Yosemite Rangers Fear Hikers Swept Over Falls

3:31 a.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Just caught a blub on the internet.    Still unconfirmed, so I will defer comment until more information forthcoming.

Apparently, a few witnesses reported at least one ... if not more ... hikers may have been swept over the 317-foot falls on the Merced River.

Rangers have closed the site and SAR personnel are doing their thing.

                                                  ~r2~

12:50 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Which falls are they talking about Vernal or Nevada? I am guessing Nevada Falls, thats the one that many people crawl out past the railing or get into the water upstream of.

I spent the winter/spring in Yosemite Jan-May 1980, hiking all over the park via snowshoe's, crosscountry sking and hiking (post-holing) I lived in either my tent or an igloo most of the time. My tent collapsed under a 4 foot snow fall one night. I woke to find the top of my tent inches from my face!

1:19 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Vernal Fall, Gary.   They are now mentioning the "Mist Trail" that leads up to the falls.   Also, indicating the hikers climbed the guard-railing and ignored the many warning signs.

                                                      ~r2~

1:47 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Mist-Trail-Nevada-Falls.jpg


Mist-Trail.jpg

Two images of the Mist Trail

They may have no been idiots. That Mist Trail is sometimes very slippery


Nevada-Fall-where-the-tourist-tral-meets

Nevada falls showing tourists standing at the railing at the brink of the falls.


Nevada-Falls-Brink.jpg

Edge of Nevada Falls showing how close tourists can get.



1:50 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I've been on that trail several times, and there are indeed warning signs all over the place.  

Maybe it's my old-age talking, but I really have no sympathy for idiots.

1:52 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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GaryPalmer said:


Mist-Trail-Nevada-Falls.jpg


Mist-Trail.jpg

Two images of the Mist Trail

They may have no been idiots. That Mist Trail is sometimes very slippery

 Whooooaaa ....

                                               ~r2~

2:03 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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From the MSNBC report:

According to NBC Fresno affiliate KSEE, witnesses said a man and woman climbed over the guardrail for a better view of the 320-foot waterfall.

They reportedly encouraged their children to climb over too. Before the children climbed over the rail the parents began to slip, KSEE reported. A male family member who jumped over the guardrail to help also fell over the edge of the falls, KSEE said.

 

Endangered themselves, tried to endanger their kids, and now endangered every SAR/first responder tasked with finding them.

Idiots.

2:05 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I have seen people wading in the Merced upstream from the falls. Would not take much to loose ones footing and be swept down the stream and over the falls. All the falls in the park except Bridevail are accessable to the edge from the trails nearby.

2:59 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Here is a lil more on it:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/07/three-hikers-dead-at-yosemites-vernal-falls.html

...and more:

http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/07/19/2469999/at-least-1-yosemite-visitor-swept.html

This goes with the whole thing I have mentioned in the past.

 "Sometimes people have a tendency to forget where they are."

5:53 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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You can't fix stupid.

7:59 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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People who aren't used to being out in the wild don't remember that just because the path is paved (like in Yosemite or Yellowstone) doesn't make it tame.

I am so sorry for their families' losses--but I hope this tragedy helps to remind others that nature will always have its way.

10:28 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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oruacat2 said:

..witnesses said a man and woman climbed over the guardrail for a better view of the 320-foot waterfall...

Perhaps if I have a nutjob side of me it is my ire over barrier rails going up all over the parks system, intended to keep fools on the safe side of these features.  As this case illustrates, fools don’t let simple railings stop them from doing what they do best.  Thus these barriers serve little purpose other than enlarging the park infrastructure that must be financed and staffed to maintain.  Likewise these barriers mar the very vistas people come to see.  I have been around long enough to see scores of really pretty overlooks and waterscapes blighted by artificial, intrusive, barriers that replaced lower profile and more discretely positioned warning signs.  But since people can easily walk past a sign we build railings, as if this would somehow impart intelligence behavior to a moron. Apparently it doesn’t work.  What is next?  Twelve foot high cinder block walls topped with Constantine wire?  No, government is too intelligent to let THAT occur; perhaps simply closing off all such locations is the solution.  That’s it!  Bar people from Yosemite for their own sake.  Just build a post card shop at the gated entrance so everyone can purchase swag that proclaims to the world they were personally there.  (At least this will cut down the wear and tear on the landscape.)

Ed

10:32 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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It was their time ....

                                                     ~r2~

10:38 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Ed- I am totally with ya on that one. I feel bad for the families but at the same time wth?

"Uh duh, sign, duh, railing, duh ooooh water fall, no worries we can cling to this slickrock, duh. All those signs and stuff are there for everyone else, we know what we are doing, duh!!!"

Its gonna take someone with a lack of common sense to screw it up for everyone else.

Nothing ever ceases to amaze me. .... Ok done with my rant.

12:34 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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OK,  really,  I none of us here at Trailspace has never taken any chances, clinbing icewalls, camping in the winter, long treks through the snow from shelter to shelter only to be out out in a blizzerd for days on end.  I know for shure none you you have skied or boarderd out of bounds, and we all over cource carry locator beacons when out in the wilderness.  I know none over you have never taken any chances, traversing a raging rivers....... because we all turn back when the water's just a little to high......right,  rafting the class 5 rapids that have been shut down because of flooding.  Nobody here has taken a canoe out for days on end in everglades, too scary, thoughts of the  meeeny alligators and snakes.  Naw, not me I never take any chaces I just sit at home at look at the pretty pictures letting all the other peoples takin chances.  I'm very sorry for these peoples families and friends but I hope they died a good death,  They took a chance.  I know I take chances every day.  Life can become very tedious.  How many people do you think step over the rail to take pictures or feel the spray of the falls that  you can't feel cause of the rails,........... it's not safe don't go out there.  You have a better chance of becoming a state senetor than falling over the falls.  Bummer.  I ride motorcyles and my theory is if you don't want to crash and die on a bike then don't ride a bike.  If you don't want to fall over a cliiff then don't get near a cliff, you have to stay at home.  If you stay at home nothin will happen to you right.  So every one stay behind the fence and stay in bounds.  Not me.  I'm about takings some chances and have some fun.  If I let big brother build my fences for me and never cross the bounderies, I know life will be safe and sound and there will be nothing out there for me to to concur.  Go out and have fun, take chances.  And remember, don't go camping, lions, tigers, bears and things.  And always remember to colour outside of the lines.  And remember only the bucket children need a warning not to fall into buckets.  Dang, stop dissin these folks, they took a chance and paid with their life, is that not a big enough price to pay.


bucket-child.png

1:04 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Guyz said:

You can't fix stupid.

