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View Full Version : Distressed national park hikers taken to Asheville, N.C., hospital



SGT Rock
2014-01-03, 16:11
A warning to take winter seriously in the mountains of the Smokies:


A rescue team extracted on Friday a trio of hypothermic hikers from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and took them to an Asheville hospital.

“The park is grateful for the exemplary work of the North Carolina Helicopter and Aquatic Rescue Team in bringing this operation to a success conclusion,” said Chief Ranger Clay Jordan.

The North Carolina HART is composed of members of the state National Guard and State Highway Patrol.

The afternoon extraction concluded a drama that began with pleas for help from the Gaffney, S.C., men Thursday night when harsh weather whipped into the region.

The men, identified by authorities as Shawn Hood, Steven White and Jonathan Dobbins, who range in age from 21 to 32. They were suffering from hypothermia and possibly frostbite.

They were taken to Mission Hospital in Asheville for treatment.

The trio had set out Thursday from Fontana Dam on a 10-day backpacking trip. Their destination was unclear, but they were not equipped for a winter hike on the Appalachian Trail.

“Winter hiking in the Smokies can be very dangerous without taking the proper precautions,” Jordan said.

The men apparently were wearing cotton clothing, which provides little warmth once wet, and were not equipped with a tent.

The hikers used cell phones Thursday night to request help after they realized they were unprepared for the harsh conditions. National Park Supervisory Ranger Kent Cave said the cell service was spotty, but allowed officials to determine the hikers were about five miles from Fontana Dam on the North Carolina side of the park.

Rangers embarked at 3:30 a.m. Friday for Molly’s Ridge. Rangers reached the hikers about 8 a.m. While the hikers were conscious, they were cold, weak and unable to exit the area on their own.

Rescue rangers had weather-appropriate clothing and a tent for the hikers, who were about five miles from the nearest trail head, Cave said.

Cave said the rescue team reported snow 4-5 inches deep with 2-foot drifts. The area Thursday night recorded wind gusting at 35 mph and temperatures in the single digits.

“It got as low as 20-degrees below zero with the wind chill,” Cave said. “This was a very dangerous situation for these hikers.”

More details as they develop online and in Saturday’s News Sentinel.

Source: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2014/jan/03/national-park-rangers-find-trio-of-missing-sc/

Nothing on the park service daily report yet.

I notice they had cotton clothing and no tent.

SGT Rock
2014-01-03, 16:13
At least they had cell phones.

SGT Rock
2014-01-03, 16:18
Previous story

(WBIR - Smoky Mountains) The Great Smoky Mountains Rescue Squad have made contact with three people on a search and rescue mission Friday morning after rangers received distress calls late Thursday.

According to Public Affairs official Caitlin Worth, rescuers made contact with the group of three men at around 8:30 Friday morning. Medics and two EMT units were on scene at around 9:30 to treat the men. Worth said the men are aware of their surroundings, and are in fair condition.

Coordination efforts for the search began late last night. The actual search began at 3:30 Friday morning in the Doe Knob area north of Fontana Lake. Worth said all three men are from northwest South Carolina, and were on a 10-day trip through the park.

Worth also said they are considering doing an air rescue, depending on weather conditions.

There are currently 5-8 inches of snow in the higher elevations of the Smoky Mountains and between 1-2 inches in the lower elevations.

So they were about +/-3 miles from Mollies when they called for pick up.

Superman
2014-01-03, 16:25
A warning to take winter seriously in the mountains of the Smokies:



Source: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2014/jan/03/national-park-rangers-find-trio-of-missing-sc/

Nothing on the park service daily report yet.

I notice they had cotton clothing and no tent.

Charge them for the rescue.

Crikey
2014-01-03, 16:34
http://www.quickmeme.com/img/f2/f212fd68aeca509fcdbbb675e67ce9276b0d9fa965fa8bb586 5c167eccb8b1d9.jpg

Sargevining
2014-01-03, 16:49
At least they had cell phones.

Prolly to play Angry Birds on.

Cotton. No tent. Janfrikkinyooary.

Darwin loses out on this one.

Kanga
2014-01-03, 17:17
shoulda culled the herd.

