Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

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Doug Shaw
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Re: Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

Postby Doug Shaw » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:01 am

Perhaps the AAC should put out Accidents in North American Lightning ...

Then again, perhaps not.
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Re: Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

Postby 54summits » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:28 am

Dex wrote:
sam wrote:The problem is that It normally takes the folks from SPOT 15+ minutes or more to give us updated locations, often after we call them.



This is one of the reasons I went with Fast Find PLB. Spot get a lot of discussion but I'd suggest people do their research on it. Also, carry a whistle and use it in an emergency.
http://www.cabelas.com/link-12/product/0070662519308a.shtml?cmCat=perf&rid=0987654321&cm_mmc=Performics-_-CSE-_-GoogleBaseUSA-_-0070662519308a&mr:trackingCode=4E75D0CB-958E-DF11-A0C8-002219318F67&mr:referralID=NA


Let me go ahead and throw a whistle recommendation in with your PLB recommendation:

http://www.amazon.com/Original-Fox-Whistle-Black-Sports/dp/B001R5AJ9Y

I had this whistle years back when I was a pool lifeguard. Whenever I blew that thing, didn't matter where I was or how loud everyone was -- the entire pool area looked my way.

It's plastic, so you don't have to worry about it freezing to your lips in cold weather, and doesn't have a ball in the chamber, so you don't have to worry about that freezing either.

And did I mention it's BLOODY LOUD?

Oh, cheap too. That's always a welcome break in this hobby, eh? :wink:

-54s
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Re: Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

Postby mtn114 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:15 am

Hi Matt, two things:
1. The incubation time for water born diseases is much longer than you would think:
1-2 weeks for giardia and cryptosporidium

So you are way better off drinking from the lake and dealing with the poops in the hospital when you get home.

2. You should really consider getting some formal training from the CMC, WTS and WSS would be great, maybe even BMS. Like you I actually relocated my family here from Northern Virginia (Falls Church area) and this training really helped me understand how much more serious (and awesome) hiking is in Colorado than say Shenandoah NP. For example I learned about the incubation times in WSS. Also consider doing some self study like Mountaineering, the Freedom of the Hills.
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Re: Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

Postby 54summits » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:43 am

mtn114 wrote:Hi Matt, two things:
1. The incubation time for water born diseases is much longer than you would think:
1-2 weeks for giardia and cryptosporidium

So you are way better off drinking from the lake and dealing with the poops in the hospital when you get home.

2. You should really consider getting some formal training from the CMC, WTS and WSS would be great, maybe even BMS. Like you I actually relocated my family here from Northern Virginia (Falls Church area) and this training really helped me understand how much more serious (and awesome) hiking is in Colorado than say Shenandoah NP. For example I learned about the incubation times in WSS. Also consider doing some self study like Mountaineering, the Freedom of the Hills.


Oh, I knew I wasn't going to start showing symptoms of any diseases while down there in the valley - I just didn't want to deal with them ever!

I do have the book you've mentioned - it was probably the first thing I picked up. Obviously there are some parts I need to re-read, and I have been doing just that.

Falls Church area, eh? No kidding! I grew up in Chantilly and moved here from Sterling. So what brought you out here? The same thing as me? Lower cost of living, less traffic, and a (comparatively) saner population?

-54s
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Re: Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

Postby smarielyon » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:34 pm

Woody610 wrote:To all - after reading some of the comments here, I wanted to share a couple of things with you. In the past two weeks the Alpine Rescue Team has received three "911" SPOT activations. On the first two activations, the subjects have activated the "911" signal on the device and then, a short time later, actively canceled the emergency signal because they were out of danger. As it has been stated, once the "911" signal goes out, the first responders are going to continue responding until they have factual information that there is not an emergency. The SPOT device does have a way to send a cancel notice to the first responders but the problem here is that once the cancelation is received, we no longer have a way to track you. We recommend that once you activate the device, please don't cancel the signal or turn the device off.

