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Thread: New Book on Kate M.

  1. #16
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    I need to read that book. Was talking with the AMC caretaker at Speck Pond about her death and why she even thought it was a good idea to hike in that storm that was forecasted the night before. I was living in Lewiston and distinctly remember how ferocious it was at my house. It was much worse in the higher peaks.

  2. #17
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    For me the story highlights how all of us are vulnerable when hypothermia kicks in and sound decision making goes out the window. Her long slow descent of Madison and 8 minute stop at the base of the steeps on the exposed flank of Adams for example will remain a mystery.

    i was relieved to see the location errors broadcast by her spot device were due to her faulty deployment of it. The initial ping was accurate but she apparently folded the antenna and put the device back in her pack which fouled up subsequent GPS acquision.

    Finally, I so wish she hired a guide for this trip as she did for so many other mountain adventures. There are so many great ones in the area and they have so much to teach us. Like other guided groups that turned back that day she would not have Achieved her goal, but she might have learned how ferocious and dangerous our little mountains can be when the wx turns.

    She is us and we've all lost a sister in the hills. But her lessons live on.
    Cb
    How many 4Ks in the NE100?
    All of em.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    For me the story highlights how all of us are vulnerable when hypothermia kicks in and sound decision making goes out the window. Her long slow descent of Madison and 8 minute stop at the base of the steeps on the exposed flank of Adams for example will remain a mystery.

    i was relieved to see the location errors broadcast by her spot device were due to her faulty deployment of it. The initial ping was accurate but she apparently folded the antenna and put the device back in her pack which fouled up subsequent GPS acquision.

    Finally, I so wish she hired a guide for this trip as she did for so many other mountain adventures. There are so many great ones in the area and they have so much to teach us. Like other guided groups that turned back that day she would not have Achieved her goal, but she might have learned how ferocious and dangerous our little mountains can be when the wx turns.

    She is us and we've all lost a sister in the hills. But her lessons live on.
    Cb
    SPOT devices don't have an antenna to fold up...

  4. #19
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    I guess I'm using "spot" in the generic sense to refer to a locator beacon that alerts outside resources. Not sure what brand she had...

    Cb
    How many 4Ks in the NE100?
    All of em.

  5. #20
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    SPOT devices don't have an antenna to fold up...
    According to the write-up in Appalachia (summer/fall 2016), she was carrying an ACR ResQLink+ PLB. The foldable antenna is the 406/121.5 MHz transmitting antenna. The GPS receiving antenna is internal to the case, most likely a small patch antenna.

    The instructions say the transmitting antenna should be unfolded and vertical--folding it or misorienting it would most likely reduce the strength of the 406 MHz* signals which could cause errors in the data transmission. The GPS antenna is also sensitive to orientation (it needs to be pointed up toward the sky)--misorientation increases the probability of location errors. (The following instructions are printed on the case over the GPS antenna: "GPS give clear view to sky".)

    According to the same article, her PLB was found "on its side". (I presume this means that the transmitting and GPS antennas were horizontal.) Experiments showed less accurate locations when the unit was on its side.

    If she also carried the PLB in her pack (antenna folded or not), its performance would likely have been degraded.

    * This PLB also transmits a 121.5 MHz low-power homing signal. None of the reports that I have seen indicate whether it was used by the searchers.


    There is ample data showing that SPOT devices are also not 100% reliable/accurate.

    Doug

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    According to the write-up in Appalachia (summer/fall 2016), she was carrying an ACR ResQLink+ PLB. The foldable antenna is the 406/121.5 MHz transmitting antenna. The GPS receiving antenna is internal to the case, most likely a small patch antenna.

    The instructions say the transmitting antenna should be unfolded and vertical--folding it or misorienting it would most likely reduce the strength of the 406 MHz* signals which could cause errors in the data transmission. The GPS antenna is also sensitive to orientation (it needs to be pointed up toward the sky)--misorientation increases the probability of location errors. (The following instructions are printed on the case over the GPS antenna: "GPS give clear view to sky".)

    According to the same article, her PLB was found "on its side". (I presume this means that the transmitting and GPS antennas were horizontal.) Experiments showed less accurate locations when the unit was on its side.

    If she also carried the PLB in her pack (antenna folded or not), its performance would likely have been degraded.

    * This PLB also transmits a 121.5 MHz low-power homing signal. None of the reports that I have seen indicate whether it was used by the searchers.


    There is ample data showing that SPOT devices are also not 100% reliable/accurate.

    Doug

    The one time I actually needed my SPOT it failed in the Great Gulf coming off Adams.

