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(Fox News)   Well, there is a reason it's called DEATH Valley   (foxnews.com) divider line
    More: Followup, Coroner, Death Valley National Park, Sheriff, San Bernardino County, California, Inyo County, California, missing campers Alexander Lofgren, Death Valley, Inyo County search  
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5425 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Apr 2021 at 6:30 PM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


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2021-04-11 1:50:41 PM  
 "The couple was described by authorities as experienced campers, and Lofgren was known to camp in remote areas."

Sure, if you say so.
 
2021-04-11 2:08:52 PM  
Hmm, yet this headline wasn't greened yesterday for this story:

There IS a reason they call it DEATH Valley
 
2021-04-11 2:29:53 PM  
I was obsessed with this story yesterday when I first read about it. I can't really be sure from the journalism so far, but it appears they may have abandoned the car at or near Willow Spring (the green area to the right), and rather than hoof it 20mi back to the main road highway 190 or highway 178, they thought they could traverse Sidewinder Canyon, only about 4mi as the crow flies to Badwater Road, but which in fact is a technical route requiring ropes and climbing equipment, and got stuck somewhere in the 1,000' drop and couldn't move forward or get back up.

What's not clear is how Lofgren died. If they got stuck on Saturday and weren't rescued until Friday that would be at least 2 days without any water even if they conserved.

scontent.fsac1-1.fna.fbcdn.netView Full Size


I hate to judge this, but Death Valley is a place that will try to kill you if you don't make the right decision. They should've stayed with the car.

I know Lofgren was an Afghanistan veteran and had desert survival experience, but if you're with a group your chances of survival are very different than if you're alone and striking out into unknown territory without communication ability and limited supplies.

Very sad, regardless.
 
2021-04-11 2:52:03 PM  
BTW since I do go out to wilderness destinations solo, this sparked a conversation with my wife about emergency contact in case I get into trouble out there.

A friend suggested this gadget
https://www.acrartex.com/products/res​q​link-400

Anyone have experience with it?
 
2021-04-11 3:09:43 PM  
Why the negative votes? Just because it is from Fox News?
 
2021-04-11 4:29:20 PM  

Badmoodman: Hmm, yet this headline wasn't greened yesterday for this story:

There IS a reason they call it DEATH Valley


but 'Death Valley lives up to its name' was
 
2021-04-11 5:34:47 PM  

make me some tea: BTW since I do go out to wilderness destinations solo, this sparked a conversation with my wife about emergency contact in case I get into trouble out there.

A friend suggested this gadget
https://www.acrartex.com/products/resq​link-400

Anyone have experience with it?


I'm not familiar with that brand, but yes, get some type of GPS/emergency beacon. Garmin has the best coverage IMHO. I sell the Garmin InReach Mini to so many spouses, parents, etc who are getting it for a loved one. Honestly, if I were buying one, that's what I'd buy.
 
2021-04-11 6:13:56 PM  
This is why people shouldn't go on hikes they aren't ready for.
 
2021-04-11 6:35:30 PM  
I believe somebody posted this before here it is again

Death Family Germans

Don't fark around with death
 
2021-04-11 6:35:57 PM  
I wonder if there are any 2m/70cm repeaters with coverage out there?
 
2021-04-11 6:36:39 PM  

Badmoodman: Hmm, yet this headline wasn't greened yesterday for this story:

There IS a reason they call it DEATH Valley


People might take it seriously if it were called "The Valley of Death." Sounds more menacing that way.
 
2021-04-11 6:38:16 PM  
Add another victim to the Clinton Kill Count.
 
2021-04-11 6:38:24 PM  
Did they blame Hillary in the comments yet?
 
2021-04-11 6:39:27 PM  

IgG4: Add another victim to the Clinton Kill Count.


Aw dammit. Missed it by that much
 
2021-04-11 6:39:46 PM  

make me some tea: I was obsessed with this story yesterday when I first read about it. I can't really be sure from the journalism so far, but it appears they may have abandoned the car at or near Willow Spring (the green area to the right), and rather than hoof it 20mi back to the main road highway 190 or highway 178, they thought they could traverse Sidewinder Canyon, only about 4mi as the crow flies to Badwater Road, but which in fact is a technical route requiring ropes and climbing equipment, and got stuck somewhere in the 1,000' drop and couldn't move forward or get back up.

