Sad death in the park

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poky5mom
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Sad death in the park

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Re: Sad death in the park

Post by BCD »

Seems he went doing what he wanted. Sad so young

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Re: Sad death in the park

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Link to an article about Mr. Weiher from the good folks at the Missoulian:

http://missoulian.com/news/local/missou ... 0d58f.html

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Re: Sad death in the park

Post by PJ »

My sympathies are with the Search and Rescue members and park staff that had to deal with the end result of this individual's reckless selfishness. Harsh, but that's how I see it. More is being learned about the trauma caused to responders. We should all do what we can to minimize putting ourselves in harm's way in the park.

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Re: Sad death in the park

Post by mikie »

Years ago I worked in both SAR and EMS. There is a rule that you NEVER EVER endanger yourself in an attempt to save another life. Since this was a recovery versus a rescue, I am sure things slowed down quite a bit once they got there. Some members of SAR like the more difficult searches and rescues. Not sure how SAR members would be traumatized by this particular event.

Secondly, the article stated that he might have slipped and fell off the summit of the mountain. This theory seems plausible since a base jump should have been technically easy. Assuming that he was actually going to base jump it.

It is important to remember that this guy's family and friends will be reading this. So it is important to be civil and nice. My condolences go out to the family, friends, and his girl friend. And, to thank everyone involved in finding him and bringing him out.

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Re: Sad death in the park

Post by PJ »

My comment was based on information in this story which I read a couple of weeks ago:

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-ad ... -Much.html

And I'll admit I probably reacted emotionally since we unfortunately had a front row seat (from our backpacking base camp) for a search for a missing hiker in August. This is the first time I had observed first hand the manpower and effort that goes into this kind of search. To go to a National Park intending to break a law that might result in you needing search and rescue struck me as egregious. I definitely do sympathize with his family - they were upfront in reporting his base jumping to the park and I am sorry for their loss. I also failed to take into account his youth; young people do rash things. Thanks for the reminder, Mikie.

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Re: Sad death in the park

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mikie wrote:Secondly, the article stated that he might have slipped and fell off the summit of the mountain. This theory seems plausible since a base jump should have been technically easy. Assuming that he was actually going to base jump it.
The Missoulian article indicates that the Park Service press agent said that Mr. Weiher's body was discovered attached to a deployed parachute. I do not see anything wrong with the observation that this person apparently died while participating in an illegal activity in the Park. After all, we have recently had criticism on the Chat over a hiker who gave a nut to a squirrel.

I think it is fair to say that despite care and precautions, accidents resulting in the injury or death of rescue and recovery personnel do happen and these persons place themselves in danger all the time. I suppose the young ranger who slipped and fell to his death during a rescue on Mount Rainier a few years ago just shouldn't have been there because it was icy and it was a dangerous place.

My understanding is that flying a helicopter in mountainous terrain also involves a heightened degree of risk. I assume that these helicopter services charge the Park Service for their time and do not donate their services to the Park but maybe someone can clarify this.

My sympathy is also with this young man's family and friends.

Lyman

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Re: Sad death in the park

Post by mikie »

Continuing past, "Weiher’s body was discovered attached to a deployed parachute" the article goes on to say:
“Our initial investigation leads us to believe he did jump with a parachute,” she said, but “we don’t know for sure” whether he jumped or accidentally fell before he was able to jump.

“There is a lot of speculation about what might have happened, but it’s just that, speculation,” Germann said.
The NPS already admits that there is quite a bit of dispute between investigators as to the most probable theories as to what happen. Until all the evidence is collected and analysis is completed, we really cannot conclude what happen. Small little facts can completely change the outcome. I have seen this happen many times. His family is already going through a horrible experience, so there is no need for us to be so negative about things we know so little about. His family, friends, and girl friend are going to read what you write, so be nice. He already paid the ultimate price. No need to humiliate his family further and make it more painful for them.

There are several issues with the story. Here is a guy who was a professional base jumper. But, he was jumping alone? This is extremely rare. If he was base jumping (or base jumping with a Wingsuit), he would not have deployed his PC until he had dropped 3000' vertical feet. But, they discovered him just below the summit with the PC deployed. Most base jumpers use time delayed PLB/ETL. But, he didn't one? Most base jumpers who have long hikes, have another person bring down the other gear they used to climb the mountain. But, he didn't have someone else? What did he do with his other gear? I have looked on the drop zone and base jumper forums, but so far nothing has shown up as to what happen. I would like to hear their prospective. Until all the facts can be put together into a plausible story, it is hard to say what happen.

Having said all this, my initial guess would be that he was illegally base jumping and slipped and fell off the summit. But, that is just guess. Some of the facts do not fit into this theory.

As for risk, there is risk every minute of the day. Close to 500 people fall out of bed and die every year. There are no guarantees in life. We have become a society that believes that no one should die accidentally. But, the reality is that people die every day in strange accidents and circumstances. Considering that there were over 2 million visitors in GNP this year, there are very few deaths. Considering the exposure and dangers of hiking in GNP, you would expect many more deaths.

The last I heard, the NPS bids out helicopter services each year. The winning bidder gets a lump sum irregardless if they fly once or 100 times. I got this information 3rd hand, so someone else might have more up-to-date information.

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Re: Sad death in the park

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First, my background. My base jumping is limited to a few jumps off my parents roof (sans parachute) was I was quite young. Actually, I was skiing. Also, I haven't climbed Siyeh.

