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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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Re: [reese_7] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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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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Re: [Kauzman01] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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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


Jun 8, 2009, 6:17 AM
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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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Re: [blondgecko] Jonny Copp, Micah Dash & Wade Johnson missing on Mt. Edgar in China [In reply to]
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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?

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