Günter Jung -- Oldest Climber of Nanga Parbat (65) Missing on Descent
July 5 2004, 4:25 PM
A German mountaineer in his 60s was feared dead after a fall while descending Pakistan's second highest peak, Nanga Parbat, expedition officials said on Monday.
The man was part of a six-member German expedition that set off in May to climb the 26,658-foot (8,125-m) peak, whose name in Urdu means "Naked Mountain."
The accident happened last week ahead of the 51th anniversary of the peak's conquest by a German climber.
"He slipped when he was descending along with his colleagues," said Esar Karim, the tour operator who organized the trip, adding that the team had successfully reached the summit.
The remaining members of the expedition returned safely, added Karim, who identified the missing man as Gunter Jung.
A German embassy spokesman confirmed a national was feared dead, but declined to give his name.
"We are still waiting for information from the Pakistani authorities," he said.
Nanga Parbat, also known as "Killer Mountain" for the risks associated with ascents, is the ninth highest mountain in the world and the westernmost mountain of the Himalayas.
Hermann Buhl, a German, was the first climber to reach the peak of Nanga Parbat on July 3, 1953, climbing Web sites say.
Pakistan's remote north boasts five of world's 14 peaks higher than 8,000 meters. http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=peopleNews&storyID=5588694
At 65, Günter Jung was the oldest person to climb Nanga Parbat when he fell and went missing on descent.
Expedition leader Christian Walter led AlpinClub's first 8,000m expedition to Nanga Parbat in 1993. The team attempted the classical Rakhiot (Buhl) Route, but did not make the summit. Now, 11 years later, Christian made good on his vow to return. Joining him this year is his brother Markus (who has climbed four 8000ers), Jörg Stingl, the second German to climb Everest without oxygen, and Jens Triebel and Carsten Beichler, who each have made first ascents on rock climbs in Brooks Range and Grade X sport climbs. Rounding out the team was 65 year-old Günter Jung, who had 40 years of climbing experience and summited several 7,000m peaks.
Nanga Parbat lies in the Western Himalaya and is the 6th tallest mountain and the 2nd most dangerous after Annapurna. Statistically the summit/fatality rate is 28%.
2 Rescued Following Fall Through Opening in Teton Snowfield
July 6 2004, 4:16 PM
MOOSE, Wyo. -- Grand Teton National Park rangers rescued two injured backpackers who slipped and fell through an opening in a snowfield during a holiday trek.
They were part of a family hiking down Teton Crest Trail west of 13,770-foot Grand Teton on Sunday.
Will Behrens, 78, of Windsor, Calif., suffered a head injury, and David Behrens, 50, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, injured a knee when they fell through the gap while descending a portion of Cascade Canyon below Hurricane Pass, officials said.
David Behrens' son, 16, was the first to fall, suffering facial injuries and losing several teeth. He fell into running water underneath the snow.
While attempting to help his son, David Behrens fell through the same opening. Will Behrens tried to move to a safer area, but he, too, slipped on the icy slope, dropping into the same hole.
The three managed to get out, set up their tent and put on dry clothes. The boy then hiked out and reached help on a cell phone.
Dodging thunderstorms, rescuers flew in six rangers by helicopter to provide initial care. The hikers were transported to a Jackson hospital.
The bodies of the four French climbers who died on the Valdostan side of the Monte Rosa Massif have been recovered. The four bodies have been airlifted by the Valdostan national rescue service to the city morgue of Champoluc. At around six this morning, the helicopter was able to take off because the weather had cleared making it possible to recover the four victims' bodies. The climbers were found near Castore Mountain (4,225 m) between D'Ayas Valley and Gressoney Valley. It seems from the first inquiries, that they fell from the top of the Castore Mountain, slipping down its side. The tragedy took place yesterday. The four, together with two other French climbers were all well-equipped experts; the two survivors, a man and a woman, were brought to Aosta's regional hospital, are in "very serious conditions", http://www.agi.it/english/news.pl?doc=200407091114-1024-RT1-CRO-0-NF11&page=0&id=agionline-eng.oggitalia
Outward Bound Group Carries Injured Woman 5 Miles in Maine
July 15 2004, 4:13 PM
A Florida woman is expected to be released from the hospital Thursday, after recovering from an illness that struck while she was hiking on the Appalachian Trail in northern Maine.
Sara Rahaim of Jacksonville became so ill Tuesday she couldn't walk without help. Seven other hikers, who included Outward Bound students and their instructor, carried Rahaim over five miles on their shoulders to a vehicle owned by the outdoors group.
The 63-year-old woman was taken to Charles Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville and later transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
Rahaim had been hiking on the trail in a remote area west of Millinocket with a friend when she got sick.
Medical officials say Rahaim suffered from bleeding in her stomach caused by medicines she was taking for neck pains. http://www.wmtw.com/Global/story.asp?S=2043172
Climbing Shoes Placed on Mules to Facilitate Yosemite Rescue
July 15 2004, 4:20 PM
Yosemite National Park (CA)
Rescue of Pack Mules
A park concession mule train supplying the Merced Lake High Sierra Camp wrecked on the Bunnell switchbacks in the Merced River Canyon around noon on July 9th. Four loaded mules, strung together by rope, tumbled and slid for approximately 200 feet across low-angle granite slabs below the trail and came to rest upon a granite bench. The animals sustained only slight injuries in their fall. An NPS trail crew working nearby responded and assisted in stabilizing the mules and assessing the situation. The trail crew members decided that more resources and equipment were needed to safely extricate the animals from where they were now stuck. The concession stables foreman, the park trails branch supervisor, and two SAR team members were flown to the scene in the parks contract helicopter. The mules metal shoes were covered with tape to simulate sticky rubber climbing shoes. A rope system was set up to belay the mules as they made their way back across the slick rock and up to the trail. Three of four mules danced, high-stepped, and stumbled as they were lead across the slabs back to safety. One mule, weighing about a thousand pounds, slipped and rolled, but was caught by the rope team. She was able to right herself and safely continue. When all four mules were back on the trail, they were repacked and continued up the trail to the camp.[Submitted by Jason Gayeski-Peters, SAR Team] http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/morningreportold.cfm?date=07%2F13%2F2004
WILLIAMSTOWN -- An injured Brookline man spent about six hours in a remote, rugged area near the Mount Prospect Trail on Saturday as town and state emergency workers worked urgently to bring him to safety.
The rescue of 49-year-old Frederick Lawrence forced rescuers to hike about three miles in and out of extremely rugged mountain landscapes to reach Lawrence and carry him to a waiting ambulance. Two emergency responders were injured during their rescue efforts.
Town police Sgt. Scott McGowan said that Lawrence used a cellular telephone to alert police that he had slipped while walking and seriously injured his ankle. Lawrence reported the accident at 4 p.m., and police immediately assembled a rescue team. Town officers, Massachusetts Environmental Police, and emergency medical technicians with the Village Ambulance Service were assisted by a Massachusetts State Police helicopter during the initial rescue attempt.
According to McGowan, first reports indicated that that Lawrence was in an area accessible by all-terrain vehicles, and ATVs loaded with rescue gear were sent up the trail. But about 20 minutes into the trek, McGowan said he was notified by radio that the area was very treacherous and just a few minutes after that, one ATV plunged over a 10-foot embankment. The crash left EMT John Meaney of Village Ambulance with a shoulder injury and town police Officer Michael Ziemba with bruises and lacerations. Meaney was taken from the scene and brought to North Adams Regional Hospital; Ziemba continued to work with rescuers and was examined at the hospital after the rescue was completed, McGowan said.
Officials at the scene realized that the rescue would have to be accomplished on foot, and a 21-member rescue team was sent up the mountain. Team members included town and state police officers, EMTs, members of the Berkshire County Search and Rescue agency, state park rangers, state environmental police officers, and members of the Pownal, Vt., fire department.
"This was real dangerous at times," McGowan said, and noted that the rescuers hauled an emergency rescue basket, rope, medical stabilizing equipment, communication radios and portable lights as they made their way to Lawrence. http://www.thetranscript.com/Stories/0,1413,103~9049~2267819,00.html
63 Airlifted After Being Stranded for Six Days Following Taiwan Tropical Storm
July 15 2004, 5:19 PM
Sixty-three college student hikers trapped on mountains as Tropical Storm Mindulle swept the nation were rescued by helicopter yesterday. All were recovered and no one was seriously hurt.
The Sea Gull Helicopter Rescue Team in Chiayi County yesterday morning flew into mountain areas in Nantou County to transport the marooned students to a medical station set up at a local stadium.
Most of the students had been trapped in the mountains for at least six days.
Seven students were from Chengchi University, six from National Taiwan Ocean University, eight from Tamkang University and 16 from National Chungshing University.
After alighting from the helicopter at the stadium, several students, some crying, called their parents to tell them they were fine. Others hugged friends and family who had been waiting for them.
The rescued students were tired, some badly bitten by mosquitoes. One student had suffered minor abrasions.
Students from National Taiwan Ocean University told reporters that because of the heavy rain, landslides and falling rocks, they had chosen to shelter in huts and wait for rescue. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2004/07/08/2003178112
Newspaper Editor Fatality in Bid to Plant Birthday Champagne Bottle on Scottish Peak
July 15 2004, 5:20 PM
CLIMBER died in Glencoe while trying to climb to the top of Buachaille Etive Mhor to leave a surprise bottle of champagne for a friend.
Trevor Walls, 51, editor of The Glaswegian weekly newspaper, slipped and fell while climbing on Friday.
His body was found in East Gully by members of Glencoe mountain rescue team, who found the bottle smashed inside Mr Walls's rucksack.
Last night his mother Jean, 71, said Mr Walls had wanted to leave a bottle of champagne at the summit in celebration of the 50th birthday of a friend, who had been due to climb the mountain later that day.
He had played a leading role in the Daily Record mountain club and members continued with their weekend plans to climb the mountain where he died in his honour.
A club spokesman said: "It was a very emotional day, but we felt it was the right thing to do, and it is what Trevor would have wanted."
Mrs Walls said her son, former supplements editor at the Daily Record, had died doing the thing he loved. "Just two weeks ago, we talked about the risks of his climbing. He said to me 'If I go off a hill, then I'll go happy'. He loved the hills, and we are getting comfort from the fact he died doing something that meant so much to him."
Mr Walls had climbed on Buachaille Etive Mhor several times. Friends and family plan to scatter his ashes on the mountain.
His father John, 75, of Monymusk, Aberdeenshire, said last night: "Trevor always wanted to make people happy and we weren't surprised when we heard what he was doing on the mountain."
Mr Walls's wife Lindsey and Peter, his 15-year-old son, are due to visit the spot where he died later today. "He was a great dad and just adored Peter," added Mrs Walls.
A CLIMBER died in Glencoe while trying to climb to the top of Buachaille Etive Mhor to leave a surprise bottle of champagne for a friend.
Trevor Walls, 51, editor of The Glaswegian weekly newspaper, slipped and fell while climbing on Friday.
His body was found in East Gully by members of Glencoe mountain rescue team, who found the bottle smashed inside Mr Walls's rucksack.
Last night his mother Jean, 71, said Mr Walls had wanted to leave a bottle of champagne at the summit in celebration of the 50th birthday of a friend, who had been due to climb the mountain later that day.
He had played a leading role in the Daily Record mountain club and members continued with their weekend plans to climb the mountain where he died in his honour.
A club spokesman said: "It was a very emotional day, but we felt it was the right thing to do, and it is what Trevor would have wanted." http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/19827.html
Man Eats Birds and Insects and Drinks Uring to Survive Lost in Arizona Desert
July 20 2004, 12:52 PM
Tolleson man who was lost in the desert for 36 hours is now recovering from an ordeal that forced him to eat birds and insects to survive.
Ruben Jimenez, 28, was reported missing by his sister Thursday night when he failed to come back from a morning hike in the southwest Valley.
After hours of walking in the desert with only a jug of water, some soda and crackers, Jimenez made his way to a home near 115th and Southern avenues Friday night.
Jimenez was dehydrated and disoriented when he was found and is now recovering at home. He suffered several cuts.
"It's unbelievable, but I made it and I'm alive," he said Saturday from his home. "I was thinking I was going to die, but I'm OK."
Jimenez decided to go out for one last trek with his three dogs before moving to New Mexico. His wife and two small children were already in the state, but flew back Friday.
After six hours of walking, Jimenez tried to take a shortcut and got lost. He said he panicked about 7 p.m. when he ran out of water. To survive the high temperatures, he drank from dirty puddles left behind from the recent monsoon storm and his own urine, he said. He also ate birds and insects.
"At one point, I said, 'That's it, God, take me. I want to die.' "
As for the dogs, one returned Thursday; the others are missing.
It was difficult for the helicopters to find Jimenez once he followed the river because of the dense salt cedar brush, said Sgt. Paul Chagolla of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
But eventually, Jimenez found help several miles from the search-and-rescue command post, he said.
"The only reason this individual survived is that he's physically fit," Chagolla said.
Searchers have recovered the body of a hiker who died on a mountain in Gros Morne National Park.
The body of Stephen Latte, 54, of Ottawa, was spotted by helicopter on Monday about halfway down Gros Morne Mountain, but ground crews were unable to reach it due to the steep slope.
An attempt to retrieve the body with the helicopter was made Tuesday, but park warden Peter Deering said the weather closed in quickly and the recovery effort was called off until conditions improve.
The weather cleared on Wednesday morning, allowing searchers to reach the area.
RCMP Sgt. Paul Collins said the body was taken to a hospital in Corner Brook for an autopsy.
Latte was reported missing Sunday evening http://www.canada.com/ottawa/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=03500c69-e944-4232-8556-2eb11db32da2
Fatality in Solo Attempt of North Ridge of Grand Teton
July 21 2004, 10:06 PM
Piecing together clues, from an alarm clock to a backpack, rescuers found and retrieved Tuesday the body of a climber who fell as much as 1,000 feet while attempting the Grand Traverse.
Grand Teton National Park rangers recovered the body of Dwight Bishop, of Butte, Mont., Tuesday evening after a two-day search, which involved more than 50 rangers and volunteers combing 13 miles of ridge line and 11 peaks in the park. Rangers believe he slipped while climbing the North Ridge of the Grand, a climb rated at 5.8 on the Yosemite Decimal System, without a rope and fell to the bottom of the Grandstand, the 13,770-foot peaks north sholder.
Bishop had told a friend that he would attempt a solo, one-day traverse Friday of the technical route between Teewinot Mountain and Nez Perce called the Grand Traverse. The coveted route involves climbing the major peaks in the center of the range and involves climbing the north side of the Grand.
On Monday morning, three days after his planned departure, Bishops friend and climbing partner, Fred Donich, reported the 49-year-old climber overdue.
Park rangers quickly located Bishops car at Lupine Meadows Trailhead. Inside, they discovered a pair of crampons, a cell phone and an alarm clock set for 2 a.m. Rangers also had learned that Bishop had spoken with his mother Thursday.
All clues pointed to a predawn departure Friday for the Grand Traverse, said Andy Fisher, the parks chief ranger.
Rangers then dispatched a contract helicopter to fly the route, as soon as weather permitted, to look for tracks in the snow and search the most likely areas Bishop might be found. Three teams, including park and Bridger Teton National Forest employees, searched on the ground until dark.
Rangers also hung posters with a picture and description of Bishop to see if other climbers had seen him. At 5-foot-7-inches and 145 pounds, Bishop was fit. He also was an experienced climber, who had completed the Grand Traverse at least once before, park officials said.
At 6 a.m., Tuesday, park rangers more than doubled the rescue effort with 50 searchers, including Teton County Search and Rescue volunteers and five teams of search dogs. A second helicopter from Yellowstone National Park also assisted. Another 20 workers coordinated the search from the ground.
Teams fanned out across various segments of the Grand Traverse, working in technical and dangerous terrain, to find Bishop.
Searchers got a break when two climbers in Valhalla Canyon on the west side of the Grand Teton discovered Bishops backpack. The two climbers had encountered searchers earlier in the day and knew rangers were looking for Bishop. The climbers opened the pack and found notes on the Grand Traverse, Anzelmo said.
