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8 elderly climbers perish on 3 mountains in Northern Alps

37 Comments

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37 Comments
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Suicide? Obasteyama syndrome?

-6 ( +8 / -13 )

Climbers implies, ropes, tents, safety gear etc. These people were mountain walkers.

13 ( +13 / -1 )

Did you check the ages out. Pretty healthy people. Should have carried some supplies. RIP.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

know it all old men - part of the "daijobu" crowd. its fine only when its not.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Maybe all were pretty avid walkers and confident of their ability to complete their walk in light gear but goes to show you ought to go prepared for a turn in the weather or whatever.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

wearing only T-shirts and light windbreakers. They were not wearing gloves and had no tents.

Don't know why Mito was downvoted. They were suicidally unprepared. This happens often enough, even with mountain guides.

http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/15339968

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Sad news, but what silly old fools. People still ski on the high peaks in Golden Week - it's not summer up there. The cavalier attitude to personal safety of a certain segment of older men never ceases to amazes me. They usually make themselves known in a typhoon.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

They were not stupid. I'm sorry to say it but only if they had a mental disability would they not know that they need to wear more. I could only guess that they knew what they were doing or they all had dementia. Whats more likely?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Woulda Coulda Shoulda.... "Suicidal", "silly old fools"...

We don't reallly know what happened, do we?!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Sad, but these people were utterly ill-prepared for well-known alpine conditions. Weather can very rapidly deteriorate at higher altitudes, and the unstable weather conditions were clearly forecast. These people paid with their lives.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Rescue offcials said the six probably died of hypothermia as they were wearing only T-shirts and light windbreakers. They were not wearing gloves and had no tents.

According to the news last night, it was a group of medical people - doctors, veterinary surgeons etc. who one would imagine should have known better...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

After hearing about incidents like this a few times every year, one would think old people would get a new hobby, or at least be better prepared.

So how much did the helicopter ride their dead bodies got cost me? I am perfectly happy to let people commit suicide by mountain, I just wish their foolishness didn't cost me. I would like to see a system where these people either have insurance or put up a fund for their rescue or they just get left there to rot.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"Rescue offcials said the six probably died of hypothermia as they were wearing only T-shirts and light windbreakers. They were not wearing gloves and had no tents...."

Amateur hikers shouldn't graduate to mountains without the proper gear.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To say they were climbers sound like they were professionals, but they are nothing more than tourists. What were they thinking?! they were wearing only T-shirts and light windbreakers. Japanese sense of 'Abunai' (危ない) is totally different to most people. They love to concentrate on silly things like what a child should know. But when it comes to stuff like this, common sense is out the window.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Happens all the time up in the Alps regardless the season. The tourists come in droves unprepared for weather with the wrong gear, tires, manners, etc... This group was highly unprepared.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

These people were not rank amateurs, but members of hiking/climbing clubs with vast experience. Those armchair experts who have deduced they must have been a bunch of nincompoops are wrong in this particular case.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Some of them had experience of climbing in the Himalayas, it has been reported.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hiking is a pretty popular activity here, even for the old folks, I can see them on many peaks. They just miscalculated many things. First of all, just because in Tokyo it's 25 degrees, it does NOT mean that they'll have the same temperature on the peaks. Go up to 1000 meters and you'll still feel comfortable in a t-shirt, but go over 1500 and you'll feel cold, and go to 3,000m and, well, you die. Second, on Friday the weather was just bad. We went to Hakyougatake in Nara Pref, and on Friday the wind and the rain were just terrible, so we gave up hiking on that day. Saturday was great! But some of them just know they are stronger than the wind and the rain... Sad, but they won't be convinced otherwise.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There are many failures here. The mountain rescue should have been out as soon as the weather turned bad. The hikers should have notified the lodges of their time of arrival and when they were over due, it should have been reported. These are elderly people, the forest service needs to be more active in the prevention of such tragedies. It happens every year and ultimately it is the responsibility of the hikers/climbers. Safety classes for all who submit their plan to hike/climb in the Alps is a good start. An ounce of prevention in this case could save lives. RIP climbers/hikers

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's always sad to hear these stories, and there seem to be more of them in the last few years. Perhaps that's simply because the graying of society is raising the average age of folks on the mountains.

Mountain weather is very changeable, particularly this early in the season, although I've seen some sudden and drastic changes even in mid-summer. It's always better to be over- than under-prepared, if you intend to descend the mountains alive.

I suspect that some of the people with experience in, for example, the Himalayas may be taking the Japan Alps too lightly, believing them safe by comparison. I can understand the reluctance to carry a tent or heavy coat on what is planned to be a fairly easy trek, but a good down jacket, while bulky, doesn't weigh that much, and it could save your life. Even a couple of negligible-weight, super-compact "space"/survival blankets added to your rucksack or stuffed into a pocket "just in case" might well be the difference between dying or surviving.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

These people were not rank amateurs, but members of hiking/climbing clubs with vast experience. Those armchair experts who have deduced they must have been a bunch of nincompoops are wrong in this particular case. I know plenty of people who belong to clubs, have vast experience and still don't have a clue as to what they need to do when doing their club activity. Someone mentioned that some of the climbed in the Himalayans. So what? Paying for a guide, buying expensive gear and following a local doesn't mean you know what to do.

This happens EVERY year. I'm beginning to think that people should have to take out extra insurance if they are going to part-take in such activities - like I have to do when I go scuba diving as reg insurance and health coverage just doesn't cut it. How much has this cost the taxpayers?

