CA - Jonathan Gerrish, Ellen Chung, daughter, 1 & dog, suspicious death hiking area, Aug 2021 #6

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by dalsglen, Aug 18, 2021.

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  1. rahod1

    rahod1 Well-Known Member

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    That only leaves>>>
    Coercion/fleeing a threat. As I've stated previously, the problem here is that there's absolutely NO EVIDENCE to support this. I'm convinced LE took a very close look at this possibility as well.
    If they were approached by a nefarious element, then they were obviously allowed to flee. They were found alone, so it's not likely they were escorted on a death march. In fact, WHY would someone FOLLOW THEM in such brutal conditions themselves? So, if that was the case and they intended (prepared for) a short hike, why not venture a short distance further to where the threat was no longer present and then wait a bit before TURNING BACK?? That's what I would have done under the circumstances. If they knew they were woefully unprepared for an 8 mile hike into hell, why risk almost certain death (with baby and dog) when they could wait it out and attempt to turn back? It's hard to imagine the perpetrators would hang around in the heat just to make sure the family wouldn't return! Makes no sense. MOO
     


  2. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Low electrolytes would make you cramp, I'm thinking. All that sweating makes you lose electrolytes. IMO
     
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  3. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    IMO they might have researched the loop and decided it was a "short stroll". They might have calculated according to how many miles per hour they thought they could go, and decided they'd be done in 2 hours.
    I'm coming back to the idea that they were applying theoretical ideas to nature. In the tech universe, theoretical ideas can give you a paradigm shift and a new universe. In the natural world, you don't have a say. Nature is the determinant, not your ideas, no matter how talented you are. IMO They didn't know this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
  4. noel leon

    noel leon Well-Known Member

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    Perfect!!! This is it!
     
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  5. rahod1

    rahod1 Well-Known Member

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    HMM..not so sure about that. The entire loop is over 7 miles and 3 of them are UP a steep SL trail.
    2 mph average (JC with water and baby=25lbs+) would be 3.5hrs minimum. That's not a "short stroll". A short stroll WITH AN INFANT, given the prep they exhibited, would be 1/2hr..maybe 45 min. MOO.
     
  6. Han

    Han Well-Known Member

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    This is a great way to look at it! See what that they did and deduce from that their intentions. Could explain how they dressed, the amount of water and the inattention to their dependents needs w/o blaming them.
     
  7. Han

    Han Well-Known Member

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    Some hikers drink a lot of water before the hike so they don’t have to carry any. Just saying.
     
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  8. MaryG12

    MaryG12 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. I still have to wonder exactly how many breaks in total they took during this hike. Pacing your self is so important. I've done seemingly short hikes like 3 miles in the heat here in Florida, even taking a break every 1/8 of a mile can help. Take advantage of the shade where available. Do not rush it in getting back to your vehicle. Sometimes ambition needs to wait, that trail will still be there another day during the cooler season.

    Sorry to sound like a broken record - it is so important to know your physical limits, to know when to stop and turn back if the sun is beating down on you and your water/food is running out.

    That poor baby and dog - :( sadly a combination of heat and dehydration has truly devastating consequences.
     
  9. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Well, I don't think it's a short stroll to do that loop, and you don't think it's a short stroll, but perhaps they did. They could have calculated at 3 miles per hour, and confirmed that in the downhill section, without realizing that's not a realistic test. IMO in general, they didn't understand nature; that's my point.
     
  10. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    That would have been very inadequate in this case.
     
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  11. rahod1

    rahod1 Well-Known Member

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    OK...understood...again MINDSET. Let's say we take a very optimistic view and assume 3MPH..that's 2 1/2 hrs, including any rest periods. Let's assume they're accurate in the calculation in completing the hike in that time frame. Would they then have been properly prepared given what we know?
     
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  12. Han

    Han Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but they were carrying some water. Some hikers really believe they can hydrate in this way by chugging and don’t realize it doesn’t work because they aren’t pushed to these extremes.
     
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  13. Lex Parsimoniae

    Lex Parsimoniae Well-Known Member

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    RSBM That's it in a nutshell.
     
  14. Lex Parsimoniae

    Lex Parsimoniae Well-Known Member

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    Cool! Did you ever drive it from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach? I might have passed you... on my bicycle.
     
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  15. LifeIsAMystery

    LifeIsAMystery Well-Known Member

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    I also think they thought they could move fast and travel light and that they discounted the danger of very hot environments. The elevation changes and extreme heat were too much. They had not planned any margin for emergencies re: water. I believe they planned to hike the loop as researched and as evidence suggests they did. I think they did not see it as particularly risky and this was a catastrophic misjudgment.
     
