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Military Assists in Evac of Mentally ill Climber

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Re: Military Assists in Evac of Mentally ill Climber

Postby madbuck » Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:43 am

cftbq wrote:Basic summary (translated into plain English): Someone dares to do something unusual in the vicinity of Denali, and is hunted down and forcibly subdued by "law enforcement." This is not a "peaceful" ending, but yet another victory of enforced order over individual freedom.
This man was not "evacuated." He was seized and may never be free again.


Whoa, ...whah? I'm all for personal freedom and letting people "hoist themselves with their own petard", as it were, but I find this 'basic summary' highly improbable. This does not sound like a highly-trained, calm, experienced thrillseeker. This is not a guy finding a secluded bridge and killing himself away from others. There are numerous details in the story regarding his erratic behavior, which represents a blatant disregard for the natural environment (littering and waste) at least, and a serious liability to other people at worst. It would imply the blatant lying and falsification by at least 8-10 people (minimum) in the story, including medical professionals, assuming the parties that made contact with this individual can corroborate the story by name...or, it's a very detailed fabrication by a few park personnel, with made-up names and evidence, that really wanted to send Army Chinook helicopters to Denali.

Based on the evidence given, I'll strongly choose to believe that this one man was mentally ill, and that several concerned parties and compassionate medical personal likely saved him from harm. I find other conspiratorial alternatives to be far less likely, dangerous assumptions.

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Re: Military Assists in Evac of Mentally ill Climber

Postby madbuck » Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:48 am

http://registration.adn.com/2010/07/09/1360040/denali-rangers-airlift-paraglider.html


The man was never violent but spoke very aggressively, said Park Service spokeswoman Maureen McLaughlin. The Park Service was worried about his safety and the safety of others, she said.
...
He also demonstrated poor glacier travel techniques, flouted park rules about proper human waste disposal and littering, and talked as if he was preoccupied with death, the Park Service said.
...
"This patient would go from very lucid normal conversation and normal tone of voice, and two minutes later be very different," Weber said.
...
At the 14,200-foot camp, the man set up his campsite with a bivvy sack, not a tent. His belongings became wet and frozen and he developed hypothermia, Weber said. He spent most of his day sitting on top of his sleeping bag in the snow.
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Some of the other 100 or so people on the mountain also reported odd conversations with him, the Park Service said.
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Despite having been told by park authorities that he was not allowed to paraglide off the mountain, he brought the gear with him anyway. When park authorities confiscated it at the 14,200-foot camp, he became very agitated and seemed to lose control, Weber said.
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Medical staff at the camp, which included doctors and nurses, examined him and determined he needed to get off the mountain for his own safety and the safety of others. He could have endangered himself and required a risky rescue, McLaughlin said.
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Park authorities contacted his parents, who were concerned and supportive of the evacuation, McLaughlin said.
------------

I just wanted to re-iterate my thanks and respect to the successful evacuation. I'm all against 'the man' and lame rules as well...just that it didn't seem to be the case here.

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Re: Military Assists in Evac of Mentally ill Climber

Postby iamthemarmot » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:15 pm

Just thinking aloud here from the Aero Engineer's point of view.... and basically too lazy to do the calculations right now.... I wonder if there would have been enough density at 20,000' for a paraglider to even have enough lift to fly? It might have been an exciting ending...
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Re: Military Assists in Evac of Mentally ill Climber

Postby Falcon3 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:18 pm

I'm guessing paragliding is banned because.....it's extremely dangerous from the summit of a 20k+ foot peak? When idiots get out and hurt themselves, get lost, etc, the Park Service gets footed with the bill. I've worked for the park service for a few years now, and one 3-day SAR costs a lot of money. Three hours of flight time in a helicopter is over $3000. Plus the amount of people involved is enormous. For the last 3-day SAR at Rainier, there were over 30 people pulled in to look for a man that unclipped at high altitude from his climbing group. Also, people get killed every year helping search for lost people.

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Re: Military Assists in Evac of Mentally ill Climber

Postby Alby426 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:00 pm

iamthemarmot wrote:Just thinking aloud here from the Aero Engineer's point of view.... and basically too lazy to do the calculations right now.... I wonder if there would have been enough density at 20,000' for a paraglider to even have enough lift to fly? It might have been an exciting ending...



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Re: Military Assists in Evac of Mentally ill Climber

Postby Hacksaw » Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:14 pm

g wrote:So sad, now we may never know whether it's possible to hang glide off Denali, nor watch video of it on the utubes.


Back in the late 70's a couple of guys did hang glide off McKinley. I can't remember what year it was, but there was an article on OUTSIDE magazine (or what ever it was called back then). :-k
Last edited by Hacksaw on Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Military Assists in Evac of Mentally ill Climber

Postby atalarico » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:21 am

Kind of torn on this one.

