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Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China
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Partner phaedrus


Jun 5, 2009, 9:19 PM
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Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China
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Here's the link to more info: http://www.elephantjournal.com/...h-dash-wade-johnson/


gbmaz


Jun 6, 2009, 7:03 AM
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AP is reporting that 1 body has been found but not identified.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jyJH9H4eOi6URE_znLHaxQAnRoGgD98L4SE80

My thoughts and prayers go out to all their friends and family.

George


Alpine07


Jun 6, 2009, 9:22 AM
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gbmaz wrote:
AP is reporting that 1 body has been found but not identified.

http://www.google.com/...LHaxQAnRoGgD98L4SE80
My thoughts and prayers go out to all their friends and family.

George


MikeSaint


Jun 6, 2009, 12:03 PM
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Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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Supertopo Thread:

http://supertopo.com/...html?topic_id=874873


nzcragrat


Jun 6, 2009, 5:04 PM
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Re: [phaedrus] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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Slight update - nothing confirmed but it does not sound good

http://climbing.about.com/b/2009/06/06/update-on-missing-climbers-in-china.htm



Micah bouldering at Courtright in the Sierra


(This post was edited by nzcragrat on Jun 7, 2009, 10:27 AM)


reese_7


Jun 6, 2009, 6:29 PM
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Re: [phaedrus] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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Up-to-date info on their blog:
http://www.adventurefilm.org/.../adventure_blog.aspx

Donations are being collected to assist with the search, details are on the blog.

~Reese

(This post was edited by reese_7 on Jun 6, 2009, 6:52 PM)


blondgecko
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Jun 6, 2009, 6:46 PM
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http://www.adventurefilm.org/.../adventure_blog.aspx

Fixed the link.

Also, I'm moving this to Accident and Incident Analysis.


Kauzman01


Jun 7, 2009, 12:58 PM
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I am sad to report what many may already know. Johnny Copp is confirmed dead, with a body found in avalanche debris at 4000 meters on Mt. Edgar. I cannot express in words my sadness right now. Please go to the website at http://www.adventurefilm.org/.../adventure_blog.aspx for more information. A sad day for the climbing world.


alleyehave


Jun 7, 2009, 2:14 PM
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These guys are such an inspiration, my thoughts and heart go to the friends and family. Let's hope for the best for the other two.


blondgecko
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Jun 7, 2009, 3:36 PM
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I'm really sorry to hear that.


Fritz_X


Jun 8, 2009, 4:52 AM
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Unfortunately another body has been recovered, that of Wade Johnson.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j9XeNbDfzG_-BTaVgvW1u7avC7dAD98MER7O0

My heart and prayers go out to his family in Minnesota.


camhead


Jun 8, 2009, 6:00 AM
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no. this is terrible. condolences to all the family and friends of these climbers.


socalclimber


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Big Mountains = Big Risk.

Sorry to hear this. I had a chance to chat with Micah at the Gordon ranch years ago, very nice guy. Very motivated.


kostik


Jun 9, 2009, 8:57 PM
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Very sad.. I met Micah last fall at the Motherlode in the RRG. He was limping and walking with a cane. Still, he was trying to climb Chainsaw Massacre, 5.12a. I figured he was an alpinist, not a sport climber. He said I was right. Told stories about his climbing in Pakistan.

Later I met him with his exotic girlfriend at Miguel's. He was cheerful and full of life. Such a loss...


rtwilli4


Jun 10, 2009, 9:07 PM
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kostik wrote:
Very sad.. I met Micah last fall at the Motherlode in the RRG. He was limping and walking with a cane. Still, he was trying to climb Chainsaw Massacre, 5.12a. I figured he was an alpinist, not a sport climber. He said I was right. Told stories about his climbing in Pakistan.

Later I met him with his exotic girlfriend at Miguel's. He was cheerful and full of life. Such a loss...

I met him that same season at Military Wall. Limping around after he got off Tissue Tiger I think. Really nice guy... I didn't even know who he was at the time. Very humble and full of smiles for everyone.

Prayers.


meahtots


Jun 10, 2009, 10:11 PM
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They were, and still are such an inspiration, even without ever meeting them. I am extremely shocked.


clingsta


Apr 30, 2010, 2:47 AM
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I just watched the TV show First Ascent on NGC about the attempt to climb "Mt. Edgar" in Sichuan Province, China.

At the end of the show, I was really shocked and saddened to find that the guys died. However all the way through the show, I was thinking - "is this for real?"

I'm going to add some comments for debate... my comments by no means dishonour the guys that died but my intention is rather to raise questions.

After all, as we know, when we find ourselves in precarious situations we can often look back and see that the outcome was a series of red flags that we either chose to ignore or just couldn't see.

Firstly, I'd like to say that my only knowledge of their expedition is from the show only. So, it can hardly be described as extensive, but seeing as the show was made by the close friends of the guys that died, we can pretty much surmise that they were represented in a realistic way... so, all my assumptions are based on what I saw on the show.

Secondly, I want to say that I know Kham (Western China or eastern Tibet) better than most, and although I'm not a mountaineer i've trekked these areas a lot and have experience with these volatile mountains.

So... my first point... in the documentary, the guys were talking about the amount of research they were doing for the climb and it showed them looking at books in the library or studying close up pictures of the face trying to find climbing lines etc. All good research, but I can't believe that they didn't go recce the mountain before hand. In fact, it was folly that they didn't do any kind of recce before hand and ultimately lead to their demise Maybe they did, but it certainly didn't represent this in the show and it seemed to emphasize that really they had no clue about the actual conditions of the mountain or even how to get there.
If they'd done a proper recce of the area, say a year in advance, they could have staked out a few camps and seen what kind of climatic conditions they experienced during the season they intended to climb. instead they parked themselves basically at the mercy of the mountains with no idea what the mountain was capable of and when.