The climbers then ran into two park rangers searching for Bishop in Valhalla Canyon and showed them the pack, Anzelmo said. The rangers called in a helicopter, which spotted Bishops body at 6:20 p.m. while en route to meet the rangers, Anzelmo said.
The pack was about 50 feet from Bishop, who was found at 11,000 feet. Bishop had successfully climbed Teewinot and Mount Owen and was between Mount Owen and the Grand Teton when he fell, Anzelmo said.
We will never know for sure, but it is likely that he fell as much as a 1,000 feet, Anzelmo said. Searchers found no rope in Bishops pack or on his body.
A rock climbing accident claims the life of a Boise woman east of Boise at a spot popular with rock climbers.
The Ada County Sheriff's Department says a man, his 27-year old wife, and seven year old daughter were climbing the Black Cliffs in Ada County when the wife got hit by a falling rock.
Undersheriff Gary Raney says as the man was climbing, and as he pulled himself up, a rock came loose, fell and hit his wife on the head around 6:30 Thursday night.
She then fell.
Deputy Steve Russell says life saving measures were taken, but to no avail.
The exact cause of death has yet to be determined.
Deputy Russell says people getting hurt at the base of climbing areas isn't uncommon.
"Usually, most of the calls that we get--it's not the climbers that get injured, it's the people that are spectating, either getting hit by loose rocks and debris that fall from the mountain," he says. http://www.kbcitv.com/x5154.xml?ParentPageID=x5157&ContentID=x55958&Layout=KBCI.xsl&AdGroupID=x5154
It took most of the day Friday to rescue a 20-year-old man who had fallen about 300 feet during his descent of Mount Hood.
Zach Usadi-Henrickson was descending the mountain on the well-used south climbing route at about 10,500 feet with two climbing partners when he fell, said Sgt. Nick Watt of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.
"We heard him yelling, and we saw him sliding over the rocks," said Robert Chambers, 45, of Doylestown, Pa., who was descending the mountain with his brother. "There were a lot of rocks . . . and that hurts."
Chambers said he watched as Usadi-Henrickson was able to use an ice ax to stop his slide. He came to rest at the base of Crater Rock, about 200 feet west of the Hogsback, and was suffering from leg lacerations and possible back and neck injuries, officials said. He was taken to Legacy Mt. Hood Medical Center in Gresham for treatment.
Steve Rollins of Portland Mountain Rescue was in the Timberline Lodge parking lot when Usadi-Henrickson fell. He was the first to reach the fallen climber.
Watt said that Usadi-Henrickson was climbing with two other men and that none of them had signed the climbing register at the Timberline Day Lodge before beginning their ascent of the 11,240-foot mountain.
Jeff Jaqua of the U.S. Forest Service said that signing the climbing registry is voluntary but that filling out a wilderness permit when heading into the Mount Hood Wilderness is mandatory. He said that it appears the men did not get the required permit and that they could face a fine as a result. http://www.oregonlive.com/metroeast/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/metro_east_news/1090671256144450.xml
Helicopter crews looking for lost hiker Eric Sears likely searched the same rugged stretch of Joshua Tree National Park where volunteers later found a body presumed to be that of the missing 17-year-old Carlsbad youth, a park official said Saturday.
Even after the grisly discovery Friday near the Twin Tanks backcountry trailhead, helicopter crews still had trouble finding the searchers and the body in the harsh landscape of towering boulders and thick brush, Supervising Park Ranger Cindy Von Halle said by phone.
She explained that most of the park's earlier searches for Sears had targeted the Jumbo Rocks area, about 2 ½ miles from the Twin Tanks region. Sears' longtime friend, Ben Fogelstrom, also 17, had told another camper on July 15 that he and Sears had become separated during a hike.
"The campground itself is so rocky, we spent a lot of time looking in crevices and holes," said Von Halle, adding that it is not uncommon for rangers to find lost hikers in the fissures around Jumbo Rocks. "We thought he had fallen into a crack or crevice, so that's where we focused our search."
The decomposed body, believed to be that of a white male in his late teens to early 30s, will not be positively identified until after an autopsy, scheduled for Monday at the Riverside County Coroner's Office in Perris, according to Riverside County sheriff's officials.
Investigators probed the site of the body's discovery from 3 until 10 p.m. Friday, sheriff's spokesman Cpl. Dennis Gutierrez said.
On Monday, homicide investigators launched a criminal investigation into Sears' disappearance after receiving reports from park visitors of possible foul play. Three days later, detectives served a search warrant at Fogelstrom's house, removing unspecified evidence. At the time, authorities called Fogelstrom a focus of the investigation, but said he has not been arrested and is not considered a suspect.
A relative at the Fogelstrom's Carlsbad home declined to comment Saturday.
Jordan Ahle, a close friend of Sears', said Saturday that he had heard that Fogelstrom "is hurting really bad from this. He really wanted Eric to come home."
The Sears family could not be located for comment Saturday.
Will Despathy, 70, of Indio was among the team of 14 volunteer searchers - many of whom were Sears family friends - that found the body Friday. The group was led by Carlsbad firefighter and Sears family friend Mark Berklite. http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_sears25.a0ed7.html
Helicopter Rescue Offtrail in Avalanche Canyon in Grand Teton
July 27 2004, 7:28 PM
Rangers rescued a stranded hiker from a steep, 200-foot canyon wall in Grand Teton National Park.
Oren Lambert, 19, of Shorewood, Wis., and Chelsea Caldwell, 20, of Liberty, Mo., were hiking off trail in lower Avalanche Canyon on Saturday when they decided to climb up a wall, according to Jackie Skaggs, park spokeswoman. Both are working in the park this summer.
Lambert became stuck on the steep rock face and was unable to either ascend or descend safely, Skaggs said.
Caldwell called rangers on a cell phone at 3:30 p.m.
A helicopter dropped four rangers off about 4:25 p.m. at the nearest possible landing zone. They hiked down the canyon and then climbed to just above where Lambert was stuck and rappelled down to him, Skaggs said.
Rangers then lowered Lambert 100 feet into a nearby gully, where he could walk out safely. Rangers escorted Lambert and Caldwell out of the canyon, reaching the trailhead at 10:30 p.m.
Woman Without Helmet Climbing Fatality in Yoho National Park in Canada
July 27 2004, 7:31 PM
A 40-year-old Quebec woman is dead following a climbing accident near Lake O'Hara in Yoho National Park.
Wardens say the incident happened around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
The woman and her climbing partner were on a steep slope below the Abbot Pass hut when a football-sized rock bounced down the escarpment and hit the victim in the head.
A helicopter later took her directly to the coroner's office in Golden.
Wardens say the woman was not wearing a helmet. http://calgary.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=0726climbing_deathJuly262004
Fatality in Stevens Canyon in Mount Rainier National Park
July 27 2004, 7:32 PM
Searchers have spotted the body of a missing kayaker from the Portland area in Mount Rainier National Park, officials said.
Now, rangers are working to recover the body from the remote location in the river near Sylvia Falls.
The man, whose name has not been released, was reported overdue Monday by his wife. She said he left Portland on Saturday with plans to hike and kayak on some trails and rivers on Mount Rainier, according to park spokeswoman Lee Taylor.
The man's pickup truck was found Monday, with his kayak and bike missing.
His red kayak was found later that day, on a sandbar in Stevens Canyon near Sylvia Falls.
Taylor said searchers also found the kayaker's paddle nearby.
Teams zeroed in on that area and Tuesday morning, rangers found the body in the river near where the man's kayak and paddle turned up.
A family vacation turned tragic Friday when a Toledo teenager fell to her death from a West Virginia mountain while hiking with her brother and a friend, authorities said.
Kathryn Hartman, 15, of 2450 Robinwood Ave., who would have been a junior at St. Ursula Academy, began hiking about 3 p.m. Friday at the Seneca Rocks Recreation Area, a mountainous section of the Monongahela National Forest, 35 miles east of Elkins, W.Va.
Together with her brother, Christopher, who graduated this year from St. Francis de Sales High School, and a teenager identified only as Christopher's girlfriend, Miss Hartman reached the 900-foot peak of Seneca Rocks' single hiking trail, and stopped about 4 p.m. to eat and take pictures.
Several minutes later, Miss Hartman slipped and fell 30 to 40 feet off the high precipice. http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040725/NEWS08/407250392/-1/NEWS
Helicopter Rescue Closes Lanes on I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass in Washington
July 29 2004, 2:20 AM
A 27-year-old man was rescued via helicopter Wednesday afternoon after falling down an embankment at Franklin Falls at Snoqualmie Pass.
Several lanes of Interstate 90 near the Denny Creek exit were shut during the rescue.
The man was reportedly hiking with three others when he decided to climb some steep rocks near Franklin Falls. He slipped and fell about 30 feet into an area that was difficult to get him out of without the aid of the MAST helicopter, according to rescue officials.
"It was wide open enough that they could actually make the rescue. There are some areas here in Snoqualmie Pass that are too tight for MAST to get into," said Chief Matt Cowan, Snoqualmie Fire Dept.
Eighteen-year-old camp Counselor Elizabeth Parker was there with some of her charges when they saw the man fall.
Fatality on Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park
July 29 2004, 11:13 PM
Maryland man who fell 35 feet into a crevasse on Glacier National Park's Grinnell Glacier died late Tuesday, despite a grueling rescue effort on the part of park rangers.
"It was a very difficult extrication," said ranger Gary Moses, who was among the rescuers who were lowered into the crevasse to help Howard Cohn, 46, of Columbia, Md.
Cohn was with his wife and a group of 15 hikers from the Washington, D.C., area who were visiting Glacier Park. Cohn and three members of the group were on a day hike when Cohn walked onto the glacier while the rest of the party waited. When he disappeared from sight, the others started looking for him, eventually discovering that he had fallen into a crevasse.
At 3:30 p.m., the group contacted a naturalist ranger who was leading a tour in the area, triggering an elaborate rescue effort.
A contract helicopter was dispatched, carrying two loads of park personnel to the scene from the Many Glacier area. After they arrived and assessed the situation, they called for additional help from West Glacier, said Moses, who ended up being operations chief on the mission.
Moses and three other west-side rangers equipped with additional climbing gear were flown to the 170-acre glacier, which overlooks the Many Glacier valley. http://www.dailyinterlake.com/NewsEngine/SelectStory_AD.tpl?command=search&db=news.db&eqskudata=62-815613-13
SKARDU: A Spanish climber has died while descending 8,068 meter Gasherbrum-I in the mighty Karakoram ranges, Deputy Commissioner Skardu, Sajid Baloch confirmed here Thursday.
Jose Antonio Anton Lopez, 30, was returning from the summit of Gasherbrum-I on Sunday when he slipped and fell 700 meter to his death from 7,400 meters, Sajid told 'Pakistan Times'.
"We got the news of his death three days after the incident. His body has gone deep into the crevasse which needs an uphill task to be retrieved," the DC added.
Jose Antonio was a member of nine-men Spanish team. He is the fifth climber to die on Pakistan's mountains this year.
A German died while descending Nanga Parbat (8125 metres), the country's second highest peak, earlier this month and in early June three South Korean climbers on K2 were killed by an avalanche at 6,600 meters.
Gasherbrum-I is the world's 11th highest mountain and Pakistan's number three peak. http://www.pakistantimes.net/2004/07/30/sports4.htm
Denali Closes Two Backcountry Zones Following Grizzly Sow Encounter
August 1 2004, 1:12 AM
Officials at Denali National Park and Preserve have temporarily closed two backcountry zones to visitors after a solo hiker was slightly injured in a rare confrontation with a grizzly sow with a cub, they said Friday.
They also sharply curtailed hiking and other activities around the Eielson Visitor Center because a second sow, hanging around with two cubs in the center's vicinity, has been acting strangely, occasionally charging vehicles as well as the Eielson facility itself, according to park authorities.
The sow at the visitor center, 66 miles into the park, has not injured anyone but nevertheless concerns park managers more than the grizzly that pawed the hiker, said Denali spokeswoman Kris Fister.
"The sow has been around that (Eielson) area all summer," Fister said. "The biologists want to know, why all of a sudden has she become erratic? Why all of a sudden is she acting like this, and what's stressing her out?"
The bear that injured the hiker, a 34-year-old Norwegian, accompanied her spring cub and appears to have reacted normally, Denali officials said. It may have been surprised by the solo hiker and another man walking alone earlier the same day.
Nils Hammerstedt, of Oslo, encountered a grizzly with a spring cub at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday while walking through brush and low hills near Glacier Creek, several miles southwest of the Eielson center, according to the park.
He had entered a different part of the backcountry on Friday and couldn't be reached, park officials said.
Hammerstedt had a backcountry permit and had been camping alone in the area for a few nights when he met up with the bear and her cub, said Fister. Hammerstedt and the sow appeared to see each other at the same time.
Denali National Park advises all visitors on how to behave around bears, even if they come no closer than a half-mile. Those who hike and camp in the park's 41 backcountry units receive even more extensive bear education as a requirement for getting a permit, park managers said.
The general rule is that hikers should let a bear know of their presence by waving their arms and speaking to the bear while backing slowly away if they encounter one.
Hammerstedt apparently followed the instructions well, Fister said.
"He talked loud, backed away slowly, raised his hands," she said. The sow, however, kept coming, "not rapidly, just consistently."
When the sow closed the distance from Hammerstedt to 10 feet, the man dropped to his knees and elbows, curled into a fetal position and covered his neck with his hands, she said.
That, too, is standard advice, although Denali rangers generally say that "playing dead" should be the last resort, tried only when a grizzly is about to make contact. Hammerstedt may have dropped prematurely, Fister said. http://www.adn.com/front/story/5362314p-5300869c.html
The bodies of two climbers killed on Mount Washington in the central Oregon Cascades were recovered Saturday by Jefferson County sheriff's deputies.
Linn County Sheriff Dave Burright said Thomas A. Seifert, 46, of Goldendale and Gary L. Glentz, 50, of White Salmon planned a one-day climb of the rocky 7,794-foot peak Thursday and that relatives contacted Deschutes County deputies when they did not return as scheduled.
Deschutes County deputies found their car near Big Lake. Burright's office was notified and a search began. The mountain is on Linn County's eastern border.
Jefferson County deputies found the bodies, still roped together, on the west side of the mountain at about 11 a.m. at the 7,190-foot level.
Both were experienced climbers but this apparently was their first attempt at Mount Washington, a fairly short climb but with a difficult pinnacle at the top.
Burright said equipment failure may have been to blame.
The deputies were joined by mountain rescue teams from Eugene and Corvallis, the Linn County Explorer Scouts' search and rescue post, the Linn County Mounted Posse and the 1042nd Army National Guard.
The bodies were airlifted from the mountain to a funeral home in Sweet Home. http://www.heraldnet.com/stories/04/08/01/wir_climbers001.cfm
Hell's Canyon Hiker Survives After 4,000-5,000 Pound Boulder Falls on Her
August 1 2004, 11:08 PM
A 4,000- to 5,000-pound rock fell on a hiker who was trying to climb it Saturday, but she suffered no broken bones in the mishap.
Judy Curtis, who had been hiking with a church group in Hell's Canyon, was freed by rescuers who used three air bags to lift the rock off her legs. Larimer County sheriff's officials said Curtis was alert and talking the whole time.
Greg Curtis, who did not see the accident, said his wife was in good condition at Saint Anthony's Central Hospital in Denver. He said she may have to undergo surgery.
"No broken legs, just real bad cuts," he said. "It's a miracle. The paramedic told me the only thing that saved her leg was a decomposed tree underneath her," which apparently kept the rock from crushing her leg.
A sheriff's deputy said there was a depression under the spot where the rock landed. "That was the saving feature of the whole accident," sheriff's office spokeswoman Eloise Campanella said.
