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Warning: Death Happens
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Michael Skwarczek
(uberkatzen) - F

Locale: Sudamerica
Warning: Death Happens on 12/01/2009 12:53:26 MST Print View

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/outposts/2009/11/angels-landing-death.html

"Another fatality has occurred on Angels Landing Trail in Zion National Park, with a woman falling approximately 1,000 feet to her death Friday...Pocatello, Idaho, resident Tammy Grunig, 50, was hiking the steep and narrow trail when she fell. "

Here we were on Angels Landing, Zion UT, last week discussing the danger of said trail segment. I think Park Service rigging like Angels Landing and Half Dome are a heightened, unnecessary danger to average, or sub-average, hikers who wouldn't otherwise be able, or even consider, placing themselves in such a position. The danger is heightened, too, by convincing these hikers to compromise personal risk assessment, not to reply upon themselves, but instead upon some unfamiliar system of cables or chains for a false sense of support.

Rather, day hikers should be looking at a route, a known route, without a scrabbling, wagon train of folks, plus the Park Service, telling them "Can Do, Just Don't Look Down". Where they'll independently say, "Damn, that's cool but I can't climb and I don't have gear". And they'll walk away with a grand view and an admiration for the experience and courage of others.

I know the arguments, it's always about personal responsibility. But would you place a cross-walk across a busy, 65mph, 6-lane free-way and claim, "Well, there's painted lines, and a warning sign, and this button that flashes a yellow light. Traffic will stop. We say go fer it, just remember: death happens."

warning

Edited by uberkatzen on 12/01/2009 12:58:50 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Warning: Death Happens on 12/01/2009 13:47:32 MST Print View

I posted a similar response @ backpacker.com and then got shot several posts that closing this trail to the uninitiated would be un-American.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
hmmmm. on 12/01/2009 14:34:16 MST Print View

I'd say the NPS needs to remove cable systems, especially Half Dome, that can be poorly maintained from time to time, and put people with NO skills in places they would never even think about being.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: hmmmm. on 12/01/2009 15:07:22 MST Print View

Agreed. There are also some cables in the Adirondacks, in a Wilderness area! Uber-lame and unnecessary.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Warning: Death Happens on 12/01/2009 15:45:52 MST Print View

Probably a lot of you already know about this (it's been written about here on BPL), but for those of you who don't know, check this trail out.

Some more information.

Michael Skwarczek
(uberkatzen) - F

Locale: Sudamerica
Warning: Reincarnation Awaits on 12/01/2009 16:59:51 MST Print View

Wow, Miguel. I've only skimmed the article, it's huge, and I can't figure out which picture is worse...

And the author couldn't grasp why the Chinese were so seemingly fearless, but, clearly, they know only reincarnation awaits. Lucky lil' Buddhists.

huashan
huashan

HAHA!!! awesome..."Ironically, two days later, we stopped at a temple in nearby Xian. Laura picked up a pamphlet and started to browse. I heard her giggle. Curious, I asked her what was so funny.

She handed me the pamphlet and told me to look for myself. The first thing I noticed was this particular pamphlet was written in English. Laura grinned as she pointed to the Third Wisdom of Tao:

"He who knows when to stop does not find himself in trouble."

Edited by uberkatzen on 12/01/2009 17:25:29 MST.

Lori Pontious
(lori999) - M

Locale: Central Valley
Death Happens on 12/01/2009 17:15:50 MST Print View

When people tell me they are going to Half Dome, I tell them they can simulate the experience by standing in line at Costco continuously for three hours after running stairs at the local stadium for two hours. Frankly, I find a duplication of an experience shared by 50,000 people annually (on average) between late May and mid-September to be a dubious accomplishment at best....

It's a big rock. You don't need to go. It doesn't mean you did anything other than hike a few miles uphill bumping into every other tourist on the trail. There are better views - seriously.

John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
Re: Warning: Reincarnation Awaits on 12/03/2009 08:04:30 MST Print View

I didn't read that article, but that looks like a via ferrata, which is Italian for something like, "iron path" iirc.

There are many via ferrata's in Europe, and there is a technical skill set and some gear required to navigate them safely. However, they are certainly far safer than even relatively safe activities such as technical rock climbing.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Warning: Death Happens on 12/03/2009 08:51:18 MST Print View

>When people tell me they are going to Half Dome, I tell them they can simulate the experience by standing in line at Costco continuously for three hours after running stairs at the local stadium for two hours. Frankly, I find a duplication of an experience shared by 50,000 people annually (on average) between late May and mid-September to be a dubious accomplishment at best....

That's funny, I don't care who you are. And you gotta feel sorry for the park service, they are in such a "d*mned if you do, d*mned if you don't" position.