Jun 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm #1303699
Steven ParisBPL Member
@saparisorLocale: Pacific NorthwestJun 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm #1992562
Yeah, very sad. Every year the same set of falls claims a crop. Very high trail density there, and apparently added percentage of clueless folks. Maybe if they renamed Nevada Falls "Yahoos End" it might help. Meh… probably not. :-(Jun 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm #1992567
Eric LundquistBPL Member
@cobbermanLocale: Northern Colorado
The article lists signage warning of danger. Does anyone know what the signs actually read? I would imagine listing the number of deaths the previous few years would be a pretty good deterrent to swimming.Jun 2, 2013 at 5:54 pm #1992574
Hiking MaltoBPL Member
They are VERY clear about the danger. Anyone that goes into the water is just plain ignoring the signs. You would think that there would be increased caution given the history but that doesn't seem to be the case. Though I suspect that if we think back to when we were that age, caution was the last thought.Jun 2, 2013 at 5:59 pm #1992575
@phstudioLocale: So. Cal.
Seems pretty clear to me. Especially the you will die part.Jun 2, 2013 at 7:06 pm #1992602
Check out this video– made me wince: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMcjt3HUcOc
This is on the edge of Victoria Falls. There are a bunch of waterfall danger videos on YouTube.
I'm sad for the young victim and his family. 600 feet is a long drop. I don't know what people think about sometimes.
A couple weeks ago I was with friends at Fort Worden State Park, an old artillery battery site at Port Townsend, WA. We have friends who live nearby and I walked though the park and out to one of the batteries that is by 100 or so bluff dropping straight into Admiralty Inlet. The bluff had eroded, and as I walked up to the edge, I found myself standing on sod and not much else– the edge was undercut a couple feet. I emailed the park manager regarding the danger and cc'd a local TV station. The news team sent out a helicopter and met up with the park team as they were building a new fence the next morning. Evidently they had previously put up a folding barricade and some yellow caution tape. The barricade was found on the beach and the assumption is that some nitwit threw it off the bluff. They have lost a couple dogs over the bluffs and had to rescue one dog owner when tried to retrieve their dog without gear or help. The Rhody Run was in full swing that morning with thousands of people in the park. Any kid could have walked up to the same edge and gone straight down.Jun 2, 2013 at 7:34 pm #1992611
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
Dale smart idea getting the local media in on it. I never would have thought of that but hey its a public hazard, might as well get the word out.Jun 2, 2013 at 8:56 pm #1992647
If you want to "motivate" a public servant, just cc your local TV news team. Nothing like getting caught with your administrative pants down on television.
Between the email exchange and the new article, the issue with the new erosion wasn't news to the park manager. The comment that they had to take the park personnel off of other tasks to build the fence set me back a bit. What is more important than public safety?
Here is a photo of the bluffs in 1932. It's all 15,000 year old compressed glacial till– layers of clay and gravel. The gravel ducts water and the clay slides off the top. It happens a lot around Puget Sound. I have a back yard full of the stuff :) The arrow is mine, showing the bluff in question:
To the credit of the park staff, they have had their budgets totally chopped are really are trying to do the impossible with nothing at all. The Forest Service is in the same (leaky) boat. I wonder how many trails can be repaired for the cost of one drone and ammo?
I have digressed: point in this thread is that the public can thwart the efforts of park officials as well as the park visitors not using good common sense. Roll that window down and let a grizzly stick his head in your car!
I forgot to mention that the park was the set for the military base in "An officer and a Gentleman."Jun 2, 2013 at 9:05 pm #1992653
Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Dale, the African men in that video are guides who know exactly where to stand without being swept over. There is a rock shelf right at the edge blocking anyone from going over. It looks super dangerous, but it's probably not.Jun 2, 2013 at 10:15 pm #1992662
Its good there was a sign like the one pictured above, but I would think fast running powerful water below me, leading to a shoot, leading to and going over a giant cliff should kinda make a point all its own. "All it would take is one slip" (the brain should say to itself, in *any* language) "and whee…last super slide ever".
There is actually an analogous kill-zone that unfortunately does the same kind of business (though fortunately not as much) in Sequoia NP. From below and from a distance it looks very Rivendell-esque, kinda like a several mile long 45 degree incline coming like a narrow ribbon out of the high sierra peaks in the distance. Up close it is not nearly so smooth. Added to the 45 degree angle of the "slide" itself there is a kind of V with glacially polished granite up to a hundred yards or so on either side. It all looks so mild and peaceful, and in spite of the signs every year people get captivated, wander too close to the V, slip and slide down into the sluice, and find out the hard way it isn't like a smooth water slide at all up close. There are always a few each year that die, in spite of the fact it has been going on since forever, apparently.Jun 2, 2013 at 10:31 pm #1992665
"Dale, the African men in that video are guides who know exactly where to stand without being swept over. There is a rock shelf right at the edge blocking anyone from going over. It looks super dangerous, but it's probably not."
There is no way that a responsible person would attempt such a thing. There are other videos from the same falls that show some ropes being used too. It is exactly the same mindset that got that young man killed. Tell his mother it is okay to do such things— I DARE you.
