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#40045 - 08/31/14 08:57 PM Re: Whitney rescue, etc. [Re: Ken]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1553
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Doubt it was a language barrier. She apparently spends half her time teaching and guiding in the US. More likely just the reporter's phrasing. Getting it from SAR makes it a third-hand story by the time we read it. So who knows what her version would be. Sure would be interesting to hear.

BOy scout deal doesn't seem so odd to me, just irresponsible to let one kid get ahead like that. My guess would be too many leaders with each one expecting someone else to take point. Seen it happen.
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#40047 - 09/01/14 08:58 AM Re: Whitney rescue, etc. [Re: Ken]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Ken,

I had a friend walk 600' vertical down wrong ridge on Timber Mountain one clear winter day. This is a place he had been to many times during all 4 seasons.

Odd things happen from time to time in the mountains. People with experience do things you do not expect them to do and bad things happen. I do remember Bob Rutledge posting pictures of a fracture ankle he incurred after glissading while wearing crampons.

Unlike many who visit this mountain for a day hike, she had enough clothes with her to spend the night out at 14,000' minimizing the risk for SAR personnel.

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#40049 - 09/01/14 09:33 AM Re: Whitney rescue, etc. [Re: wbtravis]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
"Odd things happen from time to time in the mountains. People with experience do things you do not expect them to do and bad things happen. I do remember Bob Rutledge posting pictures of a fracture ankle he incurred after glissading while wearing crampons. "

I guess that's the lesson, so it should not be a surprise that less experienced people do unexpected things, too.

Wasn't it Bob Rockwell that posted those pics?

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#40051 - 09/01/14 10:09 AM Re: Whitney rescue, etc. [Re: wbtravis]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I think what has surprised people about this incident was how far into the error the incident had progressed (given the experience level). It was not one of those "oops" situations where you have to backtrack 100ft.
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#40053 - 09/01/14 10:27 AM Re: Whitney rescue, etc. [Re: Ken]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Yeppers, Bob posted those pictures.

What I learned from this episode is there is value having enough clothing to spend the night at the highest elevation you intend to visit because day hikes can turn in 48 hour visits any number of reasons. If it means a heavier pack, so be it.

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#40054 - 09/01/14 01:06 PM Re: Whitney rescue, etc. [Re: saltydog]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: saltydog
Getting it from SAR makes it a third-hand story by the time we read it. So who knows what her version would be. Sure would be interesting to hear.


I agree - I'd really like to hear some of the first-hand details about this. The whole episode just doesn't parse as reported. Yes, strange and unusual things can happen to even the most experienced people in the mountains, but there's usually a wild card factor involved. I think specifically of Richard Piotrowski's ordeal on Whitney a while back in a white-out. He's one of the last people you would expect to be trapped in a winter storm on the mountain, but it happened.

In this case, it appears she got ledged out. As a certified, practicing mountain guide without rope, harness or pro, you've got to see that coming before retreat is eliminated, right? Her resume seems far too impressive for this to just happen. It may very well have been a route-finding error that went too far, but I'm leaning more towards our not having the full story.

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#40056 - 09/01/14 04:38 PM Re: Whitney rescue, etc. [Re: Bulldog34]
catpappy Offline


Registered: 03/06/10
Posts: 120
Loc: acworth, ga
Sometimes it just happens. Each year I get a copy of Accidents in North American Mountaineering and read it from cover to cover. Read enough of these stories over the years and you'll see that even the experienced make blunders. There are statistical tables in the back of each issue with categories such as terrain, ascent or descent, immediate cause, contributory causes, age of individuals, month of year, type of injury, and experience level. For instance, in the USA between 1951 and 2008 there were 2039 rescues/calls for assistance for people deemed experienced. I agree with Salty and Bulldog - always gaps to be filled in with press reporting.

John

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#40058 - 09/02/14 08:06 AM Re: Whitney rescue, etc. [Re: catpappy]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Originally Posted By: catpappy
I agree with Salty and Bulldog - always gaps to be filled in with press reporting.

John


When the 4th season rolls around and people get lost, hurt or die there is one meaningless phrase that usually ends up in the story...experienced hiker.

The people reporting are generalists. They do not know enough to ask the questions we would. They cannot figure things out how we would. It get frustrating to those of us that who have the skills in question or know the area where incident takes place.

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#40059 - 09/02/14 08:53 AM Re: Whitney rescue, etc. [Re: wbtravis]
SanGorgonioHiker Offline


Registered: 03/24/14
Posts: 66
Loc: Southern CA
sadly, I agree...
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#40060 - 09/02/14 12:52 PM Re: Whitney rescue, etc. [Re: Bulldog34]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 342
Loc: Reno, Nevada
People solo the East Face all the time. It lends itself to soloing, and the zigzag route makes leading it a real pain in the butt. It's very easy to stare at the fresh air traverse from 30 feet away and not see it. It's possible to stare at it from 10 feet away and not recognize it. It's even possible to look right at it from five feet away and think that attempting it will result in certain death. It really isn't that hard, but it looks tough, and as I said, it's easy to miss. My guess is that she did the East Face on purpose, and stopped when she couldn't find the fresh air traverse or some other key part of the route.

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