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Any hiker deaths in BIBE?

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Offline Roy

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2009, 05:55:32 PM »
Peter Bastien was the name of the hiker that disappeared on Mule Ears.

http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/hiking-the-desert/mule-ears-peak-hike-t2758.30.html

Look at Richard's post a little way down the page;  the link he posted is no longer active, but he's got the text.

I was in the park about a month after he disappered;  went for a hike to Mule Ears Spring.  I noticed a white sedan was there when I left and when I got back, also there the next day.  I reported it to the Rangers but they already knew about it and were really upset that they might have lost another person out there.  Fortunately, the driver showed up soon after. 
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 06:02:19 PM by Roy »

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BigBendHiker

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2009, 06:08:33 PM »
Couldn't find the other case I described, but I did find a post from the old board;  BigBendHiker and The Wild West Guy were talking about it.  


The one TWWG and I were talking about was the one that involved a a teenager who fell from Emory Peak back in 1996 or 1997.  Here is the link to the Dallas Morning News story.  Very sad story when you read it...

http://www.dallasobserver.com/1999-12-16/news/after-the-fall/

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2009, 06:09:38 PM »
my, how quickly a thread moves.....

I think most deaths in the park are either intentional or a shear lack of respect for the desert, aka dehydration.

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Offline lparent

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2009, 06:43:07 PM »
The deaths at the park are most commonly due to errors, often minor errors that compound.  The single most common cause of death at the park is motor vehicle accidents, just like anywhere.  Other causes are heat stroke, dehydration, hypothermia, drowning (with the river so low, it's much less common in recent years), murder, lightning, suicide, and falls.  Nobody has fallen through the Window, amazingly.  Overall, considering that a quarter million people/year visit the park, the death rate is probably lower than at your average Wal-Mart.  So, I'd save my worrying energy for things like the national debt and what really happened to Michael Jackson.

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2009, 06:44:38 PM »
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.  Well, the suicides make you wonder what was so bad in those peoples' lives.

I've probably relayed this story here before, but the most dangerous/stupid thing I've done was hike from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to the Colo River and back out in the same day... in August.  It was 110F+ at Phantom Ranch at the bottom when I began to hike back out.   I took the South Kaibab trail down to the river, then hiked back up the longer Bright Angel trail to get out.  It was 50F at the beginning of the hike at dawn, and I thought it would be a piece of cake.  It took me over 14 hours to finish, it was dark when I finally crawled out.  Was so dehydrated and weak I was sick for a few days afterwards.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 06:58:39 PM by dkerr24 »

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2009, 09:24:47 PM »
So, I'd save my worrying energy for things like the national debt and what really happened to Michael Jackson.

here here

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Offline RikD

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2009, 09:51:45 PM »
One interesting point that I've observed is the rarity of deaths caused by snakes.  Of course any snakebite would be bad, but the ones caused by a mojave or rock rattler if you directly stepped on one or reached into their place, could be fatal.

The other area of potential death would be from a mountain lion, but I understand that these are very rare - and not sure if their are any recorded deaths from lions in the park.

-Rik
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 09:53:29 PM by RikD »

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Offline RikD

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2009, 10:14:01 PM »
And speaking of mojave rattlers, here is Steve Irwin (RIP) handling one.


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SHANEA

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2009, 12:21:28 AM »
Nobody has fallen through the Window, amazingly.

Ah, They must remove the plexiglass and physical barriers when you visit...   :icon_wink:


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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2009, 12:25:35 AM »

The other area of potential death would be from a mountain lion, but I understand that these are very rare - and not sure if their are any recorded deaths from lions in the park.

-Rik

I believe the last Panther related death was in the 80's.

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SHANEA

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2009, 12:30:45 AM »
Statistically speaking, I'd have to conclude that Big Bend is a very safe place.

How many people died in Big Bend National Park in 2007?  I don't know the answer, but let's say 1000. (way overstated I know)

There were at least 367,023 visitors to the park in 2007.   http://www.nps.gov/bibe/parkmgmt/visit_stats.htm

So, out of 367,023 visitors, 1000 didn't make it home, but 366,023 did.  Odds are that unless you are planning on committing hari kari, you are going to make it home alive.

Now, realistically, there were probably less than 5-10 deaths in 2007.  Granted, any death is too much, but it's call risk, medigating risk, and avoiding risk (risk avoidance).  If you drive the roads in Houston, Dallas, go to any "Stop and Rob" stores, etc - there is risk involved.  

My late great stats professor put it this way "I've got a gun with a million chambers and one bullet in a chamber", you spin the chamber and if it doesn't land on a bullet, you can travel anywhere you want to in the world instantly - would you accept the risk?

He went on to say, the elevators in the new math building have fallen five times this week and it's only Wednesday, would you ride the elevator?  


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Offline TexasAggieHiker

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2009, 11:23:41 AM »
It's really informative to read how these people have died.

And Irwin is nuts to messing around with a Mojave.  Those are some bad mofo's if you get tagged by one.  Way worse than a diamond back or black-tailed.

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Offline lparent

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2009, 12:01:50 PM »
I don't believe there have been any mountain lion deaths in the park, although there were a few attacks some years ago.  There have been deaths caused by mountain lions in other areas of the West, though.  I also don't believe that there have been any snake-bite deaths in the park, and snake bites in general at Big Bend are surprisingly rare.  I expect that the biggest risk in coming to Big Bend is the drive to the park.

Stories of how others have died in the outdoors are interesting, if for no other reason than the lessons that you can learn about what to do or not do in the outdoors.  I've made a few stupid mistakes over the years.  One of the worst was a Grand Canyon hike right after graduating from high school.  I was young and stupid.  Fortunately we were both cross country runners and very fit.  A friend and I decided to celebrate the end of high school and hike from the North to South Rim in 24 hours or less.  On a late May morning his parents dropped us off at the North Rim and down the Kaibab Trail we went.  By afternoon we were slogging up the Bright Angel trail in 100+ degree heat.  We both started getting heat exhaustion--nausea, dizziness, etc.--so we stumbled into an old mine tunnel mouth and sat for an hour drinking about a liter of water each.  We recovered and continued on up the trail, stopping again at Indian Gardens.  Well, a front blew in, the temperature plummeted, and the rain came down.  We didn't have any rain gear, so we quickly got cold and wet.  We persevered and made it to the rim where the temperature was 44 degrees.  My parents weren't there yet, so we holed uip in a restaurant and ate, drank hot liquids, and dried out.  So, heat exhaustion and hypothermia all in one day.

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SHANEA

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2009, 03:18:57 PM »

And Irwin is nuts to messing around with a

stingray  :icon_frown:

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Offline Undertaker

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2009, 03:25:25 PM »
Win, lose or draw, I can guarantee you will not survive the autopsy.  :nailbitting:
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

 


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