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Man ties legs together, crawls for help
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eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Man ties legs together, crawls for help on 11/30/2013 15:24:03 MST Print View

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/9437932/Man-ties-legs-together-crawls-for-help

The 19-year-old, who is living and working in New Zealand, was hiking alone around 11.30am yesterday in an area called Te Heu Hue Valley, above the Valley T-bar on the mountain's north western slopes, near the summit of the mountain, when he fell.

He believes he slid up to 100 metres until he came to a stop by smashing into an outcrop of snow and ice. He suffered an open fracture to his femur, among other cuts and abrasions. He also lost his cellphone in the fall, and was unable to call for help.

Bleeding heavily, the man used his shirt to help stem the blood loss and managed to create a make-shift splint by tying his legs together below his knees with his shoelaces.


more at link ...

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Man ties legs together, crawls for help on 11/30/2013 15:37:32 MST Print View

Ouch, ouch, ouch. Open femur fractures are one of the more complex first aid training exercises I went through, rivaled only by spinal injuries IMHO.

A couple years ago we lost two local hikers in separate incidents due to sliding off cruddy late spring snow on trails. A good case for the extra weight of micro spikes or crampons, let alone an ice ax.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Re: Man ties legs together, crawls for help on 11/30/2013 18:46:54 MST Print View

"...unprepared and ill-equipped for alpine conditions and was only wearing street shoes." they add they were skate shoes. probably those flat Vans that the nephew wears.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Man ties legs together, crawls for help on 12/02/2013 00:22:37 MST Print View

Eric seems to one of the finest purveyors of "disaster porn" on BPL. Mostly I try to look the other way, since I have never understood its existence. To quote Dale "Ouch, ouch ouch!" << hand covers eyes, la la la I can't hear you la la la. >>

However, facts are facts, there is a whole literary industry based on this stuff. Mostly I wonder how Eric finds all of it, how much time it takes, and whether he need an intervention. ;-)

Edited by millonas on 12/02/2013 00:27:03 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Man ties legs together, crawls for help on 12/02/2013 01:26:52 MST Print View

I read these reports with interest and hope to learn from others mistakes. Eric provides a good service doing this and may save a life doing it.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
porn on 12/02/2013 01:44:37 MST Print View

actually im always mystified by why a greater emphasis isnt placed on accident reports in the "hiking" community

for climbers its an absolute no brainer ... many climbing magazines have an "accident report and analysis" column every issue .. and theres none of the "well itll never happen to me" mentality you see around hikers ....

most climbers are VERY aware of the thin line between them and a hospital visit or worse ... accident reports and rescues are taken quite seriously

in 2012 alone the American Alpine Club has 101 documented searchable accidents listed on their online database (2013 publishing year) ... there many be many more that havent been put on the site .. and there are definately TONS more that dont get reported or published by them

http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/search/solr?all=&article_publication=anam&article_copyright_date=2013&article_article_type=&article_pub_title=&route_name=

while we dont know the % of hikers that suffer injuries or rescues ... we do know that as an aggregate number they are one of the most frequent groups to be rescued

in the greater vancouver area alone there are several rescues every month of hikers and other such folks ...

you can read the latest one here ...

http://bc.ctvnews.ca/couple-rescued-by-helicopter-after-north-shore-hike-goes-awry-1.1551020

as in climbing the vast majority of incidents are likely preventable ...

safety in climbing is taken VERY seriously ... ive never hear any climber say "dont tell me the accident, i dont care, itll never happen to me" ...

call it porn, or whatever you will ... i find it quite interesting that in hiking there is a "wont happen to me la la la la, im too experienced, my gears too good, i know what im doing, etc ..." mentality

the first thing that gets drilled into you when climbing is that even the most experienced people screw up ... any climber who thinks otherwise gets told the story of mr John Long, author of many books on climbing safety ... he made a stupid mistake recently forgetting to tie into his rope, fell off the wall and broke his leg, could have died

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Disasters - backpackers vs. hikers vs. climbers on 12/02/2013 05:56:35 MST Print View

Backpackers and hikers are more likely to get caught out in conditions beyond the scope of their gear and/or clothing( …..vs. falling/drowning/etc… other types of backcountry trouble). You need to understand though,...

