Big Bend Conservancy
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Yep, I also like trying to learn from both fatal and non-fatal accidents. I often check the hikerhell website. The web author is backing off from the sometimes condesceding cause analysis, but sometimes lacks much analysis at all.14ers.com has good threads about accidents, but all too often it drops to a slam-fest against the victim. I haven't seen that happen here thankfully.The frequency of accidents reported on that site (14ers) easily dwarfs those reported on this site, causing me to believe that maybe Texans aren't quite so dumb as reported in Colorado.
It's not surprising that there are far more accidents on fourteeners in CO than at Big Bend. There are far more hikers on fourteeners than there are hikers doing difficult routes at Big Bend. Try hiking up Longs Peak on a summer weekend. If you don't show up by 6AM, you can't even get a parking spot (and it's a large parking lot). Weather is such a killer (pun intended) at 14,000 feet. Lightning storms come up out of nowhere, snow can fall in July. Cliffs, loose rock, and exposure are endemic on several of them and the air is thin. Every time I climb one, at some point I wonder what the heck I'm doing up there.(snip)
I think I made mention of it in a post several years ago about coming across a fully loaded Dana Designs external frame pack deep in Telephone Canyon. It was eery to come across as it contained full water bottles, the guys glasses, a nice film SLR with no film in it and no shot rolls of film in the pack (but several unshot) and some other pieces of decent quality gear. I was solo and tentless and spent the next several nights off trail imagining every rustling bush or falling rock was from some narcotrafficante getting set to eliminate yet another potential witness to his drug smuggling route. I did report the find with an approximate location and pictures to the NPS, but never did hear anything back.
10 empty 12 OZ water bottles in a Wal-Mart bag, womens clothing with Houston logos, and (believe it or not) a portable propane heater (the kind you would use for car camping). Also in the pack was a lime green inflatable air mattress (like a kids pool toy), lots of freeze dried food (I should have eaten the ice cream), and no maps, water filter, or stove.
I know to some it may seem macabre, but stories about hikers meeting their end does make you think about the little details and how you can personally avoid making the mistakes others have.
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