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Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

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: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby Yury » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:43 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:After reading all of the posts and taking some time to think about it, I'd like feedback on adding a 2nd accident-related forum section specifically for analysis+discussion and hide it from the 14ers.com home page thread list. Additionally, I could rename the current section so it's clear there's a section for reporting accidents and different one for analysis:

- Climbing Accidents: Memorial
- Climbing Accidents: Analysis and Discussion


Having that second section hidden from the home page would help keep some of the spotlight off the discussions.
I believe that accidents analysis improves knowledge and judgment of people who participate or read such threads.
The benefits of such discussion would be greatly diminished in case such discussion is hidden from home page or Google.
As a results more people would die in the mountains.

Do we really want to prevent wider learning and as a result having more people perished in the mountains for the sake of political correctness and sensitivity?

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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby d_baker » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:53 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:After reading all of the posts and taking some time to think about it, I'd like feedback on adding a 2nd accident-related forum section specifically for analysis+discussion and hide it from the 14ers.com home page thread list. Additionally, I could rename the current section so it's clear there's a section for reporting accidents and different one for analysis:

- Climbing Accidents: Memorial
- Climbing Accidents: Analysis and Discussion


Having that second section hidden from the home page would help keep some of the spotlight off the discussions. Moderators could keep an eye on them to make sure the posts are appropriate for the specific section and move threads/posts as necessary. I would also post some clear, blunt instructions on what is appropriate (and not) in each section and remind people that friends and family read the threads. Of course, not every accident needs much analysis so threads won't be automatically be created in there just because there's an accident.

Accident threads usually start with a post made in the 14ers section or somewhere else but we (moderators) will continue to move them to one of the Climbing Accident sections when it's appropriate.

I agree that there's benefit in civil, thoughtful discussion but, like many, I care most about family and friends of those involved in accidents. Since our forum is focused on Colorado mountaineering, I think most people here aren't just posting to cause trouble but sometimes tempers flare and the best we can do is try to keep things on track and apply some moderation when necessary. This is not the CNN.com comment section so it's not like we have to worry about every single thread deteriorating into political rants and name-calling.

Thoughts?


Bill, I think trying is better than not.
But I suggest this title instead: Climber's Memorial

Furthermore, in any given analysis, there should be a focus on education and not just an awareness aspect on what we do is dangerous. For instance, if someone dies because of rockfall, and the reason for the rockfall is known, then technique used to mitigate that risk should be a focal point of a discussion. The Human Factor and Decision Making should also be discussed.
Or a list of resources provided for readers to do additional research to further educate themselves. Freedom of the Hills is of course a often recognized "climber's bible" but some of the tutorials found online for particular skills (for techi stuff, Eli has plenty of good ones) can be useful for us to see.
I'm not suggesting that the admin here take on the responsibility to list these resources in any given thread, but for any and all of us that participate in any kind of "analysis" to give some thought on how to further educate one another instead of pointing out the obvious: someone died on Maroon Bell due to loose rock - that probably caught you by surprise, huh? No, it didn't.

With the summer only half way through, the climbing season (i.e., "falling season") isn't over. Unfortunately, there's bound to be a few more deaths. But let's hope not.

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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby mtndude3737 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:15 am

- Climbing Accidents: Memorial
- Climbing Accidents: Analysis and Discussion
d_baker wrote:
BillMiddlebrook wrote:After reading all of the posts and taking some time to think about it, I'd like feedback on adding a 2nd accident-related forum section specifically for analysis+discussion and hide it from the 14ers.com home page thread list. Additionally, I could rename the current section so it's clear there's a section for reporting accidents and different one for analysis:

- Climbing Accidents: Memorial
- Climbing Accidents: Analysis and Discussion



Thoughts?


Bill, I think trying is better than not.
But I suggest this title instead: Climber's Memorial


+1 for the 2 forums: Climbers Memorial and Climbing Accidents: Analysis and Discussion

Rules for the forums:

Climbers Memorial You must be a relative of the victim and have PhD in English
Climbing Accidents: Analysis and Discussion You must have climbed all of the 14ers in CO, climb at least 5.11 trad multi-pitch, skied at least 5 of the 14ers, had 2 near-death experiences, and been caught in 1 avalanche. Also have done at least 10 trip reports that have received a minimum of "10 thumbs up"

I hope everyone sees my sarcasm with maybe a twist of truth.

I would like to thank every mountaineering book, this website, and all of those that have passed before me, whether by mountaineering accident or not, for inspiring me to climb and sobering me to safety. I know that the mistakes and misfortunes of others that have gone before me have helped save my life or helped keep me from major accident. I truly appreciate them writing their experiences. Those that have died doing what they love, I honor your passing with enjoying the mountains in a safer way, and teaching friends and family to pursue the same tradition.

A heartfelt thank you to you all!
What is there, beyond the mountain, if not the man? - Walter Bonatti

The simpler you make things, the richer the experience becomes. - Steve House

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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby Fisching » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:22 pm

I'm not trying to bump this discussion, but I want to make a quick addendum to this thread. Since this "death/accident" thread conversation happens every year and the points made are repetitious, I'm linking concrete examples of the "counter-point" so people don't have to argue hypotheticals of why these threads can be baseless, factually incorrect, and maybe even hurtful.

