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Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park

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avatar Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 03:52PM
Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
Date: July 19, 2011

The Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park has been temporarily closed until at least noon tomorrow, Wednesday, July 20, 2011, or longer. Visitors wishing to hike from Happy Isles will need to ascend the John Muir Trail, bypassing the Mist Trail, which leads to Vernal Fall.

The park has received unconfirmed reports of one or more visitors going over Vernal Fall early this afternoon. Rangers are currently on scene conducting a search and rescue operation.

No further information is available at this time. The park will issue a news release when the trail reopens or information becomes available.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 04:33PM
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 05:41PM
There used to be a sign near the railing on top of Vernal Falls that said "You will go over the falls and you will die." A few years ago my son and husband went up and it was gone. Has it ever been replaced?
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 06:00PM
Quote
parklover
There used to be a sign near the railing on top of Vernal Falls that said "You will go over the falls and you will die." A few years ago my son and husband went up and it was gone. Has it ever been replaced?

I see a sign and it's fairly new looking:

http://yosemitephotos.net/main.php/v/yosemite/cm-dscn4999.jpg.html?g2_imageViewsIndex=4
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 07:05PM
Quote
parklover
There used to be a sign near the railing on top of Vernal Falls that said "You will go over the falls and you will die." A few years ago my son and husband went up and it was gone. Has it ever been replaced?

I think there is still one at Yosemite Falls that says "If you go in the water here you will be swept over the falls". Not sure about Vernal



Old Dude
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 07:08PM
Vernal:


I'll find the Nevada one in a bit.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 07:11PM
Nevada:




Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 07:14PM
Quote
chick-on
Nevada:

It could be that the message is not plain enough.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 09:08PM
There seems to be a "Calling of the Sirens" effect around the water features of Yosemite.



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 09:16PM
Quote
Bee
There seems to be a "Calling of the Sirens" effect around the water features of Yosemite.

For those that don't know their mythology:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siren
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 09:37PM
There seems to be a gap in the knowledge that some visitors have in parks and subsequent seemingly preventable accidents. Makes me wonder if there should be a basic education process of some sort before anyone leaves their cars in the parks. More effort is spent on telling people on cruise ships about life jackets and life boats or on telling people about oxygen masks in airplanes than is spent on educating visitors in parks. If people spend their lives in cities, would we expect them to understand the dangers of trails, water, snow, hypothermia, dehydration, etc.? I suspect that it is rare for these sort of accidents to occur to sober individuals who have the most basic information about the outdoors. Given that we have become an urban society, "formal" outdoor education is very rare. I am sure there are people who live in the Central Valley of California who have never been to the snow or even in proximity to high water.

We seem to think it is worthwhile to discuss tobacco, swimming pool safety, drinking and driving, etc. Somehow we expect EVERY visitor (including those that do not speak English) to understand all the dangers of the parks by reading the rare signs. I realize there is some individual responsibility here, but I also think the system should be looked at for improvement. We see these drowning every year and somehow do not look for methods to change individual behavior.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 10:07PM
Survival of the fittest.
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
You suggested that:
Some (or perhaps many) wilderness visitors are city-dwellers or non-English-speakers and therefore the warning system of sorts must be improved to protect their safety in the great outdoors...

I don't agree with that.
There is this amazing, newly-invented technology that we should all use. This amazing new technology is called "common sense". This breakthrough device, called "common sense" tells me to stay the heck away from flowing water.
It tells me that when I have hiked three strenuous miles, the last thing I should do is obey my irrational inclination that urges me to dip my feet in cool, running water.
In the Yosemite Nature Notes video on Youtube, entitled "Wildnerness", there's a short segment where (I believe it is) a ranger discusses the character of the outdoors. He says things to the effect that "Risk exists, and it's up to US (not the NPS or the gov't) to make decisions, to weigh the pros/cons, and to not be idiots.
Edit: If I go into the wilderness and get hurt or die because I break an ankle or slip into the river, or am crushed by a falling tree, there is no one to blame but myself-- a person who made the decision to go out there. It is not the park service's fault or the government's fault because they didn't give me enough warning. Any sensible person will know that the outdoors involves risk (just like stepping out of my house to grab the newspaper off the driveway etc). We don't need more signs and more safety tests.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2011 10:14PM by herosemblem.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 11:08PM
Quote
herosemblem
Survival of the fittest.
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
You suggested that:
Some (or perhaps many) wilderness visitors are city-dwellers or non-English-speakers and therefore the warning system of sorts must be improved to protect their safety in the great outdoors...

