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Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby MoapaPk » Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:45 am

I'm hoping that we get a little more info -- such as where he was found (more specifically), and whether he got to the summit (signed in) and was descending.
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby Vitaliy M. » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:57 am

MoapaPk wrote:I'm hoping that we get a little more info -- such as where he was found (more specifically), and whether he got to the summit (signed in) and was descending.


I heard he did get to the summit and fell on the descent, somewhere on the west side of the peak. All of this info is speculations and may not be 100% accurate.
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby aermotor » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:33 am

Man, there have been a lot of deaths recently. What the heck is going on. People soling stuff all over the place and winding up dead. Very sad. Hiking/climbing alone is always very dangerous even if the slightest thing should go wrong.
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby ScottHanson » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:46 pm

I agree it would be best to have a partner on almost all of our outdoor wilderness activities. From a class 1 trail to the top of peak to class 5 route with much gear involved. It is alarming to hear of severe injuries or death occurring during outdoor adventures. Always need to measure risk, reward, and safety. Issues can arise with a partner. Is he/she able to get off work, of a similar physical conditioning, of similar climbing experience, etc, etc? Should all of us carry a satelite phone? SAR might not be able to find, rescue, and save all of us. We have to depend on our own brain. Be SAFE OUT there!!

RIP to this latest gentleman.
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby obsidian » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:37 pm

This news article about the Search appeared on Sierra Wave yesterday (Saturday).
Body Found in Sierra Believed To Be Missing Carson City Doctor
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby MoapaPk » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:54 pm

I wrote and erased two posts on the partner issue last night. Bear in mind this commentary is for the class3/4 (stretch into 5 by being "off-route") terrain like Norman Clyde Peak; I'm not talking about true technical climbing.

I agree that there are times a partner can add to your safety a lot. But if you take a header off a 100' cliff, and suffer massive head trauma, the partner will just make the body recovery more efficient.

Perhaps this is just my own personality flaw; but when I'm by myself, I tend to be very cautious, evaluating every possibility, testing holds and sequences before I commit. Perhaps this behavior is a result of my brain damage; but I tend to get distracted and be less cautious when I'm with other people.

Last time I looked through Accidents in American Mountaineering, I did see some fatalities for folks going solo; but I saw more for people who were with partners. That's not a fair sampling, probably.
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby Kahuna » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:29 pm

MoapaPk wrote:Perhaps this is just my own personality flaw; but when I'm by myself, I tend to be very cautious, evaluating every possibility, testing holds and sequences before I commit.


Yup!
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby jareds » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:37 pm

MoapaPk wrote:I agree that there are times a partner can add to your safety a lot....

Perhaps this is just my own personality flaw; but when I'm by myself, I tend to be very cautious, evaluating every possibility, testing holds and sequences before I commit. Perhaps this behavior is a result of my brain damage; but I tend to get distracted and be less cautious when I'm with other people.


agreed - further, a partner doesn't == safety. Just as going solo has its dangers, a more aggressive partner(or more skilled + ego), someone whose style you're not familiar with, combined false sense of comfort in unfamiliar terrain due to 'safety in numbers', relying more on partner's judgement(as MoapaPk said), etc. can be equally dangerous.

IMO going partnered is great and going solo is great, both adventures have different vibes and often occur w/ different objectives. Some types of adventures require partners/no partners. Either way your safety is squarely on your shoulders.

Condolences to the family, a very sad personal time indeed. As is often said in situations like these, take comfort in knowing that he died doing something I assume he loved very much while living a life filled with challenge and passion.
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:55 pm

jareds wrote:As is often said in situations like these, take comfort in knowing that he died doing something I assume he loved very much while living a life filled with challenge and passion.

This is a statement that I have never understood, or at least one that has never applied to me. I absolutlely do not want my life to end while climbing, nor would I doing anything else I enjoy. I want to see enjoyable tasks through to completion.

I much more frequently think about the possibility of death when I am laying in the dental chair than when I am having a good time.
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby jareds » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:20 am

mrchad9 wrote:
jareds wrote:As is often said in situations like these, take comfort in knowing that he died doing something I assume he loved very much while living a life filled with challenge and passion.

This is a statement that I have never understood, or at least one that has never applied to me. I absolutlely do not want my life to end while climbing, nor would I doing anything else I enjoy. I want to see enjoyable tasks through to completion.

I much more frequently think about the possibility of death when I am laying in the dental chair than when I am having a good time.


ha yeah no death wish here. i think the sentiment has to do with associated risks.

