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WeightMan

Geocache Leads to Mountain Rescue

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I have tried to find a link to this, but at this time I haven't found one.

 

I was just watching the news on TV and they reported the rescue of two climbers from Mount Hood, Oregon. The two had left Timberline Lodge yesterday attempting to climb the mountain. At about 10,000 feet they decided the weather was too bad to continue and started back down the mountain following their route up. Somehow along the way they got a bit lost. Once they reached the tree line, they built a snow cave to spend the night in. That area was well below where searchers were looking for them. Close to their camp was a geocache. Inside were the coordinates. They were able to establish radio contact with the searchers who were then able to locate the two fairly quickly. Both are in good condition and have been returned to Timberline.

 

If I find a link to the story online, I will pass it along.

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Just saw it on CNN and told everyone to stop making fun of my searching for tupperware in the woods. ;)

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http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/

 

Had to search on 'geocaching' to find it on this page...

Thanks for the link. For those looking at the link, it is down the page a ways.

 

Yeah, you're welcome...my cousin from Washington forwarded me this about 5 minutes before you posted it here.

 

Great story!

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If we could place caches in wilderness areas, there would have been ammo cans up at the treeline level. As it was, they had to descend to within 600 feet of a very noisy state highway before they found a cache.

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Yeah, I was looking at caches in that area too and that's the one I suspected...

 

I sent the cache owner an e-mail to see if he can verify. Would be neat to hear the story from his perspective and if he's talked to them yet or even heard about it. I would think someone already contacted him about it.

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From cache page (above) - area they must have spent the night........
No, they spent the night 3000 feet higher, then resumed their descent the next morning. When they reached the cache, they were within shouting distance of a busy state highway. With clear heads, they would have just pushed the last 600 feet to the road and begged a ride.

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The summary sounds great. Now I'll go and read the whole story.

 

Thanks for sharing.

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And on KATU news... and on KPTV... the KOIN article just mentions GPS, not geocaching... grumble, grumble

 

a much better one on KGW news with more geocaching info...

Edited by Muggermots

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Great story! I still can't understand why you'd do a hike like that these days without a GPS.

 

Just watched an interview with the 2 guys. They didn't take a locator device because "We didn't think we'd need it"... Same old story. They should charge these guys for the costs of sending 20 people up there looking for them. Hiking unprepared on Mt. Hood in the middle of January? STUPID

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On the 10 o'clock news (FOX) the reporter said "by accident, the climbers stumbled upon a geocache, a kind of a techie hide and seek device, which told them where they were".

 

I can just see flocks of people running to REI to purchase one of these new-fangled geocache techie devices that help rescuers find you when you're lost.

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Great story! I still can't understand why you'd do a hike like that these days without a GPS.

 

Just watched an interview with the 2 guys. They didn't take a locator device because "We didn't think we'd need it"... Same old story. They should charge these guys for the costs of sending 20 people up there looking for them. Hiking unprepared on Mt. Hood in the middle of January? STUPID

Now there's a comment by the uninformed. Climbing a mountain is much different then "hiking unprepared on Mt. Hood". They were prepared - they were experienced climbers attempting winter climb of a mountain they've climbed before and were able to make a snow cave and spend the night, that shows a lot of preparedness. Their only error was not renting the locator units (something unique to Mt Hood), this is something that's not required, but is wise to do.

 

As to "charging them" that opens another whole can of worms. Most rescue groups are volunteer. If they start charging, then they are "pro" and a different set of rules/laws come into play. And then you have the arguement about when is rescue really needed - if I'm overdue but walk out on my own, should I be charged for something I didn't need or want? This has been a long and interesting discussion among mountain climbing groups.

 

The only stupid thing I see here is opinions expressed by people who have no idea what they are talking about.

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That's a good reason to always put the cache corrds in the log book!

 

Yeah, you never know when you won't be able to make it out of that pocket park or your local Wal Mart parking lot.

 

Wouldn't a GPSr given them the same information...assuming they knew how to use it?

 

But a cool story nonetheless......

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On the 10 o'clock news (FOX) the reporter said "by accident, the climbers stumbled upon a geocache, a kind of a techie hide and seek device, which told them where they were".

