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[l/m 1/14/2010] Morbid backcountry/memorial: Distilled Wisdom (16/28) XYZ

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 - Part7 - Part8 - Part9 - Part10 - Part11 - Part12 - Part13 - Part14 - Part15 - Part16 - Part17 - Part18 - Part19 - Part20 - Part21 - Part22 - Part23 - Part24 - Part25 - Part26 - Part27 - Part28 )
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Panel 16

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
The section on statistics is going to be replaced by a reference.....
to shorten this panel.

        Hey America, what time is it?
        Every 2 seconds         a criminal offense
        Every 12 seconds        a burglary
        Every 17 seconds        a violent crime
        Every 20 seconds        vehicle is stolen
        Every 51 seconds        a robbery
        Every 5 minutes         a rape
        Every 23 minutes        a murder
        Every 28 seconds        aggravated assault
        Every 30 min.           news, weather, and sports
[Ref.: FBI, in Pelton.]

Ways to die involving the backcountry.  Nurturing Mother Nature?

Most frequent: car accident going to or from a backcountry trip.
	Alcohol related (frequently).

Plane crash.  Flip over, equipment malfunction, pilot error, fatigue, etc.

Struck by lightning.

Falling off a rock.
Getting hit by a falling rock.
	Natural rock fall
	Man induced rock fall.
Getting hit by a wall of snow.
Falling into a crevice.
Other miscellaneous falling objects (trees, human objects, etc.).

	Loss of judgment from secondary affects

        Canoe (any boat) capsizes in high waves, etc.
        slip on a rock lining a canoe up rapids
        slip on a rock fording a rapid (hikers)
	Drowning because of belays on stream crossings
	Attempt to canoe/kayak over low-head dam.
	Attempt to canoe/kayak over too big a waterfall (Jesse Sharp, 1991,
		Niagra Falls) 
	Foot entrapment
	Rope entrapment (throw ropes, perimeter rope attached to raft, etc.)
	Swimmer washed beneath undercut rock
	Person in kayak or canoe, washed beneath undercut rock
	Person in kayak or canoe, pinned and entrapped on rocks,
		bridge abutment etc.
	High volume river, low volume kayak, person drowns while still in
		kayak, no entrapment (Gauley River, early 1990s)

Bit or stung by
	Bees (allergies)
	Snakes: Rattlers, water moccasin
	Jelly fish

	Shell fish
	Contaminated food

Being eaten by:
		Don't get in the water
	Lion and tigers and bears, oh my!
	Ants (slowly)

	Plague from flea infested squirrels
	Rocky Mountain Spotted fever from ticks
	Hanta virus

Skiing, cycling, driving into a tree

Explosions involving stoves, fire, etc.
	Accidental gun shot (dropping)
	Gun accident (being shot by partners)
        Total firearms-relating hunting accidents - 1,564
        Total two-party fatalities - 99
        Total self-inflicted fatalities - 47
        Total non-fatal, two-party injuries - 988
        Total non-fatal, self-inflicted injuries - 430


	Heat stroke

Breaking thru thin icy waterways
	Loss of essential equipment

Swimming, rowing accident
	Alcohol related

Evolution in action.
	Selected against.

ran across traffic injury accident statistics for the state of California.
I don't claim that these are representative of the country as a whole.  I
also wish they were more comprehensive, in terms of breaking bicycle
injuries down by age of cyclist and fault on the accident itself.
But they're all I could find on short notice.
Collision with:        Accidents       Deaths          Injuries

Car                     153829          1897            258732
Object                   33614          1471             45175
Pedestrian               17014           956             17493
No collision             13029           553             17384
Bicycle                  15187           126             15692
Parked car                6817           108              8645
All others*               1712            62              2637

Total                   241202          5173            365758

Interestingly, on a per accident basis, you're more likely to be killed
in a car-car accident(1:81.1 accidents) than a car-bike accident(1:120.5).
Also, the ratio of injuries to deaths is only slightly better for car-car 
accidents (1:136.4) than for car-bike (1:124.5).  This is particularly 
striking to me, because we don't have a ton of steel to protect us.  
The lower speed of travel seems to outweigh our vulnerability to injury.

I interpret the low injury-to-accident ratio for car-bike accidents to
mean that for all practical purposes drivers don't get hurt by hitting
a bicyclist.  I assume that in every case the bicyclist was injured, and
perhaps even more than one bicyclist.  Even if it's only one bicyclist
per accident, that's only one car occupant injured in every thirty 

"After seeing this series, I can't see why anyone would want to go to
a National Park."  --Comment made by the wife of a climbing partner
after seeing the short-lived TV series "Sierra."


This part is for our friends, family, acquaintances, and heros who have
passed away.  Regardless of whether they died climbing, travelling,
to or from climbing, or in their sleep.  They were people who pushed limits.
Our friends will be missed.  We remember them here.

		Bill Drake
		John Harlin, II
		Bill "Dolt" Feuerer
		Wally Henry
		Mark Allen Losso
		Mike Blake
		John Mokri
		Tim Harrison
		Peter Barton
		Ben Factor
		Gary Gissendaner
		Nick Estcourt
		Don Partridge
		Arkel Erb
		Tobin Sorensen
		Steve Jensen
		Timothy Mutch
		Jay Veenheusen
		Karl Innes
		Ted Flinn
		Art van Eenenaam
		Mark Hoffman
		Harry Glicken
		Conor Milliff
		Art Caulkins
		Robert Sinnock
		Charles Daffinger
		Bob Godfrey
		Dave Simonett
		Chuck and Ellen Wilts
		John Yablonski
		R. Scott Rogers
		Roland Pettit
		John High
		Jim Harshman
		Tom Shirley
		Chris Rowe
		Ron Palmer
		Bob Locke
		Eric Dirksen
		Charlie Jenkewitz
		Rob Dellinger
		Peter Fisher
		James Campbell
		Manfred Niederleitner
		Franz F\"uhreder
		Mark Bebie
		Ronald Steven Reed
		Karl Henize, NASA Astronaut, climber, ....
		Matthew Maytag
		Ferdinand Castillo
		Beverly Johnson
		Xavier Bongard
		Bill Turk
		John Spicer
		Ron Dingus
		Dr. Carl Sharsmith
		Campbell Ian Grierson
		Liz Hutton
		Matt Pollock
		Brian Waddington
		William L. Burke
		Rob Hall
		Scott Fischer
		Rich Davidson
		Finis Mitchell
		David Dykman
		William T. Russell
		Allan Bard
		Phil Stuart-Jones
		Chantal Maudit
		Mike Spanner
		Frank Reid
		Herb Hultgren, MD
		Jim Weaver
		Bruce Carson
		Bruce Jay Nelson
		Jon Postel
		Paul Ramer
		Hugh Grierson
		Jack Estes
		Bill Danford
		Billy Westbay
		Alexei Nikiforov
		Monica Elderidge
		Tom Dunwiddie
		Mike Sofranko
		Vladimir Smirnov
		Irina Libova
		Ilya Krasik
		Warren Harding
		Clark Natkemper
		Galen and Barbara Rowell
		Eleanor Kamb Ray
		Gomer James
		Kalpana Chawla
		Rick Husband
		Willy McCool
		Ilon Ramon
		Dave Brown
		Laurel Clark
		Michael Anderson
		Anita Borg
		Andy Embrick, MD
		Larry Hofman
		Robert "Bob" Phillip Sharp
		Marc DeGroot
		Pete Schoening
		James 'Jim' Schlinkmann
		Anni Castain
		Bob (Robert L.) Walker
		Ken Thacker
		Ian Whillans
		Nancy Fitzsimmons
		Duane McRuer
		Colin Fletcher
		Nancy Anderson
		Jim Gray
		Doug Porter
		Anton Woperies
		Bruce Bindner
		Louise Engelhardt

A general link including r.c. people:

		In admiration:
		George Leigh Mallory
		A. F. Mummery
		H. W. 'Bill' Tilman
		Walter Starr, Jr.
		Hermann Buhl
		Jim Madsen
		Norman Clyde
		Larry Williams
		Don Jensen
		Don Sheldon
		Ian Clough
		Dougal Haston
		Don Whillans
		Gary Ullin
		Marty Hoey
		John Cunningham
		Bill March
		Naomi Uemura
		Sheridan Anderson
		Dave Johnston
		Leigh Ortenburger
		P. S. Lovejoy
		Nanda Devi Unsoeld
		Joe Tasker
		Peter Boardman
		Mick Burke
		Ome Daiber
		Mugs Stump
		Gary Ball
		Wolfgang Guellich
		Derek Hersey
		David Hume
		Stephen Ross
		Debbie Marshall
		Tommi Heinonen 
		Ari Mattila
		Jacques Yves Cousteau
		Anatoli Boukreev
		Ned Gillette
		Eugene Shoemaker, III
		Paul Petzolt
		Chuck Pratt
		Larry Penberthy
		Anderl Heckmair
		Bradford Washburn
		Ed LaChapelle
		Sir Edmund Hillary
		Bob Bates
		Rene Desmaison
		Chuck Kroger

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air
In darkening storm or sunlight fair.
Oh hear us when we lift our prayer
For those in peril in the air.  Amen.

               HIGH FLIGHT
         by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
 Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
 And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
 Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
 Of sun-split clouds--and done a thousand things
 You have not dreamed of--wheeled and soared and sung
 High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
 I've chased the shouting wind along and flung
 My eager craft through footless halls of air
 Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
 I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
 Where never lark, or even eagle flew
 And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
 The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
 Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

   by Anonymous
      (Found in the wreckage of a WWII Marine Corps fighter
	   that was shot down over New Ireland)

I have skimmed the ragged edge of lightning death
And torn from bloody flesh of sky a thunder song.
Across the nakedness of virgin space
I've blistered my frozen hand in feathered ice
And dared angelic wrath to smash
The snarling will of my demon steed.

Far above sun-glint on winded spume
High executioner of laws no man has made,
I've welded Samurai knights into fiery tombs
And hurled them down like the plumed Minoan
Far down the searing heights to punch
Their livid crates in the sea.

"Enemies", you say.  They were not mine.
More than blood brothers, I swear,
With tawny skin and warrior eye.
Bushido-bred for hell-strife joy.
Much closer my kin, my race than those
Who cud-chew their lives can ever be.

"War-lover", you say, "Sadist, psychotic"
That sick cycle of canned cliches masking
Your lust for eternity fettered to time.
Go, epigonic pygmies, make peace with hell,
Drag the myths of our ancient might
Through the miserable muck of a cringer's dream.

What could you know
Who have never heard
The soaring song of the Valkyries,
Felt thunder-gods jousting with livid peaks:
You who have never dared to walk the razor
Across the zenith of your peevish soul?

TABLE OF CONTENTS of this chain:

16/ Morbid backcountry		<* THIS PANEL *>
17/ Information about bears
18/ Poison ivy, frequently ask, under question
19/ Lyme disease, frequently ask, under question
20/ "Telling questions" backcountry Turing test (under construction)
21/ AMS
22/ Babies and Kids
23/ A bit of song (like camp songs)
24/ What is natural?
25/ A romantic notion of high-tech employment
26/ Other news groups of related interest, networking
27/ Films/cinema references
28/ References (written)
2/ Ethics
3/ Learning I
4/ learning II (lists, "Ten Essentials," Chouinard comments)
5/ Summary of past topics
6/ Non-wisdom: fire-arms topic circular discussion
7/ Phone / address lists
8/ Fletcher's Law of Inverse Appreciation / Rachel Carson / Foreman and Hayduke
9/ Water Filter wisdom
10/ Volunteer work
11/ Snake bite
12/ Netiquette
13/ Questions on conditions and travel
14/ Dedication to Aldo Leopold
15/ Leopold's lot.