Most of what makes skiing fast or climbing high or running far etc awesome is:
1.the difficulty(no one puts up TRs of Mt. Tamalpais ascents!) and
2.the risk of danger/rockfall/exposure/fatigue/disorientation/and even death.

Without these, what we accomplish in the mountains can be done on a treadmill(exercise) / from the seat of a tourbus(seeking beauty) / google maps(exploration) etc.

I do not want to die. I eliminate (what I define as) unnecessary risk in my life(i floss so my dental-chair visits are as short as possible!).

I don't want to eliminate all risk in my life. I drive a car. I eat spicy food.
Additionally, I love to challenge myself. I sometimes fail, sometimes succeed. I've been up certain routes before, I look for new, unfamiliar routes almost exclusively.

If you define 'unnecessary risks' as climbing/paragliding/skiing near your ability level, then yeah stuff we do looks selfish. That said, my passions/interests, or at least my gravitation to these challenging activites(over, say, closely following MLB on ESPN, an equally valid yet much-less-risky hobby) is part of who I am. My wife understood this before we got married, my family understands this; I did a lot of self-evaluation when my son was born and adjusted accordingly, but yeah this is the path I've chosen. Selfish? maybe a little, but ultimately we(wife and I) feel I'm a better husband, father, employee, etc when I have time in the mountains.

The sentiment behind the statement in question lies in this idea: A life cut short is tragic, but not as tragic as dying from cancer or being hit by a car. Terrible and sad nonetheless but it happened in the pursuit of a higher level of self, or self-fulfillment, or self-challenge. Even less tragic would be death in service to others, which goes from tragic to noble.

TL,DR:
yeah kind of a meaningless statement I guess, death is still tragic. Death is inevitable; death while playing seems marginally less-tragic.
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby Kahuna » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:46 am

Your death is not of your choice. It comes when it comes.
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby ScottHanson » Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:10 am

A partner would come in handy if you broke your ankle or your leg was pinned by a large sliding rock and you were unable to move. Yes, massive head trauma is a whole other story.
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby MoapaPk » Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:38 pm

For me, the event that comes to mind, was when I was hanging upside-down in a tree well, by my backcountry skis. I was very glad to have a partner then.

Ironically, I did fracture and badly sprain my ankle, and walked out 2 miles unassisted. I was with two friends. It was not a bad break, obviously. Strangely, If I had been alone, the accident wouldn't have happened; I was trying hard to listen to someone asking questions, and stopped looking at my feet. I have to concentrate in such activities, because the part of my brain that would offload such tasks, no longer exists. There are few things more demanding of the upper brain, than trying to parse barely audible language. I bring a lot more stuff now when I solo, as a consequence of that accident. Also, I often stop people and tell them about my handicap, when they get really chatty.
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby clmbr » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:31 pm

mrchad9 wrote:
jareds wrote:As is often said in situations like these, take comfort in knowing that he died doing something I assume he loved very much while living a life filled with challenge and passion.

This is a statement that I have never understood, or at least one that has never applied to me. I absolutlely do not want my life to end while climbing, nor would I doing anything else I enjoy. I want to see enjoyable tasks through to completion.

I much more frequently think about the possibility of death when I am laying in the dental chair than when I am having a good time.

Some time ago I had had a few mountaineering wishes: I wanted to experience an avalanche, being hit by a rock, and fall in a crevasse (of course) as long as I survive those events. I had one more wish though: dying in the cold mountains, preferably deep down in a crevasse, while doing what I love.

These wishes are long gone. I realized how cliche, ignorant and stupid (no offence) they were after all, except one, came true in a few hours split. Since then I am rather in favor of the phrase, "Be careful what you wish for."

I did not want to die then, don't want to die now or in the near future. Period! Death is inevitable, but why to wish for it? As one said, "Dying is easy, living is difficult." So if you like challenge (or other joy of live), stay alive.
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Re: Climber/hiker missing on Norman Clyde?

Postby myles » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:56 pm

jareds wrote:Selfish? maybe a little, but ultimately we(wife and I) feel I'm a better husband, father, employee, etc when I have time in the mountains.


That's the way it is in my house. My wife doesn't understand the pull, but she knows that mountaineering and time in the open is part of what makes me a person fortunate enough to have warranted her attention.

In recent years, I've found myself doing more on my own when I visit the Sierra. My climbing partner might be out of the game now that he's a dad, and my other partners don't go in for anything technical. I made the decision to limit my solo climbing to class 3, and even some of those routes had very bad fall potential, but I can bet they'll be well within my technical ability. And like others here, I find myself very in tune with how I'm feeling and behaving when out on my own.

Condolences to Dr. Dankworth's family.
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