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Old 02-20-2024, 02:34 PM   #1
fatlazyless
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Arrow Saturday, Feb 17, 2024: Mt Washington rescue, frozen hiker

http://www.nhfishgame.com/2024/02/20...mt-washington/ ........ these Fish and Game rescue reports are usually brief and somewhat terse but this one with 14 paragraphs has to be the longest report, ever.

That's pretty interesting that The Cog has a snowblower on the front of a locomotive. Believe they use two old, second-hand 24" Troy-Bilt that get tied to the cow catcher on a 125 year old coal engine, one for each rail as it chugs up the steep slope, blowing the snow both left and right.
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Old 02-20-2024, 07:41 PM   #2
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Default Frozen hiker

This Post by FLL (including the F & G Report) should be read by EVERYBODY. It is a stark reminder that hiking in the Whites during the winter is a serious event, and ONLY experienced hikers should consider such. No one should do this type of hiking alone. The Mt Washington area experiences some of the worst weather possible, and this gentleman is lucky to be alive - THANK YOU to all the volunteer rescue service personnel and to the F & G for their work.
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Old 02-20-2024, 09:58 PM   #3
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I went above tree line in winter only once, and only on Monadnock, with my 20-something son. It did not take long to realize that even one of us spraining an ankle or otherwise unable to walk could be disastrous. Never again, even with two people.

Also, now is the time for Think to chime in with a Ty Gagne book recommendation. I picked one up last summer on his earlier recs--a great read, thanks!
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Old 02-20-2024, 11:24 PM   #4
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Arrow Just for Contrast...

From the link in FLL's article:

Quote:
"The list of people who have died on the Presidential Range will stay at 173 for now thanks to the rescue effort that saved Cole Matthes’s life on Saturday, February 17, 2024"
The fatalities from climbing Mount Everest numbers 330.

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Old 02-21-2024, 03:11 AM   #5
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Also, now is the time for Think to chime in with a Ty Gagne book recommendation. I picked one up last summer on his earlier recs--a great read, thanks!
Hahahaha! I almost did yesterday when I first read this thread but then thought maybe it would be too repetitive!

Since ya brought it up, though, there are four Ty Gagne pieces: Where You'll Find Me and The Last Traverse, books about tragedy in the Whites, and Emotional Rescue and Weakness in Numbers, articles on hiking in the Whites. Where You'll Find Me is my favorite—I read it every year or two—and Emotional Rescue is the story the movie Infinite Storm, which I found unwatchable, is based on.

He's also local and a really great guy—he organized a book club with me for my students during Covid that included signed copies of The Last Traverse and virtual presentations by both him and James Osborne, the survivor. I ran it for five weeks, each week meeting virtually for an hour to discuss topics ranging from preparedness to resilience and mental fortitude. It was a pretty special experience at a difficult time.

His website is https://www.fullconditionsnh.com/.

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Old 02-21-2024, 08:32 AM   #6
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From the link in FLL's article:



The fatalities from climbing Mount Everest numbers 330.

Not sure where you were going with this, but in comparison Everest is almost 5x taller than Mt. Washington and only has twice as many fatalities. Everest is extremely regulated on who can climb it whereas Mt. Washington is a free for all.

Its a stark reminder of how dangerous it can be.

Their slogan is "the home of the worlds worst weather". No joke.
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Old 02-21-2024, 12:50 PM   #7
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Default Not Without Peril

"Not Without Peri 150 years of misadventures in the Presidential Range of NH White Mountains" is a good read. Author Nicholas Howe brings out significant history of trail and bridal path development as well as development on the summit of Mount Washington.
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Old 02-21-2024, 03:24 PM   #8
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I read a book about Everest and althoughI forget the name, I had no idea what those guys go through to try to get to the top-and how many die trying. Grueling.
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Old 02-21-2024, 06:05 PM   #9
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I read a book about Everest and althoughI forget the name, I had no idea what those guys go through to try to get to the top-and how many die trying. Grueling.
That might be "Into Thin Air," by Jon Krakauer, about the 1996 expeditions, which together saw around a dozen deaths.
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Old 02-21-2024, 06:19 PM   #10
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That might be "Into Thin Air," by Jon Krakauer, about the 1996 expeditions, which together saw around a dozen deaths.
That might be, it sounds familiar. He had climbed a lot of mountains and wrote about it, that's how he made his living. Is that the one?
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Old 02-22-2024, 05:05 AM   #11
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In the Boston Globe's Feb 20 front page story on this Mt Washington rescue, it says that the 22-year old hiker made it to the cave ..... aka the dungeon ..... in the foundation of the Lakes of the Clouds Hut. The report says he was so cold that had he not been rescued by Fish and Game that he still would have froze to death despite being inside the dungeon. This refuge room has six wood bunks, walls made of stone and an unlocked heavy steel door with a gate style latch. It has no source for heat like a wood stove.