I don't agree with that.
There is this amazing, newly-invented technology that we should all use. This amazing new technology is called "common sense". This breakthrough device, called "common sense" tells me to stay the heck away from flowing water.
Look up what Einstein said about "common sense".


Quote

It tells me that when I have hiked three strenuous miles, the last thing I should do is obey my irrational inclination that urges me to dip my feet in cool, running water.
In the Yosemite Nature Notes video on Youtube, entitled "Wildnerness", there's a short segment where (I believe it is) a ranger discusses the character of the outdoors. He says things to the effect that "Risk exists, and it's up to US (not the NPS or the gov't) to make decisions, to weigh the pros/cons, and to not be idiots.
Edit: If I go into the wilderness and get hurt or die because I break an ankle or slip into the river, or am crushed by a falling tree, there is no one to blame but myself-- a person who made the decision to go out there. It is not the park service's fault or the government's fault because they didn't give me enough warning. Any sensible person will know that the outdoors involves risk (just like stepping out of my house to grab the newspaper off the driveway etc). We don't need more signs and more safety tests.

I would envision merely some basic education, perhaps once in a lifetime, nothing that would need to be undertaken at every visit to a National Park. Seems strange that more effort is placed in instructing airline passengers (repeatedly!!) about precautions and procedures with regard to a very low risk event-- airline crash than is undertaken to educate visitors about dangers in the parks. On this forum, there are frequent postings about misbehavior of certain park visitors that is often labeled as stupid or ignorant. Clearly certain visitors have some fund of information that prevents misbehavior. Backcountry campers need to be informed of expected behavior, why not the more casual park visitor? I suppose the answer hangs on whether accidents occur due to lack of information, due to drug/alcohol influenced behavior, or from inexplicable lapse of judgment.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 11:18PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Quote
herosemblem
Survival of the fittest.
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
You suggested that:
Some (or perhaps many) wilderness visitors are city-dwellers or non-English-speakers and therefore the warning system of sorts must be improved to protect their safety in the great outdoors...

I don't agree with that.
There is this amazing, newly-invented technology that we should all use. This amazing new technology is called "common sense". This breakthrough device, called "common sense" tells me to stay the heck away from flowing water.
Look up what Einstein said about "common sense".


Quote

It tells me that when I have hiked three strenuous miles, the last thing I should do is obey my irrational inclination that urges me to dip my feet in cool, running water.
In the Yosemite Nature Notes video on Youtube, entitled "Wildnerness", there's a short segment where (I believe it is) a ranger discusses the character of the outdoors. He says things to the effect that "Risk exists, and it's up to US (not the NPS or the gov't) to make decisions, to weigh the pros/cons, and to not be idiots.
Edit: If I go into the wilderness and get hurt or die because I break an ankle or slip into the river, or am crushed by a falling tree, there is no one to blame but myself-- a person who made the decision to go out there. It is not the park service's fault or the government's fault because they didn't give me enough warning. Any sensible person will know that the outdoors involves risk (just like stepping out of my house to grab the newspaper off the driveway etc). We don't need more signs and more safety tests.

