tram station leaving people to die

General Palm Springs area.

tram station leaving people to die

Postby » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:24 am

can someone clarify what decisions are made to knowingly lock people out of the tram station and essentially abandoning them on the mountain? That's what these comments imply happened on Saturday.
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Postby lastadventurer » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:24 pm

Well, I think only the Aerial Tramway - or a representative can speak for what their protocols/procedures are for a situation like this. :) However, as we all know, mountaineering/hiking is a sport that carries certain inherent dangers, which is why it is important to always be prepared. While I am in no way defending the decision to leave people on the mountain, the Tramway is a private company with its own set of legal and ethical responsibilities, especially to its employees. With respect to the specific conditions, I think most if not all people who viewed the forecast on Friday/Saturday, or before could tell that the weather would be challenging, to put it mildly, so there was advance warning to be prepared for the conditions at hand. Happily, however, its good to know that everyone survived.
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Postby Ed » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:00 pm

PSAT knew what the weather forecast was. They were happy to take the hikers up and collect their fee. Their decision to shut down the tramway for safety reasons can't be faulted. But given their decision to stop running the cars, one would think they can be faulted for not leaving one employee at the upper station and letting people in to shelter from the storm.
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Postby bluerail » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:39 pm

I knew the forecast and hurried my ass up and outta there before I thought the tram would be shutting down......I know one of the leaders of that group and frankly I'm suprised David didn't have his timing better, but then that can be difficult with a large group...especially when the weather is a factor.
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Re: tram station leaving people to die

Postby HH8 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:13 pm

Zé wrote:abandoning them on the mountain?

I agree it would be kind to post someone for possible stragglers in the event of an emergency shutdown, but then those employees are being "abandoned" so that is not fair either. You know that counting the tickets up is no guarantee of the number of rides down. The fine print DID say "Prices and Hours Of Operation Are Subject
To Change Without Notice."
There will never be a perfect answer. No man is an island, so are we all some bit responsible for every human's demise?
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Re: tram station leaving people to die

Postby » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:52 pm

Again, I don't know all the specifics of the situation, but...

Sure, it's not "fair" to have an employee stay there. But the annoyance that the employee may suffer pales in comparison to the potential death that several people may suffer. Anyways, why does an employee need to stay? Can't they just leave a door unlocked?

I dunno, if I worked there and knew people were gonna be locked out and have to hunker down in the cold, I would try to stay. But maybe they didn't know, or assumed that the ranger would accommodate the hikers. Perhaps just a communication error.

But the attitude of "well they knew there was a chance the tram would shut down"...well, sure you may feel people should suffer some for their mistakes, but potentially death?
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Postby zippetydude » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:02 pm

Seems like a good idea to look at the previous record in considering a situation like this. Hasn't the PSAT been very good in the past in helping people stuck in bad situations? Don't the rangers have a solid track record? I've heard nothing but positive comments before this. I'm not sure how things worked out the way they did, but it does surprise me to hear that no one took them in. This wasn't just one individual who made a bad choice - it was quite a few people who got stuck due to an unusual weather event. Maybe this should be used as a "teachable moment" to help set up a better contingency plan.

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Postby Florian » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:08 pm

These photos make it not look too bad. They had a lantern and a fire .. ... 804&Ref=PH

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Postby bluerail » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:25 pm

wow Joe...your really taking that new job to heart.
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Postby OtherHand » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:10 pm

During SAR missions, teams routinely spend the night on the floor of the upper tram station. And no one gets down until the first employee tram in the morning. Employees almost never overnight. As part of the overnight SAR contingent, there is usually a law enforcement representative, possibly to protect the tram station's beer stockpiles from the SAR guys. In this unusual instance, there doesn't seem to be a protocol as to how to handle. Without adult supervision, the PSAT can't let civilians into their facility to roam free. One would hope they will develop a decent plan for when this happens again.

What is strange is the Park's reaction of putting the folks into the shed rather than a heated building. Granted the ranger station is not large, but given the possibility of shed-induced hypothermia, it seems a reckless response. Unless there is more to this story than has come out so far, which could well be the case.
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