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Missing Hiker in Yosemite

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Missing Hiker in Yosemite

Postby painless4u2 » Mon May 06, 2013 10:06 pm

The NPS is trying to find info on a missing hiker that climbed to the top of Vernal Falls in Yosemite and disappeared:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/stensbysar.htm
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Bad decisions often make good stories.

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Re: Missing Hiker in Yosemite

Postby Hungry Jack » Tue May 07, 2013 10:12 am

Oh boy. Vernal Falls + spring thaw + missing hiker = not good.
I need more dehydrogenase.

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Re: Missing Hiker in Yosemite

Postby tjerasdave » Tue May 07, 2013 4:27 pm

Looks like they found him. R.I.P.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/07/us/california-yosemite-hiker-dead/

Rangers at Yosemite National Park in California recovered the body of a Minnesota man who fell to his death from a cliff near a waterfall, park officials said Tuesday in a news release.

Kenneth Stensby, 73, of Edina, Minnesota, left a note with the concierge of his hotel on Sunday saying he was going to the top of Vernal Fall and planned to return around noon, officials said. The hotel staff contacted rangers around 5 p.m. when Stensby had not yet returned.

Park officials conducted a search on foot with a dog team and a California Highway Patrol helicopter, and Stensby's body was found at the base of the 317-foot waterfall around 6 p.m. Monday, the release said. It was recovered Tuesday afternoon.

Three California hikers died in 2011 when they were swept over Vernal Fall after climbing over a guardrail into the Merced River about 25 feet away from the waterfall.

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Re: Missing Hiker in Yosemite

Postby Fisching » Tue May 07, 2013 5:50 pm

How many people need to go over those f-ing falls before people realize it's a stupid idea? Every year, people are killed by jumping the well-signed (with warnings) guard rail and going into the pool right above Vernal Falls. Knowing what lays at the bottom on the falls, why even take the risk???

Excuse the rant, I continue to be perplexed at people's behavior.
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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."

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Re: Missing Hiker in Yosemite

Postby TallGrass » Tue May 07, 2013 6:39 pm

+1, Fisching. Maybe they need a fatality stat board or a "Deadly Bells" sign. Lots of threads on this already. Three dead in 2011 when, "Badal slipped and David reached in for her and fell in. Yacoub had been trying to take their photo, friends said, and he slipped in when he tried to save them." This video was shot just prior, so probably accurately portrays the river the three slipped and fell in. Can say from canoeing and kayaking, that water carries a lot of force and will move a body quick. Even if just a trickle, just takes some mossy bottom to keep you horizontal long enough to float "goodbye."
And Darwin at work? --> Image

This pic from a SummitPost thread should make it clear to anyone from flood country (like me) to tell you "don't f### with the Merced." Wonder if rescue line bolted to a post at the fence would help or just encourage more risk taking.
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Re: Missing Hiker in Yosemite

Postby bob863 » Tue May 07, 2013 8:09 pm

Vernal Falls shud have a sign like the "Deadly Bells"....unfortunately, it is also part of the route up to the backside of Half Dome...I've done that trail twice and the view from the top of Half Dome is amazing....very similiar to the view from the top of Angel's Landing in Zion NP.

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Re: Missing Hiker in Yosemite

Postby CorduroyCalves » Tue May 07, 2013 8:50 pm

Sad to read about stuff like this but it amazes me that people don't seem to learn from others' mistakes.
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Re: Missing Hiker in Yosemite

Postby Fisching » Wed May 08, 2013 6:32 am

I came across two blurbs when looking through a few of TallGrass' links. This one is from the LA Times:
"Twelve people have gone over Vernal Fall in the past, park officials said. None survived."
(It's now 13 - this was published after last year's 3 deaths)

This was also a blurb from last year's LA Times blog: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/07/yosemite-waterfall-deaths-families-hire-consultant-to-assess-safety.html
"The families of three hikers who were swept over Yosemite National Park's Vernal Fall last week have hired a consultant to assess whether safety measures were adequate...Kiryakous told the Bee that the signs and railing are not enough...'I'm not content with that skimpy little rail,' Kiryakous said."
Last edited by Fisching on Wed May 08, 2013 5:24 pm, 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: Missing Hiker in Yosemite

Postby susanjoypaul » Wed May 08, 2013 7:02 am

I'm very sorry to hear of this tragedy, and feel for this man's family.

Fisching wrote:This one is from the LA Times:"The families of three hikers who were swept over Yosemite National Park's Vernal Fall last week have hired a consultant to assess whether safety measures were adequate...Kiryakous told the Bee that the signs and railing are not enough...'I'm not content with that skimpy little rail,' Kiryakous said."

Waterfalls can be very dangerous - I should know, I visited 150 of them in the past year. But people should rely on their common sense and not expect everything in the wilderness to be signed, fenced, and handrailed for their safety, and to make up for their stupidity. If these areas were enclosed in a plastic dome, there are people who would still find ways to get hurt or killed on them. Look at all the idiots who helicopter "safety handrails" at the tops of escalators at the mall. There are many more who propel themselves down the roadways at speeds of more than 70 mph - yet they refuse to wear their factory-installed seat belts. Some people are just stupid and no amount of available protection will keep them from putting themselves in harm's way.

Most likely, this was an accident, and accidents just happen. He was 73. I hope he had a good, long life and didn't suffer too much at the end.

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Re: Missing Hiker in Yosemite

Postby steelfrog » Wed May 08, 2013 7:22 am

Nevada is pretty deadly too, as is Yosemite falls. There are too many falls to take precautions at all of them.

One thought--he might have simply slipped and fell on the way up to the falls; when Vernal is really big, the spray coats the granite trail and a stumble on parts of that leads to a slick ramp you could easily slide down.

Re: Missing Hiker in Yosemite

Postby Steve Climber » Wed May 08, 2013 7:31 am

RIP to Mr. Stensby.



susanjoypaul wrote:But people should rely on their common sense and not expect everything in the wilderness to be signed, fenced, and handrailed for their safety, and to make up for their stupidity.


=D> =D> =D>


EDIT:

steelfrog wrote:One thought--he might have simply slipped and fell on the way up to the falls; when Vernal is really big, the spray coats the granite trail and a stumble on parts of that leads to a slick ramp you could easily slide down.


As I understand it (based on the original missing hiker flyer) they found his pack at the railing which leads me to believe he either took it off to climb through the railing (he was 73 so going over might not have been easy) where he slipped on wet stone, or he took it off on purpose and waded in knowingly (total speculation, but I wouldn't be amazed to find out he had some sort of terminal illness, etc).
Dave B wrote:And/or line thy helmet with tin foil and realize this is a freaking mountaineering website.


Steve Climber wrote:So that's your backpack, huh?

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Re: Missing Hiker in Yosemite

Postby bonehead » Wed May 08, 2013 10:59 am

Sadly, this is a predictable story
that comes out of Yosemite every year.
One has to be stupid or reckless
to ignore the power or these falls.

The "Lake' in this picture is a couple hundred
yards above the falls, perfectly safe for frollicking,
So many times I have played there.
And I never went over the falls.
Because it is not possible from there.
I refer back to Stupid and/or Reckless.

And I certainly would not offer debate to
aboynamedmargrette's speculation.

Edit. Some great pictures posted here.
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Last edited by bonehead on Wed May 08, 2013 11:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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