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Death in Emmigrant
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Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Death in Emmigrant on 10/08/2008 20:42:59 MDT Print View

For those that enjoy the mountains. Let's remember the risks and appreciate life.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/10/07/BA5313DAQM.DTL

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Death in Emmigrant on 10/09/2008 10:43:35 MDT Print View

I read the article and a couple of things stood out:

1. Christopher Andrews, the man who died, was an experienced solo hiker who made the right decision to exit the area before a storm rolled in on him. He wasn't an inexperienced day hiker.

2. He had a Spot Tracker and once he fell on a Friday afternoon. Search & Rescue was dispatched on Saturday, but was not found until Monday. There seems to be some debate if the Search & Rescue was delayed in deploying to start their search.

3. In the comments section there are comments from Christopher's sister, friends, and co-workers. What follows is the expected debate about the wisdom of solo hiking.

No matter what your opinion on that subject, it is still sad to see that an experienced backpacker, making all the responsible decisions to go solo passed away.

My condolences to his wife and two children.

-Tony

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
emigrant. on 10/09/2008 12:00:26 MDT Print View

I read all the comments, and the thing that struck me is that I'm sure all the people that said "Never hike solo!" probably don't hike anyway, or do dayhikes in the Presidio.

It doesn't necessarily sound like hiking solo got him killed, due to the fall and difficulty in retrieving his body. I imagine that knowing the weather forecast and paying attention to it might have helped the situation.

Either way, it's something that could happen to just about any of us. Be safe!

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Death in Emmigrant on 10/09/2008 13:10:33 MDT Print View

My thoughts and codolences go out to there family. Such a tradgedy- Always hike smart people!!!! Next thread: To hike solo are not to hike- is the big question?

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Death in Emmigrant on 10/09/2008 13:15:43 MDT Print View

Guy was doing everything right as a solo hiker, what can you say?

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Death in Emmigrant on 10/09/2008 13:50:57 MDT Print View

The title of the article says:"Snow prevented rescue of Hillsborough hiker"

I don't even see it as a solo hiking issue. If someone else had been with him, it's not clear to me how that would have helped, given SAR knew where the man was (thanks to his tracker), but couldn't get to him due to weather/snow conditions. Setting off an EPERB is probably a quicker way to alert authorities than hoping your fellow hiker will get out and raise an alarm quickly.

The only take home lesson I get from this sad misfortune is to make sure your EPERB batteries are well charged!

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Death in Emmigrant on 10/09/2008 15:13:44 MDT Print View

That's very sad. (And a rather different scenario from the PCT hiker who died of hypothermia during the same storm http://www.sacbee.com/101/story/1289705.html)

I hiked to Iceland Lake last summer. There's no established trail and getting in, and out, involved a lot of XC travel on steep granite slab, some of which has no safe runout. I don't know on which side of the lake he fell (I took a loop in from the north, out to the east) but can easily envision slipping on that granite if wet--I needed all the traction I could get, and I was hiking in absolutely dry conditions.

It's tempting to second-guess his decision to not hunker down and endure the storm, but a certain level of prudence probably encouraged him to drop down into heavy forest below (Iceland Lake is more or less alpine, although there are stands of trees in the basin).

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
Solo on 10/19/2008 13:13:26 MDT Print View

That's rough. I'll be backpacking solo in the Sierras next year. I love the solitude of being in the wilderness alone. I also kayak alone, which obviously isn't advised.