How to die using a GPS

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How to die using a GPS

Postby wingpeople » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:03 pm

You have to be smarter than the GPS to survive. :shock:

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/30/3362727/death-by-gps-in-desert.html
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Re: How to die using a GPS

Postby KentonB » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:18 pm

As a proponent of GPS, stories like this frustrate me. GPS technology itself, seldom fails. The maps loaded on GPS receivers can lead people astray, but the same problem can happen with paper maps. Ultimately, it's up to the user to make good choices. I've had outdated maps in my GPS Receiver that led me to old roads that no longer exist (and across bridges that never existed!). There comes a point where a person has to use wisdom in making their navigational decisions.
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Re: How to die using a GPS

Postby wingpeople » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:56 pm

Agreed. You have to look out the window occasionally to see what's happening.
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Re: How to die using a GPS

Postby cripclimber » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:19 pm

Been waiting a while to share this tale related to GPS near disaster. Ambitious plan with un-named climbing partner to traverse from Berthoud Pass up and west to ridge then follow north and drop down into Winter Park ski area to join friends. Mid-winter season and weather was poor at top of pass with blowing snow. Broke cardinal rule and ascended above treeline in whiteout conditions. Spent just enough time on ridge to get disoriented before deciding to retreat. Wanted to follow ascent path back down but companion wanted to use new GPS to follow staightest line back to truck. Elected not to leave him and we began descent with me in lead on skis. No visibility whatsoever with strong winds and stronger gusts. Very creepy. Next thing I know, I'm free falling blindly. Most surreal experience of my life. Had time for three distinct thoughts in order - how is this going to turn out?, the landing is really going to hurt, I'm going to die. Then, poof! Hit the high angle soft snow and start sliding down headfirst but stop with moderate effort. Miraculously unhurt! Gotta hike uphill to retrieve one ski pole but that's it. I'm giddy with relief but not thinking clearly and still stuck in a whiteout. Begin to hear my partner shouting down and tell him I'm OK and he can follow me, not smart! He sits and jumps off the edge of the cornice I skied off and lands nearby with a thud and groan. He loses one snowshoe somehow and ends up with 2 broken ribs from his knees hitting his chest. We limp out bewildered but alive. Next weekend we return to the scene to try and make some sense of it. Now the weather is gorgeous and visibility could not be better. We go up and find our turn-around spot then angle to the likely drop off and carefully lower a weighted line to measure our fall - 60 feet. Then it's back around and down the smart way to scope out the landing zone and look up at the nasty cornice. Still have a surreal feeling associated with this experience but at least no serious injuries occurred and no desire to ever use a GPS.
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Re: How to die using a GPS

Postby JoeGrim » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:32 am

Very sad. :cry:
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