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View Full Version : They should have turned around.



donnellyvj
11-04-2008, 12:16 PM
This article is a good reminder going into the winter months that you can always make the summit another day. These two were very lucky.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122575192836294653.html?mod=article-outset-box

KD Talbot
11-04-2008, 04:29 PM
of someone that should have known better, hellbent on making the summit.

The really scary part is her statement:

"That was kind of fun."

KDT

MsCntry
11-04-2008, 05:26 PM
I totally agree. They saw the other parties heading back, they should have followed. Of course, if the climbers that headed back would have said something to them as to why they were turning back that would have helped too. Do people not talk in Canada?? HELLOOOO!!!:rolleyes:

Bill O
11-04-2008, 05:55 PM
They weren't exactly climbing Mount Monadnock. This was a serious alpine climb with objective difficulties that far exceed anything in this part of the world.

First, they were slow because of all those teams in front of them. With those teams gone their normal pace could resume.

Second, this isn't the kind of mountain where turning around is always the smartest thing to do. They were planning a traverse. Turning around was not part of that plan. When you climb the Liberty Ridge on Rainier you don't go back down the Liberty Ridge. You go over the summit and down the easy routes. That is par of the risk you take when you start climbing more difficult routes.

Third, certain mountains have serious risks that cannot be avoided. In this case it happened to be that turning around might not be a safe option. On Everest its crossing the Khumbu icefall. These people were committed to climbing this route. Not committed because this was "their" weekend, they were really committed once they started to climb.

Fourth, one person's epic is just another day on the mountain for somebody else.

Bill O
11-04-2008, 05:59 PM
I totally agree. They saw the other parties heading back, they should have followed. Of course, if the climbers that headed back would have said something to them as to why they were turning back that would have helped too. Do people not talk in Canada?? HELLOOOO!!!:rolleyes:

For the most part I generally don't care what other people are doing on the mountain when I am climbing. I don't base my climbing decisions on the opinion of people I don't know. I am always the one answering how far it is to the top, never asking.

KD Talbot
11-04-2008, 09:04 PM
for me to sit here and say they should have turned around, but I wasn't there. Bill is right in that once they were committed that was it. The story is not very detailed, but it seems to me that they could have safely turned around when the others opted to. Beyond that point it was probably out of the question.

My point is that because they made it others will think that they can. A person in a journalistic position, IMO, has a responsibility to take the easy way out so as not to lead others into making questionable decisions. Of course, this makes for very bland journalism and probably won't be a very good sell.

Case in point: the Globe article last year where the writer brought 3 wet, cold kids to the summit of Washington and then proceeded to thump his chest about "Conquering" the mountain.

I call it irresponsible journalism, but I'm sure others will disagree.

Without risk there is no mountain climbing. Not even Monadnock. The writer was obviously experienced and also stated several times that his partner was not. That is where I have to draw the line. Sure, risk your life if you want, but don't drag someone into it who may not be fully aware of the situation.

KDT

Brad
11-05-2008, 05:22 AM
There was a report from NH Fish & Wildlife of 3 rescues this past weekend. A very busy weekend. They really sounded ticked at the guys who were lost after dark with no gear or lights at all.

TrishandAlex
11-05-2008, 06:46 AM
They weren't exactly climbing Mount Monadnock. This was a serious alpine climb with objective difficulties that far exceed anything in this part of the world.

First, they were slow because of all those teams in front of them. With those teams gone their normal pace could resume.

Second, this isn't the kind of mountain where turning around is always the smartest thing to do. They were planning a traverse. Turning around was not part of that plan. When you climb the Liberty Ridge on Rainier you don't go back down the Liberty Ridge. You go over the summit and down the easy routes. That is par of the risk you take when you start climbing more difficult routes.

Third, certain mountains have serious risks that cannot be avoided. In this case it happened to be that turning around might not be a safe option. On Everest its crossing the Khumbu icefall. These people were committed to climbing this route. Not committed because this was "their" weekend, they were really committed once they started to climb.

Fourth, one person's epic is just another day on the mountain for somebody else.


Thank you so much for this post.

Please folks -- let's not jump to judgement. We weren't there, probably very few of us personally know what that kind of climb entails and therefore cannot make an informed comment on their decisions. It is very easy to make conclusions based on erroneous assumptions. Please don't crucify these folks.

Now -- anyone taking their kid up Mt Washington in shorts and a t-shirt in November with no water or gear ....fire away, that kind of thing is an obvious no-no.

This situation -- not so sure it's all that obvious.

Peace,
Trish

donnellyvj
11-05-2008, 09:07 AM
I think your all right. I wish we new a little more.

Did they enough food and water for 36 to 48 hours?

Did they have the gear for extened exposure?

Bill O
11-05-2008, 09:12 AM
I think your all right. I wish we new a little more.

Did they enough food and water for 36 to 48 hours?

Did they have the gear for extened exposure?

My guess is no and no and they knew it. They knew they weren't going to starve and they carried just the right amount of clothing. Maybe some emergency bivy gear. They were prepared to be a little hungry and a little cold at the cost of having a successful expedition.