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First Quarter 2004 Backcountry Rescues/Accidents

January 3 2004 at 3:29 PM
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This message has been edited by dipper on Jan 5, 2004 5:07 PM


 
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January 2004 Accidents/Rescues

January 3 2004, 3:33 PM 

We will post accident/rescue reports here.

 
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Avalanche kills Washington couple in cabin at Idaho ski resort

January 3 2004, 3:51 PM 

FAIRFIELD, ID - Longtime residents of the Fairfield area say the avalanche that slammed through a cabin below Soldier Mountain Ski Resort and killed a Washington couple early Friday was the biggest they´d ever seen.

Marsha L. Landolt, 55, University of Washington Graduate School dean, and her husband, Robert A. Busch, 58, were killed when the avalanche struck their cabin between 1 and 2 a.m. as the family slept, according to the Camas County Sheriff´s Office. Five other family members escaped with minor injuries.

Click here to read the article.

Also, read the article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

 
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Nine snowboarders rescued from blinding snowstorm in Wasatch Mountains of Utah

January 3 2004, 4:11 PM 

MONTE CRISTO, UT - While a search for the bodies of two snowboarders caught in an avalanche a week ago was called off again in Utah County, rescuers on Friday found nine people who had headed out in four separate groups Thursday and became lost in snow whipping through eastern Weber County.

Three snowboarders had become lost and disoriented Thursday afternoon when snowfall, heavy winds and blowing snow created near white-out conditions near Powder Mountain Ski Resort. They were spotted Friday at about 9 a.m. by a Utah Highway Patrol helicopter.

Danny Wilson, one of the snowboarders, told Salt Lake television station KUTV the group "ended up losing track of where we were."

But Weber County Sheriff's Sgt. Brad Randall described the conditions as so severe that the men "couldn't tell what was up and what was down. They couldn't see their hand in front of their face."

Randall added that the three "did the right thing. They hunkered down."

The group dug a snow cave and built small fires out of dried pine needles.

Click here to read the article.

 
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Three of the above are snowboarders, the others are snowmobilers

January 3 2004, 4:35 PM 

Correction to the above posting: There were a total of nine people in three separate groups rescued from snowstorms in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah on Friday. There was one group of three snowboarders, and there were two groups of snowmobilers, each consisting of three snowmobilers.

You can read the entire articles about these winter backcountry rescues in The Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News, and the Standard Examiner.

 
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roger
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Hunter killed near Sullivan (NH) CoHP

January 5 2004, 4:52 PM 


 
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roger
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Ground Search Given Up for Missing Mount Baldy, California, Hiker

January 5 2004, 4:53 PM 

MOUNT BALDY VILLAGE, Calif. --
Officials called off the ground search Sunday night for a Buena Park man who tumbled 100 feet down a Mount Baldy ridge while hiking on New Year's Day.

Investigators will continue the search for Charles Koh on Monday, but only by helicopter. Officials said most of the ground searchers were volunteers from Northern California who were returning to their jobs on Monday.

"If we can find resources for ground crews, we'll do that, but we used up a lot of resources - people - for the mudslides," said Robin Haynal of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Koh, 53, had been hiking with relatives and reached the summit, but fell on the way back down, officials said.

Rescuers reached the spot early Friday where Koh had fallen and they found trace amounts of blood on the snow and a ski pole that Koh had been using as a hiking stick.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040105/APN/401050669

 
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roger
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One Body Found After 600 Foot Fall

January 15 2004, 6:35 PM 

MOUNT BALDY VILLAGE, Calif. - Sheriff's investigators have found and identified the remains of one of two hikers missing on Mount Baldy.
The body of Ali Aminian, 51, of Newbury Park was discovered by search-and-rescue volunteers in a canyon in the Angeles National Forest on Wednesday morning, authorities said. The cause of death was under investigation, but authorities said it appeared he fell.
Search-and-rescue teams had been searching Mount Baldy for Aminian, who disappeared on the mountain Jan. 11, and Charles Koh, 53, of Buena Park, who vanished Jan. 1. Koh is still missing.
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/7714534.htm

 
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roger
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Skiier Miraculously Survives Four Nights Out of Bounds Near Snoqualmie Pass, Washington

January 5 2004, 4:54 PM 

Dan Witkowski, a 25-year-old Ellensburg resident, survived four days and four nights in below-freezing temperatures in the central Cascade Mountains, with nothing to eat and no survival gear except the clothes he was wearing.
A King County Sheriff's Office helicopter spotted fresh tracks and a glove about 1 p.m. yesterday west of Alpental Ski Area, near Snoqualmie Pass, and radioed to searchers on skis. About 4 p.m., they tracked down Dan Witkowski near the northwest corner of Tuscohatchie Lake, more than a mile west of where he had started.
Dan Witkowski was lying down, dehydrated, suffering from hypothermia and "barely lucid," according to King County Sheriff's Chaplain Gary Van Landingham. The helicopter dropped off a medic, who stabilized him.
Another helicopter flew Dan Witkowski to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was wrapped in plastic and warm blankets. He was well enough to talk with family and friends.
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2001829952_skier05m.html

 
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Al Errington
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Further details

January 8 2004, 12:20 PM 

The search for this lost skier was a SAR tour de force involving at least 150 members of several Northwest search and rescue organizations. These included members of Seattle Mt. Rescue (MR), Olympic MR, Central (Yakima) MR, Skagit Co. MR, Everett MR, Tacoma MR as well as Explorer Search and Rescue (ESAR), 4X4 Rescue, Ski Patrol Rescue Team (SPART) and Ski Patrol teams from Alpental ski area and Crystal Mt. ski area. The overall search effort was managed by professional SAR officers from the King Co. Sheriff's office. My apologizes to any units I have not mentionned.

The subject was finally reached by a team made up of Ski Patrol and Mt. Rescue members operating on the ground. The subject was evacuated via a helicopter airborne winch-out process carried out by an Army MAST team based in Yakima, Washington.

This rescue was an outstanding example of life saving results achieved through the cooperation of volunteer SAR specialists working with law enforcement professionals and a military rescue team.

 
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Lost skier will lose legs

February 13 2004, 7:56 PM 

Rescued Snoqualmie Pass skier faces amputation

12:49 PM PST on Friday, February 13, 2004


From KING5 Staff Reports



SEATTLE - The skier who was lost for five days near Snoqualmie Pass last month faces a new ordeal.

Doctors at Harborview Medical Center plan to amputate Dan Witkowski's legs below the knee.

Witkowski, 25, suffered an extreme case of frostbite. Doctors had hoped he'd only lose a few toes, but infection set in.

Dan Witkowski recounted his four days and nights in the frigid cold in the Washington Cascade Range.
Witkowski got lost after he began skiing by himself at Alpental, off Interstate 90 about 40 miles east of Seattle, the morning of New Year's Eve. He soon decided to begin skiing out-of-bounds, as he often did.

Friends and family began missing him by the middle of the night and started calling Alpental's ski patrol, which launched the search the next morning.

Dan had no food, not so much as an energy bar. He tried to keep moving to maintain his temperature, resting on beds of stripped tree branches before dark so he'd have enough energy to continue through the night. He never stopped for long, he said, because whenever he did he began shaking. Eventually, he covered about 10 miles, though he was found only 5 miles from the ski area.

About 20 inches of snow fell during the time he was missing, so the scores of rescuers who looked for him without believing he was still alive had trouble finding tracks. It was only when the weather cleared Sunday and helicopters were able to fly over the area that they began to see specks of gear in the snow - his jettisoned skis, snow-filled gloves, even the linings of his ski boots, which he ditched because they were frozen solid.

Witkowski has been working as a dishwasher, but won't be able to do that for a while. He hopes instead to return to Central Washington University and earn a degree - in what, he's not sure.

 
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roger
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Golden Retriever Stays By Drowning Victim at Okanogan/Columbia River

January 6 2004, 5:12 PM 

A construction industry lobbyist died after falling into the water in an apparent accident while duck hunting, Okanogan County Sheriff Frank T. Rogers said.
The body of William E. "Willy" O'Neil, 48, of Everett, manager of environmental affairs for the Associated General Contractors in Olympia, and his shotgun were found Monday morning in three feet of water in a marsh, Rogers said.
The body was located after search personnel found O'Neil's golden retriever, Widgen, near the south end of Washburn Island where the Okanogan River empties into the Columbia River, the sheriff said.
O'Neil, a former state rules coordinator who lobbied for the construction group in the Legislature and state agencies, apparently was overcome by hypothermia, Rogers said.
The search began Sunday night after O'Neil was reported missing by a hunting partner who had fallen ill with the flu and stayed in a motel.
The dog apparently never left O'Neil's body, Rogers said.
http://www.kirotv.com/politics/2743448/detail.html

 
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roger
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Fatal 400 Foot Fall at Mill Creek Jumpoff in San Bernardino Mountains in California

January 7 2004, 10:41 PM 

A 65-year-old Yucaipa man tumbled 400 feet to his death Monday while hiking with a friend near the San Bernardino Mountains community of Forest Falls, authorities said Tuesday.

Kenneth Smith was climbing a steep icy slope when he fell in an area known as Mill Creek Jumpoff, just north of Yucaipa, said San Bernardino County sheriff's Deputy Shannon Kovich.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-sbriefs7.2jan07,1,5371688.story?coll=la-headlines-california

 
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roger
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Helicopter Rescue in Los Penasquitos Canyon in San Diego

January 8 2004, 11:32 PM 

Public safety crews used an emergency services helicopter today to pluck an injured hiker from a rugged Carmel Valley-area open space area and get him to medical care, officials said.
The San Diego Fire Department got a 911 call shortly before 3 p.m. about the accident in Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, near Sorrento Valley Boulevard, SDFD Battalion Chief Brian Fennessy said.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20040107-1742-hiker.html

 
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roger
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Body of Apparent Mountain Lion Victim Found Following Attacks in Orange County, California

January 9 2004, 3:55 PM 

California authorities shot and killed a mountain lion that attacked two female mountain bikers Thursday afternoon in the Foothill Ranch region of Orange County, California, leaving one woman in critical condition and another badly shaken.
The body of another apparent attack victim was discovered nearby.
The bikers were attacked while riding trails in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. One of the women, Debbie Nichols, described to reporters at the scene how the mountain lion dragged her companion 100 yards into the brush while she held on to her legs and screamed for help.
The Department of Fish and Game will conduct tests to determine if the animal killed was the mountain lion that attacked the bikers, Miller said, noting that attacks of this type are unusual.
Authorities said the body of another person who "appeared to be" the victim of a mountain lion attack was found during the search and rescue for Thursday's victims. An official at the scene said that victim had been in the wilderness for an undetermined period of time.
Testing will also be done on the corpse to determine if it was killed by the same lion.
http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/West/01/09/mountain.lion/index.html

 
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roger
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Avalanche Fatlity at Selkirk Lodge in British Columbia

January 9 2004, 3:56 PM 

Colorado Group Involved In Fatal Canadian Avalanche
Identity Of 46-Year-Old Not Yet Released
POSTED: 8:38 AM MST January 9, 2004
REVELSTOKE, British Columbia -- A back-country skier from the United States was killed in an avalanche that slammed him into a tree, police said Friday.
The 46-year-old American was among a group of 12 skiers from Colorado who were accompanied Thursday by two guides about 30 miles east of Revelstoke, police said.
Authorities did not immediately release the victim's name, saying family had to be notified first. The other skiers were not hurt.
The group was skiing about 500 yards from the Selkirk Lodge when the small slide carried the victim down the mountain. The avalanche was estimated at about 80 yards wide and ran for about 300 yards down the slope.
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/2753172/detail.html

 
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roger
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Fatal Fall at Conkles How State Nature Preserve in Ohio

January 9 2004, 10:10 PM 

A Columbus man died after falling 60 feet from a cliff while hiking at a state nature preserve in southeastern Ohio. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says David Lawrence Archer fell to his death yesterday around 12:30 p.m. at Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve in Hocking County.

