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#19125 - 10/11/11 03:39 PM Re: Red Kaweah Accident [Re: Steve C]
Ken Offline

Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Steve C
And this is why people who have accidents almost never report their experiences. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Sounds like walkabout is recommending people who aren't dead walk out on their own rather than call for a rescue. And we should charge everyone for their rescue, just like we charge people for cleaning up after a traffic accident, and charge them for putting out the fire when their house burns down.

We are fortunate that Scot had the courage to write up the story and allow me to post it. We can all learn from this group's experiences -- information that would not be available if he hadn't provided it.

Sometimes bad things happen that we cannot forsee. I am glad they all got out safely.

Steve, I think it would also be fair to say this is why a lot of people won't participate in discussions, when other people reinterpret a person's words and puts a spin on them that was never there.

For example, walkabout never stated anything remotely like "people who aren't dead walk out on their own rather than call for a rescue", although he accurately described that there was no immediate emergency, and that many people have self rescued in such situations in the past. He made no such recommendation in this situation.

He made no assertion about cost of rescues, at all, other than the fact that he, as a taxpayer, is partially footing the bill.

It seemed to me that his overriding theme was ingratitude.

#19126 - 10/11/11 04:13 PM Re: Red Kaweah Accident [Re: Bee]
wagga Offline

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2243
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

#19129 - 10/11/11 05:46 PM Re: Red Kaweah Accident [Re: wagga]
Bee Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Thanks, Wagga. This section was my absolute favorite part of the periodical, as it offered so much in the way of common sense lost and sometimes recovered. Occasionally,at the end of the article, an expert would offer up even more insight.
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

#19135 - 10/12/11 05:11 AM Re: Red Kaweah Accident [Re: Steve C]
Bulldog34 Offline

Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: Steve C
At that point, Rudy and Roel decided they would hike out, pick up my car, and drive it home. Steve, who went through hell on the hike in, decided to stay with me in hopes of getting a ride out with the helicopter.

I've read this TR several times, and this is the part I just can't get past. Granted, there's no real detail as to the "why" behind Rudy and Roel leaving their partners, and maybe there was a good reason for them to do this that just wasn't evident in the TR, but this is the event that strikes a bad chord for me. As pointed out earlier, they left the two least capable hikers - one injured, one having difficulty - on their own, fairly deep in the backcountry, before the situation was resolved.

We see this time and time again in SAR tales. Often it's justified if one person in a two-person party is going for help due to a communication blackout, but I just can't fathom leaving injured or ill partners behind in the wilderness to fend for themselves if there's not a pretty damn good reason for doing so. Yes, when they left a helicopter had been promised for the same day, but it seems to me you stay put with your group till the chopper has arrived and departed, and you're certain your partner(s) are in good hands. As it turned out, I'm pretty sure Steve could have used Rudy and Roel's assistance on his difficult trek back.

Again, there may have been some logical factor that played in their decision that I'm missing but, if so, I would sure like to understand the thinking.

#19798 - 11/12/11 04:39 AM Re: Red Kaweah Accident [Re: Bulldog34]
BobD3 Offline

Registered: 11/12/11
Posts: 1
Loc: southern Cal.
I'm new here and this is my first post.
Hi everyone.
The story about Red Kaweah was a good share.
There were a few things that caught my eye.
First, the Kaweah's are famous for loose rock. They're treacherous and everybody knows it.
Second, "no beta" and you're 20+ miles from the nearest trailhead and in loose rock. You're heading up to higher elevations where the mind gets fuzzy and on the spot decision making becomes harder than at lower elevations. You strayed off course because of lack of prep and kept going on probably Class 3 terrain, maybe even higher difficulty in spots.
You can't do this.
Also, it didn't sound as if your friend was injured. It sounded like he was fatigued or mildly ill. Maybe he should have rested in camp or proceeded to a lower altitude.
I liked what the ranger said about the first-aid kit.
I need to re-adjust mine also.
Hey, I'm not perfect either. My biggest weakness is going out there alone. And I'm 59 now. Kinda stupid really, isn't it?
All said, I'm glad you got back allright.
Final note- "You are responsible for your own safety".
I'll bet you've seen that on a few trailhead signs, right?

#19813 - 11/12/11 05:55 PM Re: Red Kaweah Accident [Re: Steve C]
Yury Offline

Registered: 06/11/11
Posts: 57
Loc: T.O.
Steve and Scott,

Thanks for sharing this story with us.
A lot of people would learn how to be a safer hiker from this story.


#19841 - 11/14/11 10:58 AM Re: Red Kaweah Accident [Re: Steve C]
RichardK Offline

Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 92
Loc: East Coast Florida
We pull out the satellite phone we had borrowed from a friend, and I called 911 and reached a person who could care less who I was or what my problem was. Eventually I tried the Tulare police department dispatcher who connected me to the Tulare County dispatcher who connected me to the Sequoia Park dispatcher where I finally was able to talk to someone who knew our location.

The topic of who to call has come up in the past. 911 seems to be the last resort unless you are reporting a wreck on the freeway. Start with the county sheriff and nearby SAR and carry those numbers with you.

Edited by RichardK (11/14/11 10:59 AM)

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