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Two novice climbers assisted by SAR on Mt. Adams

PMR Rescues Novice Climbers Stranded on Mt. Adams
Friday, August 20, 2010

The Yakima County Sheriff's Office requested Portland Mountain Rescue's help around midnight for two climbers who were stranded near the false summit of Mt. Adams.

The middle-aged couple had called 911, reporting that they were out of food and water, had leg cramps, and were unable to descend.

The PMR team started climbing at 6:30 pm. At the time the PMR team was nearing the 8,000 foot level, another search team located the subjects on the false summit around 11,500 feet.

They were well dressed with plastic boots, down jackets and shells, but carried no ice axes, crampons, or hiking poles, and little food or water in their lumbar packs.

Upon reaching the summit around 5 pm, they found the conditions becoming too icy for descending and were also hampered by dehydration, hunger, and leg cramps. The subjects were uninjured, and after being fed and watered, would be able walk. The PMR team ascended to 9,900 feet to meet the descending subjects. The other search team lowered the climbers with ropes down the steepest sections at the top, after which they were able to walk without assistance.

Crampons and ice axes are two necessary pieces of equipment needed for climbing all glaciated cascade volcanoes. Being prepared with the proper equipment and essentials saves lives in the mountains.



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

It is best to know how to climb traditional steep snow slopes before you attempt to summit Mt. Adams and return.

You can not carry the winter Ten Essential Systems in a lumbar pack.

Once again, a cell phone assisted a good outcome for climbers from near the summit of a glaciated peak.
--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" 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 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

Read more . . .
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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) 

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Geocaching: the thrill of the hunt!
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A GPS and other outdoor gadgets make prized gifts
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Cooking the "navigation noodle"