ODNR spokeswoman Jane Beathard says Archer was hiking with three others when they strayed off the trails into an unauthorized area of the preserve is about 40 miles southeast of Columbus.

Beathard says the group decided to take a shortcut down the cliff and Archer fell while trying to pick up something he dropped.


http://www.onnnews.com/story.php?record=28387

 
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Hocking State Park - An Little-known Hiking Gem

January 23 2004, 12:18 PM 

My wife and I hiked this SP last October and had a wonderful two-day experience. The place was overrun with hikers from the Columbus area and the parking lots were full, but we still had a great time. (What does that tell you ?) There are several sandstone outcroppings, much larger than those found here in NW PA, Ash Cave being one of them, and waterfalls. We also visited a nearby natural bridge in the morning fog. Narrow Conkle Hollow gorge was spectacular with its 60-foot high cliffs. I guess these people were not careful enough. Maybe snow was a factor. The article didn't say a thing about trail conditions. This Ohio SP is a must-see, even though our names are not Fodor. And the park rangers do a great job.

 
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roger
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4 Motor/1 Falling/1 Plane Fatality in Smokies in 2003

January 11 2004, 10:25 PM 

Six people were killed in 2003 in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the year following the first fatality-free year in Great Smoky Mountains National Park since 1971.
The lack of visitor deaths was ``unusual'' in 2002, Park spokeswoman Nancy Gray said Friday. The number of deaths recorded in 2003 year was ``average,'' she said, and, as is usually the case, most of the deaths were linked to motor vehicle accidents.
* Charles Woodson; killed March 28 when the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed into the Smokies crest near Clingman's Dome. Woodson. 42, of Seymour reported electrical problems just prior to the crash. His flight originated in Columbia, S.C. He was on his way to McGhee Tyson Airport when the plane slammed into a mountain at about 6,200 feet.
* Wesley Riddle; pronounced dead at University of Tennessee Medical Center July 25, six days after he was submerged at the Sinks for at least 15 minutes after he slipped, struck his head and tumbled over a waterfall. Bystanders used ropes collected from cars to remove the boy from the base of the waterfall and performed CPR, but Riddle, 15, of Canton, N.C., never regained consciousness.
* Jason Graves; killed July 25 when he lost control of a motor scooter rented from a Gatlinburg company. Graves, 17, of Alabama was riding scooters with his family when he lost control on Little River Road, spilled into the roadway and rolled into the path of a minivan.
* Debbie Lawson; killed Aug. 5 when she was riding scooters with her husband rented from the same company from which the Graves rented. Lawson, 48, of Kingsport, was riding with her husband on Little River Road when she lost control of the scooter and collided with two Harley-Davidson motorcycles traveling in the opposite direction.
* Oscar Lizarralda; killed Aug. 21 when the Suzuki Samarai in which the 39-year-old South Carolina man was riding with his family ran off Little River Road into Little River halfway between the Y and the Sinks. Lizarralda's wife, Barbara, was driving; she and her 8-year-old daughter, Valentina, were injured in the crash.
The deadliest year in Great Smoky Mountains National Park since records were started in 1971 was 1986, when 11 people were killed, mainly in car wrecks. Six people were killed in the Park in 2001, and nine people were killed in 2000.
http://www.thedailytimes.com/sited/story/html/153367

 
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roger
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Sprained Ankle After Falling 600 Feet on Goat Path in Cairngorms, Scotland

January 12 2004, 11:22 AM 

A climber escaped with just a sprain and bruises following a 600ft plunge down a Highland peak.

The 19-year-old man from Cambridge Climbing Club tripped and fell while descending a mountain in the Cairngorms.

A horrified passing member of the Glenmore Mountain Rescue team raised the alarm after witnessing his tumble from the ‘Goat Track’ on Coire An T’Sneachda.

The teenager was taken to Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, with a sprained ankle and bruising.
A spokesman for Northern Constabulary said: "The climber fell tumbling and sliding about 200 metres down the Goat Path. He was lucky to escape with such minor injuries.

http://www.news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2396179

 
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Anonymous
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Re: Sprained Ankle After Falling 600 Feet on Goat Path in Cairngorms, Scotland

January 13 2004, 2:14 AM 

there were angles in his corner

the big guy was looking out for him



 
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Al E
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Big guy?

January 13 2004, 1:41 PM 

Apparently, the big guy has limited vision as hundreds of hikers are killed and injured each year. This guy was lucky, no fairies involved.

 
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Anonymous
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Re: Big guy?

January 13 2004, 8:36 PM 

he had the big guy in his corner, saying, "Mickey loves you, Rock."

 
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Not so big guy

January 13 2004, 10:35 PM 

You know, Al, when I read the title of the preceding reply ("Big Guy?") I thought perhaps it had to do with the hiker being large for his age or overweight, and perhaps all that excess baggage provided padding that prevented serious injuries during the fall. Or more likely, during the slide, not sure anyone can survive 600 ft. straight down into rocks, since the person will land at approximately 130 MPH and crater. A slide, rather than fall, would seem to be indicated, since the article stated, “The climber fell tumbling and sliding...”

What a disappointment to find the title referred to the cliched utterance of yet another believer in outmoded medieval cosmology.

Also, re, "there were angles in his corner": all corners have angles. That's what defines them as corners. The angles are usually greater than 0 and less than 180 degrees, although 90 degrees is probably the most common if you're talking about square or rectangular shapes.

 
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(Login Rusty1956)

I'm guessing...

February 7 2004, 10:43 PM 

...anon meant to say angels in his corner. Not that it matters too terribly much!

 
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roger
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Airlifted After Bushwhacking on New Hampshire's Loon Mountain

January 13 2004, 9:36 AM 

Rescuers worked in bitter cold and snow Sunday to help a save a hiker who broke her leg deep in the woods on New Hampshire's Loon Mountain.
Fish and Game Sgt. Brian Suttmeier said 40-year-old Glorie Galpin, of Canaan, N.H., fell on ice Sunday afternoon while bushwhacking far off the trails with two other hikers. One companion stayed with her and the other went for help.
Fish and Game officers, Lincoln firefighters and members of Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue reached Galpin late Sunday night, administered first aid, then carried her out for about five or six hours. Suttmeier said it was snowing, with temperatures in the single digits.
Galpin was flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
http://www.thechamplainchannel.com/wnne/2758526/detail.html

 
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roger
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Norwegian mountaineer Arne Naess Fatality in Franschhoek Mountains, South Africa

January 13 2004, 11:03 PM 

Franschoek - Norwegian mountaineer Arne Naess died in an accident in the Franschhoek mountains on Tuesday, police said.

Senior superintendent Mary Martins-Engelbrecht, spokesperson for Interpol South Africa, said Naess was a guest of Johan Rupert, son of business magnate Anton Rupert.

The accident apparently happened on the Rupert farm.

She did not have more details.

Naess was at one time married to soul diva Diana Ross.

According to www.everesthistory.com, Naess, born on August 12 1937, summited Everest on April 29 1985 via the standard South East Ridge route as leader of a Norwegian expedition.

In the team was another famous mountaineer - Chris Bonington.

Naess, a millionaire ship owner, had Bonington as his "chief of staff".

His famous uncle, after whom he was named, was a leader in the World War 2 Norwegian resistance and was considered the father of "Deep Ecology" - a philosophy of articulate ecological beliefs, which works to shape ecological dialogue with non-ecological forces.
http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_1469161,00.html

 
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roger
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Friends Watched Naess in 330 Foot Fall As He Solo'd Mountain

January 15 2004, 10:19 AM 

CAPE TOWN, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Horrified friends watched through binoculars as Norwegian tycoon Arne Naess, an avid mountaineer and ex-husband of pop singer Diana Ross, fell to his death from a South African mountain, police said on Wednesday.
Police spokeswoman Superintendent Mary Martins-Engelbrecht told Reuters the 66-year-old Naess, visiting friends at a farm in the Franschoek mountains near Cape Town, died on Tuesday after plunging 100 metres (330 feet) from a rock face.
The Star newspaper reported that Naess's South African host Johann Rupert, executive chairman of luxury goods giant Richemont, had suggested that a local mountain guide accompany Naess on his climb but that the offer had been turned down.
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L14374025.htm

 
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Body of Backpacker Recovered in New Hampshire's White Mountains

January 15 2004, 10:53 PM 

CONCORD, N.H. -- The body of a winter backpacker was recovered this afternoon in the area of South Twin Mountain and the Twinway Trail in New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest. The body was spotted during a helicopter search by the Army National Guard and later airlifted off the mountain and transported to Concord Hospital. A cause of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner's Office. The victim's identity is being withheld pending notification of family; Fish and Game officials will provide further information as it becomes available.

Click here for further information.

 
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(Login MohamedEllozy)

Some details

January 23 2004, 12:42 PM 

For an account (with much pain) from the friend he called see the post by hikerfast on VFTT.

 
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(Login Papa.Bear)

Additional first hand information

January 27 2004, 10:54 AM 

Another post on VFTT provides more first hand information:

http://www.viewsfromthetop.com/forums/showthread.php3?s=&postid=20519#post20519

It is written by a friend and fellow ranger who worked with Ken at Monadnock State Park, and who actually went in at the request of the SAR team to bring out Ken's pack the day after the tragedy.

 
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roger
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Snowboard Fatality in Out of Bounds at Mount Hood Meadows

January 21 2004, 8:51 PM 

MT. HOOD - Officials say a snowboarder who went out of bounds on Mount Hood Meadows died after losing control and crashing into a log.
Matthew Kixmiller, from Littleton, Colorado, died yesterday afternoon while descending the Cascade Express run.
The 29-year-old Oregon State University student succumbed to massive chest injuries.
Authorities say although Kixmiller was not wearing a helmet, he did not suffer serious head injuries.
Authorities summoned LifeFlight, but Kixmiller died at the scene.
Kixmiller's death is the first fatality on Mount Hood Meadows in recent memory.
In August, 2002, a 14-year-old skier died. This, after crashing into an exposed rock during summer skiing on nearby Palmer Glacier on Mount Hood above Timberline Lodge, another ski area.
http://www.katu.com/news/story.asp?ID=63854

 
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roger
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9 Out of Bounds Snowboarders and Hiker Airlifted Near Park City, Utah

January 23 2004, 8:40 PM 

Search crews in Weber and Summit counties rescued a group of snowboarders and a hiker lost in the Wasatch backcountry Thursday.
Helicopters were key to the safe return of a 32-year-old Park City man who was hiking near Park City and a group of nine Brazilian snowboarders who left the trail at Powder Mountain Ski Resort in Ogden Canyon.
Police in Weber County received a cell phone call from one of the snowboarders around 3 p.m. He said they were lost and needed help, according to Sgt. Jeff Malan of Weber County Sheriff's Office. The group consisted of men in their mid 20s. One of the men was complaining of a knee injury and said he could walk no further.
"They spoke only broken English. It was a little tough to communicate with them," said Malan.
Sheriff's deputies called for the Utah Highway Patrol helicopter, a Life Flight helicopter, ski patrol and snowmobiles to find the missing men. Officials learned a short time into the search that the group had split -- four men had made it down to the bottom of the Paradise lift and the others remained in a drainage closer to the creek bottom, Malan said.
"We found them all about 5 p.m.," said Malan. "They were pretty tired and cold. They had been walking through chest-deep snow in some places."
The five men stuck in the drainage were taken out by helicopter and the other four were shuttled off the mountain on snowmobiles, said Malan..
Just as the Brazilian men were being rescued, officials in Summit County were gearing up to locate Jason Reeder, who had called 911 on his cell phone around 4:30 p.m. Reeder had hiked with snowshoes into a steep, rugged area of mountains southwest of the Utah Olympic Park, near Park City, according to the Summit County Sheriff's Office. As temperatures started to drop, Reeder realized that he would be unable to hike out of the canyon, officials said.
Reeder was not injured but authorities asked the Life Flight helicopter to aid in the rescue efforts. He was found at 6:21 p.m. and hoisted into the aircraft.

http://www.sltrib.com/2004/Jan/01232004/utah/131767.asp

 
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roger
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4 California Fatalities Prompt LA Times Editorial for Caution

January 24 2004, 11:48 PM 

EDITORIAL
Missteps That Doom Hikers
All too often, family members or friends describe them as "experienced hikers." Some are. But experience does little good unless it's accompanied by sound judgment. The best decision a mountain traveler can make is to know when it's time to turn around and head back to the lowlands. Even better is not to go at all when conditions are potentially dangerous. Sadly, that has not happened in Southern California in recent days. At least four area hikers have been found dead since the start of the year, and too many others are missing.