What's not clear is how Lofgren died. If they got stuck on Saturday and weren't rescued until Friday that would be at least 2 days without any water even if they conserved.

[scontent.fsac1-1.fna.fbcdn.net image 850x411]

I hate to judge this, but Death Valley is a place that will try to kill you if you don't make the right decision. They should've stayed with the car.

I know Lofgren was an Afghanistan veteran and had desert survival experience, but if you're with a group your chances of survival are very different than if you're alone and striking out into unknown territory without communication ability and limited supplies.

Very sad, regardless.


I did a emergency survival course, instructed by two ex-USAF guys. "Stay with the car/plane! Cars and planes are much bigger than you and look really unnatural. They also tend to be very shiny"
 
2021-04-11 6:40:10 PM  
How long until this becomes part of the Qanon conspiracy?
 
2021-04-11 6:40:48 PM  
Yes.  Oral Sex Valley is much more fun.
 
2021-04-11 6:44:43 PM  

stuhayes2010: Yes.  Oral Sex Valley is much more fun.


Is that on Whore Island?

/ GOOOOO, Ocelots!
 
2021-04-11 6:45:13 PM  
Lofgren and Henkel, both of Tucson, left Helendale, California, for the camping trip in Death Valley and were due to return a week ago. A search was initiated on Tuesday when the Inyo County Sheriff's Office was alerted that the couple had not returned.

The article isn't the best on time line but another backcountry hiking rule: Have someone you are to call on the day of your expected return. No call = they call S&R
 
2021-04-11 6:49:40 PM  
We went hiking and driving through DV. We rented a sat phone for exactly this sort of situation. I don't care who you are: if you don't carry a sat phone if you are in DV off any beaten path, you are taking an enormous risk.
 
2021-04-11 6:50:12 PM  
I heard it's because when a group of pioneers went through it aiming at a shortcut to California, leaving it one said "goodbye Death Valley".  Then just west of there they looked across the Owens River valley at the vertical wall of the Sierra Nevadas near Mt. Whitney, gave up and turned south and went around totally missing the Kern River passes they had heard of.
 
2021-04-11 6:52:15 PM  

iheartscotch: stuhayes2010: Yes.  Oral Sex Valley is much more fun.

Is that on Whore Island?

/ GOOOOO, Ocelots!


I know of an Oar Island.
 
2021-04-11 6:53:56 PM  

Bob Falfa: make me some tea: BTW since I do go out to wilderness destinations solo, this sparked a conversation with my wife about emergency contact in case I get into trouble out there.

A friend suggested this gadget
https://www.acrartex.com/products/resq​link-400

Anyone have experience with it?

I'm not familiar with that brand, but yes, get some type of GPS/emergency beacon. Garmin has the best coverage IMHO. I sell the Garmin InReach Mini to so many spouses, parents, etc who are getting it for a loved one. Honestly, if I were buying one, that's what I'd buy.


Yep I was just gonna reply "get a garmin inreach" - they are awesome.  You can even turn the subscription on and off month by month.

Ok the software is a little janky but just google how to use it.
 
2021-04-11 6:54:25 PM  

zerkalo: I believe somebody posted this before here it is again

Death Family Germans

Don't fark around with death


I saw that story last year, and immediately sent it on to my German housemate. He then immediately sent it to his German parents because, in his words, "My father is very German and this is a very German way to die."
 
2021-04-11 6:55:03 PM  

make me some tea: I was obsessed with this story yesterday when I first read about it. I can't really be sure from the journalism so far, but it appears they may have abandoned the car at or near Willow Spring (the green area to the right), and rather than hoof it 20mi back to the main road highway 190 or highway 178, they thought they could traverse Sidewinder Canyon, only about 4mi as the crow flies to Badwater Road, but which in fact is a technical route requiring ropes and climbing equipment, and got stuck somewhere in the 1,000' drop and couldn't move forward or get back up.

