Rescued on Register Ridge

General Palm Springs area.

Re: Rescued on Register Ridge

Postby Sally » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:07 pm

Thank you, Ellen, for putting into words our experience so eloquently. I myself have been in quite a haze since Wednesday and my usually bubbly, talkative self has been at a loss for words. I very much appreciate ALL of the comments that have been made on this topic in this forum.

Zip, I could use a hug from you just about now, you hit the nail on the head!

Whatmeworry, those were very good questions to ask, the same of which I have asked myself. I can think of only one mistake, and that was leaving our helmets in the trunk of my car. We did indeed weigh all of our options: up, down, left, right, hunker down for the night, or push the button. We were prepared to spend an uncomfortable night, but, as Ellen stated, it could have been (and most likely WOULD have been) worse in the morning. Having a SPOT did not in the least change our risk tolerance. It's kind of funny, but before I joined this forum I was always a solo hiker with an unreasonable fear of being bitten by a rattlesnake, so that is why I purchased a SPOT. The SPOT has been used primarily as an entertainment instrument since I usually hit the "I'm OK" button when I reach a mountain peak to show family that Mom "bagged another one." I have NEVER thought to attempt something sketchy thinking that it is worth it because I can push the SOS button if things go south.

Thank you Ed, you definitely get it, too!
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Re: Rescued on Register Ridge

Postby Cy Kaicener » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:20 am

I did a Google search of hikers rescued below the Devil's Backbone trail and got all these links

Happy Lunar New Year 2017!


hikers rescued below Devil's Backbone trail


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Woman Rescued After Sliding Down Devil's Backbone Trail, Clinging ...
ktla.com/.../woman-rescued-after-sliding-down-devils-backbone-trail-clinging-to-sno...
Jan 17, 2017 - A woman is recovering on Tuesday after losing her footing and sliding down a snow covered trail while hiking near the Mount Baldy Summit, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. The 34-year-old victim and her brother were hiking down the Devil's Backbone Trail ...
Video shows Irvine woman's rescue from snowy Devil's Backbone ...
www.ocregister.com/articles/hiking-7415 ... ipped.html
Jan 18, 2017 - BALDY -- A hiking safety tool may have helped saved an Irvine woman's life earlier this week when she slipped down Devil's Backbone trail.
Video shows dramatic rescue of hiker who clung to ice ax on ...
www.latimes.com/.../la-me-ln-hiker-resc ... story.html
Jan 18, 2017 - On Monday, Jennifer Fujita, 34, of Irvine, and her brother were hiking down Devil's Backbone Trail at an elevation of 9,200 feet when she ...
Third hiker in 1 month to fall to his death in Mount Baldy | abc7.com
abc7.com/news/third-hiker-in-1-month-to-fall-to-his-death-in.../1211398/
Feb 21, 2016 - 8 after two previous deaths in less than one week. ... before, 23-year-old Daniel Nguyen fell 1,500 feet to his death while hiking the Devil's Backbone trail in Mount Baldy. ... Injured hikers rescued after avalanche on Mt. Baldy.
Luck, And Rescue Helicopter, Thwart Another Death On Devil's ...
sbcsentinel.com/.../luck-and-rescue-helicopter-thwart-another-death-on-devils-backbo...
Jan 21, 2017 - Most of the Devil's Backbone trail is between four and five feet wide, ... Under dry conditions in the late spring, summer and fall, a hiker who ...
Hikers from Temecula, Riverside rescued from steep Mount Baldy ...
www.pe.com/articles/mount-824086-baldy-terrain.html
2 days ago - Hikers from Temecula, Riverside rescued from steep Mount Baldy terrain ... Antonio Canyon a few thousand feet below Devil's Backbone trail at ...
Third hiker in a month falls to his death at Mt. Baldy
https://www.claremont-courier.com/artic ... king-death
Feb 22, 2016 - An unidentified San Diego man fell to his death Saturday hiking Devil's Backbone in Mt. Baldy. ... on the mountain within the month and the second on the Devil's Backbone trail. ... Authorities located the man about 1,000 feet below. ... three other hikers had to be rescued off the mountain over the weekend.
Woman rescued by Sheriff's, County Fire officials after fall on Mt. Baldy
www.vvdailypress.com/.../woman-rescued- ... er-fall-...
Jan 17, 2017 - MOUNT BALDY — Thanks to the rescue efforts of San Bernardino County ... 34, of Irvine, was hiking down the Devil's Backbone Trail near the Mount Baldy ... Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative ...
Hiker rescued from snow-covered 'Devil's Backbone' - 95.7FM WZID
wzid.com/.../030030-caught-on-camera-hiker-rescued-from-snow-covered-devils-bac...
Jan 19, 2017 - It happened Monday afternoon as 34-year-old Jennifer Fujita and her brother were hiking down the Devil's Backbone Trail near the Mount ...
Dangerous Hiker Rescue On Mt. Baldy Caught On Camera « CBS Los ...
losangeles.cbslocal.com/.../dangerous-hiker-rescue-on-mt-baldy-caught-on-camera/
Jan 16, 2017 - The hiker had slipped 50 feet down the Devil's Backbone Trail and ended up on a steep side ... The dangerous rescue was caught on camera.
. Please visit my website at www.hiking4health.com for more information especially the Links.
http://cys-hiking-adventures.blogspot.com
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Re: Rescued on Register Ridge

Postby Sally » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:03 pm

I did manage to get some pictures when I wasn't focusing on not sliding off the ridge:

Album Archive - Register Ridge in Epic Snow

https://get.google.com/albumarchive/100 ... source=pwa
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Re: Rescued on Register Ridge

Postby bobpickering » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:25 pm

First, I’m glad this ended well, and you are both safe. Second, thanks for posting your story.

