GPW: Self-Tempered Anarchy since 2009

Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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stories along The Way

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Be careful out there

The sad death of Michelle Yu on Mt. Baldy should be a sobering reminder to all of us who play hard in the great outdoors that we need to be darned careful when we play.

Yu, an accomplished hiker training for an alpine event, was missing for four days while search and rescue workers scoured the area around the mountain. Her body was found yesterday northwest of the Mt. Baldy summit in a canyon area known as Fish Fork (see image below). The topo map image shown on broadcast news last night indicated that the body was located in a very steep area. The current theory is that she may have become disoriented at the summit due to fog and slipped.

Yu's death, and the recent death of Sally Menke in Griffith Park during a heat wave are a graphic reminder that nature isn't always forgiving to those who take risks. Make certain you do what you need to do to minimize those risks:
  • Be prepared, including proper training and gear for the location.
  • Take weather conditions seriously.
  • Carry emergency equipment appropriate for the activity.
  • Tell someone exactly where you are going and for how long.
Prairie Fork (left) and Fish Fork (right). The snow caped peaks from left to right are: Pine Mountain (left of skyline dead center), Dawson Peak, Mount Baldy and West Baldy. (Image by a guy named Al who is really into the Moody Blues.)