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Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta
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sunglint


Dec 1, 2008, 12:12 PM
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Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta
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From the article:
In reply to:
A 33-year-old-woman fell to her death while climbing Mt. Shasta on Friday, Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Susan Gravenkamp said Sunday.

The woman and two men were making their first attempt to climb Mt. Shasta. All three were from out of the area, Gravenkamp said


http://www.redding.com/...-climbing-mt-shasta/

This is a standard news article, no real info on the technical aspects.
Sincerest condolences are offered.Unsure


shimanilami


Dec 1, 2008, 12:29 PM
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Re: [sunglint] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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That route isn't especially technical or steep. The most likely scenario is that conditions were icy, and that she didn't have or know how to use an ice axe. That sucks.


Partner j_ung


Dec 1, 2008, 1:45 PM
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Re: [shimanilami] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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Just to be proactive here and clarify how I see new forum modding policies applying...

Technically, we have one quasi-condolence post and one quasi-analysis post. I have no problem with the two intermingling as long as tones remain respectful to the family and friends she left behind. So far, so good. Thank you. When/if we learn her identity, we can begin a parallel thread in In Memory Of.

I also want to offer condolences to anybody close to her who happens along. This is a terrible situation and I'm very thankful my own loved ones aren't in similar straights.


climbingaggie03


Dec 1, 2008, 2:07 PM
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Re: [shimanilami] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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The article says she had an ice axe and crampons, so I'm guessing that she probably didn't know how to use it, or hit her head before she could use it. The article notes she wasn't wearing a helmet, I wonder if this would have helped at all since that's not really the kind of impact the helmets are designed for.

My condolences, that sucks, I've seen a buddy start to slide away uncontrollably, it's a terrible feeling to sit there watching unable to do anything.


sunglint


Dec 1, 2008, 2:43 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
Just to be proactive here and clarify how I see new forum modding policies applying...
Technically, we have one quasi-condolence post and one quasi-analysis post. I have no problem with the two intermingling as long as tones remain respectful to the family and friends she left behind. So far, so good. Thank you. When/if we learn her identity, we can begin a parallel thread in In Memory Of.

And I tried to fit with the new regime - it was meant to be as much analysis as I could but there is not much detail yet. I added the condolences out of respect, but didnt mean to head in that direction, assuming there would be such a thread in the MemoryOf forum. shimanilami is going where I thought I was heading, discussing the route and subsequent updates. Or should I submit this as a news item, as I have in the past? Maybe start a thread in both this and the MemoryOf forum?

@climbingaggie03: I too was surprised by the lack of helmets, but agree there is too little info to go on, and it probably wouldn't matter in this case anyways.


dingus


Dec 1, 2008, 3:10 PM
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Re: [climbingaggie03] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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climbingaggie03 wrote:
The article says she had an ice axe and crampons, so I'm guessing that she probably didn't know how to use it, or hit her head before she could use it.

On something like the Red Banks slope with bullet hard ice under some new snow? You have essentially one chance, a split second really, to self arrest.

For those who haven't seen it or experienced it first hand? The acceleration is STUNNING. After all too brief an instant self arrest is no longer possible, save by Accident of the Fates.

A lot of folks picture self arrest in nice sun-warmed soft snow, where things happen more slowly. They aren't always prepared for the reality of alpine ice.

On really hyard snow or ice? A self arrest by a competent climber would still take in a good deal of raw luck - fall this way and self arrest. Fall that way and go for the big ride. It was once suggested to me that modern synthetic fibers have compounded this issue - they don't 'stick' to ice as wool used to, further reducing the window of opp to self arrest.

Best not to fall, at all. And don't rely on self arrest - it is NOT the cure-all its made out to be.

I fell skiing, in the Dana couloir, and despite specific training and a decent amount of practice? I could not slow my fall sufficiently to avoid a 300 foot ass over teakettle tumble down the gully. I had the time. I had the tools. I could NOT self arrest.

I finally did stop before hitting the rocks on the side of the gully. Its a very helpless feeling, to try to self arrest and fail and then, in that terrible instant, to look into the face of your partner, both of you knowing what is about to happen. Its so fast you don't even have time to formulate the thought coherenly. Luckily in my case, I had ample time to ponder that look on Burl's face after the fact.

DMT


climbingaggie03


Dec 1, 2008, 4:36 PM
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Re: [dingus] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
climbingaggie03 wrote:
The article says she had an ice axe and crampons, so I'm guessing that she probably didn't know how to use it, or hit her head before she could use it.

On something like the Red Banks slope with bullet hard ice under some new snow? You have essentially one chance, a split second really, to self arrest.

For those who haven't seen it or experienced it first hand? The acceleration is STUNNING. After all too brief an instant self arrest is no longer possible, save by Accident of the Fates.

