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

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RickshawFan

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My problem with this "power hike" theme is that it makes the misjudgments astronomically more self-centered, unrealistic, and inexplicable. I can't go there.
This was a thousand times not the conditions to be "power hiking" in, nor the hikers, nor the get up, nor the location, nor the gigantic baby pack (a wheeled baby running setup is a whole 'nother thing), nor the fitness level, nor the furry dog......

"Power hiking" seems to be trail running that goes slower when you go uphill. It also seems to be related to "ultra light" hiking, which is chic and a pet peeve of mine, because ultra-light hikers depend on everyone else to make their hike happen (i.e. they don't bring enough to be responsible for themselves, but expect others to produce it.).
Note that "power hiking" does not equate to "go super fast so you don't have to bring a lot of water". Nor does it equate to "Since I'm "power hiking", I'm going to dress like a trail runner in my favorite magazine.
It especially doesn't mean "Since I'm power hiking, someone else will carry my water". See my trail running vest below. Note that since there's no water in it currently, the lid is open and hanging loose.


And none of this explains...... Where were the hats?

So IMO a "power hiking" rationale for me would make this situation a thousand times more untenable.
 

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5W's

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What if this was a power hike. Not a planned short hike, but a deliberate, very fast-paced long one? (I’m sure someone else here may have brought this up by now.)

“Sure, if you want to get faster, you have to run fast. But even power hiking on hilly terrain can help tap into some of the same strength-building effects of speed work on flat ground. And “stacking those workouts overtime gets you faster paces,” says Charboneau. “The key is you’re enjoying it the whole way, versus hating every second or feeling bad about yourself when you finish.”

Even if you’re just trying to enjoy yourself, don’t think of power hiking as going for a stroll. “It’s about moving forward with purpose,” says Nettik. “The faster you get your feet off the ground, the more quickly you’ll move.”
View attachment 319594

Walking Uphill | Power Hiking While Trail Running

When I googled the images of power hikers they’re almost all wearing shorts and short-sleeved tops & little gear.

ETA: JG carrying Miju and the gear and EC carrying nothing may have ‘evened’ the playing field. They’d keep at the same pace. (Still not advisable with all the other factors we know.)
IMO that amounts to abuse, selfishness and extreme neglect, so fortunately this can be ruled out as EC was involved with Red Cross Emergency coordination. She would not have let this happen if we need evidence to show she was knowledgeable about disaster situations and was interested in such. I know this is so confusing and tragic we are all pulling to bring something up.
 

5W's

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If Philip Kreycik would run steep trails pushing his son in a stroller, then it seems very likely the GCs might power hike with a baby pack and dog. I think this is the first new idea that makes a lot of sense. The waypoints, packing light! Imagine believing you could move fast enough to beat the heat. That's the objective. If Miju fell asleep they might have been pleased. How long might Oski have kept the pace? Thank you, @Lexiintoronto and @Curious_in_NC ! I think you are nailing it.
Not long he was a furbaby with long fur he would have overheated a long time before. Remember there's no water for him either don't let that factor escape.
 

Yvettea

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Not long he was a furbaby with long fur he would have overheated a long time before. Remember there's no water for him either don't let that factor escape.
Only enough water for a short hike. Don’t lose sight of who controlled the water and the baby never mind who ceded the power to whom. That’s a lot of power to wield.

Also, Ellen may have been more susceptible to heat injury due to her prior TBI.
 

Lexiintoronto

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My problem with this "power hike" theme is that it makes the misjudgments astronomically more self-centered, unrealistic, and inexplicable. I can't go there.
This was a thousand times not the conditions to be "power hiking" in, nor the hikers, nor the get up, nor the location, nor the gigantic baby pack (a wheeled baby running setup is a whole 'nother thing), nor the fitness level, nor the furry dog......

"Power hiking" seems to be trail running that goes slower when you go uphill. It also seems to be related to "ultra light" hiking, which is chic and a pet peeve of mine, because ultra-light hikers depend on everyone else to make their hike happen (i.e. they don't bring enough to be responsible for themselves, but expect others to produce it.).
Note that "power hiking" does not equate to "go super fast so you don't have to bring a lot of water". Nor does it equate to "Since I'm "power hiking", I'm going to dress like a trail runner in my favorite magazine.
It especially doesn't mean "Since I'm power hiking, someone else will carry my water". See my trail running vest below. Note that since there's no water in it currently, the lid is open and hanging loose.


