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2 girls stranded on the Loft

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Re: 2 girls stranded on the Loft

Postby TallGrass » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:35 pm

snowboardinco wrote:If you are the type of person who attempts a summit on longs with that marginal of a forecast then I'm sorry my friend you are also the type of person that gets me called out of bed at 1am to come rescue your marginal weather charging bad ass of a self. True mountaineers know better ... you could have waited out the weather like A REAL MOUNTAINEER ...
Isn't that what's called a "occupational hazard" and "goes with the job" -- one those girls did not volunteer you to sign up for? There are lots of paid and unpaid service jobs and the common line I've heard (and sometimes used) is "if you're in it for the money/fame/convenience, you're in it for the wrong reason."

I won't chide those who got their own butt off the mountain. Those I know find sleep an acceptable price if it can preclude a mission switching to "recovery." I guess since not everyone is a "REAL MOUNTAINEER" is why a real SAR is so valuable.
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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Re: 2 girls stranded on the Loft

Postby tlongpine » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:30 am

snowboardinco wrote:If you are the type of person who attempts a summit on longs with that marginal of a forecast then I'm sorry my friend you are also the type of person that gets me called out of bed at 1am to come rescue your marginal weather charging bad ass of a self.


Thanks for the positive attitude, Superman. God help us if any of us are ever in need of SAR rescue and this surly, self-righteous and judgmental character shows up.
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.

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Re: 2 girls stranded on the Loft

Postby Fisching » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:56 am

Amazing.
So many are captivated on this, yet not on the other similar story posted. For those who say looking at incidences in the mountains helps hikers learn from mistakes made, then why not focus on the accident from Glacier NP? If I were to speculate (everyone else is doing, so why not join the crowd), I say people are far more interested in gossip than their stated goal of learning from mistakes.


Subject: Man fell into crevasse in Glacier National Park
Fisching wrote:What a captivating, yet horrifying first hand account of the incident. Glad he's going to make a recovery and avoided any possible paralysis. It's too bad more people are focusing on the Longs incident instead of this one, given the elaborate account - first hand account - that is available here. This is a great example where the users looking to learn lessons from accidents can do so because of the amount of accurate details provided straight from the injured climber.


EDIT: Their story made the Yahoo! cover page: http://www.news.yahoo.com/2-hikers-maine-walk-down-colorado-peak-193300125.html
Given the published information, it seems entirely plausible that they've been in the backcountry before the forecast became concerning.
Employers and family members said the two set out a week ago on a backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park
Last edited by Fisching on Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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Re: 2 girls stranded on the Loft

Postby Jesse M » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:23 am

So tell me again what 14ers are in Glacier Fisching? I think that might have something to do with it. Let me save you a bit of stress and I will share a secret. This is the Internet, get the F over it, you can't change the Internet. ](*,)

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Re: 2 girls stranded on the Loft

Postby wrxpilot » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:40 am

Fisching wrote:Given the published information, it seems entirely plausible that they've been in the backcountry before the forecast became concerning.
Employers and family members said the two set out a week ago on a backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park


Actually, this article says they were stranded up there for 48 hours, meaning they started out on Wed:

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_24088636/floods-hamper-rescue-efforts-hikers-stranded-longs-peak

My day job is airline pilot. As with mountaineering and other outdoor activities, the aviation community abhors baseless speculation. Every time there is an accident or incident, it seems every idiot who has ever seen an airplane or played Microsoft Flight Simulator throws in their unwanted $.02 to anybody that will listen, including all too often the ignorant media.

However, even within the professional pilot ranks speculation does occur and is discussed as information develops. Often times tangential topics develop, which often lead to other lessons learned. There are always those that shriek "We must wait for the NTSB before discussing anything!", and to some extent they are probably right. But there are times when an accident cause is so obviously rooted in negligence, incompetence, or recklessness that it quickly becomes obvious some major screw ups happened. And quite frankly, I don't have a problem discussing that within our ranks.

I am very inexperienced among many of you when it comes to mountaineering. But I have been climbing, hiking, and playing on these Colorado mountains for most of my life. Over 20 years ago I still remember being caught in an unforecast winter storm at high altitude as a young kid with my Dad (an experienced mountaineer and member of Alpine Rescue). I don't even remember which 14er we were climbing, but we were very close to summiting and had to bail out and very quickly get back down. Back in those days we had also been stuck on some pretty scary lightning storms in Moab and the Grand Canyon. Stuff that has left a permanent respect for weather in me as a pilot and outdoor enthusiast.

That being said, with the accuracy of weather forecasts we have these days and the instant access we have to it (no more having to read it in the paper or rely on the previous night's TV news forecast), I find the prospect of heading up Long's Peak on Wed morning extremely foolish and possibly even reckless for two out of staters with 30F sleeping bags and fall camping equipment. No doubt there are some of you that could manage to do this safely and with appropriate equipment. I know I couldn't, and clearly these young women couldn't either.

