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SAR Recovery at Oupost Camp
#45016 12/16/15 06:08 PM
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wagga Offline OP
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On December 15th the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received notification of a deceased 18-year old female at Outpost Camp, which is a stopping point on the route to Mt. Whitney. According to her father, who was both the hiking partner and reporting party, she had always wanted to hike the Mt. Whitney trail. Her father also indicated that both he and his daughter were experienced hikers, including hiking in winter conditions. They set out Monday mid-day with no intention of summiting; rather they just wanted to go as far as they could safely and return. By early evening they reached Outpost Camp, where they decided to camp for the evening. Her father indicated that the 18-year old had been experiencing a headache; when he woke up the following morning she was deceased.
CHP helicopter (H-80 out of Apple Valley) and two Inyo County Search and Rescue members recovered the body this afternoon. The Inyo County Coroner is working with the Orange County Coroner's office to determine cause of death.
Our deepest condolences are with the family.

Sheriff's Office


Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: SAR Recovery at Oupost Camp
wagga #45017 12/16/15 06:31 PM
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As the father of a daughter (who has hiked with his daughter to the summit of Mt. Whitney) I cannot imagine the grief and guilt.

Tragic, in many ways.

My deepest condolences as well.

John

Last edited by John Sims; 12/16/15 06:35 PM.
Re: SAR Recovery at Oupost Camp
John Sims #45021 12/16/15 11:45 PM
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Really sad news. That would just about be a father's worst nightmare.

It is really unusual to expire overnight at an elevation like Outpost Camp. It is only 10,400' elevation. Why did it hit this eighteen-year-old???

Re: SAR Recovery at Oupost Camp
Steve C #45023 12/17/15 12:59 AM
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wagga Offline OP
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Hat tip to Moose for that link.


Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: SAR Recovery at Oupost Camp
wagga #45033 12/18/15 09:06 PM
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only 10k' and she had spent the prior weekend in Mammoth.

http://spectrummagazine.org/article/2015...-whitney-watson

Re: SAR Recovery at Oupost Camp
63ChevyII.com #45035 12/18/15 11:40 PM
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This is an incredible story. I doubt she died of AMS complications.

Her name is Whitney Watson -- so hiking with her dad on the Whitney trail seems like a great thing to do on Christmas break. She was a sophomore at Andrews University, located in southwestern Michigan. It must be a shock to the entire university community.

Rest in Peace, Whitney.

Re: SAR Recovery at Oupost Camp
Steve C #45451 03/16/16 12:11 PM
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Was there ever a medical ruling as to the cause of her death. Using Google I could not find anything using autopsy as one of the key words.

http://spectrummagazine.org/article/2015...-whitney-watson


My Google Plus Profile (lots of interesting research links)
https://plus.google.com/+RoleighMartin/about/
Re: SAR Recovery at Oupost Camp
Roleigh Martin #45453 03/16/16 06:12 PM
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Roleigh: I saw your Yahoo thread that this relates to, and have a couple of concerns. This is a completely anomalous case, and is not a good example of what can be expected of AMS at 10,000 feet. Also, you raised this along with your quote of the "rule" of climb high, sleep low. We really need to stop telling people there is any such rule. Climb high, sleep low is a saying among Himalayan climbers to describe a Himalayan assault survival strategy for approaches and summits above 19,000 feet. It minimizes time in the death zone. You climb to advance camp, set up, leave supplies and retreat, to minimize unnecessary time at extreme altitude. It is *not* an alpine acclimatization strategy.

But for acclimatization, it is well established that sleep at elevation is the best strategy. You acclimate to the elevation at which you sleep. It is also well established that you de-acclimate at about the same rate as you acclimate. That is why is does no good to prepare for Whitney by climbing Baldy the week before. By the same token, say you camp at 8,000 feet (Whitney Portal.) On day one, you spend 6 hours climbing to Outpost (10,000) and descending to WP. You Spend 6 hours acclimating to an average of 9000, then spend 6 hours deacclimating to 9000. Then you spend 12 hours sleeping and deacclimating to 8,000. The net effect is exactly the same as if you had spent the entire 24 hrs hanging around the portal store, eating pancakes and Mooseburgers. The extreme example of climb high sleep low would be to drive to the portal, day hike to Trail Camp at 12000, descend back to WP, go back to Lone Pine and crash at the Hostel. Next day, you would be perfectly acclimated to 3727 ft. Thus the rule, if you can call it that, is sleep as high as you are comfortable, because that's as high as you are going to acclimate for that day.