Today we had a SPOT "911" signal from a climber who had taken a fall on Square Top Mountain off of Guanella Pass. The lesson here was that the injured party also had a whistle and was able to attract two other climbers in the area. We believe that these were the only other climbers in the area. These two climbers came to the rescue of this party and were able to help direct the rescue team to the injured party. The actions of these two other climbers where paramount in the rescue effort.

So we have two lessons here: The SPOT device is a great tool when used the correct way & having a whistle is a great way to attact someone.

Paul "Woody" Woodward
Mission Coordinator - Alpine Rescue Team


Hi All:
I'm the Square Top Mountain climber that the Alpine Rescue Team rescued. I was at 13,000 feet-- not quite to the summit-- when I decided to turn back due to increasing clouds (at 10am!) As I was making my descent, there was a flash of lightening (followed closely by thunder) and I'll admit that I got scared. I wanted to get off of that face as quickly as possible. As such, even though I was being careful, I got disoriented and completely missed the path. Crazy as it sounds, I was lost, yet could see the road way off in the distance. I consulted my GPS, got myself turned back towards the lakes (and hopefully, the path). The next thing I remember is waking up on my back, looking up at an angry, black sky. I managed to get myself to some cover between a white rock and the willows. I was disoriented from a knock on the head and my ankle was injured. I realized that I was in trouble. Fortunately, I had food, plenty of water, full rain gear and a SPOT. I pushed the SOS button. I didn't want to-- never in a million years did I think I would ever have to-- but I knew I needed help. I waited. I stayed in one place. I drank water. I fought the urge to lay down and go to sleep. I kept blowing my whistle and waved my backpack cover like a flag. The two young men who came to my aid heard my whistle. They were quite a distance away, yet heard it despite the rumbling thunder. At first they thought the whistle was a bird call, but then realized that the repeated 3 short blasts was unlike any bird call they had heard, so they began searching and saw my outline against the white rock. One stayed with me, and the other went back to the trailhead to wait for SAR. In the meantime, unbeknownst to me, my husband had been "tracking" me (on the SPOT shared page) from his downtown Denver office. He saw that I had gotten off-track and then noticed that I had stopped. After more than 30 minutes of no movement, he called the Clear Creek County Sheriff, who notified SAR. My SPOT SOS didn't come in for another 30 minutes-- so there was an hour or so that I was blacked out--out of it-- I just can't remember. It was one heck of a storm. That young man and I got wet and really cold, for sure. Even though I had layers on, including full rain gear, I still got hypothermia. I also had a concussion and injured ankle. I'm still not sure if I went "down and out" or "out and down"... it could have been a simple slip and fall... lightening... altitude sickness... I'll probably never know. But I'll tell you what I DO know...

1. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to those two young men who risked their own well-being to help me. (Brock & Robbie--I'm still trying to find them)
2. I'm glad that I have a SPOT but, more importantly, that I took the proper actions (told someone where I was going) had the proper gear (including that glorious whistle that I bought at REI for a couple of bucks). It may seem like overkill to start off on a sunny-day hike with coat, pants, gloves, hat, etc... but I can tell you that I will always, always, always go prepared. No exceptions.
3. Nothing takes the place of a Map and Compass.
4. Sometimes you have to ask for help, no matter how foolish you feel.
5. If you're lying on the ground and you're wet, you're in trouble-- despite layers & Gortex.
6. Hiking/climbing is better done with another human being.
7. Mother Nature is to be respected. Totally.
8. I WILL go back and climb that mountain-- on a cloudless, sunny fall day :)

Mary at the CC SO's office is an angel (just ask my frantic husband).

I am so thankful to Ernie, Mark and Karen of Elk Creek FD. They transported me to the hospital, where I spent a few days recovering.

