Author Topic: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night  (Read 3069 times)

DLottmann

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4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« on: January 20, 2014, 01:20:48 PM »
News from the
White Mountain National Forest
 
Release Date: January 20, 2014
Contact: Tiffany Benna, Public Affairs Officer
 
"Forest Service and Partners Rescue Four on Mount Washington
On Sunday, January 19, 2014, a group of 15 from Bloomsburg University attempted to summit Mount Washington.  The party left early Sunday morning making it to Lion Head mid-morning when five people descended back to Pinkham Notch and 10 continued on to the summit.  The group of 10 summited at 12:30pm and began descending in rapidly deteriorating conditions.  Four individuals were separated from the larger group while descending the summit cone. Wayne Ebling 59, from Cressona PA; Rhea Mitchell, 22 from Danville PA; Andrew Snyder, 22 from York PA; and Kelly Sloan, 33 from Bloomsburg PA passed a critical trail junction above treeline and became disoriented.  Winds were building to 65mph which created very low visibility and ground blizzards.  The four tried to dig into snow for shelter, called 911, and activated their SPOT device.
 
The NH Fish and Game was notified by the SPOT call system and NH State Police.  NH Fish and Game then called the United States Forest Service to alert them of the situation.  The two Agencies worked together and coordinated a number of teams in very difficult conditions.  Some of the regions strongest mountaineers and experienced groups battled wind gusts to 95mph, temperatures below 0F, and horrendous visibility to locate the lost party.
 
Members from Mountain Rescue Service (MRS), the New Hampshire Fish and Game, and US Forest Service Snow Rangers made up three mixed teams.  Teams hiked up the Lion Head Trail and were shuttled up the Auto Road to move across the Alpine Garden.  New Hampshire State Parks played a critical role with Snowcat support. Two snow vehicles moved rescuers up and down the mountain, and finally, the lost group on the descent. Additional support, equipment and rescuers from the Appalachian Mountain Club, The Harvard Mountaineering Club, the Mount Washington Observatory, Friends of the Mount Washington Avalanche Center and the Mount Washington Auto Road helped tremendously.
 
Search and Rescue operations concluded at approximately 3:30 am Monday morning when Snowcats arrived at the Glen house to off load all those involved to waiting ambulances.
 
Forest Service Snow Ranger Christopher Joosen stated “This was a colossal team effort from many groups in the New Hampshire Search and Rescue community.  This rescue effort, in some of Mount Washington’s worst weather, was an enormous success that saved lives within the missing group.  It was also another example of Volunteer Teams working together with Federal and State Agencies to help mountaineers who are lost and hurt.  Each organization played a critical role to the extent that lacking any of their contributions this mission may have ended very differently.”
 
The White Mountain National Forest operates the Mount Washington Avalanche Center to provide daily safety information and search and rescue services to the public.  Although beautiful, the mountains contain many hazards for visitors to be aware of which are reported on www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org by the Forest Service.  Avalanches, icefall, weather, undermined snow, and crevasses can all become objective mountain hazards that create a level of risk.  Knowing where they are and when they may be worse can help visitors make better decisions for their own safety.  For more information visit the Avalanche Center website."

Offline markvnh

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 03:35:47 PM »
...and I thought I saw a quick news bit about someone getting lost in Ammonoosuc Ravine either Friday or Saturday. Anybody else see anything about this?

Offline Pete Jackson

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 04:09:03 PM »
I was riding at Bretton Woods around the time those guys hit the summit, and I can distinctly remember looking over at Washington and thinking, "I'm glad I'm not over there today." Glad everyone made it down. Sounds like it was a well coordinated effort.
We came to climb, not to whine.

Offline Admin Al

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 05:46:05 PM »
I believe that there were more than one incidents over the weekend. I had two clients on Sunday and Monday who hiked Mt Washington on Saturday. They said there were folks up there in jeans and sweatshirts and one party of two sharing a single pIr of crampons!

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Offline strandman

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 06:43:41 PM »
Sure Al..but what about cotton t shirts ?  :)

A group of 15.. are you shittin' me !  They summited at 12;30 and it sounds like weather was already becoming poor (see above)  learn to run away

Offline Admin Al

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2014, 07:06:55 PM »
Al Hospers
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Offline sneoh

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2014, 08:57:27 PM »
Willing to turn back short of objective and early; harder for some to practice (altho they KNOW it) than others.