And this is not just theory (although it is evidence based). It is the result of a lot of folks experience with acclimating at Horseshoe Meadow rather than Whitney Portal for a Whitney ascent.


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Re: SAR Recovery at Oupost Camp
saltydog #45460 03/17/16 08:39 AM
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I’ve said for many years that the best sleeping altitude for acclimatization is the highest altitude at which you don’t get sick. This principle is simple. Knowing how high you can sleep comfortably is the hard part.

Re: SAR Recovery at Oupost Camp
bobpickering #45475 03/17/16 04:09 PM
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Thanks, Bob. And that, I suspect, is the voice of more experience than Roleigh and I have together.


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Re: SAR Recovery at Oupost Camp
saltydog #45535 03/24/16 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted By: saltydog
Roleigh: I saw your Yahoo thread that this relates to, and have a couple of concerns. This is a completely anomalous case, and is not a good example of what can be expected of AMS at 10,000 feet. Also, you raised this along with your quote of the "rule" of climb high, sleep low. We really need to stop telling people there is any such rule. Climb high, sleep low is a saying among Himalayan climbers to describe a Himalayan assault survival strategy for approaches and summits above 19,000 feet. It minimizes time in the death zone. You climb to advance camp, set up, leave supplies and retreat, to minimize unnecessary time at extreme altitude. It is *not* an alpine acclimatization strategy.

But for acclimatization, it is well established that sleep at elevation is the best strategy. You acclimate to the elevation at which you sleep. It is also well established that you de-acclimate at about the same rate as you acclimate. That is why is does no good to prepare for Whitney by climbing Baldy the week before. By the same token, say you camp at 8,000 feet (Whitney Portal.) On day one, you spend 6 hours climbing to Outpost (10,000) and descending to WP. You Spend 6 hours acclimating to an average of 9000, then spend 6 hours deacclimating to 9000. Then you spend 12 hours sleeping and deacclimating to 8,000. The net effect is exactly the same as if you had spent the entire 24 hrs hanging around the portal store, eating pancakes and Mooseburgers. The extreme example of climb high sleep low would be to drive to the portal, day hike to Trail Camp at 12000, descend back to WP, go back to Lone Pine and crash at the Hostel. Next day, you would be perfectly acclimated to 3727 ft. Thus the rule, if you can call it that, is sleep as high as you are comfortable, because that's as high as you are going to acclimate for that day.

And this is not just theory (although it is evidence based). It is the result of a lot of folks experience with acclimating at Horseshoe Meadow rather than Whitney Portal for a Whitney ascent.


I've been lazy and not following the boards much this winter, so I just saw this. Salty's explanation of acclimatization is one of the best I've read - spot on. If you boil the idea of acclimatizing down to some simple basics, you're trying to build more red blood cells to carry extra oxygen. Common sense will tell you that the body will most effectively manage this when it's at rest and can dedicate the most possible energy to that task, as opposed to when it's having heavy demands placed upon it (working hard at altitude).

Re: SAR Recovery at Oupost Camp
saltydog #45536 03/24/16 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted By: saltydog
Thanks, Bob. And that, I suspect, is the voice of more experience than Roleigh and I have together.


And on the subjects of Bob and a wealth of experience, it should be mentioned that he has recently earned his Master Emblem for the Sierra Club's SPS (Sierra Peaks Section). Bob became only the 84th person to achieve this level since record keeping for it began in 1955:

SPS Master Emblem Holders

Congrats, Bob!

Re: SAR Recovery at Oupost Camp
Bulldog34 #45542 03/25/16 06:23 AM
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Thanks, Bulldog and for the additional explanation.


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