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Spokane Geocacher Dies


nelson crew
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I wonder which cache he was going for.

ScubaSonic

 

If it won't upset the local community I'll link it. Something tells me it will, though. I've done the cache in question - it's right next to about 100 ft sheer drop-off.

 

Not that this is in any way the hider's fault. We all accept the risks we take of our own volition.

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My thoughts are with the wife and his family. I cache with my wife all of the time and this would be a horrible tragedy for either of us to live through while the other perished.

 

As a Spokane area resident and cacher, I know how slick it can get out there and how dangerous some of the areas can be. This is a good lesson to really be cautious in our sport. I know that I can be a little too risky at times. This is a lesson that I won't forget.

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As a relative Newbie to the game, a story like this makes me need to reconsider the Direct Approach to a cache that the GPSr will show me to go. (and that I usually follow!)

 

My heart and prayers go to the family. And since I cache with my daughter, I think I/we need to come up with some Safety Rules and methods. I stumbled on this topic by sheer accident, but I'm thankful that I found it.

 

This really makes me feel a need to reconsider my current cache hunting methods. :)

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As a relative Newbie to the game, a story like this makes me need to reconsider the Direct Approach to a cache that the GPSr will show me to go. (and that I usually follow!)

 

My heart and prayers go to the family. And since I cache with my daughter, I think I/we need to come up with some Safety Rules and methods. I stumbled on this topic by sheer accident, but I'm thankful that I found it.

 

This really makes me feel a need to reconsider my current cache hunting methods. :)

 

Following the arrow is not always the best way to go.

 

Also know your limitations and wear good footwear if in uneven ground.

 

We had a cacher with all the above airlifted from a cache hunt near here with a broken kneecap, broken ribs and a broken eye socket.

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As a relative Newbie to the game, a story like this makes me need to reconsider the Direct Approach to a cache that the GPSr will show me to go. (and that I usually follow!)

 

My heart and prayers go to the family. And since I cache with my daughter, I think I/we need to come up with some Safety Rules and methods. I stumbled on this topic by sheer accident, but I'm thankful that I found it.

 

This really makes me feel a need to reconsider my current cache hunting methods. :)

 

Safety rules are a good idea. I think every cacher needs to have some and abide by them.

The thought of dying just to get a chance to sign a piece of paper isn't the way I want to go.

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Condolences to the family and friends of this person I don't know...

 

... And since I cache with my daughter, I think I/we need to come up with some Safety Rules and methods. I stumbled on this topic by sheer accident, but I'm thankful that I found it.

 

This really makes me feel a need to reconsider my current cache hunting methods. :)

 

There are many topics on the forums about things that can be considered to help be safe out there.

 

Like many, I spend time outside (including caching and SAR amongst others) and the need is always there.

A good start would be to remember that the T/D ratings for caches are usually for ideal conditions which exist only infrequently out there. Moisture, ice or ground debris can have dramatic effects either together or singly. An easy walk can become a terrifying ordeal in minutes. Add darkness or low visibility as well and...

 

GPS are famous for the beeline information given, the newer ones can have topo maps and thats good, but the detail isn't always as good. Those of us with older GPSr, found out early on that you can get stuck on the wrong side of rivers, canyons etc. without some planning.

 

It's often used for people who are 'lost', but the S T O P idea is still valid, regardless of what you are doing.

 

Stop, Think, Observe, Plan - Don't just do something you might regret later.

 

I'd rather seek and find a cache than my other type of seeking and finding.

 

Let's be careful out there!

 

Doug

Edited by 7rxc
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Well, the news is reporting his real name, but I don't know what his geocaching name is. :)

 

This is a very sad report. Unfortunately, things like this can happen even if you are an experienced hiker. Sometimes I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often. I'm glad it doesn't. I'm very sad for this family, especially for the wife. I don't know what I'd do if I lost my husband while hiking like that. I would freak out. Very very sad. :D (Hugs) and prayers for the family.

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I was caching with a friend who was a newbie to the game, at one of our 5/5s which you were supposed to abseil to.

His comment after attempting to access it via some slope scrambling with ropes, was 'it just isn't worth the risk to sign a bit of paper'. So we aborted the attempt and left.

So sad to hear of the loss of one of our members..

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This is bad news no matter how you slice it.

 

If I may, I would like to offer this thought as a condolence: If I were forced to choose between either dying while Geocaching in a beautiful place or dying while doing something mundane – cleaning the gutters, say – I can tell you without hesitation which door *I* would choose.