Light jackets/tshirts and no gloves? Just beyond silly.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Old people tend to lose their sense of reality of what they are capable to do and what not.

Life is bipolar. In hopeless situations we hope for a miracle cure, when everything is all right we are in fear of losing what we have, the young are in fear of losing their charm and getting old, and the old start planting trees to see them growing up and forget that their days are counted, they would climb high mountains that could even exhaust the young ones. The good old Akio Morita suffered a stroke for he challenged the young tennis players in a heat of 35 Celsius when even the young ones gave up the game, the old run across the street and believe they are fast enough to cross before a car could hit them, old men keep young lovers and are surprised they suffer heart attack during the love game, and so on.

Life is bipolar. When our body is up, our spirit is often down and when our body is down our spirit rising.:-D

3 ( +4 / -1 )

tmarie

I know plenty of people who belong to clubs, have vast experience and still don't have a clue as to what they need to do when doing their club activity.

Well good for you. Im sure they appreciate you telling them this to their face. Everything you do involves some degree of risk. Some people forego house, car and health insurance, parachute, hang glide, balloon or surf. I refrain from calling them idiots just because their hobby has a higher risk level than mine. Each conducts his/her own risk analysis and takes whatever precautions they deem appropriate. The minimalist approach to hiking wouldve worked fine for these guys 99 times out of a hundred. It wasn`t lack of mountain experience that did them in, it appears to have been a foolish overconfidence that they should have been on their guard against.

I'm beginning to think that people should have to take out extra insurance if they are going to part-take in such activities - like I have to do when I go scuba diving as reg insurance and health coverage just doesn't cut it.

Great idea! Lets also make it compulsory to wear a face mask when you have a cold so that you dont so easily infect those around you and force cyclists to take out special insurance to cover the risks associated with this dangerous lifestyle choice. I`m sure you can come up with a few more

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I think this was a mass suicide. They continued to climb as they got colder, got tired, and started to realize this would be an easy way to die.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Oyatai, what is your problem? You made a comment that I disagreed with and gave reasons as to why. You don't need to go and cry about it.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

amazed at how many people fell the need to insult these people who have lost their lives. Preventable or not can you imagine how they were feeling as they froze to death and that was it. good to know there are so many know it alls out there.. show some compassion and decency...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

tiamaria

If you can`t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Oyatai, if anyone is unable to take the heat...

Bucha, it happens year after year after year... compassion and decency doesn't mean not questioning people's actions. I feel for them and their families but it happens all the freaken time. People need to stop thinking they can just go off trouncing in the mountains without proper gear... How many people have to die each year before people learn?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

i wonder if their families had to pay for the chopper and rescue teams ?

as is the case in Japan when skiers / snowboarders need help in the mountains ( Any trouble at sea however is a free rescue).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Horrible way to go,in the freezing cold, rain, all alone, no hope, wish somebody took Ozawa and Ishihara up to these Northern Alps!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Saru, my understanding is that WE the tax payers pay for it - which is why I am in favor of making them take out extra insurance OR charge the estate, family for the cost. Search and rescue is very, very expensive. This happens every year and costs millions.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yes, it sounds like they were ill prepared! A stroll with proper equipment and education should have been foremost on the list! Even before taking the first step up the mountain! Proper gear and knowing how to use it is the minimum that should be considered when going out for the day for everyone. I doesn't matter what your plans are for the day, things can change and leave you caught without protection... We already pay more taxes for everything and will keep paying! I sure as hell don't think I should get insurance for a weekend hike, if say I fall and break a leg and have S&R retrieve me or someone I'm with! Insurance is education and training! Maybe we should all pay insurance to walk around the block! You never know when a mean dog will chase you or something! Pfffft! That's the problem now!!! Pay me and I'll protect you! Bulls#1t... I think the best insurance is training and like many protected areas, require passes to enter! If your not prepared, you will be turned away with a simple list of requirements and rules!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The town I live in is at almost 2000 meters here Canada (near Banff). We never take anything for granted when we go for a stroll. The part I find mind boggling is that between the group of them they couldn't figure out a way to survive with the hiking experience they had. Or come to consensus and head back to the hut they stayed at the previous night when time allowed. It was only -2 or something...that is survivable for one night if they put their heads together. Those comments about suicide seem more likely.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

tmarie - my understanding is that WE the tax payers pay for it

I'd prefer to have it paid for (at least in part) by sponsors, like the rescue choppers / life savers in Australia - thanks to Westpac, DHL, NRMA etc.

I think making people pay for their rescue is very uncool, should we pay the police who come to help us in the city too ?

A Shibuya park was "given" to Nike to do what they like for a pittance, why not have the rescue crews sponsored too?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Saru-au san we do pay for the police as it is a predictable expense for a municipality. I used to rally race and in most countries rally's are in you are responsible to provide emergency evacuation and extraction of the wreck (what is left of your race car/bike). It's all on you as you are taking the chance. In our country we have to pay for ambulance rides emergency or hospital transfers. If someone from the climbing industry wishes to sponsor the emergency costs that would be great and a good idea....just never have seen it. Banff national park and the other adjoining parks in this area are almost as big as Hokido...lots of expensive places for people to get rescued from.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Saru, why is it uncool? A very, very small percentage of the population will need such rescues while EVERYONE benefits from the police. You are comparing apples and oranges. I have zero problems with asking families to pay - like I have zero problems with JR asking for money from the family when someone offs themselves on their train line.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I do not even go to Shinjuku with out a light jacket, you know, just in case, and these old dudes go the highest mountain ranges in Japan dressed for ohanami??

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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