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General => Epics and Accidents => Topic started by: OldEric on March 02, 2013, 12:00:52 am

Title: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: OldEric on March 02, 2013, 12:00:52 am
I understand there was a fatality in the Ravine today.  A young HMC climber that I knew - wonderful guy.  Very sad..
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: darwined on March 02, 2013, 04:09:35 am
sorry to hear this. RIP
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: Admin Al on March 02, 2013, 07:03:31 am
So sorry to hear this. RIP
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: Admin Al on March 02, 2013, 07:08:55 am
I can only find an oblique reference in yesterday's avalanche report here:

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/2013/03/01/weekend-update-sequestration-edition/

The relevant quote:


". We’ve had a busy day on the mountain today. There were human-triggered avalanche incidents in each ravine today. More information will be forthcoming later in the weekend about these incidents.
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: OldEric on March 02, 2013, 08:58:55 am
Todaus avalanche report says:

"I mentioned yesterday’s avalanche activity. Unfortunately, one of those was a fatality in Pinnacle Gully. We know the victim was climbing solo in the gully, but other details are being sorted out at this time. The other avalanche in Tuckerman was a very experienced skier who was carried a short ways downslope when another in his party triggered a slide from above him. There was no burial or injury involved in this incident. We are thankful that this slide ended as it did. Details on both incidents will be posted in the days to come."
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: sneoh on March 02, 2013, 03:35:15 pm
This just in -
http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/NY-ice-climber-dies-in-avalanche-on-NH-mountain-4323023.php

Tragic.  So young.  RIP. 
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: David_G48 on March 02, 2013, 04:01:26 pm
Condolences to both the family and friends of James, so young.....very tragic.
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: lucky luke on March 02, 2013, 05:12:35 pm
Quote
On Wednesday, the latest Nor’easter rolled through, dropping 15” across higher terrain and just shy of 12” at Hermit Lake.

Fifteen inches of snow.... it is obvious that two or three days later it will be more dangerous than in the middle of the snowstorm wednesday. What was the avy danger between wednesday and friday? Better not know. With the raising temperature, the transformation of the snow pack will be faster. It is not just powder snow that we will have, but heavy wet snow. In my opinion, the most dangerous type of avalanche. Slow and so strong.

Who is guilty? The mountain, the climber or the authority?

In the old version of american freedom of the hill, first to fifth, they never suggest the good standard way to climb. There is no STATE OF THE ART technique. There is just technique for the mountain, there is just a reader who most learn those technique and adapt his knowledge to the situation in the mountain and there is information from the authority, basic data with all the necessary think for a climber to take his own decision.

technique today is just how to climb fast and hard. Bolt, one point crampon, pick that enter very easily in the ice ...etc

the reader today is just a soldier who follow a set of rules. The climber show off on hard route to attrack the young to follow there path. grade 3, like huntington, is easy that any body can do it. If you training french foot technique instead of germain one...you are a ding.

and the avy forecast danger today tell you when to go on the mountain and when is better to take a hike, without any references, most of the time, to the last three days weather that was so important in the version of mountaineering freedom of the hill before the six edition.

We are all guilty. One to let the new generation do a "fast food" learning without training (it apply to sport too)  and the other to deny that older knowledge and deep understanding doesn't go to improve your level of climbing, but will bring you safely to your home.

Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: sneoh on March 02, 2013, 07:00:58 pm
Champ, I would bet that you know next to nothing about the climber, his skill level, his experience and competence, or how the avy got triggered.  Please get off your high horse and stop your know-all preaching.  Some young man is dead, his loved ones are beside themselves with grief.  Show some humanity.

If you were injured in an avy due to some unstated/unknown reason, how would YOU feel if we right away call you a f#@king idiot and are the "climb fast and hard. Bolt, one point crampon, pick that enter very easily in the ice ..." type, etc.

Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: tinker on March 02, 2013, 07:02:43 pm
To young, My thoughts go out to his family and friends.  Rest in peace James.
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: ELM on March 02, 2013, 07:35:24 pm
Very sad to hear...RIP James.
Luke/Champ...there is really no place for your usual comments here. Very poor taste.
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: JBro on March 02, 2013, 08:47:44 pm
To young, My thoughts go out to his family and friends.  Rest in peace James.

+1

Can't really say it any better than this.
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: lucky luke on March 02, 2013, 10:16:21 pm
Dude!?  What the fuck is your problem?  Somebody's friend and son is dead and all you can muster is some more grandstanding about technique and knowledge of mountaineering!

I am really sad at what happen.

One month ago, I warned you about the danger of avy danger. that it was more dangerous two or three days after a snowstorm.

YOU WITH SOME OTHERs ARE THOSE WHO LAUGHT AT ME, AND HUMILIATE ME. You didn't save any body

If you think at what I wrote one month before, you will understand that I was sad for many other climbers who risked there life because there is a trend to loose some knowledge by trying to be good too fast or because they want to do what need ten or twenty years of training/observation

Just hope that next time you will wrote in this forum that you will think that your friend can be injure by what you said (I never say that it is safe to climb two or three days after a snowstorm in mild weather, I say that it is dangerous). All climbers worht it. If I wrote and tolerate the way you humiliate me...it is for climber like James
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: DLottmann on March 02, 2013, 10:24:40 pm
RIP James. It’s worthwhile reading through the bulletin for the day slowly;

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/2013/03/01/avalanche-advisory-for-friday-3-1-2013/

Take home points should be that human triggered was not “likely”, but “possible”.