  7. #22
    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    * This PLB also transmits a 121.5 MHz low-power homing signal. None of the reports that I have seen indicate whether it was used by the searchers.
    Per Ty's book, the CAP aircraft carrying the equipment was not able to get low enough for it to be effective. Apparently it works best 1000' or less AGL and the weather that day featured 1000' drop in downdrafts....

  8. #23
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jniehof View Post
    Per Ty's book, the CAP aircraft carrying the equipment was not able to get low enough for it to be effective. Apparently it works best 1000' or less AGL and the weather that day featured 1000' drop in downdrafts....
    OK.

    The spec for the ACR ResQLink+ is 50mW at 121.5MHz, Having used low power transmitters, I would expect a longer range over a line-of-sight path. (Bare ground-to-air is a line-of-sight path if the aircraft is high enough above the horizon.) Terrain blocking or vegetation would shorten the range (potentially significantly). Depending on the electronics carried in the aircraft, the detection range might be significantly greater than the range at which a useful bearing or location might be obtained.

    Anyhow, the weather was not conducive to search by air... (The Appalachia article says the CAP was forced to fly at 10000 ft in a fixed wing aircraft and a National Guard helicopter was able to stay on scene for only 15min, both on day 2. They were unable to narrow the search.)


    Actually, given the weather, I was thinking of the ground searchers. Even if the ground-to-ground range was only 100 ft, it could have been helpful. She was found by a visual sighting at a fairly short range.

    Doug

  9. #24
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Just finished the book last night. My overall thoughts are as follows. TY goes into some theories on decision making and risk taking that are quite valid, I was familiar with them all,so it was redundant for me. I had pretty much followed the rescue closely and read most of what was out there , so again redundant info, there. I really enjoyed hearing directly from the rescuers and the insight to the process of SAR was very well done. I liked hearing first hand from the guys on the teams. For the casual hiker, there is much value in the book, it is well written. If I see more stuff from TY, I would be inclined to read it.

  10. #25
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I had pretty much followed the rescue closely and read most of what was out there , so again redundant info, there.
    I did not read every article on the accident, so I might have Missed this...

    But I found the contents of her pack interesting: 2 iPhones, a GoPro on a selfi stick, a Sat phone, handheld GPS, rescue beacon, 3 liters frozen water, no bivvy sak, no bivvy bag, no snowshoes, no microspikes, one Tika headlamp (found at the scene), 1 pair crampons, no insulating foam pad, etc. etc.

    No judgements, just worth pondering as another winter approaches.
    cb
    Last edited by ChrisB; 09-10-2017 at 11:19 PM.
    How many 4Ks in the NE100?
    All of em.

  11. #26
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    Three liters of frozen water? Did she drink any? Dehydration may have been a contributing factor, also.

  12. #27
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    Three liters of frozen water? Did she drink any? Dehydration may have been a contributing factor, also.
    Her husband reported said she also departed with a thermos of hot tea and trekking poles. Neither were ever found.
    How many 4Ks in the NE100?
    All of em.

  13. #28
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    I did not read every article on the accident, so I might have Missed this...

    But I found the contents of her pack interesting: 2 iPhones, a GoPro on a selfi stick, a Sat phone, handheld GPS, rescue beacon, 3 liters frozen water, no bivvy sak, no bivvy bag, no snowshoes, no microspikes, one Tika headlamp (found at the scene), 1 pair crampons, no insulating foam pad, etc. etc.

    No judgements, just worth pondering as another winter approaches.
    cb
    Two observations I had on her pack contents. One, that's a lot of electronics, I carry one phone, that's it. Frozen water? Water in the winter is critical, and just filling up Nalgene's on a cold day is not going to cut, it will freeze. Given the forecast, she should have had a better way to carry her water. My standard system for winter H2O. One Nalgene in a OR insulated wrap with warm water, large Thermos with boiling water, that I add to my Nalgene as needed. Plus, I carry hot chocolate and a soup packet or two. If you get sweaty and a little wet, nothing beats a hot summit drink.

  14. #29
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    Water could have been in insulated boots and froze after her death. As cold and windy as it was on that weekend, I wouldn't expect water, even in insulated bottle boots, to stay liquid after 8 hours. I would expect a couple bottles to be empty, however.

  15. #30
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    I wouldn't expect water, even in insulated bottle boots, to stay liquid after 8 hours.
    If the water is kept in close to your body it will stay liquid indefinitely. If packed directly behind the middle of your back it will stay liquid. If not it needs to be carried on your person.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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