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Loomis

Climber Lost in Whiteout on Mt Hood

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Yeah, 'don't get lost' is sage advice, as is 'keep breathing' and 'stay warm'. OK. Thanks for that. This guy wasn't in that situation. He was lost.

 

Pick a direction, go down, get cliffed out, climb back up - repeat, exhaust yourself - or drop through a cornice and die - problem solved. Or hey, lets start doing blind raps into the vertical whiteout. No way that can go wrong.

 

Awesome strategies.

 

 

 

Good thing the guy had the presence of mind not to follow any of them. He did the right thing given his situation and experience - by definition. At that point, it was Pass/Fail, and he got the Alive at Five pin for the win.

 

I imagine he's probably good with the inevitable armchair expertise in exchange for seeing his peeps again.

 

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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Starting up knowing the weather was coming in, on the other hand..... :grin:

 

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Spend enough time in the mountains and your bound make that mistake at least once.

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He was next to Crater Rock Bill. and I'm sure there was not any kind of visibility issue 1000 feet lower on the White River Glacier. I even question and doubt he was in any kind of a true whiteout, as there was no snowstorm, just clouds blowing thru.

 

The guy fucked up bigtime, called for rescue, got rescued.

That pretty much sums it up, none of that is in question. With the armchair mountaineers theory, anyone can call for rescue at any time for any reason if they are scared and think they are in some sort of possible theoretical danger.

I have always thought that to call Mountain Rescue you better have done everything in your power and then some to get yourself out, before you decide to put other peoples lives on the line. But somehow in our cell phone society in the last 20 years, something has changed. and not for the better.

 

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The guy was not on the summit of Hood, they said he was at 10,000 foot level from what I heard, is this incorrect? It has not been a big snow year, its not a dangerous crevasse or cornice area, even in a white out. The one sulfur vent hole is all. If you go down from there and keep moving, common sense tells you 3 things:

1) You might get out of the cloud bank and be able to see

2) Going down is supposed to be where you are going.

3) Keeping moving also keeps you warm. Stopping and waiting is where you start to freeze.

 

Sorry, I don't have allot of empathy for some guy who goes up solo in winter unprepared, and calls Mountain Rescue and Facebook and sets down and waits to get led out. Whatever. he jepodizes all of us, as it is frivolous events like this that cause the funding for rescue services to be put into question.

 

agree. having a mental back-up plan for white-out or if you lose your map and compass (or gps doesn't work) is essential - as is knowing the basic topography of the area (where drainages lead, where the nearest roads are, major cliffs, etc). I think the "wait and hunker down" philospahy of being lost in the woods only works if you can survive the wait, and continuing on will just make you more lost. I think many hood fatalities could have been avoided if the person, or party just simply went downhill. At least being lost in the forest is better than being lost on a glacier or snowslope.

 

Finally, if you have a rope, and know how to set-up improptu rappells, you can get off the top -regardless if it's the quickest way to you car.

 

I can think of a number of local rescues in the North Shore Mountains (Vancouver) that ended with finding a body at the base of a cliff (and these mtns are only 4,000ft, but rugged). Going down is not the best option if you are unfamiliar with the terrain. This guy did the right thing given the situation he was in. But please carry on with the debate regarding if he should have gotten himself into the situation in the first place.

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I am all for epics and I had my fair share of them. Mike had his big epic on Big Four a few years back, when they screwed up on the descent. On the other hand most of us were dealing with it, instead of dialing 911. My beef with this guy was his attitude for the whole shitstorm, which was "fuck you, I am so cool". I think if he would apologize for his stupidity and incompetence, we could cut him some slack. Spraying on FB, while waiting for a rescue shows complete lack of correct attitude. Giving a guy a pat on his behind and saying "good job" and giving him a bunch of excuses just encourages such behaviors in the future.

 

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He was next to Crater Rock Bill. and I'm sure there was not any kind of visibility issue 1000 feet lower on the White River Glacier. I even question and doubt he was in any kind of a true whiteout, as there was no snowstorm, just clouds blowing thru.

