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Thread: Mt Washington rescue

  1. #1
    Junior Member SteveR's Avatar
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    Mt Washington rescue

    From today's paper. Unprepared or victims of circumstance?

    http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index....-rescue-022613
    NE4K: 67/67
    NH4K: 48/48 X3
    NHW4K: 41/48

    The line between badass and dumbass is not only fine, it is a grey, wavy line, and in a different place for each individual.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member summitseeker's Avatar
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    Today Dehydrator and I faced visibility so poor that we were less than 100 feet from the observatory and could not see the tower. God bless those cairns.

    Welcome aboard btw,

    Z
    "Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road.
    Healthy, free, the world before me.
    The long brown path before me leading me wherever I choose."
    - Walt Whitman

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bombadil's Avatar
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    I was wondering if this was going to make the paper. We shared the bunkroom at Hiker's Paradise the night before and we chatted for a while about hiking/climbing and all 3 seemed quite fit and knowledgeable. They were planning to do Pinnacle Gully. The visibility was garbage that day (I was across the street on the Carters/Cats) and light snow gradually picked up in intensity throughout the afternoon/evening. Around 1 am I called AMC because I knew they had planned on ascending Huntington on a pretty lousy day and were well overdue. They were in bed the night before at 9 pm while I was still having a few celebratory bud heavies after a presi traverse so they didn't strike me as the type to hit the bar before changing clothes and getting a warm shower. The person I spoke to at AMC said they heard there was a search undergoing for a group of 3 so I relayed what little info I had but by that point I suspect they were probably already getting rescued. They strolled in around 5:30 am after being out for almost 24 hours. I didn't chat with them at length but I think they were humbled and relieved to have made it back. We all agreed the relatively warm temps and light winds were quite fortunate as it could have been a lot worse in terms of weather to endure that night. Pushing on in unfamiliar territory in poor visibility was the biggest factor that I was able to gather; I'm glad everything turned out OK.
    Pat
    All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
    -J. R. R. Tolkien

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bombadil View Post
    They were planning to do Pinnacle Gully.
    So- they were planning on climbing Pinnacle, ended up on Yale but thought they were on Central...hmmm.

    Were they from MA?

  5. #5
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Well, I've ended up on the wrong ROCK route in perfect visibility, so I certainly can see how it could happen in Huntington in marginal conditions. Kudos for them for NOT turning a navigation error into something much more serious. And Well Done to the technical rescue team. "Straightforward," and "a lot of things went well" means that you guys did great work.
    Sure. Why not.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Hunnington ravine as most alpine ravines require a skillset beyond standard ice climbing techniques. Route finding, mixed climbing skills and weather pediction. Another very important skill is the ability to get down, setting anchors in ice and rock are very commen in the ravine as a means of escape.Two ropes, rock gear, and the abilty to read a guidebook are mandatory skills and equipment. Maybe they where lacking in some of the above, should they be charged? Im not going to say they should, I guess lately Ive been leaning towards not charging anyone no matter what the circumstances.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    Hunnington ravine as most alpine ravines require a skillset beyond standard ice climbing techniques. Route finding, mixed climbing skills and weather pediction. Another very important skill is the ability to get down, setting anchors in ice and rock are very commen in the ravine as a means of escape.Two ropes, rock gear, and the abilty to read a guidebook are mandatory skills and equipment. Maybe they where lacking in some of the above, should they be charged? Im not going to say they should, I guess lately Ive been leaning towards not charging anyone no matter what the circumstances.
    Rescues in Huntington Ravine are handled by the USFS so charges are not an issue.

    This is always a difficult issue: one has to push one's limits to learn and pushing one's limits increases the risk of getting into trouble.

    I don't know the climbers' skills and exactly what equipment they carried so it is hard to make an informed opinion. However, IIRC Yale and Central gullies are pretty hard to confuse.

    Doug

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    . However, IIRC Yale and Central gullies are pretty hard to confuse.

    Doug

    I normally would not second guess someone's judgement without being there.
    BUT-
    Many routes may be tricky to find, Central is not one of them. Pretty obvious even in total darkness, fog or whiteout.

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