Missing hiker on the Timberline Trail

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squidvicious
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Re: Missing hiker on the Timberline Trail

Post by squidvicious » October 13th, 2018, 7:30 am

This is really interesting to me--here's a woman who thinks she got lost in exactly the same place, in exactly the same way, just a few days before. And this time a local, presumably familiar with the area.

Finishing 5 days solo on the Timberline Trail, lodge is in sight, then the fog rolled in. She took a wrong turn on what she thinks must be the same trail as Yaghmourian and went "3 miles" up the mountain before a break in the fog gave her a view of the lodge below her. She said because she'd been going up and down constantly it didn't feel wrong (at least at first?), and without any visual landmarks in the fog I don't even think she had a clear idea of how far she'd gone.

https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/ ... -604065415
Last edited by squidvicious on October 13th, 2018, 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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retired jerry
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Re: Missing hiker on the Timberline Trail

Post by retired jerry » October 13th, 2018, 7:44 am

yeah, I saw that too

I wonder exactly where she went wrong? As you get to the ski area there is a braid of "trails" going everywhere.

A GPS or altimeter would be useful. Don't go above about 6000 feet elevation. The trail goes gradually up that ridge. Only occasional short steep spots. If you go continuously up steeply you're going the wrong way. There's a road that goes up to the top of the ski area. If you hit that, just go down it.

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kepPNW
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Re: Missing hiker on the Timberline Trail

Post by kepPNW » October 13th, 2018, 7:45 am

retired jerry wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 2:20 pm
I wonder what the cause of death was. It wasn't real cold or anything.
We were up there on Thursday morning, and the ground was definitely frozen at Timberline as we started out around 9:30. Despite it warming up to near 50°, there was actually still ice along a creek in Paradise at noon!

20181011_9417_sm.jpg
Oct 11, 12:10pm
Karl
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retired jerry
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Re: Missing hiker on the Timberline Trail

Post by retired jerry » October 13th, 2018, 8:25 am

and it was foggy and drizzley - those could be hypothermia conditions

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Water
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Re: Missing hiker on the Timberline Trail

Post by Water » October 14th, 2018, 10:46 pm

retired jerry wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 2:20 pm
I wonder what the cause of death was. It wasn't real cold or anything.
https://www.nwac.us/weatherdata/timberlineupper/10day/

high of 40 all day, 100% humidity. winds averaging mid 20's gusting into 30's and mid 30's. totally hypothermia weather.
MM/DD | Hour | Temp F | RH% | Wind Min | Wind Avg | Wind Max
10/8 2300 39 98 22 31 42
10/8 2200 40 98 24 31 40
10/8 2100 40 98 21 28 38
10/8 2000 40 98 17 24 32
10/8 1900 40 98 19 26 34
10/8 1800 40 98 21 28 37
10/8 1700 40 98 21 29 40
10/8 1600 40 97 18 25 32
10/8 1500 40 96 17 23 31
10/8 1400 41 94 16 23 32
10/8 1300 42 94 13 22 29
10/8 1200 41 95 13 23 35
10/8 1100 42 94 17 26 39
10/8 1000 41 96 13 23 34
10/8 900 40 95 14 22 33
10/8 800 41 97 15 23 33
10/8 700 40 97 17 25 35
10/8 600 40 97 16 26 37
10/8 500 39 96 15 25 36
10/8 400 40 97 17 24 32
10/8 300 39 98 16 23 31
10/8 200 38 98 11 16 25
10/8 100 39 94 10 15 25
10/8 0 39 94 12 16 23
Feel Free to Feel Free

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retired jerry
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Re: Missing hiker on the Timberline Trail

Post by retired jerry » October 15th, 2018, 5:40 am

they said it was foggy and drizzly, that would be difficult conditions near freezing

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OregonSurveyor
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Re: Missing hiker on the Timberline Trail

Post by OregonSurveyor » October 17th, 2018, 8:04 pm

I feel the subject’s lack of local knowledge (he was from Arizona) along with dehydration led him to not realize just how far he had climbed.
He had been out of water several hours before he and his friend parted ways at the junction of the PCT and #600 trail. His phone was dead the night before.
It is our consensus that he left the PCT only 500 meters before the lodge on a frequently used waytrail that heads up the mountain. He was located by a climber from California, at 8270’, right on the upper/west lip of the White River canyon, just 600’ from the OES snow cave of 1986. He did erect his tent, but it appeared that it blew away from him, into the canyon, before he could weight it down with gear. The first night was wet, windy and roughly 26F. A very sad and surprising outcome. My condolences to his family and friends.
Jerry King
Oregon Land Surveyor (Retired)
SAR Volunteer - PNWSAR

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adamschneider
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Re: Missing hiker on the Timberline Trail

Post by adamschneider » October 17th, 2018, 9:51 pm

Thanks for the details, Jerry. That explains the "half mile east of Silcox Hut" thing; the ridge/moraine he was going up is indeed a half mile east of the hut, although by the time he was found he was almost a mile NNE of Silcox, directly east of Palmer. (It's still crazy to think that a guy with no water would climb UP more than two thousand feet.)

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mjirving
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Re: Missing hiker on the Timberline Trail

Post by mjirving » October 17th, 2018, 10:00 pm

I was on the climber’s route on Saturday and examined that junction as I assumed that’s where he went. If you’re coming up the way he was, right when you’re at the climber’s route junction (nothing officially marking it as I don’t think it’s even an official trail) I noted that if you approached the junction and looked straight ahead (as if you were continuing along the Timberline Trail) there is a mass of rocks in the trail (permanent, not loose) that could be interpreted as a dead end, and thus think you should follow the social trail up the mountain.

Of course if the day is even just a bit clear, if you gaze ahead past the rocks, you can see the trail cut very clearly in the opposite hillside, and then if you gaze even further, you can see the lodge. (Assuming just halfway decent visibility)

That’s the only way I could reconcile it. Not saying that’s exactly what happened, but it seemed like a possible scenario, particularly if there was mild dehydration and maybe some hypothermia already becoming a factor.

Mike

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kepPNW
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Re: Missing hiker on the Timberline Trail

Post by kepPNW » October 18th, 2018, 5:06 am

mjirving wrote:
October 17th, 2018, 10:00 pm
I noted that if you approached the junction and looked straight ahead (as if you were continuing along the Timberline Trail) there is a mass of rocks in the trail (permanent, not loose) that could be interpreted as a dead end, and thus think you should follow the social trail up the mountain.
Went through there the week previous, and had those same thoughts even before this had happened. (Trying to recall whether the lodge is even visible, fog or not, from that junction?) Now that the other unofficial trail is so prominent, it'd probably be a good place for a sign?
Karl
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