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Thread: NH Fish And Game Seeking Help With Missing Hiker

  1. #76
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peaks View Post
    Assuming she was descending from Lafayette on Old Bridle Path, the OBP takes a turn to the southeast just before Lafayette spring. In this area, the cairns are scarce. With poor visibility, it would be very easy to lose the trail by continuing in a northwest direction down into the drainage.
    The Old Bridal path does not go to the summit of Lafeyette, that is the Greenleaf trail. I got suspended from the 4k groups for suggesting this was a recovery on Tuesday and that it was likely she was down in one of the drainages, not that I'm happy about being right mind you. This scenario is easy to predict, I figured she either went down into the Pemi from the Mt. Lincoln area or one of the western ravines if she made it further. Hypothermia can make people do pretty unpredictable things. As to what can be done to prevent this? sadly nothing. This will happen again. Bottom line, people who are not from the mountains do not know mountain weather or conditions. They base everything on what it's like at home. What really confounds me, is that she didn't just turn around, I mean it was pretty harsh out, she had to get a reasonable idea of the conditions were above treeline? I mean you just do a 180 and 90 minutes later, you're at the highway. It's such a shame all around, my first thought was I wish the Hell I was up there and ran into her, I was in Crawfords.

  2. #77
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    The Old Bridal path does not go to the summit of Lafeyette, that is the Greenleaf trail. I got suspended from the 4k groups for suggesting this was a recovery on Tuesday and that it was likely she was down in one of the drainages, not that I'm happy about being right mind you. This scenario is easy to predict, I figured she either went down into the Pemi from the Mt. Lincoln area or one of the western ravines if she made it further. Hypothermia can make people do pretty unpredictable things. As to what can be done to prevent this? sadly nothing. This will happen again. Bottom line, people who are not from the mountains do not know mountain weather or conditions. They base everything on what it's like at home. What really confounds me, is that she didn't just turn around, I mean it was pretty harsh out, she had to get a reasonable idea of the conditions were above treeline? I mean you just do a 180 and 90 minutes later, you're at the highway. It's such a shame all around, my first thought was I wish the Hell I was up there and ran into her, I was in Crawfords.
    It's interesting over on FB how everyone all of a sudden are moral scholars. Yes I agree this situation should not have happened. I also agree not turning around is confounding. I am always amazed at what level of pain that people must push through to get this far in. No doubt the debilitating effects of hypothermia play a huge role in cognitive ability probably earlier on in an event that people realize.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    I am always amazed at what level of pain that people must push through to get this far in.
    My experience is that I am warm while ascending and don't get chilled until I either get to treeline and feel the windchill or get to a stable elevation or start descending. Someone who has little experience hiking in cold weather would not know that they should carry an extra layer for the descent.

  4. #79
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    Tragic ending. She picked the wrong day for a run on the ridge. It does kinda remind me of Kate's story, too. Poor weather and poor decisions make for a poor outcome.

    That 4000 footer Facebook group has gone full on bonkers.

  5. #80
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    Tragic ending. She picked the wrong day for a run on the ridge. It does kinda remind me of Kate's story, too. Poor weather and poor decisions make for a poor outcome.

    That 4000 footer Facebook group has gone full on bonkers.
    Kate was older and more accomplished and the weather that day was quite a bit worse. As some mentioned, people did hike above treeline last weekend. While both were in over their heads, Emily didn't know better while Kate thought she did based on a couple of 7-Summit trips with guides. Before Kate, there was chatter about how brutal the weather was going to be that weekend. Virtually no one spent time above treeline that weekend.
    Have fun & be safe
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  6. #81
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    What can we do different to try and prevent the next young or older individual from this happening again?
    I tried to set-up a new FB account using an ancient lap-top and saw that lurker accounts I set up when there was even less security than now are preventing me at the moment from getting set up in that social cesspool.

    I can view some of the FB 4K page and in general, the FB format is much more conducive to starting new questions (more like ask for the 1,000th time, how to get in hiking shape and what gear to buy) and showing smiling selfies, bragging about my trip with my _________ (dog, child walking, child carried, SO, friends) etc. You have to dig to get to the topics, FAQ safety links and advice and these pages are bland to look at and frankly aesthetically boring. I would like to think you could link right at the top the Current Mt. Washington conditions.

    It's a rah-rah page and I could see where negativity and lecturing would be frowned upon. "Stop raining on their selfie parade"
    Have fun & be safe
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  7. #82
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Tragic outcome.

    "What can we do different to try and prevent the next young or older individual from this happening again?"

    It's already been touched upon in this thread. Full time, paid trailhead stewards at the major trailheads for human interaction. Over and over it has been shown that people (especially today, vs. say 40 years ago) do NOT pay any attention to signs, online warnings, weather forecasts, etc.. But human contact seems to reach a lot of the people who ignore everything else.

    Sierra is right. If he (or any of us for that matter) had been there, not necessarily to conduct a rescue, but just to provide human-to-human common sense advice, it might have made the difference.

    But it seems that the "land managers" in NH, and certainly in NY, just don't want to pay for this. Was there a trailhead steward at the trailhead when Emily started her hike?

    Yes, there is some effort to "dip a toe into this" but that's all. There are USFS "Volunteer" programs, short shifts, programs run by tiny underfunded mountaineering organizations and townships. Here in the Adirondacks, these programs are run by the 46ers, and Town of Keene. The state with its $230 Billion budget has yet to step up to the plate. Of course this is a recipe for continued failure. It's great that all these tiny organizations are trying to fill the gap, but you are not going adequately cover the need for human interaction at the trailhead without a properly funded, full time paid program.

