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fourteen410
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PostThu Aug 29, 2019 2:31 pm 
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From the AP:

STEVENSON, Wash. (AP) — A hiker from Germany died after he was hit by a falling tree on the Pacific Crest Trail.

The Skamania County Sheriff’s office said Thursday it received a cell phone call at about 4 p.m. Tuesday from a group of hikers on the PCT, northwest of Trout Lake, Washington.

The group said one member was injured.

While a search and rescue team was enroute, they received another call saying the patient’s condition was deteriorating.

They reached the hiker, identified as 28-year-old Finn Bastian of Preetz, Germany. He was taken to the trailhead and given CPR but he couldn’t be revived and died.

His hiking partners said they had reached a wooden bridge and while crossing, the tree fell, striking Bastian.

Officials said the tree was rotted at the base.
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Schenk
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PostThu Aug 29, 2019 2:38 pm 
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How tragic and unfortunate.
RIP German Hiker.

--------------
Nature exists with a stark indifference to humans' situation.
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neek
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PostThu Aug 29, 2019 2:40 pm 
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So sad to hear about this.  Met several German hikers on the PCT (near Stevens Pass) just yesterday.
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fourteen410
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PostThu Aug 29, 2019 6:50 pm 
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neek wrote:
Met several German hikers on the PCT (near Stevens Pass) just yesterday.

I met one a couple weeks ago at White Pass. His name was Loco and was a logger back in Germany.
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Joseph
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PostThu Aug 29, 2019 8:26 pm 
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A few years ago hiking on the WT on the Cowlitz divide - we heard a loud crack.  a few moments later we encountered a tree across the trail.  Kind of scary.  How sad to be just be hiking along or in a camp site and be in the wrong place at the wrong time - my heard goes out to the hiker and his family / loved ones
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wolffie
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PostFri Aug 30, 2019 11:04 am 
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We were hiking in the 5-mile burned section of the Larch Lake Trail a couple years ago.  The burn was... 5-ish years old?  Ripe for falling.  Camped high in a safe place, but unbeknownst to us, there was a high wind warning.  Down in the burn next day, it didn't seem so windy -- I was wearing a tank top, treetops were just lazily waving back-and-forth -- we gradually realized the occasional loud sounds we heard were falling trees!  Never hiked 5 miles so fast.  At one point, a creak, and an 8-10" tree 20' away from me leisurely fell over, taking another with it -- fortunately, 180° away from me.
I will always be more aware of dead snags, esp. where I'm camping.
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drm
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PostFri Aug 30, 2019 11:23 am 
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I know that trail pretty well. The online report of local KPTV has a picture of a bridge with a tree on it. It's not a particularly large tree, less than a foot thick. But it has pointy branches sticking out. Like falling, it doesn't have to be huge to do the damage, but what a freak accident. I think that bridge is just a quarter mile up the trail from the trailhead, next to a campsite. This area is not in a burn.

I tried posting the image here, but it doesn't seem to work, you should be able to see it here: https://www.kptv.com/news/deputies-german-national-hiking-pct-dies-after-being-struck-by/article_94776ea0-ca8e-11e9-b181-231810fb3ffc.html
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Sky Hiker
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PostFri Aug 30, 2019 12:02 pm 
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I hike the Chiwaukum creek trail quite a bit. Every year since the fire there is trees that have come down up to the N/S fork intersection. 2 years ago I came out of there in the evening during a wind and rain storm. Trees falling quite frequently. Between the trees and being on alert for cougars after an encounter kepts a person on alert.
Tragic event for those hikers
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Brucester
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PostFri Aug 30, 2019 4:29 pm 
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Sad news!

Just spoke with 2 PCT thruhikers as I walked to the store a few hours ago, they knew of him or met him. They seemed pretty shaken up.

In regards to burned areas, they said it's hard finding camp sites without possible burned deadfall in some areas....
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Mikey
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PostSat Aug 31, 2019 1:00 pm 
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Dead tree wood rotting or decay rate is a function of temperature.  Years ago when camping at the high lakes north of Mt St Helens in old growth (never logged) forest, on hot humid days and nights (usually in August) we would hear the loud crash of large trees falling. Later we found the fallen trees were old large snags. We finally learned that the wood rotting rate (and perhaps wood eating insect - termite activity) increases significantly with temperature.  I recall something like the rot rate doubling for every 10F increase in temperature.
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kbatku
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PostSat Aug 31, 2019 2:59 pm 
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We were hiking up Indian Creek on a particulary hot, low humidity day and kept hearing what sounded like pistol shots.  Eventually, we spotted a large dry branch on a big old tree snap off and plummet to the ground - with loud crack like a pistol shot.  The branches were fine & stable until the humidity got low enough to make them brittle was our speculation
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thunderhead
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 1:17 pm 
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Mikey wrote:
Dead tree wood rotting or decay rate is a function of temperature. 

Yes, the does seem reasonable.  Certainly explains the windless summer tree falls i have seen.  Though not the small tree that came down just after i vacated that spot xc skiing on the iron horse a few winters ago.  Still dont know why that came down... no wind then either and no snow loads.  Good thing it waited about a minute for me to move on!
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