View Full Version : PBS this weekend

12-20-2004, 07:58 PM
Did anyone see the PBS special this weekend. It was about the guy in 1982 who got lost on White MTN with a friend of his. A man who tried to rescue him ended up getting killed. In honor of that man, the guy moved to his home town and
dedicated himself to helping others by designing limb's for handicaped people. He lost both legs in the accident and now climbs with artificial legs. He is so good now that the other climbers say he is "cheating"? Does anyone know this guy? And if your out there, two thumbs up.

12-20-2004, 09:46 PM
Sounds like Hugh Herr. It was quite the story at the time; Dave Roberts wrote about it for Outside magazine. "The Mechanical Boy Comes Back", if I recall correctly. Hugh was 17 or so at the time, a Gunks climbing prodigy. He and his friend were ice climbing in Huntington Ravine and decided to go on up to the summit and got caught in poor conditions, ended up coming down in the Great Gulf and spending a couple of nights out. Hugh broke through a stream and soaked both legs, eventually losing them to frostbite. A rescuer, a very popular local, was killed in an avalanche and there was bit of resentment about that at the time by the locals. Anyway, from what you've written, it sure sounds like that's the incident. I'll definitely watch it - over twenty years ago, and you can tell it made quite the impression on me.

12-21-2004, 12:11 AM
Yea, I saw it also. Interesting story. Very good.

He was lucky that a gal followed his foot prints for a couple miles off trail or he, too, would have died.

12-21-2004, 07:51 AM
I'm sorry, meant Mt. Washington. How did "white" Mt get in my head?

12-21-2004, 07:54 AM
This is the guy: http://biomech.media.mit.edu/people/herr.htm

12-21-2004, 08:27 AM
And here is a writeup on the man who dies in a Search and Rescue attempt for Hugh Herr.

The program was riveting. It was eerie watching the program while updating some notes for the Winter Gathering and looking at the planned Mt Washington attempt in the notes.

As found in http://www.mountwashington.org/visitor/surviving.html

NAME: Albert Dow
AGE: 28
RESIDENCE: Tuftonboro, NH
DATE: January 25, 1982

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Albert Dow, a member of the volunteer Mountain Rescue Service, participated as a member of the search party that set out to locate two missing climbers, Hugh Herr and Jeff Batzer. On January 23, Herr and Batzer had left Harvard Hut to climb Odell Gully in Huntington Ravine. When they failed to return that evening, the caretaker of the Hut notified the authorities that the two were missing. Cold and windy conditions prevailed: temperatures on the summit on the 23rd registered 1 degree F, with winds of 56 to 69 mph. Blowing snow limited visibility severely. On the 24th and 25th the weather deteriorated with colder temperatures and higher winds, hampering search efforts. Avalanche warnings had been posted by the U.S. Forest Service for many areas around Mount Washington. Despite the inhospitable conditions, the searchers persisted in hopes of locating the lost climbers alive. On the 25th, Dow and another MRS team member, Mike Hartrick, carefully threaded their way down near the Lion Head Trail, striving to avoid avalanche prone slopes, after finding no trace of the climbers. Well below treeline, an avalanche swept over them. Hartrick managed to clear an air hole and radio for help. Dow was found two hours later under three feet of snow. He had not survived."

12-21-2004, 08:46 AM
Since I missed it, I'll keep my eye out for it if it's on again - does anyone recall the name of the PBS show it aired on?

12-21-2004, 09:21 AM
I think I saw it on the History Channel. Saturday at noon. I don't remember what it was called, though.

12-21-2004, 09:37 AM
The show is part of the series"Ultimate Survival" Some pretty amazing stories on this series on the History Channel.
The tragic fault of this story was so basic. No Compass. A small mistake becomes a tragedy.

12-21-2004, 11:53 AM
I saw it, too. Amazing what Hugh Herr has done, post tragedy.

I checked for it on the History Channel - it's not scheduled for a repeat yet, but will be out on DVD, as a part of four programs.

Ultimate Survival (http://store.aetv.com/html/product/index.jhtml?id=71857&browseCategoryId=&location=&parentcatid=&subcatid=)

12-21-2004, 01:57 PM
The Dave Roberts article was excellent, by the way, if you ever get the chance to read it. He does a good job of describing the whole incident without getting judgmental one way or another. It's in whatever book of his collects his various short stories and articles over the years.

12-22-2004, 12:43 AM
Amazing story, very up-lifting. Makes you count your blessings. I bet he turned alot of heads with many others that are in his situation. It just amazes me how far prostetics have advances in the past 10-15 years. It's almost better than having your real legs-but I like mine right where they are.

12-22-2004, 02:22 AM
I think "Scientific American Frontiers" covered Hugh Herr several years ago, too. Herr had rigged up some elastics or springs to some running shoes; runners would train with them and get in better shape somehow.

Actually, I don't think I ever heard any more about the invention, so maybe they didn't work after all.