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#19986 - 11/21/11 04:52 PM Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2233
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Story from the LA Times.
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#19988 - 11/21/11 05:36 PM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: wagga]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 587
Loc: Manchester, NH
Here's the LA Times full story:

"Three hikers were rescued Monday from Mt. Whitney after a combined search-and-rescue effort by Inyo County Sheriff's Department personnel and a California National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

The three had been missing since a snowstorm Saturday.

Inyo County sheriff's spokeswoman Carma Roper said the helicopter found the hikers near the 15,000-foot summit, the highest peak in the contiguous United States.

Michael Pettleton, 25, and Michael Cady, 37, both of La Verne, and Travis Cone, 29, of San Dimas are experienced hikers who took shelter near a rock and used blankets for warmth, Roper said.

On Monday, they hiked down the mountain and were taken by helicopter to Lone Pine Airport.
"

Poorly written piece.

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#19989 - 11/21/11 07:25 PM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: KevinR]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Blankets? Maybe space blankets? The image of someone carting nice wooly blankets up Whitney is ... different from my expectations.

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#19991 - 11/22/11 03:14 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: wagga]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
They should have just hiked out. Hiking will keep you warm and going lower will be warmer. Whitney is also not the type of place it is easy to get lost.
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#19992 - 11/22/11 04:24 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: RoguePhotonic]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1242
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
They used the words "experienced hikers", again. The rest of the story should be interesting and informative to those who think winter is a 3-season hike...just colder.

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#19993 - 11/22/11 04:31 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: RoguePhotonic]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1242
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Rogue,

Saturday the SoCal mountains were cold, windy and white out conditions existed from time to time. The Sierra Range was cloud covered from my vantage point along the Angeles Crest. You can argue they should not have been that high but if they were dealing snow, wind and white out staying in the hut until conditions improved made sense.

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#19996 - 11/22/11 02:11 PM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: wagga]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Maybe but even in a white out it seems like it would be easy to follow that crest.
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#19998 - 11/22/11 02:51 PM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I hesitate to comment on such threads about "coulda, shoulda, woulda", from my armchair....but....I will say this about that:

There have been times when I was driving along under the cozy conditions of my car...on the freeway...wider than a trail...not steep...and the "whiteout" (be it fog, clouds, snow) moved in and I could not see beyond the hood of my car, and suddenly, straight was not so easy, and damn that freeway lane got reeeeaaaal narrow...and was that a curve coming up? Hyperventalation soon followed. Ever flown under a hood? Up is down, and left is right...or wrong...or steeply off the "trail" -- no matter what the instruments (GPS, Loran C...or just plain gyroscope) are screaming at you.

As I recall, an experienced femal hiker was lost/fell from a very well known Baldy trail last year, under some zero visibility conditions.

Well, time to recline the chair and contemplate some hot chocolate. Whatever the actual personal weather conditions were for those hikers, at least they lived to tell, as some do not.
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#20003 - 11/22/11 06:19 PM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: Bee]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7392
Loc: Fresno, CA
It is always tough to second guess what happened on a trip where things didn't go as planned. On another trip reported on this forum, even when the hikers themselves write of their experience, there will be a number of people who will lecture and criticize and blame them.

I just wish the people in this situation would be able to report what happened, and how they planned their trip. I am wondering what weather forecasts they used.

I am sure many could learn from their experience -- if only we could get a full report.

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#20004 - 11/23/11 04:45 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: Steve C]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1242
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Rogue,

I was on Ontario Ridge two weeks ago in white out and got turned around...thinking I was heading west when I was to east. This is and area I've hiked many times. White out contributed us being a 1/2 mile off on our ascent to a lower ridge. If they lost their tracks back to Trail Crest, they could have really put themselves in the jackpot. Not even mentioning what could have happened on the lower part of the mountain.

