Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Threads related to Colorado mountaineering accidents but please keep it civil and respectful. Friends and relatives of fallen climbers will be reading these posts.
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Please be respectful when posting - family and friends of fallen climbers might be reading this forum.
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Hungry Jack
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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby Hungry Jack » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:25 am

Sounds like a good plan. I would appreciate the accident analysis discussions, and I think this group is quite capable of being civil.
I need more dehydrogenase.
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BKS
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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby BKS » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:27 am

Again, wise mature response that keeps making this site evem better
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mattpayne11
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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby mattpayne11 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:53 pm

I think this is an amazing response, thank you Bill.

BillMiddlebrook wrote:After reading all of the posts and taking some time to think about it, I'd like feedback on adding a 2nd accident-related forum section specifically for analysis+discussion and hide it from the 14ers.com home page thread list. Additionally, I could rename the current section so it's clear there's a section for reporting accidents and different one for analysis:

- Climbing Accidents: Memorial
- Climbing Accidents: Analysis and Discussion


Having that second section hidden from the home page would help keep some of the spotlight off the discussions. Moderators could keep an eye on them to make sure the posts are appropriate for the specific section and move threads/posts as necessary. I would also post some clear, blunt instructions on what is appropriate (and not) in each section and remind people that friends and family read the threads. Of course, not every accident needs much analysis so threads won't be automatically be created in there just because there's an accident.

Accident threads usually start with a post made in the 14ers section or somewhere else but we (moderators) will continue to move them to one of the Climbing Accident sections when it's appropriate.

I agree that there's benefit in civil, thoughtful discussion but, like many, I care most about family and friends of those involved in accidents. Since our forum is focused on Colorado mountaineering, I think most people here aren't just posting to cause trouble but sometimes tempers flare and the best we can do is try to keep things on track and apply some moderation when necessary. This is not the CNN.com comment section so it's not like we have to worry about every single thread deteriorating into political rants and name-calling.

Thoughts?
TomPierce
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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby TomPierce » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:15 pm

Bill: I really like your idea. At the risk of oversimplifying dozens of posts, in my opinion I think everyone is more or less on the same page: To the extent possible, keep it out of public view, but be mindful that family and friends might visit anyway. Therefore keep the critical comments at bay, we can each draw our own conclusions. Understand that many accidents just don't allow for much, if any, analysis, e.g. the solo, unroped falls. No witnesses were present, probably no gear failures to analyze. Other events might merit more in-depth discussions, but the quality of those discussions will depend on the facts known and the participants. No doubt the quality also will improve with the passage of time. Waiting for a formal accident report is the ideal, and obviously would be a great vehicle for discussion, but it's entirely possible that a report will be a long time in coming, or will be so cursory that little value is added (fwiw, I went back recently and reviewed a copy of Accidents in North American Mountaineering and the quality of reporting is all over the map). Those who get value from such discussions will participate or at least read the posts, others who disagree with the merit of such postings will pass them by.

As for moderation, I like the "first rule" banner that pops up over on www.mountainproject.com if you want to post: "First Rule: Don't be a jerk." If people can't be civil, you and your team can step in as needed.

My vote is yes, let's try it. Just my opinion.

-Tom
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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby Kodachrome » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:28 pm

This is *great* stuff, people being direct and yet considerate, moving forward, identifying core goals in a new opportunity, innovating, leading by example, perfect folks, love it!

There will always be potential for an emotionally charged opinion, especially given the topic. But it is up to all of us to help guide the discussion to a less combustible state by not fueling it in response to that opinion. What Bill said above is in my mind, exactly what needs to happen...so onward.....
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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby edhaman » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:34 pm

For any given incident, I'd like to see two threads: One thread for notices of a missing person, SAR activities and results, and accident comments and analysis. A separate thread for well-wishes (for the missing), condolences, and memorials and testimonials.
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Yury
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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby Yury » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:43 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:After reading all of the posts and taking some time to think about it, I'd like feedback on adding a 2nd accident-related forum section specifically for analysis+discussion and hide it from the 14ers.com home page thread list. Additionally, I could rename the current section so it's clear there's a section for reporting accidents and different one for analysis:

- Climbing Accidents: Memorial
- Climbing Accidents: Analysis and Discussion


Having that second section hidden from the home page would help keep some of the spotlight off the discussions.
I believe that accidents analysis improves knowledge and judgment of people who participate or read such threads.
The benefits of such discussion would be greatly diminished in case such discussion is hidden from home page or Google.
As a results more people would die in the mountains.

Do we really want to prevent wider learning and as a result having more people perished in the mountains for the sake of political correctness and sensitivity?
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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby d_baker » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:53 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:After reading all of the posts and taking some time to think about it, I'd like feedback on adding a 2nd accident-related forum section specifically for analysis+discussion and hide it from the 14ers.com home page thread list. Additionally, I could rename the current section so it's clear there's a section for reporting accidents and different one for analysis:

- Climbing Accidents: Memorial
- Climbing Accidents: Analysis and Discussion


Having that second section hidden from the home page would help keep some of the spotlight off the discussions. Moderators could keep an eye on them to make sure the posts are appropriate for the specific section and move threads/posts as necessary. I would also post some clear, blunt instructions on what is appropriate (and not) in each section and remind people that friends and family read the threads. Of course, not every accident needs much analysis so threads won't be automatically be created in there just because there's an accident.