A good recce would have also left them with the sense of just how volatile these mountains are in May and June. The weather is just starting to warm up, wet air masses of the monsoon begin to sweep in making the conditions really unstable. Who advised them that it would be a good time to climb? I think the fact that their weather, and the weather experienced by the rescue teams confirms this. When I was watching the show I was thinking, "Why are they climbing now, wont that be dangerous?" Don't get me wrong, I dunno what the best time would be, if there ever is.... but that unstable time between spring and summer on such a precipitous face seemed to be a little ill-advised. I would have recommended early Autumn - much calmer, stiller, rain is lighter, most of the unstable snow has gone from the summer heat... Look at the Tibetans, they do a lot of high altitude koras in the general area (walking around holy mountains) and they do it in the autumn, because it's safer and more stable.

Once on the mountain, i have to say, that the guys behaviour wasn't suitable for what they were about to do. When I was watching the show, I didn't know the guys actually died... but when I saw them dicking around, drinking and basically acting like they were on a beach I said to my wife, "I don't think they deserve to get up this mountain." Of course at the end when they died, I felt really bad... but the point still remains... these mountains deserve the utmost respect, most of them have some sacred element to them and many of the locals believe that deities and spirits reside there. Now, I'm not preaching superstition here, just commenting that these places are insanely wild and fitness, skill and bravado aren't the only qualities you need to survive in these places, you also need humbleness and deference. Again, maybe they did act like this, but it certainly wasn't represented in the show and their mates made the show. Any local, watching the show would not be surprised that they didn't make it off the mountain.

My next point, i admit I may not be up to date on.... but I'll make it anyway. These guys were Alpinist, attempting to complete the first ascent of Edgar, Alpine style.
Now, I have a little experience climbing, but not a lot, but the Alps, are all under or around 4000m. Edgar is 6800, this isn't something that should be tackled onsight, Alpine style. These faces demand ultimate respect, which I think they lacked in their plan. I think if they'd have recced the place they'd have realized that it really wasn't feasible to attempt something like this in the way they planned. Yes, i know, we've had solo climbs of all the 8000m peaks, so it is possible for 3 guys to summit a 6800, but the peaks in Kham are a breed un-to themselves. There's a good reason why most of them are unclimbed, because they're shear, gnarly and incredibly unstable. Just take a look at the failed attempt to climb Kawa Karpo, 15 people wiped out at basecamp at 5500m. Over on Everest you have tourist trudging up to 5500m all the time, in fact you have sherpas dragging business men to the top. In Kham, at 5500m you're in an unstable death zone that hardly anyone fears to tred.... the conditions couldn't be more different and I think the guys would have seen this if they'd recced it properly.

To conclude, I think the guys got the entire expedition wrong, they underestimated the mountain and the area, and their lack of on sight knowledge basically cancelled out all of their previous extensive experience. In reality, when it cam down to it, they were in way over their heads. They committed to the mountain too early and in return the mountain committed to them.
Their foray up to advance basecamp should have been done on a different trip. So they could assses the situation and not be so committed. instead, they trekked all their gear into a place that was inherently unstable at that time of the year. They had no idea how the mountain could behave, and oblivious to this kept on trekking in more and more gear.

As you can see, the show affected me a lot, and I hope by writing this a discussion could open up and the mistakes of the past not be repeated again. I know that eastern Tibet is now becoming very popular with climbers who want to do some first ascents, and all I can advise is that this region should be treated as a separate area with it's own rules and demands. Just because you've done 8000m in the Himalayas, north faces in the Alps and the highest peaks in the Rockies doesn't mean that you can just rock up to Kham and bag yourself a 6500m+ first ascent.

These mountains are Alive and Ferocious!

Richard
p.s check out my Tibet site www.tibettreking.org


jaablink


Apr 30, 2010, 3:47 AM
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: (


yodadave


Apr 30, 2010, 6:51 AM
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please go do some research on who these men were and what modern alpinism looks like before you spout any more crap.
And in line with being respectful don't try and advertise at the end of such a misinformed diatribe.


marc801


Apr 30, 2010, 7:09 AM
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clingsta wrote:
I just watched the TV show First Ascent on NGC about the attempt to climb "Mt. Edgar" in Sichuan Province, China.

At the end of the show, I was really shocked and saddened to find that the guys died. However all the way through the show, I was thinking - "is this for real?"

I'm going to add some comments for debate... my comments by no means dishonour the guys that died but my intention is rather to raise questions.

After all, as we know, when we find ourselves in precarious situations we can often look back and see that the outcome was a series of red flags that we either chose to ignore or just couldn't see.

Firstly, I'd like to say that my only knowledge of their expedition is from the show only. So, it can hardly be described as extensive, but seeing as the show was made by the close friends of the guys that died, we can pretty much surmise that they were represented in a realistic way... so, all my assumptions are based on what I saw on the show.

Secondly, I want to say that I know Kham (Western China or eastern Tibet) better than most, and although I'm not a mountaineer i've trekked these areas a lot and have experience with these volatile mountains.

So... my first point... in the documentary, the guys were talking about the amount of research they were doing for the climb and it showed them looking at books in the library or studying close up pictures of the face trying to find climbing lines etc. All good research, but I can't believe that they didn't go recce the mountain before hand. In fact, it was folly that they didn't do any kind of recce before hand and ultimately lead to their demise Maybe they did, but it certainly didn't represent this in the show and it seemed to emphasize that really they had no clue about the actual conditions of the mountain or even how to get there.
If they'd done a proper recce of the area, say a year in advance, they could have staked out a few camps and seen what kind of climatic conditions they experienced during the season they intended to climb. instead they parked themselves basically at the mercy of the mountains with no idea what the mountain was capable of and when.

