Fatal accident at Manly Beacon

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Candace_66
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Fatal accident at Manly Beacon

Post by Candace_66 » Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:05 pm

Saw this over at Panamintvalley.com, thought I would share it here:

"On April 4, in the afternoon, Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch was notified of a possible deceased person found by a hiking party of three near the base of Manly Beacon out of the Zabriskie Point trailhead, Death Valley National Park.

An Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputy and Death Valley Rangers responded. Rangers located the body and determined the subject was deceased. It is believed that the individual fell approximately 300 feet from Manly Beacon."

https://www.sierrawave.net/death-valley-body-recovery/

The Inyo Register also covered it: https://www.inyoregister.com/sites/defa ... %20new.pdf

The body was reported and located by officials on April 4. Same day the Park closed. I wonder if this event helped spur the decision to fully close the Park that day?

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MojaveGeek
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Re: Fatal accident at Manly Beacon

Post by MojaveGeek » Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:28 pm

Sad, but interesting. There is a nice walk (use trail) along the top of the Red Cathedral and I know people who have gone up Manly Beacon, and I've considered it myself, but it does look a tad loose and exposed. There's a clear use trail though so must not be too gnarly. But if you fell off that, you would not bounce till you hit bottom. :(

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JesPortland
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Re: Fatal accident at Manly Beacon

Post by JesPortland » Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:57 pm

The parks have sent mixed and confusing messages.

The park people, someone, closed the park last Saturday morning. Before that, many trails were not closed, just the parking lots. It was still ok, by park rules, to hike those trails. The hiker could have fallen the previous day, or that morning or? And of course there were other hikers there on Saturday who found them.

They could have fallen anytime, the date doesn't matter.

"While Death Valley was officially closed Saturday morning due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people in the park that day didn't yet know it was officially closed. "

https://tinyurl.com/tchpbjd

"A rental vehicle was located at the trailhead; Death Valley rangers reported the vehicle as being there for about three days prior to the discovery of the decedent." Which trail head? The Golden Canyon parking lot closed, what 3/31 or earlier? And it's gated, right? I can't remember!

You can somewhat follow closures on the FB page but not as well on the park page.

https://www.facebook.com/DeathValleyNPS

The park, and of course the other NP's who delayed for so long to closed, could have closed things down sooner.

I climbed Manley Beacon, either 1973 or 1974, not sure which, from the east side. I know I had had a few tokes and carried a pouch of cheap red Bordeaux around my neck to sip! I was sixteen, crazy 70's. I remember crawling along on my hands and knees, straddling the ridge, looking down that drop off on the west side. I most likely would not do it now but I always think about doing it again. People do it now.

This is pretty neat:

http://bobspirko.ca/USTrips/California/ ... Beacon.htm

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Re: Fatal accident at Manly Beacon

Post by TrailHound » Sat Apr 11, 2020 7:25 am

We have hiked the Golden Canyon/Gower Gulch loop twice. I do not remember a scrambling section like this one at all. Did these guys miss a turn?

Image

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Gowergulch42
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Re: Fatal accident at Manly Beacon

Post by Gowergulch42 » Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:59 am

No, looks like there's been some erosion since I was last there. This is a few hundred yards above the big waterfall at the mouth, if I'm correct.
Check out my reports and informative ramblings at http://dvexplore.blogspot.com

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MojaveGeek
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Re: Fatal accident at Manly Beacon

Post by MojaveGeek » Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:11 pm

Interesting. I had the same reaction about that downclimb. I have not been in there in at least a decade but I don't recall anything with that much drop per linear distance. You've been there and seen this Gowergulch? Of course you have the handle that makes you the expert!

Could have been damage in the big flood year? Gower Gulch was historically not that much but there are - or at least were, before the flood - some berms and drainage to divert some of the flow of Furnace Creek Wash down Gower instead.

It was close to 30 years ago, in one of my earliest trips to DV, that I did that loop for the first time. I had no beta on it, it just looked like an interesting thing to do I was coming down Gower near the end, with my sleeping 4 yr old on my back in her kiddie pack, certainly in the second half of the afternoon, when I first saw that big drop down canyon. Uh oh, was I going to have to go all the way back and around (car was parked at Golden). Nice sigh of relieve when I saw the exit route to the right at the canyon mouth!

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