 Actually, yes you can. Case in point.

1:12 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman, well said. However, there's a difference between walking on the sidewalk and walking down the middle of the road. Both may get you to a destination, however, one is a calculated risk based on common sense, experience and logic, the other is just plain stupid.  

1:19 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I agree, walking on the sidewalk is safe,  walking down the middle of the road is fun........note, do not try this at home........., we all have a choice to make.............I choose fun ;-}>

3:05 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Sorry apeman, but there's a huge number of possibilities that lie in between "just stay at home" and "let's climb this railing and get into the fast-moving river above a 300-foot waterfall".  

These people were stupid and irresponsible, and now their children are without parents.

I hope the thrill of being cool and edgy and breaking the rules was worth it before they were swept over the edge.

7:57 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Without resorting to googling maps and such, I'd be interested in finding out how close the tourist road comes to the edge of these falls(?), as my theory is the closer cars can get to a place, the more you'll find litter and the more you'll find rolling couch potatoes on a day-use only dayhike stumbling around with inflamed buttocks and a case of throttle-induced retardation.  I say---make a place difficult to get to and winnow out the gawkers. 

8:06 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Hmmm ...

Interesting point, Tipi.   I have to agree with you.   Never thought of that.

However; "Darwin-ism" plays a part in the evolution of the specie hominid; as well as statistics.

The planet is becoming over-populated (especially with fools).

To wit:  "Ten out of ten people die".

We're all gonna die.  

Some of us will make the headlines ... others ... their passing will not be noticed.

                                                 ~r2~

8:13 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I can see taking reasonable risks when others are not involved, but children and family place actions on a whole different level.  I do not understand what goes through their minds.

10:42 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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apeman said:

OK,  really,  I none of us here at Trailspace has never taken any chances, clinbing icewalls, camping in the winter, long treks through the snow from shelter to shelter only to be out out in a blizzerd for days on end.  I know for shure none you you have skied or boarderd out of bounds, and we all over cource carry locator beacons when out in the wilderness.  I know none over you have never taken any chances, traversing a raging rivers....... because we all turn back when the water's just a little to high......right,  rafting the class 5 rapids that have been shut down because of flooding.  Nobody here has taken a canoe out for days on end in everglades, too scary, thoughts of the  meeeny alligators and snakes.  Naw, not me I never take any chaces I just sit at home at look at the pretty pictures letting all the other peoples takin chances.  I'm very sorry for these peoples families and friends but I hope they died a good death,  They took a chance.  I know I take chances every day.  Life can become very tedious.  How many people do you think step over the rail to take pictures or feel the spray of the falls that  you can't feel cause of the rails,........... it's not safe don't go out there.  You have a better chance of becoming a state senetor than falling over the falls.  Bummer.  I ride motorcyles and my theory is if you don't want to crash and die on a bike then don't ride a bike.  If you don't want to fall over a cliiff then don't get near a cliff, you have to stay at home.  If you stay at home nothin will happen to you right.  So every one stay behind the fence and stay in bounds.  Not me.  I'm about takings some chances and have some fun.  If I let big brother build my fences for me and never cross the bounderies, I know life will be safe and sound and there will be nothing out there for me to to concur.  Go out and have fun, take chances.  And remember, don't go camping, lions, tigers, bears and things.  And always remember to colour outside of the lines.  And remember only the bucket children need a warning not to fall into buckets.  Dang, stop dissin these folks, they took a chance and paid with their life, is that not a big enough price to pay.


bucket-child.png

 There is a substantial difference between a calculated risk and a foolish decision that can not only jeopardize your life but also the ones around you.... not to mention the ones that have to extract your carcass from where ever it decides to land. To me that is completely selfish.

You do not make a choice that not only can put you in a precarious spot as well as those that are with you. Its an unnecessary risk that should be completely avoided.

"Hey look at me!!! Woo-hoo." I know I am not supposed to be doing this but I just couldn't resist the opporotunity for this photo." Uhhhhh, yeah.... Ok.

11:14 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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A phrase that precedes the death or dismemberment of many:

"Hey ya'll! Watch this!!"

Seriously though, this is so, so sad. This couple's foolish actions have left their children without parents.

I understand what you are saying, Apeman. But as others have mentioned, that only goes for a responsible individual capable of weighing the potential consequences to themselves, their loved ones, and SAR personnel. These two tried to get their kids to come out onto the wet rocks with them. Children are in no manner capable of understanding and evaluating the danger, nor capable of physically managing those conditions within anywhere near enough surety to offset the level of danger. Very few, if any, are.  Negotiating wet rocks at the edge of a fast and powerful current right above a waterfall is one of the most dangerous things anyone can attempt to do. Whether from pure ignorance of the precariousness of the situation or from hubris, these two acted entirely in foolishness, and have irrevocably and permanently harmed their children because of it.

1:54 p.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Tipi, Check out the picture. The shot shows how close one can get to the falls. Its about 3 miles from the road/trailhead to the falls. But one can stand right on the brink of the falls behind the railing.


Nevada-Falls-Brink.jpg

Its the same for Lower Yellowstone Falls in Wyoming below.


