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Thread: New Book on Kate M.

  1. #76
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Ty is not the first and probably nor the last making a buck off this unfortunate incident. Had this same event occurred without the boost of attractive female with an unusual backstory from a large media market we wouldn't have seen all the glossy articles (part 1 and 2 no less) Rather at best it would have faded quickly with maybe a chapter in Not Without Peril 2 (or the AMC lookalike).
    As I think about it, the author's contract with his publisher might require him to tour the book around to advance sales and increase visibility.

    I agree we can all learn much by reading thoughtful analysis of accidents. One of the best collections is Accidents in North American Mountaineering published by the American Alpine Club. Still, I feel there is a thin line between learning lessons and a mere morbid fascination with death.

    Having read the book I don't feel a need to attend a presentation. The book was sad and painful enough.

    cb
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    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
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  2. #77
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    I get that writing a book about the circumstances surrounding Kate's death is reasonable and informative.

    But does anybody else besides me think it a bit ghoulish to have a roadshow about the event and profit from this woman's tragedy?

    Ty's activities just give me an uneasy feeling....

    cb
    I've been going to lectures on mountaineering for over 35 year's. Many have included dealing with death in the mountains. I consider mountain climbing a craft, one that I have designated my life to pursue. I have studied the sport from every aspect and real life situations, provide an avenue to dissect a tragedy and find out what happened. This can be very beneficial to increasing your knowledge and experience going forward. Once someone is dead, there is nothing wrong with looking at them in a respectful and intelligent way for both education and curiosity. It's actually a time honored tradition. If something happened to me, it wouldn't' bother me in the least, to know people used my demise, as a point of conversation. Once you've been around these types of situation enough, frankly, you get used to it. Could be, you just need to be exposed to them more often.

  3. #78
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Based on the presentation I saw, I think the author was first fascinated by the story. Second, he has a unique position as a risk assessment specialist, and third saw a lot of people waiting to know the story and its details. I found it authentic and compassionately and respectfully done.
    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.
    ~ Chief Seattle, 1854 ~

  4. #79
    Senior Member akafuzzjones's Avatar
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    I first saw the Ty present this topic at the AMC's Annual Meeting in January and thought it was a great presentation - it focused on the why more than the how. It's easy to say she was foolish to go out in those conditions but that's not why she died. There were a number of instances where a different decision would have very likely led to a very different outcome. It's easy to say I would have done it differently but it's not that easy. As I listened to the presentation I could imagine myself in similar situations because I had been - obviously I survived but was it because I made the right decision or did I just get lucky. It made me think about mental strategies to recognize and avoid those situations just like I train my lungs and my legs to spend time outdoors.

    The book goes into even more detail about the mental aspect of risk-based decision making. Even though I knew the story and had seen the presentation I couldn't put the book down. Read it cover to cover the first day that I had it. I had shared the story and the decision-making process with many people along the trails, particularly with those who I hike with regularly. Maybe its because Ty and I are in the same profession (risk management consultants) but both his presentation and the book made perfect sense to me. He said things in a better way than I could and liked using his research to help others.

    I have worked with Ty to set up at least three presentations - the two at REI (one in October and one on November 1) and one in Nashua (2018). While these presentations are the foundation for the book, they are not book selling events. We didn't put books out for sale in October and won't in November either. The goal of the talk is to make people think about the mental side of decision making so they hopefully avoid making the same mistakes.
    Reaching the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory. (Ed Viesturs)

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  5. #80
    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post

    Acording to this article she had a spot. Under the "review and analysis of the incident and death" they go into detail .. which is it she had a spot or PLB ?

    http://www.catskillmountaineer.com/r...rhikingKM.html

    Knowing GPSR's the "cold start" (not the temperature influenced cold) could of been the reason it's signals bounced. Unless it has a processor that won't transmit until it has a lock. She had plenty of "clear view of the sky" and doubt she laid it down or held it laying down if she did have one. Also if she didn't have it tucked into her coat etc. and was holding it..the gps processor would of acquired a lock holding if tilted with very good accuracy. I'd had plenty of Patch antenna gpsr's that held a good lock laid down on a summit. It's the broadcast of that data in the 406 MHz that would be effected by not holding it upright that might matter. The ACR doesn't seem to use Glonass/gps reciever with WAAS just GPS which is too bad. ACR might be using an outdated chip as well.