In Northern California, calls for search-and-rescue teams have run far higher than normal. In one weekend, a cross-country skier was killed by an avalanche near Donner Summit and another barely escaped from sliding snow. And six wayward skiers and snowboarders spent a bitter cold night in the Lake Tahoe area before rescue teams found them the next day.

The weather has been a major factor. In the northern Sierra, it was heavy snow. In the south, it has been dangerous, icy conditions. Prospective hikers were warned not to venture into areas of the San Bernardino, Cleveland, Angeles and Los Padres national forests. One official cautioned, "It's just a sheet of ice up there." Hikers, though, were deceived and lured by sunshine. "It's beautiful out there," said experienced hiker Lori Ives, but "the mountains don't care."

One hiker who was still missing Friday was described as experienced, but a search-team member said that he was really more of an "enthusiast." He was trying out ice-climbing gear that he got for Christmas, but he had no experience or practice using it and was hiking alone — a recipe for disaster.

Savvy hikers check weather forecasts. They ask rangers, before venturing out, about snow or ice. They pack enough gear and emergency equipment to survive one or more nights stranded in the cold. They always leave word with friends or family about where they are going and when they should be expected back. This information helps search teams focus on the most likely area where a missing hiker might be. Cellphones can be used to summon help when needed, but the high-tech gadgets often don't work in wilderness areas.

A hiker or climber's attitude and awareness are critical. If the going gets tough, outdoor enthusiasts cannot assume that conditions will get better if they push on; invariably things get worse, if for no other reason than that darkness falls early on these winter days. Ultimately, a single step may save hikers from injury or death. That's the one that points them in the other direction, toward home.
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-hikers24jan24,1,3949500.story

 
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roger
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Scouts Find Body on Pacific Coast Trail near Mount Laguna in California

January 27 2004, 10:18 PM 

Two male bodies found in the Cleveland National Forest are expected to be retrieved Monday.
One body was spotted along the Pacific Coast Trail near Mount Laguna by a Boy Scout troop hiking through the forest Saturday morning. A second body was found 5 miles away later that day.
Fog and low temperatures postponed the recovery of the bodies on Saturday. Investigators were unable to bring the bodies back down Sunday because it would have required extended hiking, but they placed both into body bags, San Diego County sheriff's officials said.
The body found by the Boy Scout troop had its chest cavity hollowed out, possibly ravaged by a wild animal, according to investigators.
Autopsies will be performed to determine the causes of death. It was unclear if any identification was found on either body, officials said.
http://www.thesandiegochannel.com/news/2793198/detail.html

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Fatality in Icy Conditions on Skyline Trails Above Palm Springs, California

January 27 2004, 10:19 PM 

Two male bodies found in the Cleveland National Forest are expected to be retrieved Monday.
One body was spotted along the Pacific Coast Trail near Mount Laguna by a Boy Scout troop hiking through the forest Saturday morning. A second body was found 5 miles away later that day.
Fog and low temperatures postponed the recovery of the bodies on Saturday. Investigators were unable to bring the bodies back down Sunday because it would have required extended hiking, but they placed both into body bags, San Diego County sheriff's officials said.
The body found by the Boy Scout troop had its chest cavity hollowed out, possibly ravaged by a wild animal, according to investigators.
Autopsies will be performed to determine the causes of death. It was unclear if any identification was found on either body, officials said.
http://www.thesandiegochannel.com/news/2793198/detail.html

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Out of Bounds Snowboard Fatality at Crystal Mountain, Washington

January 27 2004, 10:46 PM 

GREENWATER, Wash. -- A sushi maker who died when he rode a snowboard over a cliff in a closed area near the Crystal Mountain ski resort "lived life to the fullest," his wife says.
Shinya Tokura, 38, of Seattle, a father of two sons, was identified Monday as the man who died when he fell about 80 feet after going outside the permitted area on an outing with his wife Robin in the Waterfall section of the resort north of Mount Rainier National Park.
To reach the steep, rocky area where he died Sunday, Tokura had to have slipped under several sets of warning ropes and passed bright-orange "Do Not Enter" signs, said Stacy Schuster, the ski resort's sales and marketing director.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/aplocal_story.asp?category=6420&slug=WA%20Snowboard%20Fatal

 
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Fatality in Yale Gully Area on Mount Wahington

January 30 2004, 10:45 AM 

The body of twenty-eight year old Jason Gaumond from Southbridge Massachusetts was recovered in the Yale Gully area on the eastern flanks of Mount Washington on Thursday. Apparently, Gaumond was an experienced hiker who had recently completed the White Mountain 4000 foot peaks but was reportedly underequipped for this technical climbing area. Discussion on the Views From the Top and AMC Outdoors Forums suggest he was a very popular and well-like young man. More details available at:

http://www.thewmurchannel.com/news/2804231/detail.html

[moderator note: this was posted by mark under the root thread, I am moving it under the January thread]

 
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Naked Man Suffering From Hypothermia Rescued in Shenandoah National Park

January 30 2004, 10:46 AM 

Shenandoah National Park (VA)
Follow-up on Rescue

On the evening of January 24th, a motorist stopped in at the Sperryville Fire Department and reported that he’d seen a naked man walking along State Highway 211 within the park. The temperature at the time was 18 degrees and was dropping. Investigation revealed that he was a 27-year-old Richmond resident who had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. A search was immediately mounted, and he was soon found lying huddled 30 to 40 yards off the Pass Mountain trail about a mile-and-a-half from the trailhead. Although still responsive, his body temperature had dropped below the point at which shivering ceases. He was treated by rangers at the scene, then taken to a hospital in Culpepper, where he is being treated for complications from hypothermia and for frostbite to his toes. At present, it doesn’t appear that amputations will be necessary. The man told rangers that he was extremely grateful to be alive, and that, with a clear head, he now realizes the danger in which he placed himself. His mother has extended her sincere thanks for the efforts made by the park, sheriff’s department, state police and local EMS and SAR volunteers in rescuing her son.
[Submitted by Clay Jordan, Deputy Chief Ranger]

 
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Helicopter Rescue Following Fall in Glen Canyon

January 30 2004, 10:47 AM 

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (AZ,UT)
Rescue of Boy Seriously Injured in Fall

On January 17th, a county deputy asked rangers to provide medical and technical rescue assistance to reach and extricate a 12-year-old boy who had been injured in a fall in a canyon near the community of Ticaboo, about a dozen miles north of Bullfrog. The boy had slipped on slickrock and bounced and fallen over 100 feet, sustaining a fracture of the femur of one leg and the tibia/fibular of the other. He ended up on a steep and hazardous slope near the edge of another cliff. Rangers and flight medics from Classic Lifeguard packaged the boy and utilized a low-angle belay to evacuate him to a point accessible by helicopter. The entire operation took about three hours; assisting were members of the Ticabo and Off Shore Marina VFD’s, the Classic flight crew, and state officers. Ranger Greg Kouns directed the SAR operation, assisted by rangers Jason Bauwens and Kerry Haut.
[Submitted by Laurie Axelsen, Subdistrict Ranger, Bullfrog Subdistrict]

 
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Helicopter Rescue After 6 Stranded on Ben Nevis

February 1 2004, 10:17 AM 

SIX climbers were stranded on the summit of Ben Nevis last night in bad weather conditions, according to police.

Northern Constabulary said one of the party was believed to have injured their leg while on the 4,400ft mountain near Fort William.

Members of the Lochaber mountain rescue team and an RAF helicopter from Lossiemouth were scrambled to the scene after the alarm was raised at about 10.30pm last night.

The injured climber was to be taken to Belford Hospital at Fort William for treatment.
http://news.scotsman.com/inverness.cfm?id=126912004

 
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Fatality on Vivian Creek Trail in San Bernadino Mountains

February 1 2004, 10:38 PM 

The body of a 25-year-old Seal Beach hiker, who had been missing for two weeks in the San Bernardino Mountains, was found Saturday afternoon, after rescue workers resumed a search that had been suspended since last weekend.
Eugene Kumm's body was found at the 8,000-foot level off of Vivian Creek Trail, San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Beavers said. She did not know the condition of the body or whether Kumm's belongings were found near it.
It became too dark for rescue workers to take Kumm's body out Friday, Beavers said. The coroner's office will examine the body and determine the cause of death after it is removed today. "We don't know if the body will be airlifted out or carried out by a team," she said.
Kumm set out on a hike about 9 a.m. Jan. 17 along Vivian Creek Trail above Forest Falls.
http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_body01.d165.html

 
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Ice Climber Rescued on Frankenstein Cliff in New Hampshire

February 1 2004, 10:42 PM 

Fish and Game Department Lt. Robert Bryant said Mike Nadeau, 34, of Seabrook, fell about 40 feet on Frankenstein Cliff, Hart’s Location, at Crawford Notch at 10 yesterday morning and suffered an ankle injury.
http://www.theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=32676

 
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Helicopter Rescue on Mount Webster, New Hampshire

February 1 2004, 10:43 PM 

In another incident, Brian Carpenter, 28, of Essex, Mass., was hiking with three friends on Mount Webster, the Center Gully, at Hart’s Location at 1:15 p.m. when he lost his footing and fell at least 200 feet down the mountain.
“It was not straight down but a slide-fall,” Bryant said. “One of his partners came out and summoned help through 911.”
A couple of Fish and Game units and Mountain Rescue Service responded. Though the accident site was only three-quarters of a mile from the nearest road, the rescue conditions were tough because rescuers had to use ropes to lower him in a litter and because they were hampered by high winds and cold temperatures.
“They got to the road at 6:15 p.m.,” Bryant said.
Carpenter was transported to Memorial Hospital with multiple injuries, Bryant said. The Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center helicopter flew Carpenter to DHMC in Lebanon. A hospital spokesman said at 9:30 last night that Carpenter was being evaluated in the emergency department.
http://www.theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=32676

 
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McKinley West Rib Climber Killed By Falling Falling Ice at USFS Building

February 1 2004, 10:48 PM 

Six months ago, Jeffrey Nissman of Girdwood survived an hourlong battle with an aggressive black bear by repeatedly beating it off with a stick.
Three years ago, the same Jeffrey Nissman led a climb up the dangerous West Rib of North America's tallest peak, Mount McKinley.
In between, he engaged in all sorts of potentially deadly adventure sports -- paragliding in Australia, climbing in Ecuador and skiing all over the avalanche-prone Alaska backcountry.
And 10 days ago at Portage, the 29-year-old man was killed by bad architecture.
He was crushed, his family says, when a 650-pound slab of ice and snow slid off the metal roof of the U.S. Forest Service's work center.
Metal roofs are prone to avalanche. Everyone in the Alaska building business smarter than a cordless drill knows this. And yet poorly designed buildings -- buildings that dump their inevitable avalanches onto where people walk -- keep getting built because nobody seems to care.
"Due to a tragic accident on the Glacier Ranger District on Thursday, Jan. 22, the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Center will not be posting advisories until the end of the month,'' the site says. "The Forest Service, the Avalanche Center, friends and family lost Jeff Nissman when a roof avalanched on him Thursday in Portage Valley.
http://www.adn.com/outdoors/story/4694305p-4645713c.html

 
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3 Fatalities in Air Ambulance Crash on Mauna Kea

February 4 2004, 2:56 PM 

Federal aviation investigators arrived on the Big Island today and planned to inspect the burned wreckage of an air ambulance that crashed Saturday on the slopes of Mauna Kea.
Search crews found the wreckage yesterday and recovered the bodies of all three people who died in the Hawai'i Air Ambulance plane — the pilot and two paramedics. Autopsies will be done to determine the exact cause of death.
The investigators were to drive to the crash site, which is about a 10-minute walk off a roadway in the area, Narimatsu said.
The crash killed pilot Ron Laubacher, 38, and paramedics Joseph Daniel Villiaros, 39, and Mandy Shiraki, 47.
Shiraki was an Emergency Medical Services district supervisor in Honolulu, and Villiaros was a Honolulu firefighter.
Both worked part-time for the air ambulance company, and were traveling from Honolulu to Hilo Medical Center to evacuate a 9-year-old patient when the Cessna 414A Chancellor crashed in stormy weather.
The wreckage was spotted at 9:48 a.m. yesterday at the 3,600-foot elevation in a thick growth of eucalyptus and ironwood trees in the 'Umikoa area about 25 miles north of Hilo. The crash site was compact, with most of the plane smashed into pieces no bigger than a few feet long, according to fire Capt. Felix Asia. The largest intact remnant was a section of the tail.
"It’s so difficult to see from the top that it’s amazing the Coast Guard found that wreckage," he said.
Bad weather had prevented a search of the area Sunday.
http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Feb/03/br/br01p.html

 
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February 2004 Accidents/Rescues

February 1 2004, 10:18 AM 

I will post February accident/rescue reports here.

