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Another death at Kaaterskill Falls

New postPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:26 pm
by dave
A 19-year old student from Bard College died on Friday, August 20, 2010 when he fell on the closed trail from the base of Kaaterskill Falls to the top. He fell where many people have fallen to their death. EMS personel said that he fell around 80-100 feet. He was flown to Albany Medical Center by helicopter. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. There was very little water flowing over the falls. Some of his friends stayed at the bottom while he hiked to the top.

UPDATE #1 (Aug 21): The 19-year old student has been identified as Abraham Mendoza with his permanent residence in Chicago, IL. He was hiking with some other students from the college. He decided to hike to the top of the Falls without his classmates. There are numerous paths to the top. Some more dangerous then others. He slipped and fell off the trail. This is his Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NauiOcelotl

This is a picture at high water.
Image

Re: Another death at Kaaterskill Falls

New postPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:39 pm
by mike
Very sad situation. My condolences go to the family. Sad that this happens at the same spot over-and-over.

Too bad he didn't know that he could drive his car to the top to get a better view.

Re: Another death at Kaaterskill Falls

New postPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:07 pm
by mtnclimber
That's just awful! My condolences to the family.

Re: Another death at Kaaterskill Falls

New postPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:48 am
by bikenhike
My condolences to the family. I assume that this is the same spot as many other accidents there.

Re: Another death at Kaaterskill Falls

New postPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:50 pm
by mike
I had a couple free hours today, so I headed over to North-South Lake region. I ran into a person who told me that another girl almost fell off in the same place today. She fell, and started to slide over the ledge. The only thing keeping her from falling off was her fingernails dug into the bank. Her boyfriend didn't even notice she was having a problem. Another hiker helped pull her up.

Re: Another death at Kaaterskill Falls

New postPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:24 pm
by kkayaker8
You mentioned that she dug her fingernails into the bank....do most accidents happen on the non existent trail that leads up the the middle ledge of the waterfall where it's just rock and dirt? Or are accidents occurring because people get too close to the edge at the top?

Re: Another death at Kaaterskill Falls

New postPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:36 am
by mike
Most of the accidents on the trail happen near the top. The biggest problem is that there are several different routes. Some of the routes are more dangerous then others. When you get near the top, there are two different routes. The upper route is pretty safe, where the lower route is very dangerous. Some people also look for a good view point and fall off trying to get a good view. There are also a number of people who fall off the top of the Falls.

If you are an experienced hiker with good hiking boots, and you use excessive caution you can get up and down safely. Obviously, you need to go when it is dry and the water isn't running strong. But, the problem I see is that people are hiking up this closed trail in flip-flops and sandals. There is also a steady stream of people going up and down the trail. The trail is too small for the high volume of people. Statistically, there are going to be accidents.

The trail could be made safer if modifications where made. But, I don't see the DEC doing this anytime soon.