 

The guy fucked up bigtime, called for rescue, got rescued.

That pretty much sums it up, none of that is in question. With the armchair mountaineers theory, anyone can call for rescue at any time for any reason if they are scared and think they are in some sort of possible theoretical danger.

I have always thought that to call Mountain Rescue you better have done everything in your power and then some to get yourself out, before you decide to put other peoples lives on the line. But somehow in our cell phone society in the last 20 years, something has changed. and not for the better.

nailed right there.

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I guess I can't imagine a time when I would be coming off Mt Hood after summiting and fall down in the snow lost, even though its not snowing or dark out. Badly frightened from the fog, I crawl into my sleeping bag on the spot and decide to go no further. I call Moutain Rescue on my cell phone and ask to be rescued from well below the summit even though its a walk off and still daytime, somehow I know my elevation around 10,000 feet but don't know how to descend to get out of the cloud, let alone where timberline is. My greatest fear is volcanic vents consuming me. Then I log onto Facebook and wait for a call from Jay Leno.

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I am all for epics and I had my fair share of them. Mike had his big epic on Big Four a few years back, when they screwed up on the descent. On the other hand most of us were dealing with it, instead of dialing 911. My beef with this guy was his attitude for the whole shitstorm, which was "fuck you, I am so cool". I think if he would apologize for his stupidity and incompetence, we could cut him some slack. Spraying on FB, while waiting for a rescue shows complete lack of correct attitude. Giving a guy a pat on his behind and saying "good job" and giving him a bunch of excuses just encourages such behaviors in the future.

 

I'm just glad we have this forum so we can whine about this guy's FB post.

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when pmr starts wearing barrels of burgundy below their beanies, you can fucking bet i'm starting to call for more rescues :)

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its not a dangerous crevasse or cornice area

 

8120489082_6117e40185_c.jpg

 

yeah theres no crevasses anywhere around there :laf:

 

ever hear of white river glacier? this is probably less than 1/2 a mile from where the dude was found

Edited by christophbenells

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He was next to Crater Rock Bill. and I'm sure there was not any kind of visibility issue 1000 feet lower on the White River Glacier. I even question and doubt he was in any kind of a true whiteout, as there was no snowstorm, just clouds blowing thru.

There were 100+ MPH winds at the coast which blew the roof off my house there sometime when the storm came though, maybe not the same day but still....Can't speak for Hood conditions Steve. You interested in doing a reroof?

 

 

 

its not a dangerous crevasse or cornice area

 

8120489082_6117e40185_c.jpg

..this is probably less than 1/2 a mile from where the dude was found

 

Sweet picture Chris. That's what I'm saying. Fairly easy to avoid ....most of the time. When you can see it:-) Like on a day you took that great picture, hah hah. Is that in the fall, like October/November Chris?

 

I tend to give little weight to news articles Steve. The few I've been associated with haven't come close to accuracy, even when I've talked slow and spelled it out slowly, literally spelling words).

 

Yeah, my strategy, as a pup, was to look at White River Canyon intently in August/September. Try to get the last snow on the upper ridge if climbing. If there was no snow up there, then just camp and hike around the area. Then when I was up there later starting @ Jan/Feb and conditions were colder and snowier, try to mentally recreate where things where during the earlier warm days. It would just look so damned different. Chris's photo would be more of a soft pillowy rolling blanket. With lumps.

 

More than once I just camped on the edge of WW canyon, smoked a bowl and looked at that light white blanket hiding the sure death underneath and bailed, feeling like a chickenshit at the time. Sometimes I'd take my pup, Tasha, up if I knew the weather was bad. My wife has a memory of us all going up and my bringing the dog back to the tent at o dark thirty and asking her to hold her so I could do a lap. She'd tried to follow and after an hour as light cracked, I'd catch a slight black glimpse out of sight. Finally stopped and saw her. LOL, what a great adventure dog:-) It's why I have more of an affinity to Cooper Spur I suppose although it's taken some folks I knew. Good climbers and good folks. No Crevasses there, better views and camping, but a potential fall. I'm feeling much more smug as I age in either case.