Roche
2014-01-03, 18:17
Yesterday I cancelled a two nighter out of Big Creek that was to start this morning. Did these boys look at the weather forecast? Yes sir, charge them for the rescue.

Big Mac
2014-01-03, 18:29
What are their names on Whiteblaze.net?

SGT Rock
2014-01-03, 18:48
I thought of that too. I didn't see anyone talking about a hike in the GSMNP forum.

Razor
2014-01-03, 18:48
Years ago ,you had to get an equipment inspection before you were given a winter permit . I wonder if that stills hold true and if so, did they skip that process also. They sure didn't do any prep!

Rasty
2014-01-03, 19:03
Dumbbells couldn't walk downhill for 8 miles?

generoll
2014-01-03, 19:55
Darwin foiled

Bearpaw
2014-01-03, 20:03
The article said their destination was unknown. How is that possible when EVERYBODY has to REGISTER and PAY for an ONLINE PERMIT now. Isn't this the sort of thing the fee program was supposed to prevent?! Asshats.

Sargevining
2014-01-03, 23:41
The article said their destination was unknown. How is that possible when EVERYBODY has to REGISTER and PAY for an ONLINE PERMIT now. Isn't this the sort of thing the fee program was supposed to prevent?! Asshats.

Yah. And Obamacare was supposed to insure more people and make your insurance cheaper.

I see a pattern evolving here-------

SGT Rock
2014-01-04, 00:24
watch this: http://www.wlos.com/shared/news/features/top-stories/stories/wlos_stranded-hikers-airlifted-smokies-14605.shtml

Tin Man
2014-01-04, 06:23
whoa, they planning -or- just doing the hike again??? odds they need rescuing again?

Big Mac
2014-01-04, 08:38
Why the hell were they carrying a propane torch? For their crack pipe? Should have left them up there.

Superman
2014-01-04, 08:50
Why the hell were they carrying a propane torch? For their crack pipe? Should have left them up there.

It sounds like another case of they don't know what they don't know.

Rasty
2014-01-04, 10:40
They're acting like it's cold up there this time of year.

Sargevining
2014-01-04, 10:51
Here's the thing.

A couple of months ago the Rangers were pretty damn successful in keeping everybody and his brother from getting into that Park---to include the freaking scenic overlooks and roadside picnic areas. Now three guys with a blow torch wearing cotton can embark on a 10 day camping trip there without so much as a poncho for shelter. Then when these guys call for help, it takes 14 hours to rescue them.

Fire the whole frikkin staff and send the manager to the park on Bikini Atoll.

SGT Rock
2014-01-04, 11:53
He just retired.

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Sargevining
2014-01-04, 14:05
Typical. What level GS retirement is he pulling in?

SGT Rock
2014-01-04, 16:14
I don't know. I read they burned clothing to stay warm. Not a lot of thought there. It also said that they thought there would be rain and not cold. But they ended up wet, so obviously they were not well prepared for wet either.

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generoll
2014-01-04, 16:18
wonder when they get their own reality show.

Rasty
2014-01-04, 16:57
I don't know. I read they burned clothing to stay warm. Not a lot of thought there. It also said that they thought there would be rain and not cold. But they ended up wet, so obviously they were not well prepared for wet either.

Sent from my SCH-R970 using Tapatalk

There is a moment when burning your clothing that it is perfectly dry.

sheepdog
2014-01-05, 02:59
I woke up on fire once. You can only do that once comfortably.

Superman
2014-01-05, 05:19
Putting your boots next to the campfire to dry is like feeding them to the fire god.

SGT Rock
2014-01-05, 16:14
Wouldn't it be cool to spend a night in camp with one of these guys to hear the story. I bet it would be funny.

sheepdog
2014-01-05, 17:34
hahahahahahaha

saimyoji
2014-01-05, 17:49
Wouldn't it be cool to spend a night in camp with one of these guys to hear the story. I bet it would be funny.

We've all prolly got a story or three about dumb stuff we've done...isn't there a thread for that? If not, there should be.

Kanga
2014-01-05, 18:35
I have one all my own!

