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Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?

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avatar Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 29, 2013 05:00PM
Recently I found a breakdown of causes of death for Glaciers NP http://www.summitpost.org/from-thrills-to-spills-accidents-in-glacier-national-park/470437.

I am curious whether a similar table can be found for Yosemites.
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 29, 2013 05:10PM
Don't know of a specific site that has that info, but I do recommend the book Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite:
http://www.amazon.com/Off-Wall-Yosemite-Michael-Ghiglieri/dp/0970097360

It details all the known deaths in the park up until its publication date. Apparently, being young, male and doing stupid things is a good precursor to figuring out if you are gonna die in the park.
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 30, 2013 07:51AM
Unfortunately Amazon doesn't let you search in the book...

But I'll say there is a summary table on P. 575

It's what you would exect though... falling off stuff, drowning in things, and vehicular issues



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 30, 2013 06:47PM
Quote
chick-on
But I'll say there is a summary table on P. 575

Odd...you got the exact page number right. I had to go to my bookshelf and check.

I originally got the book to read the story about the plane full of weed that crashed in the park in 1977 because there were so many conflicting stories on the internet about it.
Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 30, 2013 08:24AM
Quote
oakroscoe

Don't know of a specific site that has that info, but I do recommend the book Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite:
http://www.amazon.com/Off-Wall-Yosemite-Michael-Ghiglieri/dp/0970097360

Yes, this is a great recommendation. You can tell the authors spent a great deal of time compiling this book. And I have to admit that I found it very "entertaining" to read and once in a while I still pick it up to crosscheck some names, dates and numbers.

Since I've first read it I think I came across only 2 casualties that haven't been covered in the book. If I remember correctly one of it was mentioned in Mark Wellman's book (which is excellent too by the way). I think his climber partner (and El Cap legend) Mike Corbett mentions that he found a climber at the base of Half Dome's southwest face in 1975. I couldn't find any reference of that casualty in "Off The Wall". And I think the book mentions also a suicide that I couldn't find in the book too.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/30/2013 08:41AM by Half Dome Hiker.
Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
November 30, 2016 03:09PM
I can confirm the death of the young man in 1975. I was asleep at the base of HD on the morning the ranger arrived in search of the body that Corbett had reported. (Incidentally, Mike had been expelled from the valley and so he had reported the finding of the body through a surrogate, I believe it was Grant Hiskes who he told about it and Grant went to the rangers.) I and my partner, Mark Engdahl (deceased), were awakened by the sound of the ranger's radio. The victim was not a climber. He had been wearing cheap sneakers and was carrying only a flashlight for gear. Probably got up too high and discovered the hard way that ascent is easier than descent when you have no rope. It was near the base of Snake Dike.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2016 03:11PM by noGodsPlease.
Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
February 03, 2013 03:07PM
This is an oddly fascinating book. It's easy to skip around and read about whatever you want the way it is written. I do not have any fixation on death, or death in Yosemite, but the book is very engaging, partly, I think, because of the way it focuses attention on the errors that are made. A person who reads this book, will have a lot of "lessons" in their head that can only be helpful (assuming they heed them).

There is an auto accident that will alway stick with me: the essentially mid-air off road collision between a huge truck transporting hot asphalt into the park and a car with a couple in it. It involves a car buried in asphalt, people cooking, etc. Horrible. I'm not sure what the lesson is there. The fault lay with the road construction folks directing traffic.

Anyway, I highly recommend the book!
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
February 04, 2013 11:29PM
Quote
Frank
. . . snip . . .
There is an auto accident that will alway stick with me: the essentially mid-air off road collision between a huge truck transporting hot asphalt into the park and a car with a couple in it. It involves a car buried in asphalt, people cooking, etc. Horrible. I'm not sure what the lesson is there. The fault lay with the road construction folks directing traffic.

Anyway, I highly recommend the book!

I always make sure I go around that corner very slowly while I remember the story.

But the story that sticks with me is the little boy feeding the buck, and the frantic attempt to save the little boy after the startled buck gores him. sad smiley
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 29, 2013 09:31PM
The authors of Off the Wall said they'd put a huge amount of time into researching the earliest incidents, before the Park Service was keeping records. Often the only sources were conflicting news reports and it wasn't always clear exactly who the victims or the witnesses had been.

I'd think NPS would have much more complete data on recent incidents so all you'd have to do would be to get the stats for after Off the Wall went to press.

"Yosemite has averaged about a dozen deaths annually over the past decade, according to park officials" -- http://www.sfgate.com/politics/joegarofoli/article/Man-dies-in-fall-from-Yosemite-s-Half-Dome-2333756.php



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/2013 09:35PM by gophersnake.
Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 30, 2013 09:47AM
In 1868, a poor soul named Agnes Leidig (2) died from eating spoiled peaches.