  6. #81
    Senior Member Trail Boss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    According to this article she had a spot. Under the "review and analysis of the incident and death" they go into detail .. which is it she had a spot or PLB ?
    The definitive answer to that question will need to come from someone who personally did an inventory of the equipment she had. It seems like for every "she had a SPOT" one can find "she had a PLB". For example, in this post, DougPaul cited a reference indicating she had a PLB.

    If she had a SPOT, it makes the last part of this line, from Bloomberg's article, difficult to sort out:
    ...—an ACR *ResQLink *personal locator beacon (PLB), which Farhoodi had registered with the federal authorities that monitor all personal locator beacons in the U.S.
    You do register a SPOT (with GEOS, a private organization) but not with "federal authorities that monitor all personal locator beacons in the US". Either someone doesn't have the story straight or she had both!?!

    The CatskillMountaineer article describes the SPOT's operation in detail. It allegedly transmitted eleven SOS requests. Is this mentioned in Ty's book? In other reports about Matrosova? If not, who's right and who's inventing s**t? It's a wonder how these accounts can't agree on this important detail.



    I have a quibble with CatskillMountaineer's conclusion that a SPOT is inferior to a PLB because its radio has a lower transmit power. It overlooks to mention PLBs and SPOTs don't communicate with the same satellite systems: COSPAS-SARSAT vs Iridium/Globalstar. It's not a straightforward apples to apples comparison. PLBs communicate with COSPAS-SARSAT satellites in different orbital planes including geostationary orbit which is far higher than Iridium/Globalstar. Each device's radio is tailored to operate reliably with its chosen satellite system.

    They mention, but gloss over, that PLBs have a geolocation accuracy of 328' (i.e. 100 meters). However, they blame SPOT's retransmitted SOS signal, each time with a different geolocation, for wasting SAR's time and energy. Again, a bit too simplistic.

    SPOT's basic accuracy is on the order of 10 meters which is the bog-standard for consumer devices. On a good day, it can theoretically outperform PLB in narrowing down your position. However, it was a terrible day. The temperature was at the extreme lower end of the SPOT's rated temperature band (probably much lower if you account for wind-chill). If nothing else, if you plan to travel in Antarctic conditions, a PLB may be the better choice because it is rated for use down to -40F.

    Whatever she used, it failed her.

  7. #82
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Boss View Post
    They mention, but gloss over, that PLBs have a geolocation accuracy of 328' (i.e. 100 meters). However, they blame SPOT's retransmitted SOS signal, each time with a different geolocation, for wasting SAR's time and energy. Again, a bit too simplistic.

    SPOT's basic accuracy is on the order of 10 meters which is the bog-standard for consumer devices.
    The 100 meter accuracy for a PLB is a limitation of the data transmission protocol, not the internal GPS. (The internal GPS probably has the typical 10 meter accuracy.) See http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthrea...elorme-InReach for a more detailed discussion.

    We should note that these accuracy figures are ideal-case numbers. In practice, the errors can be far larger.

    In any case, the multiple locations obtained early in the search varied by far more than 100 meters and the point chosen for the initial search was far away from her actual location.

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 10-30-2017 at 11:30 AM.

  8. #83
    Senior Member Trail Boss's Avatar
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    Yup, we're on the same page here. A limitation of how many bits allocated to represent lat/long hamstring the PLB's accuracy.

    I suppose the 121.5 MHz "homing" beacon could be used to zero-in on you ... assuming the SAR team has equipment to detect the signal. Although I believe the "homing" beacon was included because PLBs preceded consumer-GPS so they did not (could not) transmit coordinates.