From: (Michael K. Tamada)
Subject: Yet More Cougar Attack Statistics, and Dog Statistics Too

     The LA Times this Sunday had a feature article on cougars/mountain 
lions/pumas.  According to the article, there have been 11 deaths caused
by cougars in the US and Canada over the past 100 years.  This is compared
to 12 deaths by lightning per year and 40 deaths by bee sting per year.
     On the other hand, the rate of human/cougar interactions has been
rising in recent years -- partly because housing keeps getting built
in their habitat, but also because cougar populations have been 
recovering in several areas (e.g. a cougar was spotted in Nebraska for
the first time in several decades).
     The article also had some statistics on pet dog/cougar interactions
around some town, Boulder I think.  There have been 37 such "interactions"
in the past x years, and as the author of the article put it, "so far
the score is cougars 15, dogs 0."

--Mike Tamada
  Occidental College

From: Andy Freeman <>
Message-Id: <9301210106.AA28994@SAIL.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: Re: [l/m 12/16/1992] Morbid backcountry/memorial: Distilled Wisdom	(16/28) XYZ

In article <> you write:
>	Accidental gun shot (dropping)
>	Gun accident (being shot by partners)
>	1990:
>        Total firearms-relating hunting accidents - 1,564
>        Total two-party fatalities - 99
>        Total self-inflicted fatalities - 47
>        Total non-fatal, two-party injuries - 988
>        Total non-fatal, self-inflicted injuries - 430

Actually, we know somewhat more about those "accidents".  It is
becoming clear that many of them are really duels and others are
suicides.  "Cleaning gun" appears to be coroner/police-speak for "the
family needs the insurance money".


Article 22285 of rec.skiing:
From: (Jeremy Sommer)
Newsgroups: rec.skiing
Subject: some 91-92 USA Avalanche stats

Avalanche Fatalities in the United States:  1991-92 Season

1.  Ski tourers and ski mountaineers ......... 10
2.  Climbers .................................  4
3.  On piste .................................  0
4.  Off piste ................................  3
5.  Workers ..................................  1
6.  On highways ..............................  0
7.  In buildings .............................  0
8.  Miscellaneous (e.g., snowmobile) .........  2

Avalanche Totals in the United States:  1991-92 Season

1.  Alta, UT ................................ 580
2.  Alpine Meadows, CA ...................... 553
3.  Crystal Mountain, WA .................... 437
4.  Snowbird, UT ............................ 375
5.  Stevens Pass, WA ........................ 318
6.  Alyeska, AK ............................. 258
7.  Mt Hood Meadows, OR ..................... 244
8.  Bridger Bowl, MT ........................ 231
9.  Squaw Valley, CA ........................ 225
10. Kirkwood Meadows, CA .................... 221
11. Solitude, UT ............................ 219
12. Big Sky, MT ............................. 159
13. Aspen Highlands, CO ..................... 146
14. Sugar Bowl, CA .......................... 130
15. Wolf Creek, CO .......................... 127
16. Arapahoe Basin, CO ...................... 110
16. Aspen Snowmass, CO ...................... 110
18. Alpental, WA ............................ 108
19. Jackson Hole, WY ........................  98
20. Telluride, CO ...........................  87
21. Mt Rose/Slide Mt, NV ....................  47
22. Heavenly Valley, CA (sic)................  44
23. Monarch, CO .............................  39
24. Big Mountain, MT ........................  34
25. Aspen Mountain, CO ......................  32
26. Park West, UT ...........................  23
27. June Mountain, CA .......................  22
28. Crested Butte, CO .......................  21
28. Grand Targhee, WY .......................  21
30. Vail, CO ................................  20
30. Winter Park, CO .........................  20
32. Copper Mountain, CO .....................  17
33. Breckenridge, CO ........................  16
33. Loveland Basin, CO ......................  16
35. Sun Valley, ID ..........................  15
35. Taos, NM ................................  15
37. Mammoth Mountain, CA ....................  12
38. Sunlight, CO ............................  10
39. Beaver Creek, CO ........................   8
40. Steamboat, CO ...........................   5
41. Ski Cooper, CO ..........................   3
42. Keystone, CO ............................   2

Method of Location of Some Avalanche Victims in the United States:  1991-92

Method                Dead        Alive
------                ----        -----
Beacon ................ 7 ......... 0
Probe ................. 4 ......... 0
Visual ................ 3 ......... 3
Dog ................... 0 ......... 1
Sound ................. 0 ......... 1

From Ski Patrol Magazine, Spring '93;  article by Robin D. Faisant, Assistant
National Avalanche Advisor.  Quoted without permission.  All errors are mine.

Article 10115 of rec.climbing:
From: (Peter.N.Steinmetz)
Newsgroups: rec.climbing
Subject: Risks of Rock Climbing

Since the subject of relative risks in climbing has come up, I thought
these numbers might be of interest:

Involuntary Risks:                  Risk of death/person-year
Struck by automobile (USA)          1 in 20,000
Struck by automobile (UK)           1 in 16,600
Lightning (UK)                      1 in 10 million
Influenza                           1 in 5000

Voluntary Risks:                    Deaths/person-year (odds)
Smoking, 20 cigs/day                1 in 200
Motorcycling                        1 in 50
Automobile driving                  1 in 5,900
Rock climbing                       1 in 7,150
Skiing                              1 in 1,430,000
Canoeing                            1 in 100,000
Pregnancy (UK)                      1 in 4,350

So, overall rock-climbing is less likely to kill you than being
pregnant!  And apparently one is more likely to die of influenza than
from rock-climbing.  It also appears to be the case that in the UK
driving an automobile is more risky than rock-climbing overall.

The source for this information is Dinman B.D. The Reality and
Acceptance of Risk. JAMA 244:1226. 1980.


Date: 22 Jul 1993 16:00:50 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Gavin D. Watt" <>
Subject: Re: [l/m 5/18/1993] Morbid backcountry/memorial: Distilled Wisdom
 (16/28) XYZ
Organization: Colon Cancer Control Study, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Here's one to add to your list....
>From memory, watching the local news in Elroy WI (after an easy, fun day on
the Sparta-Elroy bike trail) I'm sure it made AP or Clari-net.
July 17, 1993
A woman was killed while canoeing the Brule river in NW Wisconsin.
She was struck by a falling poplar tree which had been gnawed thru 
by a beaver.  Not clear what precipitated the tree's fall.

-- Gavin 930722.1602CDT  
... NE Minneapolis halfway between the N. Pole and the equator

Article 36970 of rec.backcountry:
Newsgroups: rec.backcountry
From: (Michael K. Tamada)
Subject: Re: Shooting Bears?

     A year or two ago the LA Times had an article on mountain lions,
and gave the following figures (I have no idea where they came from or
how accurate they are):

Cause   Deaths/year

Bees       40 
Lightning  12
Mtn Lions   0.11

     My guess is that lightning outranks bears, but bears out rank
mountain lions.

--Mike Tamada
  Occidental College

Newsgroups: rec.climbing
From: (Daniel Mueller)
Subject: mortality rates
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, CH

Yesterday I found the following data in the Neue Zuercher Zeitung. It is 
a table of mortality rates of different activities evaluated with Swiss
statistical data.

			    dead from
			   10000 people
			     per year	

pedestrian in traffic		0.4	per 100 hours
jogging				1.5
housekeeping			2
driving				2.5
mountaineering			4	including: climbing,mountaineering,
						mountain hiking and biking,ski,
						snowboarding, hunting... 
	members of swiss 
	   alpine club	        3.3
	professional guide     24
	Matterhorn	       30	per ascent
	members of GHM 	       70	Groupe de Haute Montagne: a french
						group of extreme alpinists
	Himalaya	      200	per expedition (no trekking)
	Eiger north face     1670	per ascent (1935-1970)
travel by air		       30	per 100 hours
smoking			       36
motorcycling		       90

hope this helps
   / Daniel Mueller        o|\  Signal and Information Processing Laboratory /
  / --------------------    \^\  ETH Zuerich Sternwartstr.7 CH-8092 Zuerich /
 /   /  \  phone: +41 1 6322773  fax: +41 1 2620943 /

Date: Thu, 16 Dec 93 13:58:40 EST
From: Guest Account <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: bike/car fatalities

The possible reason the bike-car fatalities
had lower fatality ratio than the car-car
fatalities is probably because in a 
bike-car accident you almost always get
at most 1 fatality.  In a car-car accident
there can easily be more than one fatality,
ie both cars mashed bad or just one car
filled with many people.  

I would expect the bike-car ratio to
be much higher if you computed
the ratio  accidents involving fatality/accidents

Chuck Spiekerman

From  Fri Feb  3 15:35:25 1995
From: Bill Rhodes <>
To: "Eugene N. Miya" <eugene>
Subject: Deaths on Washington
Message-Id: <>

115 Deaths on Mount Washington
as counted by Yankee Magazine, February 1995 in 
a sidebar to the main article, Fatal Attraction by Nicholas Howe
#    date of death, age if given, name, home town, cause if known
        * When dates are the same, Indicates those who died together
		in same incident
No records prior to 1849, maybe Indians had more sense than to tempt
the spirt of Mannitou.