Backpackers, by definition, carry some sort of sleep system regardless of weight.

Being under-bagged 25F will be uncomfortable but I've been able to sleep somewhat while fairly dry. We bring our shelter systems, so being all hurt-butt because one underestimated the temperature doesn't make the news (if indeed it is ever shared - you know who you are).

Most day-hikers do not carry overnight gear or even adequate clothing, so they tend to make the headlines more. Climbing accidents (by hikers or actual climbers) tend to make a little more exciting headlines and an animal attack? Guaranteed national coverage.

ed: emphasis

Edited by hknewman on 12/02/2013 06:00:29 MST.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Disasters - backpackers vs. hikers vs. climbers on 12/02/2013 06:26:04 MST Print View

Backpackers, by definition, carry some sort of sleep system regardless of weight.

The trend in backpacking has been to cut weight, at almost any cost (financial and otherwise), thereby also cutting safety margins. There is a temptation to think that any shelter is better than no shelter, but that is a false argument that may tempt someone to take risks that they may not have had they no shelter at all. Accidents are often cause by a cumulative sequence of poor decisions and bad luck. Turning back early can often be the wisest decision, but the temptation is to think "I've got my new $$$ cuben fiber handkerchief so I'll be alright..."

Backpackers and hikers are more likely to get caught out in conditions beyond the scope of their gear and/or clothing

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Disasters - backpackers vs. hikers vs. climbers on 12/02/2013 07:21:00 MST Print View

Stuart, where I can get one of the new cuben fiber handkerchiefs?

Charles G.
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Safety in climbing and hiking on 12/02/2013 14:50:50 MST Print View

"safety in climbing is taken VERY seriously ... ive never hear any climber say "dont tell me the accident, i dont care, itll never happen to me" ...

call it porn, or whatever you will ... i find it quite interesting that in hiking there is a "wont happen to me la la la la, im too experienced, my gears too good, i know what im doing, etc ..." mentality"

You seem to be implying that all climbers take safety seriously and that no hikers or backpackers do. If so, your assertion is absurd.

I have been climbing for over 60 years both as a climbing club member (Seattle Mountaineers) and as a non-affiliated climber. In that time I have witnessed some truly reckless behavior by both club and non-club climbers. On the summit of Lundin Peak near Snoqualmie Pass east of Seattle there is a plaque memorializing a climber who died in a fall from the summit. What is not mentioned on the plaque is that the climber fell when a rappell sling fashioned from bootlaces failed during a rappell. Was this guy following your claim that "safety in climbing is taken VERY seriously".

I suspect that reckless behavior is fairly uniformly distributed among climbers, backpackers and hikers. If there are more accidents due to reckless behavior reported for hikers and backpackers it is probably because there are more of them.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
paint. on 12/02/2013 15:02:35 MST Print View

"You seem to be implying that all climbers take safety seriously and that no hikers or backpackers do. If so, your assertion is absurd."

When you only have a wide brush in your kit, you can only paint with broad strokes.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Safety in climbing and hiking on 12/02/2013 15:20:23 MST Print View

>"I suspect that reckless behavior is fairly uniformly distributed among climbers, backpackers and hikers. "

Not in my experience. True, not all rock climbers are safety conscious, but as a group, they consider it much more than day hikers. Backpackers are all over the map, but people who are putting as much thought into it as BPLers do, more intentionally accept the risks rather than being surprised liked a newbie when something happens.

Yes, reading Eric's links does leave me feeling like the rubber-necker at the hideous roadside accident, but I agree with him that within tighter-knit communities, there is value in reviewing accidents. Each year I was caving seriously, I'd read ALL of "American Caving Accidents 19XX" to glean what I could from those mishaps. If there was more than one or two fatal dry-air, non-Boy-Scout fatalities in a year, the caving community would collective wring its hands and ponder if something fundamental needed to change. (whereas 6 caving-diving deaths in that much smaller group was the norm. And a scoutmaster taking a group into a wet cave during a monsoon rain was as tragically common as it was uneducational).

But many of these posts are so un-BPL as to be a different activity entirely. Someone who knows the weight in grams of every item in their pack for a multi-night or thru-hike, isn't behaving at all like the day hiker in shorts and flip-flops starting out as the thunderclouds are forming.

