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Re: Whitney search and rescue in progress
Steve C #8479 10/21/10 12:34 AM
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Hi all very new here. I just came back from Whitney 20-oct. I went up on monday and camped at the low site due to a blizzard at 2pm. Tuesday we attempted to summit. My party of four did not summit. After 13000 feet, the trail disappeared, no more tracks, heavy clouds rolling in, visbility about 30 yards, wind picking up, and snow at some points hip deep (I'm 6'). We returned 20-oct. About noon, on the trail down, we met with mountain rescue, they were unable to reach the summit on 19-oct for a rescue. Wednesday, at 10000 ft, the snow was falling heavier then it was on monday. On monday night we saw two parties come down. The first party was six people (all with day packs). It was dark. They came toward our camp and asked if this was the trail. I pointed to where the trail was and they went on without another word. That was about 7pm. The second group came along about 840pm -- a group of four (all with day packs). I asked as they passed if they made it to the top. "YAH". Then I asked how was it. "Blizzard". We all went to bed at 9pm. Only one person came down Tuesday night. When asked if he made it to the top, he replied "nah". That was about 800pm. We all went to bed about 1030pm, and headed out wednesday morning around 10am. I'm a fairly light sleeper and did not hear anyone else on the trail. Three hikers went up 20-oct about 5am, and two more went up about 7am.

Re: Whitney search and rescue in progress
Steve C #8480 10/21/10 03:31 AM
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Omaha, NE.....I just know one of the hikers for sure. He's the cousin of my best friend, sent a text early Tuesday morning to family here stating he was stuck up there. Asked for someone to send help. His cell phone has since died so no further word from him. They sent him directions to the hut but not sure his phone was still working at that point. He didn't respond.

I also know they went up to try to get them yesterday morning. They got about a mile from where they thought they were and had to turn around due to the white out conditions.

Re: Whitney search and rescue in progress
Rod #8481 10/21/10 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted By: Rod
Can't speculate or comment on hearsay information.
Gary the gentleman from last year, name was Wade.


Thanks Rod - corrected my post.

Re: Whitney search and rescue in progress
Steve C #8484 10/21/10 09:21 AM
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Here is a link to KETV.com, a TV station on Omaha, NE:

    Omaha Climbers Missing In California
 


And the same site has a set of pictures from the report, including a photo of Philip Abrahams text message on his gf's cell phone:
    Images: Family Waits For Word On Missing Climbers

Re: Whitney search and rescue in progress
Steve C #8485 10/21/10 09:31 AM
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Thanks Steve - good catch.

Safe with emergency supplies? Combination? Am I missing something? That's the first I've heard of this. Could this be the other room of the hut with the locked door? Is it secured with a combination lock?

Re: Whitney search and rescue in progress
Steve C #8486 10/21/10 09:39 AM
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My thoughts and prayers are with these guys. I haven't been able to get them off my mind since I heard the news on the radio this morning. The news about Mt. Whitney arrives in So. Cal later than Central Cal receives it. Has anyone ever read "Off the Wall in Yosemite"? Great book to teach someone what not to do in the wilderness(my opinion). If there are any writers out there, a book about "Off the Trail at Mt. Whitney" might save some lives. I hope and pray these guys get home safely to their families.


Lynnaroo
Re: Whitney search and rescue in progress
Bulldog34 #8488 10/21/10 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
Safe with emergency supplies?
i don't know about a safe, but i did see into that room w/the door open once. ranger rob from seki was up there. there were items in the room, but looking from the bright sunlight into the dark room it was difficult to say what was there, and i wasn't that curious at the time.
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
Combination?
a typical gov't combo lock w/the numbered dials on the 'bottom' - not the sides - of the lock.
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
Am I missing something? That's the first I've heard of this. Could this be the other room of the hut with the locked door?
yes. to the left of the register box.
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
Is it secured with a combination lock?
yes. and w/o the combo there's no way to get through that steel door. it is truly industrial strength.

Last edited by smithb; 10/21/10 10:03 AM.
Re: Whitney search and rescue in progress
smithb #8490 10/21/10 10:01 AM
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Very good idea. Unfortunately the access to these supplies would seem to depend on the stranded party having communication with the authorities for the combination, and we all know the reliability of cell reception up there. I guess there's no other feasible way, though - if it were easily accessible to anyone, those emergency supplies would get the same conscientious treatment wag bags seem to.

Re: Whitney search and rescue in progress
Bulldog34 #8492 10/21/10 10:07 AM
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- agreed.
i'm sure the supplies, whatever may be in there, are for the use of the rangers. and i'm also certain they'd like it to remain that way. bummer to be relying on having equipment cached at the summit, only to find it missing when truly needed.
- what they need is warmth. water wouldn't hurt either.

