This Season's Accidents

4:53 p.m. on September 27, 2012 (EDT)
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What I always find interesting about these is that the people who think of themselves as more experienced are the ones who seem to need to be rescued...

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/progs/np-pn/sp-ps/sec7.aspx


...while an inexperienced city kid from Europe who gets lost on an evening walk does everything right! In fact, the rescues with the best outcomes often seem to involve someone having the sense to stay put when they get lost instead of trying to bull their way out.

One notable exception, Rick Collier, lead on the Geikie accident, was 74 years old and had been climbing for many decades. The slab he was climbing on broke off, taking him with it. Even the careful ones can eventually lose.

7:27 a.m. on September 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Reading the "Broken Arm" incident it was nice to see a Spot device was carried and used.

2:22 p.m. on September 28, 2012 (EDT)
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I had never seen that site before, some good lessons learned there.

It seems like a majority of the accidents(that I looked at at least) were a result of falling or sliding on snow/ice. With the winter rapidly approaching I think it is a good reminder to everyone who will be hiking on snow/ice to always wear appropriate traction aids(snowshoes, crampons, mini spikes etc) when in such conditions, and to make sure they are secured properly. Additionally, if you are on steep terrain, remember to have your ice axe IN YOUR HAND!!! You can't use it for self arrest if its hanging on your pack.

4:01 p.m. on September 28, 2012 (EDT)
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I liked the one where they "learned about climbing from reading books"...:P

5:28 p.m. on September 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Trailjester said:

I liked the one where they "learned about climbing from reading books"...:P

Natural selection at work, perhaps?


I was impressed with the lost teenager, though, who stuffed his clothing with moss to keep warm, then sat down to wait. And the comment that when they found him, he was a lot drier than the SARs who came to his rescue!

5:02 a.m. on September 29, 2012 (EDT)
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Interesting site, you can learn something from almost every case. A lot of things should be common sense though. This one I shocked me: "The most experienced hiker descended the regular route to Forum Lake in order to get back to work in time" He left three others, one of which had to spend the night on the mountain. Nice friend...

12:35 p.m. on September 29, 2012 (EDT)
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I think the problem is we often don't know what we don't know. One of the guys on my trek kept telling stories of stupid stuff he got himself into over the years outdoors. never seeing that his problems were the result of doing things he was not experienced enough to do and being unwilling to be teachable. Even happened on our trek. I am grateful for this site an get lots of good info here...but even some of the info here comes from people offering what they think is right, but experience will eventually teach them otherwise.

5:52 p.m. on October 1, 2012 (EDT)
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I've learned to always assume I could be wrong. That way, I don't die.

So far it's worked.

12:27 a.m. on October 2, 2012 (EDT)
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Now I know why I stay with both feet firmly planted on a blazed trail with my SPOT turned on. I envy outdoor people who climb up & down sides of mountains. Am sad when something goes wrong. The photos were amazing  and the rescuers are incredibly brave. A neat web site.

8:50 a.m. on October 2, 2012 (EDT)
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the American Alpine Club publishes something akin to this annually; someone made reference to it a little while ago on this site.  it costs to join, but they have some great publications.  

10:17 a.m. on October 2, 2012 (EDT)
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the American Alpine Club publishes something akin to this annually; someone made reference to it a little while ago on this site.  it costs to join, but they have some great publications.  

 

Accidents in North American Mountaineering (popularly known as ANAM) is available at REI, EMS, MEC, and specialty mountaineering stores, some bookstores, and on line. You can order it directly from the AAC, as well. You do not have to be a member, though I would encourage anyone who climbs or even occasionally scrambles to join.

1:24 p.m. on October 7, 2012 (EDT)
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You can also download the 2012 ANAM directly from the American Alpine Club website for $5.95

9:00 a.m. on October 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Many people are often unprepared, ill-equipped and unexperienced. The latter not necessarily being the worst one. 

Un-prepared- physically and mentally

Ill-equipped- Poor choice of equipment or lack of equipment for the appropriate challenge including the weather.

Inexperienced- Not necessarily for the task itself or the challenge but to not realized when it may not be a good idea to take on the challenge. Poor weather observance, poor planning, poor equipment selection, not testing or trying out equipment before actual usage. 

These are the majority of reasons why people run into trouble. 

New hikers, often will do research on equipment, terrain and weather. 

Experienced hikers will take everything into consideration.

Then you have the hikers who love to challenge death and simply are reckless or careless.. 

This is the reason why emergency services are now set on charging for rescue services etc... 

7:54 p.m. on October 15, 2012 (EDT)
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emshiker said:


This is the reason why emergency services are now set on charging for rescue services etc... 

 Friend of mine is very careful. Gear, knowledge all pretty good. Has a medical issue he takes very seriously and attends to. Was climbing half dome and had a seizure. It was awful. Bit his tongue in half and had to be airlifted. 40k bill for that. That sounds like charging to me.

10:40 p.m. on October 15, 2012 (EDT)
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In Canadian national parks, rescue is paid for out of your admission fees or annual pass charges.

While it would make sense to me to charge people for rescue when they're not in any danger, like the people who are just 'too tired' to walk all the way down again', GoG's right. Sometimes s**t just happens.