And none of this explains...... Where were the hats?

So IMO a "power hiking" rationale for me would make this situation a thousand times more untenable.

After Thursday I’ll have time to put the theory on a map. I’ll use what little data we have and see if it works. I’ll use information from JG’s AllTrails and may try the onX maps.

This seems like a less cruel option to me because they thought they’d be on the trail for a shorter time. I’m working on the premise that they were doting parents to Miju and loved Oski, so they weren’t meaning to expose them to the hottest part of the day.
 

LifeIsAMystery

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My problem with this "power hike" theme is that it makes the misjudgments astronomically more self-centered, unrealistic, and inexplicable. I can't go there.
This was a thousand times not the conditions to be "power hiking" in, nor the hikers, nor the get up, nor the location, nor the gigantic baby pack (a wheeled baby running setup is a whole 'nother thing), nor the fitness level, nor the furry dog......

"Power hiking" seems to be trail running that goes slower when you go uphill. It also seems to be related to "ultra light" hiking, which is chic and a pet peeve of mine, because ultra-light hikers depend on everyone else to make their hike happen (i.e. they don't bring enough to be responsible for themselves, but expect others to produce it.).
Note that "power hiking" does not equate to "go super fast so you don't have to bring a lot of water". Nor does it equate to "Since I'm "power hiking", I'm going to dress like a trail runner in my favorite magazine.
It especially doesn't mean "Since I'm power hiking, someone else will carry my water". See my trail running vest below. Note that since there's no water in it currently, the lid is open and hanging loose.


And none of this explains...... Where were the hats?

So IMO a "power hiking" rationale for me would make this situation a thousand times more untenable.
I did not even know "ultra light" hiking was a thing, had acquaintances that tagged along on a mountain hike, they expected strangers on the trail to share water with them at beginning of cv. I never went with them again. Such a sense of entitlement, ugh.
 

lotus777

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IMO that amounts to abuse, selfishness and extreme neglect, so fortunately this can be ruled out as EC was involved with Red Cross Emergency coordination. She would not have let this happen if we need evidence to show she was knowledgeable about disaster situations and was interested in such. I know this is so confusing and tragic we are all pulling to bring something up.

Normally I'd agree with you, but the potential impacts of her traumatic brain injury bring those assertions into question. TBIs can be lifelong injuries.
 

RickshawFan

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After Thursday I’ll have time to put the theory on a map. I’ll use what little data we have and see if it works. I’ll use information from JG’s AllTrails and may try the onX maps.

This seems like a less cruel option to me because they thought they’d be on the trail for a shorter time. I’m working on the premise that they were doting parents to Miju and loved Oski, so they weren’t meaning to expose them to the hottest part of the day.
To me, "speed hiking" seems like a waaaaay more cruel option, and it seems even more off the charts oblivious to reality.
 

neesaki

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My problem with this "power hike" theme is that it makes the misjudgments astronomically more self-centered, unrealistic, and inexplicable. I can't go there.
This was a thousand times not the conditions to be "power hiking" in, nor the hikers, nor the get up, nor the location, nor the gigantic baby pack (a wheeled baby running setup is a whole 'nother thing), nor the fitness level, nor the furry dog......

"Power hiking" seems to be trail running that goes slower when you go uphill. It also seems to be related to "ultra light" hiking, which is chic and a pet peeve of mine, because ultra-light hikers depend on everyone else to make their hike happen (i.e. they don't bring enough to be responsible for themselves, but expect others to produce it.).
Note that "power hiking" does not equate to "go super fast so you don't have to bring a lot of water". Nor does it equate to "Since I'm "power hiking", I'm going to dress like a trail runner in my favorite magazine.
It especially doesn't mean "Since I'm power hiking, someone else will carry my water". See my trail running vest below. Note that since there's no water in it currently, the lid is open and hanging loose.