Brink-of-Lower-Yellowstone-Falls.jpg

I think its interesting how close the park service allowed the rail to be next to the falls.

2:27 p.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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apeman said:

OK,  really,  I none of us here at Trailspace has never taken any chances...

Granted we all take chances.  Sometimes Gonzo chances.  I have done my share of hanging off ropes, treading along inclined ice, and all that knarly stuff they use to wow consumers that purchasing a Landrover SUV makes them hard core adventurers.  But I don’t cross safety railings – ever.  I am fascinated by old mines.  If an abandoned mine is baricaded, however, I assume it is for a good reason and forego further exploration, regardless my "superior" intellect has determined the odds of it collapsing while I am inside is minute.

Those among us who do ignore posted safety warnings will probably admit they know such acts qualify as foolish behavior.  I am not commenting here about risky behavior, I am commenting about foolish behavior.  It may seem like semantics, but there is a simple and profound distinction to be made.  These folks think rules are for everyone else, such as not driving around railroad crossing gates, and not climbing over safety railings.  There is a reason for these regulations.  When one flouts such conventions, a society is compelled to use their tragedy to underscore to all others why that is dumb, and why we should respect such posted warnings.

Ed

3:18 p.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Guyz said:

You can't fix stupid.

 You just have to breed it out...

3:53 p.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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gonzan said:

"Hey ya'll! Watch this!!"

 

Famous last words of many a redneck.

                                                      ~r2~

5:58 p.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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redneck.jpg

10:37 p.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Wow, you would think they would want to be a good example for their children and teach them how to use good judgement. Sadly, I bet the children did learn by example. I doubt they'll ever step over a guardrail, fence, or any boundary marker for that matter.

Living near a tourist town on the beach I see/hear of a lot of dumb stuff like this. Just two weeks ago a couple took their children out INTO THE OCEAN ON INNER TUBES and let their six year old daughter have her own tube and after getting swept out and realizing they hadn't seen her for over fifteen minutes they called for help and the little girl ended up drowning and wasn't able to be revived. People are always getting stuck out on rocks, because they aren't aware of "high tide" and they can't read warning signs and fall and die off of the cape's. Surfer's who aren't local decide it's cool to surf where the dory's launch and come speeding in and get their arms cut off by the motor blades. All kinds of stuff.

2:48 a.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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OK, I've done a few dangerous things in my time, but some things seem really obviously stupid, depending on your skill level and experience. 

On the other hand, I've been out with beginner divers who were terrified of a little bit of wind chop and refused to get off the boat. In that instance, no danger at all and their fear was due to inexperience.

I would bet these people, college kids from what I read, had no idea how dangerous the water was.  I think ignorance is what got them killed, which is too bad.  I hesitate to call people stupid when something like this happens, but ignorant seems to fit the situation.

I read a book a while back about a group of hikers who were hit by lightning on top of Half Dome. Again, they had no idea how dangerous it could be and ignored the weather that was moving in on them. Two of them were killed.

 

7:16 a.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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My username and avatar suggest I haven't learned enough about this subject. : )

Ignorance is not an appropriate term as it means that they were without knowledge. Yet the barrier and the signage provided them with all the information necessary to the situation. So "Witless" might be more appropriate; they didn't have the capability to process the information properly. Every now and then we hear of people who insist on standing on shoreline rocks well past signs which state "Freak waves may occur on calm days. Do not proceed past this point." Some of them are swept to their deaths.

IMO, there is a vast difference between taking calculated risks - which most of us do every day - and being unprepared for a situation. Had the "hikers" been on a rope, properly belayed by friends, when they ventured into the river, the risk would have been acceptable. It would be little different than solo backpacking in the wilderness with all the materials necessary for self-rescue. However, what we see too often is the case of someone entering the mountains totally unprepared for the worst case and self-rescue. That is witless.

8:50 a.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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They ignored signs, as well as crossed the guard rail, plus people were pleading for them to get out of the water. I think they were aware of the risk.

Its quite evident that they were very stupid. To make it more interesting then they try to persuade their children to "come on in, the waters great." Oh, don't worry about that 317ft waterfall...

Sorry, I'm sticking with stupid on this one.

8:57 a.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Guyz said:

You can't fix stupid.

 Actually, yes you can. Case in point.

I stand corrected, although it may be more deletion than fix.

9:14 a.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Tom D said:

OK, I've done a few dangerous things in my time, but some things seem really obviously stupid, depending on your skill level and experience. 

On the other hand, I've been out with beginner divers who were terrified of a little bit of wind chop and refused to get off the boat. In that instance, no danger at all and their fear was due to inexperience.

I would bet these people, college kids from what I read, had no idea how dangerous the water was.  I think ignorance is what got them killed, which is too bad.  I hesitate to call people stupid when something like this happens, but ignorant seems to fit the situation.

I read a book a while back about a group of hikers who were hit by lightning on top of Half Dome. Again, they had no idea how dangerous it could be and ignored the weather that was moving in on them. Two of them were killed.

 

 Tom I believe personally that you and overmywaiters described it perfectly ignorance.Add the age braket of fearless and careless? I also understand the analygy of New Divers as well. Learned to dive with my father who was a dive master. I read that book in the first half of my journey you mentioned also. The freak accident as some say but truly isn't if you know half dome.Arching lightning over granite the survivors were truly lucky"knock on wood". Truly this was an ignorant act in MYOP.

9:22 a.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Auditions for the next "Jackass" movie sequel, anyone ???

                                                 ~r2~

10:40 a.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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denis daly said:

 Tom I believe personally that you and overmywaiters described it perfectly ignorance...

Ignorant – lacking training, knowledge, or information; uninformed.

Na, these folks didn’t act out of ignorance, unless they happen to be illiterate and were unable to read the posted warning signs.  They did ignore the signs, but that behavior better falls under stupidity than ignorance.  I am sticking with Rick on this one.