Last but not least, I cannot say enough about the Alpine Rescue Team. These caring professionals saved my life. Thank God for their dedication. I will be sending my personal thanks, along with a donation, to this fine organization.
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Re: Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

Postby tmathews » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:43 pm

smarielyon wrote:Hi All:
I'm the Square Top Mountain climber that the Alpine Rescue Team rescued. I was at 13,000 feet-- not quite to the summit-- when I decided to turn back due to increasing clouds (at 10am!) As I was making my descent, there was a flash of lightening (followed closely by thunder) and I'll admit that I got scared. I wanted to get off of that face as quickly as possible. As such, even though I was being careful, I got disoriented and completely missed the path. Crazy as it sounds, I was lost, yet could see the road way off in the distance. I consulted my GPS, got myself turned back towards the lakes (and hopefully, the path). The next thing I remember is waking up on my back, looking up at an angry, black sky. I managed to get myself to some cover between a white rock and the willows. I was disoriented from a knock on the head and my ankle was injured. I realized that I was in trouble. Fortunately, I had food, plenty of water, full rain gear and a SPOT. I pushed the SOS button. I didn't want to-- never in a million years did I think I would ever have to-- but I knew I needed help. I waited. I stayed in one place. I drank water. I fought the urge to lay down and go to sleep. I kept blowing my whistle and waved my backpack cover like a flag. The two young men who came to my aid heard my whistle. They were quite a distance away, yet heard it despite the rumbling thunder. At first they thought the whistle was a bird call, but then realized that the repeated 3 short blasts was unlike any bird call they had heard, so they began searching and saw my outline against the white rock. One stayed with me, and the other went back to the trailhead to wait for SAR. In the meantime, unbeknownst to me, my husband had been "tracking" me (on the SPOT shared page) from his downtown Denver office. He saw that I had gotten off-track and then noticed that I had stopped. After more than 30 minutes of no movement, he called the Clear Creek County Sheriff, who notified SAR. My SPOT SOS didn't come in for another 30 minutes-- so there was an hour or so that I was blacked out--out of it-- I just can't remember. It was one heck of a storm. That young man and I got wet and really cold, for sure. Even though I had layers on, including full rain gear, I still got hypothermia. I also had a concussion and injured ankle. I'm still not sure if I went "down and out" or "out and down"... it could have been a simple slip and fall... lightening... altitude sickness... I'll probably never know. But I'll tell you what I DO know...

1. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to those two young men who risked their own well-being to help me. (Brock & Robbie--I'm still trying to find them)
2. I'm glad that I have a SPOT but, more importantly, that I took the proper actions (told someone where I was going) had the proper gear (including that glorious whistle that I bought at REI for a couple of bucks). It may seem like overkill to start off on a sunny-day hike with coat, pants, gloves, hat, etc... but I can tell you that I will always, always, always go prepared. No exceptions.
3. Nothing takes the place of a Map and Compass.
4. Sometimes you have to ask for help, no matter how foolish you feel.
5. If you're lying on the ground and you're wet, you're in trouble-- despite layers & Gortex.
6. Hiking/climbing is better done with another human being.
7. Mother Nature is to be respected. Totally.
8. I WILL go back and climb that mountain-- on a cloudless, sunny fall day :)

Mary at the CC SO's office is an angel (just ask my frantic husband).

I am so thankful to Ernie, Mark and Karen of Elk Creek FD. They transported me to the hospital, where I spent a few days recovering.

Last but not least, I cannot say enough about the Alpine Rescue Team. These caring professionals saved my life. Thank God for their dedication. I will be sending my personal thanks, along with a donation, to this fine organization.


Glad you made it out safely and that the SPOT worked out for you!
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Re: Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