A lot of folks picture self arrest in nice sun-warmed soft snow, where things happen more slowly. They aren't always prepared for the reality of alpine ice.

On really hyard snow or ice? A self arrest by a competent climber would still take in a good deal of raw luck - fall this way and self arrest. Fall that way and go for the big ride. It was once suggested to me that modern synthetic fibers have compounded this issue - they don't 'stick' to ice as wool used to, further reducing the window of opp to self arrest.

Best not to fall, at all. And don't rely on self arrest - it is NOT the cure-all its made out to be.

I fell skiing, in the Dana couloir, and despite specific training and a decent amount of practice? I could not slow my fall sufficiently to avoid a 300 foot ass over teakettle tumble down the gully. I had the time. I had the tools. I could NOT self arrest.

I finally did stop before hitting the rocks on the side of the gully. Its a very helpless feeling, to try to self arrest and fail and then, in that terrible instant, to look into the face of your partner, both of you knowing what is about to happen. Its so fast you don't even have time to formulate the thought coherenly. Luckily in my case, I had ample time to ponder that look on Burl's face after the fact.

DMT

I don't disagree with you dingus, I've been smart/skilled/lucky enough to not have to self arrest yet. The time I saw my buddy slide away, i barely had time to comprehend what was happening before he was 100 feet down the hill.

I'm not familiar with the route, do people normally rope up for some or all of this route? that was something that I thought about when I posted earlier, From what the route sounds like to me, I wouldn't want to rope up, because unless you are going to put in pickets or screws, you're basically making a suicide pact. Maybe a rope would have saved her or maybe it would have killed her partners, anybody have more knowledge about the route?


dingus


Dec 1, 2008, 5:01 PM
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Re: [climbingaggie03] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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No its not generally roped.

Cheers
DMT


Partner robdotcalm


Dec 1, 2008, 5:56 PM
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Re: [dingus] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
climbingaggie03 wrote:

It was once suggested to me that modern synthetic fibers have compounded this issue - they don't 'stick' to ice as wool used to, further reducing the window of opp to self arrest.

DMT

I concur. I fractured my L tibia in a fall while wearing synthetics. I regretted afterwards that I hadn't stuck to my old woolen knickers.

r.c


billl7


Dec 1, 2008, 6:21 PM
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Re: [climbingaggie03] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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climbingaggie03 wrote:
On something like the Red Banks slope with bullet hard ice under some new snow? You have essentially one chance, a split second really, to self arrest.
... even less time to arrest when wearing a heavy pack. And, either way, training/experience along with upper body strength can play a role.


Partner j_ung


Dec 2, 2008, 8:00 AM
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Re: [sunglint] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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sunglint wrote:
j_ung wrote:
Just to be proactive here and clarify how I see new forum modding policies applying...
Technically, we have one quasi-condolence post and one quasi-analysis post. I have no problem with the two intermingling as long as tones remain respectful to the family and friends she left behind. So far, so good. Thank you. When/if we learn her identity, we can begin a parallel thread in In Memory Of.

And I tried to fit with the new regime - it was meant to be as much analysis as I could but there is not much detail yet. I added the condolences out of respect, but didnt mean to head in that direction, assuming there would be such a thread in the MemoryOf forum. shimanilami is going where I thought I was heading, discussing the route and subsequent updates. Or should I submit this as a news item, as I have in the past? Maybe start a thread in both this and the MemoryOf forum?

@climbingaggie03: I too was surprised by the lack of helmets, but agree there is too little info to go on, and it probably wouldn't matter in this case anyways.

What you've done is fine, thanks. No need to change anything.


sknowlton


Dec 3, 2008, 9:54 AM
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Re: [dingus] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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From the local paper:

http://www.nypost.com/...ak_plunge_141943.htm

Dingus, your assessment seems to be correct from this account.

Condolences to her family and friends. Just terrible.


Partner j_ung


Dec 3, 2008, 10:25 AM
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Re: [sknowlton] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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I don't intend to edit condolences out of this thread, but if you have any to share, this may be a better place for them:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...mp;post=2030795#last

Thanks,
J


sknowlton


Dec 3, 2008, 10:29 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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Noted. Thanks.


h4lf_rope


Dec 3, 2008, 11:19 AM
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Re: [billl7] Woman, age 33, Fatal Fall on Avalanche Gulch route, southwest side of Mt. Shasta [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
climbingaggie03 wrote:
On something like the Red Banks slope with bullet hard ice under some new snow? You have essentially one chance, a split second really, to self arrest.
... even less time to arrest when wearing a heavy pack. And, either way, training/experience along with upper body strength can play a role.

...even if you do manage to self-arrest in that "one chance," the damage can still be catastrophic. A friend of mine dislocated both shoulders self-arresting.


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