Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

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Aimless
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by Aimless » February 5th, 2021, 8:24 pm

If you show up on one of these SAR threads it won't be because you don't have a clue what you're doing, but because you hit a run of really wretched luck. ;)

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by Don Nelsen » February 5th, 2021, 9:06 pm

Chip Down wrote:
February 5th, 2021, 8:14 pm
OneSpeed wrote:
February 5th, 2021, 11:30 am
... Don't leave the trail...
I've been doing it wrong! :o
Me too! - but not as wrong as you, Chip! :D - but then again, we always get back at the end of the day.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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aiwetir
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by aiwetir » February 5th, 2021, 11:24 pm

retired jerry wrote:
February 5th, 2021, 6:28 am
then what happened? like I said, it was just my memory

I think these stories are good so we know how to avoid repeating any mistakes, definitely not criticizing anyone

James Kim’s car got stuck late Saturday night. A week later, without having eaten, he started walking out, thinking they were close (like a handful of miles) to a small town. He walked out about 16 miles and died of hypothermia. He was found lying in water and had been shedding clothing in the typical manner that hypothermic people do. So I suppose yeah, maybe he thought going downhill would get him where he wanted to go but I don’t think that particular choice had much bearing on his death
- Michael

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OneSpeed
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by OneSpeed » February 6th, 2021, 7:25 am

Chip Down wrote:
February 5th, 2021, 8:14 pm
OneSpeed wrote:
February 5th, 2021, 11:30 am
... Don't leave the trail...
I've been doing it wrong! :o
Okay, I should have added “unless you have map, compass, full charged gps device and some sense of what the hell you’re doing”!

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retired jerry
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by retired jerry » February 6th, 2021, 7:53 am

oh, I thought Kim went downhill into a canyon at some point, thanks for clarifying

Not being critical of Kim or anything, just trying to learn any lesson that could help us in the future. He did the best he could. It easily could have turned out that he found someone to rescue his family. There have been stories that ended that way.

Staying on a road seems like a good plan

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aiwetir
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by aiwetir » February 6th, 2021, 9:48 am

retired jerry wrote:
February 6th, 2021, 7:53 am
oh, I thought Kim went downhill into a canyon at some point, thanks for clarifying

Not being critical of Kim or anything, just trying to learn any lesson that could help us in the future. He did the best he could. It easily could have turned out that he found someone to rescue his family. There have been stories that ended that way.

Staying on a road seems like a good plan
He did go off trail and downhill but I’m guessing that he was long past making a rational decision by that point. There was campground or something at the bottom of the hill, still a long bushwhack, and maybe he saw it from the road. These hypothermia cases are always end so strangely anyway.
- Michael

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retired jerry
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by retired jerry » February 6th, 2021, 9:59 am

ahhh... so I'm not going totally crazy yet, old age dementia :)

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drm
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by drm » February 7th, 2021, 9:13 am

I don't think finishing the loop meant Gorton to the top. It meant one of the cutoffs back up to Nick Eaton at the ~3000 foot level. Whether he actually made that turn or continued up Gorton, I don't know. But those cutoffs, while a LOT easuer than continuing on Gorton, are still a lot more faint than the lower part of Gorton.

I think this is a textbook case of making all the wrong decisions. He decided to head down XC - not a good decision in the Gorge as we know (except for those truly experienced enough). Then after running into too much difficult terrain, he found himself at the bottom of Indian Point, and knowing that there was a trail on top of it, he decided to climb steep terrain to get there. That after days without proper food or clothing. Almost certainly a decision inspired by some level of hypothermia. HE got part way up, decided it was too hard, decided to go back down (anybody who climbs knows it is much harder to descend technical terrain). He knew he would fall, but hoped to control it. In the end after a couple falls, he screamed and people on Gorton heard him, so he had to be close. He says they brought him water, but how on earth did they dod that below Indian Point, even if close by?

Of course the real mistake was the earlier one where it decided to continue on whatever loop he had intended to do. He really is about as lucky to be alive as can be.

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Bosterson
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by Bosterson » February 7th, 2021, 9:58 am

Dean, considering his pic of Mt Adams was taken on the ridge running south above Deadwood point, and he was still continuing up into the "sketchy" section, it doesn't seem likely he was intending to do one of the shorter loops, and was instead trying to get up to Nick Eaton. I suppose he could have been trying to find the Deadwood cutoff and just kept going (does it still exist? I can't remember), but it seems likely he ended up descending into the Gorton Creek area. Descending from the Deadwood camp area would seem like walking to the edge of a cliff, and while there are ways to come up through there, finding them going down on the first try would be super super unlikely. In contrast, the Deadwood Direct that Pablo pioneered east of Deadwood Point (ie, the north end of Gorton Creek) is more hilly - I think going north down the slopes on Gorton Creek would be possible for an inexperienced person who's lost and trying to just go "down."
drm wrote:
February 7th, 2021, 9:13 am
Then after running into too much difficult terrain, he found himself at the bottom of Indian Point, and knowing that there was a trail on top of it, he decided to climb steep terrain to get there.
This really isn't feasible. I know Chip went up through a series of ledges west of IP, but IP itself is actually very far above the terrain below it (it's like a 2000 ft sheer drop), and going up from below would require a lot of really technical navigation and thousands of feet of scrambling that would be improbable for someone in his condition, and doesn't match what he said happened. (See my Three Gullies Below Indian Point, and Shooting Gallery TRs for what that area looks like.) That whole area is cliffs - if you were below IP, it would be clear how close to the bottom you were and there's no way you'd try to go back up.
#pnw #bestlife #bitingflies #favoriteyellowcap #neverdispleased

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Charley
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Re: Hiker rescued off Gorton Creek trail

Post by Charley » February 7th, 2021, 10:55 am

The account was so hard to read that I turned around and tried to bushwhack a shortcut out of it in the dark.

I did scan "why would I need any of that [survival equipment] for a dayhike?" and that about summed it up for me.

I hope he gets well soon and has a lot of great dayhikes in the future.

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