Roche
2014-01-05, 19:03
Wouldn't it be cool to spend a night in camp with one of these guys ...Join them on their next adventure, perhaps it will be skydiving or scuba diving or performing Supe's next surgery.

Rasty
2014-01-05, 19:17
We've all prolly got a story or three about dumb stuff we've done...isn't there a thread for that? If not, there should be.

I let my gloves freeze solid last February. Oops

SGT Rock
2014-01-05, 19:33
I've got frostbite on the trail. And the stupid thing was if I had just used my brains I could have hitched into Erwin and stayed at the Holiday Inn. Those cinnamon rolls are worth the hitch.

Lugnut
2014-01-05, 20:00
I froze my wet boots once and had to drive them on my feet with a log and wea them a long time to thaw them out enough to tie them.

Superman
2014-01-05, 20:13
I froze my wet boots once and had to drive them on my feet with a log and wea them a long time to thaw them out enough to tie them.

The last time I hiked the AT through the Smokies the temp dropped to 15* with blowing. The shelter was full so I put my POS tent down in running ice water that froze up over night. I gut shivered all night. My boots were inside my sleeping bag and they were frozen solid. It was a lot of work to get into them in the morning. By noon I was able to lace them.

Skidsteer
2014-01-05, 20:33
The last time I hiked the AT through the Smokies the temp dropped to 15* with blowing. The shelter was full so I put my POS tent down in running ice water that froze up over night. I gut shivered all night. My boots were inside my sleeping bag and they were frozen solid. It was a lot of work to get into them in the morning. By noon I was able to lace them.

Too bad you didn't have a blow torch.

Superman
2014-01-05, 20:44
Too bad you didn't have a blow torch.

It was the only time doing civilian hiking that I wasn't sure how it was going to work out. It didn't occur to me to burn my clothes. Hot water bottles probably would have worked but a white German Shepherd would have worked best. I'd been in similar conditions when I had Winter. She would snuggle up next to me under my sleeping bag and we'd be toasty warm.

Law Dawg (ret)
2014-01-06, 00:58
I woke up on fire once. You can only do that once comfortably.

“Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.” Terry Pratchett

Roche
2014-01-06, 08:33
We've all prolly got a story or three about dumb stuff we've done...I always forget to pack a blow torch and making Crème brûlée in the backcountry with a mini Bic is difficult :banghead:

saimyoji
2014-01-06, 11:20
I forgot my spoon once and had to use pretzel sticks like chopsticks.

Sargevining
2014-01-06, 11:20
When I was a teenager, my brother and I decided we'd do some winter camping. This was in the day when canned food was pretty much all that was available. We'd packed two days worth as well as some sammich stuff, including bologna---not for lunch, but for eating between meals.. We hiked to the agreed upon lunch spot and broke out the Spaghettio's. Then we had that "I thought you were bringing the can opener." moment. We fried up the bologna and went home.

Skidsteer
2014-01-06, 11:50
CTuGJgka1qc&feature=em-subs_digest-ctrl

Lugnut
2014-01-06, 12:23
Those guys are crazy!

Skidsteer
2014-01-06, 12:43
Yup.

Bearpaw
2014-01-06, 13:22
Shug is the frozen world emperor!

His hammock and unicycle videos are legendary.

D'Artagnan
2014-01-06, 14:20
I remember watching an episode of Top Gear on BBC where they guys were heading to the North Pole. They were warned about frostbite and shown pictures of a guy whose twig and berries were frostbitten. Apparently, he didn't zip up after he took a leak and his flag was waving in the wind. Talk about ouch.

Superman
2014-01-06, 17:02
I remember watching an episode of Top Gear on BBC where they guys were heading to the North Pole. They were warned about frostbite and shown pictures of a guy whose twig and berries were frostbitten. Apparently, he didn't zip up after he took a leak and his flag was waving in the wind. Talk about ouch.

The military videos made in the 50s were kind of funny and kind of scary. The ones about VD were almost enough to make you abstain....almost. The ones about frostbite was ugly scary shit. The ones on driving defensively were just funny.