Accident threads usually start with a post made in the 14ers section or somewhere else but we (moderators) will continue to move them to one of the Climbing Accident sections when it's appropriate.

I agree that there's benefit in civil, thoughtful discussion but, like many, I care most about family and friends of those involved in accidents. Since our forum is focused on Colorado mountaineering, I think most people here aren't just posting to cause trouble but sometimes tempers flare and the best we can do is try to keep things on track and apply some moderation when necessary. This is not the CNN.com comment section so it's not like we have to worry about every single thread deteriorating into political rants and name-calling.

Thoughts?


Bill, I think trying is better than not.
But I suggest this title instead: Climber's Memorial

Furthermore, in any given analysis, there should be a focus on education and not just an awareness aspect on what we do is dangerous. For instance, if someone dies because of rockfall, and the reason for the rockfall is known, then technique used to mitigate that risk should be a focal point of a discussion. The Human Factor and Decision Making should also be discussed.
Or a list of resources provided for readers to do additional research to further educate themselves. Freedom of the Hills is of course a often recognized "climber's bible" but some of the tutorials found online for particular skills (for techi stuff, Eli has plenty of good ones) can be useful for us to see.
I'm not suggesting that the admin here take on the responsibility to list these resources in any given thread, but for any and all of us that participate in any kind of "analysis" to give some thought on how to further educate one another instead of pointing out the obvious: someone died on Maroon Bell due to loose rock - that probably caught you by surprise, huh? No, it didn't.

With the summer only half way through, the climbing season (i.e., "falling season") isn't over. Unfortunately, there's bound to be a few more deaths. But let's hope not.
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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby mtndude3737 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:15 am

- Climbing Accidents: Memorial
- Climbing Accidents: Analysis and Discussion
d_baker wrote:
BillMiddlebrook wrote:After reading all of the posts and taking some time to think about it, I'd like feedback on adding a 2nd accident-related forum section specifically for analysis+discussion and hide it from the 14ers.com home page thread list. Additionally, I could rename the current section so it's clear there's a section for reporting accidents and different one for analysis:

- Climbing Accidents: Memorial
- Climbing Accidents: Analysis and Discussion



Thoughts?


Bill, I think trying is better than not.
But I suggest this title instead: Climber's Memorial


+1 for the 2 forums: Climbers Memorial and Climbing Accidents: Analysis and Discussion

Rules for the forums:

Climbers Memorial You must be a relative of the victim and have PhD in English
Climbing Accidents: Analysis and Discussion You must have climbed all of the 14ers in CO, climb at least 5.11 trad multi-pitch, skied at least 5 of the 14ers, had 2 near-death experiences, and been caught in 1 avalanche. Also have done at least 10 trip reports that have received a minimum of "10 thumbs up"

I hope everyone sees my sarcasm with maybe a twist of truth.

I would like to thank every mountaineering book, this website, and all of those that have passed before me, whether by mountaineering accident or not, for inspiring me to climb and sobering me to safety. I know that the mistakes and misfortunes of others that have gone before me have helped save my life or helped keep me from major accident. I truly appreciate them writing their experiences. Those that have died doing what they love, I honor your passing with enjoying the mountains in a safer way, and teaching friends and family to pursue the same tradition.

A heartfelt thank you to you all!
What is there, beyond the mountain, if not the man? - Walter Bonatti

The simpler you make things, the richer the experience becomes. - Steve House
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Fisching
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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby Fisching » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:22 pm

I'm not trying to bump this discussion, but I want to make a quick addendum to this thread. Since this "death/accident" thread conversation happens every year and the points made are repetitious, I'm linking concrete examples of the "counter-point" so people don't have to argue hypotheticals of why these threads can be baseless, factually incorrect, and maybe even hurtful.

The rampant, baseless, jump-to-conclusions thread on the Longs incident: http://www.14ers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=41589
The 1st hand "oops all our accusations were wrong" account: http://14ers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=41668
Peter Aitchison on the risks of rock climbing and mountaineering: "That's life, isn't it? We think the challenge and satisfaction you get from doing this is worth the risks."
"Respect the mountain. Train hard. Hope you can sneak up when it isn't looking."
"The mind is always worried about consequences, but the heart knows no fear. The heart just does what it wants."
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ThuChad
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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby ThuChad » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:17 am

So make sure the person/persons are no longer with us before speculating so it's harder to be proven wrong. Got it.

Your logic is too logical. Syntax error(infinite loop). I'm going back to looking at routes now.
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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby broncotw » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:29 pm

I read and studied Matt's reports each year as they were published on his 100 Summits website. I had read this thread and comments over the last year and chose not to respond, but having been on Capital Peak on Sunday and having later learned of the tragic case of the fallen climber from the day before, the incident has reignited my belief that the work that Matt put into his site regarding deaths in the Colorado 14ers is crucial information. With the consent of the family of course, I believe that detail accounts of such incidents should be published for every such incident. The climbing community is a brotherhood and every time we lose someone, we all feel the pain. Through that pain and experience there is an opportunity to learn and possibly prevent future mistakes and tragedies through the analysis of the event itself. By no means should this be viewed as disrespectful or inconsiderate to the family, but rather a learning opportunity so that such things can possibly be avoided in the future. Knowledge is power, and the more we as a climbing community educate ourselves, hopefully the fewer tragic incidents we will see. I know this topic has not been active lately, but this topic having hit me personally this week, I thought I would voice my opinion and applaud Matt for his efforts.
Ted from TEXAS!

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