I would envision merely some basic education, perhaps once in a lifetime, nothing that would need to be undertaken at every visit to a National Park. Seems strange that more effort is placed in instructing airline passengers (repeatedly!!) about precautions and procedures with regard to a very low risk event-- airline crash than is undertaken to educate visitors about dangers in the parks. On this forum, there are frequent postings about misbehavior of certain park visitors that is often labeled as stupid or ignorant. Clearly certain visitors have some fund of information that prevents misbehavior. Backcountry campers need to be informed of expected behavior, why not the more casual park visitor? I suppose the answer hangs on whether accidents occur due to lack of information, due to drug/alcohol influenced behavior, or from inexplicable lapse of judgment.

I would suggest that the bulk of the people that go over falls have the attitude that the warnings are really more for scare than for protecting lives. Like we don't want a lot of people mucking up the water so we'll make it seem dangerous.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 06:01AM
Quote
mrcondron


I would suggest that the bulk of the people that go over falls have the attitude that the warnings are really more for scare than for protecting lives. Like we don't want a lot of people mucking up the water so we'll make it seem dangerous.

I am sure that there is plenty of the "Hey, hold my beer and watch this" behavior. However, I still wonder if outdoor education can be improved. One issue that is a frequent event is the lack of multilingual information on warning signs. I am always impressed at the diversity of languages overheard in Yosemite in particular.

When thinking back about how education concerning unsafe behaviors has changed in the last 50 years, it is amazing. For example, seat belts are a reflex for everyone, many teens take seriously having a designated driver, smoking is now a socially unacceptable source of air pollution, condom use is now fashionable. Just seems like some education beyond "Only you can prevent forest fires" should be considered.

For example, the short range car radio broadcast transmitter systems for public information should be improved (my experience is that these are AM crappy and often unintelligible).
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 10:11AM
Quote
Frank Furter
I am sure that there is plenty of the "Hey, hold my beer and watch this" behavior. However, I still wonder if outdoor education can be improved. One issue that is a frequent event is the lack of multilingual information on warning signs. I am always impressed at the diversity of languages overheard in Yosemite in particular.

When thinking back about how education concerning unsafe behaviors has changed in the last 50 years, it is amazing. For example, seat belts are a reflex for everyone, many teens take seriously having a designated driver, smoking is now a socially unacceptable source of air pollution, condom use is now fashionable. Just seems like some education beyond "Only you can prevent forest fires" should be considered.

For example, the short range car radio broadcast transmitter systems for public information should be improved (my experience is that these are AM crappy and often unintelligible).

I doubt that the Park Service has any available funds for additional educational outreach in regards to the inherent danger of its parks, though most national parks, including Yosemite, often have detailed articles in the paper guides they hand out to all park visitors about the dangers that reside in the park. Of course there's really no way to force anyone to read such articles.

A logical place to teach young people about wilderness safety would be at our schools, but then again, I don't think that would ever be a high priority for our schools and their limited budgets. So maybe the most realistic solution would be for outdoor organizations like the Sierra Club to offer free wilderness safety classes through their local chapters to the public at large. The Sierra Club local chapters could even team up with their local school districts to have members speak to the school children about wilderness safety at the schools themselves.

Just a thought.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 24, 2011 01:57PM
When one walks up to the falls, such as Vernal and see water gushing over a 317 foot cliff, it seems to me that no sign or fence or ranger, etc is required to communicate the danger that entering the water upstream of the falls presents. Video I have seen of the water at Vernal from the past week shows an incredible volume of water in torrential waters just upstream of the falls. How could anyone even fleetingly entertain the possibility of purposefully entering those waters. They are terrifying. I do not need a sign to tell me this is dangerous. Is it not abundantly obvious that the water going over the falls is coming from somewhere, for example the upstream part of the Merced River? Do people think this is some elaborately staged feat of incredible pluming engineering (ala Vegas), and that the upstream water is a nice swimming pool? I just don't get it.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 24, 2011 06:48PM
Quote
Frank
Video I have seen of the water at Vernal from the past week shows an incredible volume of water in torrential waters just upstream of the falls. ..... Is it not abundantly obvious that the water going over the falls is coming from somewhere, for example the upstream part of the Merced River? Do people think this is some elaborately staged feat of incredible pluming engineering (ala Vegas), and that the upstream water is a nice swimming pool? I just don't get it.

