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Climber falls into Mount Saint Hellens crater

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Climber falls into Mount Saint Hellens crater

Postby Bombchaser » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:50 am

Here is the news link. Rescue under way. Cold front moving in tonight, 25-40 mph winds forecasted. May not be able to remove the climber until tomorrow. Volcano rescue team enroute. The video in link is archived footage. The volcano is currently encased in heavy snow and ice with huge overhanging cornices.

http://www.kgw.com/news/Climber-falls-i ... 13927.html
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Postby Gafoto » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:44 am

Odd that someone who would attempt St. Helens in the dead of winter would get caught like this. Hope they get him out!
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Postby Cascade Scrambler » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:05 am

As I write this, KOMO news at 11 reports it was his 68th trip to the top of St. Helens. Can anyone tell me how this happens to someone so experienced? Who gets that close to the crater's edge this time of year?
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Postby billisfree » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:22 am

Very simple explaination, Cascade Scrambler... the more you climb, the more chances something eventually will go wrong.

Secondly, statistics show that experienced climbers have just as high an accident rate as beginners. Mostly because experienced climbers take difficult and risky climbs.
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Postby jspeigl » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:03 pm

Local news reported today that he was posing for a picture when he fell.
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Postby Cascade Scrambler » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:49 pm

billisfree wrote:Very simple explaination, Cascade Scrambler... the more you climb, the more chances something eventually will go wrong.

Secondly, statistics show that experienced climbers have just as high an accident rate as beginners. Mostly because experienced climbers take difficult and risky climbs.


I'm not sure you understand my question.

If you've been there 68 times, don't you know better than to get that close to the crater rim, especially during winter? Call me naive, but I'd say he should've known better.
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Postby John Duffield » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:02 pm

Cascade Scrambler wrote:
billisfree wrote:Very simple explaination, Cascade Scrambler... the more you climb, the more chances something eventually will go wrong.

Secondly, statistics show that experienced climbers have just as high an accident rate as beginners. Mostly because experienced climbers take difficult and risky climbs.


I'm not sure you understand my question.

If you've been there 68 times, don't you know better than to get that close to the crater rim, especially during winter? Call me naive, but I'd say he should've known better.


These volcanoes can have huge snow cornices. It's easy to underestimate how extensive one is. Where the earth ends and where there's just snow below.

Something to bear in mind when I hear that a photo was involved. Of course you'd want that most dramatic shot.
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Cool guy photo

Postby Bombchaser » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:23 pm

I guess this might be an example of why the cool guy photo can be a bad idea. We have all tried to get that one dramatic photo, I know I have many times. The cornices are one of the most well known hazards on this mountain in winter time. I would be surprised if he could survive the night. He apparently took his jacket off for the photo and had not a lot of warm clothing on. It had been raining heavily overnight and is now snowing with winds. Avalanches and rockfall are happening within the crater. This could be another example of why going light to the top of any peak can be a bad idea. You never know when something bad will happen and you might need more gear. I believe you should at a minimum have many warm layers inside of a backpack that could be put on if an accident shold happen. The news is saying he may have fell as much as 1500 feet. Volcano Rescue is wieghing their options.
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Postby Roam Around » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:52 pm

Cascade Scrambler wrote:
billisfree wrote:Very simple explaination, Cascade Scrambler... the more you climb, the more chances something eventually will go wrong.

Secondly, statistics show that experienced climbers have just as high an accident rate as beginners. Mostly because experienced climbers take difficult and risky climbs.


I'm not sure you understand my question.

If you've been there 68 times, don't you know better than to get that close to the crater rim, especially during winter? Call me naive, but I'd say he should've known better.


Familiarity breeds complacency.

and yes, he should have known better, but thats almost always the case. Most of the time in an accident, the victim should have known better.
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Postby JJ » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:49 pm

When I used to live and climb in the Cascades I was told by many climbers that the cornices are notorious for breaking away further than you would expect due to the maritime snow. I have heard many cases where the climber was literally catapulted from the other side of the ridge to to the cornice fracture being so far back. Would there be a difference in cornice strength and the location of fracture lines between a continental and maritime snowpack?
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Postby Gak Icenberg » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:06 pm

Dingus Milktoast wrote:I'm not gonna dog that dude to make myself feel better. I don't care if he did nude jumping jacks on the edge of a fractured cornice.... he's climbed that mtn 60+ times. He's one of us and there but for the grace of an uncaring god go I...

I hope he makes it! Doesn't sound all that promising though.

Montani Semper Liberi.

He's a climber, not some doofus in flip flops on a beach head sand cliff.

DMT
well said, man!
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Postby Luciano136 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:16 pm

Accidents happen and I'm sure no one can exactly estimate how large the cornice was. I hope he makes it out alive!
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Postby Hotoven » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:25 pm

Man I sure hope hes alright and will make it out safely! Maybe he can find a steam vent and snuggle up with that! :D
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Postby splattski » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:28 pm

A few years back I got a lesson about cornices. And I thought I was careful BEFORE that!

http://www.splattski.com/2008/peak_9290/index.html
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