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Learning from the recent tragedy...

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Re: Learning from the recent tragedy...

Postby Clubb » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:31 am

You cant fix stupid. If you dont have enough common sense to stay out of where they went in, i mean wow. Not trying to be insensitive, but this is the epitome of natural selection.

Apparently they has kids there! Unreal. Those poor kids.



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Re: Learning from the recent tragedy...

Postby Scouter9 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:38 am

I cringed reading the commentary from the person that saw the fellow who'd tried to save his friends, regarding the look on his face as he floated 2 seconds toward certain death and dismemberment, but the fact is, the widespread press and heavy volume of discussion about this disaster will have a tangible deterrent effect at Yosemite and maybe even other parks. For a few seasons, even. That part is good.

Personally, I think the signage up there is clear and understandable. I've been up there and seen people in the water above the falls and seen other people heckle and admonish them for it. That's good. I've also seen the "swimmers" get all ghetto attitude back at people and, honestly, figured that those folks are the ones who can occasionally do us all a good turn by launching over the edge. These three that launched may have been nice (assume the best) and we should thank them for underscoring the point of the signs.

:littledevil:
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Re: Learning from the recent tragedy...

Postby East Side Hiker » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:12 am

Tragedy sucks, as we all know.

I remember as a Boy Scout, on a "peak" climb, one of my best friends had one of his fingers decapitated by a rock that rolled downhill. This was in the 60's, and we were on San Gregornio (spell?). Way far from people.
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Re: Learning from the recent tragedy...

Postby Ikan Mas » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:27 am

Sorry about being a hot-head about this item. Its a bit close to home for me. A work buddy of mine who is also a hiker was up at the top of Nevada Falls last weekend with his family. A person fell in the river and was holding on to a willow for dear life just above the bridge. Had the bystanders not been paying attention or not been as resourceful as they were, there would have been another waterfall fatality.
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Re: Learning from the recent tragedy...

Postby East Side Hiker » Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:22 pm

A near-tragedy I had was in Rocky Mtn. N.P. I had climbed one of the Peaks (Shoshone?), and decided to try a X-country route back to camp. I jumped down a cliff in a drainage, maybe 10-12 ', and below that, I discovered, was a tremendous fall that I couldn't begin to contemplate doing.

The cliff I'd jumped down was seemingly impossible to re-climb. For hours, I went up and back down, learning every hand hold; every rock and pebble that could help me get back up. Finally, I learned the route up, and got out. I finally got back to camp like at midnight, and my partners were worried sick.

Lesson - never jump down a cliff when you're not familiar with the route. That's why one can't rely on topo maps, as as been discussed on this website a few times. You have to rely on experience and intuition. And if a route is a little longer, take it, because 20 or 30 minutes, or 60 minutes, longer can't hurt.

Its amazing to me that so many people have died in Yosemite this year. The advice concerning the high flows have been constantly reported. Granite is slick, especially near drainages. But these tragedies have occurred year after year for decades... That's why they've built those hand rails near the rivers (as shown in some photos) - whose responsibility is it? "Hand rails in the wilderness" vs. public safety.
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A new "near" tragedy...

Postby FeetFirst » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:08 pm

Volunteer Firefighter Rescues Man Swept Down Falls:


Wow, talk about a hero!
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: Learning from the recent tragedy...

Postby rlown » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:46 pm

And yet more tragedy: http://www.ktvu.com/news/28730700/detail.html

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. -- A woman slipped to her death Sunday while descending Half Dome in the rain, the latest accident at Yosemite National Park in a year that is breaking records for the deadliest in recent history.
Fourteen people have died so far this year, including three who were swept over Vernal Fall two weeks ago while taking photographs upstream in the Merced River. In 2007, seven people were killed at the park, the most in any recent year until this one.


It's a pretty good read with more stats and other stuff. Looks to be a sobering year in Yose..
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Re: Learning from the recent tragedy...