I have NO idea what James’s understanding of snow stability is but in 10+ years of guiding and skiing in this area and traveling out west I have realized a few things;

1) New England (sometimes Eastern Canadian) ice climbers can have high levels of technical proficiency for ice climbing with little understanding of snow science/avalanche risk management. I.E. you can climb Grade 4+ ice but you don’t know the difference between storm slab and wind slab or P-hard slab and and 4F slab.

2) We think we are safest on the steeper ice, which is true... but what’s below and above must be travelled.

Only on Mount Washington do we see such a high percentage of ice climbers caught or killed in avalanches, and that is directly related to accessibility and variability.

But there is info out there to help make solid (or better) choices.

Disclaimer: I have no idea what James understanding of avy hazard was... all I know is deaths/incidents is UP.... probably because of more traffic in general... there is tons of untouched knowledge out there... equalizing a 2 screw anchor does not equal assessing snow stability... challenge yourself to learn about what you don’t know if you want to spend time in avy terrain... accept you might still fuck up... but invest in some training and practice, practice, practice...

In my courses I make it clear that there is no such thing as a 24 course that will make you safer.... you need to spend time in the terrain and practice to make “better” decisions... but a modern course will show you where your knowledge may be lacking... where to focus...

RIP James, from all accounts I have heard from people who knew you you were a pretty stand up awesome dude. I’m sorry Mother Nature took you so soon in your life. But I will not believe or condone it was a random unpredictable act of nature, and that future climbers can’t be respectful and analytical at the same time, and learn from this to help prevent similar loss of life.

Mis-interpretations of the oft-quoted Freedom of the Hills book do nothing to further understanding of what occurred here, and I am glad to see the active majority here agree.

Is the “mountain guilty”... jesus H-Christ... is there anyone in your world that would entertain  your questions outside of NEClimbs?
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: OldEric on March 02, 2013, 10:32:08 pm
Champ, I would bet that you know next to nothing about the climber, his skill level, his experience and competence, or how the avy got triggered.  Please get off your high horse and stop your know-all preaching.  Some young man is dead, his loved ones are beside themselves with grief.  Show some humanity.

If you were injured in an avy due to some unstated/unknown reason, how would YOU feel if we right away call you a f#@king idiot and are the "climb fast and hard. Bolt, one point crampon, pick that enter very easily in the ice ..." type, etc.

Thanks Soon. 
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: lucky luke on March 03, 2013, 12:19:49 am
Some young man is dead, his loved ones are beside themselves with grief.  Show some humanity.

I wrote: "We are all guilty. One to let the new generation do a "fast food" learning without training (it apply to sport too)  and the other to deny that older knowledge and deep understanding doesn't go to improve your level of climbing, but will bring you safely to your home."

I show some"humanity" before an accident happen, not after. And I didn't said that he is an idiot.

My first question was: did I influence someone to climb in a dangerous situation?

Did I say, like Dman, that considerable danger wednesday is more dangerous than moderate danger on friday, so we can go climbing?

I am really sorry and mad because I am really concern about bringing my partner safely at home. As a leader, it is my first duty.
as I think about what to do... 
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: lucky luke on March 03, 2013, 12:45:29 am
I understand there was a fatality in the Ravine today.  A young HMC climber that I knew - wonderful guy.  Very sad..

In a previous thread you wrote: "Ironically Odell's and South have "Low" conditions today (Sunday).  But LL could say the sun is going to rise tomorrow and everyone would jump down his throat." See "who will go to climb in huntington ravine sunday?" in general climbing

Maybe I don't use the good aproach to sensibilise people and I am sorry for that. And we can't save every body, some accident are pure badluck.  but it is really what I try to do.

It is very sad. 

Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: old_school on March 03, 2013, 06:35:14 am
Truly a sad loss for Jame's family, loved ones and the climbing community.
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: tradmanclimbz on March 03, 2013, 12:50:27 pm
So sad. I was always super nervous getting through the snow that loads up on the 2nd pitch of Pinnacle.. Snow shetches me out on an ice climb. If i have a rope i always fire in a screw right before the snow........
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: Admin Al on March 03, 2013, 03:13:31 pm
one thing some folks forget is that a climb may be steep at the start, but becomes avalanche angle near the top or even in the middle. Pinnacle is a funny climb in that it's steep at the start then eases off to a snow climb at about a 30/45 degree angle, and then steepens near the top and then it is yet another snow slope again where you slog up to the alpine garden. thus it can be a difficult climb to assess. I'm not sure where he was swept off or if he did trigger it himself. the news report talks about being sweep 1000 feet down the fan, but it's 800' from the base of the gully to the bottom of the fan!

honestly, considering how things had been over the preceding couple of days, I'm not sure of what I would have climbed up there, if anything, if it was me. I've sure turned around enough times over the years and written the day off to a "nice walk"! FWIW I have climbed Odell when it looked good for 2 pitches, and then right at the top there was a pillow of snow that I KNEW was unstable so I popped in v-threads and bailed. I felt fine about that too...

to paraphrase R Heinlein , the mountain is a harsh mistress!
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: old_school on March 03, 2013, 03:37:04 pm
to paraphrase R Heinlein , the mountain is a harsh mistress!

