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Thread: Three hikers missing on Mt. Whitney

  1. #1
    Senior Member Craig's Avatar
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    Three hikers missing on Mt. Whitney

    3 individuals out of a large group havenít returned from their summit attempt on Monday. Not good. With breaking weather hopefully theyíll be found today.

    News Article

    Summitpost

    Whitney Portal
    Enjoy your best

  2. #2
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    And another thread from the other Whitney Portal BB -

    The post from Doug Sr. is among the more informed. Doug and his wife own the Portal Store, as well as the Hostel in Lone Pine.

    We've been having a period of stormy, unsettled weather, and it will likely continue for the next several days.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Craig's Avatar
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    Looking at the webcam earlier the summit was in the clear. I can see now the clouds have once again moved in.

    Hopefully they are in the summit hut.

    Enjoy your best

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    Looking at the webcam... Hopefully they are in the summit hut.
    A little off topic, but I am intrigued that a place like this, (with no large power source), has a web cam. Does anyone know if it is powered by solar panels? And does it transmit a picture every few minutes to a monitoring station somewhere? And finally, how robust are these units, that they can work at this elevation, with the wind and weather conditions being pretty extreme?
    Tom Rankin
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Info on the cam, but the simple answer is that it's looking at the summit, not on the summit, which would answer your questions !
    Dead Last > Did Not Finish > Did Not Start

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  6. #6
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Tom -

    That webcam isn't up on the mountain. Rather, it's in Lone Pine. If I'm not mistaken, there are actually two webcams pointed at Whitney - one is located on the Doug Thompson's hostel (near the light) and the other is a bit south at the Lone Pine film museum building.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Ok, I see now! Wow, that is one honkin' zoom lens!
    Tom Rankin
    Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
    Volunteer - Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Craig's Avatar
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    Good News

    Should make for a good story and lessons learned.

    News Article
    Enjoy your best

  9. #9
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    A couple more stories, but the Whitney Portal seems to have the most complete accounts-

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/gree...und-alive.html

    Two more missing-
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/gree...ng-hikers.html
    Last edited by TomD; 10-21-2010 at 07:27 PM.

  10. #10
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    A local (Bishop) news account.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Craig's Avatar
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    Kevin Ė

    Your link didnít work for me.

    Does the state of California or the counties responsible for SAR have a mechanism to recover cost of rescues?
    Iím thinking when the smoke clears, and thereís a full accounting of the events, there may be some outrage over this one.
    Enjoy your best

  12. #12
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    Iím thinking when the smoke clears, and thereís a full accounting of the events, there may be some outrage over this one.
    Craig, I might have missed something; Other than the one mention of "needing a lighter", I don't see that these guys did much wrong. Do you just think they weren't prepared or made a bad decision ? Like I said, I might have missed something.
    Dead Last > Did Not Finish > Did Not Start

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  13. #13
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Craig -

    Am not sure why it didn't, but in any case - go to news.sierrawave.net. The site doesn't require a login.

    Chip - I think what Chip may be alluding to is a video they took of themselves at around 11.8K'. It was snowing, with reducing visibility. Looks like they were a bit below Trail Camp, but can't tell for sure due to the snow.

    Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqXZF...layer_embedded

    When I watched it I had the same reaction as I did this summer after an Audi TT passed me at very high speed, endangering me and others, only to see that vehicle in a spectacular rollover about 1/2 hour later. Fortunately, no one was hurt in either case, but ...

    As for charging for SAR in California - it doesn't happen.

    There are two other hikers missing in approximately the same area, a father/son team. I hope they're found OK.
    Last edited by Kevin Rooney; 10-22-2010 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Add linked, changed altitude.

  14. #14
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    Good that those three are safe. Now hoping for a good outcome on the father and son missing in the same area. There's a comraderie in the hiking community, for sure, and it intensifies if you've been a visitor to the area, I think. Mt. Whitney is a wild place in contrast to New England.
    Ellen

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    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

  15. #15
    Senior Member Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    Craig, I might have missed something; Other than the one mention of "needing a lighter", I don't see that these guys did much wrong. Do you just think they weren't prepared or made a bad decision ? Like I said, I might have missed something.
    The details are very sketchy right now but hopefully there will be a full accounting.

    1. The conditions on Whitney this time of year (tweener season) are very unpredictable. Nice down low Ė fresh snow, ice, windy, stormy up high. There was predicted bad weather for their hiking timeline (unclear as to what the forecast was). They continued hiking up as the weather turned bad (didnít turn around). The other 2 groups turned around due to the conditions. The other 2 groups were seen descending past an upper camp late at night (indicating a slow ascent without summiting).

    2. The group flew in the day before their hike and didnít acclimatize.

    3. The summit hut is locked off season, maybe year round. They had to have broken it to get out of the weather. Their supplies consisted of a day pack (unclear as to what that consisted of). The hut had a food stash inside that kept them fed for the (4 days ?) they were there. They probably didnít have the necessary clothing to spend a night on the mountain much less (4 nights?).If the summit hut wasnít there, this probably would have turned out much differently.

    Iím thinking this group was underprepared for the conditions they were likely to encounter and continued ascending into worsening weather just to summit.

    Like I said the details are sketchy and perhaps I have the facts wrong but hopefully weíll get a full accounting so there may be some learning from this. These guys were pretty lucky I think.
    Enjoy your best

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