Judy Curtis, 47, of Arvada, and her husband have four children. http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20040731_1524.html
The following report of a drowning/traumatic death crossing a glacial stream on Canada's Baffin Island showed up on a climber.org email list recently. I am posting the link to the report with the author's permission, in the hopes that it may allow others to avoid a similar fate.
Judy Curtis doesn't think she's lucky, but she knows she's blessed.
The 47-year-old Arvada mother of four daughters easily could have been killed, maimed or much more seriously injured Saturday when a five-foot-diameter, one-ton boulder rolled onto her legs, pinning her for more than three hours.
Instead, Curtis found herself Sunday in St. Anthony Central Hospital with a dislocated left hip, a large patch of skin scraped off her thigh and a deep cut on one calf.
The link from the Denver Post didn't work:
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Rocky Mt. News did.
Rescuers Find Body After 12 Minute Search in Big Stream Gorge in New York
August 2 2004, 10:59 PM
STARKEY State police Sunday morning recovered the body of the Irondequoit man who fell into the Big Stream Gorge basin.
Members of the state police Troop E Dive Team located drowning victim Remo DiGirolamo, 24, of Culver Road at 8:42 a.m. after searching for only 12 minutes.
State police from Dundee said DiGirolamo had been camping nearby and began walking along the creek bed around 3 p.m. Saturday with several friends, Erin Szostak, 30, Jason Szostak, 32, Mark Stackler, 30, Kristie Stackler, 27, Sarah Wollschleger, 24, Mattew Wollschleger, 24, and Meghan Bundrock, 24.
Investigators said it was around 5 p.m. when DiGirolamo was walking along the edge of a waterfall that he slipped and fell into the basin, five miles east of Dundee near Route 14 in the Glenora area. Rescue crews arrived at 5:20 p.m. State police, the Yates County Sheriffs Department and its dive team, Branchport Fire Department Dive Team and Dundee Rope and Rescue Team searched the waters at Big Stream until 8:30 p.m. when rescue efforts had to be called off because of darkness and dangerous conditions.
The search resumed at 8 a.m. Sunday, with the dive team going back to the Gorge around 8:30 a.m.
DiGirolamo was pronounced dead at the scene by Yates County Coroner Darlene Walsh, and his body was taken to Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Penn Yan.
State police were assisted at the scene by the Yates County Sheriffs Office, Dundee Volunteer Fire Department and Branchport Fire Department.
This was the second time in eight days that someone fell into the gorge. David Streeten, 19, of Corning, was pulled from the gorge July 23 after falling 40 feet. Streeten, a Binghamton University lacrosse player, suffered a severe head injury and is still listed in critical condition.
Dundee Fire Chief Tracy Miller said the area, which has posted private property signs, is a very dangerous place for walkers and rescuers, making a rescue during the night extremely difficult. http://www.fltimes.com/Main.asp?SectionID=38&SubSectionID=121&ArticleID=5424
he was my friend since i was 8 or 9 years old. it truly is sad. he was such a good person. i hope everyone takes notice that no matter how ambitious our "adventure" goals (although his ambitions on this walk were not extraordinary--it was simply a nice way to spend an evening with friends, as far as i know), the pain and sadness caused by a death as a result of a hiking accident (or the like) is not worth what would be gained by the successful completion of the adventure. i know, now, after having to grieve with his parents, friends and family after this horrific tragedy.
Spanish Climber Feared Dead on K2 in Record Breaking Year
August 2 2004, 11:03 PM
A CLIMBER from Kyrgyzstan has disappeared on the world's second highest mountain K2 amid celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of its conquest, a tour operator said today.
Alexander Gubaev has been missing on the treacherous 8611-metre peak for seven days and is presumed dead, Adventure Tours Pakistan manager Abdullah Khan said in Pakistan's far northern town of Skardu.
Skardu lies in a high-altitude desert 300 kilometres north-east of Islamabad, and is the starting point for the seven-day trek to the K2 base camp.
"His body is still missing, which means either he has fallen through a crevasse or is buried beneath an avalanche," Mr Khan told AFP.
"Going missing for seven days on K2 means certain death."
K2 has been nicknamed 'savage mountain', 'killer mountain', and 'mountain of mountains' for its high fatality rate.
More summit-makers have died on descent of K2 than on any other mountain, according to the Adventurestats.com website which documents mountaineering feats.
Mr Gubaev would be the fourth fatality on K2 in its golden jubilee season. Three South Koreans were killed in an avalanche as they ascended its sheer icy slopes in June.
A record number of climbers - 43 - reached the summit of K2 last week ahead of the July 31 conquest anniversary.
They included a series of record-smashing feats that saw the oldest man ever to stand on K2, Spain's 65-year-old Carlos Soria; the first Chinese, Colombian and Romanian climbers to scale the mountain, and only the sixth woman ever.
Spain's Edurne Pasaban, 31, has become the only living female summit-maker of K2. Three of her predecessors died on descent of K2 and the two others died on other 8000 metre giants in Nepal.
K2, known in local language as Chogori or 'King of Mountains', lies on a remote uninhabited stretch of the Pakistan-China border, amid the biggest concentration of glaciers outside the North and South Poles.
It has a fatality rate (ratio of summit-makers to deaths) of 27 per cent, three times that of the world's highest mountain Everest.
Italian climbers Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli first scaled K2 at sunset on July 31, 1954. http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,10328699%255E1702,00.html
Lightning Fatality on French Gulch Near Breckenridge, Colorado
August 2 2004, 11:09 PM
A 28-year-old New Mexico woman was struck by lightning and killed at about 3 p.m. Sunday while hiking French Gulch near Breckenridge, said Sgt. Tom Tilka of the Summit County Sheriff's Office.
The woman's name was not released.
She was hiking with a group of about five people. Others in the group were knocked down by the strike but suffered only minor injuries.
The hiker killed by lightning was Mary Wiper of Bowbells, ND. She was a Sierra Club employee who had recently been transfered from Montana to Albuquerque. She was hiking with a group of friends from Boulder CO who were also knocked down by the lightning. (info from highpointer Anne Barthel (friend of Mary Wiper), and Aug 2 Denver Post article and Aug 3 Boulder Camera AP article.)
Fatality After Falling Off Log in Delaware Water Gap
August 2 2004, 11:16 PM
A woman has died after falling 30 feet into a creek in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Bushkill, Pa.
Park Rangers say Tatiana Culvert, 44, of Effort, Pa., was hiking with five friends Saturday afternoon when they crossed an elevated log over the Raymondskill Creek.
Witnesses say everyone else straddled the makeshift log bridge and shimmied across, but Culvert tried to stand up and walk across.
She lost her balance and fell into a section of the creek that's only 10 inches deep.
Rangers say Culvert was conscious for a short time after the fall, but lost consciousness just before the arrival of emergency crews.
Culvert was the mother of five children. http://www.nbc10.com/news/3605882/detail.html
Boy's Hand Swells to Twice Size Following Copperhead Bite on Abrams F;ass Trail in Smokies
August 3 2004, 9:22 PM
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has recorded its first known snakebite of the year.
A park spokeswoman says a 12-year-old Indiana boy picked up a copperhead as his family hiked along Abrams Falls Trail in Cades Cove. The venomous snake bit his right thumb.
Rangers sent the boy to a Maryville hospital after his family brought him to a ranger station for aid.
National Park Service spokeswoman Nancy Gray says the boy's hand was twice its normal size and there was a dark discoloration around the bite.
His name and condition weren't available.
There were about five recorded snake bites in the park last year. http://www.wkrn.com/Global/story.asp?S=212446745
Police and emergency workers rescued a rock climber who fell about 50 feet this morning from a rock wall at the former IBM Glen in the Town of Union.
A Union Volunteer Emergency Squad official said the individual -- William Farrell of Johnson City -- was practicing rapelling about 10:30 a.m. with a group when either the rope parted or his harness malfunctioned.
State police, Broome County sheriff's deputies, Union emergency medical technicians and Broome County Emergency Services responded to the scene. They used all-terrain vehicles to get to the remote site, a quarter-mile into the woods, and dragged Farrell out in a gurney behind an ATV.
Farrell was brought out of the Glen about 12:10 p.m. with apparent head and arm injuries.
His partner, Steve Taylor of Binghamton, was uninjured, and said both had been rock-climbing hobbiests for about a year. http://www.pressconnects.com/today/topstories/stories/to080404s108332.shtml
13-Year-Old Inner City Boy Dies After Being Scared By NH Bear
August 4 2004, 10:12 PM
A 13-year-old boy attending a camp for underprivileged children collapsed and died after being scared by a bear on a hike, authorities said Wednesday.
Antonio Hansell of Boston and a counselor from Camp Hale came across the bear twice Tuesday afternoon on Mount Doublehead, the state Fish and Game Department said. Officials said the two ran from the first encounter, and ran again after seeing the bear again while trying to retrieve Antonio's lost sneaker. The bear did not chase them.
When word reached Fish and Game Sgt. James Goss that Antonio was scared and did not want to continue hiking, Goss spoke to him by cell phone and judged that he was having trouble breathing.
Goss organized a rescue, which included camp staffers and fire and rescue personnel from Sandwich and Holderness. But the boy collapsed and was not breathing and had no pulse when rescuers reached him about two hours later, a half-mile from the trailhead, the department said in a statement.
Rescuers tried to resuscitate him at the scene, while he was being carried off the mountain and during an ambulance ride to Plymouth. He was pronounced dead at Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth.
An autopsy was being conducted Wednesday. Goss said he did not believe the boy had any medical problems.
Camp Hale is for low-income children from the Boston area.
6 Fatalities in Avalanche on Khan Tengri in Kyrgyzstan
August 5 2004, 10:24 PM
Five Czech climbers and a Russian trying to conquer one of Kyrgyzstan's highest peaks were killed in an avalanche today, their tour operator said. Another Czech climber was injured.
The group of 22 Czech climbers was moving from one camp to another on Khan Tengri mountain when the avalanche hit, a representative of the Ak-Sai Travel tour company said.
Two women were among those killed, the company representative said on condition of anonymity.
A Russian climber was also killed by the avalanche, but no more details were available, the company said.
Khan Tengri, which means Lord of Spirits, is 7,010 metres high and the third-highest peak in the country.
Mountains cover more than 90 per cent of impoverished Kyrgyzstan, which has loosened visa controls in an attempt to boost tourism. http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/003200408052063.htm
11 Confirmed Fatalities/40 Still Missing Kyrgyzstan Avalanche
August 8 2004, 8:30 PM
FOUR mountaineers had been plucked to safety high in the Central Asian peaks of Kyrgyzstan, but many more might still be trapped in avalanches that had killed 11, officials warned today.
Forty Russians remained unaccounted for as a helicopter lifted out the four Ukrainian and Czech survivors and the bodies of three mountaineers after three days of snow and fog hampered rescue attempts.
"We cannot rule out the possibility that more may have been trapped," said Emil Akhmatov, spokesman for the emergencies agency in Kyrgysztan, a mountainous former Soviet republic.
There was virtually no chance anyone would still be found alive, he said.
"There is no way to survive in such conditions - we don't expect more survivors."
Khan-Tengri (Lord of the Spirits) is one of the highest peaks in the Tien Shan mountain range and straddles the Kyrgyz, Chinese and Kazakh borders.
Kyrgyzstan, which has a population of about 5 million, has become a favoured destination for foreign mountaineers and trekkers since it became independent after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
About 90 per cent of the country is mountainous and much of it prone to earthquakes.
Yet the emergency situations ministry lacks any specially trained mountain rescue teams and there is no formal system for registering climbers heading to the mountains, said Igor Hanin, chairman of the Terskei volunteer rescue group.
"Not even all tour firms know who they have in their groups - the emergencies ministry should have specialised units for mountain rescue and the state should be controlling the situation."
The first ascent of Khan-Tengri was achieved by a Ukrainian in 1931 following a southern route. The more difficult eastern side was scaled only in 1998.
Several people have died on its slopes over the years and 43 people died on Kyrgyzstan's southern Lenin Peak in a massive avalanche in 1990. http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,10387800%255E1702,00.html
Fatality After Climbing Tallest Cliff Face in Britain
August 5 2004, 10:26 PM
A FIFTY-five-year-old climber fulfilled a lifetimes ambition of scaling the highest cliff in Britain then plunged to his death a day later in an abseiling accident.
Father-of-two Les Gorham, a company director from Didsbury, died after falling 70ft down a sheer rock face on the remote island of Orkney off Scotlands north-east coast.
The experienced climber and a 32-year-old friend from Orkney were abseiling down the Clett-of-Crura seastack, a rocky outcrop in Windwick Bay, south Ronaldsay, when he suddenly fell through a loop in his climbing rope onto the rock base below.
An RNLI lifeboat crew based in Longhope, rescued Mr Gorman in its inflatable dinghy. An ambulance then took him to Balfour Memorial Hospital in Kirkwall, where he died hours later.
A post-mortem in Inverness revealed Mr Gorham, who ran a sales network for Ecoflow, a firm specialising in electromagnetic therapy products from his home in Fog Lane, died of massive head injuries.
The accident, at about 7pm last Wednesday, July 28, occurred just a day after Mr Gorham, who leaves behind a 17-year-old son Michael and daughter Erica, 14, scaled St Johns Head in Orkney, the tallest cliff face in Britain. http://www.southmanchesterreporter.co.uk/news/index/articles/article_id=14997.html
Rescue After Woman Falls Down 300 Foot High Sand Dune in Michigan
August 5 2004, 10:40 PM
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (MI)
On Monday, July 26th, the park received a report that a visitor had fallen at the Log Slide, which is a popular visitor attraction consisting of a 300 foot high sand dune with a 600 foot slope. Rangers responded along with the Michigan State Police and local fire and rescue units. They found that a 65-year-old woman had lost her balance while climbing down the dune and had tumbled about 100 feet down its face. Rescuers belayed a litter 500 feet down the dune slope, then immobilized and prepared the woman for evacuation. She was lowered another 100 feet to the Lake Superior shoreline, then placed in an NPS patrol boat, conveyed to a waiting ambulance in Grand Marais, and taken to a hospital in Marquette. Although she had good neurological function in all extremities throughout the entire extrication and transport, she was admitted to the hospital with a cervical spine fracture.[Submitted by John Patmore, Supervisory Park Ranger] http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/morningreportold.cfm?date=08%2F05%2F2004
Helicopter Rescue on Fourteener in Kings Canyon, California
August 5 2004, 10:41 PM
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Three Short-Haul Rescues
Park staff conducted three short-haul rescues over the past two weeks:
· July 22 Yosemites Helicopter 551, with pilot Gary Spidell and spotter Jeff Pirog on board, short-hauled park medic Debbie Brenchley and a 69-year-old visitor with a broken leg from a 14,120-foot notch in the northern park of Kings Canyon.
· July 26 Sequoia/Kings Canyons Helicopter 552, with pilot Kent Pierce and spotter Carrie Vernon, short-hauled EMT John Ziegler and a teenage girl with a back injury from the the far side of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River in the foothills near Potwisha.
· August 3 Park medic Dave Walton and EMT Fred Mason were short-hauled by Helicopter 552 to a remote river location, again on the Middle Fork of the Kaweah, to rescue two teenage boys who spent the night stuck on a mid-stream rock bar.
These three incidents bring to four the number of short-haul rescues since the parks began the program this past June. Short-haul techniques place fewer people into dangerous terrain, provide definitive care more quickly to patients, and minimize disruptions to other park operations.
After an exhausting day of hiking to the summit of Mount Borah, Idaho's tallest peak, and back to their campsite, nine local Boy Scouts hiked halfway back up the mountain Friday to carry a 69-year-old injured hiker to safety.
The boys, ranging in age from 12 to 18, helped scout leaders and volunteer emergency response technicians carry the hiker on a stretcher for nearly three hours despite the steep, rocky terrain.
"Talk about saving the day," said Rick Smyer, a volunteer emergency medical technician. "If it wasn't for the scout troop, (the hiker) would have spent the night on the mountain. And who knows what would have happened to that ankle."
