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Thread: Deadly hike----Haz-Mat the cause?

  1. #141

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Seattle area, WA
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    1,081

    Re: Deadly hike----Haz-Mat the cause?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Ironically, it's rescue beacons that are one of the causes of delay. Someone stops at Subway and picks up a roast beef sandwich, throws it in the pack, and decides to eat it atop an 11,000 ft pass the first day out, buckles over with a stomach cramp, thinks they're dying, and hits the recuse beacon. All those false alarms tie up the choppers. Another big problem is that choppers can't land just anywhere or fly in just any kind of weather. I've known climbing rescues where it took days just to get the individual off the rock and to a point capable of being picked up. In other scenarios, like the big fires of the past two years, it took up to a week for a chopper to get in due to the smoke. At one point, they were searching for over 500 people reported missing. It almost literally became a game of trying to herd backcountry hikers the right direction, as if herding wild horses with a helicopter.

    But those rescue pilots are trained to navigate by landmarks. It's extremely important due to the complex topography and varying wind and storm conditions. If you want to see a really spooky copter rescue of a downed recuse copter, it transpired on Granite Dome in Emigrant Wilderness. Do a search under "Granite Dome Helicopter Rescue". People were still inside that thing as it was teetering right on the edge of the precipice.
    Yep helicopter rescues are quite risky, another famous incident occurred on Mount Hood during a climbing party rescue.

  2. #142
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    16,656

    Re: Deadly hike----Haz-Mat the cause?

    Mt Hood? My Great-Grandmother was allegedly the first woman to climb that, though there are other claimants around the same time. Perhaps they climbed it together. But referring back to tempting fate: my nephew had just returned unharmed from three months of climbing in a previously totally unexplored part of the Chinese Karakoram north of K2, including several secondary summit first ascents, all over 22,000 ft. Three of his sherpas, flown in from Nepal in advance, had lost their sunglasses and were wandering around on a remote glacier sun-blinded, half-frostbitten, and had to be rescued by them - quite a litany of dire circumstances; but everyone survived. ... Then, upon returning, he was casually hiking up Mt Hood, on the "bunny hill" above the ski lifts with his family, when a boulder suddenly rolled down the snow, hit him in the leg, and caused a bloody mess. They wrapped the wound with a jacket, got him down to the lifts, where the attendant refused to let them on because he didn't have a ticket! The Fates had spoken, apparently running out of patience.

    My oldest Uncle had the only helicopter in Nepal designed for high altitude work at the time, and did the rescue of Hornbein and Unsoeld well above Everest Base Camp after they got down from pioneering the West Ridge route. It was an extremely well funded giant expedition; but Natl Geo stiffed him, and never did repay even the fuel expense.
    Last edited by Drew Wiley; 23-Feb-2022 at 13:45.

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