaineer and has trained on rescue missions on Rainier.

 

 

The backpack that Salkovics had tossed into the crater was seen resting about 100 meters below Bohlig. One of the helicopter pilots said that there was no way Bohlig could get to it.

 

“I want to be wrong,” Salkovics said. “Unfortunately he didn’t make it to the pack but if anyone could figure out how to make it, he could.”

 

It was Salkovics’ idea to climb on Monday; a spur-of the-moment decision. The pair had just returned from a climbing trip in Ecuador and they thought it would be fun to do an easy day trip on Mount St. Helens. Together, the best friends had gone on at least 120 climbs

 

“I introduced him to climbing… it was his passion. He just liked the physical aspect of it, the accomplishment, the challenge,” Salkovics said.

 

Salkovics said he wished he could use his own flying experience to reach his friend, but he’s too emotional to pilot a helicopter and felt he could only help by making sure people come to know the man behind the news story.

 

“He is a very giving individual… a true partner... I want people to know he was a very safe climber.”

 

Salkovics was the best man in Bohlig's wedding. He was later divorced but did have one son who died while serving time in the military years ago, Salkovic said. Bohlig's home is located in Kelso.

 

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The personal account of the medic/rescuer clarifies my earlier questions. I can fully understand the difficulty of sustaining a safe, stable hover, especially in proximity to a 70 degree slope. It only takes one very slight rotor strike to upset a chopper. Sounds like there was absolutely zero margin for error, with a very high likelihood of disaster due to the turbulent wind conditions. It's also the first time we're informed of no discernible reaction or sign of life from the climber, even in the rotor wash. Sounds to me like they gave it their very best under the circumstances; my hat's off to them all.

 

Very sad indeed; yet somehow fitting that his final resting place was one that he so deeply loved. May his spirit, now unbound, soar free in the silence and beauty of the mountains.

Edited by Mtguide

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To solo down a 70 degree slope with only a mountaineering ice axe, if you had one, would be very difficult and very risky at the least. I am sure his partner and other climbers did all they could.

 

Condolences to family and friends.

 

 

 

 

Edited by DanO

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Don't S and R teams have static ropes/sleeping bags/ice tools? Just saying.

 

Yes, SAR teams have the mentioned gear, but SAR teams do not aim to create more risk than they have to when carrying out a rescue. Downclimbing/Rappelling 70deg snow/ice that is formed on bad rock is not safe for individual parties and is well outside of the acceptable risk level of any rescue team (read: liable institution). SAR teams (Mountain units included) are volunteers and not professional climbers, therefor do not necessarily have sufficient staff to carry out such a technically precipitous endeavor, especially when a helicopter could perform the task with much less risk. Also as previously mentioned, the fall would likely be fatal (and in this case it, regrettably was) as the top of the rim to the bottom of the crater ranges from 1000-1200 feet, so rescue is not as likely as recovery. Just saying.

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He was blowing a whistle from the bottom. So he was alive. People depend way too much on heli's and not on their technical ability.

 

Blowing a whistle does not mean he could climb out. get a clue.

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