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Lost hiker in Oregon backcountry found with heat-sensing device in airplane

Successful search for missing man depended on coordinated efforts
The Bulletin
from an Associated Press report
February 21, 2007

Searchers attribute collaboration among County Sherriff's Units in South West Oregon for the successful rescue of a man from the rugged backcountry near Brookings.

Christian Mankey, 47, of Brookings, went on a day hike on Friday, February 16, 2007. He did not intend to become lost. He reportedly underestimated the difficulty of the terrain and became exhausted. He eventually collapsed in the cold on a bank near some trees and boulders.

A search was initiated after two days. Curry County officials reached out to the Jackson County volunteer Search and Rescue Unit. "We are all on the same team, and the jurisdictional boundaries are gone" said Jackson County Sherriff Mike Winters, according to a quote in the Associated Press report.

Pilot Randy Jones spotted Mankey within two hours after arriving for the search. Jones and his co-pilot Randy Pace used a heat sensing device purchased following the search for the Kim family. "Jones was flying as part of the California/Oregon Regional Search and Rescue task force, formed earlier this year in response to December's highly scrutinized search for the San Francisco (Kim) family", according to the Associated Press report.

"Exhausted and suffering from hypothermia, Mankey could not stand. But he moved a machete he was carrying, creating a flash the pilots could see, according to Jones", reported the Associated Press.

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What can be learned from this recent event?
The primary purpose of these TraditionalMountaineering experience reports (and the American Alpine Club's fifty eight Annual Report's of Accidents in North American Mountaineering) is to aid in the prevention of accidents.

1. "A search was initiated after two days." Did he plan a day hike? An air search was initiated. We assume people did not know where this hiker planned to walk and when he planned to return. Failure to follow the most basic Responsibility.
2. This hiker became exhausted and hypothermic. Failure to follow Responsibility Two. Question: He carried a machete. Could he not start a fire?
3. This hiker became lost on a day hike in a river drainage. He became exhausted and hypothermic before he stopped trying to find his way. Failure to follow Responsibility Three?
4. Did this hiker have a GSM cell phone or FRS radio? Apparently not. Searchers usually monitor FRS channels. Responsibility Four.

Follow the Four Basic Responsibilities of the backcountry traveler:
1. Tell a Responsible Person where you are going, where they plan to park, when they will be back and to make sure that person understands that they are relied upon to call 911 at a certain time if the backcountry traveler has not returned.
2. Wear clothing appropriate to the forecast weather and carry the Ten Essential Systems.
3. Always Stay Found with map, compass and GPS so that you know where you are on your map and can see what is located nearby.
4. Carry a cell phone or citizens band radio.

Do not try to find your way until you are exhausted and/or wet. Wait for rescuers sent by your Responsible Person.
People have survived for weeks in the relative safety of their vehicle stocked with the simple Ten Essential Systems.
--Webmeister Speik


A suggested minimum standard news advisory for all backcountry travelers

"We would like to take this opportunity to ask our visitors to the backcountry of Oregon to plan for the unexpected.  Each person should dress for the forecast weather and take minimum extra clothing protection from a drop in temperature and possible rain or snow storm or an unexpected cold wet night out, insulation from the wet ground or snow, high carbohydrate snacks, two quarts of water or Gatorade, a map and compass and optional inexpensive GPS and the skills to use them, and a charged cell phone and inexpensive walkie-talkie radios. Carry the traditional personal "Ten Essentials Systems" in a day pack sized for the season and the forecast weather.

Visitors are reminded to tell a Responsible Person where they are going, where they plan to park, when they will be back and to make sure that person understands that they are relied upon to call 911 at a certain time if the backcountry traveler has not returned. If you become lost or stranded, mark your location and stay still or move around your marked location to stay warm. Do not try to find your way until you are exhausted, or worse yet - wet. Wait for rescuers.



"To provide information and instruction about world-wide basic to advanced alpine mountain climbing safety skills and gear, on and off trail hiking, scrambling and light and fast Leave No Trace backpacking techniques based on the foundation of an appreciation for the Stewardship of the Land, all illustrated through photographs and accounts of actual shared mountaineering adventures."

TraditionalMountaineering is founded on the premise that "He who knows naught, knows not that he knows naught", that exploring the hills and summitting peaks have dangers that are hidden to the un-informed and that these inherent risks can be in part, identified and mitigated by mentoring: information, training, wonderful gear, and knowledge gained through the experiences of others.

The value of TraditionalMountaineering to our Friends and Subscribers is the selectivity of the information we provide, and its relevance to introducing folks to informed hiking on the trail, exploring off the trail, mountain travel and Leave-no-Trace light-weight bivy and backpacking, technical travel over steep snow, rock and ice, technical glacier travel and a little technical rock climbing on the way to the summit. Whatever your capabilities and interests, there is a place for everyone in traditional alpine mountaineering.




Mountain climbing has inherent dangers that can, only in part, be mitigated

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 Carboration and Hydration
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  About Alpine Mountaineering:
  The Sport of Alpine Mountaineering
  Climbing Together
  Following the Leader
  The Mountaineers' Rope
  Basic Responsibilities       Cuatro Responsabiliades Basicas de Quienes Salen al Campo
  The Ten Essentials         Los Diez Sistemas Esenciales

  Our Leader's Guidelines:
  Our Volunteer Leader Guidelines
  Sign-in Agreements, Waivers and Prospectus     This pdf form will need to be signed by you at the trail head
  Sample Prospectus    Make sure every leader tells you what the group is going to do; print a copy for your "responsible person"
  Participant Information Form    This pdf form can be printed and mailed or handed to the Leader if requested or required
  Emergency and Incident Report Form    Copy and print this form. Carry two copies with your Essentials 
  Participant and Group First Aid Kit   
Print this form. Make up your own first aid essentials (kits) 

  About our World Wide Website:

  Map, Compass and GPS
Map, compass and GPS navigation training Noodle in The Badlands
BLM guidelines for Geocaching on public lands
Geocaching on Federal Forest Lands
OpEd - Geocaching should not be banned in the Badlands
Winter hiking in The Badlands WSA just east of Bend
Searching for the perfect gift
Geocaching: What's the cache?
Geocaching into the Canyon of the Deschutes
Can you catch the geocache?
Z21 covers Geocaching
Tour The Badlands with ONDA 
The art of not getting lost
Geocaching: the thrill of the hunt!
GPS in the news
A GPS and other outdoor gadgets make prized gifts
Wanna play?  Maps show you the way
Cooking the "navigation noodle"