The injured hiker, Merle Thomsen of Los Angeles, was taken by air ambulance to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls late Friday, where doctors placed three plates and 10 screws in his right ankle, said scout leader Bob Southworth who spoke with Thomsen on Monday. Thomsen is now recovering in California and could not be reached for comment.
"He told me that the scouts gave a 'Herculean effort' on his behalf and he couldn't be more grateful," said Southworth. "Those kids were willing to strap back on those boots after being exhausted to help a man they didn't even know. They, to me, are true heroes."
The 25 scouts and 15 leaders arrived at Mount Borah Thursday evening, after spending most of the week at a nearby scout camp. On Friday, the troop began hiking up the mountain at about 5:30 a.m. On the way up, some of the scouts passed Thomsen, a member of Highpointers, a climbing group that attempts to reach the highest point in every state.
"As a big-time climber, he was big on climbing etiquette and kind of scolded the boys for running off the trail," said Darren Leavitt, scoutmaster.
Some of the boys ran ahead of the main group and reached the summit shortly after 9 a.m. Although the hike to the summit is relatively short, the terrain is steep, rising over 5,400 feet during the 3.5-mile climb.
The scouts continued their fast pace and arrived back at their campsite at about 1:30 p.m.
"The scout leaders couldn't keep up with them, so we took our time," said Southworth. "It was a good thing, too."
Shortly after 4 p.m., scout leaders Mike Palmer and Jeff Lamm found Thomsen sitting down on the trail two miles from the trailhead.
"His ankle was sideways and grossly disfigured," said Lamm. "His ankle was out of his socket."
Thomsen, who had fallen behind his three companions, awkwardly stepped on a rock, lost his balance and severely dislocated his right ankle, said Smyer.
The two radioed for help, asking their scout troop for help.
"I had taken my boots off and was sitting down when they asked for help," said Gunner Christensen, 12. "So I thought, 'Are you kidding me?' "
But within minutes, he and eight other scouts began the two-mile trek back up the mountain side.
"We couldn't just leave (the hiker) there," Christensen said.
Four volunteer EMTs arrived at 7:30 p.m., Leavitt said, before they cut off Thomsen's boot and strapped him to a stretcher. From there, the group began carrying Thomsen down the mountain.
"It was so steep, I can't believe we didn't kill him," said Christensen.
Thomsen was taken down head-first to prevent blood from rushing to his ankle. The group rotated shifts carrying the stretcher, while others cleared away rocks in the group's path.
"It was so steep, it was killing our feet," said Southworth.
Nearly three hours later, Thomsen was transferred for treatments while the scouts nursed their feet.
"(One leader) had his toe nails fall off," said Houston Armstrong, 16. "But we'd all do it again in a second. We're scouts. What else are we supposed to do?"
Missionaries Broadcasting From Plane Crash on Honduras Highpoint
August 9 2004, 6:50 PM
For nearly four decades, Mike Hines helped to spread the word of God. As a missionary in Central America, Hines would fly above villages in a specially modified plane with large speakers, broadcasting to the people below.
Over the years, his following included thousands of converts in El Salvador and Honduras. He once asked that those who believed, signal him back with a mirror reflecting the sun toward his airplane, and his mission soon was carried out above sparkling horizons.
But Hines' airplane disappeared off the radar screen nine days ago, near the Honduran border with El Salvador. That's when Brunswick's Brian Garrett got an email.
"The plane went down at the side of the highest mountain in Honduras, called Celanqua which is about a 10,000 foot mountain."
Garrett and Burleson are part of an organization called the International Supply Operations Network, or ISON. The group's goal is to respond to tragedies first to help direct other relief agencies to the best course of action.
In the past, ISON has provided disaster relief in the Abacos following hurricane Mitch and in south Florida after hurricanes Andrew.
But now, it was time to go after a lost man of the cloth.
"The monies were not available," said Reverend Garry Wiggins of the Evangel Temple Assembly of God. "We didn't have the almost $5000 in hand to do this."
But Wiggins and Garrett, the founders of ISON were determined to go. They paid with a personal credit card, and within hours, Garrett and Dr. Burleson were on their way to Central America.
Getting to the wreck meant cutting through miles of thick jungle where danger is everywhere, from animals, poisonous plants, insects, and the terrain itself.
"The area we were maneuvering in, there are mountains and cliffs and you're walking on small ledges with significant drops below you," said Garrett.
But the team's training paid off on the fourth day. They had traversed several mountains and miles of virgin jungle when the first pieces of the plane's wreckage was discovered.
"The stabilizer was found first, then each of the wings. About a kilometer from where the first piece was we found the fuselage."
Garrett and the others had hoped Hines might be alive, but it was clear the impact had taken the life of this man who'd dedicated three decades to spreading the word of God.
A US military helicopter was radioed in to help carry the missionaries remains out of the jungle. He was buried on Friday.
For the surviving family of Mike Hines, the recovery provided closure. A special celebration of his life and ministry was held Saturday in his home of Honduras.
Garrett is grateful for his group's safe passage.
"We certainly think that God was with us, and involved and we're thankful for that."
I am looking for information about an apparent plane crash that supposedly occurred around the same time as this article was posted in Honduras. I was told a private plane, two Americans aboard disappeared from radar somewhere between Honduras and Costa Rica sometime in early August. Apparently no wreckage was found but smoke was sighted in a body of water (?). I have not been able to locate information about this crash but a memorial service was held as the passengers are presumed dead.
Please respond with any knowledge of this.
Helicopter Rescue on Forbidden Peak in North Cascades
August 10 2004, 3:47 PM
North Cascades National Park (WA)
Climber Rescued from Forbidden Peak
A party of three climbers began an ascent of the North Ridge of Forbidden Peak on Saturday, July 31st, after first crossing the Quien Sabe and Boston Glaciers to reach the ridge. Around 9 a.m., Brian Miller of Seattle was leading the ascent when he fell about 40 feet, pulled out two protection pieces, then fell another 80 feet down a gulley. Miller sustained open fractures of both legs, but no other apparent injuries. His two partners raised him the 80 feet back to the ridge, then left him there and climbed out to seek assistance. Eight hours passed before they were able to climb to a location where their cell phone worked. They then contacted the park. Just before dark, a recon flight was made of the accident site and a radio was lowered to Miller to inform him that a rescue effort would be undertaken the next morning. Four rangers were flown in early on Sunday. Two climbing rangers were lowered to a point near Miller and prepared him for extrication. Miller was shorthauled to a flat snow bench further down the ridge, then transferred to an Airlift Northwest medical helicopter and flown to Harborview Trauma Center in Seattle.
[Submitted by Pete Cowan, Chief Ranger]
Helicopter Rescue After Glissading Accident on Andrews Glacier in RMNP
August 11 2004, 9:25 AM
Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Rescue of Injured Hiker
Richard Mercado, 40, of Huston, Texas, sustained serious head injuries in a fall on Andrews Glacier on Monday, August 2nd. Mercado was reportedly sliding down the glacier on a plastic trash bag when he spun out of control and hit some rocks along the edge of the ice. Park dispatch received a cell phone call reporting the accident. A park entrance station employee happened upon the scene and provided additional information via radio. Rangers began a hasty response up the trail while simultaneously arranging for a rental helicopter from Geo-Seis out of Fort Collins. SAR personnel and equipment were flown to a landing zone near the base of the glacier. They joined the rangers who came up the trail in providing advanced life support. Mercado was flown from the glacier to a hospital by a St. Anthonys Flight for Life helicopter from Denver.
[Submitted by Mark Magnuson, Chief Ranger] http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/morningreportold.cfm?date=08%2F11%2F2004
The body of a Los Gatos man who fell about 75 feet to his death while climbing Mount Ritter in eastern Madera County was recovered late Monday, a spokeswoman for the Madera County Sheriff's Department reported.
Dead is Otto Loenneker, 59, who was reported missing Sunday after he failed to return to his camp at the base of the mountain.
The spokeswoman, Erica Stuart, said Loenneker had been climbing with a friend when the two men reportedly set off in different directions early Sunday to scout for possible routes for a later attempt to the summit.
Loenneker is believed to have hit an ice field, causing him to fall to his death.
A helicopter pilot spotted the body Monday shortly after 5:30 p.m. and a team of search and rescue volunteers organized by Mono County authorities was dropped into the area to recover the body. http://www.fresnobee.com/updates/metro/story/8974538p-9867857c.html
Sandia researcher Bill Scherzinger, president of the Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council, looks at a SAR map and a standard topographic map used in search and rescue missions. (Photo by Randy Montoya / Courtesy Sandia National Laboratories)
Rapid Terrain Visualization (RTV) precision-mapping synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data was used for the first time last November by the Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council (AMRC) to help find and rescue a hiker stranded in the dark in the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico.
SAR experts at Sandia say the same technology could map other mountainous terrain around the country and be used in search and rescue missions there.
The Sandia Mountain effort started with a conversation between Dale Dubbert of Sandia's SAR Sensor Technologies Department, a former rescue council volunteer, and Sandia researcher Steve Attaway, a long-time group member.
"We talked about Sandia's capabilities to do precision terrain maps and realized that this technology could be useful in search and rescue missions," Dubbert says. "It had the potential of providing detailed information about terrain where searches are underway, including heights, locations of crevices and cliffs, and even different types of vegetation."
The RTV mapping system uses interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR). Two antennae offset in elevation aboard a moving aircraft allow the measurement of target height, as well as east-west and north-south position like conventional SAR. This produces a 3-D map that shows terrain details.
The IFSAR maps have an absolute height accuracy of less than two meters and a relative accuracy of less than one meter.
THIS SAR image shows the west face of the Sandia Mountains. Members of the Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council used detailed versions of it to rescue a man last November. Download 300dpi JPEG image, 'northlaluz-chimney.jpg', 812K (Media are welcome to download/publish this image with related news stories.)
"This is an order of magnitude precision improvement over the standard USGS topographical maps generally used in search and rescue missions," Dubbert says.
No other mapping system in the world achieves this level of accuracy combined with a high area coverage rate and real-time processing, says Dubbert. The IFSAR can map day or night and through cloud cover.
It was Dubbert who provided the AMRC map data of the Sandia Mountains, obtained while the RTV SAR was installed on a deHavilland DHC-7 Army aircraft. He gave the council a CD of the maps last year.
A few months later, on a chilly November evening, the search and rescue group used the precision maps for the first time.
Attaway says he got a call just before sundown telling him that a hiker was lost in the Sandia Mountains, and his help was needed for a rescue.
After collecting additional information on the hiker's location, he took a few minutes to create detailed RTV SAR maps. He zoomed in on the area where the man was believed to be and printed out color maps of the location.
Attaway then went to the Sandia tram (aerial lift that takes people from the base of the Sandia Mountains to the peak), located on the west side of the mountains where the rescuers were gathering, and took the tram up to the peak.
"The hiker was climbing the mountain using the tram cables as a guide for off-trail hiking," Attaway says. "He apparently became lost while attempting to follow the tram towers and used his cell phone to call for help. We spotted him from the tram as he waved his flashlight so we would notice him. But seeing him and getting to him were two different things."
The terrain in the area where the hiker was lost is extremely rugged. Members of the rescue group are experts in using compasses, GPS, and topographic maps, but even for them the terrain was difficult to navigate.
Rescuer on Minnehaha in Washington Has to Be Rescued
August 11 2004, 10:24 AM
A climber became trapped at the Minnehaha climbing rocks on Tuesday and as rescue crews tried to get to her, they wound up having to rescue one of their own.
Rescuers say Lacy Davis was apparently climbing without gear and got stuck half way up a cliff. She yelled to people walking by and told them she was hurt.
Because of the rough and steep terrain, what's called a "technical rescue crew" went in after her.
Just before crews were ready to lower Davis from the cliff, one of the rescue workers collapsed on a nearby ledge. So a second team to come in and complete what turned into a double rescue mission.
The rescuer had heat stroke and is doing okay. Doctors say the climber is in satisfactory condition. http://www.kxly.com/common/getStory.asp?id=38619
South Africa Game Chain Store Founder Dies in Heart Attack on Kilimanjaro
August 12 2004, 11:02 AM
The Star reports that Barry Clements, 57, died of a heart attack while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania last week. Barry collapsed four hours into the summit push.
"One of the highlights of his life was an attempt on Mount Everest in 2002, although fatigue prevented him from reaching the summit. He also ran the Comrades 10 times and was a five-time Dusi canoe marathon veteran."
Woman Hiking on Old Sugarlands Trail Bit By Rabid Bat -- First Case GSMNP HIstory
August 13 2004, 8:51 PM
A woman hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was bitten by a rabid bat, Park Service officials said today.
The 56-year-old woman, who is from Iowa, was hiking on the Old Sugarlands Nature Trail with a group of about a dozen when she was bitten on Wednesday. She is the only person known to have been bitten by any rabid animal in the 70-year history of the park.
According to a Park Ranger's report, the bat was flying around the woman's head, landed on her fanny pack and came into contact with her elbow, on which she received a small puncture wound.
Other members of the group caught and killed the bat and brought its carcass to Sugarlands Visitor Center.
The woman sought medical treatment and began receiving anti-rabies injections immediately, before rabies tests on the bat were completed at the Sevier County Health Department.
For several years, the park has conducted tests on bats that died or were acting strangely in high human use areas, "but this is only the third one to come back positive," said Park Wildlife Biologist Kim Delozier. "In the other two cases, there was no human contact with the infected animals." http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/gs_news/article/0,1406,KNS_392_3108861,00.html
Man Who Broke Both Arms Previous Week Breaks Knee on Mount Royal in Colorado
August 13 2004, 8:52 PM
Frisco man walked into the forest with two broken arms - and returned to town with two broken arms and a possible broken knee.
According to Mike Schmitt of the Summit Rescue Group, the man and his friend were hiking up Mount Royal Tuesday afternoon when the man apparently fell on the trail and injured his knee. He had broken both arms the previous week; one was in a cast and the other was waiting to be stabilized before going into surgery.
The man, who moved to Frisco about five weeks ago, was hiking near Masonville, a historic mining site on the east side of Mount Royal, when he fell. The man's friend was incapable of helping him down the steep, rocky trail.
It is possible alcohol was involved in the incident, Schmitt said.
Also exacerbating the rescue operation was that rescue teams couldn't locate the injured man.
"They apparently passed him," Schmitt said. "They were supposed to be looking for someone on the trail. They weren't calling out for him because they expected to see him. But the second team ran into him on the trail."
Search team members splinted the man's leg, placed him on a wheeled litter and took him to the bottom of the mountain where paramedics took him to Summit Medical Center for further evaluation.
Debate Whether Hypothermia or Grizzly Killed Hiker in Bridger-Teton National Forest
August 13 2004, 9:01 PM
Hypothermia and grizzly bears appear to be involved in the death of a hiker on the Bridger-Teton National Forest south of Yellowstone National Park, although investigators are still piecing together clues.
David Anderson, 24, was found lying face down in a marshy area of Bailey Meadows, off the Arizona Creek Trail on Wednesday. Officials estimate that he died Monday night.
"We're still speculating whether or not it was a hypothermia death and a bear contact after death, or did the bear contact come first and was hypothermia even involved," Teton County Sheriff Bob Zimmer said Thursday. "He had puncture marks and appeared to have been mauled by a bear."
I've never heard of the Secret Service being involved in a search but thanks to Jim G., here's this:
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - Following the waffle-cut pattern of a Merrell hiking
boot, searchers retraced the steps of David Anderson, piecing together a
story of how the fit 24-year-old died of hypothermia.
Searchers, including a Secret Service tracker and 22 volunteers, combed
steep, overgrown drainages in the Teton Wilderness in the days after
Anderson's body was recovered Aug. 11.
Though there was no crime to investigate, Teton County Sheriff Bob Zimmer
sent teams back into the field to try to recover Anderson's camping gear and
to understand how he came to die near a trail not far from a highway.
he Richardson, Texas, man was spending his second summer in Grand Teton
National Park as an employee at Signal Mountain Lodge. He and a friend
struck out Sunday evening, Aug. 8, for the Huckleberry Mountain historic
lookout, northeast of the park on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
The two were intending to meet six other friends at the lookout, Zimmer
said. The men mistakenly hiked past the lookout and descended into Rodent
Creek, where they camped a few miles east of the lookout.