Lots of human behavior seems illogical and preventable in retrospect but probably seems reasonable the instant before that choice is made. Strangely, very little is said about the collateral injuries in this case and the Wapama Falls event. The actions by well-intentioned rescuers potentially more than doubled the death count from 2 to 5 in those two events. One of the first lessons of lifesaving is not to become a second victim.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 05:42PM
Darnit, it's sad to hear stories like this. Unfortunately common sense is sometimes bypassed in Yosemite. It's probably hotter now than in the previous week (when I was there for a day), hot enough to tempt some visitors to cool off in the Merced. I'm speculating that's what took place.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 07:55PM
Either they tried to wade into the river or they just got too close to the rails when a surge came through. Here's some pics I took at the top of Vernal Falls on Wednesday, June 28 - keep in mind this was right after a big rainstorm moved through the Valley (rained the whole night before and morning of - cancelling my Half Dome trip sad smiley ). But, if the water levels are still high you can see how someone might not be careful near the rail and get caught up in the whitewater... so sad.



avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 08:19PM
Quote
campgirl333
Either they tried to wade into the river or they just got too close to the rails when a surge came through. Here's some pics I took at the top of Vernal Falls on Wednesday, June 28 - keep in mind this was right after a big rainstorm moved through the Valley (rained the whole night before and morning of - cancelling my Half Dome trip sad smiley ). But, if the water levels are still high you can see how someone might not be careful near the rail and get caught up in the whitewater... so sad.

Multiple reports are that they intentionally climbed over the railing to dip their feet in the water, and then encouraged their kids to join in before they slipped and fell in.

One or More Hikers Swept Over Vernal Fall
http://www.ksee24.com/news/local/One-or-More-Hikers-Swept-Over-Vernal-Falls-125842073.html
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 08:35PM
Quote
y_p_w
Multiple reports are that they intentionally climbed over the railing to dip their feet in the water, and then encouraged their kids to join in before they slipped and fell in.

One or More Hikers Swept Over Vernal Fall
http://www.ksee24.com/news/local/One-or-More-Hikers-Swept-Over-Vernal-Falls-125842073.html

Well, that's a different story... that makes me very mad at the stupidity of some people!
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 08:37PM
Maybe we'll find out if there were at least a few people that spoke up while that was happening? From my observations, people can be hesitant to speak up in similar (though less dangerous) situations, preferring not to bud into other people's business.

I'm usually not one to judge others, but inviting their kids to join? Wow...things could have ended up even worse.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 06:12AM
We were at the top of Upper Yosemite Fall last month, and a young guy was standing out on the rock, on the other side of the railing at the viewing point. Nobody really said anything to him other than it looked scary to be out by the edge. I didn't see him go over the railing, he was just all of a sudden out there. I have to admit that even though I was stunned by this amount of stupidity, I didn't say anything to him. Maybe it's human nature to let people do dumb things to themselves. On the other hand, I doubt anybody up there (including me) would have let him take any kids out there. He was alone.

And this was less than a week after that guy went missing up there.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 21, 2011 09:19PM
Quote
ScottS
We were at the top of Upper Yosemite Fall last month, and a young guy was standing out on the rock, on the other side of the railing at the viewing point. Nobody really said anything to him other than it looked scary to be out by the edge. I didn't see him go over the railing, he was just all of a sudden out there. I have to admit that even though I was stunned by this amount of stupidity, I didn't say anything to him. Maybe it's human nature to let people do dumb things to themselves. On the other hand, I doubt anybody up there (including me) would have let him take any kids out there. He was alone.

And this was less than a week after that guy went missing up there.


