Skip to comments.Chain-reaction rescue killed three at Yosemite
Posted on 07/20/2011 12:40:29 PM PDT by Responsibility2ndEdited on 07/20/2011 12:53:31 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
Several people in a hiking group at Yosemite that included three who were swept away and presumed dead had climbed over a barricade and were in the water about 25 feet from the edge of a waterfall, standing, playing and taking photographs, witnesses told Yosemite rangers.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimesblogs.latimes.com ...
It’s that mentality some people have that they can do whatever they want because the rules don’t apply to them. They must be special in a way the rest of us aren’t because they say to themselves, “it doesn’t mean ME”! I’m overly sensitive to these kind of people I suppose because I always follow the rules (well, most of the time) and get laughed at because I’m a goody goody and I need to loosen up!
Which gives the relevance to my Douglas Adams quote in the same post.
Looks kind of rocky at the bottom.
Is that the rail they hopped over?????
...it was only a matter of time for people that stupid
Wonder if they were trying to emulate the Devil’s Pool.
Maybe a sign listing how many people have been swept over and died?
From the book “Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite”
“Entering any significant stream which flows over a waterfall-regardless of any sense of security inherent in what might seem like a ‘safe’ distance between one’s entry point and the fall-is a proven killer... The power of moving water, even knee deep, has carried hundreds of people to their doom in the Sierra Nevada... The shorelines of these streams are of finely polished rock which is smooth and very slippery even when dry. When wet the rock becomes extremely slick. When wet and also with algae growing on it the water’s edge becomes unbelievably tricky, worse than a melting sheet of ice. Hence the warning signs and safety railings so far from the actual stream... It is probably safer to jump into the ocean with a great white shark than to tempt fate above a high waterfall in Yosemite.”
Do you think the guardrail should go all the way back to the parking lot?
Are the signs in Spanish? If not, I smell a big, fat lawsuit.
Two of five survived that.
No need to read the article; the headline says it all..
Well, they did have a spectacular view of the falls for a few seconds . . .
Regardless of their initial poor judgment, 2 people died trying to save the life of someone else. That makes them heroes, not the butt of a joke. Though they may have lacked wisdom initially, at the moment of truth, they sacrificed their own lives trying to save the life of another. How is that not heroic and righteous?
Gee, d'ya think!
There is NO warning against that.
Um, YES there is! Common Sense!
I sort of liken this to three people at a campsite throwing rocks at the bears.
That’s a beautiful park, I enjoyed it more than the grand canyon.
As a guy who’s had dislocated shoulders, I can relate to the pain.. it’s not a good time I agree.
Who's on first?
I'd go so far as to call it a "breathtaking" and "once in a lifetime" view.
I'm just sayin'.
Just a brief rain shower over the desert floor can create a wall of water only a few inches deep to race down the dry stream beds at higher speeds than a person can stand up in. It would be like trying to stand up while someone is blasting your ankles with a fire hose connected to a hydrant on full blast.
You lose your footing, and it's curtains for you. You just get carried a few hundred yards along with the water banging your skull on exposed rocks while nature tries to drown you at the same time. Even if you survive it initially, you're likely to be gravely injured out in the middle of the desert in need of emergency medical care that you just won't get.
Until I saw my first flash flood, I had a hard time understanding these warning about how so little water in an arid desert can accumulate fast enough to cause a flash flood. It sure as hell can, and it's frightening to witness. People have died in just a few inches of fast moving water that's had time to build up speed.
The stupidity of some people just never ceases to amaze me. The guy who was mauled by a black bear in the Gorge last year was hiking alone and is fortunate that his family and other hikers heard his screams and came to his rescue. There are just certain things that you don't do, and fools will often find these things and try to press their luck.
This guy is a flash flood chaser:
I blame a lot of this stuff on the fact that these people watch too darned much television. They’re out of touch with the fact that when they get out in the real, natural world, they’re in an unforgiving environment. You make a foolish mistake and you’re dead. You’re not Wile E. Coyote, ready to stand up after a five hundred foot fall to resume the chase.
