Momma told you climbing volcanoes was dangerous


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Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Topic Author's Original Post - May 7, 2013 - 07:37am PT
5 climbers killed after volcano spews rock and ash in the Philippines

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Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat

One of the Philippines' most active volcanoes rumbled to life Tuesday, spewing room-sized rocks toward nearly 30 surprised climbers, killing five and injuring others that had to be fetched with rescue helicopters and rope.

The climbers and their Filipino guides had spent the night camping in two groups before setting out at daybreak for the crater of Mayon volcano when the sudden explosion of rocks, ash and plumes of smokes jolted the picturesque mountain, guide Kenneth Jesalva told ABS-CBN TV network by cellphone.

He said rocks "as big as a living room" came raining down, killing and injuring members of his group, some of whom were in critical condition. Jesalva said he rushed back to the base camp at 3,000 feet to call for help.

Among the dead were three Germans and their Filipino guide, said Albay provincial Gov. Joey Salceda. He said everyone on the mountain had been accounted for at midday, except for a foreigner who was presumed dead.

Eight people were injured, and Salceda said the others were in the process of being brought down the mountain. Ash clouds have cleared over the volcano, which was quiet later in the morning.

"The injured are all foreigners ... They cannot walk. If you can imagine, the boulders there are as big as cars. Some of them slid and rolled down. We will rappel the rescue team, and we will rappel them up again," he said from Legazpi, the provincial capital at the foothill of the mountain.

An Austrian mountaineer and two Spaniards were rescued with small bruises, he said.

Tuesday's eruption was normal for the restive Mayon, said Renato Solidum, the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

The 8,070-foot mountain about 212 miles southeast of Manila has erupted about 40 times during the last 400 years.

In 2010, thousands of residents moved to temporary shelters when the volcano ejected ash up to 5 miles from the crater.

Solidum said no alert was raised after the latest eruption and no evacuation was being planned.

Climbers are not allowed when an alert is up, and the recent calm may have encouraged this week's trek. However, Solidum said that even with no alert raised, the immediate zone around the volcano is supposed to be a no-go area because of the risk of a sudden eruption.

Salceda said he would enforce a ban on climbers.

Despite the risks, Mayon and its near-perfect cone is a favorite spot for volcano watchers. Most enjoy the occasional nighttime spectacle of the rim lit by flowing lava, viewing from the safety of hotels in Legazpi.

The volcano has a trail to the crater that is walkable though it's steep and strewn with rocks and debris from past eruptions.

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Trad climber
May 7, 2013 - 09:38am PT
Saw this story in the paper today. Curious about the congruence of the terms Philippines, volcano and climbers. I guess 8,000 vertical is a pretty good temptation, even if it is just a rubble slog. Here are some photos:

Credit: ddriver

Credit: ddriver

Credit: ddriver
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
May 7, 2013 - 12:22pm PT
Here's my bud climbing a lava trail on Mayon back in 1980. We got showered with hot, razor sharp rocks at the top. Pretty wild place.

Credit: John Duffield
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 7, 2013 - 05:43pm PT
Mom also encouraged me to eat less manyonnaise, but I loved that, too.

Mama tried.

May 7, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
My mom told me to go jump in one.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 7, 2013 - 05:53pm PT
I only bivied next to a fumarole once.
Of course, many of my girl friends had to do so repeatedly.

Trad climber
portland, or
May 7, 2013 - 06:01pm PT
"We will rappel the rescue team, and we will rappel them up again". How the hell do you "rappel them upagain"?

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
May 7, 2013 - 06:11pm PT
THAT is a serious bummer.

Sorry to those families.

Puts my tiny sh#t in perspective, again....

Prescott, AZ
May 7, 2013 - 07:34pm PT
That is sad. I always thought it would be interesting to look into a mildly active volcano, now I'm not so sure.
In other climbing/hiking news...
Vultures eat the remains of 52-year-old woman who fell to her death in France
Weird day for accidents.
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
May 7, 2013 - 08:24pm PT
"We will rappel the rescue team, and we will rappel them up again". How the hell do you "rappel them upagain"?



Trad climber
Mancos, CO
May 7, 2013 - 08:52pm PT
Reading about the French woman whose body was consumed by vultures within 45 minutes after her fall and death made me laugh. See link, two posts ante. Does that mean that I am perverse, cynical or just easily entertained? Bet I am not the only one to get a chuckle out of the gluttony of those starving buzzards who turned a human into bird feed. I wish I could offer my body up to the birds upon my death -as is the custom amongst the Tibetans who hack human carcasses into bite sizes morsels to make consumption by the birds faster and easier; however, American laws prohibit this entirely reasonable and practical method of recycling human bodies.

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
May 7, 2013 - 09:52pm PT
TWP...That's pretty funny....Glad you pointed out the humor...RJ
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 7, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
Pass the mayonnaise, dear.
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