The folks on Half Dome were ignorant of the danger; in fact they sought refuge in a small cave, which actually increased their risk of lightning strikes.  I have not visited Half Dome since this accident, but I have it there are not warning signs posted about this hazard, a direct response to that tragedy.

3:13 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Tom D said:
"I would bet these people, college kids from what I read, had no idea how dangerous the water was.  I think ignorance is what got them killed, which is too bad.  I hesitate to call people stupid when something like this happens, but ignorant seems to fit the situation."

Sometimes it hard to get an intended message across.

I have just re-read the preceeding posts and tried to imagine myself as the childeren of this personal tragedy and what they are going thru.  I had a similar experiance years ago when I was 21.  I had never lost a person in my life when we got the news that my uncle (my fathers brother) had died in a motorcyle accident and left two childeren and a wife.  He was a very successful attorney who was, kind, funny, intelegent, and a giving family man (and so much more) who made a very bad decision and road a motorcycle after partying.  He missed a turn and crashed into a ditch.  He was drunk at the time.  He broke his head open.  A very bad move that cost him his life and dearly affected the core of my family.  I can only imagine if my cousins were reading these same posts about their father. 

I'm so glad that I'm am not one of the children, or family, or friends who might stumble upon this topic when looking on the web for more answers and information into what and how this happend.  I as a child, or anyone for that matter, would not what to read what has been said here and I quote,  "stupid",  " but I really have no sympathy for idiots" "You can't fix stupid", ""Uh duh, sign, duh, railing, duh ooooh water fall, no worries we can cling to this slickrock, duh. All those signs and stuff are there for everyone else, we know what we are doing, duh!!!",  "You can't fix stupid. Actually, yes you can. Case in point." "Auditions for the next "Jackass" movie sequel, anyone ???" and many Redneck comments..............etc.  My uncle was none of these things.  Even smart people can have lapes of judgement that can lead to tragic consequences.  He made a bad decision, a bad choice,  and many people, both family and friends, payed the price because of his lack of judgment, in many different ways for years to come.

I wonder, would any of use here look these kids and the eyes and say these things (that I quoted above, and more) that has been said here at trailspace to them about there parents.  I think not.

Just because we can say it, does not mean (no pun intended) we should say it.

One can only hope that we can all be so insensitive and glib again when one of use here on Trailspace loses one of our own to a bad decision.

To the family and friends:  Let me say how very sorry I am for all of you and what you are about to go thru.  You will have to dig deep into you well of courage to help each other thru this time.   

I can only speak for myself,  but if you end up reading this, and again,  I only speak for myself,  I belive that many of the of the posts above do not accurately reflect the heartfelt thoughts that the majority of the family oriented members of the Trailspace community have regarding the loss of your family and loved ones.

My Thoughts are with with you.

4:02 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman, these people ignored all posted signs as well as guard rails, and the pleads of people around them.

Not to mention this year there is record run-off from snow melt and this is white water in this area. Watch the video below just to get an idea of the force of this water.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43815801/ns/today-today_news/t/hikers-who-went-over-yosemite-falls-presumed-dead/from/toolbar

With a bit of common sense this could have easily been avoided.

I do feel bad for the families but I do not feel a bit of remorse for these people. They completely ignored multiple signs, guard rails, as well as pleads to get out.

The whole story about a friend and the bike you mentioned above... Yeah, well he obviously made poor choices as well. He was drunk on a bike.

Kinda reminds me of a guy I knew years back. He had a 1000cc Kaw Ninja. He had some performance work done on his bike. When he left the shop he hit the side of a car on a 2 lane at 120mph. He was pinned under the car with his left arm ripped completely off at the shoulder, as well as his left leg(everything from the hip down.)

He was still screaming for his life while under the car. The med personnel on site said there was nothing they could do to save him and he was going into shock. He died in under 2 minutes. Guess thats what happens when ya do 120 on a 2 lane and an older gentleman pulls out in front of you. He is missed but died due to a stupid decision.

What I am getting at is stupid choices lead to his ultimate demise as well as these hikers that died. If people utilize a little common sense in their activities things like this wouldn't happen and families wouldn't suffer. Not only do I believe this to be stupid I also feel it was quite selfish being they jeopardized those around them as well as the SAR team that has to locate and extract the bodies.  As far as there being children in the equasion I have not heard any more mention of it so that may very well be a rumor at best. The internet is full of them.

What about all of the people on the observation deck as well as the children that watched this? Like I said I feel remorse for the families but I have a hard time feeling grief towards the hikers... I call em as I see em. I do not sugar coat things to pacify a situation. I have benn called blunt on many an occasion. As far as this situation goes this is what I see after looking at the whole scope of things and further research of the falls, the type of current, and all contributing factors. My condelences go out to the families but like I said this was an adccident soley based on a stupid decision that could of been avoided with a little common sense.

If I die from something stupid by all means call it that but if nothing else learn from it. Those rails, and signs are there for a reason other than decoration.

End of story.

4:18 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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@Rick-Pittsburgh 

I completely agree with your last post.  What I do not agree with is the glibness with which some here actually made fun and joked of such a tragedy.  If thats how people real feel, then so be it.  I stand by what I said in my last post 100%. 


 

4:21 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I agree with you, I just wanted to clarify on exactly what I meant. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I appreciate yours as well. You bring up some very valid points.

I don't personally feel from what I saw that members are necessarily stating that these hikers were stupid as a whole. They made a stupid decision.

Goes with the whole "they forgot where they were." statement I always make.

8:46 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Nothing can mask the true tragedy of this event, period. Everyone makes regrettable mistakes. Hopefully others will learn something. It is also a tragedy how careless actions such as these only add to further the restrictions imposed on areas that we would all like to enjoy.

9:04 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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The actions of the deceased in this and many other cases have been labeled many things, but ultimately the outcome is due purely to selfishness...