There is no mention of anyone succumbing to bear attack, Curry Village pizza
or Twinkies.
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 30, 2013 04:10PM
Off the Wall is a great read, the stories are often a great lesson in what not to do. And not all of them lead to deaths. One story from "Off the Wall" that I can't forget is a "near miss" at the top of Vernal Falls. So many times one person's slip-up leads to multiple deaths as good souls, acting on the spur of the moment, try to save a potential victim and add themselves to the casualty list. Seems on New Years Day in 1975 a group was up at the top of Vernal Falls, including some adults and some kids, some of whom were upstream some ways from the top of the falls, walking around on the ice, when one of the kids broke through and was swept away towards the falls, visible under the ice as the current took him towards the brink. An adult who was apparently part of the group and had stationed himself near the top of the falls, as a witness reported... "knelt down and grabbed the [boy's] hood as he shot out and pulled him out onto the ice". The witness goes on to say that "I'm amazed that they both did not go over. The kid was waterlogged but not injured. They pulled his pants off to dry him off, and his pants froze upright in about thirty seconds"
Frightening.
Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
February 03, 2013 03:00PM
Unless it was left over pizza or twinkies in the "haul bag" that led to the brain farts on big walls
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 30, 2013 05:01PM
Quote
Yury
Recently I found a breakdown of causes of death for Glaciers NP http://www.summitpost.org/from-thrills-to-spills-accidents-in-glacier-national-park/470437.
The top three causes of death at Glacier NP are:

Rank Cause of Death Total Deaths
1 Drowning 48
2 Heart attack 27
3 Vehicle accidents 26

I suspect that the book "Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite" doesn't pay enough attention to such causes of death as Heart attack and Vehicle accidents.
So official Yosemite NP statistic should be more comprehensive in this case.
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 30, 2013 05:24PM
Of course it does (I mentioned it above). You should really go to your local library and check the book out.
Or just drop the 20 dollas and buy it. It's interesting for sure.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 31, 2013 06:50PM
Quote
chick-on
Of course it does (I mentioned it above). You should really go to your local library and check the book out.
Thank you chick-on. I just ordered both of them from Amazon.
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 31, 2013 11:26AM
On p. 575 there's a table, "Summary of traumatic deaths in Yosemite, 1851-2010". For the "Motor Vehicle Accidents" category it lists Male Victims 123, Female Victims 40. For "Bicycle Crashes" the numbers are 3 and 1 respectively. According to a footnote, wagon wrecks were included in the "Horses" category (8 and 3)

Heart attacks and other illnesses are not included in the count. Homicides and suicides are (111 total).

Apparently incidents were counted as Yosemite deaths whenever the original mishap occurred within the park, even if the victim died in a Fresno hospital.
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 30, 2013 05:45PM
As others have stated, it is an excellent read. Some incidents are heart wrenching while others defy understanding. I've just picked up Michael Ghiglieri's "Over the Edge, Death in Grand Canyon". My daughter thinks I have a fixation on death. Not really. After backpacking and hiking in the White Mountains of NH for over 30 years I have the greatest respect for mother nature. Pick up "Not Without Peril" by Nicholas Howe for a taste of some of the worst weather on the planet atop the Presidentials and those who have perished in its grip.



www.pbase.com/caesar77
Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 30, 2013 06:11PM
I look at those books as being educational and, since most victims are young males, they should read the books before they go to the parks so they would be less likely to try something crazy or to think "it would never happen to me."
Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
February 05, 2013 07:55AM
I try to share all such 'educational" experiences (i.e. mistakes others made and paid dearly for) with the young males in my life (my nephews). The problem I am always troubled over is: Because all these young males by definition believe they are fairly invincible, and that all those who were involved in such incidents are by definition weak and stupid and "not like me", does it help or just bounce off? I decided that regardless of how it is perceived, it can't help to feed them the information. This book, which they haven't yet read, cannot help but make an impact. The sheer number of males from around 18-26 that have died as a consequence of seemingly small but demonstrably bad decisions or of a failure to plan for the "what if?" scenarios is crushing and devastatingly sad.
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 30, 2013 10:47PM
I have a copy of "Off the Wall" and read all the SAR and accident/incident reports I can find.

I don't get out there very often and as a result I haven't gained as much experience by 'doing' as many others.
I try do do everything I can so as to be prepared for those occasions when I do go out there.
So . . . if I can't learn/gain experience by DOING, I'll gain as much of it as I can by READING. It's usually pretty easy to figure out what you should NOT do.

Somehow I've managed to not kill myself, don't know if it's luck, experience, or just using common sense. Although I also take it easy and try to not 'bite off more than I can chew' when I plan something.

Some incidents seem to be the result of people with NO common sense!

Another book worth mentioning is "Death, Daring, & Disaster - Search and Rescue in the National Parks"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/30/2013 10:58PM by qumqats.
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
January 31, 2013 07:32PM
I also own Off the wall: Death in yosemite; i can also vouch that it is a very good book. you will not be disappointed with it smiling smiley
Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
December 01, 2016 11:00AM
In "Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite," my favorite part is in the Drowning chapter. Details about a rescue/recovery involving Bridalveil Creek and Fall. I can't help but chuckle, no disrespect meant.
Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
December 01, 2016 01:17PM
Also note, for those who write in to this forum asking about carrying bear spray, bear bells, etc., none of the listed incidents involve bears
avatar Re: Breakdown of causes of death in Yosemite park?
December 02, 2016 08:38AM
That's right. Bears haven't killed anyone in Yosemite NP. However, two people have been killed by deer. So, visitors, stay away from the deer.
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