 
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Fatality on Upper Linda Glacier on Mount Cook

February 6 2004, 10:16 AM 

A 27-year-old Romanian man who died on Mt Cook yesterday has been named by police.
He was Adrian Iordache who had recently been studying at Canterbury University.
Mr Iordache fell about 200m from the Upper Linda Glacier.
He had been climbing with another Romanian man but they had not been roped together.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2807166a11,00.html

 
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Hypothermia Fatality at Bowen Ranch in San Bernardino Mountains

February 6 2004, 2:23 PM 

A stranded hiker found unconscious and with a body temperature of 80 degray morning in the Bowen Ranch area died from severe hypothermia, the San Bernardino County Coroner's Office announced Thursday.

Pomona resident Kortney Zeman, 23, had been hiking at Deep Creek Hot Springs with her boyfriend on her birthday, Monday evening, when it started to rain and snow, Supervising Deputy Coroner Randy Emon said.

"Because of the snow, they couldn't find the path back," Emon said. "So they started hiking toward some lights, thinking it was Hesperia."

After walking all night, they found an abandoned truck, Emon said, and settled inside to sleep.

"By morning (Zeman's) body was in full arrest and her temperature was 80 degrees," Emon said.

http://www.vvdailypress.com/cgi-bin/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1076085486,11094,

 
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14 Student Climbers Stranded on 1,671 Meter Mount Ocho in Japan

February 8 2004, 3:59 PM 

FUKUI -- Rescue workers are struggling to reach a party of 14 student climbers trapped since Saturday on a stormy mountain along the border of Fukui and Ishikawa prefectures.
The climbers have been stranded on the 1,671-meter Mount Ocho because of a fierce snowstorm and are taking shelter in snow caves. Some of them are suffering from frostbite, Fukui police said Sunday.
A Fukui amateur radio operator picked up a disaster signal sent out by the climbers -- all of them students at Kwansei Gakuin University in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture -- on Saturday afternoon and alerted local police at around 1:50 p.m.
The climbers told the prefectural police on the radio Sunday morning that all of them have grown weak, and cannot descend on their own. Six of the members including leader Etsushi Noda, a third-year student, are suffering from frostbite on some of their fingers while another member is suffering from hypothermia.
A Fukui Prefectural Government helicopter is standing by at a ski ground in the Fukui Prefecture city of Katsuyama, but deep fog has prevented it from approaching the mountain. The rescue effort will be made only from the air because of the possibility of avalanches occurring in the area.
The climbers are running out of food, and are boiling water on a portable cooking stove to warm themselves. Fukui Prefectural Police fear that the batteries on the group's radio communications equipment will not likely last beyond Monday noon.
http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/news/20040208p2a00m0dm005000c.html

 
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Helicopter Rescue on Mount Avalanche in New Zealand

February 8 2004, 4:01 PM 

Two Australian climbers were lifted by helicopter off Mt Avalanche, near Wanaka, on Saturday after bad weather trapped them on the mountain overnight.
They had not suffered any injury so the Alpine Cliff Rescue Team returned them to French Ridge Hut, a starting point for climbing several peaks in the area, Sergeant Aaron Nicolson, of Wanaka, said.
The pair had set out from the hut in Mount Aspiring National Park about 5am on Friday for a half-day climb on the Bonner Glacier, followed by the summit of Mt Avalanche, east of Mt Aspiring.
They had not taken any overnight gear and were trapped on the north side of Mt Avalanche by high winds, rain, cloud and cold temperatures, Mr Nicolson said.
The hut warden alerted emergency services about 10pm on Friday. The missing pair, who were experienced climbers, set off their emergency locater beacon about 8am the next day, after spending the night on a rock ledge.
Searchers found them about 100m from the summit. Rescuers were pleased to find them alive and well, Mr Nicolson said.
"It means they get home safely and only have the experience to make them think twice about what did or didn't go wrong for them. It makes them better climbers for it, and they didn't lose their life through that experience, so it's a good thing."
In hindsight, the climbers were possibly not carrying enough gear and could have turned back earlier when the weather started to deteriorate, he said.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2808184a11,00.html

 
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Fatality on Trail to Bagby Hot Springs in Oregon

February 8 2004, 4:28 PM 

A http://www.katu.com/news/story.asp?ID=64385
A deaf, sight-impared hiker from Monmouth was found dead Saturday near a trail to Bagby Hot Springs, Clackamas County sheriff's deputies said.
Richard Thomas Melton, 26, had been missing since Friday night when he and a friend argued and separated while returning from the springs 41 miles southeast of Estacada, sheriff's Sgt. Nick Watt said.
The friend walked to the trailhead parking lot, where she waited two to three hours before seeking help, he said. A witness last saw Melton on the trail about 9 p.m.
Melton's remains were found about 5 p.m. in a snow-covered area near the trailhead parking lot, police said.
Melton was wearing shorts, a T-shirt, a windbreaker and tennis shoes, and did not have food with him. He was unfamiliar with the area.

 
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2nd Snowboarder Fatality at Mount Hood Meadows

February 10 2004, 4:30 PM 

The second snowboarder to die in less than a month at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resortwas heading straight down the mountain at more than 35 mph when he fell Saturday afternoon, police and ski area officials said.
Chief Deputy Dwayne Troxel of the Hood River County sheriff's office said Scott A. Tyler, 29, of Southeast Portland died of multiple injuries at the ski resort's medical clinic following the 12:30 p.m. crash.

Officials said Tyler was wearing a helmet as he went down a run called The Face, which is rated "most difficult" on the ski resort's trail map.

"Witnesses said he just straight-lined down with a lot of speed and crashed at the bottom," said Dave Riley, Meadows general manager. "He rode the chair up and looked over this run . . . so he knew what he was getting into."
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1076418352238860.xml

 
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600 Foot Fall Down Five Finger Gully on Ben Nevis

February 10 2004, 4:31 PM 

A climber was recovering in hospital tonight after surviving a 600ft plunge down Scotland’s tallest peak.

The man suffered serious facial and rib injuries after falling and sliding down a gully on Ben Nevis, which has claimed many lives in former incidents.

He was airlifted to hospital after a four-hour search by two mountain rescue teams and a Royal Navy helicopter on the peak, near Fort William.

The climber was part of a four-man team which had divided into pairs for the ascent yesterday, police said.

He and his climbing partner had decided to camp overnight on Ben Nevis after being struck by fatigue.

But before settling down for the night the unnamed man fell 200 metres down the Five Finger Gully.

A spokesman for Northern Constabulary said: “It looks like he’s missed the zig-zag route of Ben Nevis and fallen straight into the gully.
http://www.irishexaminer.com/breaking/2004/02/10/story133621.html

 
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3 Northwest ice climbers killed by avalanche

February 13 2004, 6:15 PM 

Puget Sound climbers killed in Banff avalanche including 2 members of Tacoma Mountain Rescue

01:14 PM PST on Friday, February 13, 2004

From KING Staff and Wire Reports

KING
BANFF, Alberta - Three ice climbers were found dead after being caught in an avalanche Thursday night in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, officials said.

Rescue crews had searched Mount Wilson near Lake Louise and found the body of the third climber Friday morning after the bodies of the first two were discovered. Rescue crews had to use search dogs since the victims were not wearing avalanche beacons.

One of the men was identified as a Pierce County sheriff's deputy, James Andrues, 66, who worked as a community officer.

"People right now are shocked," said Ed Troyer, Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman. "These are people that are the type that go up and save people that get themselves in trouble...These are the guys that through their lives and careers have gone up and taken them off the mountain, save their lives."

KING
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department mourn the loss of Jim Andrues.

The other two men were employees of the City of Redmond - police officer Lieut. John Miner and Russ Howard, 42, a traffic signal technician.

"John was a great guy, he's been with the city for well over 25 years and basically just a person you would go to," said spokesperson of the Redmond Police Department, Stacey Holland. "Everyone would always go to John with any questions that they had because he knew everything about the police department."

NWCN
John Miner was a police officer in Redmond, Wash.
Miner is survived by his mother, father and brother. He was an accomplished mountaineer, having climbed Mount Rainier, and peaks in Peru and the Himalayas.

Russ Howard was said to have two great passions - his family and being on the mountain. Also an experienced mountaineer, Howard is survived by his wife, two daughters and two sons.

NWCN
Russ Howard was a traffic signal technician for the City of Redmond, Wash.
Andrues and Miner were members of the Tacoma Mountain Rescue group. Both were team leaders for mountain rescue with decades of experience and were involved in recent high-profile searches, including the successful recovery of a missing skier at Alpental, Dan Witkowski

Members of rescue team say they have lost a valuable rescuer and a two good friends.

There were two other climbers who survived the avalanche


 
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Moment of silence for Tacoma Mt. Rescue

February 13 2004, 6:22 PM 

It is with sadness that I also report that these fine members of Tacoma Mt. Rescue were involved in the successful search for the Snoqualmie Pass skier who was found near death in early January (see item 5, above). These good men may be lost, but many, many people are alive and safe with their families at this moment due to their many years of public SAR service.
Al Errington

 
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Obituary: John Simac Founder of Tacoma Mountain Rescue

May 13 2010, 9:27 PM 


 
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Helicopter Rescue on Flag Pole/Echo Peak Ridge in Sierras

February 17 2004, 11:01 AM 

A Sacramento man suffered serious injuries when he fell about 800 feet while hiking in the Sierra near Lake Tahoe.
The El Dorado County sheriff's office said Paul Frydendal, 47, was hiking on a ridge between Flag Pole Peak and Echo Peak when he fell around midday Sunday.
A search was launched and Frydendal was located by a California Highway Patrol helicopter pilot, who then flew two rescuers to the rugged site, authorities said.
Two other rescuers reached the site by snowmobile, and the four climbed the mountainous terrain to reach Frydendal.
Frydendal was flown to Washoe Medical Center in Reno, where he was listed in serious condition with severe facial and head injuries.
The sheriff's office said he also suffered a compound leg fracture.
http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nevada/2004/feb/16/021610874.html

 
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Bodies of 2 of 6 Missing Snowboarders Found Near Elbrus

February 20 2004, 3:35 PM 

NALCHIK, February 20 (Itar-Tass) - Bodies of two young snowboarders from Moscow were found in the snow near the slopes of Mount Cheget, one of the foothills of the famous Mount Elbrus, Friday.
The two men, Alexander Konkov and Alexander Ivanov, were part of a group of six people, who disappeared in the territory adjoining the northern slope of Cheget ten days ago, after a snow avalanche, which the local mountaineers call “a rattle-ball”, went downhill.
Rescue workers from the Russian region of Kabardino-Balkaria, where the Elbrus mountainous resorts are located, believe the huge snow-slide engulfed the entire group.
The regional Emergency Situations Ministry says as many as eleven people died in the Elbrus foothills last year. Another three people are still listed as missing, while 121 others were rescued.
Workers of the Elbrus search-and-rescue service had to organize 58 rescue operations last year.
http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=454716&PageNum=0

 
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60 Foot Ice Climbing Fall Near Purgatory, Colorado

February 23 2004, 2:16 PM 

An Arizona man has suffered head injuries after falling about 60 feet while ice climbing in Cascade Canyon north of Purgatory.
San Juan County Deputy Sheriff Brian Jacobs says 33-year-old Dean Brault is in critical condition after falling yesterday.