Last time I was there, I saw a father with his 4 or 5 year old daughter. She was allowed to go underneath the railing to look directly down, with the father holding her ankle with one hand. I wanted to say something, but held my tongue as well. I did glare at him for several seconds. Other people were there, not sure how many saw. Those that did didn't say anything either. Maybe I'm the one that is/was overreacting, but I didn't like what I was seeing at all.

From reading the online reports on the recent tragedy, many visitors did plead for the victims to get out of the river. People did what they could. To see three people go over Vernal, that's just awful.
Four years ago, I was there when a hiker slipped off Half Dome. I'll never forget the look on his face, as he was kicking for his life.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 07:57PM
Darwin was busy today. There was also a fatal accident at Sunrise Lake this morning.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 08:53PM
Quote
Dave
Darwin was busy today. There was also a fatal accident at Sunrise Lake this morning.

Any more details. I can't visualize a dangerous part of the Sunrise Lakes (except cold water).
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 09:16PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Quote
Dave
Darwin was busy today. There was also a fatal accident at Sunrise Lake this morning.

Any more details. I can't visualize a dangerous part of the Sunrise Lakes (except cold water).

Could be a drowning. A friend of mine swam across a 100 yard section at Boundary Lake and struggled a bit toward the end due to the cold. He does half triathlons and swims pretty well. The cold can take it out of you in a hurry.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 10:20AM
I've also found that altitude affects the distance I can comfortably swim in a mountain lake versus lower elevation.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 08:01PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Quote
Dave
Darwin was busy today. There was also a fatal accident at Sunrise Lake this morning.
Any more details. I can't visualize a dangerous part of the Sunrise Lakes (except cold water).

A west bound SUV ran off the road opposite Sunrise Lake.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 08:45PM
If anyone here has not read the book "Death in Yosemite," I highly recommend it, despite the macabre title. It's not as good as its predecessor, Death in the Grand Canyon, but it details all known deaths in Yosemite.

In prior years, quite a number of people have been swept to their deaths on the Mist Trail or trying to "swim" in the falls. If these parents actually hoisted themselves over the railing, I'm speechless. Especially if their children were with him. A very sad story!
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 05:57AM
I'm in LYV now. Monday night my son an I lay in our tent in Upper Pines reading Death in Yosemite and marveling at how people disregard warnings. We hit Happy Isles about 12:30 to head up here to meet our main group hiking over from Tuolumne. There was a ranger asking if anyone had witnessed what happened. It wasn't until we got to where the JMT branches off that we saw that the Mist Trail had indeed been closed. They had set up a station there to take statements and the family and friends of the victims were all sitting there in shock. I spoke to one of the rangers for a bit and he said that one person initially got caught in the current (I'm not sure exactly where up top) and another went to help and then when they got caught too still another went after them. Spotty news other than that up here. So very tragic.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 19, 2011 09:12PM
I don't get it. Is the view that much better when you're one foot closer?
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 12:00AM
The old sign only had the warning on it and no pictures. We took a picture of the sign more than 15 years ago and is on film so I have no idea where we put it.

I have wondered where people's common sense has gone. Maybe parents do not teach it any more or maybe it gets sucked out of people's heads when they go to a park. Didn't Forrest Gump say something like " Stupid is as stupid does"?

I have also thought that people should have to take a test on proper behavior in a park before they are allowed in. It would make for a safer and more pleasant experience for all.

Side point: how do you do multiple quotes and/or quotes from multiple people in your post?
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 07:25AM
They changed the signs. And really beefed up the railings.
It's kinda obvious you should stay behind them when conditions are such.
Pretty much there is no swimming in Emerald Pool anymore. Of course you go there
later in the year and there's still a zillion people in there. It only takes one and
the lemmings follow.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 07:28AM
To quote multiple people you can just cut and paste.
Use quote (w/i multiple browser windows perhaps to save you time).

Or you can just type whatever you want.

