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Hikers Swept Over Vernal Falls, Yosemite

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Re: Hikers Swept Over Vernal Falls, Yosemite

Postby Vitaliy M. » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:54 pm

At first I thought she fell over after trying to take a photo NEAR the falls...I had no idea people could be foolish enough to attempt to go through that flow at a given time...for a photo. Reminder not to take chances with mother nature.
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Re: Hikers Swept Over Vernal Falls, Yosemite

Postby willytinawin » Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:29 pm

In early June, 1995, my GF and I went to Happy Aisle. We couldn't find a campsite, so we just started hiking, no permit req'd back then, it was about noon, the first thing that caught my attention was the bridge, people were hanging out on the bridge while a freight train was jamming along just below (the Merced). Then we went up the Mist Trail, and I swear if you slipped off you'd have never been seen again (1995 was a huge snow year). Anyhow, we topped out on Half Dome, we were real slow, about an hour before dark, and it got dark as we started down. I had this giant cell phone called "the brick", it was a 2 pound analog phone, and I called my sister and said we were on Half Dome, that was very advanced technology back then. We were the only ones on Half dome as the sun set. We came down in the dark with one weak flash light. Anyhow, I told her we were going to return via the Nevada Trail, because the Mist Trail was too risky in the dark with all that water and we could not see. We descended to the Nevada Trail, and one bridge we crossed, the water if it rose another foot, it would have taken the bridge out. We got back to Happy Aisle at 2 AM, and just laid down on the ground. That was quite a day. We were only novices, but we did not play chicken with the powerful forces that carved such a beautiful place. I can't imagine why anyone would walk out onto a slick granite rushing river just feet above a 317 foot drop for a JPEG. Last night this story was on Which Way L.A. The Yosemite spokesman was very matter-of-fact: they do not recommend visitors to cross the safety fences above waterfalls.
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Re: Hikers Swept Over Vernal Falls, Yosemite

Postby Bob Sihler » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:37 pm

Because I've crossed plenty of railings in my life, and because I might have at Vernal Fall when I was there in 1999 (can't remember for sure), I was going to hold back on criticizing these people.

But when I read these--
Arthur Digbee wrote:The morning wire reported that they were trying to get to a rock in the middle of the river to be photographed.


The group was witnessed entering the water above Vernal Fall, approximately 25 feet from the precipice.


--I changed my mind.

How utterly foolish. Twenty-five feet from the drop? In a current like that?
"Some men just want to watch the world burn."
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Re: Hikers Swept Over Vernal Falls, Yosemite

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:55 pm

For three people to die it had to be more than a simple accident. Provoked by themselves in some way. I would not have believed they simply slipped on the smooth rock, not all three of them. And yes, I have crossed that railing as do many other people. It can be done safely. But obviously we don't walk into the water.

Here is a somewhat related (tragic) video. These people taken through no real fault of their own, other than being a second behind on a split second decision.

http://uk.reuters.com/video/2011/07/18/ ... =217177109
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Re: Hikers Swept Over Vernal Falls, Yosemite

Postby adventurer » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:09 pm

I think we can safely assume that none of the three were intent on suicide. Rather, they were young and obviously, for whatever reason, made a very serious error in judgement. For that, they paid with their lives.

I made a lot of serious mistakes over the years, mostly when I was in my 20's. If not for good fortune, some of those mistakes would definitely have resulted in serious injury or worse.

"There, but for the grace of __________, go I"

Those poor young folks are dead. Their families are heartbroken. Let's try to have some compassion.
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Re: Hikers Swept Over Vernal Falls, Yosemite

Postby Marmaduke » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:10 pm

mrchad9 wrote:For three people to die it had to be more than a simple accident. Provoked by themselves in some way. I would not have believed they simply slipped on the smooth rock, not all three of them. And yes, I have crossed that railing as do many other people. It can be done safely. But obviously we don't walk into the water.

Here is a somewhat related (tragic) video. These people taken through no real fault of their own, other than being a second behind on a split second decision.

http://uk.reuters.com/video/2011/07/18/ ... =217177109


Holy shit, that's sad to see- foolish or not.
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Re: Hikers Swept Over Vernal Falls, Yosemite

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:55 pm

Marmaduke wrote:
mrchad9 wrote:For three people to die it had to be more than a simple accident. Provoked by themselves in some way. I would not have believed they simply slipped on the smooth rock, not all three of them. And yes, I have crossed that railing as do many other people. It can be done safely. But obviously we don't walk into the water.

Here is a somewhat related (tragic) video. These people taken through no real fault of their own, other than being a second behind on a split second decision.

http://uk.reuters.com/video/2011/07/18/ ... =217177109


Holy shit, that's sad to see- foolish or not.

If you look close, you will see one of the five died because he stopped to help another family member, another because he stopped for a few seconds thinking it was no big deal, and a third because she hesitated to get her feet wet. Obviously none realized what was happening or more would have taken off for the shoreline regardless.
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Re: Hikers Swept Over Vernal Falls, Yosemite

Postby gwave47 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:08 am

It really sucks for all the people and families who paid lots of money for plane tickets, rental cars, camping fees, etc. to come visit the park. I'm sure many of them wanted to hike this trail to the top of Vernal falls and weren't able to due to the trail being shut down for this search and rescue. Three people lost their lives, a family is having to deal with the loss of loved ones, inconvenienced the vacation of thousands of others, and cost tens of thousands of dollars in search and rescue operations because they thought the rules don't apply to them. The railings and caution signs are there for everyone. Oh not to mention all the children who are probably dealing with the torment of having to watch someone die. It really annoys me when people don't think about how their actions will effect everyone else.
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Re: Hikers Swept Over Vernal Falls, Yosemite

Postby simonov » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:48 am

Bob Sihler wrote:Because I've crossed plenty of railings in my life, and because I might have at Vernal Fall when I was there in 1999 (can't remember for sure), I was going to hold back on criticizing these people.

But when I read these--
Arthur Digbee wrote:The morning wire reported that they were trying to get to a rock in the middle of the river to be photographed.

The group was witnessed entering the water above Vernal Fall, approximately 25 feet from the precipice.

--I changed my mind.

Why? Is there a better reason to cross over the railing at Vernal Falls than for a photograph?
Nunc est bibendum.
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Re: Hikers Swept Over Vernal Falls, Yosemite

Postby lcarreau » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:58 am

Okay, get THIS ...

I was an employee at Sequoia National Park, in full uniform. I was delivering supplies to a Park Volunteer.

Suddenly, a full grown black bear appeared out of nowhere, and the volunteer walked right up to the bear to get a PICTURE.

Hey, that's an incredibly STUPID thing to do! People do stupid things, and it's NOT going to change anytime soon. Just the way it is, folks!

:roll:
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