Since 1849
1    Oct 19, 1849, Fredrick Stickland, 29, Bridlington, England, lost in storm
2    Sept 14, 1855, Lizzie Bourne, 23, Kennebunk, ME, exposure/storm
3    Aug 7, 1856,  Benjamin Chandler, 75, Wilmington, DE, exposure
4    Oct 4, 1869, J.M. Thompson, local, drowning
5    Feb 26, 1872, Pvt William Steven, U.S. Army Signal Corps, natural causes
6    Jun 28, 1873, Pvt William Sealey, U. S. Army Signal Corps, injuries
7    Sep 3, 1874, Harry Hunter, 21, Pittsburgh, PA, exposure
8    Jul 3, 1880, Mrs. Ira Chichester, Allegan, MI, coach accident
9    Jul 24, 1886, Cewall Faunce, 15, Dorchester, MA, falling snow/ice
10  Aug 24, 1890, Ewald Weiss, 24, Berlin, GE, missing/presumed dead
11  Jun 30, 1900, William Curtis, 63, NYC, NY, exposure/storm *
12  Jun 30, 1900, Allan Ormsby, 28, Brooklyn, NY, exposure/storm *
13  Aug 23, 1900, Alexander Cusick, sled accident
14  Sep 18, 1912, John Keenan, 18, Charlestown, MA, missing/presumed dead
15  Aug 5, 1919, Harry Clauson, 19,  South Boston, MA, sled accident *
16  Aug 5, 1919, Jack Lonigan, 21, Boston, MA, sled accident*
17  Nov 1927, A woodsman named Harriman, drowned while fishing
18  Apr 1928, Elmer Lyman, Berlin, NH, exposure
19  Dec 1, 1928, Herbert Young, 18, Salem, MO, exposure
20  Jul 20, 1929, Daniel Rossiter, Boston, MA, train accident
21  Jul 30, 1929, Oysten Kaldstad, Brooklyn, NY, drowned fishing
22  Sep 18, 1931, Henry Bigelow, 19, Cambridge, MA, falling rock injuries
23  Jan 31, 1932, Ernest McAdams, 22, Stonham, MA, exposure *
24  Jan 31, 1932, Joseph Chadwick, 22, Woburn, MA, exposure *
25  Jun 18, 1933, Simon Joseph, 19, Brookline, MA, exposure
26  Jun 18, 1933, Rupert Marden, 21, Brookline, MA, exposure
27  Sep 9, 1934, Jerome Pierce, 17, Springfield, VT, drowned
28  Apr 1, 1936, John Fowler, 19, NYC, NY, 900 foot slide injuries
29  May 23, 1936, Grace Sturgess, 24, Williamstown, MA, falling ice injuries
30  Jul 4, 1937, Harry Wheeler, 55, Salem, MA, heart attack
31  Aug 24, 1938, Joseph Caggiano, 22, Astoria, NY exposure
32  Jun 9, 1940, Edwin McIntire, 19, Short Hills, NJ, fall into crevasse
33  Oct 13, 1941, Louis Haberland, 27, Roslindale, MA, exposure
34  Apr 7, 1943, John Neal, Springfield, MA, skiing accident
35  May 31, 1948, Phyllis Wilbur, 16, Kingfield, ME, sking accident died June 3
36  May 1, 1949, Dr. Paul Schiller, Cambridge, MA, skiing accident/fall/drowning
37  Feb 2, 1952, Tor Staver, skiing accident died Feb 5
38  Aug 23, 1952, Raymond Davis, 50, Sharon, MA, heart attack/exposure
39  Jan 31, 1954, Phillip Longnecker, 25, Toledo, OH, avalanche *
40  Jan 31, 1954, Jacques Parysko, 23, Cambridge, MA, avalanche *
41  Feb 19, 1956, A. Aaron Leve, 28, Boston, MA, avalanche
42  Sep 1, 1956, John Ochab, 37, Newark, NJ, fall
43  Jun 7, 1956, Thomas Flint, 21, Concord, MA, fall/exposure
44  May 17, 1958, William Brigham, 28, Montreal, QE, falling ice injury
45  Jul 19, 1958, Paul Zanet, 24, Dorchester, MA exposure *
46  July 19, 1958, Judy March, 17, Dorchester, MA, exposure *
47  Aug 22, 1959, Anthony Amico, Springfield, MA, heart attack
48  Jun 2, 1962, Armand Falardeau, 42, Danielson, CT, exposure
49  Sep 12, 1962, Alfred Dickinson, 67, Melrose, MA exposure
50  Apr 4, 1964, Hugo Stadmueller, 28, Cambridge, MA avalanche *
51  Apr 4, 1964, John Griffin, Hanover, NH, avalanche
52  May 3, 1964, Remi Bourdages, 38, Spencer, MA, heart attack
53  Mar 14, 1965, Daniel Doody, 31, Cambridge, MA fall *
54  Mar 14, 1965, Craig, Merrihue, 31, Cambdridge, MA, fall *
55  Sep 6, 1967, Beverly Richmond, Putnam, CT, railroad accident *
56  Sep 6, 1967, Eric Davies, 7, Hampton, NH, railroad accient *
57  Sep 6, 1967, Mary Frank, 38, Warren, MI, railroad accident *
58  Sep 6, 1967, Kent Woodward, 9, New London, CT, railroad accident *
59  Sep 6, 1967, Shirley Zorzy, 22, Lynn, MA, railroad accident *
60  Sep 6, 1967, Charles Usher, 55, Dover, NH, railroad accident *
61  Sep 6, 1967, Mrs. Charles Usher, 56, Dover, NH, railroad accident *
62  Sep 6, 1967, Monica Gross, 2, Brookline, MA, railroad accident *
63  Jan 26, 1969, Scott Stevens, 19, Cucamonga, CA, climbing accident (fall?) *
64  Jan 26, 1969, Robert Ellenberg, 19, NYC, NY, climbing accident (fall?) *
65  Jan 26, 1969, Charles Yoder, 24, Hartford, WI, climbing accident (fall?) *
66  Feb 9, 1969, Mark Larner, 16, Albany, NY, injuries in a slide
67  Oct 12, 1969, Richard Fitzgerald, 26, Framingham, MA, fall
68  Nov 29, 1969, Paul Ross, 26, South Portland, ME, plane crash *
69  Nov 29, 1969, Kenneth Ward, 20, Augusta, ME, plane crash *
70  Nov 29, 1969, Cliff Phillips, 25, Island Pond, VT, plane crash *
71  Mar 21, 1971, Irene Hennessey, 47, plane crash *
72  Mar 21, 1971, Thomas Hennessey, 54, plane crash *
73  Apr 24, 1971, Barbara Palmer, 46, West Acton, MA, exposure
74  Aug 28, 1971, Betsy Roberts, 16, Newton, MA, drowned
75  Oct 1971, Geoff Bowdoin, Wayland, MA, drowned
76  May 17, 1972, Christopher Coyne, 21, Greenwich, CT, fall
77  Sep 23, 1972, Richard Thaler, 49, Brookline, MA, heart attack
78  Apr 21, 1973, Peter Winn, 16, Bedford, NH, skiing accident
79  Aug 22, 1974, Vernon Titcomb, 56, Santa Fe, CA, plane crash/storm *
80  Aug 22, 1974, Jean Titcomb, 53, plane crash/storm *
81  Dec 24, 1974, Karl Brushaber, 37, Ann Arbor, MI, injuries
82  Oct 23, 1975, Clayton Rock, 80, MA, heart attack
83  Mar 26, 1976, Margaret Cassidy, 24, Wolfeboro, NH, fall
84  May 8, 1976, Scott Whinnery, 25, Speigletown, NY, fall
85  Jul 12, 1976, Robert Evans, 22, Kalamazoo, MI, fall
86  Feb 14, 1979, David Shoemaker, 21, Lexington, MA,  fall/exposure *
87  Feb 14, 1979, Paul Flanigan, Melrose, MA, fall  *
88  Aug 21, 1980, Patrick Kelley, 24, Hartford, CT, fall
89  Oct 12, 1980, Charles La Bonte, 16, Newbury, MA exposure
90  Oct 13, 1980, James Dowd, 43, Boston, MA, heart attack
91  Dec 31, 1980, Peter Friedman, 18, Thomaston, CT, fall
92  Aug 8, 1981, Myles Coleman, 73, Wellsville, NY, stroke
93  Jan 25, 1982, Albert Dow, 29, Tuftonboro, NH, avalanche while searching for lost climbers
94  Mar 28, 1982, Kathy Hamann, Sandy Hook, CT, fall
95  May 25, 1982, John Fox, 47, Shelburne, VT, stroke
96  Jan 1, 1983, Edward Aalbue, 21, Westbury, NY, fall
97  Mar 24, 1983, Kenneth Hokenson, 23, Scotia, NY, fall
98  Mar 27, 1983, Mark Brockman, 19, Boston, MA, fall
99  Jul 30, 1984, Paul Silva, 22, Cambridge, MA, auto accident
100 Aug 22, 1984, Ernst Heinsoth, 88, Burlington, VT, heart attack
101 Mar 15, 1986, Basil Goodridge, 56, Burlington, VT, heart attack
102 Apr 5, 1986, Robert Jones, 54, Bridgton, ME, heart attack
103 Aug 24, 1986, McDonald Barr, 52, Brookline, MA, exposure/storm
104 Jun 30, 1990, Edwin Costa, 40, Manchester, NH, skiing accident
105 Oct 2, 1990, Jimmy Jones, 34, TX, plane crash *
106 Oct 2, 1990, Russell Diedrick, 24, plane crash *
107 Oct 2, 1990, Stewart Eames, 27, plane crash *
108 Feb 24, 1991, Thomas Smith, 41, Montpelier, VT, fall
109 Jan 27, 1992, Louis Nichols, 47, Rochester, NH, exposure
110 Aug 12, 1992, George Remini, 65, Efland, NC, heart attack
111 Jan 15, 1994, Derek Tinkham, 20, Saunderstown, RI, exposure/Hassed
	hassed -- to be left out in the cold to die while your more experienced
	partner takes off down to safety.
112 Feb 26, 1994, Monroe Couper, 27, NJ, exposure *
113 Feb 26, 1994, Erik Lattey, 40, NJ, exposure *
114 May 1, 1994, Cheryl Weingarten, Somerville, MA, fall
115 June 4, 1994, Sarah Nicholson, 25, Portland, ME, falling ice

As of summer 1994

Of course this list does not take into account those who disappeared without
a trace, of which there are doubtless some, nor does this take into account
serious injuries which may have lead to death later.

Date: Tue, 7 Feb 1995 15:09:00 -0500 (EST)
From: Bill Rhodes <>
To: "Eugene N. Miya" <eugene>
Subject: Wash1.txt
Message-Id: <>