As such (these are real quotes tho):

Quote
The Old Dude
I like Chick-on, he is cool. If I ever grow up I want to be like him.

Quote
The Marmuts
For Halloween I go as Chick-on. Scares the bejesus out of my neighbors.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 30, 2011 08:52AM
Bee Presents Me likes the way you tooted your own horn.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 06:58AM
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 10:44AM
Sad news indeed. I guess people don't understand how something so beautiful can also be so dangerous. I suppose it might be human nature to want to play in the water while on vaction but some people seem not to want to stop and think about it first. I don't know what really could be done to prevent this kind of thing, but hopefully something good can come out of this. Sad,Sad,Sad.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 11:05AM
Quote
ERICG
I don't know what really could be done to prevent this kind of thing, but hopefully something good can come out of this. Sad,Sad,Sad.

The simplest solution would be to station a ranger there at the top of the falls during the daytime hours (mid-morning to late afternoon) of the summer (and late spring) months when most of these visitors without functioning brains are most likely to visit the falls and try to do something stupid.

Outside of that, the only thing else they could do is either close off the Mist Trail to all park visitors as they did with the old Ledge Trail or install a 10-foot cyclone and barbed-wire fence around the area of the brink but I doubt that no one would like those two solutions.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 11:22AM
No. Why not just let the idiots eliminate themselves from the gene pool?
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
Climb over railings, meet your death. Step onto the dry slab of granite above a waterfall to refresh yourself after a 3.2 mile hike= slip into water to your death.
Natural selection at work.

I've got an idea: How about we put up more signs, rangers, guardrails, barbed wire, and security cameras, which will hopefully deter the incredibly stupid from doing incredibly stupid things?
No. Such nannyism shall not be tolerated in the great outdoors.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2011 11:23AM by herosemblem.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 12:13PM
If we let idiots eliminate themselves from the gene pool we'd be extinct.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 12:40PM
Quote
herosemblem
No. Why not just let the idiots eliminate themselves from the gene pool?

Of what I read so far, their children survived. So their genes will be carrying on.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 07:05PM
I know that I sound like a broken record player, but.....

Please remember that search engines as they are will direct everyone everywhere that the topic appears, so that family and friends of the unfortunate victims will unwittingly take in our discussions about Darwin, Gene Pools, etc. when trying to learn more about the tragedy. My thoughts are that perhaps it would be more compassionate if the related theories of survival be discussed in a Private Message.

B



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 21, 2011 04:38PM
Well said, Bee. smiling smiley
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 01:12PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
herosemblem
No. Why not just let the idiots eliminate themselves from the gene pool?

Of what I read so far, their children survived. So their genes will be carrying on.

I really have to take issue with these eugenics comments. I find this commentary not funny at all.
These comments are overly judgmental, tactless sidebar gossip about a situation that appears to have resulted in several tragic deaths and about which we do not have much information. As such, they reflect ill-informed observations and a "blame the victim" mentality.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 02:01PM
Quote
Frank Furter

As such, they reflect ill-informed observations and a "blame the victim" mentality.

Generally speaking, there's nothing wrong about a "blame the victim" mentality when the victims are clearly at fault for their own demise.

In regards to this specific tragedy, there's no definite information in regards to exactly what happened though it does appear to have been a number of eyewitnesses to the tragedy, including family members and friends of the victims. But the initial reports do indicate that the victims could have been the ones solely at fault for their own demise. I guess we will just have to wait and see.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 04:08PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
Frank Furter

As such, they reflect ill-informed observations and a "blame the victim" mentality.

Generally speaking, there's nothing wrong about a "blame the victim" mentality when the victims are clearly at fault for their own demise.

I disagree. There is no "clearly", in the real world as that degree of knowledge implies an omniscience that no one has. I do not consider fatal or injurious accidents to be fair game for ridicule under any circumstance as the outcome alone is sufficient punishment. Unless the actions are suicidal (and that is just another tragedy), no one intentionally injures themselves; they make risk assessments and sometimes those turn out favorably and sometimes unfavorably. Even if they voluntarily entered the Merced River above Vernal Falls, it is unlikely they did that with full understanding of the danger involved.

