Page 14 of 15 FirstFirst ... 412131415 LastLast
Results 131 to 140 of 142

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

  1. #131

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Newbury, Vermont
    Posts
    1,633

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

    Interesting when I returned (with my wife) last summer for a nine day paddle on a canoe route in the Boundary Waters that I'd worked as a guide back in 1976 - only now we had a GPS unit with us.

    Canoeing in the BWCA offers some pretty serious route-finding challenges, and I figured that as there were only two of us this time, and considering our ages (mid 60's), I'd take the GPS as a backup to my usual "dead reconning, wetted finger in the wind" approach, along with the usual map and compass.

    Thing is...while there were several occasions on last summer's adventure when we found ourselves scratching our heads about our actual location - I could never bring myself to use that GPS unit. Just did not feel right somehow...not in a political sense - but that this device just feels so "disconnective" for me, and totally foreign to the otherwise completely engaging, primordial land and waterscapes through which we were paddling. I felt that using GPS would have compromised that engagement...much as using a digital camera compromises my engagement. Ha!

  2. #132

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    276

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

    I have thoughts. None of which are particularly equal to the pain and loss their friends and family are suffering. However, it is also worth trying to learn lessons from an incident - SAR teams often do this.

    I don't know why the sheriff's office and authorities made this into a mystery originally, given the blistering hot day. It is possible that they aren't as used to cases of heat exhaustion as the sheriff/SAR in places like Arizona, but both hikers and the sheriff need to anticipate it. In Arizona, it seems like every summer we have cases of people going out in the morning when it's cool and being in a desperate situation by noon.

    Electronics such as cell phones, GPS, sat phones can be very useful but one needs to not count on them. One needs to do everything possible to avoid getting into a pickle. Cell phone reception isn't the only key here. By the time they were heat-exhausted and calling for help, it's very possible that rescue couldn't have arrived in time (less than an hour?), even if the call had gone through. Even just on the outskirts of Tucson or Phoenix, people who go out on the hottest days get in distress and call 911, and by the time SAR can reach them, not everyone can be found or saved.

    In this case, they were probably late and it got hot, and were stranded on this baking hot hillside climb with no shade. Hindsight is 20/20, but if they had found shade in the creek area and stayed put until the sun got low, one or both of them would likely have been able to hike out.

    Satellite trackers such as a Garmin inReach are much more affordable and portable than a satphone used to be. I don't use one, but a friend of mine who goes on long solo adventures does.

    I do use the GPS on my phone sometimes for navigation. I pre-download topo maps and then use the GPS to locate myself on the map (I use the "Topo Maps" iphone app.) For me, it does work even if the phone is in airplane mode or I have no cellular connection. I think when the app requests the GPS location, it turns on the phone GPS even though airplane mode is on. However, I just use this if I get off trail or am checking for a wrong turn. I don't think GPS is much related to this tragic incident, though. The key is to recognize when trouble is imminent, before you actually get into the trouble.

  3. #133
    ic-racer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    6,222

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

    I treated a outdoor-related hyperthermia survivor once. Claimed the heart pumped like running a marathon with chest discomfort and nausea but unable to vomit. Said lying down to rest did not slow it down, only getting worse and worse beating faster and faster until severe headache and passing out.
    Otherwise the drug-related hyperthermia stoners are so out of it they don't remember going down.

  4. #134

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    9,389

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

    I got overheated in the foothills once. I drank plenty of water(there was even a water trough where I was stretching a new fence and before attempting to leave for town, I dunked my head in it more than a few times before I realized what was happening. The truck was 50 yards away, down a dirt lane.
    The first thing I noticed was seeing colors, greens and blues and reds even though the dominant color in the foothills in the summer is buff and the wild flowers were long gone.
    About halfway to the truck the colors went away and what I saw was a sepia toned world, even the sky. By the time I reached the truck my peripheral vision was nearly gone.
    It was like looking at a Fedoskino lacquer box at the end of a long pipe. No way could I drive so I started the engine, got the A/C on high and laid down in the bench seat with the A/C aimed at me. After 20 or 30 minutes I could see well enough to drive into town.
    I was very fortunate.
    Heat can be a killer, for sure.
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for men if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

  5. #135
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    16,786

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

    GPS wouldn't have done them a bit of good unless it was equipped with a rescue beacon. They were taking an official loop trail hard to miss. Shade was even on the opposite side of that branch creek. Or they could have gone back down to the river, cooled in it, and hiked back to the road the easy way. Apparently too late; but that's what either too much heat or too much cold can do to you. People get very confused under such circumstances. But they made a bad decision simply to take any kind of extended hike that time of year in a steep canyon.

    Reddesert -People in that area certainly are familiar with severe summer heat. They live with it months at a time. I've known it to get up to 118F down in those canyons.

  6. #136

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Seattle area, WA
    Posts
    1,103

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

    I doubt that a rescue beacon or even cell phone service would have helped honestly. Unless they recognized the signs of heat stroke early- otherwise it can kill fairly quickly and search and rescue teams can take a while to assemble, as can helicopter rescues. I know of a few helicopter rescues from mountaineering parties and those took many hours even in the best case.

  7. #137
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    16,786

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

    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.

  8. #138
    Louie Powell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    854

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

    Quote Originally Posted by reddesert View Post
    I don't know why the sheriff's office and authorities made this into a mystery originally - - -
    I'm not entirely sure the sheriff/authorities are responsible for creating the mystery here.

    Without access to their official statements, I suspect that what they said was something along the lines of 'we don't have a confirmed cause yet - we are still waiting for autopsy/lab results'. When an official statement is given that assigns a cause, it must be something that can be supported with facts and that will stand up over time. Official statements are not the time/place for speculation.

    But the media and the internet don't have the patience to wait for autopsy/lab results and want answers immediately. So they start speculating about possibilities, and that process is what creates rumors and mystery.

    Old-school journalists focused on fact - who, what, when, where, how, and perhaps why - and understood that journalism and editorialism were separate things. Editorialism is commentary on why and what-if. Unfortunately, today's media blurs this distinction to an extreme degree. And because media is a business, competition brings in the desire to be first to report news which further aggravates the matter. And then internet chatter amplifies the speculation to create crazy theories and rumors.

    In a lot of ways, we would be better off focusing on history rather than news. The elapsed time required for a story to become history also allows for facts to become fully known and for speculation to be discarded.

  9. #139

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minnesota and Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    587

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie Powell View Post
    I'm not entirely sure the sheriff/authorities are responsible for creating the mystery here.

    Without access to their official statements, I suspect that what they said was something along the lines of 'we don't have a confirmed cause yet - we are still waiting for autopsy/lab results'. When an official statement is given that assigns a cause, it must be something that can be supported with facts and that will stand up over time. Official statements are not the time/place for speculation.

    But the media and the internet don't have the patience to wait for autopsy/lab results and want answers immediately. So they start speculating about possibilities, and that process is what creates rumors and mystery. ---big snip ---
    Plus, everything is clearer and more obvious in hindsight.

  10. #140

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    9,389

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

    SAR can't offer an official explanation for the cause of death. That's up to the coroner/medical examiner.
    Considering the narcotics activity in rural parts of CA, criminality is a genuine issue with every unwitnessed death.
    Plantations and labs on National Forest land, even in National Parks, aren't unheard of, and those facilities are fiercely guarded by a rather sadistic lot of, as Boris Badenov, of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame, would say: Nogoodniks.
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for men if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

Similar Threads

  1. Hike-able step stool?
    By Darin Boville in forum Gear
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 29-Sep-2013, 23:46
  2. North Dome hike.
    By ignatiusjk in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22-Jun-2012, 18:57

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •