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View Full Version : Another rescue on 2/16/08



kaseri
02-18-2008, 08:09 AM
I was in IME this weekend when a call came in for a rescue on Lafayette.

http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Hiker+rescued+from+Mount+Laf ayette&articleId=8912b202-2c16-4753-86a9-1b7e9ba122af

billysinc
02-18-2008, 08:23 AM
We were on Osceola and could hear the helicopter. Glad it turned out ok.

Bill O
02-18-2008, 08:49 AM
How lost could the guy have been if they plucked him off Lafayette?

donnellyvj
02-18-2008, 08:50 AM
I am understanding this right. He was friends with hikers from last week and got lost on the same trail????

Steve M
02-18-2008, 09:05 AM
That's right, he was friends with the two who were rescued last week. I wonder what he was trying to prove?

Bill O
02-18-2008, 09:29 AM
I am understanding this right. He was friends with hikers from last week and got lost on the same trail????

I think you read it incorrectly. The sentence is not well written.

I think it meant that Fredericksen and Osborne were friends. Not that Davis was friends with them.

Steve M
02-18-2008, 09:46 AM
I think you read it incorrectly. The sentence is not well written.

I think it meant that Fredericksen and Osborne were friends. Not that Davis was friends with them.
After reading it again I see what you mean. It could be taken either way but I would say your on target.

KD Talbot
02-18-2008, 09:48 AM
According to the story he had done the loop 8 times, once before in winter. There was a squall. This shows how easy it is to get disoriented in whiteout conditions. I think the way the story is written it is misleading. I don't believe he knew the others.

"Davis had planned to follow the same 9-mile loop that friends Laurence Frederickson of South Sutton and James Osborne of Manchester took on what was supposed to be a day hike last Sunday."

I think they just mean that Fredrickson and Osborne were friends.

As usual, I see Bill beat me to this. Bill, you should be scared. We think too much alike!

They said on WMUR that they lowered the rescuer into chest deep snow. Davis was dragging himself from tree to tree across the top of the snow. He was barefoot. No explanation. I can only guess. There is no running water up that high on that ridge this time of year, so I doubt they got soaked. Supposedly he was doing an over night, they could have blown away or frozen and he couldn't get them back on. I doubt he lost them in a spruce trap. It's possible he was in the stages of hypothermia where he was losing his mind and his feet felt hot. All speculation on my part.

KDT

Bill O
02-18-2008, 09:55 AM
I'm surprised the media isn't getting a hold of the chopper rescue videos. I guarantee its taped and it technically has to be released to the public if somebody asks.

KD Talbot
02-18-2008, 11:36 AM
There is some video here. Nothing too revealing, though.

http://www.wmur.com/news/15327379/detail.html

KDT

Bill O
02-18-2008, 11:38 AM
There is some video here. Nothing too revealing, though.

http://www.wmur.com/news/15327379/detail.html

KDT

Thanks. I just found that. Looks like it was shot from the ground.

KD Talbot
02-18-2008, 11:42 AM
There's an update here:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2008/02/18/hikers_rescue_stirs_a_warning_to_others_in_new_ham pshire/

KDT

Steve M
02-18-2008, 03:06 PM
Based on the information given do any of you feel he should be charged for the rescue?

KD Talbot
02-18-2008, 03:11 PM
http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/general/view.bg?articleid=1074258&format=text

Sorry Steve, not touching that can of worms.

KDT

donnellyvj
02-18-2008, 03:16 PM
I wonder what Davis thinks?

billysinc
02-18-2008, 03:58 PM
Here's another one, Presi traverse hikers missing:

http://www.wmur.com/news/15334219/detail.html

Steve M
02-18-2008, 04:02 PM
Forgive me for posing a question that is too hard to answer. It is an interesting question though with lots of contoversy and questions. I can think of many reasons why and why not he should be charged. If I put myself in his shoes I know I wouldn't want to have to pay for it yet I also have to consider the impact on those who had to come and find me and the risks involved. How do you judge and where do you draw the line where one was properly prepared or improperly prepared? If it is risky for trained search and rescue workers to be out there looking for me who are totally prepared to be out there than how much more risky is it for me to be out there in the first place? I also realize that the risks are higher for the rescue team because they are usually out there while the weather is at it's worst and many times at night with limited visibility. I don't expect anyone to answer these questions, they are just a few that go through my mind when I think about these things with my limited understanding.

Bill O
02-18-2008, 04:41 PM
Based on the information given do any of you feel he should be charged for the rescue?

I'll say no. I'll stick with my prior arguments and ask, what did this rescue really cost?

As for the other questions. All I know is that I would love the opportunity to volunteer for a search and rescue team. Even with the knowledge I may have to help unprepared hikers.

spyboy
02-18-2008, 05:03 PM
"Jordan said Davis lacked snowshoes, waterproof boots, a global positioning system, a map and compass, and made the mistake of hiking alone. He also was unaware of the severe weather conditions above the tree line, Jordan said. But Davis had some equipment and was "more prepared than other people," the officer said."

No map or compass, or snowshoes? It IS still winter (notice I didn't mention GPS, even though I think everyone should carry one, but some people are purists)

KD Talbot
02-18-2008, 05:13 PM
I'm not taking either side of the question, but if it were me, and they saved my arse out there, I would be glad to pay. With a tip, too.

I read in one of the articles that the average charge is about $3000.00. I don't know how true this is. I don't believe everything I read.

SAR are generally volunteers. Free.

Part of the function of F&G is to rescue people, so they're on the clock. Maybe getting paid overtime, maybe not. They're out locating the drunk hunter lost a mile from his pick up as well as the unprepared hiker, so it's a moot point.

The ANG is funded with our federal taxes. The lighter side is they're getting valuable training they may need in a war zone.

There. Now there's some loose worms.

KDT

TheNatrix
02-18-2008, 05:14 PM
This may be an ignorant question but why would anyone opt to walk around barefoot?

Is it really more benificial to take off your boots?

Bill O
02-18-2008, 05:18 PM
This may be an ignorant question but why would anyone opt to walk around barefoot?

Is it really more benificial to take off your boots?

Who knows.

I doubt he did this on purpose. As Kevin mentioned, severely hypothermic people do very strange things. He may have lost them in the snow. He may have lost his tent and gear in the middle of the night while he was sleeping.

Its not beneficial, and its a sign that things were not going well.

billysinc
02-18-2008, 05:44 PM
The article stated he had his boots off because he was trying to dry them. Whether or not that's the case only a couple of people know for sure.

KD Talbot
02-18-2008, 06:35 PM
Billy's right according to what the article says. He was mildly hypothermic and had his boots off to try to dry them. Apparently didn't work out too well.

Of the things he didn't have, snowshoes, water-proof boots, map, compass and GPS, the only things I see as essential, (and this is only my OPINION and I am not an expert on winter hiking), are the water-proof boots and a compass.

He was familiar with the trail, so probably didn't need a map, just a compass to keep him going in the right direction when he couldn't see. Hiking in snow in anything that isn't water-proof, well, fill in your own comment here. Snowshoes, though helpful, are not essential on well packed trails, and crampons are more likely to be needed above tree line. A GPS, well, if it works and the batteries don't drain down in the sub zero wind chills would be a good tool, if you know how to use it properly. Still, I don't see it as essential.

Good boots and a compass are invaluable. Don't go without them.

Still haven't found the missing hikers in Crawford Notch as of the 6PM news. The story says they may have been spotted north of Jefferson, NH at 11:30 am yesterday. I'm relatively certain this should have read "North of Mount Jefferson." They're from Virginia and are supposed to be "experienced hikers". I wonder if that means winter Presidential experienced.

KDT

Bill O
02-18-2008, 06:42 PM
Still haven't found the missing hikers in Crawford Notch as of the 6PM news. The story says they may have been spotted north of Jefferson, NH at 11:30 am yesterday. I'm relatively certain this should have read "North of Mount Jefferson." They're from Virginia and are supposed to be "experienced hikers". I wonder if that means winter Presidential experienced.

KDT

Well, they had some serious winter gear in that photo. Unlike a dayhike, its hard to even undertake a traverse if you are unexperienced. We'll see. These guys should be prepared to hunker down a for a few days.