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In regards to this specific tragedy, there's no definite information in regards to exactly what happened though it does appear to have been a number of eyewitnesses to the tragedy, including family members and friends of the victims. But the initial reports do indicate that the victims could have been the ones solely at fault for their own demise.

You are making assumptions based on limited information and criticizing behavior that you know little about. At least one of the victims may have been trying to rescue the others.

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I guess we will just have to wait and see.
If you had done that originally, we would not be having this conversation.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 04:31PM
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Frank Furter
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plawrence
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Frank Furter

As such, they reflect ill-informed observations and a "blame the victim" mentality.

Generally speaking, there's nothing wrong about a "blame the victim" mentality when the victims are clearly at fault for their own demise.

I disagree. There is no "clearly", in the real world as that degree of knowledge implies an omniscience that no one has. I do not consider fatal or injurious accidents to be fair game for ridicule under any circumstance as the outcome alone is sufficient punishment. Unless the actions are suicidal (and that is just another tragedy), no one intentionally injures themselves; they make risk assessments and sometimes those turn out favorably and sometimes unfavorably. Even if they voluntarily entered the Merced River above Vernal Falls, it is unlikely they did that with full understanding of the danger involved.

Quote

In regards to this specific tragedy, there's no definite information in regards to exactly what happened though it does appear to have been a number of eyewitnesses to the tragedy, including family members and friends of the victims. But the initial reports do indicate that the victims could have been the ones solely at fault for their own demise.

You are making assumptions based on limited information and criticizing behavior that you know little about. At least one of the victims may have been trying to rescue the others.

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I guess we will just have to wait and see.
If you had done that originally, we would not be having this conversation.

OK. Simmer down. Both of you. The victims are gone, and the ones who will suffer are their friends and families.

Eyewitness accounts agree that the victims ignored the signs and climbed over the safety rail. At that point, you can forget about blaming the Park Service. There are indeed dangerous places elsewhere on the Mist Trail, but this isn't one of them. You cannot post a ranger at every place in the park where someone could defeat functioning safety measures, and this place has been rendered safe for anyone who is willing to abide by the rules.

It's in the same category as the guy who scaled a tall fence to retrieve his hat and was killed by a passing roller coaster. Or the guy who fell off a high voltage tower after defeating the spikes at the bottom section of ladder. As you say, the penalty was sufficient, no editorial comments are necessary. (Unless you a lawyer trolling for a fee.)

What we should not do is lay another ridiculous restriction on the Park Service as a result of these deaths.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 05:41PM
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wherever

At that point, you can forget about blaming the Park Service. There are indeed dangerous places elsewhere on the Mist Trail, but this isn't one of them. You cannot post a ranger at every place in the park where someone could defeat functioning safety measures, and this place has been rendered safe for anyone who is willing to abide by the rules.......What we should not do is lay another ridiculous restriction on the Park Service as a result of these deaths.

The issue is not about blaming (or not blaming) the NPS. The controversial issue relates to looking at the events without a preconceived bias against the victim(s).

Beyond that, it seems to me that efforts should be directed toward assessing and questioning the status quo-- whether visitor education or systemic changes could prevent similar problems in the future. Perhaps no changes can reasonably be made. However, assuming, a priori, that we live in the "best of all possible worlds" (which is the implication of the idea that nothing whatsoever can be done to improve current conditions) is the height of naivete and complacency. We need to push the status quo and be a little bit "unreasonable" for progress to occur as George B. Shaw said in Man and Superman:

