More Sad News from Baldy's Devil's Backbone

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More Sad News from Baldy's Devil's Backbone

Postby itsmeken » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:32 pm

More sad news from Baldy's Devil’s Backbone. This makes three hikers who have fallen to their death in less than a month. The report says this hiker and the two he was hiking with were all wearing crampons. No mention of ice axes.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-hiker-dies-near-mt-baldy-20160221-story.html

In my opinion, if the conditions demand crampons, crampons demand an ice ax. Let's all be safe out there.

Ken
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Re: More Sad News from Baldy's Devil's Backbone

Postby Wildhorse » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:28 am

It is too bad that so many people get into trouble in that area. Base jumping seems safer than what so many people are attempting near Baldy.

Last summer we discussed the dangers of Skyline in summer. Now we are discussing the dangers at Baldy in winter.

The linked article mentioned that a rescue helicopter's blades were within 10 feet of the sides of a mountain while attempting a rescue recently. That sounds like a dare-devil act in itself, and one that is probably not justified. It reminds me of all the porters that die taking risks at Everest for the sake of the adventure tourism that goes on there now.
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Re: More Sad News from Baldy's Devil's Backbone

Postby Ed » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:12 am

itsmeken wrote:In my opinion, if the conditions demand crampons, crampons demand an ice ax.


I certainly agree. Everybody does, really, carry an ice axe and have training in how to use it. But the truth is that if the snow is hard enough that you can't kick steps and truly need the crampons, it's often hard enough that a self arrest can fail. Crampons encourage us to venture onto slopes where you had simply better not fall. Some people can climb with confidence on such slopes, and others cannot. You can view a trip to REI to pick up an ice axe, a pair of crampons and a helmet, and a day of instruction and practice, as a necessary condition for safe snow climbing. It is not a sufficient condition. There is no sufficient condition than can be captured in a few words.
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