The next morning they began hiking back to the lookout. Anderson's friend
last saw him near a fork in the trail where Rodent Creek Trail connects to
Sheffield Creek Trail, which leads to the lookout.
The friend, who was ahead of Anderson, continued hiking after looking back
to see Anderson heading in the right direction.
On Friday, Secret Service Agent Corby Rowe picked up Anderson's trail at
that point. Rowe followed his boot prints up switchbacks on the trail toward
the lookout. But Anderson's tracks soon disappear from the trail.
After scouting the area for some time, Rowe discovered Anderson had left the
trail and started bushwhacking along a southeastern flank of Huckleberry
Mountain. It took Rowe about an hour and a half to hike from the point where
Anderson was last seen to where he went off the established trail.
The agent had a clear view of the lookout and speculated that the young man
may have tried to take a short-cut.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Three Rescued From Mt. Whitney
On July 31st, the park received word that a 50-year-old woman was experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath at about 13,500 feet near Mt. Whitney. Park medic Dave Walton and helicopter crew manager Carrie Vernon flew to the site in the parks helicopter, piloted by Larry Bartel. While Walton was treating the woman, four other visitors approached Vernon, complaining of a variety of altitude-related ailments. With little daylight flight time remaining, a quick assessment was made and the woman and two additional patients were loaded into the helicopter and flown to a medical facility. Typically 200 people climb the 14,496-foot Mt. Whitney each day not uncommonly in some state of unpreparedness. Although the summit is located in Sequoia NP, most people reach it via a Forest Service trail.
[Submitted by Pat Grediagin, District Ranger, Sequoia District] http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/morningreportold.cfm?date=08%2F13%2F2004
3 Rescues (2 by Helicopter) in One Day in Grand Teton
August 13 2004, 9:12 PM
Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Three Rescues in One Day
Rangers dealt with three SAR operations over the course of Monday, August 9th:
· John Waldner, 50, of Southampton, Pennsylvania, was evacuated by helicopter from Fox Creek pass around noon after sustaining injuries to his ankle and knee in a fall. Waldner was hiking the Teton Crest trail with his wife and four companions on Sunday, August 8th, when he lost his footing on some loose rocks, twisting his ankle and knee. The group setup camp near the point where the accident took place. A physician who was hiking in the area examined Waldners injuries, then continued hiking until she encountered a backcountry ranger and reported the accident. The ranger found the party, assessed Waldners injuries, then called interagency dispatch to report the accident. Due his injuries, the lack of horses for evacuation and the partys distance from the trailhead, rangers decided to use the parks contract helicopter. Waldner and his wife were flown to Lupine Meadows and then proceeded on to St. Johns Medical Center.
· John Littel, 49, of Seattle, Washington, was hiking by himself, carrying a heavy pack filled with photography equipment, when he caught his leg between two boulders near the shore of Surprise Lake and injured his lower leg. A passing hiker used a cell phone to call interagency dispatch at 4:30 p.m. A helicopter flew two rangers to an LZ near Amphitheater Lake; the rangers hiked from there to Littels location and provided him with medical care. Four more rangers were flown to the landing zone with a rescue litter. The six rangers then carried him back, flew him to Lupine Meadows, and transported him to St. Johns Medical Center.
· Ayako Miller, 32, of Greenville, South Carolina, sprained her knee when she slipped on a boulder during an ascent to Lower Saddle with Exum Mountain Guides on August 8th. She was able to ascend to Lower Saddle with assistance, but could not climb the Grand Teton with the rest of her group. The group descended on Monday afternoon. Guides placed a cell phone call from just above Garnet Canyon Meadows at 4:30 p.m., asking for help from rangers. An off-duty ranger who had been climbing in the area helped transport Miller through the boulder field above the Platforms to a point where a park wrangler with a horse could meet them. The evacuation concluded around 9:30 p.m.
[Submitted by Public Affairs] http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/morningreportold.cfm?date=08%2F13%2F2004
Rock Fall Fatality on Mount Athabasca in Jasper National Park in Canada
August 17 2004, 10:02 AM
A mountain climber is dead and another has serious injuries after falling rock knocked them off an ice slope on Mount Athabasca in Jasper National Park.
Four climbers, working two to a rope, were ascending a moderately difficult ice face yesterday near the Columbia Icefields when boulders began tumbling from an overhead band of rock.
"There were some sizeable rocks in the rock fall," said Parks Canada public safety specialist Steve Blake Monday.
Two of the climbers on one rope were hit. One, a 26-year-old man, died after a 45-metre fall.
His female climbing partner sustained serious injuries.
Parks Canada got an early jump responding to the tragedy, said Blake.
"Some of our Parks Canada staff at the Icefields Centre saw through a spotting scope some activity up there that seemed sort of frenzied and out of the ordinary for climbing," he said. http://vancouver.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=bc_parks20040816
Lightning Fatality on Bristlecone Loop Tail in Bryce National Park
August 17 2004, 10:04 AM
Bryce Canyon National Park (UT)
Lightning Strike Fatality
On Thursday, August 12th, a 58-year-old Dutch national who was hiking the Bristlecone Loop Trail with his wife and another couple was struck by lightning near Yovimpa Point (elevation 9,000 feet). The incident was reported by visitors to a Bryce Canyon shuttle bus driver who immediately called the park via radio. Five rangers responded, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene. The body recovery and investigation were conducted jointly by the park and Garfield County Sheriffs Department. The last time a visitor was struck by lightning at Bryce Canyon was in September, 2002. The woman recovered after spending over a week in intensive care. It marked the fifth time that a visitor has been struck by lightning in the park in the last 20 years. [Submitted by Colleen Bathe, Public Information Officer] http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/morningreportold.cfm?date=08%2F17%2F2004
Death Valley Closes After Floods Kill 2 at Furnace Creek Wash
August 17 2004, 10:05 AM
Death Valley National Park was closed Monday after flooding that officials said killed at least two people and cut off power and water.
An intense thunderstorm hit the Mojave Desert on Sunday evening, causing flash flooding and closing roads in the sprawling park.
"We're trying to account for all the visitors who were here," park Superintendent J.T. Reynolds told The Associated Press on Monday, using one of two telephone lines still operating from the park office.
The bodies remained Monday in a vehicle stuck in mud, rock and debris at Furnace Creek Wash, Reynolds and park spokeswoman Roxanne Dey said.
"We haven't been able to remove them yet," Dey said.
California Highway Patrol and National Park Service helicopters spotted at least eight other vehicles off highways and dirt roads, but officials said they could not immediately tell if they were occupied.
Reynolds said water and wastewater lines were severed, and the park would be closed at least two days and possibly through the weekend. The last time the park closed that long was in 1985, he said. http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/counties/alameda_county/9417496.htm
Death Valley National Park reopened a limited number of roads and services in the northern area of the park on Wednesday morning. The roads and services opening Wednesday represent the first public access to the park since the August 15th closure.
The following roads opened:
California State Highway 178 from Ridgecrest to Death Valley National Park.
California Highway 190 from U.S Highway 395 to the junction with the Scotty's Castle Road.
Scotty's Castle Road from Highway 190 north to Nevada Highway 267 and U.S. Highway 95 at Scotty's Junction.
Wildrose-Emigrant Canyon Road connecting California Highways 178 and 190 through Death Valley National Park.
In addition, the following facilities resumed operation:
Scotty's Castle reopened for ranger-guided tours; its gas station, gift shop, and snack bar also opened.
Stovepipe Wells Village, including lodging, gas station, restaurant, RV hookups, and the general store.
Emigrant, Wildrose, Thorndike, Mahogany Flat, and Mesquite Springs campgrounds.
Entrance fees are not being charged for access to the park during this period of limited access, but camping fees and Scotty's Castle guided tour fees are being collected. All other park roads and visitor services remain closed due to ongoing cleanup and repair operations. A total of 91 NPS employees from Death Valley and other nearby parks are involved in ongoing recovery operations, including staff from Great Basin National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Mojave National Preserve, Zion National Park, and the Santa Fe Support Office of the Intermountain Region. For further information and updates on flood recovery activities, please visit the Death Valley National Park website at www.nps.gov/deva
[Submitted by Joe Zarki, Public Information Officer] http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/morningreportold.cfm?date=08%2F27%2F2004
In a separate incident in Banff National Park, a 19-year-old Parks Canada worker died early Sunday morning after falling from the pathway of a popular hiking trail.
The teenager was one of three hikers who set out from their campground about midnight for a short walk in Johnston Canyon toward a series of waterfalls. The teen was familiar with the pathways, but it was dark and the hikers weren't carrying lights, said Brad White, a public-safety specialist with Parks Canada.
"She likely climbed over the railing and consequently slipped and fell into the canyon," Mr. White said.
Officials found the teen's body in a stream near the pathway where she was reported missing. She fell about 10 metres.
The RCMP said alcohol was a factor in the accident. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20040817/CLIMBERS17/TPNational/Canada
Marathoner is First Dehydration Fatality in Grand Canyon in 4 Years
August 18 2004, 10:14 AM
Here's an excellent LA Times article on the hazards of hiking without water:
Here, he says, is the spot where they found Margaret Bradley, a 24-year-old University of Chicago medical student and marathoner.
Just three months before, the 115-pound Bradley had finished the Boston Marathon in a few ticks over three hours, a solid performance in temperatures well over 80.
"I focused on keeping myself hydrated," she told the magazine Chicago Athlete afterward, "and not letting the adrenaline from the crowd make me do something stupid."
But last month, when she and a companion decided to try a 27-mile trail run in a single day, that caution was missing. A cascading series of miscalculations, say rangers, turned this scholar-athlete into the Grand Canyon's first dehydration fatality in four years.
In a single hour, a hiker in desert heat can easily lose a liter of moisture through sweat maybe, some experts say, as many as three liters (a liter is slightly more than a quart).
Without water, write authors Michael P. Ghiglieri and Thomas M. Myers in their book "Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon," dehydration, hyperthermia and exertion in the canyon can "turn people, inch by inch, into heat zombies . Kids and young adults seem to run at full function in the heat, sweating appropriately and seemingly going strong, but abruptly, when dehydration kicks in, they crash quickly and often unexpectedly. And die."
At least part of the tale, however, can be gleaned from rangers who were there. By Park Service accounts, the runners began their day about 9 a.m. at Grandview Point, the highest spot along the canyon's South Rim, where the trail head is 7,400 feet above sea level, nearly 5,000 feet above the river.
Here is where the two runners made their first mistakes. They set off nearly four hours after sunrise, several hours later than rangers advise distance hikers to begin on summer days, and they were traveling dangerously light. Bradley's companion had four liters of water. She carried fruit, three protein bars and just two bottles of water (about 1.5 liters). They carried no maps, and Bradley apparently had no flashlight or headlamp.
From Grandview Point, the two headed down an unmaintained, waterless path built by a prospector about 100 years ago, descending 2,600 vertical feet in just three miles. From there they planned to descend farther, then follow the Tonto Trail across the notoriously hot and shadeless Tonto Plateau, about 1,000 feet above the river. Then they'd climb back out on the busier South Kaibab Trail, which tops off at 7,000 feet.
It's unclear why they thought they could do this route in a day, or where they expected to get water. "Not recommended during summer," says the Park Service's free trail guide. "No water."
"This would be a two- or three-day backpack trip with a lot of planning," says Yeston, who served as incident commander. "And the optimum time to do it would be fall," adds Ken Phillips, the park's search and rescue coordinator.
In the first seven months of this year, park personnel have carried nearly 200 hikers out of the canyon by helicopter, most of them suffering from "environmental causes" exhaustion, dehydration, sometimes water intoxication, which happens when hikers drink plenty but fail to take in salt to help keep their electrolytes balanced.
By 3 p.m. they were in trouble. Bradley's companion couldn't run anymore. He stopped, overheated and exhausted, and curled up in the shade of a bush to rest. In six hours they'd covered about 12 miles, with 15 still to go. Now the temperature was over 100, and their water was gone.
As a hiker heats up, says Yeston, "the body is going to start to divert blood to the parts of the brain that are more basic. The parts of the brain that you might have used to make nuanced decisions about your situation they're compromised. Long before a person seems drunk or delirious, they're already going to have a subtle loss of fine motor coordination and critical thinking and even difficulty referencing past experiences."
Rescue of Blistered Dog Who Would Not Return From Mount Buffalo, Colorado
August 18 2004, 10:15 AM
An 8-year-old dog was back with his owner Tuesday following a mountain rescue by Summit County animal control.
The dog, a golden retriever-chow mix, had been stuck on 12,777-foot Mount Buffalo since Aug. 9, when it followed its owner to the top, according to the Summit Daily News.
The dog's owner, who wasn't identified, said the animal refused to come down and he tried, but failed, to get the dog down on his own. The owner contacted the Summit Rescue Group, which said it wasn't prepared to rescue animals.
Animal control officer Scott Wanke climbed the mountain and found the dog, taking six hours to bring it down safely with ropes and slings
An examination revealed the dog had blistered and cut paws from the sharp rocks on the peak.
"Every summer we have this happen, and sometimes it's not visitors, but people who live here. People shouldn't take their dogs up there," Lesley Craig, the lead animal control officer for Summit County, told the Daily News. http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/3660338/detail.html
Lost Rescuer Leaves "Bob Slept Here" For Sequoia Searchers
August 18 2004, 10:19 AM
A camper who had been lost in rugged terrain near Dorst Campground in Sequoia National Park for three days has been found.
Bob Gnewuch, 39, did not return to camp Aug. 14 during a church camping trip with his wife and five children.
He had gone in search of his wife after she did not return from her morning jog. His wife returned on her own with minor injuries a few hours later.
Efforts to locate Gnewuch included more than 60 people, two search-dog teams, staff from Yosemite National Park and helicoptors, including one from California Highway Patrol using infrared heat sensing equipment.
Gnewuch left clues for searchers, such as his name written in soft sand with footprints matching the description of the shoes he was wearing, and the words "Bob slept here" written in the sand. At 5:40 p.m. Monday a search team called with information that Gnewuch was found. http://www.tulareadvanceregister.com/news/stories/20040817/localnews/1065652.html
Fatality After Boy Jumps on Boulder Near California's Copper Canyon Trail
August 18 2004, 10:20 AM
Sitting by his backyard pool Monday afternoon, Ed Hahn, 50, gazed peacefully at the Santa Ana mountains behind his home as he spoke of his son, who was killed while hiking with friends on the Santa Rosa Plateau.
"God took him ---- why, I don't know," Hahn said. "It was time for Andy to go."
The 17-year-old boy died Sunday after he jumped onto a huge boulder that broke loose, throwing him to the ground. The boulder, which police officials have described as being 10 to 12 feet in diameter, then rolled downhill, crushing the boy and killing him at the scene, Murrieta police officials said Monday.
Night was falling as Andy Hahn, his older brother, James, and two friends were hiking in a mountainous area near Copper Canyon Trail about a mile from the Hahns' residence. With daylight fading, the group decided to head home.
When Andy jumped on the boulder and it gave way, James and the friends were able to scramble to safety, said Murrieta Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Jennings, adding that he believes the boy died instantly.
The accident occurred about a mile from any road in a steep, narrow canyon, full of huge rocks and boulders. he said.
