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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Mt. Harvey update

Today, my boyfriend Alastair Ferries was climbing Mt. Harvey and up near the summit, he met a lone hiker who was having difficulty. He asked if there was something wrong and the person told him that he had 5 other climbers that were ahead of him, heading up to the summit. Alastair was able to follow their snowshoe tracks up, but near the top the tracks disappeared. He then spotted more tracks and he followed them too and they too disappeared. Alastair figures that the group of 5 separated and the first group were on a crevasse that had collapsed and the other hikers tried to find them too and they also were on a crevasse that also collapsed. Alastair was able to backtrack down the mountain and the lone hiker's phone had no reception so he headed down some more and met other hikers whose cell phone had reception. Alastair was able to contact the police, who then contacted the North Shore Rescue (or another group attached to this group) and a search of 4 parties set off to find the missing hikers. Apparently, the drop off of the mountain was nearly vertical and was around 2000 ft. in length. This rescue has been cancelled due to poor visibility and I presume it will continue in the morning. As of the 5 hikers, the situation is quite dire, with very little chance of survival. I will try to update this situation and I pray the hikers can be found alive and the Rescuers are lucky to find some survivors.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 12:14 PM
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Alastair figures that the group of 5 separated and the first group were on a crevasse that had collapsed.
Do you mean a cornice? Very sad, hopefully any SAR mission today ends in a positive result but I fear for the worst here.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 03:42 PM
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Not good at all. We look right at Mt Harvey across Howe sound from house. Just remarking the other day, when looking through binoculars, how unbelievably heavy the snow pack is up there.

truly hope outcome is OK.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 05:21 PM
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Sad news

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...umes-1.4062976

What is my goal in life? To enjoy the great outdoors as much as I can
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 06:46 PM
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Awful news ... Could hear the SAR air craft in the clouds above Harvey

So sad for all

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 06:48 PM
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Oh my god, this is a nightmare. I've been looking at the North Shore all week boggling at how much snow is still sitting up there.

_
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 07:38 PM
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Oh my god, this is a nightmare. I've been looking at the North Shore all week boggling at how much snow is still sitting up there.
The windows of our house give us an unobstructed view of Brunswick, Harvey the Lions, st.marks and so on... In 20 years of looking out those windows I have never seen such snow loads on those mountains. Cornices so broad and heavy you can barely distinguish them from the mountain Summits

So sad that this has contributed to a terrible tragedy.

A woeful day for the outdoor community.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 09:09 PM
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Falling down the North Face of Harvey is kinda like falling down the Chief, very tragic. I wonder if it would be a good idea for Parks or someone to install warning signs about cornices.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry to say none of the 5 hikers survived the fall.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 11:29 PM
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Falling down the North Face of Harvey is kinda like falling down the Chief, very tragic. I wonder if it would be a good idea for Parks or someone to install warning signs about cornices.
I'm sorry but I am of the belief that really doesn't make much sense.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 04:57 AM
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Falling down the North Face of Harvey is kinda like falling down the Chief, very tragic. I wonder if it would be a good idea for Parks or someone to install warning signs about cornices.
Although the Howe Sound Crest Trail passes about 500m. to the east of Mt. Harvey, the peak is well outside the provincial park - on Crown Land, so it would be up to the MoF (now Forests, Lands and Natural Resources) Rec Sites and Trails branch to put up any trail signage. They did put up some signage or sign boards following the two fatalities near the Sea to Sky Gondola operation, but that is an area where potentially quite a number of unprepared visitors could set off from the Gondola operation and run into icy conditions.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 10:48 AM
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Feel very sad, here are a couple pics my friends took last week showing those cornices on Harvey. Backcountry knowledge and awareness is also very important for safety.
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Last edited by mazeGirl; 04-11-2017 at 01:08 AM.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 12:51 PM
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Feel very sad, here are a couple pics my friends took last week showing those cornices on Harvey. Backcountry knowledge and awareness is also very important for safety.

WOW so very sad day... Those cornice ridges are so huge.

This reminds me of Spencer Ridge in the Chilliwack River Valley area

K

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post #14 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 12:48 PM
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I don't do much winter season hiking so I have to ask. Is it ever safe to hike on a cornice? I would think one would want to walk as far from the edge as possible. How would one assess for safety?
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 02:07 PM
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I don't do much winter season hiking so I have to ask. Is it ever safe to hike on a cornice? I would think one would want to walk as far from the edge as possible. How would one assess for safety?
This is a tragic event. No witnesses to say what really happened.

I personally believe, answer is to play very conservative. Even abandon proper summit and have a photo shoot / lunch before the summit. In poor visibility it is unlikely cornice could be accessed properly. Risk is multiplied.

In perfect sunny and clear weather, follow very conservative line to the top, if you really want to bag that summit in winter/spring season. If part of the group and someone carry rope, it is a good idea to rope up last segment. If no rope, to go to summit one by one etc.

If possible, during the climb up, look for the feature of the mountain and determine where edge could be. On Harvey that was not possible, but some of the group members hiked up to summit multiple times before. Solo, you are decision maker.

For example,
When you climb Wedge arete, walk up foot left of the edge in front off you, look up and access cornices you will see on the rim, if you plan to descent to Parkhurst Col.

On your way to Hanover, take a mental note of the cornices for your next weekend climb ob Brunswick.

I hiked/climbed a lot before (and bike mostly now), and I was always uncomfortable seeing people in summer having lunch on the edge of Chief, Eagle Ridge or Porcupine Rim in Moab. People are fascinated with having feet over the edge. Who knows, maybe some of them carry that comfort from summer to winter/spring conditions? Winter/Spring conditions are complicated. That is why we have a something called snow science.

Important is to keep going to the mountains, gain a lot of millage (experience) and speak up. Read, comment, ask, share and discuss ...

Be safe and see you in the mountains.
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