Searching for and Revealing the Truth, Mt Shasta

Searching for and Revealing the Truth, Mt Shasta

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Nov 30, 0000

"Seeing is believing."

Searching for and Revealing the Truth, Mt Shasta

"This video is a consecutive attempt to clarify the published official reports containing misleading and incorrect information related to the Search and Rescue for a woman reported as missing on Mt Shasta in July 2017." In fact, it's not an attempt anymore; it's an evidence of disclosing the truth. It's very shameful, dishonest and disrespectful that the official versions of this event include so many false, contradictory and misleading the public information. Since this event I have heard various rumors explaining why the official Search and Rescue affords were ineffective and unsuccessful, which most of them blamed the subject rather than incorrect search strategy and, even more importantly, its implementation. However, none of them justified their failure. It's absolutely clear that the persons who were directly involved in searching the Clear Creek Route terrain between the forest and the Mushroom or UFO Rock elevation for a missing woman (Charity Stevens) by foot or air failed to spot and/or recognize and acknowledge the subject they were supposed to rescue. There were basically no additional hikers to confuse with on this route at that time. In fact there was a woman (a member of the SAR from Seattle on vacation) who camped there but too busy with her mission of conquering the summit to look around for a missing person. As the report states she was not aware of the massive rescue is an insult to the whole Search and Rescue organization. No one has to be an expert to figure this out seeing multiple helicopters flying for two days around the mountain as well as the presence of the SAR's cars at the Trailhead (unless she thought the other SAR members were on vacations too). In addition to that, the report states, Stevens told "Elaine" about "her situation". However, the first clue for me the report was fabricated (by more than one party) was the long opening paragraph preparing the readers for the excuse why the SAR could not find Stevens. Simply she did not "stay put" or did not wait for the rescuers at the place she made the 911 phone call (the only and last known location based on cell towers' or GPS' coordinates) even though the dispatcher insisted on that. As the report states, she was asked "to find shelter behind a rock for the evening" or rather the whole night and additional 8 hours because, starting in the morning, "it would take Search and Rescue personnel approximately 8 hours to reach her..." Insisting on staying high on the cold mountain near snowfields and glaciers while Stevens complained it was "very cold" and she was "alone" with "little water/food and very little clothing"??? Not to mention possibility of developing high altitude sickness which in the past on Mt Shasta let some people to death. (No wonder) "Stevens did not like [that] answer and said she might as well hiked down on her own," as the report states. But she was warned then that this was not "the best idea to hike all the way down" but "rather ... hike to a safe area and spend the night," the report continuous. And so she did and that's why Stevens was never found by SAR. Really??? That was the reason? Is that the best excuse? I leave additional comments on the dispatcher advice, if it was appropriate or not and true at all, to the readers. It is difficult to comprehend why the search was focused on Misery Hill and the whole area between Red Banks and the summit (as reported in various publications) if the subject called from Clear Creek Route just above 12,000 feet (according to the published coordinates) on the other side of inaccessible without out proper gear and skills Konwakiton Glacier separating both areas; unless, the subject continued climbing up the Clear Creek Route to ca 14,000 feet and then crossed the summit plateau to reach Misery Hill and attempted to descend Avalanche Gulch (the primarily route hundreds of people attempt on every nice weekend). But even the report states Stevens wanted to "hiked down" the mountain, not up. As I understand (but not justify) the reasons and incentives of each party involved in originating and fabricating the facts and chain of events with an attempt of covering up the truth related to the Search and Rescue for Charity Stevens reported as missing on Mt Shasta on the night of July 26th, 2017, which were officially published by the authorities (Shasta Rangers and SAR) in form of reports, I believe the public (especially the tax payers who complain about the costs of the Search and Rescue always blaming the subject(s) of the search) should know that the search length and cost sometimes, like in this case, is due to incorrect and/or ineffective strategy and the wrong implementation of the search itself. I'm not trying to discredit the Rescue parts. I have witnessed and read about very effective (and even very difficult and dangerous) helicopter and grand rescuers actions many times and that's what they train for. Unfortunately, the Search parts are often successful only due to pointing out the location of or the subject itself by other accidental hikers or climbers; sadly, often in the spring. This, however, was supposed be a simple search. Stevens was supposed to hike down the mountain to meet two best Shasta rangers who were supposed pick her up in the morning. The same two rangers who compiled the official report (as stated on the report).


After reading various published reports, writing inquires to authorities asking to correct improper statements (which were removed or completely ignored), and hearing various rumors or even statements justifying the SAR failure, “I tried to find any rational explanation what just happened [and did]. Therefore, ...I assumed they were so embarrassed of such a massive but still ineffective Search & Rescue implementation they just wanted to hide the truth from the public that [not only they failed] but in the end a one-person-team, a mountaineer, whose everyone disbelieved or disregarded, found Charity Stevens, a lost hiker on Mt Shasta's Clear Creek, in just a few hours.” However, they not only hid the truth about a good Samaritan who tried to save another person's life, they published fabricated reports with false statements to cover up their failure which is absolutely unethical and wrong. References on the end of the video.

4th of June, 2018 Copyright © 2018 Marek Rudolf Damm


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