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pula58
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 7:44 am 
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Schroder wrote:
Or she dropped into the woods to seek shelter and didn't survive

That actually makes some sense. If I was up there, and it was raining/snowing with high winds, and I had no tent, and I had no way of getting to the lookout, I might head down West into the woods to at least get out of the wind.

Alternatively, she may have tried to head back down to the trailhead (via the trail) and gotten avalanche'd when crossing the area below Sibley pass (i.e., at the head of the E fork of Sibley Creek).

It is a very sad thing, and my heart goes out to all her family, and friends, and Rachel herself.
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BaNosser
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PostWed Nov 13, 2019 7:23 am 
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Continued prayers for Rachel, her family and all those affected..
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Heydawg30
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PostSat Nov 23, 2019 5:11 pm 
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Hi. Her car was at hidden lake lookout trail head. Would that trail lead into another if she tried to head back? Also would there be any caves deep in that someone could find shelter in?
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zephyr
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PostSat Nov 23, 2019 5:44 pm 
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Heydawg30 wrote:
Would that trail lead into another if she tried to head back?

Heydawg, that trail is pretty straightforward from parking lot to the lookout.  Here's a topo that you can zoom in and out to see the general direction.  As others have mentioned the trail crosses a significant avalanche slope above the East Fork of Sibley Creek.  But I am unclear as to how much snow had accumulated by that day.  It was still fairly early for really deep snow as I recall.  You can see per Schroder's information below where she was when last seen.
Schroder wrote:
Rachel was last seen at approximately 5500 feet at the head of the creek, just at timberline as you start the long traverse.

She would have been southwest of that last creek crossing (5360') going up I should think. Here's the topo map.


As for caves, maybe someone else could remark.  There were significantly large boulders up there close to the Pass--house-sized with overhangs.  But actual caves, I doubt it.  Caves appear in specific geological conditions.  ~z
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Heydawg30
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PostSat Nov 23, 2019 8:22 pm 
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Thank you for the info. I hope Sar will pick up the search in the spring when the snow melts. It breaks my heart we wont have her home for the holidays. Are there dangerous animals in those wooded areas this time of year? Im still trying to come to terms what could have possibly happened. She is a smart girl and want to think she at least tried to make it back or sought shelter.
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bk
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PostSat Nov 23, 2019 8:59 pm 
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Any wild animals were likely sheltered (in their dens or holes, etc.) during that weather.

If stuck in wild snow conditions, and exhausted (and in an avalanche-free zone), one could dig a mini snow cave (in place) to avoid wind and trap some warm air (the snow would be insulating) and maybe even get some comfortable rest. (By extension, with a lightweight portable snow shovel, one could build a more elaborate snow cave...etc.)
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Tom
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PostSat Nov 23, 2019 9:01 pm 
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Heydawg, sorry for your loss.  I cannot imagine how difficult this is.  There aren't really any dangerous animals this time of year (or any time of the year IMO).  Certainly possible but I'd say that would be the least likely scenario.  I can think of many more plausible scenarios but best for us not to speculate.
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gb
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PostSun Nov 24, 2019 7:20 am 
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As sad as this event and as tragic as it is for family and friends, it is unlikely she suffered much. If she died of hypothermia, it would be something where she just gradually lost awareness and consciousness. Equally possible in stormy weather is that without knowing in poor visibility she could easily have wandered into one of many relatively small scale avalanche features near and along the trail. Even a foot of base snow and then recent accumulation would have made this possible with the accompanying winds. Suffocation would also likely not have been a terrible experience - at least not for long.

We are all very sorry for your loss. To lose someone so young seems especially harsh.
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moonspots
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PostSun Nov 24, 2019 10:13 am 
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gb wrote:
We are all very sorry for your loss. To lose someone so young seems especially harsh.

Yes, indeed.

--------------
"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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