Brault is in San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington.

http://www.9news.com/storyfull.aspx?storyid=24648

 
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Durango Herald Article

February 24 2004, 8:03 AM 

February 21, 2004

Ice climber plunges 60 feet
By Mary Ann Lopez
Herald Staff Writer


An Arizona man suffered head injuries Friday morning after falling about 60 feet while ice climbing in Cascade Canyon north of Purgatory.

Dean Brault, 33, was flown to San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, where he remained in critical condition Friday afternoon.


Members of San Juan County Search and Rescue, along with La Plata County Search and Rescue, and Durango Fire & Rescue Authority, carry out Dean Brault, of Tucson, Ariz., who fell about 60 feet on Friday while ice climbing on Cascade Canyon near U.S. Highway 550.

Air Care 1 takes ice climber Dean Brault to San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington on Friday. He was in critical condition Friday afternoon.
Brault, of Tucson, was ice climbing with friends when he fell about 60 feet, hitting a ledge as he fell, said Brian Jacobs, deputy sheriff with the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.

The first call for help came in at 9:51 a.m., and he was extricated by 11:35 a.m., said Dave Abercrombie, public information officer for Durango Fire & Rescue Authority.

Shane Baird was the first responder to the accident, he said. Baird works for Durango Mountain Resort and Durango Fire & Rescue. When Baird arrived, he said that Brault was on the ground with one of his friends - who is an emergency medical technician - helping him. At that point Baird did an initial assessment and tried to stabilize Brault.

"From what his friend said, he fell off the top, hit a ledge, bounced and landed about 60 feet down," Baird said. "He was in a lot of pain."

Baird said the rescue was a "textbook multi-agency response." Responders from San Juan County Search and Rescue, La Plata County Search and Rescue, Durango Fire & Rescue Authority, and the San Juan County Sheriff's Office took part in the rescue, Abercrombie said. The rescue authority's high angle team also participated.

"He was in quite a bit of pain and was screaming," said Jon Ickes, with Durango Fire & Rescue. Ickes, also an employee for Excel Energy, was working for Excel near the accident sight. He said it appeared that Brault had face lacerations, and possibly a broken wrist and broken ribs.

A five-member team descended into the canyon where Brault was located and then strapped him into a litter. Once he was secured it took about 30 minutes to transfer Brault to an ambulance, Ickes said. The ambulance took Brault to a waiting Air Care helicopter for transfer to the hospital.

Cris Garcia, incident commander with the rescue authority, said that 28 people were on the scene. "Things went pretty smoothly and the teams coordinated well ... to get him out."

The good weather was also helpful, Garcia said. "We were able to get a helicopter in, which we probably couldn't have done in inclement weather."

Ice climbing accidents are not that common; about two or three happen each year, Garcia said. But rescue authority employees regularly train for the incidents, and practice rescues at Cascade Creek.

Ryan Nelson has been ice climbing for about five years. Nelson works at Pine Needle Mountaineering and said that the attraction to the sport is hard to explain. There is a lot of suffering involved because it is cold and done in the winter, but he said, "You get to explore a different environment."

Ice climbing is generally viewed as a more dangerous sport than rock climbing because ice is not as strong or as predictable as rock, Nelson said.

"With ice the situation is always changing," he said. "You have to be much more experienced to ice climb."

While enjoying the sport an ice climber must always be aware of what he or she is doing, Nelson said.

"It can be extremely safe and other times freak things happen."




 
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2 Hikers and Rescuer Airlifted in Alum Rock Park in California

February 23 2004, 11:01 PM 

Two lost hikers and an injured rescuer had to be airlifted from a remote section of Alum Rock Park on Sunday, after the two men became separated from their friends and spent a bitterly cold night wedged among boulders in a remote section of the park.
The two San Jose hikers, ages 20 and 26, were treated for hypothermia, dehydration and minor injuries after spending more than 14 hours in the wilderness near South Falls, said Capt. Allison Cabral of the San Jose Fire Department.
A Santa Clara County sheriff's search and rescue team member also was injured when she fell into a steep ravine while trying to reach one of the stranded men. All three -- whose names were withheld -- had to be lifted out by an Air National Guard rescue crew that was dispatched from Moffett Field.
The misadventure began Saturday after the two men, who had embarked on an afternoon hike with four other friends and relatives, decided to split from the group around 4:30 or 5 p.m.
``They were hiking along steep terrain, and they got tired,'' Cabral said. ``They told the other four to go ahead of them.''
One of the four hikers, 20-year-old Joseph Reyes of San Jose, said his two friends wanted to continue on the trail to see what else they could find. They continued to communicate over portable radios and agreed to meet up later in the parking lot near the Youth Science Institute where the trail began. About 10 minutes after they separated, Reyes said he heard a disturbing message over his radio.
``He said, `Get some help! We're stuck. We can't move. We're on a ledge.' ''
As the four hikers raced back to the parking lot, a steady rain had made the trail so slick with mud that it forced the group to wade through a rising creek, said 18-year-old Adrian Romero. The group used an emergency call box to reach authorities shortly before 9 p.m.
A San Jose police helicopter was sent to the park and spotted flashlight signals coming from a part of the park about three miles southeast of the Youth Science Institute parking lot. Cabral said the men were aiming their flashlights into the night sky.
The pair wore jackets and had water but no food or blankets, according to Romero. Cabral said the increasingly poor weather conditions forced searchers to abandon rescue efforts overnight.
But Sunday morning, authorities enlisted the help of the 129th Air Rescue Wing of the California National Guard, which sent a helicopter and crew to fly over Alum Rock Park. The airborne crew managed to extract one of the hikers shortly before 11 a.m.
Rescuers on the ground made contact with the second hiker, but decided that he was not strong enough to walk out on his own. Meanwhile, a rescue team member who was attempting to reach the second hiker fell more than 100 feet down a steep slope overlooking Arroyo Aguague.
``The mud was like slime and the footing was miserable,'' said Battalion Chief Alan Anderson of the San Jose Fire Department.
The National Guard helicopter was sent back and picked up the second hiker and the rescue team member around 1 p.m.
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/northern_california/8019137.htm

 
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Four climbers hit by avalanche north of Silverton , Colorado

February 24 2004, 10:12 AM 

February 24, 2004


Four climbers hit by avalanche north of Silverton



By Patricia Miller
Herald Staff Writer

Four experienced climbers were hit by a natural avalanche north of Silverton late Saturday afternoon, and one man's leg was broken.

The men were struck at 5:45 p.m. on the Stairway to Heaven climb near Eureka, nine miles north of Silverton, said San Juan County sheriff's Deputy Mike McQueen.

John Hayward, 34, of Broomfield, "had just come off a rappel and loosened his rope. The avalanche carried him almost 200 yards down to the creek," McQueen said. The other three climbers were still anchored to the wall and were underneath a bulge so they were protected.

"The injured party (Hayward) ended up crawling out (two miles) as assistance from his buddies ended up being slower and more painful," wrote Dave Fiddler, captain of Silverton San Juan County Search and Rescue, by e-mail on Sunday.

Hayward was taken by Silverton Ambulance to Mercy Medical Center, Fiddler added.

Mercy spokesman David Bruzzese said Monday that Hayward had been treated and released.

McQueen named the other three climbers as Rich Sidoroff, 44, of Evergreen; Sean Wood, 38, of Evergreen; and Carl Curran, 37, of White Plains, N.Y. None of the three was injured.

Two more slides were released by the rescue activity, Fiddler reported. "One was to the gully north and did no damage. The other was apparently huge,' and the powder cloud did some threatening but no real damage," he said

Both McQueen and Fiddler emphasized that the seasonal danger from avalanches is far from over.

The Web site for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center reported snow conditions Monday evening in the San Juan Mountains as "overall weak." The Web site reported a surface slab has formed from 10 inches to 20 inches of snow that has fallen recently in the San Juans. Additionally, the CAIC Web site reported 70 avalanches in the San Juans from Saturday through Monday evening.


http://www.durangoherald.com/asp-bin/article_generation.asp?article_type=news&article_path=/news/04/news040224_7.htm

 
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Seattle Times Article on December 2003 Artist Point (Mt. Baker) Avalanche

February 26 2004, 7:39 AM 

Steve G. passes along this link about two excellent Seattle Times stories on an avalanche in Washington and being buried all night:

http://mtncommunity.org/dcforum/DCForumID7/199.html

 
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ASU economics professor dies while skiiing in Colorado

March 1 2004, 7:05 PM 

PHOENIX — The Goldwater Institute mourns the passing of Arizona State University economics professor Roger Faith, who died in a skiing accident in Aspen, Colorado last week. Professor Faith served on the Institute’s academic advisory committee.

Faith received his Ph. D. in economics from UCLA in 1973, and taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Virginia Tech before coming to ASU. He was the author of numerous economic articles, on subjects including public economics, public choice, labor economics, law and economics, and microeconomic theory. His work was published in American Economic Review, Journal of Law and Economics, Public Choice, and Economica. In 1988, he received the Distinguished Faculty Researcher Award from ASU’s College of Business.

Faith taught microeconomic theory, public finance and public choice at the graduate level, and public economics and law and economics at the undergraduate level. He also served as a Research Associate at the Center For Study of Public Choice and as a visiting professor at George Mason University.

Professor Faith’s memorial will be Friday, March 5, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Theresa's Catholic Church, 5045 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix.

Click here to read Professor Faith's obituary.

 
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Jim Sutton
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Does this belong here?

March 5 2004, 3:36 PM 

This may sound picky (or even a bit crass), but it could be argued that this article does not belong in the Accidents/Rescue column. While the lead says "a skiing accident", the obituary says he died of cardiac arrest while skiing. IMHO, this does not constitute an accident (even though it occurred while undertaking an outdoor activity), and it also (unfortunately) does not constitute a rescue (a "recovery", yes; but not a rescue). I would assume the main purpose of listing these incidents is so that we can learn from the mistakes (or good judgment) of others, just like the post-mortums of aircraft accidents. A report about someone dying of a heart attack doesn't really provide anything of value to us, other than the obvious advice (we should stay in shape, live healthy lives, and exercise, AND in the end it may not make any difference at all). In any case, just consider this a rambling thought on a Friday lunch time sitting in the office rather than being outside some place doing what we all prefer to be doing, but often can't. JES

 
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March 2004 Accidents/Rescues

March 1 2004, 5:07 PM 

We will post March backcountry rescues and accidents here.

 
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Woman dies on hike in Superstition Mountains of Arizona

March 1 2004, 5:15 PM 

A 70-year-old woman reportedly was injured in a fall while hiking on First Water trail, which is between Apache Junction and Canyon Lake in Tonto National Forest.

Paramedics were unable to revive the victim.

Click here for continuing coverage of this story.

