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Willow Lake accident

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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Re: Willow Lake accident

Postby sandy » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:14 pm

aaron479 wrote:I agree,
LNT dictates are simple...
but, many things have been left. To the person who left the canoe...you did not cause any death! We all make our own choices. Crazy how society has gone from self preservation to blame. Accident(s) happen. There is no blame. I'd have loved to be there while the canoe was "afloat."
A


I agree.

Re: Willow Lake accident

Postby killingcokes » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:59 pm

Jesse was a good friend. It's such a blow to lose someone so young with such a passion for the mountains.

Myself and some friends skied his last line that he told me he wanted.

Enjoy the photos and thoughts
http://makingturns.com/?p=1589

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Re: Willow Lake accident

Postby sunny1 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:42 pm

killingcokes wrote:Jesse was a good friend. It's such a blow to lose someone so young with such a passion for the mountains.

Myself and some friends skied his last line that he told me he wanted.

Enjoy the photos and thoughts
http://makingturns.com/?p=1589



Nice tribute! "LIKE"!
I'm sorry for your loss.

There's a saying (not sure who to attribute it to): Where we go, we take you with us.

Nice way to honor your buddy.
The older you get, the better you get, unless you're a banana.

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Re: Willow Lake accident

Postby Kitten » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:25 pm

Condolences to the family and friends, so sad to hear...

(I also agree that nobody can be blamed for this, the canoe was up there for anyone to enjoy and everyone is responsible for their choices)
"Do or do not, there is no try"
Yoda, Star Wars.

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Re: Willow Lake accident

Postby DeTour » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:08 pm

sandy wrote: aaron479 wrote:I agree,
LNT dictates are simple...
but, many things have been left. To the person who left the canoe...you did not cause any death! We all make our own choices. Crazy how society has gone from self preservation to blame. Accident(s) happen. There is no blame. I'd have loved to be there while the canoe was "afloat."
A

I agree.

Same here. I did enjoy the use of the canoe last summer, and appreciated the person (unknown to me) who brought it up there - as have many others, I'm sure. I understand the "attractive nuisance" argument - thought about that very scenario when we were up there using it last summer - but I just don't think it's fair to heap guilt on the person who left it.

If anything, it drives home a point that's been discussed many times on this website and other forums: the mountains, while beautiful and fulfilling, can quickly turn deadly. I hope it doesn't sound harsh to the deceased to say we are responsible for our own decisions, including their impact on our friends and family if they turn out tragically. It's true the canoe presented an opportunity to make what obviously in hindsight was a very bad decision, but that's not the fault of the person who left it there.
when you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Re: Willow Lake accident

Postby b_boy » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:15 pm

sandy wrote:
aaron479 wrote:I agree,
LNT dictates are simple...
but, many things have been left. To the person who left the canoe...you did not cause any death! We all make our own choices. Crazy how society has gone from self preservation to blame. Accident(s) happen. There is no blame. I'd have loved to be there while the canoe was "afloat."
A


I agree.


+1.

No need for guilt laid on the person who dropped that canoe off. Some friends and I will be headed to climb Kit in July, and I've read a couple dozen trip reports focusing on Willow Lake, many of which make special note about the lake and the canoe. We were hoping to take it out also. We all assume the risks we take. And if we aren't willing to accept those risks, I think we've chosen the wrong hobby.

I am very, very sorry for the loss of this family.

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Re: Willow Lake accident

Postby Hungry Jack » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:34 am

Sad story. RIP Jesse.

Sounds like he was a very accomplished climber, yet he did not know how to swim and took a risk like that. Weird.
I need more dehydrogenase.

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Re: Willow Lake accident

Postby hansolo35 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:31 pm

To Gene913:
Dude, just stay home and watch Sesame Street on your Lazy Boy. To even hint that the person who left the canoe at Willow LAke for all to enjoy at their own leisure is in anyway responsible for this tragic death is just plain foolishness, plain and simple. attitudes such as yours i find really disturbing. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own actions, whether they result in unfortunate consequences or positive results, instead of always looking to pass the blame on someone or something else. This is why we pay higher lift tickets or higher medical insurance, because of ignorant people blaming someone else for tragic events ( and the ensuing lawsuits as a result). Sheesh!

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Re: Willow Lake accident

Postby Gene913 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:28 am

hansolo35 wrote:To Gene913:
Dude, just stay home and watch Sesame Street on your Lazy Boy. To even hint that the person who left the canoe at Willow LAke for all to enjoy at their own leisure is in anyway responsible for this tragic death is just plain foolishness, plain and simple. attitudes such as yours i find really disturbing. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own actions, whether they result in unfortunate consequences or positive results, instead of always looking to pass the blame on someone or something else. This is why we pay higher lift tickets or higher medical insurance, because of ignorant people blaming someone else for tragic events ( and the ensuing lawsuits as a result). Sheesh!


