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#97874 - 06/17/08 01:58 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: ronin]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
With regards to reading accident reports...

In my day job I am a safety officer for an air ambulance program. My background is in health and communications, not aviation. Many people in my program have backgrounds in aviation, and I have fantastic pilots with lots and lots of experience. We have an exemplary safety record (has nothing to do with me, the program was already 25 years old before the first official safety officer - me - was hired). One of the reasons that we have such an excellent record is because we all scan the horizon and read accident reports, learn what we can from them, and implement measures to keep us from repeating the same mistakes. Something like 80-90% of all aviation accidents have human factors at the root. Not all accidents are preventable, but many of them are. One of the most dangerous of all human factors is complacency. This is where you can really benefit from reading accident reports. Many accidents are caused by complacency. This, as Ronin points out, is more often the case with more experienced 'hikers' than with inexperienced ones. I agree, and this is a point that gets discussed regularly. People who successfully navigate minefields will gain in their confidence and push their envelope. Each time they have a success at a higher risk level, they become comfortable and push the risk level higher. At some point the risk becomes greater than the individual's ability to navigate, and an accident or 'event' occurs. So, accident reports can be a humble reminder that even the super experienced can get stomped by complacency.

As for fatigue, I will have to find the citation, and that might take me a while, but IIRC, being awake for 18 hours straight is the equivalent of a blood alcohol content of 0.08. Fatigue is a HUGE factor in aviation accidents, and may well be an underappreciated factor in many hiking-related accidents. I know that on Denali, and in mountaineering in general, by far the majority of accidents occur on the descent, not so much because of physical fatigue or terrain, but because of mental fatigue and loss of concentration. Astute readers of this forum will note that we often recommend very modest distances for the first few trips because most people totally underestimate how fatiging it can be to carry even modest loads over unimproved terrain. Perhaps there is not enough emphasis on the reason for this recommendation, and more discussion on the effects of fatigue might be in order. Anyway, point being, fatigue truly is a very real safety issue, and sometimes we push ourselves alot harder than we realize.

MNS

Edit:
17-19 hours awake = BAC of 0.05
22 hours awake = BAC of 0.10
24 hours awake = BAC of 0.19

For most people this is equal to significant cognitive impairment.


Edited by midnightsun03 (06/17/08 07:05 PM)
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#97875 - 06/17/08 02:06 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: ronin]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
ronin


There is a subtle difference between "fear mongering" and suggesting that people be prepared. Beginners DO need to be helped along because by definition they have no experience and do not recognize a potential threat.

Backpacking safer than "normal lives" perhaps. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />Mountain climbing safer than normal life - no. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> Hiking on a high PNT mountain unprepared for the very possible cold safer - no. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> Mt Rainier is one of the highest northern most mountains in the lower 48. People die there because IT CAN become extreme. Suggesting that there is no reason to be prepared there is extremely naive. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" />

As for paternalistic. Yes a lot of us older guys and gals have suffered through learning the concepts that you obviously lack. A lot of us are WAY more extreme than you, and FAR more capable of making sound judgement calls than you are, simply because we have actually had to do it and recognize problems. This is the reason that people write in - to learn what they do not already know. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

What I'm saying is this - if you want to go to the local park, stay on the trail, and not do anything beyond that - then yes - you will be very safe. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> BUT if you choose to play with the big dogs, your naive attitude can get you killed or just way uncomfortable. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

If I was a fear monger trying to keep people out of the woods I'd tell you that bigfoot wants to have sex with you and you better stay home. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#97876 - 06/17/08 03:15 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: Jimshaw]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I would say midnightsun is more maternalistic, and thank goodness. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
I would say JimShaw is paternalistic, in a way cool hip dad kinda way. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

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#97877 - 06/17/08 03:42 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: JAK]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Quote:
I would say midnightsun is more maternalistic, and thank goodness. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


MNS is maternalistic in an Angelina Jolie kind of way. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Quote:
I would say JimShaw is paternalistic, in a way cool hip dad kinda way. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />


Jim is more like Crazy Uncle Jim. I had a Crazy Uncle Wes that when I insisted on doing stupid stuff told me how to survive the experience. I miss Crazy Uncle Wes, but for him I might not have made it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#97878 - 06/17/08 03:51 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: ringtail]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Oh my! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

LOL - somehow I think AJ would kick my butt. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> And I'd need a little collagen to match her lips.
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#97879 - 06/17/08 04:06 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: midnightsun03]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569

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#97880 - 06/17/08 04:16 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: Jimshaw]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
Jim: What value in comparing yourself with people you've never met and don't know at all?

Personally I often find the most difficult thing about backpacking is tolerating the boredom and monotony. In some ways, the more experience, the harder it gets.

Ronin: Well put stuff.

Years ago when I used to frequent Mt. Washington (NH) during the winters, we could always count on encountering some total stranger or other hanging about the lodge, yaking rather presumptiously about how we'd probably all die, and we just didn't know this and that & etc.

It was amazingly predictable and unhelpful.

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#97881 - 06/17/08 04:36 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: johndavid]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Careful now. If you live long enough you might end up being that guy yakking.

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#97882 - 06/17/08 04:37 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
The correct spelling IS yakking, or yacking, by the way.
Yaking is something done with a paddle.

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#97883 - 06/17/08 04:47 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: JAK]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
You mean yaking is not the act of impersonating a yak?
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#97884 - 06/17/08 05:09 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: midnightsun03]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
You mean yaking is not the act of impersonating a yak?
http://www.merriam-webster.com/art/dict/yak.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQbsYc9pxmk

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#97885 - 06/17/08 05:38 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: ronin]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2757
Loc: California
I would suspect that you do not "hike" stark naked and barefoot. If you do let me know where! I would love to see this. When you say nothing is essential, this is what you imply.