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him... The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself... All progress depends on the unreasonable man."
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 04:58PM
I have to agree. I found it pretty tragic. People get caught up in their emotions and make poor spilt-second decisions. The story is sad...the visual of two of them holding on to each other (the video stated), while going over, is what's heart wrenching.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 20, 2011 04:16PM
I enjoyed swimming in the emerald pool when the water level is a lot lower and its safe enough to do so. To bad that its prohibited because of people that don't respect the power of mother nature
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 22, 2011 12:02AM
"Instead of allowing people to do extremely foolish things and pay for it with their lives as a consequence, we should embrace change and reflection. We should re-evaluate whether the guardrails were high enough, whether the granite steps were grippy enough, whether the signs were large enough and whether the warnings (unnecessary as they are) were printed in enough languages to accommodate the many park visitors. I've convinced myself that I exude supreme rationality and wisdom, but many people see through this. We cannot accept the status quo. The fact that an idea reflects current, or even 20th century thinking, is bad; it is cause for alarm. The fact that an idea is current or old, automatically means the idea is bad. Change is good. With regard to people entering water above a waterfall-- I claim that a problem exists, and therefore we must look for solutions."

Here's an idea. Regarding a person who gets much too close to a raging river (especially above a waterfall) and pays the price...
There is no problem. We don't need to look for solutions.
Play stupid games/Win stupid prizes.
Are you the type who also supports building a net around a structure, every time someone jumps off it? Creating solutions where problems don't exist, simply to convince ourselves that we are improving our wisdom and critical thinking skills (as well as society) is not the best route, I think...
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 23, 2011 08:58PM
One of these days a victim's family is going to file a lawsuit and possibly win. What I see a lawyer saying: There have been dozens of deaths up there and the park service knows it is dangerous, yet doesn't do enough to prevent such deaths. Higher fences, nets at the brink, etc. could be added.

Now, personally, I don't think they need more protection, but if I was a lawyer, that would be my argument.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 23, 2011 10:18PM
Playing the devil's advocate as a lawyer for the victims, I would argue that the pools of water about Vernal Fall are an attractive nuisance like a neighbor's swimming pool is considered legally to be. And like how it's the neighbor's responsibility to ensure neighborhood kids don't have easy access to their swimming pool, lest one falls in and drowns, a lawyer could make an argument that the guard rail isn't a sufficient barrier to prevent people from going into the water and that the Park Service should be held liable because they failed to properly mitigate this well documented attractive nuisance.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2011 12:45AM by plawrence.
avatar Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 24, 2011 12:44AM
Yeah, they need some BART cops up there.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 24, 2011 08:27AM
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plawrence
Playing the devil's advocate as a lawyer for the victims, I would argue that the pools of water about Vernal Fall are an attractive nuisance like a neighbor's swimming pool is considered legally to be. And like how it's the neighbor's responsibility to ensure neighborhood kids don't have easy access to their swimming pool, lest one falls in and drowns, a lawyer could make an argument that the guard rail isn't a sufficient barrier to prevent people from going into the water and that the Park Service should be held liable because they failed to properly mitigate this well documented attractive nuisance.

Well they might as well close the whole park then as the whole park is an attractive nuisance when you think about it.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 24, 2011 08:27AM
There are no "pools of water about Vernal Falls" right now. Those pools of water are a raging river right now, so I don't think your argument as a "attractive nuisance like a neighbor's swimming pool" holds water.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
August 05, 2011 03:05AM
The best park for an adventure? This summer has been especially hazardous in the National Parks. Few years in living recollection have had as several deaths in national parks. Yosemite National Park was among probably the most dangerous places to visit. I found this here:Deadly year in national parks as Yosemite claims 14 lives . Accidents really happen either at a person's own risk or the environment itself.
Re: Mist Trail Temporarily Closed in Yosemite National Park
July 24, 2011 06:17PM
One of these days a victim's family is going to file a lawsuit and possibly win. What I see a lawyer saying: There have been dozens of deaths up there and the park service knows it is dangerous, yet doesn't do enough to prevent such deaths.

The counter response would be that dozens of MILLIONS of hikers have gone there and returned safely
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