Denali National Park & Preserve (AK)
Fatal Fall on Mt. Healy
Bethany Pate, 19, of Cleveland, Tennessee died of injuries sustained during a fall that took place at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Monday, August 16th, during a day hike on Mt. Healy. Pate and one of her two hiking companions were attempting to go below a rock outcropping in steep, rugged terrain near the summit at the 4,500 foot elevation when she stepped on a loose rock and fell approximately 45 feet, landing face-down against some rocks below the outcropping. She was semi-conscious when her hiking partner, Rosemary Korish, 18, of Cashton, Wisconsin reached her location. Korish called for help from Anthony Cluff, 23, from Houston, Texas, who had stayed below to wait for the two to return. Cluff remained with Pate while Korish hiked back about three-and-a-half miles back to the trailhead to seek assistance. Park rangers were notified by a call from the concession bus barn just after midnight. Due to the time of night and rugged terrain, the Rescue Communication Center (RCC) in Anchorage was contacted. RCC dispatched a night-vision equipped Pavehawk helicopter with a crew of technically trained rescue personnel, including paramedics, and HC-130 plane from the 210th Rescue Squadron stationed at the Kulis Air National Guard Base in Anchorage. The HC-130 was sent along to facilitate communications, refuel the helicopter, and provide additional support with parajumpers if needed. The aircraft left Anchorage around 2:45 a.m. The plane arrived first, in about 45 minutes, and its crew was able to see the beam from the Cluffs flashlight. The helicopter landed near the site at 4:15 a.m., and the paramedics determined that Pate was no longer alive. Cluff was flown out to the park airstrip. During a later interview, he told rangers that Pate had stopped breathing within 30 minutes after Korish had gone for assistance. Rangers flew to the accident location to complete the investigation and remove Pates body from the mountain. Pate and her hiking companions were seasonal employees of the McKinley Chalet Resorts. The hike to Mt. Healy is a popular day hike, even though only the first two miles is maintained trail. Above that point, access is via social trail or cross-country travel. This is the first falling fatality to have occurred on Mt. Healy. [Submitted by Kris Fister, Public Affairs Officer] http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/morningreportold.cfm?date=08%2F19%2F2004
80-Year-Old Hiker Cheats Death After Rucksack Snags During Fall in Austria
August 19 2004, 10:32 AM
A HIKER cheated death when his rucksack snagged on a tree just short of a sheer drop.
John Mallaby had already tumbled 500ft down a steep Austrian slope when his fall was broken inches from death.
The 80-year-old was left hanging in the branches of a tree for three hours before his cries for help were heard.
John, a former manager for the chemical giant ICI, said: 'My legs just gave way beneath me, the path I was on was steeper than I thought.
'I rolled down the hill like a hedgehog. I managed to stop myself at one point but realised I'd never make it back up the slope, so slipped further down.
'It was lucky I was caught by the tree as that stopped me going over the edge of the cliff.
'I was stuck there, calling for help, until an Austrian man came and rescued me.
'He pulled me in a bit and tied me to the tree. I was joking that I felt like a dog on a lead.' http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=14542609&method=full&siteid=89488&headline=falling-climber-saved-by-bag-name_page.html
Falling Rock Prompts Grand Teton Helicopter Rescue
August 20 2004, 12:09 PM
A helicopter airlifted an Illinois climber who was injured when a falling rock struck his leg during a guide-led climb in the Tetons.
Anthony J. Chereso, 41, of Schaumburg, Ill., was climbing near the lower end of a fixed rope when he was struck by the rock Tuesday evening, according to a park news release.
Guides provided immediate medical care and helped Chereso to an overnight hut located on the Lower Saddle, which is at 11,600 feet elevation. Park rangers were called at 7:20 p.m., and a helicopter picked up Chereso about 8:10 p.m. and lifted him down the mountain.
Chereso was taken to St. John's Medical Center in Jackson for treatment. No information about Chereso was available from the hospital Wednesday.
Mt. Shasta Helicopter Rescue After Climber Falls on Ice Ax Puncturing Her Trachea
August 20 2004, 12:10 PM
After being airlifted off Mount Shasta by helicopter, Katlin Jones of Redding is listed in stable condition at Mercy Medical Center Redding after sustaining injuries while climbing on the mountain.
The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department reported the 22 year old Jones had fallen on her ice axe and punctured her trachea while climbing above Lake Helen.
A US Forest Service team led by climbing ranger Matt Hill started hiking up to the accident site, and Sheriff's Department Sergeant Dave Nicholson began an air rescue operation. Helicopters from the California Highway Patrol and California Department of Forestry were dispatched to the scene.
Wet Weather Hampers Communication in Holy Cross 14er Rescue in Colorado
August 23 2004, 6:48 PM
A man missing since Friday afternoon was found alive and reportedly well Saturday after spending a chilly night in the Holy Cross Wilderness.
Bob Koets, 47, of Florida, was hiking with a group of 10 when he became separated while descending Mount of the Holy Cross. His party reported him missing around 5:30 p.m. Friday. Eagle County Search and Rescue teams began searching for the man Friday night and resumed their search Saturday with the help of a helicopter.
Koets had only enough equipment with him for a day-long hike and had no camping gear to protect him through the cool, wet weather Friday night.
"I don't know how he did it," said Sheriff's Deputy Tim Comroe. "But that's a good thing."
Koets was found in Reed's Meadow near the 14,000-foot summit.
The on-again, off-again wet weather made radio communication between the rescue teams difficult at times and wind complicated the helicopter's flight.
Everest Climber Fatality on Mount Wilson Fourteener in Colorado
August 24 2004, 12:25 AM
Steven Vasel was a passionate mountain climber, and every time he reached the summit he did a "Rocky"-style victory dance.
Vasel, 34, a 1987 graduate of Coon Rapids High School, danced on some of the world's most majestic peaks. He conquered Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Mount Alburtis in Russia. And he had his sights on the biggest challenge of all: making it to the top of Mount Everest, a feat achieved by only a few thousand people.
Vasel's dream of reaching the summit of the world's tallest mountain ended Aug. 15. He was making a training climb on Colorado's Mount Wilson and was descending from the 14,246-foot peak when he slipped. He fell 500 to 800 feet down a steep snowfield onto a rock and scree field below, according to the San Miguel County Sheriff's Office.
Steven VaselProvided By Margie OeltjenbrunsVasel's climbing partner, who is a physician, was a few feet ahead of him when she saw him fall. She reached him several minutes later and pronounced him dead at the scene. She hiked down the mountain and reported the accident to authorities, the sheriff said.
Vasel's body was recovered the next day. The San Miguel County medical examiner ruled the cause of death as traumatic head injury.
The accident happened on a mountain that locals describe as treacherous, with sharp loose rocks, steep peaks and snowfields that remain throughout the summer.
Click to see full mapIt was not clear whether Vasel or his partner were using ropes, the sheriff's office said.
Vasel, who lived in suburban Washington, D.C., began mountain hiking after taking a high school field trip to the western United States. His love for mountain climbing never waned, said his mother, Margie Oeltjenbruns. http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/4942161.html
Denali NP Officials Puzzled Over Climber's Claim of Burying Ice Ax Into Back of Grizzly
August 24 2004, 12:27 AM
Roberto Cataldo is headed home to Italy, and officials at Denali National Park and Preserve are preparing to reopen a backcountry area near Kantishna where the 29-year-old adventurer reported fighting off a grizzly with an ice ax earlier this month.
A lot of people are still wondering exactly what happened in the Denali backcountry Aug. 2 when Cataldo claimed he drove off a grizzly by burying the point of an ice ax in its back.
Denali wildlife photographer Bill Watkins has posted photographs of an encounter between Cataldo and another bear on his Web site and offered his opinion as a veteran bear watcher on how the encounter could have been avoided.
Watkins also has reported that he met Cataldo the day after the Italian claimed to have made contact with the bear near Kantishna.
"She lightly clawed his left arm, tearing his blue, long-sleeve undershirt, leaving him with superficial scratches,'' Watson wrote. "He turned and hit the bear with his ice axe, burying it into her shoulder. She reared back and roared, and then took off with her cubs with the ice axe still buried into her shoulder.''
That's pretty much the same story Cataldo later told park officials, according to Denali ranger Pat Navaille and bear biologist Pat Owen.
Yet despite overflights and ground patrols of the area where the incident was reported to have taken place, they have found no sign of a bear with an ice ax in its back, or an ax, or even an obviously injured sow with spring cubs, as reported by Cataldo.
"I don't know what happened,'' Navaille said. "I'd be interested in knowing what happened. I think no one really knows other than him and possibly a bear.''
Navaille said Cataldo showed him an ice ax said to be identical to the one stuck in the bear. Cataldo even described how he struck the animal and buried the ax right up to its head. http://www.adn.com/alaska/story/5460604p-5398381c.html
Hope Fades in Search For Boy Scout at Highest Paved Road in Utah (11,000 ft) in Uintas
August 24 2004, 1:11 PM
The current search for the missing 12-year old Boy Scout is the third well-publicized search in the High Uintas in the last year. One ended tragically with the deaths of two women. Experts say there's a good reason hikers get lost, it's easy to get confused.
It's a bit of an irony, one reason people get into trouble in the Mirror Lake area is that it's so easy to get there. The highest paved road in Utah takes even the least prepared people to nearly 11,000 feet.
The rugged area where Garrett Bardsley disappeared has several prominent landmarks -- three high peaks, nearby cliffs. With those, and a good map, an experienced hiker should keep his bearings. But R.E.I. hiking experts say a 12-year-old needs to have such features pointed out in advance. Other features can be disorienting.
Gary Nichols, Outdoors Instructor: Several lakes that look the same, trees blocking the view. And it would be easy to get confused as to which lake you were by.
Walking in the High Uintas can be rocky and difficult. And the topography near Mirror Lake is especially complex. In a small area, the headwaters of all four of Northern Utah's biggest rivers run in four directions.
Dave Smith, Camping & Climbing Expert: So if you get confused, go over a ridge, you can suddenly be out of the drainage that you came in. And if youre really confused and think this is the trail you want to go, you can wind up a long ways from where you want to be.
Experts say the best defense is the Boy Scout motto: 'Be Prepared'. Proper clothing for bad weather, a map, compass, adult leadership. And when someone separates from the group, a second person should go along.
That did not happen in the Bardsley case, which is under investigation by the Boy Scouts, locally and nationally.
John Gailey, Utah National Parks Council: How this happened of the boy out with his father, and how the boy got lost, theres still a lot of things there we need to see if theres any adjustments that should be made.
The buddy system doesn't always work. Last year two out-of-state women got lost together and died together.
Dave Smith: Theres not anything that is completely foolproof. You know, people get lost in urban areas.
Experts say the best safety investment you can make is to spend a couple of bucks to have a whistle in your pocket. And if you get in trouble, you just put your lips together and blow.
Gary Nichols: Its something everyone should carry.
Disappearances are relatively rare considering the thousands of people who go into the Uintas every year. The hiking experts say, there's probably more danger driving there than hiking there.
Famed Yosemite Climber Daryl Hatten Killed While Rescuing Cat in Tree
August 25 2004, 10:53 AM
A renowned B.C. mountain climber has died from injuries sustained when he fell out of a tree while trying to rescue a cat. Daryl Hatten, 49, lived much of his life on the edge of mountains and cliffs.
He blazed trails in the Canadian Rockies and California's Yosemite National Park, as well as the Squamish Chief north of Vancouver.
But Hatten died Saturday after falling from an arbutus tree soaked by heavy rains in suburban Langford. He was being paid to rescue a large, black house cat for its owner when he slipped and fell about 20 metres to a rocky patch on the ground below.
Emergency medical services were called and Hatten was rushed to hospital. He died of severe internal injuries.
Fire crews returned Sunday to check on the cat. It was still up the tree. Firefighters have not been back since.
Friends in the climbing community are organizing a memorial service for Hatten Sept. 8 at his favourite spot on the Squamish Chief, where some of his ashes will be spread.
Along with climber Eric Weinstein in 1975, Hatten accomplished the first free ascent of the Split Pillar on the Grand Wall of the Squamish Chief, which still stands as a hallmark climb, said McLane.
"Daryl lived to climb," said McLane, 56. "His life revolved around it for many years.
"I always found him to be astonishingly strong on a climb. Nothing seemed to faze him and he was very fast." http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/CalgarySun/News/2004/08/25/600972.html
Hope Dims For Palo Alto Woman Missing on Iran's Highest Peak Mount Damavand
August 27 2004, 9:41 AM
Kathleen Namphy, a retired Stanford University lecturer and Palo Alto resident, went missing while hiking a mountain in Iran this week and is presumed dead, according to Namphy's daughter, Lisa-Marie Namphy.
The younger Namphy said she got a call from the Swiss Embassy on Monday, informing her that her mother had disappeared while climbing the 18,600-foot Mount Damavand, the highest mountain in Iran.
Because they hadn't found her body, the embassy changed the 69-year-old Namphy's status to missing but presumed dead on Monday night, according to her daughter.
Throughout the week, Lisa-Marie said rescue teams searched for her mother. This morning, officials from the embassy said they have found a body and are in the process of identifying it.
In addition to being an emeritus lecturer in English and the Humanities at Stanford for approximately 30 years, Kathleen was a mother of four, and a grandmother.
Lisa-Marie said that one of her brothers is on his way to Iran to sort out the details surrounding Kathleen's disappearance and possible death.
Every year, Kathleen and a group of others go hiking to raise awareness for breast cancer. According to Lisa-Marie, the group originally planned to head to Mount Damavand this year but later changed their minds about the location.
Namphy had her heart set on the Damavand summit, and she set out to reach it with a different group. She planned to hit the summit on Sunday and was likely headed back down when she slipped and hit her head, Lisa-Marie said.
A member of Kathleen's group told Lisa-Marie that he left her injured mother under the watch of some Kurdish hikers, who volunteered to stay while Kathleen's friend got help.
By the time help arrived on the scene, both Kathleen and the Kurdish hikers were gone, the friend reportedly told Lisa-Marie.
Searchers found the body Thursday morning of Kathleen Namphy, a breast cancer survivor and honored Stanford University lecturer last seen Sunday near the summit of Iran's tallest mountain.
But the location of Namphy's body, a few thousand feet down the mountain from where she was last seen alive, has only deepened the mystery of her death.
The only people who could explain how she got there - a group of Iranian hikers who promised to stay with the 69-year-old after she fell and struck her head - are nowhere to be found.
Namphy and two other Americans had set out Sunday morning for the 18,600-foot peak of Mt. Damavand. Accompanied by two guides and an interpreter, they hiked a trail up the mountain's northeast face, and it was there that the fall occurred.
But Cyrus Etemadi, the Iranian travel agency director who arranged the hike, said Namphy's body was found on the north face, considered the most challenging route up the mountain. Rescuers found the body, badly frostbitten, not too far off the trail, he said.
Namphy, who traveled widely, lived for a time in Iran as a young woman and climbed Damavand then. She arranged this trip to Iran in a break between trips to Iraq, where for the last few years she has volunteered as a human rights observer for a Chicago-based non-profit.
Namphy and the others in her group left for the final section of the Damavand climb at 5 a.m. local time Sunday. "Kathleen was loving every minute of it," said Aryn Baker, one of the Americans with Namphy. "She was so happy to be back."
But she soon fell behind the other two, who were far more experienced climbers and younger by decades.
Namphy and her interpreter reached the summit around 5 p.m. local time, long after the other Americans had turned back due to threatening weather. The interpreter, Mehrdad Etemadi, said Namphy was delighted to have reached the top and collected rocks for friends.
"She was very happy," said Etemadi. "We hugged each other."
About 300 feet back down the trail, she fell. Etemadi, who has a decade of experience on Damavand, didn't see exactly what happened because Namphy was behind him. But they were walking through a jumbled field of rocks, and she crashed into him as she fell. Her head was bleeding, Etemadi said, and for a minute or two she couldn't talk. http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/9507337.htm
Rain Soaked Rocks Blamed in Fatality in Garden of the Gods in Colorado
August 27 2004, 9:43 AM
A young rock climber died Wednesday when rock gave way at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.
Mark Heinmets, 20, had the proper permit and was using the correct gear during his climb, but the rock crumbled and he fell 30 feet -- head first. The accident happened around noon.
Rescue teams say recent rain has made the sandstone unstable. "During this time of year the sandstone is brittle, moisture is absorbed by the rock," said Capt. Larry Schwartz, with the Colorado Springs Fire Department. "You can tap this rock and hear that it is hollow."