 

I can just see flocks of people running to REI to purchase one of these new-fangled geocache techie devices that help rescuers find you when you're lost.

A video on CNN's Web site specifically describes how finding the geocache helped the pair get rescued. Very cool!

 

--Larry

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One thing to keep in mind abouta mountain locator unit, they are not a constant tracking device and are intended to be used in case of an emergency. When you turn it on it sends a signal to a monitoring station through a sattelite, once that happens search and rescue in the area is notified.

 

These climbers were prepared and experienced and did all the right things. A locator beacon can only tell people where you are and it is presumed you need help, it does not provide two communication to tell someone you are over due and safe.

 

Mountain locator Unit and how they work. They are not as accurate as a Personal Locator beacon.

Edited by magellan315

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That's a good reason to always put the cache corrds in the log book!

 

Yeah, you never know when you won't be able to make it out of that pocket park or your local Wal Mart parking lot.

 

Wouldn't a GPSr given them the same information...assuming they knew how to use it?

 

But a cool story nonetheless......

 

I have a different problem with WalMart. Sometimes I need a GPS to find my car IN the parking lot. :huh:

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I haven't read all the links to the story, but I was wondering how they found the cache? Did I understand correctly that they just stumbled onto the cache in the winter on that mountain?

 

If not, then what did they use to find it? And does that make this a caching trip gone bad and not just a hiking trip?

 

If so, maybe they should post a Needs Maintenance note on the cache page so the owner can go hide it better.

 

Seriously - it's good to hear they got out. I heard they were up there, but I hadn't heard they were picked up. Even though they were experienced and in an area they knew, wouldn't that experience lead them to take the locators? Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't jump out of a plane without a parachute or raft a class VI without a PFD, either. Guess maybe I'm just uninformed?

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I haven't read all the links to the story, but I was wondering how they found the cache? Did I understand correctly that they just stumbled onto the cache in the winter on that mountain?

 

If not, then what did they use to find it? And does that make this a caching trip gone bad and not just a hiking trip?

 

If so, maybe they should post a Needs Maintenance note on the cache page so the owner can go hide it better.

 

Seriously - it's good to hear they got out. I heard they were up there, but I hadn't heard they were picked up. Even though they were experienced and in an area they knew, wouldn't that experience lead them to take the locators? Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't jump out of a plane without a parachute or raft a class VI without a PFD, either. Guess maybe I'm just uninformed?

According to one of the stories they found some red tape tied to a branch and below that was the cache which was in a water bottle. I'm assuming a Nalgene bottle since those hold up well. I'm not sure if there was any line connecting the tape to the cache, but it may have been since that is common for winter accessible hides.

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They obviously were not Boy Scouts, another case of being unprepared to go into the wilderness!

I disagree. They were prepared to spend the night, which they did. The intent was a day climb of the mountain. They had checked the weather and thought they had the time before the storm hit. It turned out that they didn't, but they gave up when the weather turned on them and started back down. They knew what they were up against and were able to deal with it. The last time I checked a GPSr was not on the list of 10 Essentials. When found they were within a mile of the road and would likely have gotten to that later in the day.

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They obviously were not Boy Scouts, another case of being unprepared to go into the wilderness!

I disagree. They were prepared to spend the night, which they did. The intent was a day climb of the mountain. They had checked the weather and thought they had the time before the storm hit. It turned out that they didn't, but they gave up when the weather turned on them and started back down. They knew what they were up against and were able to deal with it. The last time I checked a GPSr was not on the list of 10 Essentials. When found they were within a mile of the road and would likely have gotten to that later in the day.

Regaurdless; unprepared or someone would have known where they were!

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They obviously were not Boy Scouts, another case of being unprepared to go into the wilderness!

I disagree. They were prepared to spend the night, which they did. The intent was a day climb of the mountain. They had checked the weather and thought they had the time before the storm hit. It turned out that they didn't, but they gave up when the weather turned on them and started back down. They knew what they were up against and were able to deal with it. The last time I checked a GPSr was not on the list of 10 Essentials. When found they were within a mile of the road and would likely have gotten to that later in the day.

Regaurdless; unprepared or someone would have known where they were!