    In Matrosova's case, it is alleged that each successive SOS signal reported a different location. That's not too surprising for GPS. Stand in one place and the location's coordinates will drift slightly with each successive recalculation. Add sources of signal attenuation plus unfavorable satellite geometry and the "drifting" can be quite pronounced. So, do both SPOTs and PLBs use a freshly-calculated position for each SOS transmission? If so, both devices would be susceptible to reporting different positions for each transmission. Arguably, the PLB's reduced accuracy offers better odds for reporting significantly different locations.

    Anyway, all academic because of the conflicting accounts of what she used to signal for help. Both devices have drawbacks that could have failed her on that terrible day.
    Last edited by Trail Boss; 10-30-2017 at 12:52 PM. Reason: Clarification.

  9. #84
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Boss View Post
    I suppose the 121.5 MHz "homing" beacon could be used to zero-in on you ... assuming the SAR team has equipment to detect the signal. Although I believe the "homing" beacon was included because PLBs preceded consumer-GPS so they did not (could not) transmit coordinates.
    The 121.5 MHz frequency is a partially discontinued emergency frequency, however some continue to monitor it or have equipment that can monitor it. It and the 406 MHz (PLB to Satellite) frequency can both be used to home in on the transmitter.

    In Matrosova's case, it is alleged that each successive SOS signal reported a different location. That's not too surprising for GPS. Stand in one place and the location's coordinates will drift slightly with each successive recalculation. Add sources of signal attenuation plus unfavorable satellite geometry and the "drifting" can be quite pronounced.
    Under good conditions, this drift is included in the accuracy spec and would usually stay within 10 meters of the correct location. Under less than ideal conditions the errors depend on more than just the antenna--the signal processing behind it has a very large effect on the observed errors under such conditions. (For instance, compare the Garmin 60CS and 60CSx. Identical antennas and cases, but the far more advanced signal processing in the 60CSx makes it far more tolerant of such factors as orientation, foliage, terrain, etc.) I have no idea how good the GPS chipsets used in PLBs and SPOTs are, however the better ones generally cost more and consume more power. (They might conceivably use cellphone chipsets which are presumably cheap and low power at the cost of performance.)

    So, do both SPOTs and PLBs use a freshly-calculated position for each SOS transmission? If so, both devices would be susceptible to reporting different positions for each transmission.
    I believe both use the most recent GPS location. (Nothing else makes much sense--an earlier location is just as likely to be inaccurate as the latest one and the victim might move. Also multiple locations would be a clue to the SAR folks that accuracy might be a problem.)

    Arguably, the PLB's reduced accuracy offers better odds for reporting significantly different locations.
    I'm sure the operators at the ground stations understand the 100 meter quantization. A jump from one location "bin" to a adjacent "bin" is no cause for alarm. The 100 meter accuracy is still far better than the pre-GPS 2 Km accuracy by doppler shift location. (The doppler location (within its accuracy) can still used to verify the GPS location.)

    Anyway, all academic because of the conflicting accounts of what she used to signal for help. Both devices have drawbacks that could have failed her on that terrible day.
    I personally find the reports that she used a PLB more credible, but as you note neither is 100% and both are affected by how they are used.

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 10-30-2017 at 02:10 PM.

  10. #85
    Senior Member Trail Boss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    ... I believe both use the most recent GPS location. (Nothing else makes much sense--an earlier location is just as likely to be inaccurate as the latest one and the victim might move. Also multiple locations would be a clue to the SAR folks that accuracy might be a problem.)
    Ditto. I brought it up because the CatskillMountaineer article implied the SPOT mishandled the situation compared to a PLB. The article states the SPOT's eleven SOS transmissions, with differing geolocations, misled the SAR team. They implied the PLB would not do this. They're intimating the PLB operates differently and would only transmit a single, unwavering geolocation. That's either a revelation about PLBs or just BS. I lean towards the latter.