 

If it had happened to me, I would have died happy. Let’s mourn, but let’s also celebrate the knowledge that his last hour was probably a pretty dadgum good one. :)

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I'm very disturbed to hear that news! I have a few questions about the cache, but now is not the time to ask those questions. My sincere condolences to family and friends!!

 

 

Watch those wet autumn leaves and pine needles! I had a rather scarey experience myself this weekend with the leaves almost breaking loose beneath my feet.

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I used to live at the base of this wild life/recreation area. It is rough and rugged. I never searched for the caches up there but I do know it is dangerous. I know several cachers in the area. My prayers and sympathy go out to the family. Everybody needs to be careful and not take chances when you cache.

 

In His Service

Reid

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I don't often post here but sorry to hear of the loss. Like others I have probably pushed past what is sensible at the time but survived. But I would hate to hear someone had died attempting one of mine.

 

If someone is in contact with the family please add my condolences from Australia to someone I never knew, but who shared the same passion for getting out there and exploring to find a lunchbox on the side of a cliff. Let them know I might be half a world away but I feel for them.

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I used to live at the base of this wild life/recreation area. It is rough and rugged. I never searched for the caches up there but I do know it is dangerous. I know several cachers in the area. My prayers and sympathy go out to the family. Everybody needs to be careful and not take chances when you cache.

 

In His Service

Reid

 

To be honest, I thought of you, as soon as I heard this story. I didn't know (or had forgotten?) that you had moved again, so my thought was that you were Spokane. I'm sad that someone died, but I'm glad to hear that you're still with us, Reid. :)

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I've been voted "Most likely to do something dangerous to find a cache". I hope don't meet my demise this way, because it would have a negative effect on the caching community. I'd rather just die in my sleep.

 

BTW, I saw something in the news story about a way to donate to the family. Everyone reading this should consider the impact that many small donations could make.

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I've been voted "Most likely to do something dangerous to find a cache". I hope don't meet my demise this way, because it would have a negative effect on the caching community. I'd rather just die in my sleep.

 

BTW, I saw something in the news story about a way to donate to the family. Everyone reading this should consider the impact that many small donations could make.

I am sorry to see this happen. It is inevitable but still sad.

 

If anything it should be a wake-up call to all of us to review our life insurance coverage so that if the worst happens we don't leave our family in financial crisis.

 

Everyone here should have enough life insurance at minimum to see their family through the next ten years. And income protection insurance as well... an injury that puts you out of work for an extended period can be just as financially devastating as your death.

 

Avoid the risk you can, insure against what you can't avoid.

 

I pray that this man had the foresight to leave his family protected; grief and loss is tough enough without facing financial ruin.

 

(No, I don't sell insurance!)

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Won't be long before a greedy lawyer gets in and sues the CO.

Lawyers don't sue; clients do. So this could probably only happen if the seeker's wife - who was apparently at the scene :) - decided to. Hopefully that won't happen - in practice, such a suit would probably have little chance of succeeding, unless it was, say, the opening of a spring-loaded cache which caused the seeker to stagger backwards. We also don't know for now if the seeker was even near GZ.

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The cache is rated for the terrain, mentions the elevation change in the description and many of the logs tell of the difficulty/terrain. The cache was nearing 200 finds, so this seems to be a purely tragic accident and my thoughts/prayers go out to his family and friends.

 

Be careful out there people, I wanna meet you out there on the trail someday

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This is the first time I've ever posted something in the forums, but I felt that this is important enough to reply to. Such a very sad tragedy!! My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this man!! I hope they are comforted by the fact that he went while he was doing something he loved! Also, on the sensitive topic of the cache owners, I think it needs to be said that it is not their fault! Accidents happen and this is an outdoor sport - one that we do on our own with regards to risk. God bless you all - victim and victim's family members, cache owners, and supporting geocachers!

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Very sad and unfortunate, and it is something that crosses my mind when I'm out caching. In fact, my son is very concerned about the places I go. But, I find that very comforting, to know that he gets a bit worried. Makes you realize that our kids generally do grow up to be sensible adults. And, I do bypass caches that appear to be really risky.

Condolences to the family.

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Safety rules are a good idea. I think every cacher needs to have some and abide by them.

The thought of dying just to get a chance to sign a piece of paper isn't the way I want to go.

 

even with the best safety rules sometimes you roll craps.

 

last december i nearly died in pursuit of a cache. we had safety rules and proper gear and we used them. the rescue team ruled us to have been competent and properly equipped.