Postby 54summits » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:20 pm

smarielyon wrote:
Hi All:
I'm the Square Top Mountain climber that the Alpine Rescue Team rescued. I was at 13,000 feet-- not quite to the summit-- when I decided to turn back due to increasing clouds (at 10am!) As I was making my descent, there was a flash of lightening (followed closely by thunder) and I'll admit that I got scared. I wanted to get off of that face as quickly as possible. As such, even though I was being careful, I got disoriented and completely missed the path. Crazy as it sounds, I was lost, yet could see the road way off in the distance. I consulted my GPS, got myself turned back towards the lakes (and hopefully, the path). The next thing I remember is waking up on my back, looking up at an angry, black sky. I managed to get myself to some cover between a white rock and the willows. I was disoriented from a knock on the head and my ankle was injured. I realized that I was in trouble. Fortunately, I had food, plenty of water, full rain gear and a SPOT. I pushed the SOS button. I didn't want to-- never in a million years did I think I would ever have to-- but I knew I needed help. I waited. I stayed in one place. I drank water. I fought the urge to lay down and go to sleep. I kept blowing my whistle and waved my backpack cover like a flag. The two young men who came to my aid heard my whistle. They were quite a distance away, yet heard it despite the rumbling thunder. At first they thought the whistle was a bird call, but then realized that the repeated 3 short blasts was unlike any bird call they had heard, so they began searching and saw my outline against the white rock. One stayed with me, and the other went back to the trailhead to wait for SAR. In the meantime, unbeknownst to me, my husband had been "tracking" me (on the SPOT shared page) from his downtown Denver office. He saw that I had gotten off-track and then noticed that I had stopped. After more than 30 minutes of no movement, he called the Clear Creek County Sheriff, who notified SAR. My SPOT SOS didn't come in for another 30 minutes-- so there was an hour or so that I was blacked out--out of it-- I just can't remember. It was one heck of a storm. That young man and I got wet and really cold, for sure. Even though I had layers on, including full rain gear, I still got hypothermia. I also had a concussion and injured ankle. I'm still not sure if I went "down and out" or "out and down"... it could have been a simple slip and fall... lightening... altitude sickness... I'll probably never know. But I'll tell you what I DO know...

1. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to those two young men who risked their own well-being to help me. (Brock & Robbie--I'm still trying to find them)
2. I'm glad that I have a SPOT but, more importantly, that I took the proper actions (told someone where I was going) had the proper gear (including that glorious whistle that I bought at REI for a couple of bucks). It may seem like overkill to start off on a sunny-day hike with coat, pants, gloves, hat, etc... but I can tell you that I will always, always, always go prepared. No exceptions.
3. Nothing takes the place of a Map and Compass.
4. Sometimes you have to ask for help, no matter how foolish you feel.
5. If you're lying on the ground and you're wet, you're in trouble-- despite layers & Gortex.
6. Hiking/climbing is better done with another human being.
7. Mother Nature is to be respected. Totally.
8. I WILL go back and climb that mountain-- on a cloudless, sunny fall day :)

Mary at the CC SO's office is an angel (just ask my frantic husband).

I am so thankful to Ernie, Mark and Karen of Elk Creek FD. They transported me to the hospital, where I spent a few days recovering.

Last but not least, I cannot say enough about the Alpine Rescue Team. These caring professionals saved my life. Thank God for their dedication. I will be sending my personal thanks, along with a donation, to this fine organization.


We have read about so much death in the Colorado Rockies this summer, that it's a relief to hear from someone who experienced danger, but survived, and recovered.

Thank you for sharing your story with us. It teaches us, even if it's just something small. I've never brought a whistle with me on a hike before, but after my Bierstadt experience, and especially after reading a survivor's story involving the use of one, it will always be on me.

Keep safe, keep well, and keep determined. As thrilled as we are to read that you survived and recovered, we're just as thrilled to hear that you still intend to climb that mountain! =D>

-54s
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Re: Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

Postby tommyboy360 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:00 pm

smarielyon wrote:I'm still not sure if I went "down and out" or "out and down"... it could have been a simple slip and fall... lightening... altitude sickness... I'll probably never know.


WOW. I do a lot of solo hiking. This is the kind of crazy "what if" my family always asks me about. I'm glad you are safe.

Please update the post if you find out / remember any more details. No bump on your head or history of blackouts? Being knocked out for an hour on a 14er route during a solo hike is a worst case scenario. Thanks for signing on and sharing the details. We can all learn and benefit from the experience.

