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California hiker, 23, dies after 400-foot , Mt Sill, CA USA
#56477 10/23/19 11:06 AM
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California hiker, 23, dies after 400-foot , Mt Sill, CA USA . Here is the link and Article ....CaliforniaPublished 1 hour ago
California hiker, 23, dies after 400-foot fall from one of state's highest mountains
By Stephen Sorace | Fox News
California mountain climber falls after slipping on mountain
The Inyo County Sheriff's Office has announced the death of a climber who fell approximately 400 feet. The 23-year-old was climbing to the top of Mount Sill in California when the accident happened.
A California hiker died Sunday after falling nearly 400 feet from one of the highest mountains in the state, authorities said.
The 23-year-old man, whom authorities later identified as Neil Karpe of Berkeley, and a partner were descending a snowfield below Mt. Sill when Karpe slipped and fell, suffering “unknown but serious injuries,” the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

At an elevation of about 13,200 feet, Karpe’s hiking partner used a satellite communication device to call for help, according to the statement.

The helicopter couldn't land and retrieve the hikers Sunday because of gusty winds and the high elevation. (Inyo County Sheriff’s Office)
Rescuers dispatched a helicopter to reach the hikers, but Karpe had already succumbed to his injuries by the time it arrived, the sheriff’s office said. Gusty winds and the high elevation prevented the helicopter from landing or hoisting the victim on Sunday.
On Monday, a search and rescue team of six members were dropped off about 100 feet below the accident site, the sheriff’s office said. After nearly three hours, the team reached the hikers. The victim was hoisted from the mountain and later transferred to the Inyo County Coroner.
A team of six rescuers reached the hikers on Monday. It took nearly three hours to get to the victim's location and airlift him out. (Inyo County Sheriff’s Office)
Details on the victim’s injuries or cause of death were not immediately released.
Mt. Sill’s peak rises 14,159 feet in the eastern Sierra Nevada and is the second-highest peak in the Palisade range, according to website SummitPost.org.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Link with pictures ........https://www.foxnews.com/us/california-hiker-dies-fall-mountain Cheers and be safe out there today People ! Sierra Angler

Last edited by Sierra Angler; 10/23/19 11:08 AM.
Re: California hiker, 23, dies after 400-foot , Mt Sill, CA USA
Sierra Angler #56478 10/23/19 11:26 AM
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This accident happened in the North Couloir, which is not particularly technically difficult, but if the two climbers had summited and were descending, they might have been tired and perhaps a little careless. The more risky part of that climb was above them, on the class 4 section, including a narrow ledge traverse. I once soloed it and am familiar with the route. The run-out to the bottom of the couloir is long and ends in rocks.

The couloir reminds me of the descent of the Mountaineers Route on Whitney, both of which require extra caution on descent.


Last edited by Bob West; 10/23/19 11:29 AM.
Re: California hiker, 23, dies after 400-foot , Mt Sill, CA USA
Bob West #56480 10/23/19 02:03 PM
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Bob, I climbed Sill two weeks ago and want to add that the snow conditions on the L-shaped couloir were terrible. The snow was essentially rock hard ice with large sun cups everywhere. It was difficult to a degree that my partner and I decided to front-point traverse across the snow and climb the rocks rather than head straight up the couloir. It was essentially ice-climbing and chances of a successful self-arrest seemed close to impossible. This was an experienced climber who had adequate equipment. Likely failure to self arrest after a slip, which would have been hard to do in the current conditions.

Re: California hiker, 23, dies after 400-foot , Mt Sill, CA USA
AdventureUSA #56482 10/23/19 03:25 PM
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That couloir is about 30 - 35 degrees. I've descended it in soft snow conditions and even then it was a little freaky.

Re: California hiker, 23, dies after 400-foot , Mt Sill, CA USA
Bob West #56485 10/23/19 10:48 PM
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Rest in Peace, Neil Karpe. Really sorry to hear of the accident.

Incidentally, I was about his age when my buddy and I climbed Sill, probably on the same route. But it was in May or June. I recall a pretty steep snow(ice) field we climbed, and it was my introduction to using ice axe and crampons.

Re: California hiker, 23, dies after 400-foot , Mt Sill, CA USA
Steve C #56487 10/24/19 11:47 AM
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Seems very strange that he wasn't able to self arrest at 30-35 degrees. Was he not carrying an ice axe?

Re: California hiker, 23, dies after 400-foot , Mt Sill, CA USA
BFR #56488 10/24/19 12:30 PM
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BFR, As I mentioned, the current conditions of the snow up there make self arrest very difficult. The rock-hard sun cups make self arrest almost impossible. The moment you slip, you'd have to get the axe in and stop immediately, because it would pop back out over the uneven, icy snow. There is no room to decelerate using the axe. The snow field up Red Banks on Mt. Shasta is said to be 35 degrees in some places. The slope that I traversed on Sill two weeks ago was at the very least 35 deg. maybe closer to 40.

I cant figure out how to embed this picture, but this is what the slope looked like earlier this month. It's very steep.

[img]https://imgur.com/a/a2WNE5s[/img]


Re: California hiker, 23, dies after 400-foot , Mt Sill, CA USA
AdventureUSA #56489 10/24/19 02:07 PM
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Like Steve, I’m sorry to see climbers injured, let alone killed, doing what they love.

Edit: Deleted most of my original post because I decided it wasn’t helpful.

Last edited by bobpickering; 10/24/19 11:56 PM.
Re: California hiker, 23, dies after 400-foot , Mt Sill, CA USA
bobpickering #56490 10/24/19 04:19 PM
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Looking at Caltopo, the average grade for the entire length of the long part of the "L" in the L couloir is 39 degrees with a min of 31 degrees and a max of 44 degrees.

Re: California hiker, 23, dies after 400-foot , Mt Sill, CA USA
Sierra Angler #56491 10/24/19 09:10 PM
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Registered to post here as the victim was my little brother.

I don't have too much information to add here but I can confirm Neil had an ice-axe and had self-arrest training+practice. From what his climbing buddy said to me, it sounded like Neil started tumbling rather than sliding, which, together with the hardened autumn snow, might have made self-arrest difficult.

Also, I understand they completed the class 4 section but did not summit, because they were just short of the summit at Neil's predetermined turnaround time.

Re: California hiker, 23, dies after 400-foot , Mt Sill, CA USA
Ummon Karpe #56493 10/25/19 11:23 AM
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Terribly sorry to hear about your brother. Thanks for the information. Hopefully this will help others being safe.
Best,
Gustavo


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