 
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UPDATE: Woman collapses, dies while hiking in Superstition Mountains

March 2 2004, 11:11 AM 

A 70-year old woman died while hiking near Apache Junction Monday morning.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was about a mile along the First Water Trail in the Superstition Wilderness area when she collapsed around 11:15 a.m.

Bystanders performed CPR for 40 minutes before Apache Junction fire paramedics arrived, said Dave Montgomery, fire district spokesman.

The paramedics provided advanced cardiac life support but they were unable to revive her, Montgomery said.

The woman's cause of death is unknown.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's office is investigating.

The reference to the article is here.

 
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Roy Schweiker
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"collapsed while hiking"

March 10 2004, 10:17 PM 

The original message said a fall but the second said collapsed while hiking, so she probably died from some medical condition. I have hiked this trail and wondered how anybody could have a fatal fall on it, it is a horse trail with flattish terrain around where she died.

 
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Avalanche Fatality Near Palandoken Mountain in Turkey

March 5 2004, 7:28 PM 

A British man has died in an avalanche in Turkey when he was hiking in a mountainous region that has seen its heaviest snow fall for seventy years.
Four other hikers who were also involved managed to survive unhurt.
The man, who has not been identified, was part of a group of nine Britons and Canadians who were trekking near the Palandoken mountain ski resort.
The tourist spot is in eastern Turkey in the province of Erzururm.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3537023.stm

 
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Moose Stomps Snowshoer

March 5 2004, 7:30 PM 

Thanks Scott for posting this. I am moving it up to the March heading [roger]
----------

From Salt Lake Tribune:

Aggressive Moose Stomps Snowshoer
By Derek P. Jensen

A trio of retired medical buddies were not about to let a swath of big game droppings dissuade them during their first snowshoeing trip to Toll Canyon near Parleys Summit.
Wednesday morning was gorgeous, and the men shed layers of outerwear as they trudged 2 1/2 miles up the trail. But the Salt Lake Valley men suddenly ended their idyll when they came face to face with a young 800-pound bull moose.
"It stopped and stared us down for what seemed like hours, but it was probably five or six minutes," said Bob Canestrini, 73, whose daughter lives in Summit Park and had shown them the trailhead.
Experienced hikers, the men had encountered wildlife before. They slowly retreated into some brush for cover. Then, without provocation, the moose "just leaped through the trees and landed on Nick and started stomping him," Canestrini said.
Nick Baldwin, 65, screamed in pain, while Canestrini and Bob Mitchell, 72, threw branches and yelled at the angry animal. They briefly thought about swinging their ski poles, but reconsidered.
The bull paused, momentarily, then got a few more licks in before darting off.
"My hiking buddy and I thought for sure [Baldwin] was dead," Canestrini said. "He wasn't moving."
But the injured Baldwin was conscious, and Canestrini and Mitchell scurried to lift him into a nearby tree, which they also climbed while the moose lurked nearby. The men, who were treed about 40 minutes, called 911 about 11:40 a.m. from a cell phone.
As a Division of Wildlife Resources officer made his way up the trail, the moose lunged toward him, prompting a quick strike from a tranquilizer gun.
"It was standing in the pathway between the rescuers and the victims, and it was quite aggressive," said Summit County sheriff's Capt. Joe Offret.
"I've been around wildlife a lot," said Canestrini, who was born and raised in Wyoming and has hiked with his retired Holy Cross Hospital colleagues for 25 years. "But I've never seen a moose act that way."
"This is unusual," said Jim Karpowitz, Utah's DWR big game coordinator. While officers have removed more than 50 moose from urban areas over the heavy winter, he said, Wednesday's attack was more aggressive than normal.
"We always tell people to stay clear of them," Karpowitz added. "They're wild animals."
While the animal was unconscious, Summit County Sheriff's deputies, Park City firefighters and DWR officers loaded Baldwin into a basket stretcher and he was hoisted by helicopter out of the heavy timber.
He was taken by ambulance to St. Mark's Hospital while the friends and rescuers hiked out of the canyon in late afternoon.
Baldwin is in stable condition after having surgery to repair ligament damage in his left leg. He also suffered mild trauma to the head and doctors are checking for internal bleeding, Canestrini said.
After receiving an antidote shot, Offret said, the moose revived and left the trail before sundown.
Canestrini said the three are reconsidering a planned hiking trip to Dark Canyon, west of Blanding, after Wednesday's "harrowing" experience.
"I think that's going to be out," he said.

Safety in moose country

* Never get between a cow and a calf.
* Don't walk toward a moose if you can avoid it; try to remain at least 50 feet away.
* Never throw anything at a moose.
* Keep dogs under control or leave them at home. Bad scenario: Dog chases moose, moose chases dog, dog returns to owner, moose in tow.
* Try to get behind a tree if a moose charges. You can run around a tree faster than it can.
* If attacked, hit the ground, cover your head and stay still.
* If you see someone about to be charged, making a loud noise might distract the animal long enough for the victim to take evasive action.
* Moose kick with front feet as well as hind feet.

 
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Avalanche Fatality After 4,000 Foot Fall on Glacier Peak in Alaska

March 5 2004, 7:42 PM 

A great overhanging lip of snow broke beneath a mountain climber near Portage this weekend, sparing his hiking partner but carrying the Alaska Pacific University student to his death thousands of feet below.

The body of Joseph B. Neale, 23, was recovered Sunday afternoon.

Neale and Jesse "Bill" Billmeier set out for Byron Glacier Peak on Saturday afternoon. They skied up to the base of the ridge, stashed their skis and started climbing up.

They knew the dangers. Neale was an outdoor studies major at APU. Billmeier, 24, graduated with an outdoor studies degree last year. They wore helmets and crampons. They carried avalanche beacons, probes and shovels, Billmeier said.

But as they neared the summit around 6 p.m., a snow cornice broke away under Neale. The resulting avalanche pulled him nearly 4,000 feet to his death, Alaska State Troopers said Sunday. Members of Alaska Mountain Rescue Group recovered his body around 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

"He just disappeared. I was right behind him," Billmeier said in an interview at the Moseley Sports Center on campus.

The outer edge of the ridge they were hiking along was just an overhang of snow. They took turns in the lead breaking trail. A couple of times, Billmeier warned Neale that he was getting too close to the edge and he moved closer in to safer ground, Billmeier said.

The chunk of cornice that broke off was perhaps 30 feet wide and 35 to 40 feet deep. Billmeier said he was maybe five feet from where it gave way.

It was surprisingly quiet. There was no big crash.

"It was kind of a whumph," Billmeier said.

He stepped to the edge and saw his friend engulfed in a mass of snow, rock and debris that tore away out of sight. He called for Neale but heard nothing. The area was too steep and avalanche-prone to climb down to where Neale might be, Billmeier said. So he went down the mountain to get help. A cleaning crew let him into the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center in Portage Valley, where he called troopers around 7:30 p.m.

Troopers sent a helicopter from Muldoon with members of the Mountain Rescue Group. By the time they got to Byron Glacier, it was dark and too dangerous for a ground search, troopers said.

The helicopter and rescuers returned Sunday and sighted a dark spot in the avalanche area that turned out to be Neale. Rescuers roped together to reach his body. He had suffered massive injuries, troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson said.

The spot where the body was found was an elevation drop of 3,950 feet from where the cornice gave way, Wilkinson said. The total distance including horizontal movement, then, was even greater. The falling snow also triggered smaller slides that spread across the mountain.

http://www.adn.com/front/story/4802112p-4743650c.html

 
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Fatality on Upper Linda Glacier on Mount Cook

March 5 2004, 8:05 PM 

Romanian climber has been reported dead on Mt Cook this afternoon.

Constable Brett SIMON at the DOC base, Mt Cook, says that it is has been reported that one of a two person team (both men) has fallen to their death on the upper Linda Glacier. The survivor radioed to a third member of the group, a woman, at the Plateau Hut at 1.20pm. They then advised DOC from Plateau Hut.

The dead man’s age is not known and his name has not been released as next of kin are to be advised.

Constable SIMON says a helicopter has left to retrieve the body and the rest of the group. Two NZ climbers had assisted the survivor.

"Whether the helicopter can get in to retrieve the body and climbers will depend on the access," says Constable SIMON. "However the conditions are quite good, the weather is fine with patchy clouds."

The level of experience of the climbers is not known however they appeared to be well equipped, says Brett Simon.

The climbers had been flown in to Plateau Hut yesterday and were due to come out on Saturday.

http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/1247.php

 
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2 Lake District, England Fatalities on Raven Crag and Striding Edge

March 7 2004, 11:05 PM 

The 53-year-old, from Ambleside, was on Raven Crag when he fell.
A team of 20 rescuers from the Langdale-Ambleside team, called after shouts from the crag were heard, eventually brought the man's body down.
The man's death was the second in the Lake District in as many days after a 44-year old man fell on Striding Edge, Helvellyn, on Friday night.
It is thought the man, from Bolton in Greater Manchester, fell after getting separated from his brother in mist.
More than 50 rescuers and 10 dogs were involved in a search operation on the mountain.
However, the man, who has not yet been named, was found alone, with a lunchbox beside him.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/cumbria/3540245.stm

 
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Russian Blast 9 Avalanches Following Record Snow in Elbrus Region

March 7 2004, 11:06 PM 

NALCHIK, March 7 (Itar-Tass) -- Nine avalanches with the total volume of 80,000 cubic meters were forced down in the Adyl-Su Gorge of Kabardino-Balkaria on Sunday. The Elbrus unit of the North Caucasian anti-avalanche service had shelled mountain slopes for setting the avalanches down, service head Naum Shtulman told Itar-Tass.
The avalanches blocked the road to the Shkhelda mountaineering camp, and road services have started clearing the snow.
Twenty-five avalanches were set down in the Baksan Gorge the day before, Shtulman said.
“Eighty shells have been fired within the past two days. We have provided for safety of all facilities in the Elbrus zone,” he said. Skiing tracks are open, and funicular road is functioning.
Precipitation in the Kabardino-Balkaria mountains beat the record of the past decades on March 5-6.
http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=512781&PageNum=0

 
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One climber on Camelback Mountain in Phoenix dies, one hurt as insects swarm them

March 8 2004, 10:06 AM 

PHOENIX - Swarming bees or hornets caused a man to fall to his death Sunday at Echo Canyon on the north side of Camelback Mountain.

The unidentified man in his 30s apparently fell at least 50 feet while rock climbing with another man. The other climber, about the same age, was treated for about 100 stings. Neither man had been identified late Sunday.

Initial information indicated that the injured man's stings were not considered life-threatening.

Click here to read the article.

 
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Experts warn of aggressive threatening insects in Phoenix metropolitan area

March 9 2004, 9:59 AM 

PHOENIX - Experts are warning of a potentially threatening population explosion of aggressive bees, wasps and hornets in the Valley this year after a man fell to his death on Camelback Mountain in Phoenix on Sunday as swarming insects attacked him.

Keith J. Abbe, 34, a teacher for the Cartwright School District in Phoenix, was pronounced dead at the scene after a fall of about 60 feet. He had been stung about 100 times, apparently by bees, said Phoenix deputy fire chief Doug Mummert.

Abbe’s mountain-climbing companion, Jeff Passage, 31, sustained about the same number of stings but he did not fall and his injuries were not life-threatening, Mummert said.

Click here to read the article.

Read the article from The Arizona Republic.

 
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Fatality on Great Gulf Trail on Mount Washington

March 8 2004, 10:57 PM 

Two Hikers Rescued in White Mountains; Body of Third Being Recovered

CONCORD, N.H. -- On March 7, two winter hiker/skiers were rescued near Mount Washington in the White Mountains, and a third hiker in the party died in a fall. The victim was Rob A. Douglas, 39, of Vershire Vermont; his body is being recovered today.


