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Thread: Thursday June 13th 2019 " A Rough day up on the Rock Pile"

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Thursday June 13th 2019 " A Rough day up on the Rock Pile"

    Two rescues in one day on Mt. Washington. One resulting in a fatality. Condolences to family and friends.


    http://northeastexplorer.com/wordpre...UaHKuq9FEo9tPk


    Quoted from NH Fish and Game Press release 06/14/19:


    Hiker Rescued While Attempting to Ascend Lion Head Trail
    Sargent’s Purchase – An Ohio man had to be rescued and carried out approximately 1.7 miles after attempting to ascend the Lion Head Trail in Sargent’s Purchase on Thursday June 13, 2019.
    James Clark, 80, of Dublin Ohio was hiking with two other family members while attempting to summit Mount Washington from Pinkham Notch Visitors Center.
    Shortly after starting the hike, all members of Clark’s hiking group left him behind to hike by himself as they continued to the summit. Clark’s hiking group ultimately summited without him then hiked down a different way, reaching the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center without Clark. At approximately 7:45 pm the two family members made a call to rescue personnel, reporting that Clark was overdue, not prepared with overnight gear and did not have a cell phone or light.
    Fish and Game Conservation Officers responded to the emergency call and requested assistance from the Appalachian Mountain Club.
    This was the second rescue call on Mount Washington within six hours and due to the timeline and location, it was noted that Clark would have suffered the same conditions that had potentially just played a role in a hiking fatality just hours before. Below freezing with a wind-chill of 12 degrees Fahrenheit, 60 mph sustaining winds and rain with dense fog creating ice were noted on the summit earlier in the day.
    AMC staff, based at Hermit Lake Shelters, started up Lion Head Trail to give assistance and attempt to locate Clark as Conservation Officers responded.
    Conservation Officers drove up the Auto Road and a team of two hiked down Tuckerman Ravine Trail and then Lion Head Trail to also attempt to locate Clark. An AMC staff member located Clark on the Lion Head Trail just above the Alpine Garden Trail intersection. Clark was found in a fetal position, not moving and exhibiting what appeared to be signs and symptoms of hypothermia to the point of not being able to speak any clear or discernable words.
    The AMC staff member and team of Conservation Officers stripped Clark of his wet clothes and dressed him with warm dry clothes. They then placed Clark in a sleeping bag, to warm him. At this time it was decided that Clark had to be carried out in a litter as his condition and distance from a trailhead or road crossing was too far to “piggy back.” The three rescue personnel continued to keep Clark warm and alive as volunteer rescuers were called to assist in the life saving event.
    AMC staff, Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team members, and more Conservation Officers responded to the call and carried in a litter with all necessary gear to Clark’s location on Lion Head Trail. The litter and crews reached Clark at approximately 1:15 am and Clark was being carried across the Alpine Garden by 1:30 am.
    The rescue crew carried Clark approximately 1.7 miles to the Auto Road and arrived at 5:00 am on Friday June 14, 2019. Clark was driven down the Auto Road to a waiting Gorham Ambulance where he was transported to Androscoggin Valley Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
    Last edited by skiguy; 06-14-2019 at 07:43 PM.
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    Senior Member richard's Avatar
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    The 2nd one sounds like attempted murder ! !

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard View Post
    The 2nd one sounds like attempted murder ! !
    That's kind of what I thought, too. I'd be surprised if there aren't charges made against the family for abandoning an elderly man to his death.

    "Gramps is living too long. I want my inheritance, now!"
    "Lets take him hiking. He likes long walks. We can say he fell behind, yeah, that's the ticket to a quick fortune"

    *searches for dangerous hikes in North America*

    https://www.google.com/search?q=dang...hrome&ie=UTF-8

    "Hmm...Mt Washington isn't very tall and its failry close, Lets take him there!"

    *starts counting the money*

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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Duh. the man was 80 yrs old. 1. He never should of hiked it with weather calling of that nature. They (family) were negligent and so was he. 2. which should be #1 Never of left him alone. Ever. But this is the same story of so many who perish or near perish on that Mt. and will always be in the future.

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    Duh. the man was 80 yrs old. 1. He never should of hiked it with weather calling of that nature. They (family) were negligent and so was he. 2. which should be #1 Never of left him alone. Ever. But this is the same story of so many who perish or near perish on that Mt. and will always be in the future.
    With a family like that, who needs enemies!!

    Thursday was a mess down here on the coast. I looked at the summit cam and condx and, at only 71 years old, I wouldn't go up there no matter what my family said!

