Let's go play in the snow!

10:03 a.m. on December 31, 2013 (EST)
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It started to get dark, so Adam and I were getting worried that we were going to get stuck in the dark on the way down the mountain. So we decided to go fast and leave my brother and Richard behind.

Sounds like a good idea...

http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/12/mass_hiker_recounts_near_fatal_avalanche

1:03 p.m. on December 31, 2013 (EST)
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WOW! That was scary! The slipping away peacefully was the worst part to me. I never want to feel it's ok to go. Ever.

9:43 p.m. on December 31, 2013 (EST)
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Many mistakes in this story.  Mr. Lodge thinks their first mistake was taking the wrong fork on the way down.  Actually they already make at least three serious errors, earlier, all of which contributed to taking the wrong fork.

They look like they have ok gear for travel, which makes one assume these folks know something about what they undertook, But the mistakes they made indicate they had no business on that mountain.

Completely unfamiliar with the area.

  • It is apparent little preparation went into this trip.  I like to know where I am going before embarking on a trip, be it by car or on foot.  The notion of just prancing off into the backcountry – especially Mt Washington, especially in winter – is a fools missions.

Afraid of the dark.  This statement indicates two things: 

  • They practiced poor time management, and should have turned back earlier, regardless they attained the summit or not. 
  • They lacked the skills, if not the navigation aids, to travel that time of year in the mountains.  In this scenario the dark was the issue, but a fog or squall could as well disorient them in day light.

Safety in numbers

  • A group should stay together whenever possible.  The odds of something unfortunate occurring to someone increase significantly when a group gets separated from each other.  But regardless of these facts, what kind of brother abandons his sibling under these circumstances?

They were traveling along the lip of a ridge when it gave way and avalanched.

  • One of the first things a winter backcountry traveler learns is to respect the unstable nature of snow on ridgelines.  They might as well have been playing Russian roulette.  Avoid traveling below cornices and stay well away from the edge when traveling along a ridge top.    

They lost their Ice pick in the avalanche

  • That statement is very telling.  First off their tools are not ice picks, they are ice axes.  That kind of hints they may not know what they are doing.  Next look at the images, and you will see they lost their “picks” because they were not using leashes to tether them to their persons.  It is obvious they lack the knowledge to safely travel this type of terrain.  It is fools like these that provide fodder for Mt Washington to, and contribute to it reputation as a killer mountain.

Micro spikes on Mt Washington

  • I am no fan of Micro spikes in steep terrain.  Perhaps there are route on Washington where such traction devices are ok, but not Tuckerman Ravine.  This did not play into their situation, but it could have.  Many folks purchase micro spikes as cheaper option to full on crampons.  They need to consider the value of their life when weighing these options.

Ed

9:46 p.m. on December 31, 2013 (EST)
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giftogab said:

WOW! That was scary! The slipping away peacefully was the worst part to me. I never want to feel it's ok to go. Ever.

 He heard voices, specifically the sirens.

Ed

10:22 p.m. on December 31, 2013 (EST)
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Its sad that they are so ignorant that they will never comprehend that they are the cause of everything that happened to them. Why do so many morons attempt Washington in the winter?

7:57 a.m. on January 1, 2014 (EST)
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Its sad that they are so ignorant that they will never comprehend that they are the cause of everything that happened to them. Why do so many morons attempt Washington in the winter?

 

Pertinent parts of your post highlighted.

We have stupid hikers, stupid drivers, stupid hunters and/or shooters, stupid scuba divers, stupid college students . . .

We can buy equipment and have dreams of grandeur, but it doesn't mean we know what we are doing when we embark on a new mission.

With some things we have to get licenses and take training courses before we can take off on our own. Hard to go scuba diving without a PADI cert. Hard to go driving without a license. But anyone can go to REI and buy hiking equipment and venture off into the wilderness.

With any luck they will learn from their mistakes. Most hikers/back packers learn from experience. Most don't make the big mistakes like these 3 did on this trip.