The search was started the day before they were found because people knew where they were headed and when they expected to return. The only thing that really got them into trouble was the white out conditions so they were descending the mountain without any ground reference at all. Would a GPSr have been helpful, sure it would. In fact they have stated that they will not be going out again without some kind of location reference device. My point is that they were prepared for the conditions on the mountain. They had everything they needed to have to survive and they did survive. Location information would have made their descent better in that they would have waymarked the lodge, but they still survived because they were prepared.

 

These were not a couple of flatlanders out for an excursion on the mountain. They were experienced climbers and knew what they were doing.

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From the Oregonian article:

Votos and Pitts began their ascent about 5:30 a.m. Monday. They filled out a climbers' register, and one of them told his girlfriend they planned to descend by 3 p.m. to Timberline Lodge, where their car was parked. She phoned authorities between 7-8 p.m. to say they had not shown up.

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They obviously were not Boy Scouts, another case of being unprepared to go into the wilderness!

I disagree. They were prepared to spend the night, which they did. The intent was a day climb of the mountain. They had checked the weather and thought they had the time before the storm hit. It turned out that they didn't, but they gave up when the weather turned on them and started back down. They knew what they were up against and were able to deal with it. The last time I checked a GPSr was not on the list of 10 Essentials. When found they were within a mile of the road and would likely have gotten to that later in the day.

Regaurdless; unprepared or someone would have known where they were!

The search was started the day before they were found because people knew where they were headed and when they expected to return. The only thing that really got them into trouble was the white out conditions so they were descending the mountain without any ground reference at all. Would a GPSr have been helpful, sure it would. In fact they have stated that they will not be going out again without some kind of location reference device. My point is that they were prepared for the conditions on the mountain. They had everything they needed to have to survive and they did survive. Location information would have made their descent better in that they would have waymarked the lodge, but they still survived because they were prepared.

 

These were not a couple of flatlanders out for an excursion on the mountain. They were experienced climbers and knew what they were doing.

Experienced maybe.

Prepared maybe, I guess that is why numerous searchers were sent out to find them in trecherous conditions without know where they were!

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According to one of the stories they found some red tape tied to a branch and below that was the cache which was in a water bottle. I'm assuming a Nalgene bottle since those hold up well. I'm not sure if there was any line connecting the tape to the cache, but it may have been since that is common for winter accessible hides.

 

AH! Gotcha. Thanks for the info.

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They obviously were not Boy Scouts, another case of being unprepared to go into the wilderness!

 

Boy I like your style!!!!!!! Once again I couldn't agree more!!!!!! If you peal back the onion on this story and look at some topo maps of the area you start to wonder who these knuckleheads were. If they were prepared with just even a map and compass they should have been able to have made it to the state highway themselves.

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I saw the piece on the news. Tried to find it in the newspaper and couldn't, though.

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They obviously were not Boy Scouts, another case of being unprepared to go into the wilderness!

I disagree. They were prepared to spend the night, which they did. The intent was a day climb of the mountain. They had checked the weather and thought they had the time before the storm hit. It turned out that they didn't, but they gave up when the weather turned on them and started back down. They knew what they were up against and were able to deal with it. The last time I checked a GPSr was not on the list of 10 Essentials. When found they were within a mile of the road and would likely have gotten to that later in the day.

Regaurdless; unprepared or someone would have known where they were!

The search was started the day before they were found because people knew where they were headed and when they expected to return. The only thing that really got them into trouble was the white out conditions so they were descending the mountain without any ground reference at all. Would a GPSr have been helpful, sure it would. In fact they have stated that they will not be going out again without some kind of location reference device. My point is that they were prepared for the conditions on the mountain. They had everything they needed to have to survive and they did survive. Location information would have made their descent better in that they would have waymarked the lodge, but they still survived because they were prepared.

 

These were not a couple of flatlanders out for an excursion on the mountain. They were experienced climbers and knew what they were doing.

 

Did they have a map, a compass, a GPS??????? Take a look a a topo map of the area in question. Most Second Class Boy Scouts could have gotten themselves from where they found the cache to the state highway by themselves.

 

Prepared?????? No way as they were unable to navigate properly which is a fundamental before venturing out in the woods!!!!!!

 

v/r

 

Eagletrek (an Eagle Scout)

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From what I read, it's not clear that they really needed rescuing by the time they were found. They were on their way down the mountain in the morning after holing up for the night when conditions got too bad to continue.