I was not referring to any specific "ten essentials". Essentials like appropriate shoes. Like shelter (and that may only be a poncho), appropriate to the conditions. Like a means to carry water. (you may think you are tough, but break a leg with no water and you may do a bit better if you had some extra with you). Like a few first aid supplies (that may only be a bandana), Like sun protection if you are in hot locations. Like a map or some means of knowing where you are. Like enough extra clothing to survive probable weather conditions. I do not feel my megar list of "essentials" weight me down. With years of experience, everyone ends up with a pretty good idea of what is essential. Beginers do not have that history of experience. There is nothing wrong with them starting out with a little overkill and with experience specific to their situation, adjust.

I find your "observations" of fellow backpackers arrogant. A few years back an "elite" athlete trail runner made it to the top of Clouds Rest (in Yosemite) behind my "over-supplied" group. She and her mate was able to do this because WE had the boots needed to posthole miles through the unexpected soft snow. In only her scanty nylon shorts, she got to the top and collapsed with a horrific nose bleed. It was windy and cold. The jacket we loaned her kept her moderatly warm until she got the bleeding under control. A sip from our water supply revived her. Off she and her partner went, feeling quite superior to us poor slobs. Man, were we stupid to carry our "essentials"!

If you gain no wisdom from reading accident reports, that certainly is YOUR loss. I pity you. I spent 10 years in coal mining. We had intensive safety training (fear mongering, as you call it). I learned stuff that I still use today, applicable to home safety, industrial and even recreational. A lot about "attitude" and how it impacts safety. A lot about accident prevention.

As for the relative safety of "hiking" vs driving - tell that to a number of friends I knew who are now dead or permanantly disabled. I know more people who met their end in outdoor accidents than car accidents. It is not the total number of car accidents rather, the rate of accidents per person-hour engaged in the activity. Yeh, I do hang out with climbers - perhaps a bit more "risky" than just hiking.

Anyway, I am not going to waste my efforts with any more posts. Let the defense rest.

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#97886 - 06/17/08 05:46 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: wandering_daisy]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
The exception that proves the rule...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=madoDvtKEes

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#97887 - 06/17/08 06:09 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: johndavid]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
JD
I really do not compare myself to you, or to anybody else for that matter. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> If my wisdom does not speak for its self, then look elsewhere for it. I try to deliver on factual "been there" information where I have it, otherwise I stay out of the fray. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

I can give explicit instructions that will work if followed. That's not an opinion - that's testable - its real. Maybe that's the point . People have learned to trust me when I offer detailed information, and because I err on the side of safety.

So thats the polite version JD. Everybody knows that I don't run from a fight. I think this entire mini thread we have going on is a waste of your time and mine of a lot of other peoples, who wonder why you don't just admit that you made a couple of stupid posts and some reactionary posts and that you should cool it? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> I don't wish you ill. I just never read threads that you start. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#97888 - 06/17/08 06:23 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: ronin]
northernbcr Offline
member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 125
Loc: bc/yukon border area
ronin my intention was not to spread fud but to tell the truth all my point was to say ,that the one post seemed to suggest going to an area 10000 ft without enough backup clothing in my opinion. my fearmongering is not that ,you could not tell a new driver that it is not dangerous on the roads. as you said many people end up in trouble even with the proper gear the point i was trying to make at the end of my post is that you must be very knowledgeable in order to keep your self warm and not to let the cold creep in and stay aware of your personal condition as it is very easy to miss the initial signs and maybe your only chance. cold weather camping is very beautiful but does come with it,s own dangers that is reality.no you may not nessacerily die if you are poorly prepaired but who wants to take that risk. knowledge is knowing when you are getting into trouble being properly prepared for it and utilizing what ever you have or can use to remove yourself froms harms way.

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#97889 - 06/17/08 06:38 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: Jimshaw]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I think we would all be better off if we all just
kicked back for awhile, contemplated life, and read some more of my poetry.
I mean, how much better does it need to get eh? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

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#97890 - 06/17/08 07:17 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: JAK]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
Okay jim.
Nice quote:
" A lot of us are WAY more extreme than you, and FAR more capable of making sound judgement (sic) calls than you are, simply because we have actually had to do it and recognize problems."

I can really see what you mean about your experience. I'll just shut up and listen.

Hey where's the guy who posted his entire hiking resume here? That was really cool...

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#97891 - 06/17/08 10:50 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: johndavid]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Just a reminder- let's keep this conversation civil. I've gotten one complaint already. I would prefer not to get another.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#97892 - 06/18/08 07:07 AM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: TomD]
ronin Offline
member

Registered: 08/09/04
Posts: 41
Quote:
Just a reminder- let's keep this conversation civil. I've gotten one complaint already. I would prefer not to get another.


Hear, hear. There's no need for ad hominem attacks.

I'm off for outpatient surgery in an hour. I'll be out of it for a while. But ....

"i'll be back."

Peace,

Richard.

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#97893 - 06/18/08 05:42 PM Re: Exposure death on Mt Rainear [Re: johndavid]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Hi JohnDavid.
Ok I hope we can be friends now. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> I do want to hear about your good times. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> We all come here for fun and to share something that we are passionate about, lets be constructive. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Frankly we hear very little about "easy campin", its always something extreme that seems interesting. If you are in a "gentle camping zone" thats a valid place to be. I kinda wish I cold go on an easy relatively flat BP where it stayed warm enough at night skip a sleeping bag. I'm sure there certain things that you want to avoid there - nettles, poisonous plant etc, that you can make us aware of. So when we travel east we aren't caught by unexpected bummers.<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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