"You have to decide to do a flag, where you can broke your vertebrae or a barn door depending of your pro" - the poster formerly known as Champ

Offline eyebolter

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2014, 05:40:57 AM »
They dialed 911.

I've said it before, and I will say it again.  Cellphones are the worst thing to happen to winter climbing in the Whites. 

Kudos to all involved in the rescue, but they must be getting really tired of this nonsense. 

Offline neiceclimber

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2014, 08:22:01 AM »
Two ways to stop these things:

1) employ a ranger at Pinkham that you are required to meet with prior to hiking/climbing/skiing. They can check your kit and if they feel it's inadequate can suggest to not go for it. If you choose to and require rescue for any reason you pay. In addition perhaps another can be posted at the Huntington cut off bridge with the same rules as above. These rangers can also help to demonstrate how to use such things as flashlights, gloves, and boots.

2) sorry no winter access if you are from any major urban area or not from Northern New England. Sorry folks flatlander urbanites have no place in the hills. If you violate this rule, the only assistance you can receive are airdrops of fleece lined Carhart bibs, duck boots, and pemmican.

Offline DaveR

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2014, 09:26:39 AM »
Two ways to stop these things:

1) employ a ranger at Pinkham that you are required to meet with prior to hiking/climbing/skiing. They can check your kit and if they feel it's inadequate can suggest to not go for it. If you choose to and require rescue for any reason you pay. In addition perhaps another can be posted at the Huntington cut off bridge with the same rules as above. These rangers can also help to demonstrate how to use such things as flashlights, gloves, and boots.


Sounds great but ask Marc Chauvin how that works.   He was denied the right to climb in Baxter SP because the rangers said his rack and was inadequate!




Offline strandman

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2014, 09:30:04 AM »
Does that mean the northern NE 'es won't be allowed on nice warm winter rock..don't be silly. Just because you live in northern areas, doesn't mean you






























« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 11:20:12 AM by strandman »

Offline JBrochu

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2014, 11:13:38 AM »
Two ways to stop these things:

1) employ a ranger at Pinkham that you are required to meet with prior to hiking/climbing/skiing. They can check your kit and if they feel it's inadequate can suggest to not go for it. If you choose to and require rescue for any reason you pay. In addition perhaps another can be posted at the Huntington cut off bridge with the same rules as above. These rangers can also help to demonstrate how to use such things as flashlights, gloves, and boots.

2) sorry no winter access if you are from any major urban area or not from Northern New England. Sorry folks flatlander urbanites have no place in the hills. If you violate this rule, the only assistance you can receive are airdrops of fleece lined Carhart bibs, duck boots, and pemmican.


It's probably better to either just charge everybody, or charge nobody.   
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Offline crazyt

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2014, 11:42:12 AM »
Why do we feel the need to protect people from themselves?  Do we want to sterilize the mountains liked we've done to society?
work hard, play harder

Offline neiceclimber

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2014, 12:31:27 PM »
I think you guys missed the sarcasm.

However, if my memory is correct ( I maybe projecting here) the vast majority of those needing rescuing are from very urban areas. The recent amonoosic rescue was from NYC. These four from Penn. the Lafayette guy from MA. Auto road people from Around Montreal. All the lost skiers in VT are NJ,NY, and MA or recent transplants. So I'm not to far off base by suggesting to decrease rescues you could ban urbanites from the woods. Certainly it's just as logical as having some fat bureaucrate deciding whether or not your rescue was worthy and not needing to be charged. Its also equally as intelligent as proclaiming that because you fucked up/ are inexperienced that you should be left in the woods as a punishment and lesson to others.

To further the flames. How many of you that claim we are "sterilizing the mountains" by helping people that perceive they are in danger have ever volunteered for any type of rescue group? Or how many have actually been in a situation where you needed help? Ever seen any one truly injured?

Offline steve weitzler

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Re: 4 rescued from Mt. Washington last night
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2014, 12:44:32 PM »
Here I go again but.......I would have told them to figure it out themselves and call me in the morning!!!!