In my circles, if we had a private pilot from out of state flying around these mountains with that weather forecast using inappropriate equipment, there would be absolutely ZERO acceptance for that kind of behavior. The primary reason for this is as a community we don't want other inexperienced and impressionable pilots thinking such behavior is ever acceptable. I admit to speculating with the above statements, but at this point is it really "baseless"?

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Re: 2 girls stranded on the Loft

Postby Dave B » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:48 am

wrxpilot wrote:
Fisching wrote:Given the published information, it seems entirely plausible that they've been in the backcountry before the forecast became concerning.
Employers and family members said the two set out a week ago on a backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park


Actually, this article says they were stranded up there for 48 hours, meaning they started out on Wed:



No, the article says they started on Monday and that they were stranded for 48 hours. They had overnight gear so there is a chance that Longs wasn't all they were doing on this weeklong trip.

Regardless, the point here is that not a single person on this thread actually knows what happened. All we have to go on is our own interpretation of what the media is reporting.

There sure are a lot of convincing opinions from both sides, all of which are accompanied by nothing but conjecture.
Last edited by Dave B on Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
"There is no cheating in climbing, only lying." - Semi-Rad

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Re: 2 girls stranded on the Loft

Postby bonehead » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:57 am

Still very fishy.
But I'm glad to know we can once again
refer to grown women as girls.
I wonder if "Gals" is back in fashion also.
I'll just try to be safe, and stick with Ladies.

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Re: 2 girls stranded on the Loft

Postby wrxpilot » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:24 am

Dave B wrote:No, the article says they started on Monday and that they were stranded for 48 hours. They had overnight gear so there is a chance that Longs wasn't all they were doing on this weeklong trip.

Regardless, the point here is that not a single person on this thread actually knows what happened. All we have to go on is our own interpretation of what the media is reporting.

There sure are a lot of convincing opinions from both sides, all of which are accompanied by nothing but conjecture.


The article says their Colorado visit began on Monday. What they were doing between Mon and Wed is unknown to us, but they were camped at their spot starting on Wed (according to the article and one of the father's of the women). Clearly they had cell phones and service, and one would expect an experienced outdoors person to check the weather at some point.

Even if they only checked the weather on Monday, it was very obvious by then that the forecast was not good. The long range forecast had been holding since the previous week (which is surprising for this place), and by Mon the short term forecast was very indicative of prolonged bad weather. I remember that quite clearly, as I was flying a trip into DEN and had been studying the forecast and knew that we were going to be facing severe weather on our arrival. I also called my hiking partner on Monday to discuss our planned Long's Peak climb on Wed, and we both agreed there was absolutely no point in even trying as the forecast was so obvious.

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Re: 2 girls stranded on the Loft

Postby aliciaf » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:51 am

Jesse M wrote:So tell me again what 14ers are in Glacier Fisching? I think that might have something to do with it. Let me save you a bit of stress and I will share a secret. This is the Internet, get the F over it, you can't change the Internet. ](*,)


Wow, that seemed uncalled for..

Another secret... 14ers aren't just in Colorado. Sure, this website focuses mainly on Colorado 14ers, but there are 14,000+ ft peaks ("14ers") in other parts of this country that DO have glaciers on them. So, the answer to your first statement is that there are a handful of peaks in this country (I'm too lazy to look up an actual number, but Mt. Rainier and Mt. Shasta are two of them). A lot of 14ers.com members travel to these mountains to add to their climbing resume and to take their mountaineering skill level up a notch, hence why that article was shared on this forum in the first place.

Anyway, back to the topic of this thread... I'm glad to hear these two women made it out safely. I hope they can give some firsthand reports soon so we can understand their choices.

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Re: 2 girls stranded on the Loft

Postby Jesse M » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:15 am

aliciaf wrote: Wow, that seemed uncalled for..

How so? I was just trying to let Fisching know why this thread is more popular than a story about Glacier, and to make a poke at this idea that people can't speculate/gossip/whatever you want to call it...on the INTERNET!

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Re: 2 girls stranded on the Loft

Postby DaveLanders » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:51 am

I'm curious as to what sort of backcountry permit these 2 women had. It isn't legal to camp
above timberline in RMNP, and bivy permits specifically disallow tents. It is still "summer"
mode as far as backcountry permits are concerned; "winter" permits are a little more flexible.

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Re: 2 girls stranded on the Loft

Postby BeastoftheEast » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:47 am

snowboardinco wrote:If you are the type of person who attempts a summit on longs with that marginal of a forecast then I'm sorry my friend you are also the type of person that gets me called out of bed at 1am to come rescue your marginal weather charging bad ass of a self. True mountaineers know better then to do something stupid like that and put myself and my teams lives at risk coming to save you. When you could have waited out the weather like A REAL MOUNTAINEER, and summit at a later date. Also I would like to hear more about these girls "back country experience" which does not exactly correlate to high altitude mountaineering. And who takes a tent up to the summit of longs??? I honestly can't help but wonder if they were doing some "field testing" of their new products and got in over their heads. It is very unusual to have a tent up that high, no one would want to carry that extra weight just in case. Sounds fishy.


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