   Fatal Attraction (whole article, part 1)
   by Nicholas Howe  
   Mt. Washington, NH    
   From the February 1995 "Yankee"  
   (typos are probably mine, and yet I won't be
   held responsible for them (:-))
       There have been joys too great to be
   described in words, and there have been
   griefs upon which I have dared not to dwell,
   and with these in mind I must say, climb if
   you will, but remember that courage and
   strength are naught without prudence, and
   that a momentary negligence may destroy the
   happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste,
   look well to each step, and from the
   beginning,think what may be the end. --Edward
   Whimper, 1st known ascent of the Matterhorn   
      On February 28 of last year, Brian Abrams
   was part of a rescue team searching for two
   lost climbers on the upper slopes of Mt.
   Washington in northern New Hampshire. That
   morning the weather observatory on the summit
   recorded temperatures holding steady between
   -13 and -15 F; at 0500 the wind peaked at 128
   miles per hour.     
      Brian saw a huddled knot of color in the
   lee of some rocks, and thinking it was
   another  member of the rescue team, he made
   his way over through the fierce blast and lay
   down close  beside a man in a blue outfit;
   it's a mountaineer's way of getting a bit of
   shelter in extreme  conditions above
   timberline. The man was leaning toward an
   open pack and his gloves were off; 
   apparently he was getting something to eat.
   He didn't seem aware of Brian's presence, the
   rescuer  realized that the man providing his
   shelter was dead.     
      Mount Washington rises at the end of our
   north meadow, and even as children, we knew 
   that people died up there. Fredrick Stickland
   was the first to die, a young Englishman who
   gave out  in October 1849 after becoming lost
   in bad weather. We thought most about Lizzie
   Bourne; she  died in September 1855, and we
   imagined her wearing a skirt that swept the
   ground and leg  o'mutton sleeves like the
   ladies in the earliest pages of our family
   photo albums.     
      Our summers were filled with hiking, and
   the greatest trips were on the Presidential 
   Range: Madison, Adams, Jefferson, and the
   crowning heights of Mount Washington. The
   trees got  smaller and smaller as we climbed,
   until the last of them were squashed into
   moss and there was  only rock and sky in
   front of us. There was a metal sign about
   here on every trail, bright yellow with 
   black lettering: "STOP Weather Changes Above
   Timberline Are Sudden And Severe. Do Not 
   Attempt This Trail Unless You Are In Good
   Physical Condition, Well Rested and Fed, And
   Have Extra Food And Clothing. Turn Back At
   The First Sign Of Bad Weather."     
      I still look toward Mount Washington
   everytime I go outdoors; I look at it as a
   sailor looks at  his compass. Many days it's
   bright and clear, and often I go up on the
   range for a hike. Other days  are bright and
   clear in every direction except that one and
   the mountain is covered by a shroud, a  smear
   of storm cloud like the furred back of a cat.
   For most of history, people would not go up 
   there on such days; now they often do, and in
   the valley we wait for the call to go out to
   the  rescuers.     
      It first came to me in 1952. I spent
   teenage summers working for Joe Dodge in the 
   mountain huts of the Appalachian Mountain
   Club. Joe set up camp in Pinkham Notch in
   1922, at  the foot of Mount Washington, and
   for climbers over the years he was Mount
   Washington and its  sky-born neighbors. Joe
   was a barrel of a man with a core of iron and
   a heart of gold, and  inspiration for every
   half-formed neophyte who ever came near, and
   a person whose command of  spoken English
   often carried sufficient force to get the
   toughest job done with words alone.    
   August 23 was a major annual event in the
   hutman's calendar. This was "Guinea Day," 
   established some years before to celebrate
   the birthday of Vinny LaManna, who was chief
   of the  storehouse and affectionately called
   "Vinny the Guinea." His birthday was late in
   the summer and  provided a convenient
   occasion for a party to mark the end of the
      That week in 1952 had brought very severe
   weather, but about 25 hutmen got to the party 
   in Pinkham Notch. It was always a spaghetti
   and beer bust, and momentum gathered quickly. 
      Suddenly, a young woman appeared. She was
   wet, muddy and out of breath; she said  she
   was a  nurse and a man had collapsed up above
   Tuckerman Ravine. Her companion, another
   nurse, had  stayed with him.     
      Joe Dodge's example taught us not to
   hesitate at times like this, so we put down
   the  spaghetti and the beer and took off up
   Mount Washington at a trot. The clouds closed
   in on us, the  rain turned to sleet part way
   up Tuckerman, then ice was gathering on the
   rocks. It was the  weather those signs warned
   about and it was tough going, but at 19 you
   are not only invincible, but  you are also
   immortal, and were all 19. When we got to the
   man, he was dead..     
      Most of us had never seen death so close,
   and many had never seen death at all; we 
   hadn't learned that when lifeless flesh is
   pressed, it does not rebound, it does not
   press back. This  man seemed extraordinarily
   large, too heavy to lift, and we learned the
   meaning of "dead weight,"  a weight that
   doesn't help you at all. We could barely keep
   our feet as we headed down over the 
   headwall; we half-dropped our burden several
   times and we did drop it several times. Some 
   laughed, saying we should just let him slide
   down the slope, he wouldn't mind, and we'd
   catch up  later. That, apparently, is what
   you do when you're at the height of your
   powers and carrying a  dead man you can
   hardly lift.     
      Being tall, I was at the downhill end of
   the load. one of his booted feet was flopping
   right  beside my shoulder, just flopping
   there with an absolute limpness I'd never
   seen. The nurse who  had stayed behind said
   she'd found a prescription for heart medicine
   in the man's pocket, and I  kept wondering
   what he was thinking when he passed the sign
   telling how the weather changes  above
   timberline are sudden and severe. I kept
   looking at the boot laces on the foot
   flopping on my  shoulder. They were tied with
   a double bow knot, and I kept thinking the
   same thing over and over,  that when he tied
   that bow this morning, he was looking forward
   to the day.     
      My friend Chan Murdoch was level with the
   man's arm, and he told me later that all the 
   way down he could only think of how the man's
   limp elbow kept nudging him as he struggled
   with  the carry, just that persistent
   mindless nudge. When Chan said that, I
   realized that we'd both seen  our first death
   in very small parts.     
      For Joe Dodge, there was other business to
   attend to. He lived with emergency like his 
   own shadow, and he'd led the charge countless
   times. So when we got to the Appalachian 
   Mountain Club headquarters at the bottom of
   the trail, Joe made the call. It appeared,
   however,  that the person at the other end of
   the line insisted on hope.    Finally Joe
   said, "Hell no, lady, it's  worse than that.
   The poor son of a bitch is dead."     
      He was the 38th person to die. Now the
   total is 115, and the pace is quickening.   
   Last year  five people died up there from
   mid-January to early June, the fastest start
   on mortality since  records began. Like
   Lizzie Bourne, the numbers are still people,
   among both the living and the  dead.    
   Tinkham and Haas     
      The first death of 1994 came on January
   15, a Saturday. Joe Dodge's legacy is a
   cluster  of buildings at the AMC headquarters
   in Pinkham Notch and the "pack room" is a
   popular spot, the  place where climbers
   gather when they're about to start on a climb
   or are just returning from one.  Thursday
   evening a young man was speaking at
   considerable length on his plans, a four-day 
   traverse along the skyline ridge of the
   Presidential Range. Another hiker was
   forcibly struck by how  easily he dominated
   the room and the people there, and how his
   companion sat by, silent and  enthralled.     
     The speaker was Jeremy Haas; his companion
   was Derek Tinkham, both college  students,
   Derek loved the mountains, he went climbing
   up here whenever he could, he meant to  go to
   work as a guide, and he'd gotten a job with
   the rescue team at Yosemite for the coming 
   summer. His long-time friend Jennifer Taylor
   often drove him up to the mountains to start
   a trip and  picked him up when it was done.   
      Their route usually took them through
   North Conway, 20 miles south of Mount 
   Washington, and Derek would always stop at
   International Mountain Equipment, a major
   source of  serious gear, advice, and
   companionship. Jennifer noticed that Derek
   would only let one person  wait on him; no
   matter how small the transaction or how many
   unoccupied people were behind the  counter,
   he always waited until a short, compact
   fellow was free. Finally Jennifer asked her
   friend  why he always waited for that person.
   Derek explained that the person he waited for
   was Rick  Wilcox, owner of the store; that he
   was a great mountaineer, that he'd climbed
   Mount Everest,  Jennifer understood.     
      What they could learn from Rick Wilcox
   should also be understood, because it's the
   key to everything that followed. Rick had
   started with the neighborhood mountains of
   New England and  worked his way up. Now he's
   made five trips to the Himalayas, and he
   knows how very small are  the margins that
   determine not just whether a summit is
   reached, but whether a climber returns at 
      A Himalayan summit day begins years
   earlier, when the leader applies for
   permission to  make the try. The planning,
   the money-raising, the risk to business and
   family relations, the long  trek to base
   camp, the push higher and higher up the
   flanks, all increase the pressure to make 
   those last few hundred yards to the summit.
   That's what we're taught to do; our culture
   is obsessed  with success and climbers are
   our surrogates -- they're the ones that keep
   pushing upward.     
      For Rick Wilcox, and his climbing mates,
   the weather had gone bad just a few hundred 
   yards below the summit of Makalu, fifth
   highest in the world. They turned around
   without hesitation.  six days of dizzyingly
   steep snow climbing protect the summit ridge
   of Cho Oyu, then there's a very  long knife
   edge, and just below the summit, a small rock
   wall with a drop of 10,000 feet at the 
   climber's heels. Rick's partner, Mark Richey,
   let the first move onto that wall and sensed
   the brittle  quality of the rock. He looked
   at Rick, and with hardly a word, they turned
   around. The summit was  right there, and they
   turned around and headed for home, half a
   world away.     
      On his fifth Himalayan expedition, the
   summit of Everest was son still that Rick sat
   there  for an hour. From the beginning, he'd
   had the feeling that finally, on this trip,
   it was his turn. The  clouds came in that
   afternoon, and Rick's partner kept track of
   his own descent by noting the  curious
   markers at the top of the world. There are
   frozen bodies on the summit patches of  
   Everest, climbers who did not plan as well or
   who kept pushing when the signs were bad.
   It's too  difficult to take dead climbers
   down, so they stay there forever and wiser
   climbers use them as  guides.     
      The hike Jeremy had planned for himself
   and Derek began Friday afternoon, but like a 
   Himalayan expedition, the important decisions
   had been made much earlier. Jennifer had
   urged  Derek to take along a small
   mountaineering tent, but Jeremy wanted to
   travel light, so they took  bivouac ("bivy"}
   bags instead, weather-resistant coverings for
   their sleeping bags. Jeremy also left  his
   over mitts at home, he wanted the added
   dexterity of gloves.     
      Something else had already been
   established, probably years earlier; Jeremy
   had a tendency to keep pushing. He'd led a
