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#20020 - 11/24/11 10:56 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: MooseTracks]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Roger that, Laura, Yep, they could have followed that ridge right off the east face or somewhere equally fatal. Staying put was wise. Did they check a weather forecast before setting out(which would have been the sensible thing to do)?

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#20022 - 11/25/11 04:00 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: Bulldog34]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Bulldog,

The one time I went across that ridge was during spring 2007. It was in bright sunlight with temperatures near freezing. Conditions varied from a clear trail, soft snow to a sheet of ice...I would not liked to dealt with all three when I could not see my hand in front of my face.

I regularly go out in blizzard and/or white out conditions in the Mt. Jacinto area. I'm with friends and most of us are carrying maps, compasses and GPS. Mountain Station to the San Jacinto doesn't have a bit of exposure like Trail Crest to the summit. The key words no exposure, friends and maps, compasses and multiple GPS. We also have turned around short of our planned destination when things gotten really bad.

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#20029 - 11/26/11 08:33 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: RoguePhotonic]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: RoguePhotonic
Maybe but even in a white out it seems like it would be easy to follow that crest.


To confirm what everyone else here has been saying: I've gotten lost in two whiteouts. Both on trails I'd skied or hiked dozens to hundreds of times before. Once on Bishop Pass a group of 4 of us -- all backcountry rangers who had skied that pass at least a dozen times each -- got lost near the pass. Using a map and compass, one of us would go out to the limit of visibility (about 10 feet) and the one with the compass would wave right or left to stay on our estimated route to the place we could get off the ridge. All this in 30+ MPH winds and about -10 F (without windchill factored in). We called the rock above the gulley where we could safely ski down "thank you Jesus rock" when it loomed out of the blowing snow. Darned good navigating, too... .

It also inspired a great line from one of my buddies. As we skied out the next day, we came out from under the rain shadow of the Sierra. Blowing and miserable one minute, clear the next as we approached the trailhead. Two guys were skiing in and, after finding out what we did, said "Boy, what a great job. Must be really fun to be paid to ski around all the time!" To which my buddy growled: "How about I velcro you to my ass next time? Then you see how much fun it can be."

Which is all to say you can definitely get lost in a whiteout. You not only lose landmarks and direction, you lose horizon and any sense of balance. Really nerve wracking.

George
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None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.

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#20031 - 11/26/11 11:21 AM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: George]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Hey, George -- ask yer buddy if he maintains full rights & priviledges to his quote.....

I can think of at least 5 situations in which I could have replaced at least 5 lesser impacting expletives.

1. It amazes me that we are having this conversation in the first place
2. perhaps the 'follow the ridge' person has never been in a whiteout (a sensitive subject with me -- see avitar)
3. perhaps there must always be a contrarian in the mix, causing us to relate/emphasize what would otherwise be patently obvious.

Uh-oh, the head cold is taking over my otherwise impeccable manners....better sign off at this point...
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#20038 - 11/26/11 03:12 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
I think there is a bit of misunderstanding about what I meant with hiking out. My comments where only because it's Whitney with very specific terrain. I had not bothered to comment anymore on it because there are too many variables that like mentioned cannot be seen from the comfort of my chair.

I was once in a very bad storm where my hiking partner insisted on hiking out while it was dark and there was no way I was going to do so in the storm so I stayed put while he left.
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FlickR

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#20039 - 11/26/11 03:53 PM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: RoguePhotonic]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2249
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
How did that work out? For both of you?
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Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#20049 - 11/28/11 03:00 PM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1023
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: RoguePhotonic
My comments where only because it's Whitney with very specific terrain.
That is the problem in a nutshell. The specifics become non-specific.


Yes, Wagga is asking if the other guys' choice was successful.


Mountain literature quote of the day:
In mountaineering one man's prudence is another man's poison. HW Tilman, Two Mountains and a River, page 585

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#20050 - 11/28/11 04:17 PM Re: Three Hikers Missing On Mt. Whitney Since Saturday Are Found [Re: Harvey Lankford]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Great quote, Harvey.
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If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

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#20052 - 11/29/11 04:05 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
Oh, I missed that part. It worked out for both of us. I was able to stay warm all night as the snow continued to fall and he made it out successfully. Although when we agreed to meet at the bottom in the morning I found he had left so I had to hitch hike to the nearest town.
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FlickR

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