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Hiker Rescues and Fatalities

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    • max.patch wrote:

      Saturday afternoon; reported by local newspaper:

      ***BREAKING NEWS: Authorities work trail rescue after rattlesnake bite

      First responders are in the process of performing an Appalachian Trail rescue for a 31-year-old male with a rattlesnake bite to the leg. The bite occurred approximately three hours ago, and the victim is reportedly conscious presently.

      The rescue is taking place off Georgia 75 South at Mill Creek in Hiawassee, with the Georgia State Patrol working to airlift the bite victim from the trail.

      This information came in as a community tip, with corroboration by local authorities.

      ETA:

      ***UPDATE: The snakebite victim is en route to a nearby trauma center via the Blairsville-based Air Life Georgia 14 medical helicopter, according to authorities.
      Probably one of two scenarios, either startled (surprised) it, or more likely was trying to play with it. I know he is 31, but all of the Boy Scout situations I came across were the latter. And yes during my AT hike I have run into a guy (grown man) guilty of the latter.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Sometimes when I am above timberline in the Whites or on the PCT I come across one of those crazy endurance runners in shorts and a T-shirt with nothing more than a hydration pack. I cannot help thinking that they are one mistake away from disaster up there. Well, this news story should convince them...

      cnn.com/2021/05/22/china/china…-deal-intl-hnk/index.html
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Yesterday in clear, windless weather I heard a crashing outside my house over by where I hang my hammock. A dead tree truck I had left standing for the woodpeckers had fallen over. My hammock location was never really in any danger, but it was a reminder that sometimes trees just fall and bad things can happen. All that was left of this tree was twenty feet of trunk, but it was heavy enough to take out the 8-inch oak next to it and shatter it to splinters.

      And then today this story came up...

      Overdue Hiker Found Deceased in the Wild River Wilderness

      Bean’s Purchase – Fish & Game Conservation Officers located the body of a hiker reported overdue by a loved one at the Spruce Brook Tent site just off the Wild River Trail in Bean’s Purchase. The hiker, identified as Edward Murphy, 50, of Sandown, NH, was attempting a multi-day hike with an anticipated completion date and time being Wednesday May 26, at around 5:00 p.m. When Murphy had still not arrived out by noon on Thursday, May 27, a search was initiated.

      Conservation Officers entered the Wild River Wilderness from multiple trail accesses hoping to locate Murphy. One search party entered from the Bog Brook Trail head and scoured the Bog Brook Trail to the Wild River trail through Perkins Notch traveling north. Another team came in from the Wild River Campground and searched the Highwater Trail to the Wild River Trail traveling south. While a third search party searched the Shelburne Trail traveling south to the Highwater Trail.

      Murphy was located at the Spruce Brook Tent site by one of the search teams at approximately 7:30 p.m. Thursday night. Evidence at the scene indicated that Murphy had been killed when a tree he had placed his sleeping hammock on, fell and struck him. There was no evidence of foul play and all indications point to this being a tragic accident.
      Fish and Game Officers were assisted by the National Guard helicopter in this search and recovery mission.
      No other information available at this time.

      Always check your campsite for the 'widow makers!'
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • If the tree itself fell on him, rather than a limb, it's possible he had suspended his hammock too tightly - you need sag (about 30 degrees from the tree to the bottom of your hammock) to avoid major lateral shear forces. Derek Hansen has a "hammock calculator" on his website you could use to calculate the forces, based on distance between trees, desired hammock height (bottom middle, as if sitting laterally), hammock hang height, and so on.

      theultimatehang.com/hammock-hang-calculator/

      ****

      In other news, I'm sad to report that the body of the fellow who went missing in the Laurel Snow Pocket Wilderness was found about a week ago. He had been missing almost 2 weeks.

      newschannel9.com/news/local/th…mmunity-shares-his-legacy

      The widow in the news story says he fell. Another news story says he was found in the Morgan Springs area. I'm not familiar with that area, but there is a Morgan Creek campsite. The Buzzard Point area (same side of park, but well south of the campsite) would also be very risky in terms of falls.
    • New

      rhjanes wrote:

      LIhikers wrote:

      very dramatic way to start a hike. I hope they are OK
      I wonder about this story. Preexisting conditions? And he's going up to start with those? Wandered around for quite a while.
      Well he is 59 years old. I'm about that age and could be described as having a whole boatload full of "preexisting conditions", in that on any given day, something hurts, especially if I've been backpacking.

      What I find more peculiar is he that he started Thursday morning, spent the night on the mountain and summited on Friday. He must have had problems on Thursday if he didn't summit and had to camp camp illegally Thursday night. Then why then continue to the summit on Friday? If he was able to summit on Friday, it seems he should have been able to self-rescue on Thursday when he first got into trouble.
    • New

      Some things I am seeing make me think this guy did not have the best judgement, and then dehydration can make your decision making worse.

      Looks like he took a heavy pack up. Probably a good thing he had his gear in the end given his overnight stay, but many SOBOs slack pack the summit. Saw a picture of the hiker wearing what looked to be a heavy rubberized rain jacket. It has been warm up here.

      It is interesting that even after they got him to Chimney Pond they still thought it best to helicopter him out.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • New

      odd man out wrote:

      rhjanes wrote:

      LIhikers wrote:

      very dramatic way to start a hike. I hope they are OK
      I wonder about this story. Preexisting conditions? And he's going up to start with those? Wandered around for quite a while.
      Well he is 59 years old. I'm about that age and could be described as having a whole boatload full of "preexisting conditions", in that on any given day, something hurts, especially if I've been backpacking.
      What I find more peculiar is he that he started Thursday morning, spent the night on the mountain and summited on Friday. He must have had problems on Thursday if he didn't summit and had to camp camp illegally Thursday night. Then why then continue to the summit on Friday? If he was able to summit on Friday, it seems he should have been able to self-rescue on Thursday when he first got into trouble.
      I just turned 49....well I just celebrated the 14th anniversary of my 49th.... (I'll save you the math, I turned 63) so yes, things hurt on a regular basis.
      Judgement, good point and also probably a big part of the issues. It's tough to dream of something and then find it a lot different than the dream, body limitations and such. Dehydration, also a very good thought.
      I've not seen any photo's of the person, gear or anything.
      It's always easy to sit at our computer and guess and speculate.
      Glad they got him and hope he is on the mend.
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • New

      rhjanes wrote:

      I just turned 49....well I just celebrated the 14th anniversary of my 49th.... (I'll save you the math, I turned 63) so yes, things hurt on a regular basis.Judgement, good point and also probably a big part of the issues. It's tough to dream of something and then find it a lot different than the dream, body limitations and such. Dehydration, also a very good thought.
      I've not seen any photo's of the person, gear or anything.
      It's always easy to sit at our computer and guess and speculate.
      Glad they got him and hope he is on the mend.
      You are old. I'm only 62! I fell and twisted my knee a couple weeks ago. Still a bit sore. Hope it isn't permanent. My right hip occasionally goes out on me too. There are some ambitious hikes I want to do before I get too old and am beginning to worry that it may be too late. Do I want to be that guy crawling out of the Grand Canyon on his hands and knees?