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Abyss Lightning - Now that sounds like a memorable Bierstadt

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

Postby 54summits » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:44 pm

I remember that there was a SPOT recall a while back - anyone know what the reason was?

As for carrying the SPOT in a Tupperware container, that comment makes me think that the recall was due to the exposure of the SOS button. The one I have (purchased, I assume, after the recall) has a plastic tab that snaps into place over the SOS button. The only it could be activated is if this was removed, and the SOS button was held down for several seconds.

Also, I don't know if this is new or not, but when I registered there was a section for additional information to be relayed to SAR personnel. I put in a physical description of myself (Hair/Eye/Skin color, height, weight, age) and blood type. I have no idea how much of this information reached SAR, but they definitely knew my name when they were getting ready to drop into the gully to find me.

Not related to SAR, it also has a tracking service (additional to the annual subscription) that transmits coordinates to a Google Map that I create through the SPOT website. I shared this with friends and family so they can follow me on my trips this way.

I don't know what was wrong with the SPOTs before, but everything I've seen makes me feel absolutely, 100% confident in it and the response system behind it.

-54s

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

Postby X++ » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:09 am

coloradokevin wrote:
X++ wrote: However, I did some research on the web, and found that you have a 90% chance of surviving a lightning strike. So keep this in mind the next time you are caught in a storm.


Is there any chance that you can provide a link to some sources on this fact? I've recently been trying to research the mortality rate of lightning strikes, purely out of personal curiosity. I recall hearing that the current numbers say that most direct strikes are fatal, though I can't find a reliable source on that data.


For kicks, try google searching "chance of surviving lightning" (no quotes). I just got 11.2 million hits, and they all seem to say 80-90% survival rate. [Ironically, my post is on Page 3 of the google results, lol]

However, if you aren't comfortable with that route, the go to the NOAA webpage at:

http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/medical.htm

They have a chart called "Odds of Becoming a Lighting Victim". On that chart they show 600 people a year are struck by lightning in the US, and only 60 of them actually die ... therefore you have a 90% chance of survival.

If you want to get really crazy, try: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/more.htm

Here you get a year by year record of people that have actually died, called out by Name, Location, and what they were doing when they got struck.

So far in 2010, only 1 person has been killed in Colorado ... his name was William Carr and he was riding a motorcycle. Also so far this year, only 1 person was killed hiking (her name was Bethany Lott, and she was in NC) -- you get the picture.

Most years they show less than 60 people dying, so maybe your odds are even better than 90%. But conservatively, you have a 80% to 90% chance of surviving a lightning strike.

The next realm of research is what exactly does kill you when you get struck by lightning. Here is a decent paper I dug up that explains in full analytical detail what happens when you get struck by lightning:

http://ws9.iee.usp.br/sipdax/papersix/sessao12/12.6.pdf

Happy researching!

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

Postby snowmanco » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:18 am

Yeah, but what percentage gets super-powers?

/lightning party!

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

Postby 54summits » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:01 am

snowmanco wrote:Yeah, but what percentage gets super-powers?

/lightning party!


Don't be a smart alec. [-X

Everybody knows you only get super-powers from exposure to extremely high levels of radiation. :wink:

That actually reminds me -- I need to add Yucca Mountain to my summit wish list...

-54s

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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 Dex » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:25 am

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
Montani Semper Liberi
"Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous." Barry Ritholtz

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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.
I see no reason
why our dear Baron's wisdom
should ever be forgot.
Continuing to spread his wisdom on:
Rock Climbing, Climbing Shoes, Rappelling, Layering, Eddie Bauer (nice try), Pants, Helmets, Ropes, Ice Axes, Tri-Cams, Carabiners

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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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