With that said, what is called white out in the papers usually is not white out but limited visibility...like that incident with the skier up on San Jacinto last winter. I was out that day and conditions were marginal not white out. The biggest problem there was he should not have been out by himself.

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#20005 - 11/23/11 04:50 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: Steve C]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1242
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Steve,

That is why my friends and I read these reports all the time. We try to figure out what these folks did right and wrong. Hopefully, when we totally screw up we make the right decisions to minimize our plight and end up not having our names in the LA Times.

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#20006 - 11/23/11 06:34 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: wbtravis]
SanDi_carole Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 32
Loc: San Diego
Lovin' Bee's reply.

Why is there no "like button" yet? laugh

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#20007 - 11/23/11 06:49 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: KevinR]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: KevinR
Here's the LA Times full story:

"Inyo County sheriff's spokeswoman Carma Roper said the helicopter found the hikers near the 15,000-foot summit, the highest peak in the contiguous United States.


My take is that they probably got in trouble somewhere between 14,500 and 15,000 feet. I think most of us would have too . . .

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#20011 - 11/23/11 01:14 PM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: Bulldog34]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
Bee I agree. I have flown under a hood and been in a whiteout. The reason they call it a whiteout is because you can't see anything but white.I have been in Mammouth in a whiteout on a well marked trail and had to take off my skis and walkout because I couldn't see. It was hairy scary.I couldn't imagine going down the backside of Whitney and down the switchbacks cables or slope (whichever is being used now) in true whiteout conditins.

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#20012 - 11/23/11 01:49 PM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: Bulldog34]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Murrieta, CA
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
My take is that they probably got in trouble somewhere between 14,500 and 15,000 feet. I think most of us would have too . . .


Gary, I agree, that last 500 feet to 15,000 is a doooozy! :-)
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#20013 - 11/23/11 05:02 PM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: RoguePhotonic]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
Originally Posted By: RoguePhotonic
They should have just hiked out. Hiking will keep you warm and going lower will be warmer. Whitney is also not the type of place it is easy to get lost.


Originally Posted By: RoguePhotonic
Maybe but even in a white out it seems like it would be easy to follow that crest.


Spoken like a true ignoramus. Outstanding insight! mad

Please, do enlighten us, since you must know something about the hikers that no one else does...
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#20014 - 11/23/11 05:08 PM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: quillansculpture]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Originally Posted By: quillansculpture
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
My take is that they probably got in trouble somewhere between 14,500 and 15,000 feet. I think most of us would have too . . .


Gary, I agree, that last 500 feet to 15,000 is a doooozy! :-)


LIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! like!

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#20016 - 11/24/11 06:09 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: Akichow]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1242
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Relax, relax, it is after all the LA Times. My guess is they have cut back on the use of Google to fact check trivial things like the elevation of the California's highest peak.

One mo' thing on white out...as Rod said it can be a bit scary. The scary part is being disoriented. A couple of weeks ago on Ontario Ridge I knew exactly where I was, I just thought the right way to descend west rather than east. My friends and I stopped to discuss our direction of travel, everyone assured me we were going in the right direction. About a minute later, when the downward slope appeared to my left with a bunch of snow it I was sure we were going in the right direction...but not until then.

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#20017 - 11/24/11 06:44 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: wbtravis]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Just having a little fun at the LA Times' expense, Bill - I'm sure we're not the first! You'd think a writer would check a fact like that before publishing, though - takes all of 20 seconds with a search engine.

As far as the decisions these 3 hikers made, I would probably have done the same thing (although I almost certainly would not have headed up if winter weather was a concern, but that's a personal choice based on comfort with the white stuff). That ridge between Trail Crest and the summit is no joke when it's iced up or freshly powdered. Add blizzard conditions and I'd have likely sat my butt down too and waited it out.

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#20019 - 11/24/11 09:12 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: Bulldog34]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
One of the best ways to make someone tense is to tell them to relax.

I like to laugh. Bulldog and Quillansculpture make me laugh.

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