No matter who else was present, whether family, friend, or stranger, these hikers cared not, at that moment, for anyone else in any way. They only acted for their own gratification - their own selfish motives. They were incredibly inconsiderate.

9:06 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:


redneck.jpg

 Looks like his buddy tried a dry jet-ski run at it first...

Hilarious!

This OP tragedy is not, however.

10:09 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey, I want to judge and criticize the dead too. It looks like fun. Could they have been blind. I bet we could come up with some good ones about that. Lol. They thought they were next in line for the flume ride. Their kids probably egged them on. "You'll never take our xbox away from us again, haha.". Hey, their kids could be reading this forum right now. Have you considered that?

If we run out of things to say about them we can talk about my best friend Kurt. He lost control of his GSXR one night and headed a semi truck. Not hard to do at 140 mph. Scooped him up and put him in coolers. What a dumb ass.

My friend Dwight partied all night and went to work. Fell asleep on the drive home and wrecked his Jeep. Died instantly.

And finally, when we can't think how to rag onthose two, my brother Aaron hit a house while texting the night before his 21st b-day. I bet we can really criticize that one.

If any of you have a loved one who's judgement was in error and died, share it so we can all sound off on their stupidity.

Wooohooo

Ps neither Aaron nor Dwight were wearing seatbelts. Tools.

10:21 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Sirpatrick said:

Hey, I want to judge and criticize the dead too. It looks like fun. Could they have been blind. I bet we could come up with some good ones about that. Lol. They thought they were next in line for the flume ride. Their kids probably egged them on. "You'll never take our xbox away from us again, haha.". Hey, their kids could be reading this forum right now. That would be hilarious.

If we run out of things to say about them we can talk about my best friend Kurt. He lost control of his GSXR one night and headed a semi truck. Scooped him up and put him in coolers. What a dumb ass.

My friend Dwight partied all night and went to work. Fell asleep on the drive home and wrecked his Jeep. Died instantly.

And finally, when we can't think how to rag onthose two, my brother Aaron hit a house while texting the night before his 21st b-day. I bet we can really criticize that one.

If any of you have a loved one who's judgement was in error and died, share it so we can all sound off on their stupidity.

Wooohooo

Ps neither Aaron nor Dwight were wearing seatbelts. Tools.

Ya know there are quite a few things I could say to this post but from your last(which was a bit contraversial,) and now this one "I" out of respect for the site as well as others am going to demur.

...but I will say this:

I do have to ask how is this related to the topic of the discussion? Maybe I am confused here but you didn't refer to the original topic unless you consider the hypotheticals contained in the 1st paragraph as a substantial point made to the topic of discussion.

The points we made were based on the lack of common sense in regards to the decision that pre-empted their demise. You on the other hand pretty much refer to the whole thing being a joke as well as your reference to their kids... Very poor taste my friend. I think that you should seriously consider what ya type on these boards before you post. It gives a pretty good bearing of who you are as an individual.... or at least how you are viewed.

Everyone here is pretty respectful as far as some of the "boundary lines" one should not cross. Sirpatrick, out of respect could you please do the same?

Please be advised that I do not nor am I intending to cause any type of aggravation here. I am simply making a point. Have a good weekend.

10:41 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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My point is that the entire thread is in poor taste. The integrity of trailspace is in the hands of it's members and endless petty banter on the deaths of those you never had the privilege of knowing does nothing to perpetuate the potential good this Site has to offer.

10:47 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Well that may be your opinion which is respected even though we may not necessarily agree.

Ok, so say its in poor taste, you just put yourself on the same level with what you previously posted. You cannot send "intended meaning" via keyboard & monitor(sender-reciever.)

Here is why I do not think it is in poor taste. Instances like this can be quite grim. If one individual reads this and goes "hey, maybe I should think real hard before I put myself in a precarious spot" I hardly call that poor taste, I call that effective.

Alot more effective than saying:

"Hey, their kids could be reading this forum right now. That would be hilarious."

That my friend is just plain ignorant.

I am just asking personally, could ya please just tone it back a bit thats all.

We are all here to learn from one another as well share ideas, experiences, etc.

I am sure I could learn something from you as well as I have from others....but if you always seem angry what is there to ya for me to go on? You seem like an intelligent individual.  Just get along with people. Or do what I do, if ya don't have anything nice to say when you are responding to a thread find another one. Pretty simple.

Trust me, there have been times that I wanted to snap a bolt on some of the things I read here but in the over-all scope of things...does it really matter? Why put myself on that level.

If you feel something is in poor taste just say "I think this is in poor taste." You don't have to come from left field packin a Howitzer. People here are generally respectful, like I previously said I just ask personally could you please be the same? I don't think that is too much to ask.

10:53 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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oruacat2 said:

I've been on that trail several times, and there are indeed warning signs all over the place.  

Maybe it's my old-age talking, but I really have no sympathy for idiots.

 +1

12:24 a.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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apeman said:

To the family and friends:  Let me say how very sorry I am for all of you and what you are about to go thru.  You will have to dig deep into you well of courage to help each other thru this time.   

 I feel and think the same.

I hope I did not offend with my comments, they were not intended to.

12:28 a.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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gonzan said:

apeman said:

To the family and friends:  Let me say how very sorry I am for all of you and what you are about to go thru.  You will have to dig deep into you well of courage to help each other thru this time.   

 I feel and think the same.

I hope I did not offend with my comments, they were not intended to.

 I am with ya on that one. I do feel bad for the families. I hope that this unfortunate happening has opened someones eyes to the potential dangers that are present in areas like this.

Like I said the signs and guard rail are not for decoration.

12:44 a.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Sirpatrick said:

My point is that the entire thread is in poor taste. The integrity of trailspace is in the hands of it's members and endless petty banter on the deaths of those you never had the privilege of knowing does nothing to perpetuate the potential good this Site has to offer.

