Author Topic: Mt. Washington accident  (Read 1355 times)

Offline SCUD

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Re: Mt. Washington accident
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2008, 07:30:37 PM »
All climbing is dangerous!! Let me repeat. All climbing is dangerous or have you forgotten that.  We assume this risk the minute we take that first step on our intended climb. Non climbers feel we all are making foolish decisions. So, who is qualified to pass judgment upon another?

Avalanche danger has taken many lives in the Himalayas, Alaska, Mt. Washington etc.. Should  climbing be banned in all of these dangerous regions? I say no. After all, this is the "Live Free or Die State" literally. We have more than enough of the government trying to protect us from our own "stupidity". As sorry as I feel for the recent death in Huntington Ravine, I would be the last person to deny that individual the freedom to do as he chose or to pass judgment on his actions. A close friend used to put it all in perspective when he would say " any monday morning quarterback who doesn't have all the answers ain't too smart".

My condolences & prayers go out to this climber's parents & family.
"Going to the mountains is going home." -John Muir

Offline rpdoucette

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Re: Mt. Washington accident
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2008, 09:16:57 PM »
I have been wondering if its possible that the unfortunate climber entered Huntington Ravine before that day's avalanche forecast was posted.  Not that it matters much now...but if he passed the Harvard Cabin before 830am he would have seen a "Low" forecast for the routes on the left side of the Ravine.  But it sounds like he was quite experienced with the protocol and should have known the new forecast is posted daily around that time...and it was snowing that morning too...just trying to get my head around this one...

Offline top-rope-happy

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Re: Mt. Washington accident
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2008, 09:44:20 PM »
I'm sorry for those who knew and loved him.

Question about avalanche warning board at Harvard and Pinkham, are they dated?  I must have passed them thousand times but I can't remember if dates are posted along with the level. 

Offline RR

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Re: Mt. Washington accident
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2008, 10:05:03 PM »
Grim news for all concerned.

R, that's a good point about the daily bulletin and "timing".

We make a lot of choices in pursuit of our lives.  I hope that among these would be staying current with and factoring the weather with our local knowledge to the point we have an alternate route. It is evident that in this case, even that was not enough. From what I read, it seems the climber was on an alternate route, having planned Central I believe.

I have no doubt that most of us will continue to keep Mt Washington in our active lives.  We have many friends lost there. Let us honor their memory by learning all we can from their final experiences and pass along what we learn to the generation of climbers and skiers coming along.

Happy Trails to you

Offline TR1

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Re: Mt. Washington accident
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2008, 08:14:04 AM »
I would like to thank our community of climbers for expressing there views, thoughts and concern in what really is a senseless loss. We all must be reminded of the fragility of life and how quickly we can lose it in our pursuit of LIVING! I for one cannot defend Pete’s decisions to move into terrain he SHOULD have known was potentially loaded... but, I too have avalanched off that route and well, was just lucky enough to be here for Sparky in his time of need.  Adventure is not without risk... it is how we act on our decisions in any moment that can change the outcome for a lifetime.

I would like to thank the front desk staff at the AMC, Heather and Ben, for there hospitality and professionalism during the agonizing hours waiting for the official word about our friend. I would also like to thank and recognize the speed and efficiency of Chris Joosen, US Forest Service and of course the Mountain Rescue Service. These individuals put there concern for others first and are selfless in there dedication. I'm humbled to have been in there presence.

"Then there was silence, hiss of the slide soft hushed.
The mountains lay, stood, reared like creatures that dream
lovely in sunlight: ebony, silver and silk
just as before. But I loathed them, trembling and sick,
for you had gone."
 - Wilford Noyce

« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 12:23:09 PM by TR1 »

Offline climber_adam

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Re: Mt. Washington accident
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2008, 10:49:17 AM »
Having lost a best friend and climbing partner in the mountains, I understand the frustrations that it can cause. The mountains are a polarizing place. They invoke spirituality, meditation and self reflection at best and can turn deadly in an instant. I know nothing else like it in the world... I have scared myself on routes and have vowed to never climb again, but something draws you back again and again. It is something that I cannot describe. Whenever I hear of a death in the climbing community, I have to reflect...

For us climbers, quality of life can only be ascertained through the engagement in our beloved sport. Without our fill, our quality of life decreases in all aspects. Given that climbing has inherent risks, it comes with the territory. We make our own decisions in the mountains, weighing the amount of risk that we find acceptable with the quality of experience that we seek.

My point is, we are all solely responsible for our actions... We have tools such as previous experience, equipment and avy bulletins to draw upon. Pete was a victim of his own circumstances, whatever they may be. I can only hope that he found peace, happiness and a sense of wonder in the mountains that he loved. I hope that climbing brought him a quality of life that nothing else could match. My condolences and thoughts go out to his close friends and family...