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The section on statistics is going to be replaced by a reference..... to shorten this panel. Calibration: 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? Hardly. 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.). Exhaustion Loss of judgment from secondary affects Drowning. 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) Spiders Snakes: Rattlers, water moccasin Jelly fish Poisoning Shell fish Mushrooms Contaminated food Being eaten by: Shark Don't get in the water Lion and tigers and bears, oh my! Alligators Ants (slowly) Disease 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) 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 Starvation Hypothermia Frostbite Hyperthermia Dehyration Heat stroke Breaking thru thin icy waterways Drowning Hypothermia 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 accidents. "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: 2008: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=515427 2007: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=369490 2006: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=293748 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. POSTSCRIPT FROM ONE, WHO LIKE HIS AGE, DIED YOUNG. 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) 1/ DISCLAIMER 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 email@example.com From: Andy Freeman <firstname.lastname@example.org> Message-Id: <9301210106.AA28994@SAIL.Stanford.EDU> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: [l/m 12/16/1992] Morbid backcountry/memorial: Distilled Wisdom (16/28) XYZ In article <1993Jan16.firstname.lastname@example.org> 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". -andy -- Article 22285 of rec.skiing: From: email@example.com (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 Season 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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" <GDW@cccs.umn.edu> Subject: Re: [l/m 5/18/1993] Morbid backcountry/memorial: Distilled Wisdom (16/28) XYZ To: email@example.com Organization: Colon Cancer Control Study, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Eugene, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org ... NE Minneapolis halfway between the N. Pole and the equator Article 36970 of rec.backcountry: Newsgroups: rec.backcountry From: email@example.com (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 firstname.lastname@example.org Newsgroups: rec.climbing From: email@example.com (Daniel Mueller) Subject: mortality rates Message-ID: <CFnGL4.Mr7@bernina.ethz.ch> 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 Dani -- /-----------------------\-------------------------------------------------/ / Daniel Mueller o|\ Signal and Information Processing Laboratory / / -------------------- \^\ ETH Zuerich Sternwartstr.7 CH-8092 Zuerich / / firstname.lastname@example.org / \ phone: +41 1 6322773 fax: +41 1 2620943 / /-------------------------------\-----------------------------------------/ Date: Thu, 16 Dec 93 13:58:40 EST From: Guest Account <email@example.com> Message-Id: <9312161858.AA11597@bio1.bst.rochester.edu> To: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Feb 3 15:35:25 1995 From: Bill Rhodes <email@example.com> To: "Eugene N. Miya" <eugene> Subject: Deaths on Washington Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.950203183458.10552Afirstname.lastname@example.org> 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 <email@example.com> To: "Eugene N. Miya" <eugene> Subject: Wash1.txt Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.950207150822.25345Afirstname.lastname@example.org> 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 season. 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 all. 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 summer. 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 erratic. 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 stronger. 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 ridge. 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 eyes. 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 that." 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 =20 Lattey and Couper =20 =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 =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 water.=20 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 =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 <email@example.com> 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 Coincidence: 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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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 1/7949 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 accident. 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: email@example.com (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; Bboock@aol.com 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 http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/09/25/coolsc.critters.attacks/index.htm Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> From: "Jerry M. Wright" <email@example.com> Subject: Alpine skiing accidents Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 21:58:45 -0400 This is part of the article I found on-line http://www.skinet.com/news/safety0106.html "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: <363648B6.2789EBC6@panix.com> Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 22:27:02 +0000 From: Bill Rhodes <firstname.lastname@example.org> X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.04 (Macintosh; I; PPC) To: "Eugene N. Miya" <eugene> Subject: Re: Panel 16 References: <199810280217.SAA03678@sally.nas.nasa.gov> 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. anyway...you can replace the whole section which starts with "Since 1849 there have been..." with... 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 average 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 Coincidence: 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. ESTIMATE OF FATAL RISK BY ACTIVITY> 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 Reference 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) Whittlesey's 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).
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