What's not clear is how Lofgren died. If they got stuck on Saturday and weren't rescued until Friday that would be at least 2 days without any water even if they conserved.

[scontent.fsac1-1.fna.fbcdn.net image 850x411]

I hate to judge this, but Death Valley is a place that will try to kill you if you don't make the right decision. They should've stayed with the car.

I know Lofgren was an Afghanistan veteran and had desert survival experience, but if you're with a group your chances of survival are very different than if you're alone and striking out into unknown territory without communication ability and limited supplies.

Very sad, regardless.


I was under the impression that the first element of desert survival was staying out of situations where you have to drink your own urine.  I also thought that wilderness hikers made use of topo maps that tend to indicate where steep canyons can be found.
 
2021-04-11 6:58:23 PM  
Which county?
Inyo County
 
2021-04-11 6:59:51 PM  
This just confirms that I'm a very indoorsy person.
 
2021-04-11 7:00:04 PM  

whither_apophis: Lofgren and Henkel, both of Tucson, left Helendale, California, for the camping trip in Death Valley and were due to return a week ago. A search was initiated on Tuesday when the Inyo County Sheriff's Office was alerted that the couple had not returned.

The article isn't the best on time line but another backcountry hiking rule: Have someone you are to call on the day of your expected return. No call = they call S&R


Gallant pays the park entry fee and registers for dispersed camping at the ranger station.

Goofus just drives straight into the back country on his weak-ass Forester.
 
2021-04-11 7:00:51 PM  

Bslim: "The couple was described by authorities as experienced campers, and Lofgren was known to camp in remote areas."

Sure, if you say so.


More experienced people sometimes suffer from over exposure to risks and so become numb to them. Or they're very experienced in the forest but not te desert, etc.


Statistically speaking the fact thy I have taken the National Ski Patrol Avalanche course makes me more likely overall to die in an avalanche, even if my likelyhood of being caught in one is lower per trip.
 
2021-04-11 7:01:52 PM  

make me some tea: BTW since I do go out to wilderness destinations solo, this sparked a conversation with my wife about emergency contact in case I get into trouble out there.

A friend suggested this gadget
https://www.acrartex.com/products/resq​link-400

Anyone have experience with it?


Not that specific PLB, but PLBs in general are good.  Search for reviews and go with the ones that sound reliable
 
2021-04-11 7:02:22 PM  
If you go slow you can get quite far on flat tires.
 
2021-04-11 7:02:42 PM  

make me some tea: BTW since I do go out to wilderness destinations solo, this sparked a conversation with my wife about emergency contact in case I get into trouble out there.

A friend suggested this gadget
https://www.acrartex.com/products/resq​link-400

Anyone have experience with it?


I just sailed to the Bahamas and went with a Zoleo satellite communicator. $50/mo for unlimited texting (cheaper plans with limited texting) and it has an SOS button. Worked great for keeping in contact with my wife while in the open ocean.

www.zoleo.com
 
2021-04-11 7:02:43 PM  

Enigmamf: I wonder if there are any 2m/70cm repeaters with coverage out there?


Death valley is a dead zone. Pun intended.
 
2021-04-11 7:02:51 PM  

kdawg7736: Why the negative votes? Just because it is from Fox News?


That would be a good reason.
 
2021-04-11 7:02:56 PM  
Death Valley is a misnomer. Lots of life there. BUT, if you are not prepared, it will get you. Then again, that goes for anywhere.
 
2021-04-11 7:03:21 PM  

whither_apophis: make me some tea: I was obsessed with this story yesterday when I first read about it. I can't really be sure from the journalism so far, but it appears they may have abandoned the car at or near Willow Spring (the green area to the right), and rather than hoof it 20mi back to the main road highway 190 or highway 178, they thought they could traverse Sidewinder Canyon, only about 4mi as the crow flies to Badwater Road, but which in fact is a technical route requiring ropes and climbing equipment, and got stuck somewhere in the 1,000' drop and couldn't move forward or get back up.