Postby Wild Bill » Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:56 am

This year is proving especially deadly. Now a woman falls off Half Dome.

http://news.yahoo.com/600-foot-fall-mar ... 29077.html

Michaeljones: Was your August snow story from '72? I did the same August 1972 at Wilbur May Lake.
Remember it well.
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Re: Learning from the recent tragedy...

Postby EastSideClimb » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:31 am

I drove up 120 from Lee Vining on Sunday into the most ominous looking Hell-Cloud I'd ever seen in the Sierra. Right at the worst possible spot an RV overheated causeing a traffic Jam midway up the grade in the worst possible spot. Heavy rain and hail was pelting my car as I drove around the RV and continued up the steep road not yet to the scenic overlooks of the canyon. I came around the corner and counted 15+ beach ball size boulders on the road way and several coming fast off the mountain towards us. I've never been so scared in my entire life...and I climbed Half Dome 2 weeks ago (the other scariest thing I've had happen in my life recently).

Finally, after weaving around several boulder and timing others rolling down, over, and off the road way (sheer drop on south ride of the road) I made it to the relative safety of the Park Entrance. After the storm lessened around Tenya, I stopped at Olmsted Pt. to gaze at my recently accomplished feat (climbing the Dome). I told my wife and another tourist that "Surely nobody is up there today." I was wrong. That storm, and the previous 3 days were the worst T-Storms I've ever experienced and to attempt Half Dome in those conditions was a disaster waiting to happen. Although I have sympathy for the woman in this tragedy, people need to know that the granite is sooooo slick even in dry conditions. At several instances while climbing the cables, I had some panicked moments of "Fred Flinstone" running in place.

Moral of the story is I have a new deep respect for the dangers of the high country, and have been deeply humbled by my recent experiences. In the past month, I've encountered:

1. Crowds and steep conditions on Half Dome.
2. A Mother Bear with Cub near Deadman Creek
3. Rock slides on Tioga
4. Hostile "Local" attitude in Mammoth Lakes.

I will be prepared for just about anything on my next trip.
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Re: Learning from the recent tragedy...

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:59 am

I was on 120 on Saturday. It was pretty hairy with the boulders and debris.

Maybe an unintended consequence of the permitting for Half Dome is there is now no second chance to go up. If you get shut out one day, you can't go up the next. And if you miss your one day, you can't even go later in the season, you have to wait until next year. I wonder if this makes people more reckless than otherwise.

The cables by themselves are somewhat daunting, but I can handle that. What bothered me was the crowds (this before the permitting process). People were in sneakers and otherwise unprepared for what they were going to face. Sometimes I felt like a pin waiting for a bowling ball.
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Re: Learning from the recent tragedy...

Postby michaeljones » Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:22 pm

Wild Bill wrote:This year is proving especially deadly. Now a woman falls off Half Dome.

http://news.yahoo.com/600-foot-fall-mar ... 29077.html

Michaeljones: Was your August snow story from '72? I did the same August 1972 at Wilbur May Lake.
Remember it well.


That had to be the year Bill...I was about 15 years old. I wish I'd kept a diary of my trips back then. Or thought to take a camera...
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Re: Learning from the recent tragedy...

Postby Hobbes » Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:39 pm

EastSideClimb wrote:I drove up 120 from Lee Vining. I came around the corner and counted 15+ beach ball size boulders on the road way and several coming fast off the mountain towards us.

We typically spend our annual family car camping trip down in the June lake loop. (Don't ask - it's a major production with kids, friends, pets, etc.) However, we're constantly going back/forth up to Saddlebag/Tuolumne on a regular basis to fish, day hike, etc.

But, even when it's perfectly clear, I always say a little prayer when we jam through the Blue slide. As we're descending, I usually like to point out to my wife that if the hillside gave way at that moment, we could ride the boulder surf all the way down to the Big Bend/Aspen campgrounds. LOL
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