MSH missing hiker, "Ant Canyon"?
Posted: August 16th, 2018, 6:40 am
An ill-prepared missing hiker was located in "Ant Canyon" on Mt St Helens. Does anybody know where Ant Canyon is?
Oregon's Forum for Hikers
Thanks to cfm for diplomatically pointing out my error. Indeed, I was thinking of Sheep Canyon. The ant/ape similarity threw me. For my penance, I shall go on a long challenging off-trail hike on MSH to gain a better understanding of the terrain. [a bit of an inside joke for anybody who knows how much time I've spent exploring that volcano in 2018]cfm wrote: ↑August 16th, 2018, 4:35 pmUmmm Chip, I think you have yer critter canyons mixed up.
Ape Canyon is on the east side of MSH. Blue Lake TH is on the west side. It's the starting point for the Sheep Canyon, and Toutle area hikes.
I've never heard of Ant Canyon either, it may be a local name for one of the many gouged out ravines between Sheep Canyon and Butte Camp Dome.
Yeah, I saw a pic that looked kinda like that, but was a pic taken from aircraft, and the angle made it hard to identify, for me anyway. Actually looked like the terrain slightly CCW from Shoestring Glacier, but that didn't make sense.johnspeth wrote: ↑August 16th, 2018, 4:43 pmThanks. I have never heard of Ant Canyon. I thought Ape Canyon typo too. Based on a map I saw on the news, it looked like they found him just west of Climbers Bivouac at approximately "Location: 46.1498, -122.2098, Elevation: 3368 ft, Slope: 16 degrees." from Hillmap. It appears to be the drainage for snow that melts to the climbers left of Monitor Ridge.
My thoughts were similar, except if I was in that situation, I might go the opposite direction, up, to the Loowit trail, where people pass through all the time. Going downhill can lead to a hopeless labyrinth of roads and trails, some of which are abandoned. But of course an out-of-state visitor wouldn't know that, so the natural inclination is to go down.adamschneider wrote: ↑August 16th, 2018, 5:18 pmI'm confused as to how an uninjured person could get lost on the south side of MSH for six days. If you follow ANY drainage downhill, it'll hit Forest Road 81 or 83 within a couple of miles. (The same is true on most of Mt. Hood.) I guess maybe he didn't realize that? Maps are your friend.
Indeed. A valuable counterpart to that for skiers is: https://avalanche.org/avalanche-accidents/. It usually has media reports, rescue reports, and local pro/expert post-event analysis. It's very educational and we learn from others' mistakes.Chip Down wrote: ↑August 16th, 2018, 7:51 pmGeneral comment: I wish news outlets would dig deep for more details, but I also realize that's getting pretty esoteric, and most readers don't care. What we need is a "accidents in north american mountaineering" sort of analysis, but a pedestrian hikers' version.
I'm okay with saying that (kind of), and I think I have said that on here multiple times before in general terms. People in general these days lack basic survival skills that our ancestors even a couple generations back would have dealt with every day. People most certainly can, and do, die in the woods from a single unplanned overnighter. There's a delicate line that SAR needs to tow though, between educating the public, not making statements that make their team or agency liable, and being a good representative of the community. I choose to speak in generalities, and usually not give any specifics about specific incidents. There's enough history and commonalities between missions that general statements can easily be made. We all recognize that a subject is... having a hard day.. and there's an opportunity to use it as a teachable moment. Public shaming doesn't help anyone though, it hurts our subjects after they've already been through a potentially traumatic experience, and in a lot of ways it can cause hesitation in future subjects from calling if/when they need help. SAR, or a sheriff's office telling people to pack essential equipment and know what they're doing / where they're going falls on deaf ears. Media ridiculing a subject tends to lead to comments about costs, (even though SAR is largely volunteer and relatively cheap), which isn't the correct message either. The best thing IMO is when the subject decides to do an interview, after they've processed what happened and discusses what could have been done differently. Understandably though, most don't like doing that.squidvicious wrote: ↑August 17th, 2018, 7:10 amI realize there are some sensitivity issues of rescuing someone and then turning around and saying, "OK, everyone, here's how this guy's an idiot..." But they've always been happy to drill us on never turning your back on the ocean, never climbing on logs... and the numbers of people hurt on the beach must be tiny vs the seemingly constant stream of lost and injured hikers. A post-incident analysis of what people should have done differently would be nice, but I'd be happy with even a regular emphasis that woods/wilderness isn't disneyland (or instagramland), and really doesn't care if you die. Even on 'just a day hike.'