Forum Index > Trail Talk > Very sad news - Ann Nelson RIP
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joker
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PostWed Aug 07, 2019 10:39 am 
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The first time I did it, we spent an extra night at Chetwoot and spent the "down day" exploring a bit, including scouting the possible route around via Iron Cap Lake etc. Our party agreed we were not psyched by some of the travel with our full packs that this route would have required and we instead opted for said low route. That said, the second time I did it, one party member lost traction on the bootpath that descends down from near Azure to the rock field above Azurite, and he came very close to sliding his eyeball into a broken branch on a downed tree. Further on, another party member barely halted what could have been a catastrophic slide on steep hard forest duff by Beckey's "key ledge" above Azurite's south shore. We kind of wished for ice axes at a few moments on the traverse Waterman describes - not for snow, but rather for  the steep hard duff.

There are inherent risks in many of these sorts of trips. As Wolffie notes, even on trails. We do what we can to minimize the risks, short of not doing the trips at all.
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lopper
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off-route
PostWed Aug 07, 2019 3:30 pm 
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"Steep hard duff".....equally as treacherous as loose gully rock.

An 85cm mountain axe:  highly-recommended off-trail companion.  Year-round.
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DadFly
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PostThu Aug 08, 2019 7:37 am 
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I use a whippet
http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/ski-poles/whippet-ski-pole-BD1115650000ALL1.html#start=13

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"May you live in interesting times"
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funhog
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PostThu Aug 08, 2019 9:26 pm 
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Sad news.  Big loss she helped so many people get outdoors and enjoy themselves.
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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Aug 08, 2019 9:33 pm 
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Great hiker, great physicist, great person, all around. We will miss her RIP.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Backpacker Joe
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NWH Joe-Bob
PostFri Aug 09, 2019 10:30 am 
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Been there. So sad.  God bless and of course condolences to her loved ones.  Frankly I feel the most for those who were with her and have to remember that accident for the rest of their lives.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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Bedivere
Why Do Witches Burn?



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Why Do Witches Burn?
PostFri Aug 09, 2019 8:34 pm 
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Backpacker Joe wrote:
Been there. So sad.  God bless and of course condolences to her loved ones.  Frankly I feel the most for those who were with her and have to remember that accident for the rest of their lives.

So true.

Never met her, but she seemed to be a very knowledgeable and level-headed person.

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Sculpin
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PostSat Aug 10, 2019 8:40 am 
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joker wrote:
Further on, another party member barely halted what could have been a catastrophic slide on steep hard forest duff by Beckey's "key ledge" above Azurite's south shore. We kind of wished for ice axes at a few moments on the traverse Waterman describes - not for snow, but rather for  the steep hard duff.

You were off route.  There is nothing that steep if you stay on the route.

The roughest stretch is the boulder clambering around Azurite Lake.  There are a few easy Class 3 moves, the only times we used our hands between Necklace Valley and the Foss Lakes Trail.  Conflating the challenges of the upper route with the challenges of the lower route is just wrong.

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Even my best friends, they don't know, that my job is turning lead into gold. When you hear that engine drone, I'm on the road again, and I'm searching for the philosopher's stone - Van Morrison
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joker
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PostSat Aug 10, 2019 11:19 am 
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I'm fairly confident, after having done some packs off exploring up and down,  that we were on route. She took a few steps further left  than was advisable. It was just before the ledge. It was not a rough spot or one where hands would be required. I don't think I'm conflating the challenges (in fact I noted that after scouting the upper route a ways with day packs we chose the lower route - on two  trips) - just saying that even the  lower route has some risks too (as do, as Wolffie noted, many trail routes). I'm sorry that my words may not have clearly conveyed my intention OR the nature of the terrain where this happened.
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contour5
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PostSat Aug 10, 2019 6:02 pm 
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What an awful tragedy!  I never knew her, but she seems like an amazingly gifted and accomplished person.  By all accounts,, a seasoned climber and Mountaineer.
It hits home for me, personally, because I am the exact same age.  I am slower, and my balance isn’t as good as it used to be.  A recent trip from Peggy’s pond to cathedral pass, in the rain, was terrifying.
( The previous day, I had actually re-negotiated my religious affiliations while retreating eastbound over citadel Pass.)

It’s scary dangerous out there in the mountains. Please, everyone, be careful.
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kvpair
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PostMon Aug 12, 2019 2:31 pm 
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Terrible indeed! Just returned from the ALHR on Saturday and took the lower route. As warned by others on the forum I wore microspikes on the duffy stuff and was very glad to have taken them. I'd say that without the recommendations of others in this forum, I might have easily taken a slide. So, thank you all.

My mind was on Dr Nelson all the while we were doing the Iron Cap route.

The mozzies at  Tank Lakes and Big Heart were exceptional.
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timberghost
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PostThu Aug 15, 2019 11:45 am 
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This link has a video that shows the other hikers being rescued by helicopter.
https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/aug/08/spokane-helicopter-crew-rescues-three-hikers-in-ca/
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Tom
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PostThu Aug 15, 2019 1:56 pm 
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It's been a long time since I did the Iron Cap traverse to Tank Lakes and it's hard to tell from the footage where they needed rescue but my first impression is they might have been a bit too high to traverse?  Or they were on route but after the tragic incident just didn't feel comfortable proceeding.  Totally understandable.  RIP.
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Gwen
LO Girl-of-the-Month



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LO Girl-of-the-Month
PostFri Aug 16, 2019 10:18 pm 
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My take is it's the latter, and honestly, not the best place to try to carry on after such a tragedy. I was not there so I really don't know, but my feeling is that it was just one bad step. Could have been any if us. Heartbroken that it was Dr Nelson.

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Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
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Schroder
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PostSat Aug 17, 2019 8:17 am 
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It looks to me that they were near the summit of Iron Cap Peak.

IronCap
IronCap
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Forum Index > Trail Talk > Very sad news - Ann Nelson RIP
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