Norcal family found dead

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timisimaginary
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by timisimaginary »

heat exhaustion makes sense, especially if you consider that the dog may have been the first in trouble. dogs don't cool off as efficiently as humans, they can't sweat, they can only pant (no good in 109F temps) or drink (no good if you're out of water) so it's easy to imagine a situation where the dog collapsed first, and they turned around carrying the dog with them before they eventually succumbed too. two adults carrying a dog and a baby, and when one of the adults can't go any further, the other stays with them until they both pass away, is not a hard scenario to imagine. at first, 4 individuals (including a dog) dying of heat exhaustion/dehydration in the same spot sounds unusual, but when you consider this situation, it's really more like 2 people dying together in the same spot (along with 2 helpless individuals they were trying to rescue) which is not that unusual at all.
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Candace66
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by Candace66 »

Some early articles mentioned that Chung (the woman) was found a short distance away and up hill from the others.

For examplem this Washington Post article. They credit the SF Chronicle, but that article is behind a paywall.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2 ... h-mystery/
timisimaginary
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by timisimaginary »

this article gives a few more details: https://www.backpacker.com/news-and-eve ... 2832920808
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Trotter
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by Trotter »

timisimaginary wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 5:03 pm this article gives a few more details: https://www.backpacker.com/news-and-eve ... 2832920808
So they hiked on a 109 degree day, with 2.5 liters of water at most, split between 3 people and a dog.

Its too bad their mistake cost them and the babies life
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. -Nelson Mandela
Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called Ego. -Nietzsche
timisimaginary
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by timisimaginary »

Trotter wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 10:31 pm
timisimaginary wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 5:03 pm this article gives a few more details: https://www.backpacker.com/news-and-eve ... 2832920808
So they hiked on a 109 degree day, with 2.5 liters of water at most, split between 3 people and a dog.

Its too bad their mistake cost them and the babies life
yeah, seems they started earlier and obviously did not anticipate how hot it would get. definitely irresponsible to bring a baby and a dog into those conditions. early articles described them as experienced hikers. i have my doubts.
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by onebyone »

timisimaginary wrote: Thu Dec 09, 2021 8:56 am
Trotter wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 10:31 pm
timisimaginary wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 5:03 pm this article gives a few more details: https://www.backpacker.com/news-and-eve ... 2832920808
So they hiked on a 109 degree day, with 2.5 liters of water at most, split between 3 people and a dog.

Its too bad their mistake cost them and the babies life
yeah, seems they started earlier and obviously did not anticipate how hot it would get. definitely irresponsible to bring a baby and a dog into those conditions. early articles described them as experienced hikers. i have my doubts.
Also, the first half of the hike was all down hill. They had to go back up when they were more tired, had less water and was way hotter. No shade. There was no way out except for up versus the normal down or flat. Serious miscalculation. I don't take my dog on any hike in the summer unless I know the temps will be max 70 degrees or has water all along the way. They did this with a dog and a baby. Still don't understand the thinking.
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434stonemill
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by 434stonemill »

For those who would like a little more detailed reporting, here's the article from the San Francisco Chronicle, that Backpacker Magazine cited

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/art ... 671200.php

A small snippets with most relevant details:

"The search did not take long. After the truck was found at the trailhead on the morning of Aug. 17, crews found the bodies of Gerrish, his child and the dog about 1.6 miles below the trailhead, on a series of steep switchbacks of the Savage Lundy Trail."

"About an hour later, around 10:30 a.m., a deputy walking back up the trail from where Gerrish was found with his daughter and dog noticed “some disturbed dirt on the uphill side of the trail that appeared that something or someone had tried to go up the hill.” He spotted a shoe and then Chung’s body. She was about 13 feet in elevation higher than her family."

"At the same time, a Ford key fob was found along the trail, about 100 feet below where Gerrish was found."

So one question is: Did they stop and somehow drop the key while getting something out of the backpack, then were looking for it, and while already tired and hot, become overcome by heatstroke?

One other thing that was noted was they apparently were doing this as a loop hike. Not knowing what laid ahead of them at the end of the hike, did they underestimate how steep the climb out was going to be, and didn't know that there would be no shade.
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