So, this guy was being "odd" and was probably going to go commit suicide by trying to fly off Denali? He was talking about death while climbing a mountain? He wasn't part of any other climbing party and he wasn't asking for anyone's help?

Um...does that really necessitate military and government intervention? I mean seriously, two Chinooks?! I still don't understand how he was threatening the safety of others here.

Sounds like another individualistic thrillseeker about to make a dumb decision. Let the Darwin awards sort him out. He doesn't sounded like he needed anyone's help, and it's not acceptable for our society to make us think that we're so self-important that we must rescue everyone who seems "different".

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Re: Military Assists in Evac of Mentally ill Climber

Postby glacierPaul » Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:32 am

The guy must be bipolar or have some other issue, and probably was off his meds. I would not like to be climbing a mountain, where hang gliding is illegal, and have some deranged guy come out of the sky, crashing into me and/or my group. Play that scenario out, not to mention climbing the routes are established so rescue folks have some sort of idea where you could be, a paraglider could crash anywhere on the mountain, possibly making rescue difficult or near impossible. I would certainly rather read the story the way we did, than read about how some crazy guy killed a group of climbers after crashing into them with a paraglider, which is illegal to use there, I mean, if he was having problems on the ground imagine the problems in the air.

Re: Military Assists in Evac of Mentally ill Climber

Postby Urban Snowshoer » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:24 pm

I don't deny the possibility that this guy was truly mentally ill; however, I'm honestly a bit skeptical that this guy was truly mentally ill, at least the sense that would warrant involuntary commitment. There's more than one jerk with an inflated ego. These are the kind that willfully breaks law just but when caught kvetch about how unfair the rules are. Choices have consequences and if you break the rules you have to accept the consequences.

Re: Military Assists in Evac of Mentally ill Climber

Postby Urban Snowshoer » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:38 pm

atalarico wrote:Kind of torn on this one.

So, this guy was being "odd" and was probably going to go commit suicide by trying to fly off Denali? He was talking about death while climbing a mountain? He wasn't part of any other climbing party and he wasn't asking for anyone's help?

Um...does that really necessitate military and government intervention? I mean seriously, two Chinooks?! I still don't understand how he was threatening the safety of others here.

Sounds like another individualistic thrillseeker about to make a dumb decision. Let the Darwin awards sort him out. He doesn't sounded like he needed anyone's help, and it's not acceptable for our society to make us think that we're so self-important that we must rescue everyone who seems "different".

.02


When push comes to shove, there is often a moral imperative to rescue someone, even if they made poor-decisions. Charging him for a rescue, is definitely warranted. There needs to be a better system in place for charging people for rescues, especially if they made bad decisions. However, it does seem morally wrong to intentionally leave someone to die.

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Re: Military Assists in Evac of Mentally ill Climber

Postby cheeseburglar » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:21 pm

I have to seriously question the cover-their-ass story put out by the fascist dirt bag authority figures who muscled this poor guy off the mountain.
Unsafe glacier travel?
Really? Was he passing in a no passing lane? When I was up there, all kinds of crazy people were walking or skiing on glaciers without ropes. Even some who had teammates and ropes with them...
Talking crazy?
Everyone I met up there was a nutcase.
Sitting on his sleeping bag and sleeping in a bivy?
Sounds like a better acclimatization plan than the crazy germans we camped next to at 14 camp. Their scheme was to lay around snuggling in a tent all day, getting out every hour or so to have a cigarette.

The nosy pushy self appointed climbing police need to leave others alone! And who is the dumb ass who actually wrote a rule that you can't paraglide off Denali? That idiot needs to go take a hike.
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Re: Military Assists in Evac of Mentally ill Climber

Postby MUni Rider » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:58 pm

cheeseburglar wrote:.....And who is the dumb ass who actually wrote a rule that you can't paraglide off Denali? That idiot needs to go take a hike.


I kinda want to take up paragliding just so I can go break the rule. :lol: I'm guessing (shot in the dark here) that the rule was the brainchild of some Denali National Park bureaucrat who thought that paragliders would become something like the next (flying) mountain bike, everyone would be doing it soon, we would all go to Denali ASAP and we would all need expensive rescues.

-I guess it's on par with the no hang-glidings in Wilderness rule. That one should go away too. If someone is able to haul all that up the trail for a launch, then God-speed.

-Same as mountain bikes. Sure, keep my motorbike and truck out, but human powered bicycles (and unicycles) should be cool, IMO.

ramble-ramble.... I didn't mean to go off OP topic, but what the hell, can of worms opened.
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