Nobody's fault and, like getting an ambulance bill for the ride to the hospital after a car crash, it doesn't seem fair to charge if there's a real need. Better to do the rescue for free than have someone die because they couldn't afford the ride. And if they do, you have to pay for the recovery anyway, so what's the difference?

9:59 a.m. on October 16, 2012 (EDT)
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giftogab said:

emshiker said:


This is the reason why emergency services are now set on charging for rescue services etc... 

 Friend of mine is very careful. Gear, knowledge all pretty good. Has a medical issue he takes very seriously and attends to. Was climbing half dome and had a seizure. It was awful. Bit his tongue in half and had to be airlifted. 40k bill for that. That sounds like charging to me.

 Yeah I dont know if hiking with a seizure history or epilepsy is a good idea? It doesnt matter how seriously you take it or attend to seizures often happen with very little or no warning and even with medication its can come on with out any warning. Most states dont let you drive with a seizure history, much less should he be climbing. If he had a seizure while climbing, that would mean that more than likely he would be incapacitated during the climb, which in turns means a full rescue. Not a good idea.. 

9:53 p.m. on October 16, 2012 (EDT)
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I don't have a problem with a 40K bill, but if your going to charge for that emergency service the rescue service should be open to bids for that area, and not control by the state or country.  I feel if they had open competition the cost of rescue will go down and the service will go up, maybe this is extreme but the price is out of line, I guess if I'm not the one being rescue.

9:29 a.m. on October 17, 2012 (EDT)
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emshiker,

Welcome to Trailspace!

I hope you will continue to engage and take part here with our wonderfully knoweddgeable and experienced members! They have a lot to offer.

I just wanted to mention a couple things:

 It doesn't appear that Gift mentioned a history of seiziures, only a carefully managed, though undefined, medical condition. 

Denying someone with medical conditions access to experience the outdoors and its wonders is perhaps overreaching just a bit. There are many thousands of people to have a vast range of conditions and impediments, and it is so very important that we encourage and help everyone to experience and enjoy everything our wild places have to offer. Though there certainly are limitations to what some medical or physical conditions allow, I don't think it is possible for those with no personal knowledge of an individual or their circumstances to make make such an assessment.

Thanks again for joining this band of merry outdoor enthusiast! 

 

11:38 a.m. on October 17, 2012 (EDT)
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gonzan said:

...There are many thousands of people to have a vast range of conditions and impediments, and it is so very important that we encourage and help everyone to experience and enjoy everything our wild places have to offer.

One of my best leaders has had MS for twenty years, and walks with a 'wooden' gait when she's tired. She still organizes local hikes every week, and you will also see her on many of my 'moderate' mountain trips.

I check with her every year or so and ask her how she's doing, but I also rely on her own judgment to exclude herself from ones that are too difficult for her. Usually, she's right, and when she over-reaches a bit, there's never been a problem we can't cope with.

1:35 p.m. on October 17, 2012 (EDT)
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You're right, having a medical condition that resulted with a seizure led me to believe that the person must have had a seizure history. 

Its unlikely that someone who doesnt have a seizure history would have a seizure unless its a new onset. I assumed that his medical condition was one of seizures. I stand corrected. 

I dont believe that people should be "denied" access to any activity as long as they are perfectly healthy and capable or doing what it is they are doing. For obvious reasons, the number 1 reason being to make sure that the individual survives and it doesnt cost their life. 

Example, people with respiratory problems shouldn't be climbing high altitudes, or scuba diving. They can surely try and and may even be successful but they are putting themselves at risk of injury or death and worse yet putting first responders at unnecessary risk. 

Someone else commented on these type of services should be "bidded" out but the fact is that usually only municipal or national parks services have the budget, manpower and/or equip to be able to be around in the event hikers, backpackers and climbers need assistance. Even among those agencies they face constant budget cuts.

Private entities dont have the capability of training, or staffing people for these isolated events. And as such private entities are interested in generating revenue, which means that they probably have very little if any interest, where with government agencies they maintain a duty to respond and act..

As is seen in many places including colorado etc.. many of these "rescue services" are actually staffed by volunteers with support through local Police/Sherrif/State troopers. 

I commented on this, simply because many people take un-calculated and unnecessary risks which then put others at risk. How many times, after the fact will survivors say , "We should have turned back or we should have waited".. 

There have been rescue personnel injured and killed in rescuing hikers and climbers who were ill prepared, inexperienced etc.. 

That is why government agencies have postings to proceed at your own risk, and remind people that in certain places, help may be hours if not days away... 

It took 6hrs to get a hiker in acadia off the cliffs who was bleeding internally from a fall she suffered. Tragically she died. 

Please just be safe, out there , know your limitations, both physically and mentally, and have proper equipment. That was all I was trying to remind people. I love hiking, climbing and diving and have done it all for many years. But Im very careful, train properly and have the best equipment. There will come a day, probably not too far in the future where I wont be able to climb anymore, my hiking distances will be reduced, and my days of dealing with freezing cold weather will be limited. Not by fear but by facing the reality that certain things are truly left to a younger soul...lol

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