 I have a couple thoughts:

1> A thread that posts news of an outdoor related death is most certainly appropriate on an outdoor Forum, and is in no way inherently offensive or in poor taste.

2> Threads discussing such events either in specific or general are very important and necessary.  Effective prevention, awareness, and learning cannot take place without such discourse.

3> The vast majority of the subsequent comments in the thread were intelligent, constructive, and respectful. Any that were not should either be ignored or addressed in a respectful and constructive manner. Condescending, passive aggressive, indirect, and obtuse responses are the opposite of those principles and entirely counter-productive.

4> As someone who has been quite active in Trailspace for going on two years, I find the last clause in your sentence above rather ironic.

10:04 a.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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This is a reminder to all posters and potential posters to be civil and polite if you choose to discuss this topic.

That includes being civil and polite to fellow members and also to those individuals being discussed.

It's a rule for all posts, but especially those that deal with sensitive topics such as personal tragedies.

Our words live on, especially on the internet, and have repercussions.

Thanks.

12:56 p.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Tom D said:

 ...  I think ignorance is what got them killed ...  but ignorant seems to fit the situation.

 Not so fast, Tom D.

I must parse your term, here.   More than mere semantics.

IGNORANCE is generally defined as having no knowledge of a subject or circumstance;  i.e., "being unaware".

On-the-other-hand ... apathy comes to mind; more accurately for a descriptive term.

Apathy  (always much, much worse than "ignorance")  is generally defined as BEING  knowledgeable, or aware ... but, refusing to acknowledge, or HEED, or doing anything to rectify; ...   or a lack of concern.

In most things or situations, IGNORANCE is acceptable.   APATHY is not.

                                                      ~r2~

1:55 p.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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If those parents had shown the level of sensitivity and responsibility to their own children that is demanded of us by some here on this thread we wouldn't be having this conversation, would we?

12:39 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I willingly own my comments, blunt as they are.  Anyone reading my other posts realizes I have often called myself out for stupid things I have done in the past.  As one of the deep thinkers of our time once observed: “stupid is as stupid does.“ 

Society is compelled to highlight such events in fairly stark and unambiguous terms, to discourage others from considering such actions in the future.  Are words such as my own harsh?  Yes.  So are anti war images of flag draped coffins coming back from the Middle East (which by the way is condoned by at least some of the next of kin to these poor souls).  But honestly, using any milder adjective is more about being politically correct, and demurs from addressing why it occurred in the first place.  Certainly I feel for the next of kin, but my feelings do not alter the quality of thought the deceased exercised when they decided a photo op or view of the edge was worth their life.  Ignoring rules, conventional wisdom, and pleads from others present is not ignorance, it is indifference, to one’s safety, to the consequences it dumps on others, and lastly indifference to exercise the modicum of intelligence even their poor children seem to grasp.

Ed    

1:26 p.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

I willingly own my comments, blunt as they are.  Anyone reading my other posts realizes I have often called myself out for stupid things I have done in the past.  As one of the deep thinkers of our time once observed: “stupid is as stupid does.“ 

Society is compelled to highlight such events in fairly stark and unambiguous terms, to discourage others from considering such actions in the future.  Are words such as my own harsh?  Yes.  So are anti war images of flag draped coffins coming back from the Middle East (which by the way is condoned by at least some of the next of kin to these poor souls).  But honestly, using any milder adjective is more about being politically correct, and demurs from addressing why it occurred in the first place.  Certainly I feel for the next of kin, but my feelings do not alter the quality of thought the deceased exercised when they decided a photo op or view of the edge was worth their life.  Ignoring rules, conventional wisdom, and pleads from others present is not ignorance, it is indifference, to one’s safety, to the consequences it dumps on others, and lastly indifference to exercise the modicum of intelligence even their poor children seem to grasp.

Ed    

 Very well spoken!

3:33 p.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Recent "eye-witness reports" state:

Bibee saw a man cross over the barricade. He was leaning over the 317-foot waterfall, holding a young girl, who was screaming in terror. People begged them to get back. "I'm yelling at him, 'You SOB, get over here!'" Bibee said. Eventually, the two returned to safety.

But then Bibee noticed that three other people had also crossed over, and were "taking pictures and being stupid."

And then, as he watched in horror, one of them, a young woman, slipped. In an instant, she was sliding away, carried toward the precipice as onlookers screamed.

"The woman goes first," Bibee said. "Then the older gentleman at that point falls in. I'm watching the two of them being swept away. I'm starting to jet for the edge. It's just instinct. But Amanda says, 'No, no, don't go!' Then there was another guy I hadn't seen. I didn't see him fall in.

"But he looks back, just as he's being swept over the edge. I knew then they were not going to make it. They're going over the waterfall."

The three were members of a group of 12 from a Central Valley church that had hiked to the top of the waterfall, said Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman.

Ignoring posted signs and repeated warnings, they had climbed over the metal-bar barricade to get in the Merced River about 25 feet from the edge of the falls.

that from http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0721-yosemite-plunge-20110721,0,5411917.story

Other accounts say that the man holding the child over the falls had a number of people screaming at him and he just ignored them. Ah sadism, it doesn't get any better.

What will happen next was predicted by a previous poster. The media must now imply that "safety" in our parks must be reconsidered. See the headline of http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/07/22/yosemite-waterfall-deaths-put-national-parks-safety-under-scrutiny/

We know the fault lies with the decisions made by certain hikers; yet we somehow must idiotproof a waterfall. Bad waterfall!

Forgive me if the last line above seems whimsical and light in view of the events which transpired. I fear that too often we avoid accepting responsibility for our own actions.

3:55 p.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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overmywaders said:

Recent "eye-witness reports" state:

Bibee saw a man cross over the barricade. He was leaning over the 317-foot waterfall, holding a young girl, who was screaming in terror. People begged them to get back. "I'm yelling at him, 'You SOB, get over here!'" Bibee said. Eventually, the two returned to safety.