    Sadly, it seems like the "land managers" would rather just not address this.

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    Was there a trailhead steward at the trailhead when Emily started her hike?
    Not sure about that specific day and this is purely my own observations but it seemed like there was a big push for trail head booths this year. I remember seeing them set up at Lafayette and Appalachia quite a bit, and not just for the big holidays. No idea if this was a USFS thing, volunteers, etc. I'm sure the locals on here could add some facts and info. I definitely noticed a difference. I would agree that this is probably the only way to reach people - catch them right at the point of attack.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    I can view some of the FB 4K page and in general, the FB format is much more conducive to starting new questions.
    Besides the obvious hysteria, misinformation and all around hate on these groups one of the biggest problems now is they are just too big. Back when I was still trying to follow and participate on the 4k pages the biggest obstacle was the sheer volume of posters. You'd see some misinformation, start typing a response and before you hit enter you were already 200 comments behind the conversation and your response was lost. So I'm not sure how effectively anyone can get anything across anymore.

    I think maybe the only useful purpose to these groups now is getting info on a product or an trail condition. You can ask a question on something, say a stove you're looking at or whether a trail head is plowed or whatever, and get real time feedback from hundreds of people. I used to do this years back when I was still on there to get a consensus on items. It was pretty useful actually trying to identify issues with products that don't always show up in official gear reviews on manufacturer websites. With hundreds of comments hitting your question you see trends emerge - good and bad - rather quickly. If you actually paid attention to the forums you also knew which users actually knew what they were talking about and could trust the information better (just like what I've always done here with great success).

  10. #85
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    My experience is that I am warm while ascending and don't get chilled until I either get to treeline and feel the windchill or get to a stable elevation or start descending. Someone who has little experience hiking in cold weather would not know that they should carry an extra layer for the descent.
    That's what I was thinking too. Purely speculative on my part, but my guess is she was quite comfortable up to Greenleaf hut, maybe even sweaty. As she ascended above the hut, perhaps she began to realize conditions were not so good but figured she'd tag Lafayette and come back for Flume another time. Perhaps she even made it to the top of Lafayette, but as soon as she stopped the heavy exertion her body heat balance changed dramatically. Once she turned around the icy conditions and difficulty route-finding would have made for slow going, fully exposed to the elements, leaving her even more vulnerable to rapid heat loss. That's just one of many possibilities.

    One other thing I was thinking about - it's really not the weather or forecast that is the issue. It's the differential between what the forecast calls for and what the hiker is wearing and packing, and how they're managing body heat. Conditions weren't THAT bad last weekend. They were just worse than what Emily was equipped and prepared for. It's just such a bummer all the way around, and I unfortunately don't expect this is the last time we have this discussion.
    Sure. Why not.

  11. #86
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    i don't know if this applies to this particular case or not, but there is an effect called "paradoxical undressing" that may manifest during the latter stages of hyperthermia. I have been on a number of wilderness SAR incidents where the person was found by following a trail of discarded clothing in the woods. The subject has almost always been found deceased not far away. The most previous case i was on was just last month near Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks.

    https://gizmodo.com/why-freezing-to-...ked-1688151366
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

  12. #87
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    I look at Facebook 4k group but rarely comment on it. Day Trip's comment on this group being very large (72k+ members) is spot on. I think in general Facebook is not a great medium for long in-depth discussions, it seems to be optimized to keep users glued to the screen, so new posts appear to get priority in user feeds and older posts tend to fade rather quickly with most users seeing them only once, unless they specifically look for an older post.

  13. #88
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iAmKrzys View Post
    ...it seems to be optimized to keep users glued to the screen...
    Sorry this is off-topic, but: Of course it is. It's optimized to make money from advertisers. You are the product, not the customer.

  14. #89
    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessmuk View Post
    i don't know if this applies to this particular case or not, but there is an effect called "paradoxical undressing" that may manifest during the latter stages of hyperthermia. I have been on a number of wilderness SAR incidents where the person was found by following a trail of discarded clothing in the woods. The subject has almost always been found deceased not far away. The most previous case i was on was just last month near Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks.

    https://gizmodo.com/why-freezing-to-...ked-1688151366
    That article reminded me of my fellow Hippies at the Rock Festival OD tents. While on LSD etc they'd strip down to nothing and run off screaming etc.

    All these deaths I've seen over the years I would of loved to hear all the details of them. Not to be morbid but to learn. What the person was like during hiking by hearing the friends and family. What they did have exactly that day on or in the packs. And other things Just to learn what ticks in these people to get into that situation of no return. Usually once found the main stream news just forgets it all. The only one a better picture I found was Kate. Only cause of the book published. And that did give me the information I was looking for. I was wondering why her PLB Res Q Link which we have threw pings over the mountain. The book showed the first ping was were she was but she had put it into her pack probably cause she wasn't going to carry that on her trying to survive. Putting that Res Q Link in the pack surely gave false pings all over that mountain.
    Last edited by CaptCaper; 11-29-2022 at 08:31 AM.

  15. #90
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    Does F&G do an NTSB-like accident report? I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never looked. I agree that as tragic as these situations are, they should at least be something to learn from.

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