I think we had a thread on "close calls". That's the most useful kind of info because the person (1) was engaged in our own style of backpacking, (2) typically changed their behavior/gear in some way as a result, (3) there is an eye-witness report, unlike in fatalities.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Safety in climbing and hiking on 12/02/2013 15:45:10 MST Print View

You seem to be implying that all climbers take safety seriously and that no hikers or backpackers do. If so, your assertion is absurd.

I have been climbing for over 60 years both as a climbing club member (Seattle Mountaineers) and as a non-affiliated climber. In that time I have witnessed some truly reckless behavior by both club and non-club climbers. On the summit of Lundin Peak near Snoqualmie Pass east of Seattle there is a plaque memorializing a climber who died in a fall from the summit. What is not mentioned on the plaque is that the climber fell when a rappell sling fashioned from bootlaces failed during a rappell. Was this guy following your claim that "safety in climbing is taken VERY seriously".

I suspect that reckless behavior is fairly uniformly distributed among climbers, backpackers and hikers. If there are more accidents due to reckless behavior reported for hikers and backpackers it is probably because there are more of them.


every climber that is "officially" taught whether in a climbing gym, by guides, or in a mountaineering groups is taught "safety" first and foremost

if you are a climber than you know the absolutely importance of a safe belay, safety on rappel, clear safe communication and commands, etc ...

now not to say there are those who dont do stupid things on purpose .... those people tend to be pretty well known among climbers, and for the most part avoided by most ...

one thing you realize in climbing is that there is nothing such as absolute "safety" ... for example you may want to build less than perfect anchors, put in less pro in order to bring less gear to reach the top and get down faster to avoid getting benighted ...

EVERYONE who has climbed alot has done something stupid or had a brain fart while climbing and had a near miss ... however most of us who live through it realize its stupid and seek to prevent it from re-occuring ... and

there is also a difference between making a stupid mistake avoidable mistake, and knowingly taking a risk while climbing ... the sad part is that most accidents happen on belay/rappel and are easily preventable .... not because one chose to lead a R or X rated climb

in climbing we develop systems in order to catch ourselves ... which is why good partners tend to double check each other (as in scuba diving and sky diving) and take other precautions ....

you have mentioned reckless behavior by your club members ... i hope you reported them if the behavior was truly dangerous, in a mountaineering club event, such activities should not be allowed

ill repeat it again ... climbers and climbing media treats accidents seriously for the most part ... and their reports are things to be scrutinized, not "oh well itll never happen to me" ...

perhaps you can provide the "hiking" or "backpacking" version of Accidents in North American Mountaineering ... since hikers and backpackers place the same emphasis on safety?

as to "day hiking" ... i suspect that this is one of the prime activities of BPL members ... perhaps even more than "backpacking" due to time/work constraints, and most likely dont bring their UL down bags, pertex bivies on such hikes ... of course there are probably members who ONLY do multiday hikes ... or who bring the whole shebang for a day trot as well

;)


edit to add ... this data is from a few years ago, but i expect the trend to be roughly the same still ...

IMO hiking and OVERNIGHT hiking accidents are serious issues ... both in numbers and in terms of time/resources ...







from the american alpine club 2005 ...

http://tinyurl.com/anaoxow

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/02/2013 16:15:32 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Safety in climbing and hiking on 12/02/2013 16:04:12 MST Print View

"On the summit of Lundin Peak near Snoqualmie Pass east of Seattle there is a plaque memorializing a climber who died in a fall from the summit. What is not mentioned on the plaque is that the climber fell when a rappell sling fashioned from bootlaces failed during a rappell. Was this guy following your claim that "safety in climbing is taken VERY seriously"."

I can think of another climber who died on Lundin while rappelling. He had descended to an intermediate ledge and unclipped from the rope before he clipped into his pro. At that moment, the heretofore bomber rappel ledge collapsed beneath him and he fell, suffering massive compound fractures to his legs. He was alive when his party got to him, but bled to death before medical help arrived. I knew this guy personally, and he was a damn good, usually very cautious, very experienced alpine climber. All it takes is a momentary lapse in judgment... 2 other Mountaineer's I knew who died were not known for their good judgment, and it was no surprise when the inevitable came to pass. So yes, climbers do vary in their attention to safe climbing practices and judgment, but I would have to say they are generally much more focused on safety than the general population of mountain goer's, simply because climbing, by definition, puts you in harm's way. Indeed, it is part of the attraction for most. This is not the case with casual hikers and most backpackers.


