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December 10, 2006



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The biggest mistake he made in my book is one that I complain about with the truck drivers I work with every day ... Why did you ever get off the main road? Interstates go from one side of our country to the other, and all you have to is pull out a freaking map.. And if your too cheap to buy one you can check Google or Yahoo and print the stinkin' map out!


I can sum it up in three words:

Evolution in action.

P.S. I wish this was Dugg. For the last several weeks they've been deifying this dumb twerp. Rivrdog has the *BEST* analysis I've seen on this whole sad sorry story. But he's so un-PC it won't make any list but a list of cranks.

State of our world...


I can't believe he left the roadway. All he really needed to do was walk out on the road to the big-road. There's never anything, nothing-nothing-nothing good about bushwacking off the beaten track out in the woods - it's a really bad idea in the wet, and in the cold it's worse, and in the wet-and-cold that way lies only death. He took the death-path.


Excellent commentaries, good readers, excellent.

GOH, it'll be worse. When the Widow Kim gets back to the Silicon Valley, there will be a line of lawyer's limos around her block.

They will want her to sue everyone, the USFS, the GPS equipment maker, the Josephine County Sheriff (for not patrolling enough to keep locks on the snow gates).

These sleazesters will want her to blame and try to extract $$$ from everyone, everyone that is except herself, and SHE BEARS SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR HER HUSBAND'S DEATH.

As to the scholarship fund, it was started almost a week ago in the Big Bank here in Oregon.

Sisters of Sob, we have a winnah!


Oddly enough, I read Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Larry Gonzales over the weekend. Excellent book. It explains why people do stupid stuff outdoors that gets them killed; a lot of it is hardwired into our brains, and takes a certain degree of effort to overcome with logical thought, which many - if not most - people don't know how to do. Certainly the Weekend Warrior types don't, and judging by the number of experts (mountain climbing, surfing, etc.) whose disaster accounts pepper the book, humans in general find it difficult. Consistent among all was the reluctance, perhaps the intellectual inability, to stop moving forward and backtrack to a known point of safety, not to mention the egregious planning failures.

When he taught me to fly my old man gave me three rules: if the engine is running and the wings are attached you have lots of options; the air under the plane is worth a lot more than the air over it; some days the best choice is to execute a 180 and try again tomorrow, because takeoffs are optional, landings aren't.

There have been any number of instances where I've executed that 180 and declined invitations to participate in something because, like Paul above, I concluded the probability of winding up at the epicenter of a shit storm is too high. Jeans, sneakers and a half-liter of Perrier work at the mall, but not in the woods.

Light & Dark

The thing that pisses me off most about all the 'hero' crap (it happens up here in the mountains a lot too) is that it encourages lay people to think that what he did is proper procedure. The next time one of them finds themselves in such a situation, whether stupidity-induced or not, they're only gonna remember the hero part of the story and do the same thing. And maybe their family won't get off quite so well.

A big part of it, as I find around here quite a bit, is that 'modernised' folks simply have no understanding or respect for the outdoors anymore. They don't take advantage of the resources available (or heaven forbid actually take some appropriate training) because they just assume that everything will be fine 'because it should be'. They don't think anything should be that hard.

I'm to the point now that, when invited to go hiking or XC skiing with somebody new, I email them a list of essentials I expect them to bring. I used to feel uncomfortable about doing this because it seemed so presumptuous and more than a little nannyish. But now, if somebody gives me crap about what I've told them to bring, I just decline participation in the trip, because I have no intention of being left to take care of them when they can't take care of themselves. Sure I never get invited back, but then, why would I want to be?

I've spent way too many trips taking shit at the trailhead for showing up with a pack full of extra food & water, rain gear and a full first aid/repair kit for a 6 or 7 hour hike or ski. But then those are the same dehydrated folks drinking my water, eating my rations, and looking morosely at me as I change into a fresh pair of socks and a dry shirt at the summit or lunch stop.

As long as the press keeps misreperesenting these situations, we're gonna have more and more people thinking heroics is the way to deal with survival situations, instead of good sense and preparation. And people are going to keep on dying needlessly.

Cap'n, I have a great deal of respect for your emergency and survival training. I would never have thought of the infrared properties of a fire for identification purposes. Learn somethin' new every day around here!



Have to agree with you. The least he should have done is start a big smoky fire that would be seen by searchers. For a tenderfoot to go hiking about in the wilds in winter is insanely stupid.

Grumpy Old Ham

"All those who are apologizing for his death need to realize that he killed himself, he brought the whole situation on himself."

There's the money quote, as far as I'm concerned. I was thinking the along the same lines when I heard "the rest of the story". Not only did he not follow the checklists, he apparently left them and the Dash One back at Base Ops.

Call me a heartless b*st*rd, but some nutjob will probably set up a scholarship for "his poor kids", thus further rewarding undesirable behavior.

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