If you want to take risks, do it helping the poor and the sick, be a fireman, or go clear some minefields. I met a doctor who saved a Colombian village from a form of hemorrhagic fever and he contracted it himself in the process. He survived of course, and there are now generations of people living to attest to his courage. THAT is risk taking to aspire to. It is the height of foolishness to waste a life for no purpose other than cheap entertainment.Jun 2, 2013 at 10:34 pm #1992666
Dale, +1. But lets try to convince them to stop being Jackasses first. One step at a time.Jun 2, 2013 at 11:00 pm #1992671
"Dale, +1. But lets try to convince them to stop being Jackasses first. One step at a time."
They just announced on the news that a hiker was killed jumping into Punchbowl Falls in Oregon (http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org/wiki/Punchbowl_Falls). Three young men thought it would be a good idea to jump in. One got out, one was rescued, one died.Jun 3, 2013 at 3:38 am #1992690
Pete StaehlingBPL Member
Given the number of visitors to Nevada falls it is inevitable that some will die there. I think the signage is adequate and people are, and should be, responsible for their own taking of risks there and elsewhere.Jun 3, 2013 at 9:14 am #1992769
Bob BankheadBPL Member
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
Here's a link to the news report of the death at Punchbowl Falls in the Columbia Gorge. This is along the Eagle Creek Trail. Like Yosemite, the posted warning sign did not stop these young men.Jun 3, 2013 at 9:35 am #1992775
Dena KelleyBPL Member
@eagleriverdeeLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
Having read the book, "Death in Yosemite" (an entire section of which covers people who go over the falls) the one thing I think visitors don't realize is how slippery the rocks are there. In Alaska, where I live, generally it's safe to cross rivers if they are low and slow, because the footing on the rocks themselves is pretty good. Not so in Yosemite. People have slipped in 6" of water and been swept hundreds of feet downstream until they go over the falls in Yosemite. They simply can't get stopped. Would-be rescuers are often also injured or killed in their attempts to help.Jun 3, 2013 at 9:38 am #1992776
eric chanBPL Member
if people want to take risks thats their choice …. same if they want to die
just dont take other people out with em
in rock climbing you take major risks all the time … you just choose which ones to take …. if you dont youll never climb anything bigger than a small crag
;)Jun 3, 2013 at 11:04 am #1992810
Bob BankheadBPL Member
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
The Merced River is cold and swift, especially as it approaches the falls. (For swimming, go all the way to Little Yosemite Valley and get in where the river flows slowly and into deep pools.)
Add to that it is flowing over glacial-smoothed granite.
Add to that the extreme slickness of said granite due to the growth of algae (aka Veriglass) on its surface. It is easy to fall and almost impossible to get a grip on anything when you do….and the current is there to sweep you over the falls.
There is a very inviting pool between the footbridge over the river and the edge of the falls. It looks like a large kid's wading pool. It is anything but. That's why the Park Service has fences, cables, and warning signs there. I have seen folks standing at the very edge of the granite cliff, just to one side or the other of the falls itself, leaning out and over to take photos.
Maybe the Park needs to station a ranger there 24/7/365 to hand out citations (and Darwin signs).Jun 3, 2013 at 12:35 pm #1992847
@phstudioLocale: So. Cal.
Here is a well shot video of the Nevada Falls for those who haven't been there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnHTstEM0XY
It was shot in June of 2011, the year of the the insane snowpack. I was there in early August of that year and I don't remember a flow like this. You can see in the video the probable location where the young man entered the river. Even with the insane flow, the pool looks relatively calm.Jun 4, 2013 at 8:20 pm #1993401
I strongly assume there's a direct correlation between ease of road access and falling deaths, whether in Yosemite or elsewhere. Solution? Close the roads.Jun 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm #1993405
Or perhaps have gates on the trails in question that unlock only by solving puzzles that require you to be able to rationally connect and anticipate cause and effect from basic sensory information.Jun 4, 2013 at 9:39 pm #1993439
there is no easy road access to the falls (vernal, Nevada, or Yosemite falls). Its about a 4 mile hike (via the john muir trail) or about 3.7 miles via the Mist trail. These are one way distances with the nearest camp sites 1 mile further up stream. Both have a with a 2000ft elevation gain. and both start at the same place.
For comparison Yosemite falls trail is about 4 miles long but has a 4000ft elevation gain. Half dome is 8 miles with a 4,800ft elevation gain.
All of the above hikes account for most of the deaths in Yosemite. all via falling off of cliffs or by being swept over the falls.Jun 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm #1993689
I was thinking more like a 20 mile hike in to these scenic spots, minimum. Better yet make it 50.Jun 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm #1993701
Yeah, in my experience anything under 7-10 miles is still prime jackass stomping ground, especially when Yosemite Valley which gets millions and million of visitors every summer, is right on top of it. Its freakin' Disneyland there. And %90 of them that decide to do a hike want to go up that trail to the kill zone. There are plenty of the same breed, but perhaps more fitness, that also go all the way to half dome.
Humm, can you tell I'm jaded and bitter about Yosemite valley. I hide it so well.LOLJun 5, 2013 at 8:02 pm #1993746
"Prime jackass stomping ground" about says it all.
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