The three men had hiked to the summit of Mount Washington and hiked down the Great Gulf Trail to a snowfield on Mount Clay above Spaulding Lake. There they began to ski, but after a short distance encountered icy conditions and stopped to remove their skis. Hiker John M. Corsi III, 38, of Concord, N.H., had one ski and one crampon on when he fell approximately1,500 feet down the snowfield, sustaining injuries. His companions attempted to rescue him, and in the process, Douglas fell to his death.

The third hiker, Colin O'Farrell, 23, of Hanover, N.H., called 911 requesting help at about 4 p.m. Sunday. Corsi was evacuated by a National Guard helicopter at 8:50 p.m. and eventually was transported to the Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin. He was transferred to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center this morning to be treated for his injuries.

Recovery of the victim was left for today, but because of weather conditions, a helicopter flight was not possible. A recovery is underway involving a team of six individuals from the Mountain Rescue Society and a Conservation Officer from New Hampshire Fish and Game, who rode a Thikol (Snowcat) to the Summit of Mount Washington and hiked down to the victim to recover his body.

http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2004/News_2004_Q1/Hiker_Rescue_Death030804.htm

 
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Fatality in Same Washington Climbing Area That Killed Goran Kropp

March 8 2004, 11:21 PM 

A 41-year-old Ellensburg man died in an accident while rock-climbing near Vantage Sunday.
Robert Dean Peruchini died at the scene from head injuries, Grant County Coroner Jerry Jasman said.
Peruchini was climbing in the Riverview Park area, near the Old Vantage Highway, when he fell, a report from Jasman's office said. According to witnesses, Peruchini was rappelling down the rock wall when he ran out of rope and fell about 80 feet. Emergency crews recovered his body with use of a helicopter.
It was the second death at the popular climbing area since September of 2002. Swedish adventurer Goran Kropp fell to his death in the same area in September of 2002, Jasman said.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/aplocal_story.asp?category=6420&slug=WA%20Rock%20Climber%20Dies

 
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Two teens critically hurt after falling 100 feet while hiking on Phoenix's South Mountain

March 10 2004, 11:55 AM 

PHOENIX - Two teenagers were in critical condition after falling up to 100 feet while hiking on Phoenix's South Mountain.

The 17-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl were airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center early Wednesday after a two-hour rescue operation.

Click here to read the article.

 
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Teenagers fell more than 150 feet and are hospitalized in critical condition

March 11 2004, 12:05 PM 

The Valley's hiking season is off to a grim start, with Phoenix firefighters already making 15 mountain rescues including two serious incidents this week.

Two teenagers were hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday night after falling more than 150 feet while rappelling on South Mountain.

"This is our busiest time of year for mountain rescues," said Phoenix Assistant Fire Chief Bob Khan. "The next 90 days we'll be up there every weekend."

James Tucker, 17, of Tempe, and Anna Grief, 17, of Chandler, were hiking on the southeastern edge of South Mountain Park on Tuesday afternoon. When they did not return home by 10 p.m., the boy's parent called police, Khan said.

Firefighters were called out at 11 p.m. when the teens were found at the base of the mountain near Equestrian Trail and Kachina Drive in Ahwatukee Foothills.

Click here to read the article from The Arizona Republic.

Click here to read the article from the East Valley Tribune.

 
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Helicopter Rescue After Night Stranded on Mount Olympus, Utah

March 10 2004, 1:25 PM 

A hiker inspired by Sunday's spring-like weather ended up spending a very cold night alone on a cliff on Mount Olympus.

22 year old Chris Gainer is happy to be safe, warm, and on the ground. He spent last night perched high on a cliff on Mount Olympus after losing his way off a hiking trail yesterday afternoon.

He used his cell phone to call for help, but because of his location, no one could reach him until morning.

A helicopter dropped packages of blankets and food to help him through the night.

Today, using a complicated helicopter hoist and hundreds of feet of cable, he was lifted to safety.
http://www.4utah.com/local_news/local_headlines/story.aspx?content_id=6C6C4B45-76F8-4804-843C-0EDFB90641CC


 
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Stranded for Two Nights on Makiki Trail in Oahu

March 10 2004, 1:26 PM 

Honolulu fire officials say an injured hiker was rescued Monday after being stranded two days in the mountains.
A couple found the man 120 feet below Makiki Trail.
It was not immediately known if he fell the entire way or if he tried to hike down.
Fire Captain Kenison Tejada says the man in his 40's had no food or water with him when he was found.
The man complained of pain to his ribs, back and legs.
He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
http://www.khnl.com/Global/story.asp?S=1699111

 
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Technical Rescue of 3 Juveniles Near Thurston Lava Tube in Hawaii

March 10 2004, 1:27 PM 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HI)
Technical Rescue of Three Lost Juveniles

On March 7th, three juveniles visiting the park during spring break tried to beat their parents to the top of the Kilauea Iki trail by shortcutting across switchbacks. They evidently thought that they could save time by heading straight up from one section of the trail to another. Much to their dismay, they became disoriented and lost in the extremely thick vegetation below the Rim Drive near Thurston Lava Tube. They were able to reach their parents via cell phone, and the parents drove around honking their horn until they located the general area where the trio was lost. They notified a passing park firefighter, who in turn alerted rangers. Several members of the park’s SAR team responded. Due to the number of earth cracks and vertical cliffs in the area, a ranger was lowered to the kids’ location by rope, then escorted them out via a prusik belay – an effort that entailed negotiating two earth cracks, one of which was very deep and risky to cross without the safety of a belay rope. They were hauled up the last 20 feet of vertical cliff via a technical raising system. All three were in good shape and were reunited with their parents just an hour before dark.
[Submitted by John Broward, IC]

http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/morningreportold.cfm?date=03%2F10%2F2004

 
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Fatality at Lewis and Clark State Park in Oregon

March 12 2004, 10:17 PM 

Three friends were roped up, enjoying a sunny day on Broughton's Bluff at Lewis and Clark State Park when one went limp in his harness.

"His friends heard a weird noise, and when they looked down, he was hanging there about 25 to 30 feet above the ground," Multnomah County deputy medical examiner Brian Applegate said.

His partners lowered him and called rescue crews. Paramedics worked on the victim for an hour but could not save him. He apparently died of natural causes.

The 31-year-old climber's name was not immediately released.
http://www.koin.com/webnews/2004/20040312_climber.shtml

 
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Climbers Survives After Eating Squirrel

March 12 2004, 10:22 PM 

Hong Kong - A climber trapped for days after falling from a mountain in eastern China survived by catching and eating a squirrel, a news report said on Friday.

The man fell from a cliff in Jiuhuashan, Anhui province, and was trapped for days with no food or water, the Hong Kong edition of the China Daily reported.

He caught and ate the squirrel raw which gave him the strength to climb up part of the cliff before eventually being rescued by locals, the newspaper said. - Sapa-dpa
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=3&art_id=qw1079076422889B252&set_id=1

 
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2 Rescued on Snowdonia

March 14 2004, 7:54 PM 

An RAF rescue helicopter made two unsuccessful attempts to reach the climbers on Saturday night - one was on Glyder Fawr and the other on the Pyg Track on Snowdon.
But its efforts were hampered by 50 mph winds and poor visibility.
The climbers were eventually carried off the mountain on stretchers by local mountain rescue team members.
The climber on Snowdon was reported to have a fractured thigh - the other a broken ankle.
The rescue operations were co-ordinated by North Wales Police.
Llanberis and Ogwen Valley mountain rescue teams were also involved.
Extra care
In January mountain rescue teams in the area warned walkers and climbers to take extra care in the winter weather.
Around 2,000 people a day travel from around Britain to stroll, hike or climb in Snowdonia.
But those who rescue them say many people are ill-equipped, or think that equipment that they may have received as gifts will turn them into experts.
The experts said people were still ignoring advice to wear sensible clothes and take suitable safety precautions, even on the most challenging routes like the Pyg track up Crib Goch.
Snowdon warden Sam Roberts Mr Roberts said at the time: "Crampons and ice axes are pretty essential, but some people are still only wearing trainers."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/3509784.stm

 
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Fatal Fall in Cederberg Mountains in South Africa

March 17 2004, 3:58 PM 

CCape Town - A 14-year-old Franschhoek climber died after plunging 60m to his death in the Cederberg mountains at the weekend.

Arthur Heywood was out hiking on Saturday on Nuwerus farm in the southern Cederberg when he fell.

Arthur had been hiking with his grandfather, Professor Brookes Heywood, 79, formerly from the orthopaedic section of Groote Schuur Hospital, and two other relatives.

"He must have stepped on a piece of rock that gave way when he started descending. His cousin heard the rock slide. Arthur fell about 60m with the rockslide.


http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_1499047,00.html

 
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Fatal Fall at Montezuma Castle National Monument in Arizona

March 18 2004, 10:10 AM 

Montezuma Castle National Monument (AZ)
Falling Fatality

At about noon on March 11th, Cleo Klette, 64, of Conrad, Montana, was at the main overlook of Montezuma Well, a detached unit of Montezuma Castle National Monument, when she walked past the safety railing, lost her balance, and fell approximately 60 feet to the base of a cliff inside the well. Ranger Rex Vanderford, other park staff, and members of Montezuma-Rimrock Fire Department responded. Klette received initial treatment for severe head and upper body trauma at the scene and was later flown by medical evacuation helicopter to Verde Valley Medical Center. She did not survive.
[Submitted by Karen Hughes, Acting Chief Ranger]

http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/morningreportold.cfm?date=03%2F18%2F2004

 
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Fatal Fall on Casaval Ridge on Mount Shasta

March 18 2004, 7:17 PM 

YREKA - An Indonesian man climbing Mount Shasta with his brother, lost his life Tuesday afternoon in a 1,000-foot fall near Casaval Ridge on the southwest side of the mountain.
According to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department, Lukito Tardia, 28, and his 21-year-old brother were climbing Mount Shasta Tuesday afternoon. The two brothers had reportedly made this same climb once before without incident.

The brothers were progressing up a slope at the 11,000-foot elevation with Lukman leading the climb about 30 feet in front of Lukito. Lukman reportedly lost his footing and slid about 1,000 feet down the mountain, striking his head on a rock and suffering severe head injuries.

Lukito stayed with his brother for about an hour before starting down the mountain for help. When he reached another climber with a cell phone, Lukito called 9-1-1 and reported his brother's injuries.

A California Highway Patrol H-14 helicopter and volunteers from the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue Unit responded to the call for help. Sheriff's Department Sgt. Dave Nicholson flew with the helicopter crew and spotted Lukman about two hours after first receiving the call.

Lukman was pronounced dead at the scene. Lukman was from Indonesia and was living in Minnesota on a student visa. - SDN story by Pat Arnold
http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/articles/2004/03/17/news/news2.txt

 
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Climber Rescued After Phoning GPS Coordinates to Parents Utah's Kaiparowits Plateau

March 20 2004, 5:28 PM 



When Matthew Martin lost his foothold on a steep and rugged area of southern Utah's Kaiparowits Plateau, his last coherent thought was that he was about to die.
"My feet were in a precarious position on just some sage roots. When I slipped, I thought, 'this is it. This is the end of my life.' "
He slid down a snowy shale slope for about 150 feet before plummeting from a 30-foot drop-off.
A helicopter rescue crew snatched him from a cliff ledge Thursday morning. The Kane County Sheriff's Search and Rescue was able to locate Martin in the vast wilderness because he had used his satellite phone earlier to relay global-positioning coordinates to his parents and a guide service.

http://www.sltrib.com/2004/Mar/03202004/utah/149586.asp

 
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Boy Crushed By Boulder at Emerald Lake in Kansas

March 21 2004, 4:50 PM 

Adam Gregory, 12-year-old son of Dr. Mark and Terri Gregory of Newkirk, died Thursday afternoon, when he was crushed by a boulder eight miles northeast of Newkirk at Emerald Lake.

The boulder fell on him while he and two companions were participating in a camping trip while on spring break from school.

The three boys apparently had been climbing some rocky cliffs when the boulder dislodged on Gregory, killing him instantly.