KD Talbot
02-18-2008, 08:29 PM
I certainly hope this turns out well. Best of luck to them and to the rescuers.

KDT

Steve M
02-18-2008, 10:20 PM
Billy's right according to what the article says. He was mildly hypothermic and had his boots off to try to dry them. Apparently didn't work out too well.


KDT
Just to state the obvious, how in the ______ can you dry your boots in 60+ mph winds, temps way below freezing up on a ridge, and no campfire? I would say he wasn't thinking clearly. Not as a slam but just as observation.

KD Talbot
02-18-2008, 10:45 PM
In severe stages of hypothermia people think they feel hot and start to peel off clothing. Many who die from it are found with clothing missing, or a trail of clothes leads the searchers to them. They're saying this was not the case. Don't know how he intended to dry them. Blow dry maybe? At least he's down and not another statistic.

KDT

Bill O
02-19-2008, 06:34 AM
It was a team of three that started the traverse. Early on Sunday one of the team members headed down a different route to pick up their car. I'm sure this was always the plan. The other two continued on and did not arrive at Crawford Notch as planned.

Steve M
02-19-2008, 08:32 AM
Another update this morning on the two from Virginia.

http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Fog+clouds+search+for+hikers&articleId=317217dd-1eb3-4928-9155-41afd6372313

kaseri
02-19-2008, 11:30 AM
Hikers have been found.

http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Fog+clouds+search+for+hikers&articleId=317217dd-1eb3-4928-9155-41afd6372313

spyboy
02-19-2008, 12:27 PM
It doesn't sound like they were air lifted off the mountain, the heli was just used to spot them.

Glad they walked out on their own.

The big question is, did they need a search party? At what point do you consider someone "lost" or "in danger" (besides if they radio/message for help)?

I thought people were only considered missing after 24 hours? (or is that just TV propaganda?)

Being able to get a message to/from hikers would probably save time & money.. "are you ok?" "yes, we're fine, we'll be back tomorrow" (then no rescue teams have to be sent out)

But how well do communications work on the White Mountains (without having a sat phone or any really expensive equipment)

Kirk

Bill O
02-19-2008, 12:43 PM
My guess is these guys didn't need a rescue. If they were in contact with their family they wouldn't have even asked for a rescue. In fact, they probably didn't know people were searching.

These were well prepared and experienced hikers in the middle of a good old-fashioned epic.

With that said, their partner did the right thing by notifying authorities when they did not arrive back as planned. He waited a reasonable amount of time. You never know if they are safely hunkered down or somebody is bleeding out from an ice ax wound.

billysinc
02-19-2008, 12:57 PM
It may not have even been an epic. The one day traverse is a feat in good weather during the warmer months. The snow is deep right now and the pace slow. I agree with Bill that they were probably never in any real danger just underestimated how long a distance the traverse is when you're up to your knees in snow.

Steve M
02-19-2008, 03:16 PM
It doesn't sound like they were air lifted off the mountain, the heli was just used to spot them.

Glad they walked out on their own.

The big question is, did they need a search party? At what point do you consider someone "lost" or "in danger" (besides if they radio/message for help)?

I thought people were only considered missing after 24 hours? (or is that just TV propaganda?)

Being able to get a message to/from hikers would probably save time & money.. "are you ok?" "yes, we're fine, we'll be back tomorrow" (then no rescue teams have to be sent out)

But how well do communications work on the White Mountains (without having a sat phone or any really expensive equipment)

Kirk
I think they might have been flown out due to this line in the article but it is not perfectly clear:
"McCay's parents were on hand for the reunion with the hikers, climbing up an enormous snowbank at the Appalachian Mountain Club's Highland Center to wave at the Blackhawk helicopter as it touched down."

Another line that is misleading is the last one which makes it sound like Mt Lafayette is part of the Presidential's:

"One man exposed to subzero temperatures died Feb. 11 after he and another hiker were rescued on Mount Lafayette."

that line comes right after the quote about the Presi's being "notoriously hazardous under the best of circumstances."

mk10
02-19-2008, 03:42 PM
...The snow is deep right now and the pace slow. I agree with Bill that they were probably never in any real danger just underestimated how long a distance the traverse is when you're up to your knees in snow.