54s -- You should pick up a book on mountain accidents/tragedies. It happens every year, every season: Rafting, climbing, hiking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, etc... It's sad but true. Many of the best have been taken by the mountains. Every time you go out, you put your body, experience, preparation and gear to the test.
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Re: Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

Postby Mountainspirit » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:39 am

This thread should be required reading for all of us with less than 20 summits. It can validate what we're doing correctly, or, help us pick up on aspects we've noted to be lacking. The overall continuous desire to learn (whether it be from a rookie or a more seasoned climber) is one of the amazing qualities that draws me to this sport, as well as something I have observed within our population. Clearly, we all learn differently.
Grace & Peace.
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Because my cup doth overflow
With the beauty of the days gone by." - Van Morrison
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Re: Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

Postby tbaileymd » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:48 am

About the emergency blanket--

My wife and I deployed ours, more for comfort, at the boulderfield on Longs while waiting for the sun to come up during a September climb many years ago. Even hunkering down in the rocks, I just couldn't get it to do much for me in the steady winds, and gained little comfort.

Now I carry an emergency bivy instead. Lesson learned through minor discomfort.

http://www.survival-gear.com/thermolite-emergency-bivvy-sack.htm

The biggest thing that determined what I carry was reading trip reports about how long rescues take. So I take the bivy to crawl inside, enough snacks for a couple of days, 3 liters of water, warm and dry clothes, iodine tabs, first aid kit. I take all of that regardless of the particular mountain or the conditions that day. I may never use these items. Or some other down-on-his-luck hiker who I encounter may need them.
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Re: Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

Postby tmathews » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:58 am

tbaileymd wrote:About the emergency blanket--

My wife and I deployed ours, more for comfort, at the boulderfield on Longs while waiting for the sun to come up during a September climb many years ago. Even hunkering down in the rocks, I just couldn't get it to do much for me in the steady winds, and gained little comfort.

Now I carry an emergency bivy instead. Lesson learned through minor discomfort.

http://www.survival-gear.com/thermolite-emergency-bivvy-sack.htm

The biggest thing that determined what I carry was reading trip reports about how long rescues take. So I take the bivy to crawl inside, enough snacks for a couple of days, 3 liters of water, warm and dry clothes, iodine tabs, first aid kit. I take all of that regardless of the particular mountain or the conditions that day. I may never use these items.


I carry an emergency blanket, storm shelter, and bivy. My backpack typically weighs 5-10 lbs more than my partners' backpacks. They sometimes poke fun at me, but everytime I step out into the mountains, I can honestly say that I'm prepared to stay at least overnight if I have to.

tbaileymd wrote:Or some other down-on-his-luck hiker who I encounter may need them.


+1. It's highly unlikely that I'll ever use it, but because of my severe allergy to peanuts, I carry an epi-pen. There are a lot of people who are allergic to bee stings, so I'm prepared to use it on them should it be needed. What goes around, comes around. I am a firm believer of the "pay-it-forward" philosophy. I never plan to, but one of these days I may have to rely on the kindness of strangers. That's why I try to build-up as much good karma as possible. :mrgreen:
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Re: Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

Postby 54summits » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:39 am

tbaileymd wrote:About the emergency blanket--

My wife and I deployed ours, more for comfort, at the boulderfield on Longs while waiting for the sun to come up during a September climb many years ago. Even hunkering down in the rocks, I just couldn't get it to do much for me in the steady winds, and gained little comfort.

Now I carry an emergency bivy instead. Lesson learned through minor discomfort.

http://www.survival-gear.com/thermolite-emergency-bivvy-sack.htm

The biggest thing that determined what I carry was reading trip reports about how long rescues take. So I take the bivy to crawl inside, enough snacks for a couple of days, 3 liters of water, warm and dry clothes, iodine tabs, first aid kit. I take all of that regardless of the particular mountain or the conditions that day. I may never use these items. Or some other down-on-his-luck hiker who I encounter may need them.


Looks like an interesting product, but have you given it any test runs? It says it is "ideal as a light weight replacement for your sleeping bag when temperatures are above 50F/9C and an excellent emergency survival shelter for winter time activites."

Knowing that temperatures on the slope of a 14er can drop into the teens during summer, I wonder how much comfort it would provide at those temperatures.

Of course it's better than nothing (or that emergency blanket) and the reflected body heat can do much to keep you warm - hence why I ask if you've given it any field testing since adding it to your gear; I'm interested to know before buying one.

-54s

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