   climb for the University of New Hampshire
   Outing Club, and  when they returned, many of
   the group complained that he'd kept charging
   ahead and was not  sensitive to their needs;
   he was told he could not be a trip leader
   anymore, and he resigned from  the club. He
   took Chris Rose on a Presidential Range
   traverse over the Christmas break, and Chris 
   got so cold that all his toes had to be
   amputated. The trip Jeremy planned for
   himself and Derek  was the same route as the
   one that had claimed his friend's toes two
   years earlier.     
      The pack room at Pinkham Notch were Jeremy
   held forth was built many years after we set
   out to rescue the failing hiker on Guinea
   Day, but other elements have not changed.
   Detailed  weather reports and predictions at
   upper elevations are always posted at the
   AMC, and climbers  check them as a reflex
   before starting up. High winds and extreme
   cold were predicted for that  weekend. Jeremy
   and Derek started for the base of the Air
   Line Trail, a popular route departing 
   through the tiny town of Randolph and rising
   to skyline on the northern end of the
   Presidential  Range.     
      The trees grew smaller and more dense as
   they neared timberline. There are openings 
   here, certified as overnight campsites by
   years of native wisdom. The two climbers
   stopped in one  and settled into their bivy
   bags. As they slept, the weather above
   timberline, severe enough when  they began,
   grew worse.     
      The summit observatory recorded -6F at
   midnight and -23F at 0800; the wind moved
   into  the west and was steady in the
   40-mile-per-hour range, not high by local
   standards, but a west  wind rakes straight
   across the 6.5 mile ridge Jeremy and Derek
   would traverse. They climbed to  the top of
   Madison, then Adams, the second-highest peak
   in the Northeast. It was close to noon  now,
   and they'd been making quite good time.       
   This section of the trail leads down to
   Edmands Col, a mile of easy going. Derek was
   going  slower and slower, a sign that betrays
   the onset of hypothermia. Edmands Col lies
   between  Adams and Jefferson, and the mild
   descent took many times what it would in
      Hypothermia is not just cold hands and
   feet; it comes when the cold has bitten right
   through, and  the body's core temperature
   begins to drop. The body circles up the
   metabolic wagons to make  one last stand
   against death, blood is concentrated in the
   viscera, the mind becomes sluggish and  limbs
      At this point, there were three refuges
   nearby, all below timberline: The Perch is a
   three-  sided shelter, Crag Camp just had a
   complete rebuild, and Gray Knob had also been
   rebuilt and  had a caretaker, heat, lights,
   and radio contact with the valley. The two
   hikers discussed a retreat  to one of them, 
   but decided to continue upward toward the
   summit of Jefferson. Jeremy's original  plan
   was to go on to Sphinx Col, a mile and a half
   up Jefferson and down the other side; he 
   remembered an ice cave there during his
   previous trip, and his idea was to use it as
   shelter for the  second night of this trip.   
      In the prevailing weather conditions, it
   had become a plan of breathtaking stupidity.
   Ice  caves are ephemeral. What Jeremy had
   seen two years earlier might not be there at
   all this year.  
      Even if it was, Sphinx Col would be a
   furious torrent of Arctic wind and an ice
   cave was not what  they needed. As bad as it
   was in Edmands Col, it could only be worse in
   Sphinx Col, higher and  nearer the Mount
   Washington weather vortex. The climbers were
   getting weaker, the storm was  getting
      Afterward, Jeremy said the decision to
   push on was a mutual one. But experienced 
   climbers agree that at this point it was
   Jeremy's job, as the more experienced
   climber, to get Derek  down to shelter, any
   shelter. As Rick Wilcox puts it, "When you
   climb solo, you only have to worry  about
   yourself, but when you climb with another
   person, it's your responsibility to look out
   for him."  
      In fairness to Jeremy, he was suffering
   from the same extreme conditions, and that
   might have  affected his judgement.     
      When they got to the summit of Jefferson,
   Derek collapsed. Having left a tent at home, 
   Jeremy tried to get him into a sleeping bag,
   then left for the summit of Mount Washington,
   more  than three miles away. It was 4:30
   p.m., darkness would soon overtake him, the
   summit  temperature had dropped to -27 F, and
   the wind was in the 80s with a peak gust of
   96 miles per  hour.    Jeremy lost his
   gloves, and having left his heavy overmitts
   at home, his hands were too cold  to let him
   get at the food and the flashlight he had in
   his pockets. He kept his hands under his 
   armpits as he staggered and crawled along the
      Conditions like this do not match normal
   experience. One year I went up to the summit
   for  Thanksgiving dinner with the observatory
   crew; the weather was moderate and the climb 
   enjoyable, but the day after the feast, the
   wind rose to 150; the day after that the
   recording pen  went off the chart at 162. In
   lulls, the observers would climb the inside
   of the tower to the  instrument deck to clear
   ice from the sensors. I'd go and help and
   found a curious situation: Facing  the wind
   made it difficult to exhale, back to the wind
   made it difficult to get a breath in.   
   Strictly  speaking, it was physics, but it
   felt like I was drowning of an ocean of air.
   Purposive effort hardly  worked at all, and
   years later when I saw news footage of people
   getting hit by police water  cannons, I
   thought of that storm on Mount Washington.    
    Supper in the observatory on the Saturday of
   Jeremy and Derek's trip was a noisy meal. 
   There was the hammer of an 80-mph wind and
   cracking sounds from the building itself. The 
   concrete and the embedded steel reinforcing
   rods contract at different rates. Ken
   Rancourt and  Ralph Patterson were on duty,
   and they were used to this, but now Ken
   suddenly looked intent,  he'd heard a
   different, more rhythmic banging in the midst
   of the uproar. He and Ralph traced the  sound
   to a door on the north side of the building:
   Someone was out there.     
      A few minutes later, Jeremey was inside.
   He was barely able to talk, but as Ralph
   checked  for the most obvious signs of
   damage, he asked Jeremy if he was alone.
   Jeremy indicated that  he'd left his partner
   near the summit of Jefferson. The wind peaked
   at 103 that night, and between  midnight and
   0400 the temperature held steady at -40 f.    
      Some newspaper reports described Jeremy's
   fierce traverse as "heroic." Others had 
   worked out a different calculus of risk, and
   they did not share that view. Prominent in
   the latter  group are the ones who tried to
   rescue Derek Tinkham.     
      By 2100 the observatory crew had called
   the valley to report the emergency, and the 
   message reached the Mountain Rescue Service.
   Joe Letini answered, then and co-leader Nick 
   Yardley put the "A Team" on standby. The
   first decision had already been made: The
   combination  of darkness and brutal
   conditions made a rescue attempt that night
   impossible. It's a difficult but  accepted
   calculation; at a certain point, many lives
   cannot be risked in a try to save one. At
   0500  the team left for the base of  Caps
   Ridge Trail, the shortest route up Jefferson. 
      Conditions were extraordinarily bitter as
   the 11 team members started up. Joe Lentini
   was  keeping a sharp eye out for signs of
   frostbite or falter among his crew. Caps
   Ridge takes its name  from a series of rock
   outbursts heaping up above timberline like
   the bony spires on the back of  some
   prehistoric monster. Summertime hikers have
   to hold on up there, and in winter it's 
   immeasurably tougher. The caps are clad in
   ice, with wind-blown snow in the sheltered
   parts of the  jagged skyline. The dwarf
   spruce under drifts is impossible to see, and
   when the climbers stepped  in the wrong
   place, they'd fall up to their ribs.     
      Up past the last cap, Tiger Burns advised
   Joe that his feet were getting cold. Knowing
   that  it would only get worse and that a
   disabled team member higher up would vastly
   increase their  problems, he descended to a
   sheltered place to wait for the others to
   return. He was still above  timberline, but
   he was ready.     
      Tiger's outfit was typical of MRS team
   that day. He had many layers of specialized
   clothing  under his waterproof outer shell.
   He had insulated bin-pants and parka with a
   heat-reflective Mylar  lining, a balaclava, a
   pile lined Gore-tex hat under the hood, and a
   scarf snuggling up the spaces  around his
   face. He had polypropoylene liner gloves,
   expedition-weight wool gloves, extra-heavy 
   expedition mitts with overshells, and
   chemical heaters for hands and feet. In his
   pack, Tiger had  two sets of backups for his
   gloves and mitts, two more hats, another
   scarf, extra chemical heat  packs, and a bivy
   bag. Unlike most of the climbers, he was not
   wearing goggles. Instead, as his  balaclava
   froze, he pinched it into narrow slits over
   his eyes.     
      Up above, the trail led onto an alpine
   zone of ice and rough broken rock, with the
   1,000  foot summit pyramid of Jefferson
   rising above it. It was just here that the
   wind hit the rescue team,  a blast so severe
   that they could communicate only by putting
   their heads together and yelling. At  1000,
   Al Comeau spotted a bit of color up near the
   peak of the mountain.     
      It was Derek's bivy bag. It was just below
   the summit, and Derek was lying there half
   out of  his sleeping bag. He was wearing a
   medium-weight parka, and it was only partly
   zipped; his other  clothes were barely
   sufficient for a good-weather winter climb,
   and his hands were up at his face  as if
   trying to keep away the calamity that fell on
   him at dusk the day before. There were two
   packs  with sleeping bags nearby, on top of
   an insulated sleeping pad. Troubled things
   had happened  here, but there was no time for
   reflection now.     
      As the team started down, the wind hit
   them straight in the face. It was -32 f , the
   wind was  peaking in the high eighties, and
   they were keeping ahead of it in clothing
   like the outfit Rick Wilcox  had on the top
   of Everest. In conditions like this, you
   don't go where you want to go, you go where 
   the wind and the terrain let you go.       
   Suddenly Maury McKinney broke through the
   crust and the whole of his weight drove his 
   heel down, injuring his calf. The Andy
   Orsini's eye froze shut. Bob Parrot helped
   Andy cover up  completely and Maury leaned
   against his other side, partly to guide him,
   partly to relieve his own  bad leg. The
   battered troika made its way down through the
   ice and rock for several hundred yards  until
   Maury was able to reach in through Andy's
   wrappings and rub the melting ice out of his
      When the team reached Tiger Burns, they
   took their first rest in eight hours of
   continuous  maximum effort. Several times
   they'd considered leaving the body behind and
   saving themselves,  but then they thought of
   Derek's family and how they'd feel if their
   son was still up there, alone with  the
   storm, and they kept going. Once in the
   woods, they talked among themselves about
   what had  happened. "Bottom line," said Joe
   Letini, "I would never ditch a partner like
      Later there was time for reflection. Like
   many members of the recovery groups, Andy 
   Orsini had instinctively shut out the
   emotional aspects of the job in order to get
   on with it. By  Tuesday this insulation had
   turned to anger. He had the newspaper account
   and read that if he had  any regrets, Jeremy
   had said "Yes, I wish I'd brought mittens
   instead of gloves." Andy was so  appalled
   that he called the newspaper to verify the
   remark. "It's something I have to live with,"
   said Al Comeau, "seeing Derek there. He was a
   victim of Jeremy's state of mind and over- 
   ambitiousness. That one really bothered me."  

