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Was I in Danger?

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Was I in Danger?

Postby Joseph Bullough » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:45 pm

A couple of weeks ago I was descending a steep slope off the beaten path near Snowbird Ski Resort. I looked down and saw what I thought was an old Nalgene bottle embedded in the dirt. I reached down and pulled it free, and it turned out to be an old rocket shell :shock: (I assume from avalanche control work). Fearing it might go off I quickly threw it away. My question is, was I in danger of it going off, or are duds usually duds for good? Should I have reported finding this? I didn't even think of reporting it until a couple of days later.
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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby Scott » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:59 pm

My question is, was I in danger of it going off, or are duds usually duds for good?


Yes, there is apparently some danger. There used to be warning signs at the trailheads asking people to not touch them and to report them. Here in Colorado too.

Should I have reported finding this?


Yes; certainly do report it.
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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby fluxlib » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:19 pm

You were in danger and you should report it. If it's now loose it will find it's way down hill.
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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby lcarreau » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:05 am

OMG ..... report it ..... immediately .....

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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:19 am

One visit to Cambodia or Laos and you can see the horrible tragedies that fall on the many people who encounter unexploded ordnance (as much as 30% of a cluster bomb's components failed to explode on deployment). Unfortunately the victims are mostly children (who are more curious and unaware of why they find) but it can happen to anyone. It is truely disturbing to see the continued devastation that outside influences had on the region and how it continues to affect them even now.

I met one young man last October, only about 17 years old, who had mistakenly touched a device that completely blinded him and blew off both hands only 4 years earlier. He was very bright, and friendly, but we cannot imagine the difficulties of dealing with such a consequence in a place that doesn't have the resources that we do.

True what you discovered was not the same thing, but I would err on the side of the risk being just as great. Report it today... just call 911 if that makes the difference and it makes it easier.
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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby jesu, joy of man's desiring » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:36 am

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hell yes you were in danger! glad you didn't play "kick the can" with that baby.

that thing has probably destabilized with several dew drops of liquid nitroglycerine inside it


Did you take any photos? if so...lessee


.
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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby nartreb » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:05 am

If it didn't go off when you pulled it out of the ground, the odds of it going off in your hand are extremely low.

Try hitting it on the nose with a big hammer. If it doesn't go off then, you're probably safe to carry it in your pocket for a while.

:)

(This works with hidden crevasses too: have the heaviest person go first, that'll show whether you need to rope up.)
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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:13 am

nartreb wrote:(This works with hidden crevasses too: have the heaviest person go first, that'll show whether you need to rope up.)

Yup... That reminds me also of the folks who say glacier conditions were perfect... because they could see ALL the crevasses. And none were hidden. Obviously they must have had a reliable way of determining that.
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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby lcarreau » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:41 am

nartreb wrote:
Try hitting it on the nose with a big hammer ...


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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby Greg Enright » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:12 am

While searching for a missing hiker some years ago, a fellow searcher picked up a dud avy control shell. He proudly carried it for a while, showing it off to everyone. I told him to calmly set the damn thing down.

I called the head of ski patrol and we agreed to head out the next morning to take care of the shell. He asked that the fool who was dancing with the shell to come along for a little education. The location was maybe a quarter mile from a popular trail through the Ansel Adams Wilderness, with big Red Firs all around.

We found the shell without trouble and the ski patrol guys set a blasting cap on it. They ran a long wire over a slight knoll, behind some of those big trees. The switch was set up there. We all took one last look at the shell and each one of us took shelter behind a tree.

The head of ski patrol had called the local law enforcement and forest service to let them know what we were up to that morning. He also tried to warn the folks at the top gondola station what was about to occur, but they did not answer their radio. He finally decided it was time to blow it anyway.

The moment that plunger went down the whole wilderness rocked. I mean the ground did not just shake, it rocked. Rocks and pieces of trees flew everywhere. We had all covered our ears with our hands, but the noise was still huge. We all waited a second, then came out from behind our trees laughing like little boys setting off firecrackers in the school office. Suddenly, the ski patrol director stopped laughing and yelled to get back behind the trees. As we jumped back, pieces of rock and trees tore through the air, coming back down from the sky.

There was a nice crater where the shell had been. Everything within 10 feet was destroyed. The guy who had carried the shell was very impressed. So was the guy at the top gondola station, who quickly got on the radio to report a huge !@##*ng explosion on the backside of the mountain!
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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby Joseph Bullough » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:21 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone. I later figured if it was going to go off it probably would have done so when I first pulled it free. When realization as to what it was hit me, I flung it like a hot potato, but of course by then it was too late.
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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby Kahuna » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:02 pm

NEVER, I mean NEVER EVER pick up or handle any kind of potential ordnance, EVER!

Some ordnance's fuses detonate electronically. The simple static charge of ones hand/s can trigger that mechanism. That fuse can in fact lay dormant till the moment a static charge from a human hand implements that process.This occurs on a regular basis in previous war zones and thousands of unsuspecting individuals have been seriously injured and even killed.

If anyone out there thinks that they have come upon a piece of unexpended ordnance, leave it where it lays, secure it'e location by any means possible, contact the local authorities immediately and report it's location.

Glad to hear that you did not get your arm blown off or even worse, got yourself killed.
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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby Bark Eater » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:35 pm

Thanks all for raising awareness on this important safety issue. Many of us hike around or through ski resorts. Where this all might seem like common sense, it obviously pays to err on the side of caution when seeing any unknown object sticking out of the ground in areas that have the potential for live ordnance being present.
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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby jesu, joy of man's desiring » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:16 pm

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You don't wanna turn into a fine red mist...next time, bring a pair of wire cutters.


And be sure to cut the blue wire

Or is it the red wire? nah, pretty sure it's the blue....ummmm...


.
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Re: Was I in Danger?

Postby jesu, joy of man's desiring » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:27 pm

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