Mt Whitney fatality early November

Threads related to Colorado mountaineering accidents but please keep it civil and respectful. Friends and relatives of fallen climbers will be reading these posts.
Forum rules
Please be respectful when posting - family and friends of fallen climbers might be reading this forum.
nunns
Posts: 1122
Joined: 8/17/2018
14ers: 41
13ers: 4

Re: Mt Whitney fatality early November

Post by nunns » Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:34 am

Delete.

Sean Nunn
Last edited by nunns on Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." --Psalms 36:6
User avatar
Gandalf69
Posts: 148
Joined: 5/14/2020
14ers: 31
Trip Reports (3)

Re: Mt Whitney fatality early November

Post by Gandalf69 » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:54 am

I'm not sure what's sadder, the accident itself or some of the comments here
"There's always the possibility that some a**hole will be offended." -Clint Eastwood, Escape from Alcatraz
"Life is cruel, why should the afterlife be any different".-Davey Jones
"The decision to triage us to death...I understand. I don't know that I would agree with it. Certainly not in retrospect because obviously I made it."-Beck Weathers, Dark side of Everest
nunns
Posts: 1122
Joined: 8/17/2018
14ers: 41
13ers: 4

Re: Mt Whitney fatality early November

Post by nunns » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:57 am

Gandalf69 wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:54 am
I'm not sure what's sadder, the accident itself or some of the comments here
Yeah, my bad. I am deleting my post in light of what the thread is actually about. I apologize for joining in.

Sean Nunn
"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." --Psalms 36:6
User avatar
Gandalf69
Posts: 148
Joined: 5/14/2020
14ers: 31
Trip Reports (3)

Re: Mt Whitney fatality early November

Post by Gandalf69 » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:14 am

nunns wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:57 am
Gandalf69 wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:54 am
I'm not sure what's sadder, the accident itself or some of the comments here
Yeah, my bad. I am deleting my post in light of what the thread is actually about. I apologize for joining in.

Sean Nunn
It's more the noob comment and the arguing when we should be thinking about the person who died
"There's always the possibility that some a**hole will be offended." -Clint Eastwood, Escape from Alcatraz
"Life is cruel, why should the afterlife be any different".-Davey Jones
"The decision to triage us to death...I understand. I don't know that I would agree with it. Certainly not in retrospect because obviously I made it."-Beck Weathers, Dark side of Everest
SephTR
Posts: 41
Joined: 3/5/2018
14ers: 12

Re: Mt Whitney fatality early November

Post by SephTR » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:46 pm

angry wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:31 pm
SephTR wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:47 am

Outdated. My strength doubles every day.
You asked about Shasta in Jan and wrote “I'm not an expert on winter mountains”. I’m curious what incredible feats of strength have made you an expert sierra nevada hiker in less than a year?
Oh nothing big. Just the white mountain peak forteener of the eastern Sierra.
User avatar
Jon Frohlich
Posts: 2415
Joined: 10/14/2005
14ers: 58
13ers: 150 3
Trip Reports (32)

Re: Mt Whitney fatality early November

Post by Jon Frohlich » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:55 pm

SephTR wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:46 pm
angry wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:31 pm
SephTR wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:47 am

Outdated. My strength doubles every day.
You asked about Shasta in Jan and wrote “I'm not an expert on winter mountains”. I’m curious what incredible feats of strength have made you an expert sierra nevada hiker in less than a year?
Oh nothing big. Just the white mountain peak forteener of the eastern Sierra.
You mean the one with a road to the top?

You're not even a good troll.
User avatar
Bale
Posts: 187
Joined: 6/9/2020
14ers: List not added

Re: Mt Whitney fatality early November

Post by Bale » Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:19 pm

Weird how when someone dies falling down stairs it’s simply an accident, but when someone dies falling down a mountain they are ruthlessly scrutinized by strangers on an Internet forum. Again, may the surviving family of this woman find peace.
Edit to add; the “noob” comment is bad but we have all seen worse. Not only are these sentiments insensitive, they are just flat out bad Karma.
The earth, like the sun, like the air, belongs to everyone - and to no one. - Edward Abbey
Ptglhs
Posts: 1209
Joined: 1/6/2016
14ers: 58 8
13ers: 75 3
Trip Reports (2)