But then Bibee noticed that three other people had also crossed over, and were "taking pictures and being stupid."

And then, as he watched in horror, one of them, a young woman, slipped. In an instant, she was sliding away, carried toward the precipice as onlookers screamed.

"The woman goes first," Bibee said. "Then the older gentleman at that point falls in. I'm watching the two of them being swept away. I'm starting to jet for the edge. It's just instinct. But Amanda says, 'No, no, don't go!' Then there was another guy I hadn't seen. I didn't see him fall in.

"But he looks back, just as he's being swept over the edge. I knew then they were not going to make it. They're going over the waterfall."

The three were members of a group of 12 from a Central Valley church that had hiked to the top of the waterfall, said Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman.

Ignoring posted signs and repeated warnings, they had climbed over the metal-bar barricade to get in the Merced River about 25 feet from the edge of the falls.

that from http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0721-yosemite-plunge-20110721,0,5411917.story

Other accounts say that the man holding the child over the falls had a number of people screaming at him and he just ignored them. Ah sadism, it doesn't get any better.

What will happen next was predicted by a previous poster. The media must now imply that "safety" in our parks must be reconsidered. See the headline of http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/07/22/yosemite-waterfall-deaths-put-national-parks-safety-under-scrutiny/

We know the fault lies with the decisions made by certain hikers; yet we somehow must idiotproof a waterfall. Bad waterfall!

Forgive me if the last line above seems whimsical and light in view of the events which transpired. I fear that too often we avoid accepting responsibility for our own actions.

OMW,

Kinda why I posted the responses that I did. Granted they were somwhat "harsh" but in light of the circumstances that lead up to this unfortunate situation I felt that they were appropriate not to mention well deserved.

I just wish people would stop and think for a few seconds before they do something so foolish because if they did most of these situations would not occur.

This goes with the whole "act, don't react logic." A better decision will be made if you take the time to think about it and "act" on it as opposed to going on impulse and "reacting."

4:19 p.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I strongly agree with the sentiments here that we are responsible for our own actions and that these particular actions were horrifyingly idiotic. I'd also hate to see blame placed with the parks or park rangers. (My last post was meant as a reminder of tone, versus subject matter.)

I do feel sorry for the families and friends of the deceased, and especially for anyone who witnessed this event or was otherwise affected by it. The witnesses will have this horrible memory forever (yet another repercussion of the individuals' actions).

All that said, I admit to getting annoyed by rule breakers like these. Last month in Switzerland, we witnessed many people ignoring the very clear signs to stay behind the ropes at the top of the Jungfraujoch. This led me to start grousing about why people would do this, when it's pretty clear you're warned not to for your own safety.

Did they think the crevasses did not apply to them? What did they not understand?

It also was clear that once people saw others breaking the rules, more seemed to think it was OK for them to do the same, despite any warnings. Part of me was just waiting for someone to fall through a snow bridge.


IMG_8286.jpg


IMG_8351.jpg
The individuals on the very far side are outside of the ropes, sliding down the snow, in this picture.

4:25 p.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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@Alicia-Ugggghhhhh, one more example of humans displaying "lack of common sense" in one of its finest forms.

11:05 a.m. on July 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Recent article about the  hikers swept off Vernal Falls.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/309303

Over a month ago a hiker was reported missing after he did not return with friends after a hike to the top of Yosemite Falls. He is mentioned at the end of the article above.

10:24 p.m. on July 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Gary,

I read on the internet that bodies may be held down, underwater at the base of the falls, for quite some time.   This may explain the "missing" part.

                                                 ~r2~

11:05 p.m. on July 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

Gary,

I read on the internet that bodies may be held down, underwater at the base of the falls, for quite some time.   This may explain the "missing" part.

                                                 ~r2~

 It is not uncommon for people who fall into the Merced in that area to never be found.  If you have ever been there during spring runoff, you would understand why.  The river is thundering (and I stress the thundering part) down a steep riverbed over boulders (the smallest are desk-sized, and they go up from there).  What is left of a body after a short distance of this is often wedged under boulders, never to surface again.

To stand next to such a river at high flow is truly awe-inspiring.  I have been at the top of Nevada falls when the ground was literally shaking beneath my feet (solid granite bedrock).  People don't understand how much force is involved.  This lack of understanding is what leads to tragedies like this.  If you have never walked on slick wet granite at the edge of a river before, you don't realize that it is nothing like wet concrete on sidewalks in the city.  And you have no frame of reference for the force that the water exerts.  I have done enough stream crossings in the back country to know that I would never get near such high flow, but if your only water exposure is in a swimming pool in town, you just don't know what you are getting into.

9:52 a.m. on July 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Once in the early 1980s, down near Tucson Arizona at a place called Tanque Verde Falls in the Rincon Mountains east of the city, a college student was reported falling over the falls by friends as he had tried to step over the top of the narrow falls. Rescuers tried to recover his body, but as he had done this in the fall during monsoon season his body was not immediately found. It took nearly two months before the water pressure reduced enough for his body to surface.

Did you see in that article link about another fellow that was lost above upper Yosemite Falls, after his friends reported he had not returned to the valley after a group hike? It happened around June 22nd and now over a month later he or his body has not been found.

12:19 p.m. on July 27, 2011 (EDT)
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I saw that. 

I guess this is similar to the circumstance of hiker / climbers lost of Ranier or Hood in the middle of Winter.

Waiting until late Summer for the snow melt to reveal bodies.

                                                      ~r2~

12:44 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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I was wondering if the missing people from Vernal Falls had been found yet, and saw this topical article today:

http://www.modbee.com/2011/07/26/1791716/families-makerepeated-journeysto.html

I don't mean to sound judgmental.  I totally get that what happened to these families was horrible and tragic, and for them, a heart-wrenching experience from which they'll never be able to recover.