1. I'm almost sure Siyeh doesn't require equipment to climb...ok, maybe a rain suit. Isn't there a picture of Jen on Siyeh hunched over in exhaustion?
2. I looked a map and there appears to be a pretty steep cliff starting at about 9700 ft that drops to the glacier, which is in the 7000-7300 ft area and is roughly a quarter mile "out." If you head towards Allan, there may be a steeper drop, but not much. I think that clearing the initial few hundred feet is the key. My point is, I wouldn't wait 3000 ft to deploy the chute. Maybe 300 ft.

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Re: Sad death in the park

Post by Chewy »

It's always sad when someone dies in the park. What I just can't wrap my head around is people making insulting comments about them. Sure, I can understand being disrespectful to evil people like Hitler or Pol Pot. But insulting someone who is seeking adventure or testing themselves is unfathomable to me. They are not evil, they are not hurting innocent people. They are just trying to enjoy life.

We've all made mistakes, we've all done stupid things, luckily most of us have not died because of this....yet. When I see someone insulting the deceased it tell me nothing of the dead person but it gives me a wealth of information about the person doing the the insulting.

Yesterday I was reading the facebook article about the young man who died near Logan pass. I couldn't believe some of the venomous, ignorant comments I was reading there. I wanted to reach through the internet and knock some sense into these cold-blooded jerks. These words don't hurt the deceased but they can add to grief of friends and family and that really pisses me off.




I happened to be on top of a point I call Gould-Wing when I saw the helicopters starting the search for the base-jumper. It was interesting to watch the search from that high vantage point. I took a bunch of photos but they were too far away for any detail. We'll never know the specifics of what happened as the young man took those secrets to his grave. But I'd like to offer my utmost respect and appreciation to the fine SAR people we have looking out for all of us.

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Re: Sad death in the park

Post by mikie »

1. I'm almost sure Siyeh doesn't require equipment to climb...ok, maybe a rain suit. Isn't there a picture of Jen on Siyeh hunched over in exhaustion?
2. I looked a map and there appears to be a pretty steep cliff starting at about 9700 ft that drops to the glacier, which is in the 7000-7300 ft area and is roughly a quarter mile "out." If you head towards Allan, there may be a steeper drop, but not much. I think that clearing the initial few hundred feet is the key. My point is, I wouldn't wait 3000 ft to deploy the chute. Maybe 300 ft.
Jay - I understand your logic. But, it is actually more complicated then that.

Jeans and a cotton shirt doesn't work very well for hikers. Hiking clothing doesn't work very well for skydivers. So, after they hike up to the launch point they need to change their cloths. I suppose it is possible that he didn't change his cloths, but that seems unlikely. To me it seems odd that he might have been doing this solo. I suppose it is possible that there might have been another person with him, and they left to avoid getting a ticket.

I would think that if he was going to jump from Siyeh summit, he would have used a wingsuit (click here to see some). With a wingsuit it is possible to glide all the way out of the park. One of the pitfalls of a wingsuit is that you cannot walk in them very easily, and they are clumsy. Accidents at the take off point are not uncommon. I should note that I don't know if he was wearing a wingsuit.

I suppose that he could have been attempting a standard base jump. He could have then used his body to glide out past the rocks protrusions below. But, I would rate this as more risky then a wingsuit.

Another possibility is that he was going to paraglide back down towards the Pigon pass TH, or maybe over Siyeh pass down towards Jackson Glacier Overlook. A crosswind might have pulled him in the wrong direction. But, this is speculation because we don't know what kind of PC he was using.

It is also possible that he base jumped somewhere else, and then hiked up Siyeh. Had the PC in his hiking pack. He need to find something in the pack, and had to remove the PC. He attached it to his harness to keep from it blowing away. The wind inflated it, and pulled him over. If he was truly hiking solo, this theory might have credibility.

But, without knowing what he was wearing and the type of PC, and a lot of other facts, all these theories are just speculation. I am sure the NPS investigator will figure it out.
It's always sad when someone dies in the park. What I just can't wrap my head around is people making insulting comments about them. Sure, I can understand being disrespectful to evil people like Hitler or Pol Pot. But insulting someone who is seeking adventure or testing themselves is unfathomable to me. They are not evil, they are not hurting innocent people. They are just trying to enjoy life.

We've all made mistakes, we've all done stupid things, luckily most of us have not died because of this....yet. When I see someone insulting the deceased it tell me nothing of the dead person but it gives me a wealth of information about the person doing the the insulting.

Yesterday I was reading the facebook article about the young man who died near Logan pass. I couldn't believe some of the venomous, ignorant comments I was reading there. I wanted to reach through the internet and knock some sense into these cold-blooded jerks. These words don't hurt the deceased but they can add to grief of friends and family and that really pisses me off.
Very nicely said! After an accident, some families will search every possible inch of the Internet to try and learn every possible fact to explain what happen. For many of them it becomes an obsession. They also become very sensitive to inaccuracies. Mean-spirited comments are very cruel. It is like a second accident in the family. Right now it doesn't matter what he did, or what happen. He has already paid the ultimate penalty. But, that doesn't mean we should look the other way for future base jumpers.

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Re: Sad death in the park

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Further article in the Hungry Horse News:

http://www.flatheadnewsgroup.com/hungry ... d008d.html

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