What's not clear is how Lofgren died. If they got stuck on Saturday and weren't rescued until Friday that would be at least 2 days without any water even if they conserved.

[scontent.fsac1-1.fna.fbcdn.net image 850x411]

I hate to judge this, but Death Valley is a place that will try to kill you if you don't make the right decision. They should've stayed with the car.

I know Lofgren was an Afghanistan veteran and had desert survival experience, but if you're with a group your chances of survival are very different than if you're alone and striking out into unknown territory without communication ability and limited supplies.

Very sad, regardless.

I did a emergency survival course, instructed by two ex-USAF guys. "Stay with the car/plane! Cars and planes are much bigger than you and look really unnatural. They also tend to be very shiny"


Yes.  Also road search is fast.  Ground search is slow.
 
2021-04-11 7:04:32 PM  

whither_apophis: Lofgren and Henkel, both of Tucson, left Helendale, California, for the camping trip in Death Valley and were due to return a week ago. A search was initiated on Tuesday when the Inyo County Sheriff's Office was alerted that the couple had not returned.

The article isn't the best on time line but another backcountry hiking rule: Have someone you are to call on the day of your expected return. No call = they call S&R


And no, you do not have to wait a certain amount of time to report someone missing!

The sooner you call the sheriff for them to call in SAR the sooner we can find the person... And it's safer for us and them the sooner you call!
 
2021-04-11 7:05:37 PM  

Yamaneko2: make me some tea: I was obsessed with this story yesterday when I first read about it. I can't really be sure from the journalism so far, but it appears they may have abandoned the car at or near Willow Spring (the green area to the right), and rather than hoof it 20mi back to the main road highway 190 or highway 178, they thought they could traverse Sidewinder Canyon, only about 4mi as the crow flies to Badwater Road, but which in fact is a technical route requiring ropes and climbing equipment, and got stuck somewhere in the 1,000' drop and couldn't move forward or get back up.

What's not clear is how Lofgren died. If they got stuck on Saturday and weren't rescued until Friday that would be at least 2 days without any water even if they conserved.

[scontent.fsac1-1.fna.fbcdn.net image 850x411]

I hate to judge this, but Death Valley is a place that will try to kill you if you don't make the right decision. They should've stayed with the car.

I know Lofgren was an Afghanistan veteran and had desert survival experience, but if you're with a group your chances of survival are very different than if you're alone and striking out into unknown territory without communication ability and limited supplies.

Very sad, regardless.

I was under the impression that the first element of desert survival was staying out of situations where you have to drink your own urine.  I also thought that wilderness hikers made use of topo maps that tend to indicate where steep canyons can be found.


Yes.  That's generally how it is supposed to be.
 
2021-04-11 7:06:34 PM  

noitsnot: whither_apophis: Lofgren and Henkel, both of Tucson, left Helendale, California, for the camping trip in Death Valley and were due to return a week ago. A search was initiated on Tuesday when the Inyo County Sheriff's Office was alerted that the couple had not returned.

The article isn't the best on time line but another backcountry hiking rule: Have someone you are to call on the day of your expected return. No call = they call S&R

Gallant pays the park entry fee and registers for dispersed camping at the ranger station.

Goofus just drives straight into the back country on his weak-ass Forester.


Goofus is violating the regs.


Subarus can get down many roads in national parks that are classified 4x4 in Utah and Arizona.... But not the ones in death valley.
 
2021-04-11 7:07:33 PM  

whither_apophis: make me some tea: I was obsessed with this story yesterday when I first read about it. I can't really be sure from the journalism so far, but it appears they may have abandoned the car at or near Willow Spring (the green area to the right), and rather than hoof it 20mi back to the main road highway 190 or highway 178, they thought they could traverse Sidewinder Canyon, only about 4mi as the crow flies to Badwater Road, but which in fact is a technical route requiring ropes and climbing equipment, and got stuck somewhere in the 1,000' drop and couldn't move forward or get back up.

