The Daily News reports 19-year-old Dallas Mussell died in 200 foot fall down an emankment in the Palisade Highlands in the Santa Monica Mountains. He had gotten separated from his companions as they tried to get to the waterfall on the Santa Ynel Trail
Various backcountry bulletin boards are buzzing about an accident Mount Baldy in California involving R.J. Secor, author of various guidebooks including “Denali Climbing Guide” as well as guides to the Sierras, Aconagua, and the Mexican volcanoes.
Backcountry bulletin boards are abuzz over the second death on the Whitney Mountaineers Route in less than a month. In this case Patrick Wang, 27, was killed while attempting to glissade off the summit. He cartwheeled for 300 feet before falling a 1,000 foot cliff.
Various sources report Richard Ferrari fell nearly 1000 feet while soloing Mount Whitney’s northwest face via the Mountaineer’s Route in extremely hazardous conditions. It took authorities two days to recover his body. The articles note the Mountaineer’s Route was first scaled by naturalist John Muir in 1873.
Here’s a highpoint headline from Stars and Stripes: Wheeler assumes command of USS Mount Whitney. Of the course the story is about Capt. C. Ladd Wheeler assuming commander of the new 6th Fleet flagship.
Hollywood is abuzz over the return of Clay Senechal, 23, (son of Designing Women Star Annie Potts) and and screenwriter Jonathan Lempkin, 43, whose credits include “The Devil’s Advocate” and “Lethal Weapon 4″ from white out and ice conditions on Mount Baldy. They walked into the Mount Baldy Fire Station after a massive search for them (and there were 4 other major searches going on). This year started out in far less deadly fashion than last year on the area’s major peaks, with no reported hiking fatalities so far. Seven hikers on the peaks died in January 2004, including two on Mt. Baldy.
Trails.com has issued its list of most popular (and presumably most downloaded) trails. The downloaded trails are heavily weighted to the Northeast and the New York City metro area in particular with Breakneck Ridge Trail being #1. You might recall my last reporting about being escorted at gunpoint in January 2003 after missing the trailhead and wandering too close to New York City’s water supply tunnel which crosses the Hudson from the Catskills. So, it probably is a good idea to have a map even if the Metro North train actually drops you off at the trailhead (the only trail in the NYC metro area with such specific connections).
The Los Angles Times reports Alissa Sauter, 20, was hospitalized with head trauma, a broken leg and other injuries that occurred midday as she and her father walked down the Vivian Creek Trail on Mt. San Gorgonio. She fell almost 200 feet. Last February, a 25-year-old Seal Beach man hiking along the same trail died when he fell 400 feet down a chute of ice.
An AP article in the Mercury-News reports that 46-year-old James Aldrich of Homer, NY, did about everything wrong in an ill-fated Shasta climb. He climbed alone, went even though weather was predicting a big snow storm, didn’t have snowshoes and left his campsite after being told not to after calling 911. He was climbing the mountain as a fundraiser. Luckily he survived.
The Press Enterprise reports D’arcy McRae was rock climbing on Saddle Rock in Joshua Tree National Park when he slipped and fell about 50 feet. The safety rope caught but McRae swung into a rock, suffering head and body injuries about noon Wednesday, the release stated. He was not wearing a helmet while climbing aroute known as Walk on the Wild Side east of Ryan Campground.