Ray
2014-01-06, 18:58
I remember watching an episode of Top Gear on BBC where they guys were heading to the North Pole. They were warned about frostbite and shown pictures of a guy whose twig and berries were frostbitten. Apparently, he didn't zip up after he took a leak and his flag was waving in the wind. Talk about ouch.So his trail name is now 'Numbnuts'?

Skidsteer
2014-01-06, 19:22
Hahahahaha!

john pickett
2014-01-06, 23:09
Probably more like "nonuts"

Lugnut
2014-01-06, 23:56
I'm staying out of this.

SGT Rock
2014-01-07, 06:00
Ice berries

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Crikey
2014-01-07, 08:54
Polar Vasectomy

D'Artagnan
2014-01-07, 09:22
So his trail name is now 'Numbnuts'?

I think it's "Stubby".

wakapak
2014-01-07, 10:37
Did you guys hear the interview with this crew where one of them stated he had altitude sickness? Really? In the Smokies? I think he didn't want to admit he was out of shape and unprepared and the hike was harder than he thought...

Superman
2014-01-07, 10:40
Did you guys hear the interview with this crew where one of them stated he had altitude sickness? Really? In the Smokies? I think he didn't want to admit he was out of shape and unprepared and the hike was harder than he thought...

Those boys should find a new hobby.

Tin Man
2014-01-07, 10:47
Those boys should find a new hobby.

They could join a pack sniffer forum...

wakapak
2014-01-07, 10:49
They could join a pack sniffer forum...

They may actually learn a thing or two about backpacking if they did...:angel:

Crikey
2014-01-07, 11:05
Did you guys hear the interview with this crew where one of them stated he had altitude sickness? Really? In the Smokies?

Smokies altitude sickness = hangover

Superman
2014-01-07, 11:08
Smokies altitude sickness = hangover

Maybe it was from the fumes from the propane torch?

Crikey
2014-01-07, 11:11
Maybe it was from the fumes from the propane torch?

Yeah, torching low quality meth.

Rasty
2014-01-07, 13:48
Did you guys hear the interview with this crew where one of them stated he had altitude sickness? Really? In the Smokies? I think he didn't want to admit he was out of shape and unprepared and the hike was harder than he thought...

I get altitude sickness every time I've walked from Fontana Dam to Mollies Ridge. Then I sit down and rest for ten minutes and it goes away. Yep definitely altitude sickness.

sheepdog
2014-01-07, 16:37
I get altitude sickness every time I've walked from Fontana Dam to Mollies Ridge. Then I sit down and rest for ten minutes and it goes away. Yep definitely altitude sickness.

that's what that is!!! For a second I thought I was out of shape. Woot!!

Crikey
2014-01-07, 16:47
that's what that is!!! For a second I thought I was out of shape. Woot!!

That's attitude sickness.

Rasty
2014-01-07, 17:05
That's attitude sickness.

Everyone here, including myself, has that.

Tin Man
2014-01-07, 18:00
That's attitude sickness.

beat me to it... :beer:

Tin Man
2014-01-07, 18:03
Everyone here, including myself, has that.

beat me to it :beer:

you can beat your opponent, you can beat me to it, you can beat your meat, just don't beat your opponents meat [or however that saying goes]

Superman
2014-01-07, 18:07
beat me to it :beer:

you can beat your opponent, you can beat me to it, you can beat your meat, just don't beat your opponents meat [or however that saying goes]

It could be worse....you could be drinking gin.

Tin Man
2014-01-07, 18:10
It could be worse....you could be drinking gin.

tried that... can't bear to drink enough to do any real damage... and i'm out of tonic and lime

Sargevining
2014-01-07, 18:12
You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose. But you can't wipe your friends on the back of the couch.

Tin Man
2014-01-07, 20:57
Same thing...

http://www.businessinsider.com/escaped-convict-turns-self-in-2014-1

Sargevining
2014-01-08, 00:03
Same thing...

http://www.businessinsider.com/escaped-convict-turns-self-in-2014-1

That's an old story I think. Isn't that Dakota Joe?

FrozenTundra
2014-01-08, 06:12
I try and tape blow torches to both hands to ward off bears. It is like Edward 40 hands but more exciting and an excellent way to roast marshmallows. Typically, this leads to burnt clothes quite often so I can understand their thought process.