       Fatal Attraction (whole article, part 2)
   by Nicholas Howe   =20
   Mt. Washington, NH       =20
   From the February 1995 "Yankee"   =20
   (typos are probably mine, and yet I won't be
   held responsible for them (:-))   =20
   Lattey and Couper      =20
      That winter, Jim Dowd had also been
   bothered. He was caretaker of the Harvard
   cabin  below Mount Washington's Huntington
   Ravine and about two miles up from the
   highway in  Pinkham Notch, and it seemed as
   if practically every climber who came through
   said he'd read an  article about ice climbing
   in Pinnacle Gulley up in the ravine. It was
   in Climbing magazine, it was  written by an
   eager but inexperienced teenager who'd gotten
   into trouble up there with his friend,  and
   people kept telling Jim they thought it was a
   great story.    =20
      Talk like this made Jim feel a little
   sick, and he'd made a point not to read the
   article; when  Jim was 11 years old, his
   father had died while climbing the next
   ridge. One of the reasons Jim  was working up
   here was a sense that he'd like to give
   something back, and he didn't like to hear=20
   about people rushing into ill-advised risks. =20
      Huntington Ravine has always been a place
   of risk. It looks like the impression left by=20
   some immense primordial fist driven into the
   side of Mount Washington, rock-lined, 1,800
   feet high,  and the toughest of all trails
   for summer hikers. It also loomed large in
   our youthful inventory of  awe. Jessie
   Whitehead was a librarian at Harvard
   University, she was flinging herself against=20
   difficult obstacles when even the bravest of
   men were cautious, and we knew she'd had a
   terrible  fall while ice climbing in
   Huntington Ravine in 1931. Jessie survived,
   but she was almost crippled  by a stutter,
   and we thought her affliction was a relic of
   that fall. Sue used to stay at our summer=20
   place, and we'd try to get close enough to
   hear her try to talk. We tried to imagine the
   frightful  circumstance that inflicted such a
   penalty.    =20
      Monroe Couper and Erik Lattey were
   planning their own climb in Huntington
   Ravine. They  were friends in New Jersey,
   both had young families, and both were just
   getting started in winter  climbing. Now they
   headed for New Hampshire and signed in at the
   AMC headquarters at 1330 on  Friday
   afternoon, February 25. The weather forecast
   for the next day was favorable: Highs in the=20
   teens, winds on the summit increasing to 40
   to 60 mph. They wouldn't be going to the
   summit, so it  looked good.    =20
      Saturday morning, Monroe and Erik left the
   Harvard cabin at around eight, then had to=20
   return --they had forgotten their climbing
   rope. They started up Pinnacle at about noon.
   The  weather forecast, however, had been
   wrong; conditions higher up were
   deteriorating rapidly. Bill  Aughton is
   director of Search and Rescue at the AMC, and
   he was guiding a trip across the=20
   Presidentals that day. He was so struck by
   the unexpectedly bad weather that he took a
   picture  looking ahead to Mount Washington,
   then turned his group around.    =20
      A climber at the bottom of Huntington
   Ravine spotted Monroe and Erik in upper
   Pinnacle  Gully at 1700. They were not moving
   well. Guides allow three hours for Pinnacle;
   Monroe and Erik  had been up there for five.
   The usual turn-around time is 1430 or 1500;
   they were 2.5 hours past  that and still
   going up, toward the approaching night.   =20
   Going up in ice climbing must be understood
   conditionally: While one climber is moving,=20
   the stays in a fixed position to tend the
   rope and belays, the safety margin. Thus,
   either Monroe or  Erik had been almost
   motionless for half of their time in
   Pinnacle, absorbing the cold.=20
      The  overnight lodgers at the Harvard
   cabin were settling in, tending to their gear
   and making their  various preparations for
   supper, when someone noticed two packs in a
   corner that didn't belong to  anyone there.  =20
      The top of pinnacle eases over onto the
   Alpine Garden, well above timberline. This
   place  is a summer delight, table-flat and
   almost a mile wide, and spread with tiny
   flowers, dense moss  and delicate sedges. One
   of the several unique plants that lives here
   has its growth cells at the  bast of its
   stalk instead of its tip, the better to
   withstand the brutal winters.    =20
      This was a brutal winter, and as Monroe
   and Erik felt their way out of the top of
   Pinnacle,  they found only wind-scoured ice
   and rock. Just above them on the summit, the
   wind averaged 90  mph between nine and eleven
   that evening, gusting to 108 at 2150; by
   midnight the temperature  had fallen to -24
   f. A maximum rescue effort was being
   organized in the valley.    =20
      At 0600, 33 climbers gathered at the AMC
   headquarters; the plan was to send teams up=20
   several climbing gullies of Huntington Ravine
   and also comb the adjacent area, the most
   likely  places to find the missing pair.   =20
   The plan was quickly modified. The climbers
   were getting into their routes soon after
   0900.  It was -16 f at the observatory on the
   ridge above them, and the wind averaged over
   100 miles per  hour from 0700 until 1200 with
   a peak gust of 127 at 0945. Tiger Burns was
   working his way up  Escape Gulley with two
   partners, and he suddenly found himself in
   midair, blown out like a heavily  dressed
   pennant, with only one elbow looped through a
   webbing strap to keep him from a very  long
   fall. Nick Yardley and his partners were the
   only ones to get above timberline, and then
   only  briefly -- they had to crawl down.     =20
    After all the teams were back down on the
   wooded plateau near the Harvard cabin, it=20
   occurred to Jim Dowd that Monroe and Erik
   might have gotten into Raymond Cataract, a
   broad  basin adjoining Huntington Ravine,
   remarkably regular in contour, no steeper
   than a hiking trail,  and funneling out into
   an outlet nearby. Jim was thinking that
   Monroe and Erik might have made a  snow cave.
   They might still be there, unhappy, but safe.=20
      Jim Dowd and Chad Jones started up into
   the Cataract. Snow drifts in heavily here,
   and it  almost avalanched on them. Jim had a
   grim sort of chuckle: Al Dow had died in an
   avalanche near  here during another winter
   search mission -- there's a plaque honoring
   him on a rescue cache in  Huntington Ravine
   -- and Jim was thinking that if this slope
   let go, they could just add (d) to the  name
   on the plaque to remember him as well.      =20
   Their hopes lifted when they found boot
   tracks, but they turned out to be from Nick
   Yardley  and his partner, descending. Other
   than that, there was only a mitten and a pot
   lid, found in the  floor of the ravine. They
   were on top of the snow, so they couldn't
   have been there long; they'd  probably been
   blown loose from somewhere higher up. Jim and
   Chad made a last visual check of  Pinnacle
   and saw nothing. Then they looked at each
   other and said almost at the same moment,=20
   "They're still on the climb." Privately Jim
   thought, "Damn, we missed the boat. We were
   looking in  the escape routes." He imagined
   the climbers thinking, "We need to get out of
   here and the  direction we are going is up." =20
    First lessons in climbing teach people to
   climb, not escape, Monroe  and Erik had kept
   pushing upward.    =20
      When Jim got back to the cabin that
   evening, there were the usual number of
   recreational  climbers in for the night, but
   the usual banter was missing. "Everyone was
   looking at me with these  big eyes, like,
   what happened to those guys?" Jim had gone
   through their packs earlier to see if he=20
   could get an idea of what they had with them
   by seeing what they left behind. He'd also
   found two  steaks, so now, after the long day
   of work trying to find the missing climbers,
   he cooked their  steaks for own supper.      =20
   Early Monday morning the teams started up
   again. The summit temperature was steady=20
   between -13 and -15 f; at 0500 the wind
   peaked at 128 mph. Ben Miller was with a
   group climbing  Odell Gulley, just left of
   Pinnacle. Ben had the longest association
   with Mount Washington: His  father worked up
   there for 39 years. A climber of long
   experience, Ben knew the mountain and its=20
   habits as if it were his backyard.    =20
      Ben's group reached the intersection of
   Odell with Alpine Garden and found a cleavage=20
   plane -- laying flat, Ben felt that if he put
   his head up, the wind would simply peel him
   off the snow.  Working his way up over the
   crest, he saw others on the Garden fighting
   through the wind, their  ropes bowed out into
   taut arcs. Rick Wilcox and Doug Madera went
   up the ridge above the right  wall of the
   ravine. This place has no difficulties for a
   summer hiker, but when Rick wasn't totally=20
   braced against his crampons and ice ax, the
   wind would send him sprawling along the
   ground.  There was a 2,000 foot drop 30 feet
   away.    =20
      As soon as Al Comeau came over the crest
   of South Gulley, he saw someone there in the=20
   sun. As with Derek Tinkham, Al was the first
   to reach the victim, but this was a moment
   all rescue  climbers dread --it was someone
   he knew. Al recognized Monroe Coupler, a
   climbing student he'd  had the winter before,
   a musician of unusual talent and sensitivity,
   a person Al remembered with  great affection.
   Not seeing Erik Lattey, Al went down the top
   section of Pinnacle to see if he had  gotten
   stuck there. When he returned, Brian Abrams
   and some others were there. They realized=20
   that Monroe had died in the act of trying to
   make something hot for himself and his
   friend. Erik was  nearby, lying face down in
   the rocks with his arms outstretched, heading
   toward Monroe, as if he'd  tried to find an
   escape route Saturday evening, then gone back
   for his partner.    =20
      This was a tough one. Members of the
   climbing community had little sympathy for
   Jeremy  Haas, but Monroe and Erik had tried
   to do things right. They'd taken climbing
   lessons from the best  in the business, and
   in their last moments they were trying to
   take care of each other.    =20
      The bodies were finally recovered on
   Tuesday. Then after three days of almost
   continuous  effort, the teams gathered for a
   debriefing down at AMC headquarters. An
   official from the US  Forest Service offered
   to arrange psychological counseling for
   anyone who felt the need, but there  were no
   takers. The consensus was that they'd rather
   have the Forest Service arrange steaks and=20
   beer. This was, after all, volunteer work.   =20
   Weingarten      =20
      Tuckerman Ravine is a sort of twin to
   Huntington Ravine, a left-hand punch into the
   side of  Mount Washington by the same giant
   hand who made Huntington with his right. The
   surrounding  topography is a little different
   though -- it has the effect of an immense
   snow fence, and the drifts  pile into
   Tuckerman all winter long. By spring, snow
   has banked up against the headwall 150 feet=20
   deep, and skiers from all over America hike
   up from the highway and test nerve and
   technique on  some of the steepest skiing
   anywhere on the planet. "Going over the lip,"
   making the vertiginous  plunge from the
   higher snowfields down into the bowl, is a
   major rite of passage.    =20
      In fact, going up over the Lip can be as
   scary as most people would want. It's not
   like  climbing a slope in any familiar sense
   -- it's more like climbing a thousand-foot
   ladder. There's  always a line of steps
   kicked into the snow at the right side of the
   headwall, and as the slope  steepens, the
   surface of the snow gets closer and closer to
   the front of bended knees. Darwin is in=20
   charge of safety here; skiers usually stop
   climbing up at the point dictated by thoughts
   of skiing  down.    =20
      Darwin was not with me the first time I
   skied down over the Lip. I'd climbed an
   alternate  route to take the mail to the crew
   at the summit observatory; not only that, but
   fog came in on the  way down. There are
   several major choices of route: Gulf of
   Slides and Raymond Cataract both  end at the
   same place in the valley and are far more
   accommodating to nerve and technique. I
   planned to ski down with someone from the
   observatory, trusting him to navigate on my
   youthful  and somewhat tremulous behalf.
   Being above timberline, on snow, in fog, is
   like being inside a milk bottle: It's a
   whiteout  with no visual references at all.
   At best your lost, at worst you totter with
   vertigo or nausea. As we  skied down, my
   increasing speed told me the slope was
   steepening, and even though years of  hiking
   had taught me the terrain in mapmaker's
   detail, it was fair-weather mapmaking. I
   asked  where we were and heard, "The Lip is
   right down there." In this case, the whiteout
   was my friend,  and I made my rite of passage
   over the lip because I couldn't see well
   enough to be scared.
      Not everyone skis, and a good spring day
   will also bring out hikers who enjoy the
   cushiony  surface underfoot, the bright sun,
   and the spectacle. Last May 1, Cheryl
   Weingarten and her  friends Julie Parsons,
   Anna Shapiro, and Nick Nardi, all in their
   20's, had come up for the day.  Anna stayed
   in the ravine to ski, the others headed for
   the summit.    =20
      The weather was tolerable, and they
   followed the skiers up the ladder of step at
   the right  side of the ravine. Trouble was
   already with them, though; fog had come in,
   and they couldn't see  the larger picture.
   Caution is largely determined by vision --out
   of sight, out of mind. On the way  down from
   the summit they had fun sliding in the soft
   snow of the upper, milder terrain. They were=20
   on my youthful track exactly, but they didn't
   have my guide; with no horizon and no
   shadows, slope  and detail disappeared in a
   wash of gray.    =20
      As spring advances, melt water from the
   slopes above Tuckerman Ravine runs over a
   flat  rock at one side of the Lip, then
   plunges down the headwall behind the snow.
   Julie was in the lead  as the three friends
   hopped and slithered along, and suddenly she
   slid out onto the rock. With a  lunge, she
   got hold of a bit of a dwarf spruce. Then
   Cheryl slid past her and on out of sight.   =20
   With extraordinary courage and presence of
   mind, Julie held onto her tiny bit of safety,=20
   then pulled herself away from the water and
   crawled back up to Nick. As they tried to
   collect their  wits, they heard voices off to
   one side. They called, made contact, and
   crossed the fog-shrouded  slope toward the
   voices. They found skiers who said they were
   headed down themselves, and they  led the way
   through the fog.    =20
      Not really knowing where they were, Julie
   and Nick probably hadn't realized that the=20
   footstep ladder they'd come up was right
   beside them when Julie pulled herself off the
   ledge. It  was right there, just a few steps
   away. Though forbiddingly steep, it was still
   the safest way down.  The skiers they now
   joined were headed for the Chute, so scary a
   run that many veteran ravine  skiers have
   never attempted it and no plans to do so.
   Incredibly, Julie and Nick got themselves=20
   dow this drop of ice and rock and snow that
   many climbers would hesitate to attempt
   without full  equipment.    =20
      They didn't find Cheryl when they got to
   the floor of the ravine, and they didn't know
   where  she was. Cheryl had grown up as the
   kind of girl who was ready for anything.
   Bright, active, and  very popular, she had an
   endless vest for life: she'd been studying in
   France and had only recently  survived a
   head-on crash in Morocco. Knowing Cheryl's
   eager enthusiasms, her parents  sometimes
   worried about her.    =20
      Now they got a call from the White
   Mountains. Brad Ray is the Forest Service
   supervisor  for Tuckerman Ravine, and by
   Sunday evening he'd pieced together the
   sometimes contradictory  details and realized
   what had happened: Cheryl had gone over the
   waterfall below the flat rock  and been
   carried down behind the snowpack. Brad called
   the Weingartens and told them the  situations
   was very serious.    =20
      By now the call had also gone to Rick
   Wilcox. He talked with situation over the
   other lead  people in the rescue network and
   realized that by the time a group was in
   position to do anything, it  would be late in
   the evening, extremely dangerous for the
   rescuers, and almost certainly too late  for
   Cheryl Weingarten.    =20
      The next day, a New Hampshire State Fish
   and Game Department brought a dry suit and=20
   scuba breathing apparatus in addition to
   their more usual ropes and security devices,
   but they  found the overnight chill had
   slowed the melting and reduced the volume of
      The dry suit  was enough. Jeff Gray made
   the difficult descent into the crevasse and
   reached the place where  Cheryl lay. They
   took the million-to-one chance and began
   resuscitation attempts as they carried  her
   down. An ambulance met the evacuation group
   at the foot of the trail, and the attending
   doctor  discovered that Cheryl's neck was
   broken.    =20
      That waterfall forms every spring, and a
   trace of it often remains in summer, just to
   the left  of the hiking trail as it rounds up
   over the top of the headwall. Habitu=82s of the
   ravine call that place  Shiller's Rock to
   remember Dr. Paul Shiller, a skier who died
   after sliding over the rock and falling=20
   headfirst down behind the snowpack 45 years
   earlier to the month, week day and hour.   =20
   Nicholson      =20
      The most recent Mount Washington death, as
   I write, was, like the very first, by falling
   ice.  As the sun climbs toward summer, it
   loosens the ice that forms on the ledges
   lining Tuckerman  Ravine at the level of
   Schiller's Rock. It's on just such lovely
   days that the greatest number of  skiers come
   up and when the telltale crack is heard, the
   cry "ICE" goes up. Sound carries well in  the
   vast acoustic focus, everyone hears the call,
   and everyone looks up the slope.    =20
      Last June 4, Sarah Nicholson looked up and
   saw a car-sized block of ice sliding and=20
   bounding down toward her. Gravity is also on
   the side of the skier, and a quick escape
   left or right  downslope almost always avoids
   the danger of falling ice. But this block was
   breaking into  fragments, and it wasn't clear
   which way led most quickly to safety. It's a
   familiar sidewalk  dilemma: Step left or
   right to avoid the collision?=20
      Sarah's moment of hesitation broke the
   hearts of  her friends and brought the list to 115.