Fatality on Mont Blanc Following Severe Snow Storm
August 27 2004, 9:46 AM
[The article is wrong of course about Blanc being Europe's highest]
A British man has been rescued after spending three nights trapped on Europe's highest mountain - an ordeal which killed his climbing partner.
Edward Allen, 49, from Fairford, Gloucestershire, became stranded on Mont Blanc with a German woman in a severe snow storm on Sunday.
The temperature fell to minus 20C - feeling like minus 40C with the wind chill factor.
Rescue teams in a helicopter initially couldn't reach the pair because of the terrible weather conditions, and Mr Allen's 25-year-old companion died of hypothermia on Tuesday, a day before he was found.
Mr Allen said: "There was nothing I could do to save her, the winds were so ferocious, they battered the life out of her.
"She stopped functioning rationally and said to me, 'unless the helicopter comes now I'm not going to make it'.
"I told her we had to keep going and said I was going to dig another snow hole over a ridge. When I came back she wasn't moving at all."
The climbers started their ascent of Mont Blanc from Courmayeur on the Italian side of the mountain on Sunday, but when they encountered bad weather they had to take shelter by digging snow holes.
Rain Blamed in Mount Hood Fatality Near Ramona Falls
August 28 2004, 12:54 PM
Search and rescue crews have found the body of a 27-year-old hiker from Portland who failed to return from a backpacking trip in the Mount Hood area.
Authorities said Sarah Bishop's body was found at about 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. That was about two miles from her car, which was parked at the Ramona Falls trailhead.
"It looks like she got all the way around the mountain and was on her way out of the trailhead before she became deceased," said Deputy Joel Manley of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators believe strong rains might have been a factor in her death. They do not suspect foul play.
Mountain Lion Walks In Colorado House and Attacks Golden Retriever
August 28 2004, 12:56 PM
A mountain lion snatched a sandal out of a house in Summit County, attacked a pet and stared down a resident last weekend.
Jim and Natalie Nicholas were staying at a friend's home on Ute Pass Road, north of Silverthorne, Colo., on Saturday, when a mountain lion casually walked into the open front door.
They said the cat grabbed one of Natalie's sandals and walked out of the house.
Later, Jim Nichols walked into the woods in an attempt to find his wife's sandal and came face-to-face with the lion chewing on the shoe.
"When I went up to that cat, he looked at me like I wasn't a threat to him," he told the Summit Daily News. Jim retreated without the sandal.
Later in the evening, Christy Sterling was throwing a stick for a 55-pound Golden Retriever when a mountain lion -- mostly likely the same one -- jumped over a fence and attacked the canine. The dog was able to wrestle free, suffering only a scratch on his side.
The Sterling family and the dog retreated to the safety of the family car.
Todd Malmsbury, the chief of information for the state Division of Wildlife, told the Daily News it's rare for mountain lions to attack animals when people are nearby.
"It might have been more of a reaction to the dog running toward him," Malmsbury told the Daily News. "It doesn't sound like a predatory attack."
Mike and Carolyn Roach, of Townsend, are used to seeing wild animals near their home. But they never worried about it until Sunday when a black bear came to their driveway and injured their dog.
"Swartz made a beeline for the beast as soon as he saw it. He ran towards the bear," Carolyn said. "The bear didn't attack him, didn't come down the driveway. He ran towards the bear."
In her nightshirt and fuzzy slipper, she ran after her dog. But "She reared up and came down with her mouth on him. And she hit him with her paw...hit the ground and took off across the road into the woods."
Swartz is still wagging his tail Wednesday, despite his obvious wounds and two broken ribs.
Other creatures, including humans, haven't been so lucky. In 2000, a woman was killed in the national park by two bears.
And in 2003, park officials say reports of bears attacking fawns was documented, making the seriousness of the situation more apparent to the Roaches. "The bear gods were looking after him and my God was looking after me," Carolyn said.
The couple says even after this incident, they don't have second thoughts about living close to nature. "He probably thought it was another big dog and it was in his territory. At least in his mind, it was in his territory. So he just went after what's in his territory. I'm sure he thought was protecting my wife," Mike said.
They do plan to be more careful and keep Swartz on a tighter leash. That way the only bears he'll be able to attack are stuffed ones. "The story is that it was two mother bears taking care of their cubs. My wife with Swartz and the bear with her cub. Thankfully, everybody came out okay," Mike said.
A spokesperson for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park says now's the time of the year when bears are particularly hungry. They start looking for acorns so they can fatten up for the winter.
Wild-animal attacks and mountain-climbing accidents command the biggest headlines, but search-and-rescue teams are called out most often to help lost or injured hikers in America's national parks.
The National Park Service reports spending $3.5 million last year on 3,108 search-and-rescue operations - 1,264 of them to assist hikers.
Even though the cost went up about $500,000 last year compared with 2002, the Park Service has no plans to change its policy of absorbing the expense itself. Only rarely does the agency go to court to seek reimbursement for a mission, and those cases involve severe negligence or fraud, Park Service official Dennis Burnett said.
A single, lengthy search-and-rescue mission involving helicopters and many federal personnel can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, he said.
"Most folks from Middle America who that happens to are not in a position to pay that kind of a cost," Burnett said.
Hikers in need are a miniscule percentage of the 266 million annual visitors to the 385 units of the national park system.
Mary Margaret Sloan, president of the American Hiking Society, said her group provides safety information to members and urges them to check with each park about weather or trail conditions.
She warned the growing number of people who take cell phones into parks not to be confident that a call will get them out of a jam. Large areas of federal lands have spotty or no cell phone coverage.
"It's much better to take safety precautions beforehand so you don't get yourself into a predicament," Sloan said.
The largest number of emergencies - 34 percent - are reported in person, according to 2003 Park Service records, while 13 percent are reported by cell or satellite phone. Other reports of accidents come through locater beacons, CB radios, marine radios and regular phones.
One challenge for the national parks: Getting safety information to more visitors to prevent emergencies. Some visitors come ill prepared, according to accident reports this summer. http://www.knoxstudio.com/shns/story.cfm?pk=PARKRESCUES-08-29-04&cat=AN
Search and rescue operations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have cost taxpayers between $40,000 and more than a half-million dollars in recent years.
While there are periodic discussions of trying to get some of that money back from people who've been found, a National Park Service official says most people couldn't afford it.
The most expensive year in recent times was 1993, when search costs were $550,000.
Nearly half of that was spent on the search for 13-year-old Brad Lavies of Birmingham, Alabama. The search lasted a week and the boy's body was recovered at the base of a small waterfall in the park.
Park spokesman Bob Miller says most of the 50 to 70 searches and rescues each year are much less expensive. http://www.wate.com/Global/story.asp?S=2234003
Solo Blind Elderly Man Prompts Rescues in Three Different National Parks
August 28 2004, 1:05 PM
One elderly man who is legally blind and hikes alone has prompted search-and-rescue efforts in three national parks. Last month in California's Lassen Volcanic National Park, he was lost overnight and, the next day, a search team found him with injuries he suffered when he left the trail and fell down steep slides. He also was dehydrated from packing just a single bottle of water for his hike, records showed.
"He refuses to ... admit difficulty in locating the trail due to poor eyesight" despite the three incidents, a park report said. http://www.knoxstudio.com/shns/story.cfm?pk=PARKRESCUES-08-29-04&cat=AN
On July 19th, rangers received a report that an elderly man was overdue from
a hike in the southwest area of the park. A hasty search was begun at
daylight the next day. Rangers Luke Hodgson and Allison OConnor located
Charles Parrish, injured and dehydrated, in a ravine south of Mill Creek
Falls that afternoon. Parrish lost the trail near dusk the previous evening.
At about the same time, he suffered from numerous sliding falls which
deposited him downstream from the falls. Hodgson and OConnor provided
medical treatment and assisted Parrish to the trailhead. Parrish is legally
blind and had only a bottle of water and the park brochure with him. Parrish
frequents National Park Service areas, has been the subject of searches in
Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks, and refuses to carry the ten
essentials or admit difficulty in locating the trail due to poor eyesight.
[Submitted by John Roth, Chief Ranger]
Hiker Survives on Grass and Stream Water in Week Lost on Arizona's Mount Lemmon
August 29 2004, 9:49 PM
A hiker missing for nearly a week was found alive today on Mount Lemmon after surviving by eating grass and drinking stream water, authorities said.
Lucinda Beachy, 33, was found six miles off-trail at the bottom of a canyon in the Lemmon Canyon area around 4:30 p.m. Saturday by two search and rescue volunteers, said Pima County Sheriff's Department Sgt. James Ogden.
Beachy was reported missing by her 17-year-old son Alex Beachy Tuesday after he last saw her Monday morning.
Family members, who had spent the past several days traveling from across the country to aid in the search, said they were overjoyed upon hearing that Beachy was alive. http://www.fox11az.com/news/local/stories/082804ccjrFOX11azhiker.c05845b7.html
Search and rescue crews in the southern Black Hills spent much of Saturday afternoon rescuing an injured hiker near Harney Peak.
A dozen carriers and two medical technicians from Custer County climbed behind the Cathedral Spires to bring the woman to safety.
Because the area was so remote, it took them two-and-a-half hours to reach the woman and bring her to a waiting ambulance.
She was taken to the Custer hospital. http://www.keloland.com/NewsDetail2817.cfm?Id=22,34312
Man in Critical Condition After ATV Goes Off Mount Washington Road
August 31 2004, 10:09 AM
A 40-year-old Hooksett, N.H., man was in critical condition Monday after losing control of his all-terrain vehicle while driving down Mount Washington over the weekend.
Authorities said Robert Ordway was riding down the mountain around 6 p.m. Saturday when he began having engine trouble. The distraction caused Ordway to ride off the road. He and the vehicle rolled 12 feet down a slope. http://www.thechamplainchannel.com/wnne/3691372/detail.html
Cell phones have played a key role in numerous successful searches and rescues in Central Oregon in recent years, but one happy ending Friday had a new twist: Two missing Prineville 18-year-olds, overdue from a hike up South Sister, used a phones text message capability to advise they were alright and their location.
A Deschutes County Sheriffs Search and Rescue horse team located Cody D. Brockett and John Dunaway around 9:30 a.m. in the area of Obsidian Falls, west of the Pacific Crest Trail, said sheriffs Sgt. Dan Swearingen. That ended a search which began Thursday afternoon and involved nearly two dozen people.
Sheriffs Search and Rescue and Forest Service law enforcement and other personnel responded around 4 p.m. Thursday to the report of two overdue hikers in the South Sisters area, Swearingen said.
Authorities learned that five hikers had been en route to the summit of the 10,358-foot peak on Thursday when three decided to turn around due to the deteriorating weather conditions, Swearingen said. Two continued on to the summit and, after starting down, apparently lost the trail and became disoriented.
Around 6 a.m., family members informed the searchers that the pair had been able to text message them by cell phone around 4:45 a.m. that they were alive and at Foley Junction, and to send help, Swearingen said. Further messages indicated they had located other hikers and were heading north toward Frog Camp/Obsidian Trailhead, off Highway 242 (the McKenzie Pass Highway).
No stove, no tent and no hope -- that's the state rescuers found a Calgary man in when they plucked him from an icefield in Banff National Park. Spending a harrowing week lost deep in the remote wilds could have meant death for the man -- if not for a group of committed rescuers who found George Knowles, cold, exhausted and suffering from mild hypothermia, but otherwise uninjured on the edge of the Bonnet Icefield, about 18 km east of Lake Louise, around 9:15 a.m. yesterday.
"He said that he had given up, actually ... he'd lost hope that he was going to survive," said lead rescuer Marc Ledwidge.
The experienced 47-year-old backcountry hiker and his three dogs set out Aug. 21 on a 12-day, 150-km loop near Lake Louise.
"He hadn't had a stove for over a week, so he hadn't had anything hot to eat or drink for over a week," Ledwidge said, adding the hiker had to ration food that he had left, including dried fruit.
When he didn't finish his trip Wednesday as expected, and one of his dogs showed up, park wardens began searching. The second of three dogs appeared at the same cabin Friday.
By Saturday, there were 15 wardens, two park search dogs, one RCMP search dog and a rescue helicopter searching an 850-km area looking for Knowles and the remaining dog.
Thanks to clearing weather yesterday morning, rescuers spotted Knowles from the helicopter, waving to them -- his Burmese mountain dog at his side -- from the edge of the icefield. He was treated in hospital for mild hypothermia and frostbite. http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/CalgarySun/News/2004/09/06/617501.html
Man Wearing Jeans and Tennis Shoes Hypothermia Fatality on Longs Peak
September 8 2004, 10:44 AM
Authorities identified the 26-year-old man found at the summit of Longs Peak on Sunday as Fort Collins resident Sudheer Averineni.
Averineni's body was found about 1 p.m. after his two hiking partners alerted Rocky Mountain National Park staff that he had not reconnected with them Saturday evening, according to a park news release.
Winter weather conditions including high winds, below-freezing temperatures, snow and ice were present at Longs Peak on Saturday and Sunday.
Averineni was wearing tennis shoes, jeans and a hooded sweat shirt, according to the news release.
Weather conditions hampered rescue attempts late Saturday, Patterson said.
This is the first death on Longs Peak this year. There were three fatalities in 2000
Climbing Instructor Fatality on Disappointment Peak in Grand Tetons
September 8 2004, 9:26 PM
Nobody knows for sure what Frank Olding's final moments were like. But friends were not surprised to learn that he likely died trying to ensure the safety of others.
An experienced climber, Seattle attorney and former Army Ranger, Olding fell to his death Monday while climbing Disappointment Peak in Wyoming's soaring Grand Tetons.
Olding, 40, had been leading a climb up the technically demanding East Ridge of 11,618-foot Disappointment Peak. He was about 400 feet from the summit when he apparently decided the final ascent was too risky for two less experienced climbing partners, said Jackie Skaggs, spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park.
Olding, a consummate climbing teacher according to friends, had probed above the fourth of six "pitches," or segments, of the climb. Intending to find an alternate route, he began rappelling down the mountain's granite face, when his anchor failed. He fell about 50 feet to his death, Skaggs said. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/189904_oldingobit08.html
57-year-old Michigan man fell to his death during a hike at the Grand Canyon.
Gordon R. Wagner Jr. slipped during a Sunday afternoon hike and fell 35 feet to his death. Other hikers with him tried to revive Wagner, but he died shortly after the fall.
Wagner was traveling with a group on an 18-day trip that began the day before he fell at Lees Ferry. http://kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=2280754
Boy Scouts Rescue Woman on Katahdin After Fog Grounds Helicopter
September 18 2004, 9:28 PM
A group of local Boy Scouts and their leaders played key parts in rescuing an 80-year-old Florida woman who got caught in a thunderstorm on her way down Maine's highest mountain in July.
The woman, Loretta Copeland, had been hiking the Appalachian Trail in sections for 12 years. She was less than 2 miles from the end when she ran into trouble on Mount Katahdin, the highest in Maine.
She and two women in their 60s, who were hiking with her, spent more than 24 straight hours hiking up, then part-way down the mountain, most of it during a thunderstorm.
At that point, dehydrated and bleeding, Copeland ran out of strength to continue.
"It was raining and storming, and it was just really bad," Copeland said in a telephone interview this week from her home in Ocala, Fla. "I kept falling, and my legs just gave out on me."
She and her friends had begun hiking at 6 a.m. July 18. They reached the summit at 4 p.m., then started down the mountain.
"I never dreamed it would take so long, and I never stopped for 24 hours," she said. "But I was so tired and going slow."
At about 7 a.m. July 19, when the three elderly women hadn't returned to the base, Baxter State Park rangers launched a rescue operation.
Pressed into service
Five boys and two leaders of Ellington Boy Scout Troop 96 - along with two guides from the High Adventure Boy Scout Camp in Millinocket, Maine - were planning to hike to the peak that day. They were pressed into service as the main rescue team.
A helicopter rescue was ruled out because of bad weather and fog.
"We were pretty shocked when the rangers asked us to take part in the rescue," says scout Andrew Slicer, 14. "But we were like, hey, we're Boy Scouts, let's go."