The rampant, baseless, jump-to-conclusions thread on the Longs incident: http://www.14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=41589
The 1st hand "oops all our accusations were wrong" account: http://14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=41668
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: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby ThuChad » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:17 am

So make sure the person/persons are no longer with us before speculating so it's harder to be proven wrong. Got it.

Your logic is too logical. Syntax error(infinite loop). I'm going back to looking at routes now.

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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby broncotw » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:29 pm

I read and studied Matt's reports each year as they were published on his 100 Summits website. I had read this thread and comments over the last year and chose not to respond, but having been on Capital Peak on Sunday and having later learned of the tragic case of the fallen climber from the day before, the incident has reignited my belief that the work that Matt put into his site regarding deaths in the Colorado 14ers is crucial information. With the consent of the family of course, I believe that detail accounts of such incidents should be published for every such incident. The climbing community is a brotherhood and every time we lose someone, we all feel the pain. Through that pain and experience there is an opportunity to learn and possibly prevent future mistakes and tragedies through the analysis of the event itself. By no means should this be viewed as disrespectful or inconsiderate to the family, but rather a learning opportunity so that such things can possibly be avoided in the future. Knowledge is power, and the more we as a climbing community educate ourselves, hopefully the fewer tragic incidents we will see. I know this topic has not been active lately, but this topic having hit me personally this week, I thought I would voice my opinion and applaud Matt for his efforts.
Ted from TEXAS!

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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby polar » Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:11 pm

broncotw wrote:I read and studied Matt's reports each year as they were published on his 100 Summits website. I had read this thread and comments over the last year and chose not to respond, but having been on Capital Peak on Sunday and having later learned of the tragic case of the fallen climber from the day before, the incident has reignited my belief that the work that Matt put into his site regarding deaths in the Colorado 14ers is crucial information. With the consent of the family of course, I believe that detail accounts of such incidents should be published for every such incident. The climbing community is a brotherhood and every time we lose someone, we all feel the pain. Through that pain and experience there is an opportunity to learn and possibly prevent future mistakes and tragedies through the analysis of the event itself. By no means should this be viewed as disrespectful or inconsiderate to the family, but rather a learning opportunity so that such things can possibly be avoided in the future. Knowledge is power, and the more we as a climbing community educate ourselves, hopefully the fewer tragic incidents we will see. I know this topic has not been active lately, but this topic having hit me personally this week, I thought I would voice my opinion and applaud Matt for his efforts.


While I agree that it is important to learn from accidents, I don’t think every single accident should be dissected and analyzed, especially not on an Internet forum. Have you seen the pissing match people get themselves into over trivial things on the Internet (not just this forum)? It is just the nature of the Internet. Any sort of learning will be buried under a mountain of BS.

I’m not sure if you’re aware of the books “Accidents in North American Mountaineering”. I feel that is a sufficient resource to learn our lesson from accidents, as they usually have a pretty good selection of different contributing factors in an accident.

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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby droidly » Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:15 pm

I don't think any subject can rely on one definitive source for information. We all benefit from having as much analysis as possible, but if a new survey is just a rehash of previously known data, without new details or perspective, then what is the purpose?
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we're at the end of the map. there be monsters here. ~barbossa

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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby kushrocks » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:02 am

For the love of god if I ever die in a climbing accident please DONT EVER discuss or analize it here or any other forum. I would hate for my family to see the banter that goes on here and people arguing over what I did wrong or right. It would kill my mom especially. Remember the good times, share some laughs, lots of drinks, some great stories and pics and move on enjoying your life.
" The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain
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"To travel, to experience and learn, that is to live" - Sherpa Tensing Norgay (first person to Summit Mt. Everest)
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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby RunnerJuliePierce » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:18 am

I was Jim Nelson's first wife, and we have three children together, two of whom are adults. I can't speak for anyone but myself, so my remarks and questions are mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts of Jim's widow, any of his children, or any of his other family members.

I spent many, many hours in the mountains with Jim (or driving to an end-point trailhead and/or waiting for him somewhere) over close to two decades. As the years passed, he became more deliberate in how he planned and executed his outings. He had summits on most of the 14ers in Colorado, Denali, the Eiger, Ganett, and numerous other peaks in the U.S. and Europe, maybe a majority of which were solo outings (with the obvious exceptions). I would personally like to obtain insights from anyone who is familiar with the location where he fell on Saturday. His GoPro was found, and my sons watched the videos on it from Saturday. There was no video of the fall. But based on what they did watch, he was being very cautious that day. I watched some video in which he was carefully choosing each foot and hand placement. Also based how and where he was traveling on the video segments, we are thinking he was probably at the ridgeline when he fell, although we of course don't know for sure. It might not be possible to ever know.

If anyone in the forum is able to help me understand what the most likely cause or causes of Jim's fall would have been, I would be very grateful. If the appropriate protocol is to contact me off-forum, that would be completely okay with me. Just reply to this and let me know. Thanks very much in advance.

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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby tbaileymd » Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:34 pm

My wife witnessed a rockslide death below the summit of K2 back in 1999 while waiting for me to return across the knife edge. In that particular location the mountain is made up of loose rocks and dirt, and the section the man was on just slid. Although the chance of having a serious incident goes down with experience and care and deliberateness of thought and movement, it probably also goes up again with spending massive amounts of time on mountains that have inherent risks that can't really be mitigated.

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Re: Deaths, Accidents and Analysis

Postby Broken Knee » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:55 pm

Peace be with you and yours, Julie.
When life gets you down, climb!

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