8:38 a.m. on January 1, 2014 (EST)
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The average person doesn't know that he isn't as smart as he thinks he is.  If we're lucky life gives us a few chances to figure that out and these folks just had a big one of those. From the sound of it I don't think the guy telling the story learned anything which is a shame. 

We should always learn from our mistakes if given the chance 8p

12:52 a.m. on January 2, 2014 (EST)
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I read about this earlier but this first hand account helps fill in the details. P.S. Having a PADI cert doesn't mean jack to me. When I was teaching, I met a lot of certified tourists who had no business diving by themselves in the ocean.

7:33 a.m. on January 2, 2014 (EST)
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I read about this earlier but this first hand account helps fill in the details. P.S. Having a PADI cert doesn't mean jack to me. When I was teaching, I met a lot of certified tourists who had no business diving by themselves in the ocean.

 

And we still allow women to drive, what is your point ;-)

12:02 p.m. on January 2, 2014 (EST)
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TheRambler said:

Its sad that they are so ignorant that they will never comprehend that they are the cause of everything that happened to them. Why do so many morons attempt Washington in the winter?

 We had a guy on my Everest Trek who was a San Jose Cop. My age. Had story after story of things he had done and mishaps that occurred whilst hiking, skiing, kayaking etc. never ONCE did he see the connection between these sometime near potentially fatal happenings and his own decision/behavior/bad judgment. Unfortunately, that is what also puts SAR and others at risk too often coming to save them!

12:05 p.m. on January 2, 2014 (EST)
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melensdad said:

 

 

 

And we still allow women to drive, what is your point ;-)

And we still let men run free, outside of asylums....what is YOUR point.  >--<

7:20 p.m. on January 4, 2014 (EST)
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yet another story of morons loose in the backcountry. winter seems to bring out more of them.

4:04 a.m. on January 8, 2014 (EST)
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giftogab said:

melensdad said:

And we still allow women to drive, what is your point ;-)

And we still let men run free, outside of asylums....what is YOUR point.  >--<

I over heard a chimp at the LA Zoo say to another: "its good to let them think they are the master, though I think everyone would be better off if the roles were reversed." ....  Don't ask me what my point is, if it is not self evident.  Chalk it up to crazy ideas one ponders passing time in a sanitarium.

Ed

10:13 a.m. on January 8, 2014 (EST)
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whomeworry said:

giftogab said:

melensdad said:

And we still allow women to drive, what is your point ;-)

And we still let men run free, outside of asylums....what is YOUR point.  >--<

I over heard a chimp at the LA Zoo say to another: "its good to let them think they are the master, though I think everyone would be better off if the roles were reversed." ....  Don't ask me what my point is, if it is not self evident.  Chalk it up to crazy ideas one ponders passing time in a sanitarium.

Ed

 I do hope your jacket is colorful with extra long sleeves, Ed!

9:03 p.m. on January 8, 2014 (EST)
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giftogab said:

whomeworry said:

giftogab said:

melensdad said:

And we still allow women to drive, what is your point ;-)

And we still let men run free, outside of asylums....what is YOUR point.  >--<

I over heard a chimp at the LA Zoo say to another: "its good to let them think they are the master, though I think everyone would be better off if the roles were reversed." ....  Don't ask me what my point is, if it is not self evident.  Chalk it up to crazy ideas one ponders passing time in a sanitarium.

Ed

 I do hope your jacket is colorful with extra long sleeves, Ed!

 We refer to this garment as our "smoking jacket"  I love the tie-outs.  So swave, the color even matches the upolstery on the walls of my enclosure.  You should join us, sometime,  for a brandy.

Ed

6:21 p.m. on January 9, 2014 (EST)
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Trailjester said:

yet another story of morons loose in the backcountry. winter seems to bring out more of them.

 I think people get crazy when too hot and when too cold.....like they either consciously or sub consciously think they are better than the wether so they won't get hurt/lost.

7:40 p.m. on January 10, 2014 (EST)
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Haha, I need some popcorn.

September 18, 2014
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