  16. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    They would have been woefully inadequately prepared, in exactly the same ways as the 2 mph frame. It wouldn't have been quite as hot, though, during the hike. But it would have been much more strenuous on the uphill.
    We actually don't know how fast they went. They could have been hiking at 3 mph and headed up the SLT at 1/2 mile per hour, with gusto and no water, thinking they'd soon get to the car.
    They may even have decided they wouldn't need any rest.
    I'm guessing the sheriff didn't have the temperature figures for the bottom of the canyon, but only those where there was a temperature gauge. The bottom of the canyon would have been worse than the top, just not as strenuous as SLT.
    This whole catastrophe blows my mind. The only thing I can imagine is that they planned in the realm of theoretical, but didn't understand that nature doesn't operate in the realm of theoretical: nature "is what it is". Staying safe in the natural universe requires experience, knowledge, information, and common sense. The tech world lives and dies from theoretical; all the money is in what you can dream up. On a hike, nature is making the rules, not you. That's the opposite of tech.
    I'm saying this, because I'm trying to understand how the whole series of catastrophic decisions came about. This trip had no chance of being successful before they even set out. It was theoretically possible to them. It doesn't seem to have been even theoretically possible to any other posters here. Maybe living and breathing "high tech world" sealed their fate.

    IMO there will likely be some argument about this, but yoga (EC's metier) is also highly practiced in "high tech". Same with mindfulness. Whenever I've gone to yoga, it's seemed to have a dangerously high potential for competitiveness (injury, too), e.g. in the degree of stretch. It also involves "mastery", e.g. of the body and/or a sequence of movements. I can see yoga being turned into just another ruthless, ambitious, competitive quest that I see in the high tech world. In that context, it would not be about "being present" in an integrative way, but rather about being the best at a task and mastering a soul-full art. In other words, I don't think SFO tech and yoga practice are at all incompatible, but reinforcing, crazy as this may seem to some yoga practitioners. Perhaps this mindset was part of the problem, too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
  17. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    I always think it would be most uncomfortable hiking with your bladder at capacity in the first part of the hike. The least little jiggle....I'd rather carry water on me, than in me. It weighs the same, I assume. And if you bring it from home (maybe you even put ice cubes in your Camelbak), it's nice and cool and refreshing.
     
  18. NSamuelle

    NSamuelle Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think they would’ve thought of it as a short stroll, either. Ellen was a Red Cross instructor for disaster preparedness and Jon was good at math or wouldn’t have worked at Google as an engineer. Surely, he understood distance along an x/y axis, and she understood consequences of heat and exposure, growing up in CA, having properties in Mariposa for 5 years, and planning safe summer camp activities for kids per her LinkedIn.
     
  19. rahod1

    rahod1 Well-Known Member

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    Yes...so we have a mindset that set expectations...a "short stroll" a "walk in the park"...ERGO>>> Minimal preparation. "We've done our homework on this (on line resources), so no need to make this a big deal." The problem I have with this is that being rational human beings with precious cargo on board, one would expect at some point there was a realization that they miscalculated. It was no longer a casual hike and things were turning into a >>DOWNER<<. In your jargon, "NATURE WAS TELLING THEM" >> You have problem<<. The only conclusion one can gather from this is that they simply thought they could tough it out with the sparse resources they had. They must have realized they miscalculated at some point, yet decided to roll the dice. I really feel that they could have salvaged themselves from certain death because that point in time would be early enough to do so. MOO
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  20. Lexiintoronto

    Lexiintoronto Well-Known Member

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    Some of what I learned from everyone here, more should be added:

    • I think we can do some activities outdoors during hot weather, and for some they have no choice for work, but low exertion, especially when hiking…carefully map your route & distance and elevation changes, notify someone about your hike.
    • Adequate water is vital. Each hiker should carry some.
    • No dependents in extreme heat, especially in remote areas unless you stay close to the vehicle that should have a cold water supply and it is a brief outing. Children and pets are far more vulnerable to heat exhaustion than a healthy adult, watch over them.
    • In trouble and cell service an issue? Try to change your voicemail & put your location and ask for help so callers will know. Send out SOS texts and 911 calls, even if cell service seems to not be working. Turn off apps, and try to keep your phone cool so it doesn’t shut down. Phone should be charged and for emergency use only. Please invest in a satellite phone if hiking in remote places.
    • Lightning is dangerous, watch out for it. (!!)
    • Respect your limits—turn back if needed. It’s not failure, it’s respecting nature’s limits.
    • Refresh your first aid training. Learn about heat exhaustion, what to look out for and how to treat it.
    • Mistakes, errors in judgment, miscalculations can happen to the best of us. To anyone. Never stop learning, check your procedures and make adjustments if you’ve developed bad habits.
     
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