Dan -

It is clear that we agree on the principle that everyone is responsible for their own actions. Each of our posts make that point.

Surely you would agree that the person who left the canoe behind is responsible for their actions also, which included the action of leaving the canoe behind.

There are consequences from every action; some immediate, others do not manifest themselves until later.

Was Jesse responsible for making the decision to get into the canoe? Of course. My post does not suggest otherwise. My post simply suggests that the person who left it behind started a chain of events that led to tragedy. But for the canoe being left behind, Jesse does not use it. Was Jesse responsible for his decision to get into the canoe? Of course he was. And nothing in my post exonerates Jesse from being responsible for his own decisions.

Willow Lake is not a recreation park, and those who use it are not entitled to turn it into one. It is meant to be preserved for its natural beauty.

The person who left the canoe behind violated leave no trace principles and was not entitled to impose on others their judgment about how a public wilderness area is to be used. Willow Lake is there to be preserved for its natural beauty, not be turned into an amusement park.

The larger point of my post was to say here's what kind of tragedy can result when leave no trace principles are violated, and to use this tragedy as a way to convince others not to make the same mistake of leaving behind anything that they brought in with them.

I am willing to discuss the issue further, but will not engage in a public flame war or launch an ad hominem attack on you. Discussing issues is one thing. Calling each other names is another. I will not do the later. Especially in a forum thread intended to be a memorial thread to Jesse and other climbers.

Gene
"If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, and you say to this mountain, 'move from here to there,' it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:21

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Re: Willow Lake accident

Postby MUni Rider » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:02 am

I don't think the presence of the canoe goes against LNT. It's mobile and leaves only ripples on the water. It qualifies as "trace" just as much as a hiker and his/her tent. If you are trying to compose a natural picture and the canoe is on the shore, just go move it. Does my tent bother you in the same way? Do you ask campers to move as well?

If we are concerned with LNT up there, then get rid of the old miner cabin(s). The entire trail as well, and it's cairns. Not to mention the plaques on the summits of Challenger and Columbia honoring those that died in both the shuttle tragedies. If you pitch a tent, please replant the grass. If I can see any evidence that another human has passed by before me, then it's all FAIL!

BTW, if a canoe irks you, do not step foot on Sherman. Your head will explode when you see all the "trace" left behind from the state's mining history. Lets not get started with Pikes Peak. (There is even a car race up the mountain. Paved road and all!!!)Evans? How about the shelter at the keyhole on Longs? If you do venture to any of these places, please send someone up behind you to pick up your exploded head pieces. No one wants to see your trace either.
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." (Theodore Roosevelt)

"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit." (Edward Abbey)

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Re: Willow Lake accident

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:52 am

Canoe on Willow Lake versus ropes on the Hourglass. Discuss.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Willow Lake accident

Postby jdorje » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:06 am

I find it interesting that some people can think that the canoe was a bad idea because of the result. But I find it quite illogical to tie it to LNT as some sort of principle. The same principle would argue against signs on trails, including the one that should be at the Challenger-KC saddle saying "don't go down Kirk or you may die". It would argue against fixed fire circles and cabins and structures at all, the use of which reduces danger of causing fires or catching hypothermia. In short, the coincidence of an "enabled" death and a LNT violation is purely that - a coincidence.

The only other "enabled" death I can compare this to is the deaths on any mountains that are "enabled" by the creation of trails or the publishing of routes. Surely numerous deaths have been "caused" by Fourteeners books and 14ers.com routes, by them "enabling" inexperienced people to get into situations they shouldn't. Sound familiar? But blaming our mountaineer gurus for these deaths seems just as wrong, to me, as blaming the canoe-carrier for the canoe death. When taking an action that affects others, weigh the good results against the bad and if the good are better - go with it.

That said, of course we should all strive to improve safety. Just as Bill writes disclaimers and warnings on his routes - and adds to them when new dangers are pointed out - so we can see in hindsight that a capsizing warning on the canoe may have helped in this case. Yet we can also see in hindsight that a sign at the Challenger/KC saddle could prevent biyearly deaths, while nobody has taken initiative to put such a sign up (and violate LNT). I guess my point is that we should strive to improve safety in future cases, rather than spending our time blaming others for not doing so already.
Last edited by jdorje on Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
-Jason Dorje Short

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