He's still alive unlike a few other recent hiking deaths so paying a Fish and Game rescue bill of $7500 or something will be a low price to pay, all things considered. If there was a helicopter involved probably the rescue bill would be a much higher $30,000-price or something.

At the end of the day, he's still alive with what sounds like minor frost bite on his feet according to the Globe report.
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Old 02-22-2024, 06:15 AM   #12
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In the Boston Globe's Feb 20 front page story on this Mt Washington rescue, it says that the 22-year old hiker made it to the cave ..... aka the dungeon ..... in the foundation of the Lakes of the Clouds Hut. The report says he was so cold that had he not been rescued by Fish and Game that he still would have froze to death despite being inside the dungeon. This refuge room has six wood bunks, walls made of stone and an unlocked heavy steel door with a gate style latch. It has no source for heat like a wood stove.

He's still alive unlike a few other recent hiking deaths so paying a Fish and Game rescue bill of $7500 or something will be a low price to pay, all things considered. If there was a helicopter involved probably the rescue bill would be a much higher $30,000-price or something.

At the end of the day, he's still alive with what sounds like minor frost bite on his feet according to the Globe report.
That room is no warmer than outside and, though it helps to shield from the wind, the stone—if someone doesn't have an insulating layer—will just pull heat from your body.

Ty Gagne () goes into the nature of convective and conductive heat loss in The Last Traverse—his belief is that the man who perished on that hike might have survived had he had an insulating layer between him and the rock slab he slept on overnight. James Osborne, the survivor, was insulated by his companion.

I've been interested in how aggressive the F&G and Observatory posts have been lately—they are clearly frustrated with the number of unprepared hikers putting themselves, and rescue workers, in danger.

I hike a dozen or so times in winter, but with my (teachers) hiking group and always with careful attention paid to the weather. We also typically choose more popular trails as, even though we appreciate solitude, the number of hikers on the trail in winter is much reduced to begin with.

Finally, we pack for the worst possible needs: overnight gear, a stove and tealight candle to melt snow for water/start a fire, headlamps and batteries, emergency shelter, etc.

It can be done, but preparation and good decision making matters.

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Old 02-22-2024, 09:08 AM   #13
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A bill from F&G is only reimbursement for their costs.
A helicopter rescue cost only comes into play when the NG doesn't right it off as a training op.

F&G is frustrated because of the risk to the volunteer force.
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Old 02-22-2024, 09:38 AM   #14
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My Brother worked for the US Forest Service, and rescued many at different times in the White Mountains, and on Mt. Washington. The story is always the same, people pushing on when they shouldn't. At times it is because of inexperience, at times it is because of stupidity, and on the rare occasion bad luck...

Unfortunately Many of the incidents don't get the press they should. People don't here enough about the dangers.... How many of us would have had no idea had FLL not posted about this?

At the end of the day, even when you have the right equipment things can unexpectedly happen. As mentioned here earlier "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakkaur is a good read....

When living in Vermont, I used to hear about rescue crews having to go up into the the Notch, between Smugglers Notch, and Stowe. People on snow shoes, and cross country skiers would get up in there unprepared, all the time...
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Old 02-23-2024, 10:00 PM   #15
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Arrow Saluting Rescuers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman671 View Post

Not sure where you were going with this, but in comparison Everest is almost 5x taller than Mt. Washington and only has twice as many fatalities. Everest is extremely regulated on who can climb it whereas Mt. Washington is a free for all. Its a stark reminder of how dangerous it can be. Their slogan is "the home of the worlds worst weather". No joke.
You pretty-much caught my drift.


Covering nearby ranges of four states, the book, "The Gentle Mountains" included New Hampshire's mountains.

One is not so gentle.


Fallen rescuers included one from Tuftonboro, which moved the Legislature to extend new benefits to these intrepid mountaineers.

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Old 02-24-2024, 03:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
Hahahaha! I almost did yesterday when I first read this thread but then thought maybe it would be too repetitive!

Since ya brought it up, though, there are four Ty Gagne pieces: Where You'll Find Me and The Last Traverse, books about tragedy in the Whites, and Emotional Rescue and Weakness in Numbers, articles on hiking in the Whites. Where You'll Find Me is my favorite—I read it every year or two—and Emotional Rescue is the story the movie Infinite Storm, which I found unwatchable, is based on.

He's also local and a really great guy—he organized a book club with me for my students during Covid that included signed copies of The Last Traverse and virtual presentations by both him and James Osborne, the survivor. I ran it for five weeks, each week meeting virtually for an hour to discuss topics ranging from preparedness to resilience and mental fortitude. It was a pretty special experience at a difficult time.

His website is https://www.fullconditionsnh.com/.

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Where You'll Find Me was the one I read. I loved the juxtaposition of an elite person doing incredibly dumb things...we're all human. I'll do The Last Traverse this summer! They're at the bookstore in North Conway for those who might find themselves there

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