What's not clear is how Lofgren died. If they got stuck on Saturday and weren't rescued until Friday that would be at least 2 days without any water even if they conserved.

[scontent.fsac1-1.fna.fbcdn.net image 850x411]

I hate to judge this, but Death Valley is a place that will try to kill you if you don't make the right decision. They should've stayed with the car.

I know Lofgren was an Afghanistan veteran and had desert survival experience, but if you're with a group your chances of survival are very different than if you're alone and striking out into unknown territory without communication ability and limited supplies.

Very sad, regardless.

I did a emergency survival course, instructed by two ex-USAF guys. "Stay with the car/plane! Cars and planes are much bigger than you and look really unnatural. They also tend to be very shiny"


Yep, stay with the plane or car because they (newer planes and cars anyway) have tracking devices on board. The only reason to try to walk out is if you're going to die anyway.

/ if you do have to walk out, follow a stream or dry stream bed down hill. You have a much better chance of finding something eventually and you'll have a much better chance surviving.
 
2021-04-11 7:10:42 PM  
I'm going to try to rent one of those Garmin devices when I solo.

I don't even go that far off the beaten path.  Last time a friend and I went, in fall of last year, Covid made things ridiculously crowded - literally no open campsites for miles.

But regardless, all it takes is one bad injury to prevent you from even traveling a quarter mile for help.
 
2021-04-11 7:14:16 PM  

Bslim: "The couple was described by authorities as experienced campers, and Lofgren was known to camp in remote areas."

Sure, if you say so.


My brother used to hike and camp in remote areas, he always rented a satellite phone before leaving.
 
2021-04-11 7:15:55 PM  

make me some tea: BTW since I do go out to wilderness destinations solo, this sparked a conversation with my wife about emergency contact in case I get into trouble out there.

A friend suggested this gadget
https://www.acrartex.com/products/resq​link-400

Anyone have experience with it?


I've been using the Spot Satellite tracker for over a decade (gen 2 and 3) and they have always worked well.  There are a number of people in the 14ers forums, over the years, who have had to use the SOS and the only one I can remember saying it didn't work as well as they would hope was a guy using a Gen 1 that ended up dropping it *after* he hit the SOS.  The Gen 1, with their initial firmware, wouldn't resend the signal periodically because the original code was used for maritime emergencies (it expected someone drifting).

The vast majority of complaints about it have been about having to re-send the "I'm okay" message because the first one didn't go through.  Really, that doesn't happen that often.  I pay for the tracking feature and the SOV feature and I'm confident it will work fine if needed.  Personally, I think the tracking feature is so good that I can map out the progress of a hike or climb pretty well.
 
2021-04-11 7:16:23 PM  

make me some tea: BTW since I do go out to wilderness destinations solo, this sparked a conversation with my wife about emergency contact in case I get into trouble out there.

A friend suggested this gadget
https://www.acrartex.com/products/resq​link-400

Anyone have experience with it?


I carry a PLB. The reviews for Spots are horrendously bad. The Garmins are a bit better but you're still paying through the nose. A PLB with GPS has no ongoing cost and it'll get your ass rescued if you need it.
 
2021-04-11 7:16:36 PM  
That is possibly the dumbest way to die I have ever heard of.

1. The FIRST thing you do is check your phone. It may have some emergency capacity. In this day and age, a lot of phones do.
2. If the phone fails, and a well-used road is nearby, you CAN hike to the road (and by 'nearby' I mean 'within 30 minutes of walking and the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees') and flag down a car. The reason I put those conditions there is that if you DON'T see a car, you can RETURN TO YOURS AT NIGHT.
3. If that's not possible, STAY IN THE F*CKING CAR. Your car is mobile shelter. You WILL NOT FIND ANY SHELTER ANYWHERE ELSE, and if you see an abandoned house, it will NOT BE SAFE.
4. If you can't leave your car, ration your water.

But seriously--at NO POINT EVER should you leave the asphalt road. EVER. Because that way, if someone happens along, YOU CAN GET RESCUED.

Hike later. Get rescued first.