Date: Fri, 10 Feb 1995 20:07:24 -0500 (EST)
From: Bill Rhodes <>
To: "Eugene N. Miya" <eugene>
Subject: Mt. Wash stats 

Here are the stats I have done for the deaths on Mt. Washington, should
be interesting for the morbid like me.
Statistical breakdown of Mt. Washington Deaths

Since 1849 there have been 115 known deaths on Mt. Washington, NH

Of the known dead, the ages of 98 victims are known for certain... the average
age of death is 31.3 years old. The oldest victim was 88, the youngest was 2. 

August and September are the most deadly with 16 each, December the least 
3. Although it should be noted that September 6, 1967 was a train wreck which 
killed 8, including the youngest three victims 2, 7 and 9.

Other months totals:
January 10, February 9, March 9, April 7, May 9, June 10, July 9, August 16,
September 16, October 13, November 4, and December 3.

The most deadly days:
8 on September 6 - 8 killed in a train accident
4 on October 2  - 3 in a plane crash, 1 by falling
4 on August 22 - 2 in a plane crash, 2 heart attacks
4 on January 31- 2 by exposure, 2 by avalanche
3 on January 26- 3 killed in the same fall
3 on October 13- 1 by exposure, 1 heart attack, 1 drowning
3 on November 29 - 3 in a plane crash

There is a tie for the most deadly year with 1967 and 1969 sharing this
dubious honor, each with 8. Of course 67 had the train crash and no other
deaths. 69 had 3 in a plane crash, 3 in a fall and two others, making it, in
my opinion the most deadly. 

Other years in descending order:

Both 1971 and 1994 had 5 deaths.
1980 and 1990 share 4 each.
Several years had 3 each, 1900, 1956, 1958, 1964, 1974, 1976, and 1986

Causes of death requires some explanation. Some people may have died of more
than one cause, or the exact cause may not be known, only surmised. Of the 
known causes this is the breakdown of the most common ones:
Exposure -28
Injuries from a fall - 24
Crashes air/car/coach/horse/sled - 19
Drowning - 10
Skiing - 6
Avalanche - 6
Being stuck by falling objects ice/snow/rock/other climbers - 5
Heart attacks - 4

On May 1,  1949 Dr. Paul Schiller of Cambridge, MA was skiing and fell off a
rock now named for him this was about 11:00 a.m., he fell behind the accumulated
snow  mass and drowned. On May 1, 1994, at the same time of day, Cheryl
Weingarten of Somerville, MA fell at the same spot, also behind the snow mass
and died.

Bill Rhodes					When privacy is outlawed,				only outlaws will have privacy!

PGP fingerprint 08 18 89 C2 3E 37 EE F4
                B8 10 70 3D 05 4E 74 A2         finger for PGP 2.6.2 Public Key			

Reported avalanches in the US for 93-94 were 8,419 and 10,350 in 92-93
                             93-94     92-93
The number of people caught   132       206
                     Buried    56        91
                     injured    9        15
                     Killed    11        29
of those 11,  two (2) wer ski tourers and ski mountaineers
              nine (9) were snowmobilers

Fort Collins Coloradoan 19 climbers or hikers died in Colorado in 1994
Falls accounted for 80% of the
deaths.  "Human error was responsible for nearly all the deaths."

Accidents in the Home/Year (US pop = 249M)
  3.5M disabled
23.76K murders
1/421 injured on any given ski day
Skiing as a sport:
%chance of Emergency Room visit this year
3.7 ice hockey
2.7 basketball
1.4 softball
1.2 skiing
1.2 bicycling
0.5 inline skating
0.2 tennis/golf
chance of admittance to hospital on any given ski day
Skiing vs modes of transportation:
 boat fatalities 784/yr
 NASA STS - 55   (.55 per 100 million person*miles at 10,000 mph)
 US commercial air - 2.3   (.38 per 100 million person*miles at 600 mph)
 US automobiles - 0.85  (1.7 per 100 million person*miles at 50 mph)
 Railroads - 0.22
 General aviation (small aircraft) - 6.5
air crash 1 in 7M major airline departures
          1 in 2M commuter departure
US fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled: 1.7
US auto crashes per day:   US News & World Report 7/3/95 NHTSA
  100 fatalities
 1900 hospitalized
20000 medical care
Skiing vs other causes of death (from Almanac):
1/10M  commercial airline accident
1/5.5M bee sting
1/1.9M lightening
1/1M   train trip, coast to coast
1/450K tornado
1/88K  bicycle accident
1/14K  car trip, coast to coast
1/600  smoking (by age 35)
1/2    cardiovascular disease
200 die from blowfish sushi (fugu) each year
source: Nat'l History Museum of LA County, MIT, UCB, Travel Weekly
elevator 2x safer than stairs
The chance of fatality is less than 1 per 1.3E6 skier-days.  If you ski
1000 days in your skiing lifetime, that is a 0.13% lifetime risk.  This
is roughly ten times less than the lifetime risk of croaking in a car
92-93: 42 fatalities (12 out of bounds), 29 serious injuries
out of 54M visits, 0.53 serious injuries/million skier visits
                   0.77 fatalities/million skier visits
                      Total Number of On-snow Participants                      Year               Alpine                Cross Country         Snowboarding     1993               10,495,000            3,727,000             1,841,000        

Date: Thu, 25 Jan 96 13:32:00 PST
From: (John Langbein)
Message-Id: <9601252132.AA04877@shasta.noname>

Here is some "junk" email

From: Grace Boockholdt, Sun - Corporate Legal on Wed, Jan 24, 1996 4:50 PM
Subject: Skier's Dictionary
To: Beatty Pauline;

                   A Skier's Dictionary
       Condensed from "Skiing: A Skier's Dictionary"
                Henry Bread and Roy McKie

Alp: One of a number of ski mountains in Europe.  Also a shouted request for 
assistance made by a European skier on a U.S. mountain.  An appropriate 
reply: "What Zermatter?"

Avalanche: One of the few actual perils skiers face that needlessly frighten 
timid individuals away from the sport.  See also: Blizzard, Fracture, 
Frostbite, Hypothermia, Lift Collapse.

Bindings: Automatic mechanisms that protect skiers from potentially serious 
injury during a fall by releasing skis from boots, sending the skis 
skittering across the slope where they trip two other skiers, and so on and 
on, eventually causing the entire slope to be protected from serious injury.

Bones: There are 206 in the human body.  No need for dismay, however: TWO 
bones of the middle ear have never been broken in a skiing accident.

Cross-Country Skiing: Traditional Scandinavian all-terrain snow-travelling 
technique.  It's good exercise.  It doesn't require the purchase of costly 
lift tickets.  It has no crowds or lines.  It isn't skiing.  See 
Cross-Country Something-Or-Other.

Cross-Country Something-or-Other: Touring on skis along trails in scenic 
wilderness, gliding through snow-hushed woods far from the hubbub of the ski 
slopes, hearing nothing but the whispery hiss of the skis slipping through 
snow and the muffled tinkle of car keys dropping into the puffy powder of a 
deep, wind-sculped drift.

Exercises: A few simple warm-ups to make sure you're prepared for the 
slopes: 1) Tie a cinder block to each foot with old belts and climb a flight 
of stairs.  2) Sit on the outside of a second-story window ledge with your 
skis on and your poles in your lap for 30 minutes.  3) Bind your legs 
together at the ankles, lie flat on the floor; then, holding a banana in 
each hand, get to your feet.

Gloves: Designed to be tight enough around the wrist to restrict 
circulation, but not so closefitting as to allow any manual dexterity; they 
should also admit moisture from the outside without permitting any dampness 
within to escape.

Gravity: One of four fundamental forces in nature that affect skiers.   The 
other three are the strong force, which makes bindings jam; the weak force, 
which makes ankles give way on turns; and electromagnetism, which produces 
dead batteries in expensive ski-resort parking lots.  See Inertia.

Inertia: Tendency of a skier's body to resist changes in direction or speed 
due to the action of Newton's First Law of Motion.  Goes along with these 
other physical laws:  1) Two objects of greatly different mass falling side 
by side will have the same rate of descent, but the lighter one will have 
larger hospital bills.  2) Matter can neither be created nor destroyed, but 
if it drops out of a parka pocket, don't expect to encounter it again in our 
universe.  3)  When an irrestible force meets an immovable object, an 
unethical lawyer will immediately appear.