A good recce would have also left them with the sense of just how volatile these mountains are in May and June. The weather is just starting to warm up, wet air masses of the monsoon begin to sweep in making the conditions really unstable. Who advised them that it would be a good time to climb? I think the fact that their weather, and the weather experienced by the rescue teams confirms this. When I was watching the show I was thinking, "Why are they climbing now, wont that be dangerous?" Don't get me wrong, I dunno what the best time would be, if there ever is.... but that unstable time between spring and summer on such a precipitous face seemed to be a little ill-advised. I would have recommended early Autumn - much calmer, stiller, rain is lighter, most of the unstable snow has gone from the summer heat... Look at the Tibetans, they do a lot of high altitude koras in the general area (walking around holy mountains) and they do it in the autumn, because it's safer and more stable.

Once on the mountain, i have to say, that the guys behaviour wasn't suitable for what they were about to do. When I was watching the show, I didn't know the guys actually died... but when I saw them dicking around, drinking and basically acting like they were on a beach I said to my wife, "I don't think they deserve to get up this mountain." Of course at the end when they died, I felt really bad... but the point still remains... these mountains deserve the utmost respect, most of them have some sacred element to them and many of the locals believe that deities and spirits reside there. Now, I'm not preaching superstition here, just commenting that these places are insanely wild and fitness, skill and bravado aren't the only qualities you need to survive in these places, you also need humbleness and deference. Again, maybe they did act like this, but it certainly wasn't represented in the show and their mates made the show. Any local, watching the show would not be surprised that they didn't make it off the mountain.

My next point, i admit I may not be up to date on.... but I'll make it anyway. These guys were Alpinist, attempting to complete the first ascent of Edgar, Alpine style.
Now, I have a little experience climbing, but not a lot, but the Alps, are all under or around 4000m. Edgar is 6800, this isn't something that should be tackled onsight, Alpine style. These faces demand ultimate respect, which I think they lacked in their plan. I think if they'd have recced the place they'd have realized that it really wasn't feasible to attempt something like this in the way they planned. Yes, i know, we've had solo climbs of all the 8000m peaks, so it is possible for 3 guys to summit a 6800, but the peaks in Kham are a breed un-to themselves. There's a good reason why most of them are unclimbed, because they're shear, gnarly and incredibly unstable. Just take a look at the failed attempt to climb Kawa Karpo, 15 people wiped out at basecamp at 5500m. Over on Everest you have tourist trudging up to 5500m all the time, in fact you have sherpas dragging business men to the top. In Kham, at 5500m you're in an unstable death zone that hardly anyone fears to tred.... the conditions couldn't be more different and I think the guys would have seen this if they'd recced it properly.

To conclude, I think the guys got the entire expedition wrong, they underestimated the mountain and the area, and their lack of on sight knowledge basically cancelled out all of their previous extensive experience. In reality, when it cam down to it, they were in way over their heads. They committed to the mountain too early and in return the mountain committed to them.
Their foray up to advance basecamp should have been done on a different trip. So they could assses the situation and not be so committed. instead, they trekked all their gear into a place that was inherently unstable at that time of the year. They had no idea how the mountain could behave, and oblivious to this kept on trekking in more and more gear.

As you can see, the show affected me a lot, and I hope by writing this a discussion could open up and the mistakes of the past not be repeated again. I know that eastern Tibet is now becoming very popular with climbers who want to do some first ascents, and all I can advise is that this region should be treated as a separate area with it's own rules and demands. Just because you've done 8000m in the Himalayas, north faces in the Alps and the highest peaks in the Rockies doesn't mean that you can just rock up to Kham and bag yourself a 6500m+ first ascent.

These mountains are Alive and Ferocious!

Richard
p.s check out my Tibet site www.tibettreking.org

All this sadly misinformed bullshit quoted for the author's embarrassment should he decide to delete his moronic post.


clingsta


Apr 30, 2010, 7:17 AM
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The website is to back up that I know the area...

i'm open to your comments.... enlighten me if you're informed. That's why i wrote the thread....


kaizen


Apr 30, 2010, 7:18 AM
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Clingsta. Thank you for your expert analysis and well-drawn out conclusions (heavy sarcasm)

For the sake of brevity, I will just say that when you admitted you were not a mountaineer, I should have stopped there. You're ill-informed, poorly researched essay, written with an arrogant and general douchey panache, makes me wonder what the true purpose of your post is.

No, I will not be checking out your company, and will make sure to let others know your organization is to be avoided.


clingsta


Apr 30, 2010, 7:28 AM
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i have a lot of experience of expeditions in this area... so i'm raising what I think are valid questions... If you guys are so informed, then tell me, save the personal insults. if the questions don't dignify you answering then don't answer them...


mikebee


Apr 30, 2010, 7:50 AM
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In a nutshell, clingsta, you've missed the point entirely about the defining factor of modern alpinism - style.

No doubt there are safer ways to climb, but for an alpinist, those ways have less meaning, less attraction and are less fulfilling than climbing alpine style. Fast, light, onsight, no bolts, no bottled oxygen, no porters, one continous push etc are all aspects of alpine style that for many are a bit of a law. If you can't do the climb in a good style, then why do it?

Your point about choosing a different season may be valid, but about doing a recce etc of the climb before hand, thats just not the alpine way.


clingsta


Apr 30, 2010, 8:16 AM
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Respect MikeBee ...

So, here's a thought... Maybe the mountains in Kham, look like Alps with there insanely shear rock faces, but on this case they pushed the limit of modern alpinism too much. After all some of the mountains do look like dolomites in Kham, but they're twice as high and the environments they're in are much more volatile.

Now I accept that climbing morphs upwards all the time.... when I saw Alex Honnold solo in Yosemite, it spun me out when i thought of the single or double pitch solos I used to do when i as a kid. So, what seems impossible one day is perfectly possible another day...

But my point is, if they'd recced before hand, they'd have seen what's possible and what's not AT THAT TIME... this wouldn't have compromised the "modern alpinsit style" Even they stressed that an expediton like this involved a huge amount of research... I'm just saying that they should've at least gone to the base or advanced base camp to check it out first. This would still leave all the real climbing as unseen and pushing the envelope.

Instead they spent 28 days on the mountain and didn't climb anything, and it wasn't just because of the weather... it was a culmination of factors. So there's a point where "modern Alpinism" in it's freest form is not applicable to any rock face, especially, in my opinion in Kham.

In the TV, one of the guys said, "I dont think there's a situation that i can get myself into, that I can't get myself out of."

Now, this raised an immediate red flag for me as i trek Kham regular, at altitude, and the environment can kill you in a blink of an eye and you have no say about it, and that's just trekking.

So, had these guys ever been to China or Kham before?


camhead


Apr 30, 2010, 8:54 AM
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Re: [clingsta] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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Clingsta,

You are confusing "Alpinism" with "Climbing in the Alps." The terms are not completely interchangeable.

Your point about season, as mentioned above, is a very valid one.

Also, I believe that Jonny had been in China before, not sure if Micah had.


Nick864


Apr 30, 2010, 9:44 AM
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Re: [clingsta] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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Clingsta
Honestly, this post is ignorant and insulting. Johhny and Mica were two of the strongest, most well prepared alpinists in the world. They were fully aware of the dangers in the mountains, and in the kham. They chose to push the limits and it backfired. Trying to blame that on ignorance, poor planning, or inexperience with these guys is simply laughable. They knew exactly what they were getting into. You trek clingsta. You are not an alpinist or mountaineer. In the worst of trekking cases, you could never encounter the situations these men had faced and survived many times before. Please keep your ignorant spray to yourself and let the memory of two great climbers rest without your grubby little paws trying to type slander all over the internet.


i_h8_choss


Apr 30, 2010, 9:49 AM
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Re: [clingsta] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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clingsta wrote:
i have a lot of experience of expeditions in this area... so i'm raising what I think are valid questions... If you guys are so informed, then tell me, save the personal insults. if the questions don't dignify you answering then don't answer them...



You're a hiker, not an alpinist. Your opinion doesn't count.

May they continue to RIP.


onarunning


Apr 30, 2010, 10:22 AM
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Re: [clingsta] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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clingsta wrote:
I just watched the TV show First Ascent on NGC about the attempt to climb "Mt. Edgar" in Sichuan Province, China.

At the end of the show, I was really shocked and saddened to find that the guys died. However all the way through the show, I was thinking - "is this for real?"

I'm going to add some comments for debate... my comments by no means dishonour the guys that died but my intention is rather to raise questions.

After all, as we know, when we find ourselves in precarious situations we can often look back and see that the outcome was a series of red flags that we either chose to ignore or just couldn't see.

Firstly, I'd like to say that my only knowledge of their expedition is from the show only. So, it can hardly be described as extensive, but seeing as the show was made by the close friends of the guys that died, we can pretty much surmise that they were represented in a realistic way... so, all my assumptions are based on what I saw on the show.

Secondly, I want to say that I know Kham (Western China or eastern Tibet) better than most, and although I'm not a mountaineer i've trekked these areas a lot and have experience with these volatile mountains.

So... my first point... in the documentary, the guys were talking about the amount of research they were doing for the climb and it showed them looking at books in the library or studying close up pictures of the face trying to find climbing lines etc. All good research, but I can't believe that they didn't go recce the mountain before hand. In fact, it was folly that they didn't do any kind of recce before hand and ultimately lead to their demise Maybe they did, but it certainly didn't represent this in the show and it seemed to emphasize that really they had no clue about the actual conditions of the mountain or even how to get there.
If they'd done a proper recce of the area, say a year in advance, they could have staked out a few camps and seen what kind of climatic conditions they experienced during the season they intended to climb. instead they parked themselves basically at the mercy of the mountains with no idea what the mountain was capable of and when.

A good recce would have also left them with the sense of just how volatile these mountains are in May and June. The weather is just starting to warm up, wet air masses of the monsoon begin to sweep in making the conditions really unstable. Who advised them that it would be a good time to climb? I think the fact that their weather, and the weather experienced by the rescue teams confirms this. When I was watching the show I was thinking, "Why are they climbing now, wont that be dangerous?" Don't get me wrong, I dunno what the best time would be, if there ever is.... but that unstable time between spring and summer on such a precipitous face seemed to be a little ill-advised. I would have recommended early Autumn - much calmer, stiller, rain is lighter, most of the unstable snow has gone from the summer heat... Look at the Tibetans, they do a lot of high altitude koras in the general area (walking around holy mountains) and they do it in the autumn, because it's safer and more stable.

Once on the mountain, i have to say, that the guys behaviour wasn't suitable for what they were about to do. When I was watching the show, I didn't know the guys actually died... but when I saw them dicking around, drinking and basically acting like they were on a beach I said to my wife, "I don't think they deserve to get up this mountain." Of course at the end when they died, I felt really bad... but the point still remains... these mountains deserve the utmost respect, most of them have some sacred element to them and many of the locals believe that deities and spirits reside there. Now, I'm not preaching superstition here, just commenting that these places are insanely wild and fitness, skill and bravado aren't the only qualities you need to survive in these places, you also need humbleness and deference. Again, maybe they did act like this, but it certainly wasn't represented in the show and their mates made the show. Any local, watching the show would not be surprised that they didn't make it off the mountain.

My next point, i admit I may not be up to date on.... but I'll make it anyway. These guys were Alpinist, attempting to complete the first ascent of Edgar, Alpine style.
Now, I have a little experience climbing, but not a lot, but the Alps, are all under or around 4000m. Edgar is 6800, this isn't something that should be tackled onsight, Alpine style. These faces demand ultimate respect, which I think they lacked in their plan. I think if they'd have recced the place they'd have realized that it really wasn't feasible to attempt something like this in the way they planned. Yes, i know, we've had solo climbs of all the 8000m peaks, so it is possible for 3 guys to summit a 6800, but the peaks in Kham are a breed un-to themselves. There's a good reason why most of them are unclimbed, because they're shear, gnarly and incredibly unstable. Just take a look at the failed attempt to climb Kawa Karpo, 15 people wiped out at basecamp at 5500m. Over on Everest you have tourist trudging up to 5500m all the time, in fact you have sherpas dragging business men to the top. In Kham, at 5500m you're in an unstable death zone that hardly anyone fears to tred.... the conditions couldn't be more different and I think the guys would have seen this if they'd recced it properly.

To conclude, I think the guys got the entire expedition wrong, they underestimated the mountain and the area, and their lack of on sight knowledge basically cancelled out all of their previous extensive experience. In reality, when it cam down to it, they were in way over their heads. They committed to the mountain too early and in return the mountain committed to them.
Their foray up to advance basecamp should have been done on a different trip. So they could assses the situation and not be so committed. instead, they trekked all their gear into a place that was inherently unstable at that time of the year. They had no idea how the mountain could behave, and oblivious to this kept on trekking in more and more gear.

As you can see, the show affected me a lot, and I hope by writing this a discussion could open up and the mistakes of the past not be repeated again. I know that eastern Tibet is now becoming very popular with climbers who want to do some first ascents, and all I can advise is that this region should be treated as a separate area with it's own rules and demands. Just because you've done 8000m in the Himalayas, north faces in the Alps and the highest peaks in the Rockies doesn't mean that you can just rock up to Kham and bag yourself a 6500m+ first ascent.

These mountains are Alive and Ferocious!

Richard
p.s check out my Tibet site www.tibettreking.org

Thanks.
Because what we need most in the world is idiots who've seen tv shows to tell experts how to do things.


Wunderkind


Apr 30, 2010, 11:33 AM
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Re: [clingsta] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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Clingsta - like Cam said you don't seem to understand what the term "alpine style" means...

Everything about your post belies a total misunderstanding of mountaineering, which is made worse by the fact that your history as a hiker has fooled you into thinking you have special knowledge on the topic.

Johnny, Micah and Wade were breaking new ground here. Of course they took risks - and of course they knew about those risks.


jmeizis


Apr 30, 2010, 12:51 PM
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Re: [clingsta] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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I'd met Jonny one day while ice climbing in RMNP and have some friends that knew him pretty well and I can tell you that him and the rest of the party are extremely accomplished and extremely strong climbers. While I can respect that you're questioning their decisions because that's the way climbers increase their knowledge and prevent similar accidents in the future I think you have several fundemental misunderstandings of how expeditions, alpinism, and people in stressful situations operate.

Any lack of recon before starting on the climbing trip was probably more cost related than anything else. I don't think Jonny was that much older than me, maybe five or so years. Being that he was a sponsored climber and maybe did some guiding on the side I'm going to guess him and his friends weren't rolling in the money so they did the research they could and rolled the dice when they boarded the plane. Anybody who goes on a climbing trip far away is rolling the dice in the same way, granted the consequences may not be as dire depending what mountains they're climbing. Aside from that it may have been the only time they could get together. Sometimes schedules, fitness, and money don't line up so three people can go on a remote expedition on the other side of the world. I'm going to guess they did as much research as they could with the resources available to them.

Now while you might have a desire of respect for those particular mountains you've put a cultural constraint on other people. Just because you don't think people should be drinking or cavorting around on these mountains does not mean that such activities will kill people. While I think respect for the mountain environment is important to both the enjoyment and preservation of an area I don't think drinking and screwing around are going to cause a mountain to rise up and kill people. They're inanimate piles of rocks. They kill randomly.

You seem to believe that these particular mountains are significantly more dangerous than others. Since I haven't climbed there I can't really say but then again it sounds like you've only walked around there so I would guess before they died they had a more intimate knowledge of the mountains than you do. There's a big difference between walking around in the mountains and climbing up them. Besides that these guys were highly accomplished alpinists doing ascents of peaks that are known for terrible weather. Alpinism is a game of experience and I can make an educated guess that these guys had more experience in the mountains than you. Yes they're different but snow and rock aren't magically different because you're in a different country. Mountains act similarly and certain things about mountains can be predicted based of previous experiences.

There probably were things that they decided upon or actions they took that may have sealed their fate but I don't think you touched on any of them. Climbing is dangerous, they knew that, they took a chance, and unfortunately they did not live. It could have happened in their backyard just as easily. I don't believe this conversation will yield anything of value for people thinking of going to the area or peope grieving the loss of their friends or family.