Amen
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: OldEric on March 03, 2013, 04:45:31 pm
I understand there was a fatality in the Ravine today.  A young HMC climber that I knew - wonderful guy.  Very sad..

In a previous thread you wrote: "Ironically Odell's and South have "Low" conditions today (Sunday).  But LL could say the sun is going to rise tomorrow and everyone would jump down his throat." See "who will go to climb in huntington ravine sunday?" in general climbing

Maybe I don't use the good aproach to sensibilise people and I am sorry for that. And we can't save every body, some accident are pure badluck.  but it is really what I try to do.

It is very sad.

Champ - in general I probably do have more sympathy for you then most.  I am amused by the back and forth between Dave and you - 'by the book" v. "real world experience"  - I think there is merit in both.  I enjoy your fractured English which I think might just be a little more calculated then you let on. But I think in the case where there is a serious or fatal accident it should by common sense/courtesy  to not start analyzing - not start with the "I would never/I would always/I would have done this that or the other thing" immediately in the same thread.  And I am not addressing this just to you but you have set yourself up as a magnet.  And yes some times accidents are just unfortunate events that could have happened to any of us.  I first soloed Pinnacle > 30 years ago with tools that were primitive by today's standards - I was no way near as solid as Jimmie was - but I got away with it.  DUMB luck.
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: lucky luke on March 03, 2013, 07:31:06 pm
But I think in the case where there is a serious or fatal accident it should by common sense/courtesy  to not start analyzing - not start with the "I would never/I would always/I would have done this that or the other thing" immediately in the same thread.  And I am not addressing this just to you but you have set yourself up as a magnet.

I am sorry and I agree with you. It is more time to understand what went wrong and think that it can happen to us, than to show that we are smarter because we didn't felt. A solid discussion will came after.

I am angry against jbrochu who by his picture, ridiculise the importance of the discussion that I bring on the danger of following the avy danger. He bring some other people to do the same (Shepherds Pie) and some don't have his esperience and will die on the mountain. Many other said that I am a troll because I describe the danger two oe three days after a thunderstaorm is higher than during the snowfall...I am angry about dman who plug is courses in the discussion (In my courses I make it clear that there is no such thing) saying that you most go to the mountain, but not when the avy danger is moderate or higher (see accident in central couloir)...

I don't know if james knew the danger and take a decision that bring him in danger (going in the cliff two days after a snowstorm could be safe too) or if he was just enjoying a climb without thinking at the consequences. or if he follows a set of rules teach by the older...

I just want to know to understand the danger and I will trained to be able to avoid thhe danger

 
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: DLottmann on March 03, 2013, 08:45:12 pm
<post moved to Lucky’s own thread as I agree this thread isn’t the place to debate knowledge>

Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: xcrag_corex on March 03, 2013, 08:53:30 pm
Condolences to the young climber and his family. We live in a world that is high paced and can be cut short for any number of reasons. I hope his loved ones can find comfort in the good times they had with him and keep him in their memories. Too young for sure....

Side note: Cut the pissing match out on this thread. Not cool.
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: darwined on March 03, 2013, 09:05:13 pm


Side note: Cut the pissing match out on this thread. Not cool.

+1
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: DLottmann on March 03, 2013, 09:37:57 pm
Side note: Cut the pissing match out on this thread. Not cool.

You are right, this isn’t the thread for debating. I’ve moved my post over to Lucky’s own thread regarding Wet Avalanches..
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: DLottmann on March 05, 2013, 10:02:06 am
Conway Daily Sun article today:

http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index.php/newsx/local-news/95513-avalanche-030513
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: DLottmann on March 05, 2013, 11:58:18 am
USFS Report posted: http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/search-rescue/2012-2013-summaries/
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: lucky luke on March 05, 2013, 12:32:54 pm
Quote
http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index.php/newsx/local-news/95513-avalanche-030513

In this article, I just can say that the guide who ski in tuckerman with his client was safe. The client trigger the avalanche, but the guide protected the skier/and was in the dangerous situation.

I will follow that guide in ski. The client had a real experiences of slab/hoar/wet avalanches, not knowing which one it was. If the client continu to ski, he will be a good skier. 
Title: Re: Fatality on 3/1 in Huntington
Post by: darwined on March 05, 2013, 12:52:05 pm
Quote
http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index.php/newsx/local-news/95513-avalanche-030513

In this article, I just can say that the guide who ski in tuckerman with his client was safe. The client trigger the avalanche, but the guide protected the skier/and was in the dangerous situation.

I will follow that guide in ski. The client had a real experiences of slab/hoar/wet avalanches, not knowing which one it was. If the client continu to ski, he will be a good skier.
http://youtu.be/aJgWq_kSR9w