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RE: [pct-l] Goat Rocks traverse

Joanne's report from the Goat Rocks reminds me of a sad story I heard in
Stehekin from a 70-something woman who, when much younger, had hiked all of
the Cascade Crest Trail and Oregon Skyline Trail before it became PCT.  She
had been in a group of five who decided to cross the 3 miles of knife-edge
ridge north of Old Snowy which includes Elk Pass, the same section Joanne
talks about.  They had similar conditions - great weather which deteriorated
overnight, but they decided to cross in high wind and snow.  They got caught
in the middle, unable to go forward or back.  Two of the five became
hypothermic and collapsed.  By the time help arrived, one of her close
friends was dead.  I could see in her eyes the pain was still fresh after
many years.

As Joanne has reminded us, Be Safe.


-----Original Message-----
From: Karen Elder [mailto:wild_mind@earthlink.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 1999 5:42 PM
To: pct-l@backcountry.net
Subject: [pct-l] News from the Trail: Goforth

Here's another note from Joanne "Goforth" Lennox:


   Well, a few "sucker holes" (blue sky) + the wind died some + I
turned around again. At Eagle Pass, just below the traverse I met
Kristian Whittsett (K-Rock) going S. He said, "don't go up
there", it is very sketchy (told 2 other guys it was the most
intense outdoor experience he had had). I decided to go for 1 1/2
hours + evaluate the conditions. It was very windy + I was
walking in a crouch most of the time, + kneeling when the gusts
came thru. At the beginning of the traverse, I had Charcholla's
advice ringing in my ears - "Be Safe" - Kristian had been blown
off his feet twice, I realized I could easily get injured +
hypothermic in minutes - not to mention the whiteout conditions -
the snow + ice + the deteriorating weather. i got blown off my
feet going down + landed on my elbow - it is still sore. Later I
learned that Florian Yan of Australia crawled through some of the
   The next day I tried again + got most of the way across the
traverse before coming to a narrow + broken ridge - precipitous
on either side and the rock was covered with ice (verglass); up
to this point the foot-deep snow anchored me into the slope, but
where the ridge was very windswept + exposed, snow hadn't
accumulated + ice had formed (it was colder thanthe previous
day), with heavy steps, I turned around again, 

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