    I haven't read this book, but according to posts here, the author states Matrosova used a PLB. Is there anything in the book that explains why others sources (like CatskillMountaineer who claim it was a SPOT) are wrong?

  11. #86
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    Ty interviewed Fahoodi and the members of the rescue team. I tend to give more weight to his account, since it corroborates what I previously read she had used 2 years ago. The bouncing signal locations were attributed to her putting the PLB back in her pack. Also, her model of PLB wasn't rated for the extreme temps experienced on that day. No SPOT is ever referenced in the book or any other previous reports that I have read about the accident. It could just be a case of a lazy jounalist not fact checking and getting the terms of the PLB and SPOT mixed up, thinking they are one and the same.

  12. #87
    Senior Member Trail Boss's Avatar
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    @egilbe

    Thanks!

    I agree that some articles have demonstrated "lazy journalism" and mixed up PLBs and SPOTs. In CatskillMountaineer's case, they don't appear to be accidentally transposing the devices but go out of their way to prove it was a SPOT.

    Please note: There were a number of reports that a PLB was recovered. But, after a long investigation, it was determined that only a SPOT was involved. The final SAR report clearly stated that they only recovered a SPOT. PLB's can handle actual temperatures down to -40F. PLB's can only activated ONCE. We know that she activated the SPOT 11 times. It should be noted that the PLB only sends one signal. The SPOT is capable of transmitting a signal down to -22F. It was colder then -22F that night.
    "The final SAR report ... they only recovered a SPOT" and "... she activated the SPOT 11 times". If it's not in Ty's book, where did they get this stuff? One of these two parties doesn't have the story straight.

    Is the "final SAR report" available online?

  13. #88
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    I think the confusion was on the updates they were getting from the US Air Force. They would check the location, see that it moved and update the incident commander on the ground. There were ~ 11 updates during the search. Two.of them were in the same location as the original, a couple were in King's Ravine, one was down around Valley Way, below treeline. More than likely, Kate died very shortly after activating the signal. It may be that the final SAR report was written by someone who used SPOT and PLB interchangeably. I don't have that information, but it sounds to me, that's more than likely what happened. Kate certainly wasn't running around activating her SPOT just to confuse potential rescuers.

    From the book of the inventory of her pack contents, it appears she wasn't eating or staying hydrated. Her body ran out of fuel and on pure will alone managed to somehow activate the PLB so her body could be located.

    On another website I called her foolhardy, but after reading Ty's book, I think that was unfair. She didn't know what she didn't know. Her personality drove her to overcome obstacles. Low temps and high winds were just another obstacle to overcome, and she failed, for the first time in her life, apparently.

  14. #89
    Senior Member akafuzzjones's Avatar
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    From page 16 of the book:

    Inmarsat Satelitte Phone
    ACR ResQLink 375 Personal Locator Beacon

    First ping was near where she was found. The unit was found inside the pack with the antenna folded up. The resulting mis-pings are believed to be the result of the unit not being kept in optimal operating position.
    Reaching the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory. (Ed Viesturs)

    NH 4K Grid #69
    Three-Season: ADK 46 #10140, NH 48, New England 67, and Northeast 115
    Winter: ADK 46 #10140W, NH 48, New England 67, New England Hundred Highest #120, and Northeast 115 #92
    Others: CO 14ers 28/58, Catskills 7/35, and Northeast 8 Ultra 5/8
    Trail Adopter: Caps Ridge Trail from Trailhead to Summit of Jefferson
    Organizer: Random Group of Hikers (www.meetup.com/rndmhkrs)

  15. #90
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Of course one can only speculate, but given her small size and the extremely high winds, her body may have been being "rag-dolled" around by the wind for a while. Maybe not blown any significant distance, but maybe tumbling around and being reoriented frequently. Doing that to the PLB could certainly contribute to the appearance of "bouncing locations."

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