 

Really, I live in a glass house here, can't be bitching about others. I wasn't there and I've been fortunate to both have smarter folks than me talk me out of stupidity, or when solo not get tagged. I've done so many stupid things and just got lucky that I can only shrug and say "right on for surviving it man".

 

I remember one lap with a buddy bumping into John Petrosky and his dad on the way down. The upper slop of Wyeast was fresh deep snow: lots of it. I was thinking "Avalanche for sure", but looked down (way down!) shrugged and figured it would be a hell of a ride and went for it. I wanted to climb and we'd finally gotten to the steep fun part. Buddy followed. I was thinking "this is dumb" the whole time. Did it anyway. John and his dad, who at the time was one of the most experienced mountaineer's in the state, had bailed due to possible avalanche on the west face chute. I was embarrassed to have summitted in those conditions and felt stupid enough that I remember that feeling of being a dumbass to this day. That we never called SAR back then may be more of a reflection on the fact that cell phones had not been invented. ? I suppose that we all have similar kinds of skeletons in our closest if we really remember and consider it.

 

Take care all, and walk a mile in the guys shoes. Or even 20 steps if it's a true whiteout:-)

 

:lmao:

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I'm from Washington Chris and we grow them a little bigger here. Thats not a crevasse, thats a rugosity. and its also down the mountain aways where visibility is going to be much better.

 

Bill as you know I've walked many a mile already. Get it done! Are you suggesting climbing Hood next week, thats what I got from it. Ok, lets do it, all you can handle! :noway:

 

 

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Steve, there are even crevasses at the base of crater rock as you turn to climb devils kitchen to the hogsback, visible after July, your assumption on the weather is wrong, wind was 55+mph, vis at times down to 5ft. Heavy Rime forming. Does this give you a better picture of conditions?

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If you are going to climb Hood in winter, solo, do you not prepare for rime forming winds, low visibility, and winter navigation? Maybe even check out the weather forecast or place some wands on the ascent?

 

Edited by stevetimetravlr

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I'm from WA, too, (and not 10 miles from the Oregon border, LOL) and that sure looks like a crevasse I wouldn't want to fall into.

 

The puffery round here is amazing sometimes. Cheerist.

 

Time to give this a rest, I'd say. It crossed the outer edge of the Buffoon Galaxy a while ago.

 

 

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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this guy specifically did have a compass for the complete inanity of those who suggested otherwise and those who suggested the Panacea brand compass (with built in taun taun) would have saved his bacon.

 

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this guy specifically did have a compass for the complete inanity of those who suggested otherwise and those who suggested the Panacea brand compass (with built in taun taun) would have saved his bacon.

Yeah, he also had a smart phone, on which he forgot to check forecast or doppler radar, but he had enough juice in the battery to spray on FB after calling the rescue. Give me a fucking brake!

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i was just refuting akhalteke for the record:

 

Did this bloke even have a good map and compass? I bet not. Better question: Did he know how to use them? Nope.

 

Here is your brake!:

brake_kit_140-6163-D-lg.jpg

 

and a second for good measure, perhaps you can manage to apply it to your knee to prevent jerking!

shimano_dura_ace_br-9000_road_bike_brake.jpg

 

 

 

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Well Water, first, fuck you. Second, he clearly didn't know how to operate said compass. Oh, and third, fuck the FB spraying poser who can't get his able bodied ass off a mountain. I got my ass of a mountain with a 7.62 round in my leg and a shattered tibia. What's his excuse again?

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come on, give me a break!!!

kit-kat-chocolate-bar.jpg

 

why fuck me? you said you bet he didnt have a map and compass first of all, and second he didnt know how to use them. turns out he had a map and compass, regardless of his ability to use them.

 

his excuse is that he isn't as good as you and you are better than him. and everyone in the world should acknowledge that, especially the guy who needed to be rescued. Preferably if he paid a plane to tow such a message over his home for the next year.

 

i didn't realize there was a shooting near the hogsback in a whiteout, or are you referring to a different situation on a different mountain?

 

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