If you wanted to think of things that may have resulted in injury or death you would need to have a much more intimate knowledge of their expedition. Maybe they headed out into a snow storm and poor avalanche conditions from a safe and sheltered camp. Maybe they did so because someone was injured. Maybe they relied on their experience to the extent that they headed into dangerous terrain thinking they were fast enough, strong enough, or smart enough to get through it. We'll never know because all the people who do know are no longer with us. Climbing has risks...sometimes you don't survive. It doesn't mean you necessarily did something wrong, sometimes you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.


bill413


Apr 30, 2010, 1:27 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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jmeizis , well written.


Colinhoglund


Apr 30, 2010, 2:04 PM
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Re: [bill413] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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Agreed.
Doesn't matter where/who you are or how much recc you do. If your in the mountains and half a face falls on you, thats just bad luck. What would have happened if Wade and Jonny were on the Dru a few years earlier when it fell off? What about when the summit fell of Pigeon spire? Does this mean it shouldn't be climbed anymore? The unpredictable happens, this is the risk we all have to accept to climb in the big mountains. Wade and Jonny are miles ahead of me, and they deserve our respect.
RIP


clingsta


Apr 30, 2010, 4:47 PM
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Re: [Colinhoglund] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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Personally... I think most of your comments are just trolling... trying to reduce me down to a "hiker" or equivalent just shows your ignorance, not mine and telling me i can't comment on Alpinism because I'm not an Alpinist is just childish. Using the same irrational logic, i could say, you guys have no right to comment on something that happened in Kham, cus you've never been there... just childish thinking.

I take the point that when your luck runs out, that's it, and basically everything you've done in the past counts for nothing... and this is definitely what happened here. No one is questioning that these guys weren't totally nails and pushing boundaries.

But .Raising the point that a recce of the area would have been a good idea, especially as they were making a TV show, wouldn't have been a bad idea is neither insulting or ignorant or a blemish on Modern Alpinism.

Regarding the drinking, this is not my opinion, as I know loads of Tibetans, and I assume that most of you (who have answered) don't, I can tell you for fact that in this area, they don't even like you to point at mountains, shout in the high passes etc - this is a fact. So as a person who "does" know the area, this seemed a little odd and i know locals would be uncomfortable with it. That's a fact.

Basically, you can't have both worlds...

If the sport wants to make TV shows and promote their stars then they will always be open to comments from others. If you want to be an enigmatic climber and go off and do cool stuff, untouched by anyone, then fine go do it, but if you put it up there on NGC Asia then its in the public domain open for people to discuss openly.


altelis


Apr 30, 2010, 6:19 PM
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clingsta wrote:
...
My next point, i admit I may not be up to date on.... but I'll make it anyway. These guys were Alpinist, attempting to complete the first ascent of Edgar, Alpine style.
Now, I have a little experience climbing, but not a lot, but the Alps, are all under or around 4000m. Edgar is 6800, this isn't something that should be tackled onsight, Alpine style. These faces demand ultimate respect, which I think they lacked in their plan. I think if they'd have recced the place they'd have realized that it really wasn't feasible to attempt something like this in the way they planned. Yes, i know, we've had solo climbs of all the 8000m peaks, so it is possible for 3 guys to summit a 6800, but the peaks in Kham are a breed un-to themselves. There's a good reason why most of them are unclimbed, because they're shear, gnarly and incredibly unstable. Just take a look at the failed attempt to climb Kawa Karpo, 15 people wiped out at basecamp at 5500m. Over on Everest you have tourist trudging up to 5500m all the time, in fact you have sherpas dragging business men to the top. In Kham, at 5500m you're in an unstable death zone that hardly anyone fears to tred.... the conditions couldn't be more different and I think the guys would have seen this if they'd recced it properly.

You are absolutely right. These massive faces are impossible to climb in Alpine style. That shit only works in Europe.



Because at 8126 meters Nanga Parbat is pretty tiny. I mean the Rupal Face itself is only a measly 4608 meters of vertical relief.....sheesh, it would be simply IMPOSSIBLE to climb that in Alpine style...

http://www.alpinist.com/...mbing-notes-anderson


clingsta


Apr 30, 2010, 7:19 PM
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I'm not saying that it's impossible to do it Alpine... All the 8000m peaks have been done by single climbers already, so it's hardly a stretch of the imagination to do these mountains in this manner, eventually.
I'm saying that if they'd done a recce before hand, they may have succeeded, cus for one, they'd have come away thinking, "Maybe May is not the best time to be on the mountain, the weather is too changeable and unpredictable... cus the weather in that TV show, wasn't freak weather.. it was Normal weather, in fact i was in Kham in May 09. That's what it's like.. misty, rainy, with swinging temperatures from hot to cold.

I AM saying, that, "just rocking up, with gear and a shed load of experience may not always serve you well..... in the show they really stressed planning and research, I think a recce should have been included. Is that so insulting to "modern Alpinism?

if you can't accept that a simple recce to the base wouldn't have served their purpose then that's fine..... we can agree to disagree.

It wouldn't have taken anything away from their ultimate goal or achievement....


clingsta


Apr 30, 2010, 7:32 PM
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Plus, Nanga Parabat was first climbed in 1953 by an EXPEDITION.... Apparently, 31 people had already died trying to climb it....

according to Wikipedia...

""Modern" superalpinism was brought to Nanga Parbat in 1988"

That's 35 years after the first ascent, 95 years after the first attempts to climb it.

so, the modern super alpinist was relying on nearly a 100years of experience on the mountain.