/this has been a PSA brought to you by the Listen To Your Grade School Teachers Foundation
//and the Sometimes, Stupidity Unbecoming A Gentleman and an Officer Should Be A Real Charge Foundation
 
2021-04-11 7:17:38 PM  
make me some tea

go out to wilderness destinations solo

Someone upthread has recommended the Garmin Inreach, I'd second that. Another one I've used is the SPOT, any of these is better than nothing.
 
2021-04-11 7:18:36 PM  

SwiftFox: iheartscotch: stuhayes2010: Yes.  Oral Sex Valley is much more fun.

Is that on Whore Island?

/ GOOOOO, Ocelots!

I know of an Oar Island.


that's what he said, mate!
 
2021-04-11 7:18:53 PM  

make me some tea: I was obsessed with this story yesterday when I first read about it. I can't really be sure from the journalism so far, but it appears they may have abandoned the car at or near Willow Spring (the green area to the right), and rather than hoof it 20mi back to the main road highway 190 or highway 178, they thought they could traverse Sidewinder Canyon, only about 4mi as the crow flies to Badwater Road, but which in fact is a technical route requiring ropes and climbing equipment, and got stuck somewhere in the 1,000' drop and couldn't move forward or get back up.

What's not clear is how Lofgren died. If they got stuck on Saturday and weren't rescued until Friday that would be at least 2 days without any water even if they conserved.

[scontent.fsac1-1.fna.fbcdn.net image 850x411]

I hate to judge this, but Death Valley is a place that will try to kill you if you don't make the right decision. They should've stayed with the car.

I know Lofgren was an Afghanistan veteran and had desert survival experience, but if you're with a group your chances of survival are very different than if you're alone and striking out into unknown territory without communication ability and limited supplies.

Very sad, regardless.


This is my post from the thread yesterday. Pretty much the same as yours.

"Realistically DV isn't all that big. Only 40-50 miles from side to side and there's a heavily traveled road that bisects it. I bet that they were on the dirt road that goes out to Willow springs and instead of just walking the 10 or so flat and level miles back to the main road, which they could have done in the early evening in just a few hours, they tried to cross the mountains to get to their stated destination of Mormon Point, which is closer as the crow flies but much, much more difficult terrain. They probably tried to stay down in the canyon but eventually got blocked and had to scale a steep wall to get out. In all probability they were moving slow, exerting themselves too much in the heat of the day and probably not rationing their water in a sensible way. No wonder one of them died."
 
2021-04-11 7:22:14 PM  

AbuHashish: Badmoodman: Hmm, yet this headline wasn't greened yesterday for this story:

There IS a reason they call it DEATH Valley

People might take it seriously if it were called "The Valley of Death." Sounds more menacing that way.


It's just a name, like the Death Zone, or the Zone of No Return. All the zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror.
 
2021-04-11 7:24:55 PM  

make me some tea: I was obsessed with this story yesterday when I first read about it. I can't really be sure from the journalism so far, but it appears they may have abandoned the car at or near Willow Spring (the green area to the right), and rather than hoof it 20mi back to the main road highway 190 or highway 178, they thought they could traverse Sidewinder Canyon, only about 4mi as the crow flies to Badwater Road, but which in fact is a technical route requiring ropes and climbing equipment, and got stuck somewhere in the 1,000' drop and couldn't move forward or get back up.

What's not clear is how Lofgren died. If they got stuck on Saturday and weren't rescued until Friday that would be at least 2 days without any water even if they conserved.

[scontent.fsac1-1.fna.fbcdn.net image 850x411]

I hate to judge this, but Death Valley is a place that will try to kill you if you don't make the right decision. They should've stayed with the car.

I know Lofgren was an Afghanistan veteran and had desert survival experience, but if you're with a group your chances of survival are very different than if you're alone and striking out into unknown territory without communication ability and limited supplies.

Very sad, regardless.


Yes, always stay close to the car.
Also, always make sure someone outside the park knows where you are and is looking out for you, if you are going to a remote area.  That means mapping out your path in advance, not deviating, and checking in at specific times.

Better yet, just dont go to the remote areas.
 
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