 

you might feel goofy carrying all the extra stuff in your pack or sticking to the safety checks, but when you need them (and you will notice my use of the word "when" as opposed to "if"), you will be glad you took the trouble.

 

while i'm at ease myself with the idea that one of these days i may not come back alive, the most horrific part of that long, long, night was watching the faces of my friends as they labored heroically for seven hours keeping me alive until the rescue squad reached us.

 

i am sometimes afraid that i will bring crashco home dead and my friendship with his wife will suffer for it; i don't think i could stand to lose both of them.

 

she's always happy to hear that we've gotten out of the woods alive and that we're coming home.

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A safety kit is a good idea, but what would you keep in it?

 

I had a near-death caching experience with Ladebear68 in PA where the only thing we could have had in a safety kit that would have helped would have been a rope, and really, who carries rope?

 

We went after a cache that was no more than 20' off of a trail around a lake. In the summer it would have been a 1.5/2 at the most. That 20' however was down a fairly steep hill, where the cache was in a hollow at the base of a tree at the edge of a sheer bluff that leaned out over a lake.

 

She stayed on the trail and I laid down my crutches and slid down the hill to get the cache.

 

No problem, except that the snow concealed a thick layer of pine straw over mud, and the lake was frozen over but thinly.

 

Fun and laughter turned quickly to consternation and then real fear when I tried to crawl back up to the trail... that snow, pine straw and mud simply would not let me climb, it was way slick, and suddenly I was in real trouble.

 

Every attempt to move up caused me to slide further down toward that bluff, and a fall into that ice-covered lake was very likely going to be fatal.

 

That's how quickly something as benign and simple as geocaching can go deadly.

 

I feel for this man's family, but realize that everything has its risk. Be careful but don't let fear keep you from enjoying our planet.

 

Edit to add: In case you are wondering, Ladebear broke off some tree branches and threw them to me. I was able to drive short sections into the ground and use these as pegs to get a grip with my hands and leg and push against them to slide up the hill. If I had been alone I don't think that I would have left there alive. Of course if I had been alone I wouldn't have been caching in the freaking snow in Yankee territory, so she either saved my life or almost got me killed, your choice! :laughing:

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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A safety kit is a good idea, but what would you keep in it?

 

I had a near-death caching experience with Ladebear68 in PA where the only thing we could have had in a safety kit that would have helped would have been a rope, and really, who carries rope?

 

We went after a cache that was no more than 20' off of a trail around a lake. In the summer it would have been a 1.5/2 at the most. That 20' however was down a fairly steep hill, where the cache was in a hollow at the base of a tree at the edge of a sheer bluff that leaned out over a lake.

 

She stayed on the trail and I laid down my crutches and slid down the hill to get the cache.

 

No problem, except that the snow concealed a thick layer of pine straw over mud, and the lake was frozen over but thinly.

 

Fun and laughter turned quickly to consternation and then real fear when I tried to crawl back up to the trail... that snow, pine straw and mud simply would not let me climb, it was way slick, and suddenly I was in real trouble.

 

Every attempt to move up caused me to slide further down toward that bluff, and a fall into that ice-covered lake was very likely going to be fatal.

 

So what happened next? Inquiring minds want to know...
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So what happened next? Inquiring minds want to know...

I added a "the rest of the story" edit while you were asking this!

Thanks. I was picturing Bear Grylls doing something like that in my head. I also thought that you had a crutch that you might have been able to spear the ground with as you slid along on your belly...

 

Anyhow, your story shows how easy it is to get yourself in big trouble without even realizing it. Thanks for sharing it.

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I added a "the rest of the story" edit while you were asking this!

 

Thanks for that edit... I was wondering myself.

 

Perhaps your TOG persona has a new story idea... Safety while Geocaching. There have been several discussions on the forums about: What do you have in your cacheing pack/bag, Not getting lost, and my personal favourite... Posting a trip information plan with a reliable friend (including letting them know you are back). Up in post 15, I made reference to the STOP mnemonic which can eliminate a lot of problems before they happen. There are many sources of lists / training for serious expeditions. Just a thought.

 

In answer to your question about rope... I do, so do many others. In fact my whole SAR kit is available in the vehicle, and my 24 hour pack goes with me if I'm heading more than 5 minutes from the car. Of course it helps to know how to select and use a rope if it's going to be any use at all... many get into trouble NOT knowing how to get back up, other than the armstrong method...

 

Take care

 

Doug 7rxc

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