 

Considering they were coming from here, with the cache about 5 miles SW of the top (they had been at 10K feet), my guess is they knew what they were doing and were as prepared as their skill level required.

Edited by Dinoprophet

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Great story! I still can't understand why you'd do a hike like that these days without a GPS.

 

Just watched an interview with the 2 guys. They didn't take a locator device because "We didn't think we'd need it"... Same old story. They should charge these guys for the costs of sending 20 people up there looking for them. Hiking unprepared on Mt. Hood in the middle of January? STUPID

Now there's a comment by the uninformed. Climbing a mountain is much different then "hiking unprepared on Mt. Hood". They were prepared - they were experienced climbers attempting winter climb of a mountain they've climbed before and were able to make a snow cave and spend the night, that shows a lot of preparedness. Their only error was not renting the locator units (something unique to Mt Hood), this is something that's not required, but is wise to do.

 

As to "charging them" that opens another whole can of worms. Most rescue groups are volunteer. If they start charging, then they are "pro" and a different set of rules/laws come into play. And then you have the arguement about when is rescue really needed - if I'm overdue but walk out on my own, should I be charged for something I didn't need or want? This has been a long and interesting discussion among mountain climbing groups.

 

The only stupid thing I see here is opinions expressed by people who have no idea what they are talking about.

 

You are the only one uninformed Sir (I use that lightly). I watched an interview they had with the guy after he got off the mountain.. HE SAID THEY WERE UNPREPARED. Which part of that are you having difficulty understanding?

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A video on CNN's Web site specifically describes how finding the geocache helped the pair get rescued. Very cool!

I can't get that video to load (presumably 50,000 geocachers are trying to see it!). Does anyone know if the cache contained its own coordinates, or whether the climbers called in the cache name and someone looked it up on the site?

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You are the only one uninformed Sir (I use that lightly). I watched an interview they had with the guy after he got off the mountain.. HE SAID THEY WERE UNPREPARED. Which part of that are you having difficulty understanding?

 

WeightMan, did you get that! :unsure:

Edited by sunburykids

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A video on CNN's Web site specifically describes how finding the geocache helped the pair get rescued. Very cool!

I can't get that video to load (presumably 50,000 geocachers are trying to see it!). Does anyone know if the cache contained its own coordinates, or whether the climbers called in the cache name and someone looked it up on the site?

 

From the article I linked above: It contained their location's exact coordinates.

 

I would presume so, but I suppose that could be reported like that for sake of brevity.

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I can't get that video to load (presumably 50,000 geocachers are trying to see it!). Does anyone know if the cache contained its own coordinates, or whether the climbers called in the cache name and someone looked it up on the site?

According to the video, the coordinates were listed in the cache. When they finally got in touch with the rescuers via cell phone, they were able to give them their location using those coordinates. Of course, as others have pointed out, although they didn't know it at that moment they were close to safety already.

 

--Larry

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Would they have been found sooner with a gps? If the gps had a satellite lock they might have, however they aren't always reliable due to the conditions they are used and the areas in which they are used. Some have mentioned a map and compass, which they probably should have had. However in a storm or in white out conditions with out a visual reference, it wouldn't have helped.

 

Did they leave notice of where they were going and when they should return? Yes, which is more than some would do. Did they survive? Yes, which is more than I would have done.

 

It's a interesting story. As with many storys there's something to learn.

 

Thanks for sharing it.

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Which geocache is it? I can't find anything up high enough to be the correct one.

I have tried to find a link to this, but at this time I haven't found one.

 

I was just watching the news on TV and they reported the rescue of two climbers from Mount Hood, Oregon. The two had left Timberline Lodge yesterday attempting to climb the mountain. At about 10,000 feet they decided the weather was too bad to continue and started back down the mountain following their route up. Somehow along the way they got a bit lost. Once they reached the tree line, they built a snow cave to spend the night in. That area was well below where searchers were looking for them. Close to their camp was a geocache. Inside were the coordinates. They were able to establish radio contact with the searchers who were then able to locate the two fairly quickly. Both are in good condition and have been returned to Timberline.

 

If I find a link to the story online, I will pass it along.

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