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Maine, Mt. Katahdin

Maine, Mt. Katahdin. (See accident report) Following the second radio contact with Toque Pond, Park Supervisor Taylor dispatched additional rangers, who arrived at Chimney Pond at 8:00 A.M. Two inches of new snow had fallen. This party was told that Heath had gone up into South Basin, though later parties were told he had gone up the Dudley Trail. By the time the party had arrived in South Basin 6 to 8 inches of fresh snow had fallen, and finding nothing, they returned to Chimney Pond that evening.

During the entire following week, with the brief exception of Friday morning, the weather remained unfavorable with strong winds driving snow and rain. Fish and Game Warden Supervisor David Priest (the official charged by Maine law with local responsibility for searches) heard of the effort on a commercial news broadcast on Wednesday morning.

By Friday, November 1st, collegiate mountaineering groups from Maine were searching trails, and mountain rescue personnel from Vermont and Massachusetts were in action by Saturday, having been called Thursday night by the Warden Service. Conflicting briefings were the rule, but most reports indicated that the missing people would be on the slopes below Chimney Peak, so the mountain rescue teams made as comprehensive a search as possible of this area. All gullies and ledges were filled with new snow, driving rain had saturated the surface, and snow slides were coming down the entire face. The rescue effort was terminated Saturday night, since the prevailing arctic snow conditions precluded survival above timberline.

Source: William L. Putnam.

Analysis: (William L. Putnam) There was confusion and delay at all stages of this operation in calling for sufficient competent help to get the job done properly. The severity of the storm on Tuesday, October 29th was such that no amount of competent help could have arrived in time to do any good even had they been called at first radio contact. Subsequent hearings have pointed out the need to develop sounder procedures in Maine in order to eliminate confusion and delay in the future, and the need for central control of operations.

Arizona, Catalina Mountains, Pima Canyon. On 23 February Robert Schultz (22) and his brother William Schultz (17) were hiking near the trail in Pima Canyon when Robert fell and cut his foot. Both were deaf mutes. William installed “shoelace tourniquets” on Robert’s legs and hiked out for help. Upon arriving at the road, he discovered that he did not know how to operate their motorcycle, and much time was lost in getting it started. Upon arriving in Tucson he was immediately arrested by City Police for driving without lights (he didn’t know how to operate