First time I saw this with my own eyes, I knew it would be something I would always keep in mind when I'm out in the desert. We were hiking and it started to drizzle, and we got just a few minutes of cloudburst over our head. The people I was with said "Let's get up on high ground right now, and hurry.". Couple minutes later, someone pointed it out saying "There it is" and we saw a wall of milkshake-thick foaming mud come straight down the gully we just crossed.
Later, the guide said "See these rocks up here on this hill and how jagged and sharp they are? Now look at these stream bed rocks and how they're like rounded potatoes. How do you think that happens?"
I asked "How often do flash floods occur out here?" and he said "Every single blessed time it rains for more than a minute."
That video you posted was great. All greenhorn desert hikers out there damn well better believe.
We aren’t really super outdoorsy people as in doing anything extreme, but we like to do road trips and see the National Parks etc. I’ve been to Utah a few times. We’ve never seen a flash flood, but we’ve been there after they’ve had rainfall and seen the evidence. Mother Nature can mess you up in a hurry. I try to be careful at the National, state parks, etc. with the kids and myself, but sometimes things happen even if you are being careful and learning from other people’s missteps. I always stress with the kids, epsecially with heights or water, this is not the place to be acting like a nut. We have not been to Yosemite. It looks super-beautiful, but every year I year about something happening there or some other National Park. It would have been better for the last two to have just let the other one go down, but they weren’t thinking at that moment and obviously not minutes before about the extreme danger they were in. Unfortunately, no do-overs in life. I always pray to goodness that my kids will be safe. I don’t know how parents keep on living after those kind of tragedies.
Anyway, if you like to explore, know that our desert states in the Western US have quite a bit of danger when you get out in the wilds.
One particular danger we're always made aware of are the damned old abandoned vertical mine shafts dotting the landscape all over Nevada and Arizona. There's tens of thousands of known mines, and they're stumbled upon all the time by unfortunate folks. We read about it all the time.
The other thing we're known for here are the uncountable number of civil aviation plane crashes in the Sierra range and all over Nevada. When the famous aviator Steve Fossett went missing in his plane crossing the Sierra just a few miles south of my home, thousands of volunteers spread out searching for him. They managed to come across more than 100 crash sites that were known to the BLM rangers, and about 25 more that closed the book on open cases of missing aviators before they finally found Fossett's site. There must be a thousand crash sites up here, military and civilians, many of them in nearly unreachable locations that the remains of the pilots and passengers are still present, sort of like how 1940s actress Carole Lombard's DC3 plowed right into a mountain in clear weather and some of her is still up there, it's said. Hardy hikers still go visit that site, and there's detailed info on the web about these sites.
Seems that newbie private pilots with fresh FAA licenses just can't help showing off by renting planes and flying their dates to Tahoe for the weekend. These mountains can just toss a plane around like a maple seed pod in a storm.
If it's not pilots and hikers meeting their maker out here, it's kayakers and rock climbers and cave spelunkers and goofballs entering 100 year old silver mines, bighorn sheep hunters, or just poor saps who decide on a lark to go off-road with unreliable vehicles and maybe three swigs water in a cup. Read the local paper during vacation season and it's always some visitor biting the dust one way or another. Everybody with a cell phone thinks that's all anyone needs.
I’ve hiked in the Mojave and have seen (and been in) those washes though they were bone dry at the time. It was clear they had seen significant water flow in the most recent wet season, and I’d not like to be caught in one.
I’ve climbed those rocks at the base, no problem if you’re careful.
Vernal, on the other hand, scared the crap out of me, I would never go over that guardrail!
Just a few miles north of me. Very rugged country around the Minarets. I once crossed a gully in my truck during a flash flood in a very remote part of Death Valley when I was young and dumb.
Sent you an FR message. Forgot about this one from just the other day:
Oregon rangers rescue man from fall at Crater Lake http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2747492/posts
Once again someone going beyond the barrier and he could have ended up dead just like the guys from Yosemite.
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