Now, i'm not saying, people shouldn't push the envelope... Again, I'm just saying... a recce of the route would have helped.


jmeizis


Apr 30, 2010, 7:43 PM
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Re: [clingsta] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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Yes, doing a little recon of a route or a mountain area before a trip there is a great way to help in achieving success on a future expedition. Unfortunately, it's not always possible. Expeditions themselves are expensive and most of us can't afford to just take a trip over to the other side of the world to merely scope out the mountains we want to climb. We have time and money constraints. So do our partners. So we go when we all have the time and money and deal with the conditions as they present themselves.

Maybe they got some misinformation. Maybe they were aware of what the conditions would be but could only go during that time. Maybe they were in fact mostly scoping out the route knowing that the conditions would suck and hoping they could climb anyways but just had a stretch of bad luck. I don't know and neither do you, but your original post went a fair bit deeper than just saying they should have done more homework. In the future you might do well to be a little more careful with your words. Saying they should have done more homework is one thing but inferring that their death was a result of poor planning, lack of respect for the mountain environment, and topping it off by showing a complete lack of understanding of modern alpinism whilst garnering your information from a video is fairly insulting of people who can't defend themselves anymore.


clingsta


Apr 30, 2010, 8:17 PM
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Re: [jmeizis] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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Hey.. Appreciate your post...

I don't think I'm attacking them personally... Just raising points.

I think the last post about Nanga Parbat proved my overall point on the entire topic rather than showed my "ignorance" of alpinism...

The sport is based on a 100 years of knowledge and skill, but this doesn't mean that it can be always transposed immediately to any area... no matter how experienced you are...

The reason why this show resonated so much with me, is because I know Kham, and I wanted them to succeed and a few simple things "may" have helped their success.

A super Alpinsit can draw on a 100 years of knowledge to summit Nanga Parbat, knowing the route, best places for base camp and the best time to go...
in this case they didn't have any of this previous knowledge, just scraps.... and some would say, like me, "they were flying a little bit blind... "

All adventure sports, and i do a lot, are about limiting and managing the risk, right...?


Colinhoglund


May 1, 2010, 12:12 AM
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Re: [clingsta] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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Seriously, if your such an expert do some freeking research! They did their recon!!!!!!
May 7 was the first recorded day they began recon, by the 14th they established basecamp. They spent the 15th exploring the area. Dash's own words "There's no line on this side of the mountain that will go in the style and safety margin we want."
They then returned to basecamp and waited 4 days for the weather to settle and then decided to settle for a consolation prize, a smaller rock spire. It was when they set out for this lesser objective that they were struck by the avalanche.

The points you raise are invalid. Micah and Jonny show nothing but top form in their decision making and planning. They spent at least 13 days waiting and observing the mountain before attempting a "lesser objective". Have enough respect for their, my and the greater alpine community's lifestyle by doing some FREEKING RESEARCH before trolling about standards for a game your not even part of. We all take chances, hell I'm more likely to die on my commute to my destination then climbing. Since you like films so much watch Jonny and Micah back off the Dru in "the sharp end". I'm sorry, but don't spray if you don't know at least some of the facts beyond a film made for the mass population, leave the judging to the climbing community. Read the accident reports then spray if you have to.


munky


May 1, 2010, 10:00 AM
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Re: [Colinhoglund] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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I've read this entire thread and I feel the need to defend clingsta and his points. If for anything, to show that climbers are rational people who can look beyond our heroes and the mantras that us climbers try to live up to. Bottom line is that Clingsta is trying to say recon of the area prior to their actual trip would have been prudent and in doing so hopes others wont make the same mistake.


clingsta


May 1, 2010, 8:20 PM
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Cheers Munky for bringing a little levelness to this thread.

So to start.....For those that think the opinions on TV shows mean nothing I must say - If you don't think TV shows made by climbers about climbers are credible then don't make them...

So, I figure, those who decided to troll me might have been better to suggest this site, rather than just irate, inane beasting. If you don't have time to offer constructive advice about the sport you're involved in, but have time to troll, then you probably wanna consider your time management.

this explains a lot...

http://www.pioletsdor.com/

I think this page is particularly relevant to this thread as it features two Faces in in western China.

http://www.pioletsdor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=115&Itemid=204&lang=en

So, this is the natural progression of the sport, refining it down further into almost an "art form" which is cool. Admittedly at the start of this post, I DID understand quiet clearly the concept of Alpinism but hadn't been aware of the off-shoot, "Super Alpinism." Thanks to MikeBee for pointing me in the right direction.

But, this level of attainment is based on the long history of the mountain. As gear and climbers get better, they're able to capitalize on the achievements and failures of the past. If you can't see the direct link between the guys who were attempting a route in their tweeds and hobnail-boots and a super-alpinist then you truly, truly don't understand your sport or the mountains.

Almost ALL of these routes (of course there are probably some) but almost all of these, "new ascents" by this style of super-alpinism happen on mountains that have 30- 60 -100years of knowledge attached to them.

Take Gongga in Kham - First recced in 1930 by the legendary Joseph Rock, Recced extensively in 1932 and summited at that time. Since then there have been multiple expeditions all over the mountain and numerous deaths culminating in the super-alpinist ascent in 2009.

So, even though Mikhail Mikhailov and Alexander Ruchkin were able to achieve a new significant route up the face in 2009, they were spring-boarding of a rich history of knowledge of the mountain that goes back almost a hundred years. Almost as if the mountain was ready to be conquered by super-alpinist at that time as it had been through a natural process of exploration.

Where to camp, when to go, what to avoid, all stored in the living history of the Mountain, often paid for by the lives of pioneering, forgotten climbers.