Prejump: Manuever in which an expert skier makes a controlled jump just 
ahead of a bump.  Beginners can execute a controlled prefall just before 
losing their balance and, if they wish, can precede it with a prescream and 
a few pregroans.

Shin: The bruised area on the front of the leg that runs from the point 
where the ache from the wrenched knee ends to where the soreness from the 
strained ankle begins.

Ski! : A shout to alert people ahead that a loose ski is coming down the 
hill.  Another warning skiers should be familiar with is "Avalanche!" - 
which tells everyone that a hill is coming down the hill.

Skier: One who pays an arm and a leg for the opportunity to break them.

Stance: Your knees should be flexed, but shaking slightly; your arms 
straight and covered with a good layer of goose flesh; your hands forward, 
palms clammy, knuckles white and fingers icy, your eyes a little crossed and 
darting in all directions.  Your lips should be quivering, and you should be 
mumbling, "Why?"

Thor: The Scandinavian god of acheth and painth.

Traverse: To ski across a slope at an angle; one of two quick and simple 
methods of reducing speed.

Tree: The other method.

Here are some death statistics for Yellowstone, from 1839 to 1994
(they exclude heart attacks and car accidents, which are the two most
common causes of death):

  Drowning                      101
  Falls                          24
  Burns from hot springs         19
  Hypothermia                     9
  Indian battles                  7
  Accidental shooting             7
  Falling trees                   5
  Avalanches                      5
  Lightning                       5
  Bear attacks                    5

Message-ID: <001501bdbcef$ecc549c0$>
From: "Jerry M. Wright" <>
Subject: Alpine skiing accidents
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 21:58:45 -0400

This is part of the article I found on-line

"Skiing and snowboarding are no more dangerous than other high-energy 
participation sports, and less so than some common activities," states 
the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) in a December 8, 1997 report.

While not looking to downplay the need for caution and common sense on 
the slopes, statistically the NSAA is able to prove its case. The report 
found that during the past 13 years, about 32 people have died skiing 
per year on average.

That may come as a surprise to snow sports enthusiasts, but this number 
seems small compared to other sports. In 1996, there were 716 deaths in 
recreational boating accidents and 800 deaths in bicycling accidents. 
Given an average of about 50 million skier/snowboarder visits over the 
last 13 years, the 32 yearly deaths work out to a fatality rate of .69 
per million visits.

"If you measure skiing against other high energy sports that provide you 
with a similar thrill, skiing is statistically safe," said Stephen Over, 
Executive Director of both the National Ski Patrol and the Professional 
Ski Instructors Association of America.

Numbers also show that a person is less likely to die on the slopes 
than, say in the bathtub or in a car. The National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration reports that car crashes kill an average of 115 
people each day--or one every 13 minutes. One could perhaps argue that a 
skier is probably at greater risk while driving to the slopes than when 
actually skiing down them.

While not strictly a scientific comparison, it is important to note that 
non-skiing related accidents take more victims on average each year. 
Here's a breakdown provided in the NSAA report:

Automobile accidents	42,000
Fall to death	13,000
Poisoning	6,500
Drowning	4,500
Choking		2,900
Hit by falling object	800
Slip in shower/bathtub	300
Struck by lightening	89
Skiing		32

Still, what seems to have struck a chord with the public is that both =
Kennedy and Bono were capable skiers on intermediate slopes--two freak =
accidents. Or were they?=20

According to the NSAA, the majority of skiing fatalities and injuries =
involve better-than-average skiers who are skiing fast and to the side =
of intermediate trails. In Kennedy's case, witnesses confirmed that he =
was skiing fast and somewhat carelessly. There were no witnesses to =
Bono's accident, although his body was found about thirty feet off the =
trail into a fairly open glade of trees. It is still unclear whether he =
was crossing through the trees from one trail to another, or practicing =
skiing into and out of the trees from the blue trail.=20

Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 22:27:02 +0000
From: Bill Rhodes <>
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.04 (Macintosh; I; PPC)
To: "Eugene N. Miya" <eugene>
Subject: Re: Panel 16
References: <>

I hereby propose, pending approval of the committee for the re-election of the
net.ranger the following corrections for panel 16...hideous deaths on Mt.
Washington, since a few more dolts did not think it could happen to them since
I last did it almost 4 years ago (god, is that possible?). 4 years, wow. can replace the whole section which starts with
"Since 1849 there have been..."


Since 1849 there have been 122 known deaths on Mt. Washington, NH

Of the known dead, the ages of 105 victims are known for certain... the
age of death is 34.8 years old. The oldest victim was 88, the youngest was 2.

August and September are the most deadly with 16 each, December the least 3.
Although it should be noted that September 6, 1967 was a train wreck
which killed 8, including the youngest three victims 2, 7 and 9.

Other months totals:
January 11, February 11, March 13, April 7, May 9, June 10, July 9,
August 16,
September 16, October 13, November 4, and December 3.

The most deadly days:
8 on September 6 - 8 killed in a train accident
4 on October 2  - 3 in a plane crash, 1 by falling
4 on August 22 - 2 in a plane crash, 2 heart attacks
4 on January 31- 2 by exposure, 2 by avalanche
3 on January 26- 3 killed in the same fall
3 on October 13- 1 by exposure, 1 heart attack, 1 drowning
3 on November 29 - 3 in a plane crash

There is a tie for the most deadly year with 1967 and 1969 sharing this
dubious honor, each with 8. Of course 67 had the train crash and no other
deaths. 69 had 3 in a plane crash, 3 in a fall and two others, making
it, in my opinion the most deadly.

Other years in descending order:
1996 had 6 deaths, all between 1/5 and 3/24...a tough winter.
Both 1971 and 1994 had 5 deaths.
1980 and 1990 share 4 each.
Several years had 3 each, 1900, 1956, 1958, 1964, 1974, 1976, and 1986

Causes of death requires some explanation. Some people may have died of
more than one cause, or the exact cause may not be known, only surmised. Of
the known causes this is the breakdown of the most common ones:
Exposure -29
Injuries from a fall - 27
Crashes air/car/coach/horse/sled - 19
Drowning - 10
Skiing - 6
Avalanche - 9
Being stuck by falling objects ice/snow/rock/other climbers - 5
Heart attacks - 4

On May 1,  1949 Dr. Paul Schiller of Cambridge, MA was skiing and fell
off a rock now named for him this was about 11:00 a.m., he fell behind the
snow mass and drowned. On May 1, 1994, at the same time of day, Cheryl
Weingarten of Somerville, MA fell at the same spot, also behind the snow
mass and died.

Activity           # Fatalities per 1,000,000 exposure hours
--------           -----------------------------------------
Skydiving                                     128.71
General Aviation                               15.58
On-road Motorcycling                            8.80
Scuba Diving                                    1.98
Living (all causes of death)                    1.53
Swimming                                        1.07
Snowmobiling                                     .88
Passenger cars                                   .47
Water skiing                                     .28
Bicycling                                        .26
Flying (scheduled domestic airlines)             .15
Hunting                                          .08
Cosmic Radiation from transcontinental flights   .035
Home Living (active)                             .027
Traveling in a School Bus                        .022
Passenger Car Post-collision fire                .017
Home Living, active & passive (sleeping)         .014
Residential Fire                                 .003>
   Data compiled by Failure Analysis Associates, Inc., published
in Design News, 10-4-93

"In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ
Jesus concerning you."     1 Thessalonians 5:18

"Praise ye the Lord, Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in
the congregation of saints. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: 
let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.  Let them praise his
name in the dance:  let them sing praises unto him with the timbel and
harp."  Psalm 149:1-3

"Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.  Praise ye the
Lord."  Psalm 150:6


More complete citation of the loose Death series are:
 Myers & Ghiglieri's Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite (2007)
 Myers & Ghiglieri's Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon (2001)
 Myers' Fateful journey: Injury and death on Colorado River trips in
 Grand Canyon (1999)
 Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in
 the First National Park (1995)

in rec.backcountry's references panel 28 and
rec.climbing's references panel 7.


Looking for an H-912 (container).

User Contributions:

Bad weather scuppers Russian President's flypast as he stages Victory Day show of marine corps power

Putin the actual glitz: gorgeous Russian soldiers take centre stage (moreover selfies) At massive wining Day parade of 13,000 troops, Tanks and rockets as Moscow strongman warns the lessons of WW2 'are relevant once again'Vladimir Putin forced to cancel military flypast over Red Square at the last minute over fears of bad weatherThreat of thunder and cloud over Moscow saw the huge Victory Day display of military powergroundedDespite cancellation Russian president pledged to 'guarantee the high drives of our armed forces'By Chris Dyer For Mailonline and Will Stewart In Russia and Afp and Reuters

issued: 10:14 BST, 9 May 2019 recently: 18:10 BST, 9 probably 2019

Russian lead designer Vladimir Putin took a defiant tone at Moscow's annual military Victory Day parade in Red Square, Declaring that the country continues to strengthen its armed forces.

The Kremlin strongman observed on as 13,000 troops and more than 130 pieces of weaponry were paraded through the capital in a show of Russian military power.

discussing his country's battle with Nazi Germany, Putin then warned 'the lessons of the past war are relevant once again' as he made his case for 'guaranteeing the high faculties of our armed forces'.

Russia's ties with the West soured correct its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, And Moscow has continued to challenge the nation through its staunch support for Syrian President Bashar al Assad and Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro.

Among the hundreds of pieces of military hardware paraded in front of veterans and dignitaries was Russia's Yars mobile global nuclear missile launcher and its advanced S 400 air defence missile system, Which Moscow has deployed in Syria guard its forces and Putin's new 120,000 4.4 lite V 8 ragtop limousine.

have been also regiments of glamorous female soldiers on display who were pictured smiling as they filed past Mr Putin.

It also included military equipment, Ranging from a T 34 tank renowned for its toughness in World War II to lumbering Yars ICBM launch units, Ground to air rocket missile parts and Russian Armata tanks.

Russian female military servicemen march during the Victory Day parade on Red square in Moscow on Thursday afternoon

Smiling Russian naval cadets were pictured marching in perfect step as they filed past Putin the actual Victory Day parade

Russian Armata tanks roll down Red Square the particular Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow

Russian Ground Forces commander in Chief, Colonel common Oleg Salyukov salutes the troops from Putin's new 120,000 collapsible limousine during the Victory Day military parade today

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech face to face with St. Basil's Cathedral during the Victory Day parade i which he pledged to'guarantee the high performance of our armed forces'

Russian Yars RS 24 intercontinental ballistic missile systems roll through Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in downtown Moscow today

Vladimir Putin kisses his class teacher at school Vera Gurevich during a certified reception marking 74 years since the victory in WWII, doing Kremlwearing

Russian military law enforcement stand in formation [url=]single ukraine ladies[/url] during a Victory Day Parade in the city of Grozny, Chechen Republic

Former Soviet chief Mikhail Gorbachev (core) Is in the middle of his assistants as he arrives to attend the Victory Day military parade in Red Square today

Crowds of people carry portraits of their relatives who fought in World War II as they have fun playing the Immortal Regiment march on Tverskaya Street in Moscow

Russian Pacific Fleet leader, Admiral Sergei Avakyants compares the troops in a vintage car during the Vi (...)
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