"I suspect that reckless behavior is fairly uniformly distributed among climbers, backpackers and hikers. If there are more accidents due to reckless behavior reported for hikers and backpackers it is probably because there are more of them."

I have to respectfully disagree with you here, Charles, for reasons stated above.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: paint. on 12/02/2013 16:12:24 MST Print View

"When you only have a wide brush in your kit, you can only paint with broad strokes."

Glad I read this now, because it'll probably be gone in an hour or two. ;0)

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Safety in climbing and hiking on 12/02/2013 16:35:48 MST Print View

Climbing is an inherently risky activity. Walking is not. You're not going to see a similar emphasis on safety in the backpacking/hiking community b/c there is no risk-aware barrier to entry for walking. You don't need to know knots, you don't need certifications of any kind, you don't need to have someone more experienced along. You are free to lace up your shoes and go, no matter your level of skill or preparedness.

I seem to recall writing a post on risk-assessment a ways back that said something like this but related to scuba diving.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Safety in climbing and hiking on 12/02/2013 16:39:47 MST Print View

David Thomas wrote, "But many of these posts are so un-BPL as to be a different activity entirely. Someone who knows the weight in grams of every item in their pack for a multi-night or thru-hike, isn't behaving at all like the day hiker in shorts and flip-flops starting out as the thunderclouds are forming."

Every year there is a wave of questions here like "should I take rain gear to X location?" or "should I take a shelter?". Anyone can walk into REI or get online and stack up a kit, but that is no guaranty of skills or good judgement. Quite to the contrary, someone lacking skills and following a SUL gear list here could paint themselves into a nasty situation.

Somewhere, sometime, there will be a hiker who gets lost, hypothermic, or otherwise hosed and will say, "but I read about this guy doing it on a forum on the Internet."

Kevin Buggie
(kbuggie) - M

Locale: NW New Mexico
+1 Eric's reports on 12/02/2013 17:17:43 MST Print View

I think Eric's observation on the contrast in safety cultures is spot on. And I look forward to his newsreader-posts; a free service of bpl membership!.

My experience within climbing, whitewater sports, cycling, and backpacking communities has shaped this view. Perhaps the difference is that in bpl-ing most lethal dangers are subjective (decisions), while with the other sports mortal danger is both subjective and objective (keeper hole, 30' of gravity, rocks at speed. ..). The latter (objective danger) occupies the mind and conversation more, and so it seams natural that those communities might make safety more prominent in their culture.

An online forum seems like the perfect place for backpackers with svelte gear-lists to share mistakes and lessons learned.

Also as pack-rafting, ski touring, bike packing, etc become more common on bpl I hope safety and techniques/gear choice that promote safety become more common on the forum and in paid articles.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
Hiker Hell - learn from others mistakes on 12/02/2013 17:17:44 MST Print View

Hiker Hell

"Over four years ago, I read “Touching the Void” and I was always intrigued by situation hikers find themselves in and the incredible things they do to stay alive.

This blog is about learning from other people’s mistakes, so you don’t make the same ones."

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
+1 on Eric's reports also on 12/03/2013 12:28:52 MST Print View

Eric seems to get a lot of crap for his posts, but personally I appreciate them. I find value in reading about accidents, deaths, getting lost/stranded etc. in the back country. I like hashing out- what they did right, what they did wrong, what they could have done better. Right now it's skiing and snowmobiling season in Alaska, and I will be reading the avalanche risk reports daily, and the reports on any people who are caught in avalanches. What did they do wrong? What did they do right (if anything)? What could they have done differently? By applying critical thinking to these scenarios, I see it benefiting me in a couple ways: One, it makes me more aware of all the different ways things can go wrong, and having already read and hashed out prior similar experiences, hopefully I would not make the same mistakes. And two, it keeps me ever aware that things can and do go wrong all the time, hopefully making me less likely to take any situation for granted.