Now, my point, maybe made badly at the time, because I was not aware of all the new dimensions of alpinism, is that it appeared to me, only from the show of course, that Edgar was just not suitable for this kind of ascent and climbing style. All that I've learnt in the past few days only confirms my hunch.. And contrary to most of your opinions, is directly because of my experience in really, really wild environments over the years. Environments where there is hardly any recorded history.

The mountain has practically no shared history that I can find (please share if you have) and therefore needed, if not demanded a good recce before anyone could summit it by normal expedition style, let alone using a super-alpinist method.

Of course, if the attempt had been successful I can now quiet clearly see how it would have resonated through the upper echelons of the sport.

A face that greatly resembles all the previous "super-alpinist" routes, but on a mountain with NO history, done with no discernible recce - A truly on-sight ascent of a formidable remote, unknown face, utterly groundbreaking. Certainly worthy of a TV show.

NOTE: @Colinhoglund, if your truly believe that hanging out on a unknown* mountain for a few days is a recce then you'll probably have a short career.
*By unknown, I mean totally unknown, and not just a new mountain for the specific climber.

So, I have to conclude that my point, although maybe made badly, was right... In 2009 Edgar was just not ready for this kind of attempt. It was "A bridge too far for the super-alpinist method." Of course someone will summit it, who knows what method, probably expedition style...? but this will then add to the living history of the mountain, of which Copp, Dash and Johnson are now part of.

So, the point of the discussion is what....?

Well at least it "might" make all you "arrogant" guys who love to troll go take a look at the rich history of your sport - because without the amblers, walkers , hikers, trekkers, climbers, mountaineers and classic alpinists, your sport would not exist and you'd be wise and prudent to listen and learn from the rich history that they have created for YOU, so YOU can go climb in an extreme way. Hopefully you can ditch your phony class structure of the sport, where you wrongly believe that super alpinist sits at the top and needs no lessons from others, and is above questioning.

So, go get out your gear, take a look at it in a different way, cus, every item of gear you own represents a long history of knowledge built up over centuries of exploration by OTHERS and not you, and when you but on your gear, you have no right to piously look at a walker, hiker, trekker or weekend climber and think that you're some how a super-species above them.... because YOU ARE IN SEPARABLE FROM THEM.

So, why do I care...? well, for those that would have bothered to take the time to look at my site, rather than beasting it for trying to do some kinda "cheap" advertising, they'd see that I have a stake in the area and an extensive knowledge of kham, and I don't like to see, or hear that people die there... so, I was genuinely upset when I saw the show, and couldn't understand why they hadn't recced this unknown area before... it just seemed obvious... now I understand why they didn't...

But what seems to be apparent from this post is that there are a number of people that believe the only reason Copp and Dash's attempt failed was because of bad luck. However I beg to differ, I think bad luck was involved for sure, but a number of other factors came together as well....

So, here's a take out for you....

The first super-alpinist ascents of Gongga Peak and Mt Edgar in 2009 weren't the same... apples and oranges. That's why one succeeded and one failed.


Wunderkind


May 6, 2010, 9:43 AM
Post #43 of 45 (4035 views)
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Re: [clingsta] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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So "levelness" must equal agreement with you? I hear what you are saying, and I think it is nothing more than a guy who watched a TV show and thinks he has a right to comment on that which he has no insight into. After reading and considering all of your points, I'm more convinced now than before that they aren't valid. Seems pretty level to me.

One more thing. Nobody is trolling you. Trolling is posting inflammatory remarks in hopes of drawing you into a silly debate. In this case, we all just want you to stop posting.


(This post was edited by Wunderkind on May 6, 2010, 11:14 AM)


Colinhoglund


May 6, 2010, 12:07 PM
Post #44 of 45 (3976 views)
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Posts: 338

Re: [Wunderkind] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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Thanks Wunderkind for stating the obvious. Don't post on what you don't know.

I finish with this; as for recco, apparently a dozen days "hanging around" an unknown mountain was enough to make these experienced climbers give it a no go. I'm sorry but it seems like you can not grasp the point that they came in had a look, said no, then got in a freak accident on another objective.
Thats like me looking at climb xyz and going 'no way' and then getting killed whilst approaching an easier objective. You can't say that I got killed because I failed to study the route more?
Your point is invalid, they did enough 'recco' to decide to back off, why do more? It's not like their going to spend another day,week, month studding a mountain which they said "There's no line on this side of the mountain that will go in the style and safety margin we want."
Copp and Dash were proponents of Alpine Style; onsight, one try, fast and light. They knew what they were getting into, their capabilities and their style. The result, they attempted to climb a consolation prize and had bad luck.

I'm not attacking you personally, only your case. (apparently North Americans have a problem with this concept) A case which lacks insight into climbing culture and ethics; and lacks a basis on what really happened beyond the scope of a short TV program edited for content. If your account of this was for a published work it wouldn't make it past the editors desk without adding the facts and insight missed.


rangerrob


Jun 14, 2010, 7:23 PM
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Re: [Colinhoglund] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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Clingsta can you please explain to us exactly what you mean by the word "recce". Are you suggesting that Johnny and Micah just decided to travel there on a whim, and just start climbing without doing any scouting beforehand? While I didn't know these personally, I knew their experience and skills, and I seriously doubt that is what they did.

Secondly, I have to agree with most here. You sound a bit ignorant of climbing in general, and Alpinism in particular. You seem to base most of your opinions off of a TV show. Commenting on Alpinism when not being an alpinist is not really possible, at least on any meaningful level. I'm just a fledgling amatuer, but I know enough to know when people are talking out of their ass.


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