Did these guys have snowshoes? The reports that I read didn't say if they did or didn't.

Bill O
02-19-2008, 04:03 PM
Did these guys have snowshoes? The reports that I read didn't say if they did or didn't.

I doubt they did. Its not common to carry snowshoes on a traverse. Its a risk most climbers choose to take since most the route is on packed snow and ice.

This time it looked like they got bit taking this risk.

KD Talbot
02-19-2008, 04:22 PM
There's more here. They were "rescued" by helicopter. One guy says his pack was 250lbs. Any buyers?

http://www.wmur.com/news/15341241/detail.html#

KDT

spyboy
02-19-2008, 04:25 PM
The Union Leader article was updated with a google map with markers, which is pretty cool, so you can see how the trip progressed.

http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Fog+clouds+search+for+hikers&articleId=317217dd-1eb3-4928-9155-41afd6372313

donnellyvj
02-19-2008, 04:47 PM
250 lbs? What, did they bring a TV!

tkrn82
02-19-2008, 04:49 PM
Hello...I believe the man said that with a pack he weighs in excess of 250lbs.I watched the video of the interview and if you listen closely I believe that is what he says.I found it hard to believe that someone would carry 250lbs on their back over the pesidential range.

Steve M
02-19-2008, 07:52 PM
Hello...I believe the man said that with a pack he weighs in excess of 250lbs.I watched the video of the interview and if you listen closely I believe that is what he says.I found it hard to believe that someone would carry 250lbs on their back over the pesidential range.
I find it hard to believe most people would be able to walk a mile with a pack weighing 250lbs., let alone over a mountain.

KD Talbot
02-19-2008, 08:07 PM
I hope tkrn82 is right and I misheard, but the story quotes him as saying, "Traveling was tough," Obert said. "With a pack in excess of 250 pounds and with snowshoes going through 5-foot snow -- it was rigorous."

And now, the rest of the story:

http://www.wmur.com/news/15346173/detail.html

Of course this knee jerk reaction was inevitable.

Question: How are you going to pay for your rescue if you can't drive yourself to work?

Another question: Is getting caught in bad weather now going to be considered negligent?

KDT

Bill O
02-19-2008, 08:58 PM
I think we can all rest assured that nobody was carrying a 250 pound pack. Somebody mis-spoke or mis-heard.

Its easy to forget why people sign up to be in the Air National Guard. Its not so they can sit around the hanger scrubbing the floor.

Steve M
02-20-2008, 09:42 AM
How many people have 3,000 to 10,000 dollars hanging around to pay that bill? Even if you made 4,000 a month most of that is needed for living expenses. I would imagine it would take someone at least a year or more if they worked at it hard to pay that bill. Losing your drivers license would make it almost impossible to pay it back. Gotta love the gov. Why don't they seek the money to continue the rescues from the private sector from organizations that support outdoor activities as donations and fund raising???

mtruman
02-20-2008, 11:14 PM
We were at Highland Center the last 5 days and saw some of the rescue play out although there was more on the news than could be seen in person. We saw the rescue crew talking to the family in the dining room on Tuesday morning (didn't know what it was about then). As we were walking back to the lobby the Blackhawk touched down out front.

http://lh6.google.com/mtruman42/R7z1S-ZuDOI/AAAAAAAABBY/nj5IiQkA9VM/s400/P1010899.JPG

We were out hiking all day so didn't hear the story till later. The word from folks who were there during the day pretty much matched the news article (except for the 250lb pack). The rain on Monday apparently caught them on the way down - couldn't make the stream crossings - and they stayed in the woods and rode out the night. Wasn't too cold either Sunday or Monday night so they were lucky in that respect. I can attest to the stream (more like torrent) conditions. Was going to take a short trip up Webster-Jackson on Monday afternoon after the rain ended. There was no way. Between the rain and the snow melt it was a flood.

Whatever the real story was it's good that these guys got out with no real damage. Much luckier than the guys on Franconia Ridge last week.