Re: Mt Whitney fatality early November

Post by Ptglhs » Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:41 pm

One hopes SephTR and CoCo can go hiking together and enjoy some quality time overnight in a mine shaft.
User avatar
d_baker
Posts: 2751
Joined: 11/18/2007
14ers: 58 15
13ers: 279 9
Trip Reports (57)

Re: Mt Whitney fatality early November

Post by d_baker » Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:44 pm

Ptglhs wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:41 pm
One hopes SephTR and CoCo can go hiking together and enjoy some quality time overnight in a mine shaft.
Maybe one is the sockpuppet for the other?
markf
Posts: 68
Joined: 11/15/2007
14ers: 48 2 8
13ers: 14 1 3

Re: Mt Whitney fatality early November

Post by markf » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:03 pm

Jon Frohlich wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:55 pm
SephTR wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:46 pm
angry wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:31 pm


You asked about Shasta in Jan and wrote “I'm not an expert on winter mountains”. I’m curious what incredible feats of strength have made you an expert sierra nevada hiker in less than a year?
Oh nothing big. Just the white mountain peak forteener of the eastern Sierra.
You mean the one with a road to the top?

You're not even a good troll.
I think he means the one in the White Mountains, an entirely separate range from the Sierra Nevada.
mark
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 8387
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers: 51 16
13ers: 41 13
Trip Reports (16)
Contact:

Re: Mt Whitney fatality early November

Post by Scott P » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:29 pm

markf wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:03 pm
I think he means the one in the White Mountains, an entirely separate range from the Sierra Nevada.
Correct; White Mountain Peak isn't in the Sierra Nevada. It's an entirely different mountain range.

Seph is either a troll and/or incredible stupid. I would guess both.

Anyway, Nyker has the best post:

I won't speculate on the how/what/why's but what I can say is even on the standard Whitney Main Trail, if conditions are cold, snowy and/or dark it can be very disorienting even for someone experienced in the mountains.
From what I understand she was just going for an afternoon quick day hike, not a summit climb and slipped and fell not that far out from the Portal and was apparently just off the trail.
Most people expecting to be on a short ~1hr hike probably won't be bringing a pack filled with the normal layers and additional gear you'd bring for a lengthy summit climb or late Autumn ascent.

I've been on the rock there in many different weather scenarios and when it's iced over, the ice is often not evident and its easy to slip even on route, if you stray off route even a few feet
you're likely to encounter cliff bands with 50-100ft or more drops. This area is often at a transition point where ice starts where even if you brought microspikes you might not put them on yet.
Accidents happen to the best of us and they usually begin with a simple slip or trip which then isn't stopped. I'd say 100% of us have had seemingly innocent "trips" or "slips" in the mountains at some point.

The fact that she survived two nights out before succumbing, after falling and very possibly seriously injured and scared, with minimal food and water, wearing summer clothes in below freezing temps / negative windchill in an approaching storm
tells me she was a tough determined person.

RIP Cassandra. To her friends and family, our thoughts are with you.


It is true that lot of climbing accidents are caused by inexperience, folly, or recklessness.

In this case at least, it sounds like she went for a run and slipped on the ice near the trailhead. That could happen to anyone. She was well below timberline and not making a summit attempt. She then crawled under a log to wait for help. She survived two days alone and injured before she succumbed.

I guess she could have been more prepared for the conditions, but many people just out for a short run or hike, usually pack pretty minimal. I know I often do on short hikes (I'm not a runner).

Anyway, RIP Cassandra.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
SephTR
Posts: 41
Joined: 3/5/2018
14ers: 12

Re: Mt Whitney fatality early November

Post by SephTR » Sun Dec 06, 2020 2:05 am

Scott P wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:29 pm

In this case at least, it sounds like she went for a run and slipped on the ice near the trailhead. That could happen to anyone. She was well below timberline and not making a summit attempt. She then crawled under a log to wait for help. She survived two days alone and injured before she succumbed.

Anyway, RIP Cassandra.
maybe she should have brought some more hand warmers.
Post Reply