    Sad thing is you can walk into Pinkham, go over to the Obs kiosk computer, look at the summit cam, read the current summit condx and know EXACTLY what you will be facing in a few short hours. But people don't do that.
    cb
    Last edited by ChrisB; 06-14-2019 at 09:14 PM.
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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Also a rough day on the river

    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Two rescues in one day on Mt. Washington. One resulting in a fatality. Condolences to family and friends.


    http://northeastexplorer.com/wordpre...UaHKuq9FEo9tPk
    Then there is this poor kid who died on the Merrimack in downtown Concord NH...

    https://www.necn.com/news/new-englan...511307141.html

    A PFD might have made all the difference.

    c b
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    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    But Wait, There's More...

    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

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    I am not aware if there is any organized attempts at hiker education at Pinkham like there are at Appalachia and Franconia Ridge. Obviously plenty of info inside the visitors center but its easier to walk right by compared to the tents with volunteers. It was during the week so no tents anyhow but if they were there, would the volunteers have made the difference. Long ago I heard reference that on occasion the volunteers at Tucks on particularly nasty or risky days would ask for name and contact info for next kin to speed up handling the bodies for anyone who still decided to head into the bowl. Not sure if it was true or not, but I expect it would be difficult to overcome peoples overestimation of ability and underestimation of the trail and weather conditions. Add in hypothermia clouding their judgement and the assumption that rescue is right at hand at the touch of button and it adds up more bad news.

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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post

    Probably had sneakers on. No hiking poles. Granted the ledges were wet maybe. But not slick Algae type wet.Those trails are well traveled I just did Cadillac South Ridge trail last weekend from Blackwoods campground 9 miles RT with one arm in a sling.
    Last edited by CaptCaper; 06-15-2019 at 06:01 AM.

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    "Fish and Game Maj. Dave Walsh said on Friday that the trio broke several rules of hiking, including leaving Clark on his own."

    (Source.)

    This is one of the reasons why NH's charging-for-rescues is stupid—this "rules of hiking" b.s. There is nothing wrong with letting someone hike on their own, even if they are 80 years old. Based on the article above, it's sounds as if they did everything right, except for not realizing the severity of the weather, and perhaps for not having a light, which may not have made a difference.

  12. #12
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    Probably had sneakers on. No hiking poles.
    Wait, are we supposed to be hiking with poles now? What's wrong with hiking in sneakers?

    Like your comments about the 80 year-old hiker, I think you're reading an awful lot into the situation. Unless, you're privy to information that hasn't been posted here, I might suggest that you refrain from being so judgmental with so few facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    Wait, are we supposed to be hiking with poles now? What's wrong with hiking in sneakers?

    Like your comments about the 80 year-old hiker, I think you're reading an awful lot into the situation. Unless, you're privy to information that hasn't been posted here, I might suggest that you refrain from being so judgmental with so few facts.
    +1. Totally agree there there is no where near enough information to reach any conclusion. There are plenty of 80 year olds who could hike circles around most of us. Wearing "sneakers". Without poles....

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Here are my 2 cents on this old dude. I don't care if groups split up, I solo. To say a group must stay together is a saying I never understood. I do think he was under prepared and for that reason he was negligent. He was climbing a notorious mountain with a forecast that was iffy at best and he did not have the proper gear. How do I know that? If they ever find you in the fetal position suffering from hypothermia, its pretty much a give in. He did sound like a nice guy in the interview I read. He was perfectly willing to own up to his rescue and offer to pay if charged. Bottom line, he got lucky, but I am glad he did.

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    Senior Member dave.m's Avatar
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    I think the 80yo victim gave enough details in his interview. He badly underestimated the mountain.

    His summary is the TL/DR of the book "Not Without Peril" IMO.

    In an interview in the MountainEar after the Tinkham/Haas incident in the 90s, Rick Wilcox, who led the rescue/recovery effort, noted that a part of the freedom of the hills that we enjoy in the Presidentials and that stands in stark contrast to tight control of Baxter is that people have the ability to drive to a trailhead, walk in and perish. Which is to say, we sort of accept that people will underestimate the mountain. I know I have and am glad to still be here.

    Things could have been worse. It could have turned out that the kids he cut loose to summit got in trouble themselves. That would have been terrible.

    I still solo hike and cast no aspirations in saying this, but I treat breaking up a group on trail, particularly if it leaves one person solo as a critical decision with potentially grave consequences. The potential of a twisted ankle or broken femur (paging DougPaul) hangs over all of our heads.
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    " Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat." - John Lehman, US Secretary of the Navy 1981-1987

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