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Mt Hood rescue/tragedy

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Mt Hood rescue/tragedy

Postby Norman » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:14 am

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Postby The Chief » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:38 am

What is the tragedy?

The only tragedy here is for the families that are left behind to deal with the aftermath.

My prayers are with them.

These three folks, as the many others that have perished on this hill, made the conscience decision to go out this time of the year and take their chances. This hill is a well known killer this time of the year.

"Man's gotta know his limitations..."
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Much more information at Oregonlive.com

Postby AussieRules » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:01 am

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Postby EastKing » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:02 am

I will pray for the families of the climbers. They will need all the support here during this time. The holidays will be rough for them.

Hood is the most accessible volcano with parking at Timberline Lodge and a desirable mountain in winter when all the other volcanoes and mountains are snowed in at the trailheads. Many climbers who want to keep there craft fresh pick Hood (like what I want to do this year). Unfortunately accidents do happen (normally from bad weather though this might not be the case on this one) and this accident serves is a reminder.

I definitely am going to keep this in the back of my mind when making the final go on Hood New Years Day! If the weather ain't right, conditions are poor, or the avy danger is high, I will not be going. I have that summit anyway but wouldn't mind starting the decade on a good note but I don't want risk my or my friends lives on it. I will be heading the standard Old Chute variation (the way I know best from experience) with hopefully a set of 6.
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Postby dskoon » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:16 am

Yeah, very sad.
And, have to agree with Chief, not sure if this is "tragic." Certainly tragic for the families.
Winter climbing is inherently riskier. Details are few as to what happened.
People on http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ss ... issin.html
are already commenting on the "requirement for beacons, legislation, etc." as they do whenever a climbing fatality occurs up there.
I wonder if people scream for the same on other mountains, say Shasta, Rainier, Whitney, etc.? The "screamers" are also heartlessly calling these climbers "idiots," "thoughtless morons," etc. Sick.
Apparently, these climbers were experienced and on a fairly technical route, but, we don't know what happened. Looks like a bad fall.
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Postby EastKing » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:49 am

I have never liked armchair hikers and "experts" who name call others without getting all the facts. You seem to never here about how many people die from a heart attacks or a car accidents after overloading on pizza while watching football. Or others that die from depression due to the fact that they feel that they have no hobby to look forward to. I guess it would not make a good news story. Should we put beacons on them and infringe on their right to watch football, overeating or being depressed??

Mountaineering is an inheritly risky sport but the rewards are totally amazing. Considering that probably 30,000-50,000 people attempt Mount Hood each year the death rate is just a little more dangerous than driving your vehicle to the trailhead for a year. The story is tragic and I pray for the families. No judgements though should be put on the climbers until all the facts come out, especially by non-hikers and non-climbers. Pay respects to the families, celebrate the life of the three climbers, for they saw more in their short lives than many in the world throughout there 80 year long lifespans.
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Postby dskoon » Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:34 pm

There ya go, and well-said. Agreed!
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Postby The Chief » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:27 pm

truchas wrote:What do you mean "what is the tragedy?" Climbers died. It's a tragedy for them and their families. So if you get in a car wreck and die, it's not a tragedy that you died since you made the choice to drive? You don't make sense. R.I.P.


We all die some day. That is in fact a part of life.

When your dead, it's no tragedy for you. But those that are left behind....maybe.

Tragedy and Accident are the two most misused verbs in this game we call climbing.

Climbing, regardless the discipline, is a very dangerous "Hobby" that we make a conscience decision to go out and do. It is not a necessity. In most ill fated incidents it entailed the sure potential of death as a result of bad judgements and decisions. Never was an "accident" or "tragedy" IMHO.

When an analysis is made of most fatal climbing related incidents, it always end up with a chain of events that could have all been avoided had proper decisions been made. Thus, no "accident".

The only "tragedy" involved in the end, was that a series of bad decisions were made, or, not made at all, that resulted in the critical injuries or death of the individuals involved.

Take a good look at each years ANAM, one will see that what I write here is the truth.
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Postby KathyW » Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:45 pm

Yes, very sad for the family and friends. I have a son about the same age as the young man that died and the one that is missing - I can't even imagine the grief their parents are feeling.
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Postby Castlereagh » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:21 am

The Chief wrote:
truchas wrote:What do you mean "what is the tragedy?" Climbers died. It's a tragedy for them and their families. So if you get in a car wreck and die, it's not a tragedy that you died since you made the choice to drive? You don't make sense. R.I.P.


We all die some day. That is in fact a part of life.

When your dead, it's no tragedy for you. But those that are left behind....maybe.

Tragedy and Accident are the two most misused verbs in this game we call climbing.

Climbing, regardless the discipline, is a very dangerous "Hobby" that we make a conscience decision to go out and do. It is not a necessity. In most ill fated incidents it entailed the sure potential of death as a result of bad judgements and decisions. Never was an "accident" or "tragedy" IMHO.

When an analysis is made of most fatal climbing related incidents, it always end up with a chain of events that could have all been avoided had proper decisions been made. Thus, no "accident".

The only "tragedy" involved in the end, was that a series of bad decisions were made, or, not made at all, that resulted in the critical injuries or death of the individuals involved.

Take a good look at each years ANAM, one will see that what I write here is the truth.


Death by itself is not tragedy. Unfulfilled potential is a tragedy. If these guys still had hopes and aspirations they've yet to achieve, if they had something left to offer to their friends and family, if there were still great things they could have yet accomplished, then their deaths are a damn tragedy.

My condolences to their families.
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Postby SWH » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:32 am

Yes, climbing is risky, but for those who knew the climbers, their family/friends, etc., this is a tragedy of the worst kind. They were all in their mid twenties. The whole affair is just terrible, condolences to all that knew them.

Also, it seems a bit early to be blaming whatever happened on an error in judgment. The conditions were actually stellar, the weather was not supposed to move in (and didn't) until several days later, and all in the party were experienced climbers. Right now it seems the most likely explanation is a fall or getting hit by rock/ice, but no one really knows so it would be best to reserve the judgment until later. I guess what I am trying to say is that people should maybe just shut up until this thing gets deciphered before offering their "expert" opinions. Or go over to cc and see how far downplaying these deaths gets you around people who actually knew them.
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Postby The Chief » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:09 pm

For the last 40 or something years, I can distinctly remember that each and every time I chose to put my harness on, I also surrendered myself to the idea that this rock/hill wasn't worth my life.

By doing so, I freed myself from any further fear. This then allowed me to concentrate on the task at hand and to listen to the little voice inside my head that warned me when to turn around and come back another day when it was safer to do so.

It is the ability to listen to that voice that I am certain has kept me alive. I certainly should have perished dozens upon dozens of times had I not listened to that voice and not turned around to return another day.

The hill nor rock was never worth my life, never.

This seems like an oxymoron of a process, but it is one that has worked for me.

I distinctly recall Tom Patey's words...

"It is not the mountain that will kill me. Rather, myself if I do not listen to and respect the mountains warnings."


For me, the ONLY danger in my climbing is when I cease listening to that precious inner voice.

Seems folks these days, are failing to listen to that voice when it beckons, more and more.

Maybe even worse, they are not being taught about that voice and when to surrender to it as I was the very first time I roped up to climb..

Now that my friends, is indeed a true tragedy.
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Postby cp0915 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:17 pm

EastKing wrote:Considering that probably 30,000-50,000 people attempt Mount Hood each year...


A bit of a stretch, eh?
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