For their efforts, the scouts gained more than a merit badge. In an upcoming ceremony, the local Volunteer Fire Department will present the five Boy Scouts and their leaders with awards for meritorious service, Fire Chief Michael Varney says. It is only the second time the department has given such an award in 20 years.
The five scouts to be honored are Eric Dinse, Keith Durao, Dan Hodgdon, Slicer, and Mike Stauffer. The leaders are Ted Kenyon and Tom Stauffer.
The rescue began in earnest after a hiker coming down the trail confirmed that Copeland needed help. Rangers called for an ambulance, and the Scouts headed up the trail, which Ranger Rodney Angotti describes as "long, steep, and grueling."
"She was pretty banged up and couldn't walk on her own," Kenyon said of Copeland. "But she was in good spirits, and she was an experienced hiker."
The Scout group carried Copeland to a relatively flat area of the trail and applied first aid to cuts on her legs, caused by multiple falls. They also gave her food and dry clothes.
Rangers then brought up a "basket stretcher," in which the patient is surrounded by a metal frame, and Copeland was strapped in.
"The Scouts were very enthusiastic to help," Tom Stauffer said. "They weren't kids pushed off to the side. They were a major part of the rescue."
The nine-person Scout group and five other people, including rangers and hikers, began carrying Copeland down to the base in the stretcher. The effort to descend the 5,300-foot mountain was complicated by the difficulty of the terrain and bad weather. It ended up taking seven hours.
"There were some points where it was really narrow and steep," Mike Stauffer said. "It was raining, so everything was slippery, and the trail was pretty rough."
During the rescue, rangers recruited more than 20 additional hikers to help in the effort. Seven-person teams took turns carrying Copeland's stretcher as far as they could before handing off to another team.
At times the trail turned into steps cut into nearly vertical granite, and the stretcher had to be passed hand-over-hand along a line of rescuers.
Hospitalized only briefly
When they finally got Copeland to the bottom, she was taken to a local hospital, treated overnight, and released.
The rescuers helped her two friends down the mountain, but they didn't need to be carried.
In a typical year 35 to 40 rescue operations are conducted in the park, Angotti said, adding that 39 people have died on the mountain since 1950. Only two weeks before Copeland was rescued, an 83-year-old man was carried off the mountain, and another hiker was crushed to death by a falling rock, the ranger said.
The park rangers were impressed with the Boy Scouts' efforts. They took them out to a celebratory dinner and wrote them a congratulatory letter.
Hodgdon said the experience gave him a new respect for older hikers - and an awareness of the importance of being prepared to deal with emergencies.
"It really changed a lot about me, and it gave me a lot more respect for older people," he said.
Fatality on Boulder on Cadillac Mountain's South Ridge Trail
September 18 2004, 9:30 PM
The New Jersey woman who was injured in a fall while hiking on Cadillac Mountain earlier this week has died. Bette Powell, 60, of Haddenfield, N.J., died Thursday at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, said Kevin Cochary, a park official.
Powell and her husband, Dennis Powell, were visiting the park as part of their 40th anniversary celebration and were hiking on the South Ridge Trail when the accident occurred early Wednesday afternoon.
According to Cochary, Powell was coming down a 10-foot boulder using iron rungs when she lost her balance and fell backward, striking her head on a rock http://www.bangornews.com/editorialnews/article.cfm?ID=435683
Helicopter Rescue on Mount Watatic in Massachusetts
September 18 2004, 9:34 PM
A 76-year-old man fell on Mount Watatic injuring his shoulder and he was LifeFlighted to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.
Ashburnham and Ashby police and fire departments responded to the call of an injured hiker on the mountain, which is on the border of the two towns and near the New Hampshire border. The LifeFlight helicopter was called because the hiker's blood pressure was very low, according to Ashburnham fire Battalion Chief Robert Salo.
"We want to get him to an appropriate facility in a short amount of time," said Salo. http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/Stories/0,1413,106~4994~2406076,00.html
Efforts to recover the body of a tourist who died while climbing the snow-capped Mount Kenya aborted yesterday due to bad weather.
The mountain was covered with clouds and mist for the better part of the day, forcing police to suspend the recovery mission until today.
A team from the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Flying Doctors and the Everest Aviation firm was coordinating the search.
rescue officer at Mount Kenya National Park, Mr Simon Gitau, said the body of the Italian tourist, Mr Sebastian Calleri Zevanelli, was lying about 15,000 feet up in the mountain. The tourist was a bank employee in London.
Mr Gitau said the recovery team was expected to scale the mountain from Shipton camp to Batian peak where the body was trapped between boulders. However, the helicopter could not access the area.
The 29-year-old tourist slipped from a height of 15,038 feet as he tried to un-hook a rope he was using to scale the mountain's Batian peak, on Friday, at about 12.20pm.
He was hit by a rolling boulder and suffered critical injuries in the head, chest and legs, which caused profuse bleeding. http://allafrica.com/stories/200409200651.html
Am a trained rescuer. To my dissapointment i would like the cimbers to know why it took so long for the Italian who fell on Mt. Kenya to be Retlived.
The who operration could havev taken 2days if it were not for the disagreements between the real trained rescures and the rescue officer Mr. Simon Gitau.
Gitau is the rescue officer, but he can not lead a climb. He runs to the press to his credit while the real rescures does the job. The little he can climb was out of some trainning from one of the trained whom he recommeded for a rack Colprol.
A Genaral who can not fight leading a war.
shame be to K.W.S, his employers and who did the intervials!
Missing Hiker's Dog Barking Leads Searchers to Body in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness
September 21 2004, 6:34 PM
The barking of a missing hiker's dog led searchers to the man's body.
Okanogan County Undersheriff Joe Somday says the body of 52-year-old James V. Spotts III was found Monday in the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness between Boiling and Bernice lakes.
Somday says there was no outward sign of injury or cause of death. Because the body was found just inside Chelan County, it is being sent to Wenatchee where Chelan County authorities will decide whether to conduct an autopsy.
Spotts left Sept. 11 on a week-long hike. A friend reported him overdue on Saturday and the search began with teams on foot, horseback and a helicopter. http://www.king5.com/localnews/stories/NW_092104WABhikerdeadSW.13b9806db.html
Original Member of Bumblies Dies During Idaho State University Climbing Contest
September 21 2004, 6:37 PM
Longtime Pocatello rock climber Terry Kranning died Sunday morning at Portneuf Medical Center after he fell during the Idaho State University Pocatello Pump rock climbing competition.
At 57, Kranning was an experienced climber and had competed in the Pump for at least 10 years. He was what a close friend and fellow climber Justin Dayley called the keystone in Pocatello's tight-knit rock-climbing community, the Bumblies.
Kranning was a sponsor of the Pump. Every year, he donated three handmade knives to be given away as prizes. Kranning was a world-renowned knife crafter who was passionate about climbing, organizers said.
The Pocatello Pump annually awards a $500 ISU Climber's Scholarship to two students. Organizers and family members have agreed to name the climbing scholarships in Kranning's honor.
The accident Sunday morning was the first major accident in the Pocatello Pump's 23-year history.
"I think the thing I'll miss most is that I have never seen someone who gave so willingly and was so thoughtful of everyone else,"Dayley said. "I have never met a person like him, who just wanted to make sure everyone else was taken care of."
"The Bumblies climbing group is the epitome of a community. They, just like Terry, are so accepting of everybody, no matter what you look like, what your job is or what your religion is,"Joyce said. "The common thread that holds them all together is climbing."
The Bumblies got their name about seven years ago from the climbers at City of Rocks, one of southeastern Idaho's favorite climbing areas. They saw the same group of people from Pocatello always climbing the Bumblie Wall. Soon, that's what they were known as - the Bumblies.
Kranning was one of the original Bumblies and was probably the most active one in the group, said Vern Phinney, Kranning's good friend and fellow Bumblie.
Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Visitor Gored by Bull Elk
A park visitor who approached a bull elk too closely this past weekend was gored by the animal. The incident happened on Sunday morning near the Terrace Grill in Mammoth Hot Springs. A 60-year old man from Texas walked to within ten feet of the elk. He took a flash photograph of the animal, then turned his back on the bull and began to walk away. The startled bull put his head down and charged the visitor, who turned back toward the elk just in time to be struck head on by the antlers. He received some cuts and bruises to his head, hands and chest. A park employee charged by the same bull while leaving a building Sunday evening was bruised and strained some muscles. The elk also damaged six cars in the Mammoth Hot Springs area Sunday, adding to the six he had previously attacked. Total damage to the vehicles caused by this one bull elk has been estimated at $12,000 to $15,000. Because this overly aggressive bull was threatening the health and safety of visitors and employees, park managers decided to tranquilize the animal and remove his antlers. Transporting the animal to a distant location was ruled out because over-stressed animals can choke to death on regurgitated food. Even when successfully relocated, past history has shown elk shortly return to their original location. Elk congregate at Mammoth Hot Springs and many other developed areas in the park at during the fall mating season. The large, muscular bulls bugle and display their massive antlers to intimidate other bulls and impress herds of cow elk. Despite their often-docile appearance, elk are unpredictable, wild animals. They can run much faster than people can. Both cows and bulls can be very excitable and dangerous at this time of year. Sharpened tines on the large antlers of mature bulls are very effective weapons when wielded by animals weighing an average of 700 pounds. They may mock fight with trees or vehicles, spar with other rivals, or chase unsuspecting visitors who stray too closely. http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/morningreportold.cfm?date=09%2F23%2F2004
Photo From: http://www.petgroomer.com/ALBUM/pekingese-popup.htm
Romanian shepherd who was attacked by a bear in the mountains was saved by his pet Pekinese dog.
The man was checking sheep near Magurii Casinului, in Vrancea county, when the bear came out from bushes and started chasing him.
Petre Preda thought he was doomed when he slipped and broke his leg - but his little dog had other ideas.
It began harassing the bear, distracting it from the shepherd, and leading it off into nearby woods.
Mr Preda told National newspaper: "The giant bear came out of the blue and swooped upon me ready to tear me into pieces.
"I ran as fast as I could but I stumbled and broke my right leg. I thought only God could help me and started my last prayer.
"Then I heard my little Pekinese, I'd completely forgot about it. The little one attacked the bear distracting it from me. After an hour the dog returned from the woods safe."
The shepherd said his Pekinese, which he named Bear, was a gift from his wife who gave it to him to take care of him in the mountains. http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1109915.html
Man Rescued After Climbing Out of 15 Foot Crevasse
September 26 2004, 3:51 PM
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and the Army National Guard rescued a climber from Mount Hood on Saturday after the man fell into a 15-foot crevasse and sprained an ankle.
The man, whose name was not available, climbed to the top of the crevasse to an icy patch, where three other people on the mountain saw him, said Joel Manley, a spokesman for the sheriff's office. Although the three couldn't get to the injured climber because of the ice, they used a cell phone to call for help. http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/exclude/109619981919810.xml
Three hikers were rescued on Sunday after being lost on Medicine Bow Peak for more than five hours.
Rescuers from the Laramie Fire Department and Albany County Sheriffs Office arrived on the scene at 8:40 p.m., Saturday, after a member of the hiking group was able to find his way down the mountain and flag down a motorist.
After hiking for more than four hours, rescuers found the stranded individuals.
Due to cold temperatures and the condition of the hikers, rescuers decided to set up a shelter in the mountains and build a fire.
The hikers were treated for hypothermia, and were given dry clothes and heat packs.
At daybreak, the group hiked nearly one mile to Heart Lake, where they met up with Carbon County Search and Rescue.
At about 2 p.m., the hikers were air lifted to safety on a United States Air Force Rescue Helicopter.
The hikers were identified as Marla Lancaster, 29, and her son Campbell Lancaster, 4, both who recently moved from Texas to Casper, and their friend, Russell Marusak, 31, of Dallas, TX.
The father, 37-year-old Gary Lancaster, apparently returned to the Libby Flats area and flagged down a passing motorist for help. Lancaster led rescuers to his stranded family. http://www.laramieboomerang.com/news/more.asp?StoryID=101984
The complete article shows there were a lot of problems on this trip.
A Casper family recovering from a frigid night on Medicine Bow Peak says a faulty guidebook was the reason they became stranded.
Marla Lancaster, 29, and her 4-year-old son, Campbell, became exhausted after climbing the 12,013-foot peak late Saturday afternoon, prompting her husband, Gary, for seek help.
Marla, her son and family friend Russell Marusak, 31, of Dallas, Texas, stayed on a mountain ridge below the peak at an elevation of about 11,400 feet while Gary Lancaster, 37, went for help.
Mrs. Lancaster said both she and her husband are geologists and "avid hikers" who moved to Casper from Texas eight months ago. He also is an experienced mountaineer who has climbed Mount McKinley in Alaska.
They made preparations for the hike based on a guidebook that rated climbing the peak as an "easy to moderate" four-hour hike.
"That was our first mistake," she said. http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2004/09/29/build/wyoming/60-stranded.inc
Off course this wasn't their fault! The best course of action would be to sue the guidebook auther and go for a big punitive award to discourage any more of these "faulty guidebooks" (I am being SARCASTIC).
Father and Son Fatalities While Climbing Alps Thirteeners (66 Fatalities since May)
September 28 2004, 10:20 PM
A father and son have died while climbing in the Swiss Alps.
The two Frenchmen, aged 47 and 22, set off on September 17 from the village of Saas-Fee to climb several 13,000 foot peaks, said police in the southern canton of Valais.
They were last in phone contact two days later and were eventually reported missing by the fathers wife. Police did not disclose their identities, but said they came from the eastern Alsace region.
An air rescue service pilot spotted the two bodies lying on a glacier yesterday and they were taken to the nearby resort of Zermatt by helicopter. The exact circumstances of their deaths remain unclear, police said.
25 Rescued During Filming of "Survivor" Style Show on Mount Washington in Canada
September 28 2004, 10:22 PM
THis is an amazing story and this is only an excerpt.
Search and rescue crews had to pull 25 people out of rough terrain near Mount Washington after a "survivor" race turned into a nightmare for its participants.
A share of $35,000 in prize money lured about 40 people to the competition, which was to be captured by cameras for a television show.
Organizers said a trek over mountains and through treacherous ravines would take about 20 hours. But search officials told the hikers that the journey would normally take three days.
Many of the participants were unprepared for the strenuous journey, and called for help after a night in the wilderness, said Ken Sandberg of Campbell River Search and Rescue.
"We're concerned about how they were dressed," he said. "They had a minimum amount of food, a limited amount of water, no shelter, no sleeping bags, and (didn't know) that they were going into some pretty serious terrain."
Fatal Fall on Dawn Falls Waterfall Trail on Mount Tamalpais in California
September 29 2004, 8:11 PM
A Southern California has died from injuries suffered when he fell from a trail overlooking the Dawn Falls waterfall on Mount Tamalpais.
Sixty-sex-year-old Michael Stein, of Palm Desert, died at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek yesterday.
Kentfield Fire District Battalion Chief Jim Galli says Stein was hiking the Dawn Falls Trail with a friend on Monday when he apparently lost his balance at the top of the falls and fell off backward. http://www.kesq.com/Global/story.asp?S=2365546
Sgt. Nick Watt, search-and-rescue coordinator for the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, said the climber, tentatively identified as Pat Martuson of Salmon, Idaho, was near the base of Crater Rock when he fell sometime early Thursday.
Watt said a nearby climber saw the injured man and contacted a member of the ski patrol, who called 9-1-1 at 9:52 a.m.
Deputy Joel Manley, a sheriff's spokesman, said two rescuers reached Martuson just before noon and called for additional help from 10 members of Portland Mountain Rescue. They brought Martuson off the mountain on a litter.
He was taken by ambulance to a Portland hospital.
"The weather was nice, and there was no immediate medical need to call for a helicopter to bring him off the mountain," Manley said.
Crater Rock is a prominent landmark on the mountain's well-used south-side climbing route, located between Steel Cliff and Castle Crags just below the summit. -- Stuart Tomlinson