I live in Reno and do most of my climbing in the eastern Sierra. I found this thread when Cy posted a link on summitpost.org. My profile is here (http://www.summitpost.org/users/bobpickering/3302), in case anybody is interested.

Nobody seems to be asking, “What could/should you have done differently (other than staying home) to avoid the need for a rescue?” And neither victim has said, “We should have done so and so differently.”

My take is that what goes up must come down. If you climb up something, you must be able to climb back down it, or you must be SURE that you can make it to an easier route that you CAN climb down. It’s that simple.

I have to ask: At what point did you first suspect that poor conditions were slowing you enough that you might not complete your hike as planned and descend by the easier route? Could you have figured this out sooner? At what point did you decide that you couldn’t retrace your route back down to your car? Did you press on because you simply didn’t want to believe that the deep snow was slowing you so much?

If we see this story as “Snow was deep, progress was slow, s**t happens,” nobody learns anything. If we analyze the decision-making processes, we can all learn something.
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Re: Rescued on Register Ridge

Postby zippetydude » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:28 pm

Beautiful pictures Sally! If the conditions hadn't abruptly turned...how should I put it...I think malevolent is the best term ( Ellen: :wink: ) then it would have turned out to be quite a nice adventure. Since you are both safe and sound and at least one of you is already back out on the trail, then all appears to be well. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

z
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Re: Rescued on Register Ridge

Postby Sally » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:53 pm

Thank you, Zip. Every time I flip through those pics, I think to myself, "How could we NOT go up there, where/when do you get to see such beauty?" That mountain is indeed both seducing and malevolent!

I would have gotten back In the saddle today with Ellen but I had to work. Mid-week we will do something fun, but I aim to take it easy (and not near Baldy.)
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Re: Rescued on Register Ridge

Postby Ulysses » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:49 am

Sally and Ellen. Just now saw this post. Glad to hear you are both safe. Sounds like quite the harrowing and humbling experience. ~Brett
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Re: Rescued on Register Ridge

Postby zippetydude » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:01 am

Hi bobpickering. If you go back to the first page, whatmeworry asked precisely those questions. I agree that it is always good to look back at a situation and analyze how it might have been avoided, and I like the tone on this board that is friendly and inquisitive (rather than judgmental and unhelpful like on some other sites, like FB) so your questions were constructive. I especially thought the question of how one begins to suspect that there may be trouble slowly evolves into a definite, "Yes, there is overwhelming danger."

Years ago I was with two friends over on San Gorgonio. It began to get icy at around 11,200. As we had only microspikes, we stopped and analyzed the situation, and two of us made the call to turn around. Our companion thought it would be no problem and went on up. It took him over 3 hours to find a way safely back down, but he did so. Had he slid and been injured or killed, his choice would clearly have been bad. Since he did not, he could be said to have been right. He's a great guy and was very humble about the situation, saying that he wouldn't make that mistake again. For me, I clearly feel I made the right choice in calling it when I did.

The problem is that it is such a grey area. For example, I have turned around at the onset of monsoon thunderstorms more than once during August in the San Bernardino range. Some people continue on up and then come back down without worrying about the lightning. As far as I know, no one has been struck by lightning on top of that range in recent history. Still, I turn around. Am I just a chicken?

I appreciate the difficult grey area that sneaks into decision making when faced on the trail with such questions.

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Re: Rescued on Register Ridge

Postby Ed » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:39 am

I'm afraid I don't quite agree with bobpickering. I am strong on the value of good judgement, but not every bad situation should be viewed as a mistake. Bad things can occur in many activities. A decision to drive over to Mom's on a rainy night can result in a fatal accident. Is that a mistake? Come to think of it, I find driving through Southern California traffic on rainy nights very scary. Famous mountaineers - Lionel Terray, Louis Lachenal, Willi Unsoeld, Dougal Haston - have died on routine climbs and excursions near their homes. I guess you could say they made mistakes, but it seems a bit strange.

That said, I do like to know what sequence of events led to a rescue. According to Accidents in North American Mountaineering, this is becoming more difficult, as rescue organizations are becoming more reluctant to disclose information on what preceded the rescue.

Sorry I did not have opportunity to introduce myself and chat with you on Saturday, Zip. I wanted to thank you for your help with my plantar fasciitis.

I spent about thirty seconds on the summit. But the weather was quite good below. On the way down, I tripped over my snowshoes and went sprawling in the snow about four times. I think I will look into buying a pair that is shorter and narrower. I'm also thinking about a pair of Kahtoola crampons, to fill the gap between microspikes and mountaineering crampons. Does anyone have experience with them?
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Re: Rescued on Register Ridge

Postby zippetydude » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:14 am

Rats! I had no idea we were up there at the same time Ed. Ellen was up there as well. We'll no doubt run into each other again since we're both out there a bit.

As far as crashing, I always find snowshoes awkward the first few trips of the season, and I wiped out a couple of times too. I was thinking the whole time about those skis you had mentioned, especially on the way back down. If the season continues to improve I may just give them a try.

I'm glad the plantar fasciitis is still better. Mine is as well. I can't believe that Voltaren's parent company isn't marketing the heck out of it for that application. When I reported the success to them, they treated it like a customer complaint and said they were sorry and would look into it...think of all the cases that could be cured by now and the millions of $$$ they could have made if they would simply have paid attention to some positive feedback. Oh well.

The weather was perfect on Saturday except for that monstrous wind at the summit. And, back to the topic at hand, that snow was so icy and crusty on the top that I saw some people with the normal, tubular framed snowshoes having trouble getting traction. It only takes a very short slide to have a very bad result. Apparently there had been an avalanche on the steeper part of the south face before we went up. I went up via Miller Saddle to avoid the steepest, riskiest slopes.

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