And none of this explains...... Where were the hats?

So IMO a "power hiking" rationale for me would make this situation a thousand times more untenable.

Well I totally agree. Power hiking is, power hiking. I did that a few times. Would never have taken our young child though.
 
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LifeIsAMystery

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Power hiking does not necessarily involve trail running, although trail runners can intersperse intervals of power hiking. It is said to be particularly popular in Europe, maybe Jon picked it up in the UK? WHAT IS NORDIC WALKING BY ALEXIA™ - Nordic Walking by Alexia (power-hiking.com) There are lots of listings for meet up groups to power hike in Paris, for example.

Tank tops do seem to be quite common in photos. Not a lot of hats or packs. Fast and light seem to be the priorities. There are particular techniques. Power Hiking for Performance • Ultra168 I could defo see this catching on in the Bay Area as another way to push the experience of hiking.
 

Yvettea

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From @SpideySense

The relevant temperatures on 8/15/21 at the Jerseydale weather station (elev. 3900ft) were:
8am: 82F
9am: 84F
10am: 89F
11am: 91F
Noon: 94F
1pm: 95F
Source - Jerseydale California
ETA:
2pm: 97F
3pm: 93F
4pm: 93F


The relevant temperatures that day at the El Portal weather station (elev. 2050ft) were:

8am: 85F
9am: 92F
10am: 99F
11am: 103F
Noon: 107F
Source - El Portal California
ETA:
1pm: 108F
2pm: 109F
3pm: 107F
4pm: 105F
 
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FINAL DETERMINATION | Mariposa Gazette It wasn’t until the morning (of) Aug. 18, nearly three days after the family went missing, that the bodies were recovered from the scene by helicopter. That means decomposition became a factor, including with the dog. Doubtlessly, three days of baking in the heat could have obscured many clues as to what killed them.
BBM
I agree with you, @starviego. And this is not something we've discussed much since the 9/30 presser.

Given the myriad questions that remain, including some big ones, IMO, like:

1. 'Why were they prepared for a short stroll, yet attempted a 8mile hike with severe elevation changes in brutal heat with dependents?' or
2. 'Why didn't they turn back when early signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke were likely being exhibited by the baby and dog?' or
3. 'What is the manner of death for each of the four family members?',

I continue to wonder what poisons or drugs would not be detectable in human or canine bodies if they were in the heat and sun for three days before autopsy / necropsy? I of course can't possibly question the cause of death determination, but IMO, I question whether there were unknown extenuating circumstances that led to their demise.

Are there any forensic toxicologists among us here that could shed some light on this topic?
 

Sillybilly

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ADMIN NOTE:

The coroner has determined the cause of death to be hyperthermia and possible dehydration.

As these deaths were due to misadventure and no crime has occurred the thread is being closed to avoid further attempts to make the victims responsible for their own demise. Such discussion is not victim friendly or in the spirit of Websleuths.
 

Sillybilly

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Thank you to EndoraXplorer for submitting the following article.

A young California family died while on a hike. Investigation reports now lay out the timeline of their catastrophic missteps


Matthias Gafni
Dec. 3, 2021Updated: Dec. 4, 2021 6:09 p.m.


[...]

But in the end, as detailed in 77 pages of investigative reports obtained by The Chronicle, detectives kept coming back to sizzling-hot temperatures, lack of shade, rigorous terrain and a slew of disastrous choices that led to the shocking deaths of Ellen Chung, 31, and Jonathan Gerrish, 45, along with their 1-year-old daughter, Miju, and dog, Oski, after an Aug. 15 hike.

[...]
 

CocoChanel

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It is difficult and emotional to learn they DID try to summon help because they were overheating and out of water. A sampling of links are included below with this news that officials say is their “final update”.
Thank you @Seattle1 for reporting this info.

At this time, the thread will remain closed.

Family that died in CA mountains over summer tried to text for help: 'Overheating with baby'


https://www.modbee.com/news/california/article258516873.html

Mariposa Sheriff's Office releases final update on death of Gerrish / Chung family

A family of 3 who mysteriously died on a hike tried calling and texting for help, saying they had no water and were overheating with their baby
 
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