Re: Whitney search and rescue in progress
smithb #8493 10/21/10 10:17 AM
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That stone building may provide some shelter, but it's a cold place. The door is in rather sad shape as well.

Sure hope they get down OK. The weather's better today, but it's still unsettled.

Re: Whitney search and rescue in progress
Steve C #8497 10/21/10 10:46 AM
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CNN has picked up the story:

    Crews search for 3 hikers in California

Nothing new in that story.



Omaha news has added more information:

    Hunt for Omaha climbers goes on
From that news story:
Quote:
The three Omahans were among a group of 10 friends who had been training for this trip all summer. The trip took them to both the lowest and highest points in the continental U.S. - bicycling across Death Valley Saturday and Sunday and then ascending the peak of Mt. Whitney on Monday.



The WhitneyZone's Mt Whitney webcam is displayed in this story on wowt.com: Omaha Climbers Missing On California Mountain


NOAA weather forecast for Mt. Whitney is here.
 

Last edited by Steve C; 10/21/10 11:25 AM.
Hikers FOUND!!! -- SAR on Whitney
Steve C #8501 10/21/10 12:24 PM
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Unofficial.....

I just got an email saying:

they got em!

From Rescuers find Omaha climbers

Quote:
Rescuers found three missing Omaha climbers on Mt. Whitney around 2 p.m. CDT today, said Brandy O'Connor, a friend of one of the men.

All three men are alive and talking. Rescue workers are evaluating the situation and planning for their evacuation, said David Clymens, a brother to another of the climbers.


...so it appears that rescuers have reached them at the hut.


Edit... another article:

Climbers airlifted off mountain
Quote:
Shortly after they were found, a Chinook helicopter was dispatched. It arrived at the summit within minutes and airlifted the three men.

Last edited by Steve C; 10/21/10 12:51 PM.
Hikers FOUND!!! -- SAR on Whitney
Steve C #8502 10/21/10 12:28 PM
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Thank God!!

Re: Hikers FOUND!!! -- SAR on Whitney
Bulldog34 #8505 10/21/10 12:53 PM
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Wow! Do those guys ever have a story to tell!

Re: Hikers FOUND!!! -- SAR on Whitney
Steve C #8506 10/21/10 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted By: Steve C
Wow! Do those guys ever have a story to tell!


Sounds like they're getting their first chance now - "filling out paperwork" down in the valley, according to Omaha.com.

Re: Hikers FOUND!!! -- SAR on Whitney
Steve C #8507 10/21/10 01:16 PM
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Good that they stayed put at the hut, so SAR could locate them. Thanks to Inyo and SEKI SAR teams, and the helo crew.

This looks like another case of the weather not cooperating with the long-range plans of humans. We must ALWAYS be willing to back down in the face of bad weather; the mountain will always be there.

Re: Hikers FOUND!!! -- SAR on Whitney
Steve C #8508 10/21/10 01:21 PM
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Found safe at 12:00 p.m.!!!

The power of 1,000 positive thoughts!

My wife and I and our fellow co-workers are elated at this great news. A salute to the Chinook pilot and air crew.

I know DUG is happy, in regards to the Chinook.

Yes, Steve C, I bet they do have a story to tell.

Probably an "I Shouldn't Be Alive" episode.

Now, as for the other seven members (friends?) of the team...Drive off without telling anyone? confused

Also, they were fortunate to be able to send a text message.

Imagine if they were unable to? No one would have known they were still up there until maybe Richard P found them.



Journey well...
Re: Hikers FOUND!!! -- SAR on Whitney
+ @ti2d #8509 10/21/10 01:34 PM
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This is wonderful news. I sure hope these three hikers know about the Whitney Zone so they can share their story first-hand with us.


Lynnaroo
Re: Hikers FOUND!!! -- SAR on Whitney
lynn-a-roo #8510 10/21/10 01:43 PM
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Thanks to Steve for his diligent work at staying up to current information and contact.

Thanks to Inyo SAR, China Lake, SEKI and all other parts involved in making this rescue a success.

As Doug reminds us, the focus now shifts over to the Meysan area - where another group is also still reported missing. They do not have the luxury of a summit hut to keep them from the elements.

Re: Hikers FOUND!!! -- SAR on Whitney
lynn-a-roo #8511 10/21/10 02:51 PM
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I will make sure at least one of them knows about it. I'm sure after he recovers from this experience, he'd be more than happy to share with everyone.

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