But what I don't get is how blaming it on an "insufficient fence" is the answer.  They did not fall through the fence.  They didn't slip on the rocks and slide under the fence.  They walked up to it and voluntarily crossed it, right past the sign reading "if you fall in you will die", much to the admonishment of onlookers.

We'll never know what went thru their minds leading to that decision ... whether it was ignorance of the force of a roaring river, that they knew but thought "it will never happen to me", or if they were just plain reckless.  Who knows.  But unfortunately they made a bad decision that cost them their lives.

The thing is, if people want to cross a fence, they will, no matter what kind of fence it is.  It could be a 20 foot fence with barbed wire on top, and still people would find a way to get around it.  If anything is needed, it's better education - not a bigger fence or a ranger on duty to police the site.

 

 

 

 

10:08 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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I am very, very sad for the families, and I understand the intense feeling of wanting someone to blame for the accident.

However, I find their denial and blame slinging abhorrent. It is a wild national park and wilderness area. Having railings installed in the first place is arguably of questionable justification. But, unless the whole area is completely secured, walled, paved, ground smoothed, etc, etc, etc, to the point that it is sterile and idiot-proof (oxymoron), this will only people to act even more foolishly and dangerously.

It is well observed that people inherently tend  to raise their level of risk taking and reckless behavior in direct correlation to the perceived level of backup or failsafe. Just like how people drive faster when wearing a seatbelt, etc., people will tend to compensate for anyything that lowers perceived risk. Without a fence giving the perception that there are safety measures in place, and someone else has attended to them, people tend to stay back from a dangerous object. Install a rail right next to the dangerous thing and people will run right up to it, and even go past the rail to check it out even closer.

If parents train their children to ultimately take personal responsibility for their actions, instead of blaming others, these kind of things will happen less

4:41 p.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Hmmmmm, so they are paying out of pocket to have an analysis done(I don't see anyone doing it for free.)

4:59 p.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Gotta tell ya, reading that article reduces the amount of sympathy I have for those families.

5:03 p.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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oruacat2 said:

Gotta tell ya, reading that article reduces the amount of sympathy I have for those families.

 I have other thoughts towards what is gonna happen but I think its best that I keep them to myself.

8:27 p.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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bheiser1 said:

..saw this topical article today:

http://www.modbee.com/2011/07/26/1791716/families-makerepeated-journeysto.html ...

It is not unusual for survivors to assign responsibility to third parties under such circumstances.  Reality overwhelms reasoned thinking.  Thus the investigation, and all the hand wringing.  These are typical, and not particularly indicative of these families’ cultures. 

I was curious, however, about the father of one of the victims stating he would not have permitted his son on this trip, had he known of the actual site hazards.  Given all the victims were adults in their twenties, it makes you wonder why these parents don’t feel their children were capable of assessing situations on their own, or that they believed they still had say so over these affairs of their children.  In any case that is a lot of guilt to shoulder, I hope someone is counseling them it was not the parents’ fault. 

Ed  

10:50 p.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Methinks I smell a lawyer!

Often the ambulance-chasers will encourage the parents of accident victims to look at others (deep pockets) to assign fault.

This might prove to be very lucrative to a lawyer, as yet undisclosed.

Fortunately, the Park Service can't be sued, unless it wishes to. (Sovereign immunity.)

3:34 a.m. on July 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Proponderence of Evidence isn't hard to substantiate in a Civil Litigation case.

5:48 p.m. on July 30, 2011 (EDT)
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 a
article in tomorrow's Sydney Morning Herald (it's already 7/31 in AUS) says:

"Eleven days later, their bodies had still not been recovered.

"...With the river running at 25.5 cubic metres per second, it may be
weeks before it slows to a level where it is safe for divers to search
in the water."

http://tinyurl.com/YoseHikers

The local news still show the missing fallen Vernal Falls hikers yet to be found. And anothe man was reported missing over a month ago after not returning to Yosemite Valley after a group hike to the top of Yosemite Falls.

9:36 a.m. on August 8, 2011 (EDT)
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1 body found today

9:41 a.m. on August 8, 2011 (EDT)
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y

Three weeks after three people fell to their death over Vernal Falls in Yosemite, one of the bodies has been recovered.

Park search and rescue spent four and a half hours recovering the body of Hormiz David. Searchers lowered themselves down from horizontal ropes crossing the rushing river to recover the body.

"They were actually able to just spot the body because the water was low enough," Yosemite spokeswoman Kari Cobb told AP. "Hopefully as the water continues to goes down, we can find signs as to the others' location."

The 22 year old from Modesto was 240 feet from the base of Vernal Fall by rangers

12:16 p.m. on August 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Another hiker who was lost above Yosemite Falls a few days after the Vernal Falls incident has not been found either. He was reported missing by his hiking companions when they returned to the valley and he never showed up. They don't think he got too close to the falls but somewhere/how had a mishap and may have also fallen to his death.

12:46 a.m. on August 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Gary, is this the one you mean (?). The body was found this past Friday.

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/07/local/la-me-yosemite-falls-20110807

It must be tough being on the SAR team making a 'find' like this...

9:00 a.m. on August 10, 2011 (EDT)
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That's poor fellow was one of the three who's fall prompted this thread, I believe Gary is speaking of another guy who went missing around the same time. That was a separate and unrelated incident, he was hiking and never arrived at his destination- the speculation is that he fell into the river, but not from the falls.

11:30 a.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Another one ????


Just heard on the radio ... another hiker ( age 17 ? ) died 5-days after falling along the Vernal Falls area, where it was reported to be "slippery".


Was this related to any of the previously reported hiker mishaps ?

I do not see anything on the 'net, at this point.

                                                ~r2~

6:03 p.m. on August 15, 2011 (EDT)
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And another internet 'blurb.

A female Japanese student fell into the waters of the Niagra River, from the Canadian side, and was swept over the Niagra Falls.   Probably death, but not certain at this juncture.

                                            ~r2~

August 23, 2014
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