The other two boys escaped injury.

The Newkirk Fire Department used the Hurst Jaws of life to lift the estimated 5,000-pound boulder according to Assistant Fire Chief, Dennis Bradley.

"We received the call about 12:30 p.m.," said Bradley.

"Three boulders had fallen with the one landing on the boy," he said.

"After the arrival of the medical examiner, it took us about 30 minutes to raise the boulder. We had to jack it up and shore it up about five times before we could retrieve the body."

http://www.arkcity.net/stories/032004/com_0004.shtml

 
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Fatality on Colorado Fourteener La Platta Peak as Warm Temps Trigger 50 Avalanches

March 21 2004, 6:06 PM 

The Chaffee County Sheriff's Office says search and rescue crews recovered the body today of one of three climbers who triggered an avalanche Saturday
They were climbing La Platta Peak {a fourteener} in Chaffee County, when an avalanche buried one of them at about 3:30 p.m. The other two climbers went for help but they were unable to reach the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office untill 11:15 that night. Because of the time the sheriff's office was unable to mount a rescue untill Sunday morning.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center had reports of about 50 avalanches yesterday, but most ran short distances.


Spokesman Scott Toepfer says Colorado is in the middle of a wet slide cycle. The snowpack is fairly stable in the morning when it's frozen but becomes increasingly unstable with warmer daytime temperatures.
Toepfer says the temperatures are getting into the 50s in the mountains, which is unheard of for March.


http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/2938597/detail.html

 
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Climber killed in La Plata Peak avalanche identified

March 22 2004, 3:33 PM 

CHAFEE COUNTY, CO - The body of a Colorado Springs climber buried in an avalanche on La Plata Peak was recovered Sunday, according to the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office.

The climber was one of three who triggered an avalanche on the 14,336-foot peak Saturday about 25 miles north of Buena Vista, authorities said.

Kyle Fitzpatrick, 22, died in the avalanche Saturday afternoon, according to the Sheriff’s Office. David Bennett and Joel Sabersma, both of Colorado Springs, tried to rescue Fitzpatrick and then hiked for help.

Click here to read the article.


La Plata Peak
Photo by Steve Hoffmeyer

 
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Climber Blamed For Triggering Avalanche By Hiking Below Ridge

March 23 2004, 10:27 PM 

A 22-year-old man killed in an avalanche near Buena Vista triggered the slide by crossing a snow-laden peak above tree line, officials said Monday.
Kyle Fitzpatrick's body, covered by 6 feet of snow, was recovered Sunday from the west side of 14,361-foot La Plata Peak, said search coordinator Marty Johnson.
Fitzpatrick, Dave Bennett and Joel Sabersma, all of Colorado Springs, had climbed up the ridge to the summit on Saturday, but Fitzpatrick headed down on the snowfields below the ridge, he said.
"That route is not used in the winter," Johnson said. "The standard route is on top of the ridge."
The slide was 200 yards wide. Johnson said the avalanche started at 13,200 feet and ended at 11,500 feet.
"It all was above tree line," Johnson said.
The group had snow shovels, but apparently had no rescue beacons, he said.
http://rockymountainnews.com/drmn/state/article/0,1299,DRMN_21_2750704,00.html

 
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2 Spend Night in Snow Trench After Getting Lost on Mount Washington

March 21 2004, 6:09 PM 

Two climbers who lost their way on New Hampshire's Mount Washington yesterday were found unharmed Sunday morning after spending the night in a snow trench.
Karen Church of Ottawa, Ontario, and Cheryl Wallace of Arlington, Mass., ice-climbed Odell's Gully in Huntington Ravine Saturday. They had planned to meet Church's husband in the Alpine Garden and hike back to Pinkham Notch in the afternoon, but got lost.
Searchers looking for them last night faced low temperatures of 14 degrees Fahrenheit, high winds, blowing snow and freezing fog.
White Mountain National Forest officials said they also faced a high risk of avalanches.
Early Sunday morning, a search team encountered the women above the treeline and helped them get off the mountain safely.
http://www.wmtw.com/Global/story.asp?S=1725633&nav=7k6rLgFw

 
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Rescue at Base of Stairs on Harney Peak

March 22 2004, 5:43 PM 

Crews from several area emergency response units rescued a man from Harney Peak on Saturday afternoon.

According to Steve Baldwin, director of the Custer County Search and Rescue, volunteers from his group, along with the Custer County ambulance, Hill City ambulance and Hill City fire department were called to Harney Peak about 2 p.m.
"A man had fallen right at the base of the stairs leading to the top of the peak and broken his ankle," Baldwin said.

Baldwin said rescue crews had to use a litter to carry the man about a mile down the mountain, where he was loaded onto a trailer pulled by an all-terrain vehicle. The ATV took the patient the rest of the way down to a waiting ambulance.

Baldwin said the rescue effort took about four hours to complete.

Baldwin did not have the name of the man or any further details.
http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2004/03/22/news/local/news03.txt

 
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Fatality on Mt. Lafayette, NH

March 23 2004, 5:00 PM 

The link is to a story of this couple's rescue after going off-trail in a whiteout, but sadly I just heard that Brenda Cox's injuries proved fatal:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/03/23/mass_couple_found_alive_in_white_mountains/

 
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Followup article

March 23 2004, 7:18 PM 


 
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A sad year in the Whites

March 24 2004, 9:36 AM 

The fourth fatality this winter in our mountains; the second from hypothermia. A bad year.

 
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Rescues in California 100 Degree Heat Wave

March 23 2004, 10:34 PM 

We're in the middle of heat wave here in the valley and that means dangerous conditions for hikers heading out on local trails. Over the weekend there were several rescues and tonight search crews are asking you to be prepared if you hike in the heat.
On Sunday afternoon near Desert Hot Springs, a 73 year hiker needed to be airlifted off of a trail and treated by paramedics. And earlier that day a 65 year old hiker had to be rescued by firefighters. Paramedics think she collapsed from the intense heat, temps nearing 100 degrees.
“It was a hot weekend.”
Riverside County Search and Rescue President Kevin Wahlstrom says this heat wave so early in the year can be dangerous for hikers.
“Everyone's anticipating cool weather.”
And search and rescue crews say the biggest problem with this heat is most hikers don't bring enough water and many run out along the trail. And that means hikers are more likely to get dehydrated.
“Dehydration can kill you. Your skin gets pale, heart rate slows down. Get them in the shade and give them water.”
And besides carrying extra water, Wahlstrom has some other simple tips for hikers heading out in the heat. He says brings an accurate trail map, a compass and always tell someone your exact route. He also says despite what you might think, it's actually better to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts.
“You want long sleeves, so you don't get burned, taking more water from your body.”
Wahlstrom says there were at least five hikers rescued from desert trails over this last weekend and he's expecting more rescues if this heat wave continues.
http://www.kesq.com/Global/story.asp?S=1729650&nav=9qrxLiSB

 
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Little Black Mountain, Kentucky, Plane Crash Kills 6

March 29 2004, 11:48 AM 

HARLAN, Ky. - The Normal man piloting the Piper Saratoga that crashed near here had likely cleared the higher Smoky Mountains before reaching the mountain line where the crash killing all on board occurred, an experienced pilot and manager of the county's airport said Friday.

"From the direction they were flying, he first would have had to cross the Smokies, which are about twice as high," said Shawn Davis, a 20-year veteran pilot and manager of the Harlan-Tucker-Guthrie Memorial Airport.

The crash Sunday night about 3,000 feet up on Little Black Mountain killed pilot Curt Piercy and his wife, Linda, and two Carlock couples, Amy and Don Mauer Jr. and Erica Edgington and Brad Webb. The group was returning from Sunday's NASCAR race in Darlington, S.C. The crash site on the Kentucky-Virginia border was found Wednesday afternoon.

After the Smoky Mountains, which are 6,640 feet at the highest point, Davis said the McLean County group would have flown through a valley for about 80 miles before coming upon Little Black Mountain, which rises about 4,200 feet.

Davis believes it was then that something went terribly wrong.
http://www.pjstar.com/news/topnews/b2ihtdkd033.html

 
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2 Airlifted From Olympics

March 30 2004, 10:25 AM 

Two hikers who had been missing in Olympic National Park's Bogachiel Valley were picked up by helicopter Monday morning after being found safe Sunday afternoon.
The two were in good condition, and their families planned to meet them in Forks, where the helicopter was scheduled to land at about noon, park spokeswoman Barb Maynes said.
A helicopter spotted Jon Pontrello, 18, and Jonathan Parks, 20, at 3:30 p.m. outside a shelter about 17 miles from the trailhead, five miles south of Forks. Food, clothes, sleeping bags and stove fuel were flown in. Two park rangers joined the hikers Sunday and stayed with them overnight, Maynes said.
The Everett pair were last seen when they left on the hike a week ago and were due to return last Wednesday. Their families reported them missing Friday and dozens of searchers spent the weekend looking for them.

 
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Aussie is 10th Fatality of Season on Mount Cook

March 31 2004, 8:16 PM 

An Australian climber is dead after falling more than 1000m down Aoraki-Mt Cook yesterday.

The 22-year-old was one of a party of four men - two Australians, a Swede and a Briton - who were attempting to climb the east face of the mountain.

They were standing above the Summit Rocks about 8.30am discussing their climb to the summit 300m above when the man either tripped or slipped, said Constable Brett Simon of Twizel police.

They were not roped together.

"It was one of those tragedies of climbing," Mr Simon said. "They had a good level of experience and were not pushing it."

The trio intended climbing down to the man, but were advised by police not to do so as it was too dangerous.

A search and rescue team flew into the area and located the body about 10.45am.

Wind and cloud, as well as the altitude, meant the helicopter could not pick up the survivors from where the accident occurred.

The three climbed down the Linda Glacier until weather conditions improved enough for them to be airlifted out mid-afternoon.

The Australian's death is the 10th in the national park in four months.

A 27-year-old Romanian man died on Mt Cook last month after falling 200m from the Upper Linda Glacier.

Two New Zealanders and two Australians died in an avalanche on Mt Tasman on December 31.

Four Latvian climbers were killed on Mt Cook on December 10.

Yesterday, the coroner reviewing the Latvians' deaths said that had the group been wearing helmets some of them might have survived.

The four, including a father and his daughter, perished after they plunged 300m while climbing down the Linda Glacier.

Timaru coroner Edgar Bradley said there were two accidents that afternoon, the first when one of the Latvians, who was climbing alone, fell and slid down the shelf.

The second happened when one of the other three climbers was struck by failing rock or ice and pulled the others, who were roped to him, off the mountain.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3557976&thesection=news&thesubsection=general

 
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Helicopter Rescue in Flatirons

March 31 2004, 8:29 PM 

A teenager is recovering from head injuries after tumbling down a steep mountainside


Matthew Wiever and his friends were hiking in very steep terrain near the Flatirons in the Mallory Cave area when he fell amidst loose rock.

"There were three young gentlemen -- 18-year-olds -- hiking and they got up onto the rocks and they were sitting and talking and they started to climb down the back side of the rocks and one of the boys reached for a branch, the branch broke and he tumbled down the mountain," said emergency coordinator Dave Booton.

A separate group of climbers on a trail across the canyon heard their calls for help and directed rescue crews to the injured hiker.

A helicopter was waiting to rush Wiever to the hospital. He remains at St. Anthony's Hospital. His condition has not been released.

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/2963116/detail.html

 
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Rescue on Orion Face of Ben Nevis

April 1 2004, 5:27 PM 

Mountain rescuers were called out after two men became stranded on a hill in the Highlands.
The two climbers, who have not been identified, got into difficulty in the area of Orion Face, Ben Nevis.
The men had to endure the night on the mountain but were then walked off the hill by members of the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team.
http://icdumfries.icnetwork.co.uk/news/nationalnews/headlines/tm_objectid=14106582&method=full&siteid=77296&headline=climbers-in-rescue-drama-name_page.html


 
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