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    Thumbs up Good Save, But There Is A Lesson Imbedded

    Lost Victoria pair plucked from rock ledge on mountain. Woman had to buy more cellphone time to direct rescuers to their location

    Danielle Bell, Canwest News Service Published: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    A pair of climbers who tied themselves to a narrow rock ledge after they were stranded on Mount Arrowsmith near Parksville had to buy cellphone minutes to relay their location to authorities.

    A brother and sister, both in their 30s and from Victoria, had become lost along what was believed to be Peter's Route as they descended the mountain late Sunday. They found themselves stranded about 80 metres from the summit in the dark and snow.

    They had a global positioning system and were able to relay co-ordinates to authorities, although their cellphone minutes ran out mid-conversation with searchers, said Mark Palmer, search manager of the Alberni Valley Rescue Squad.

    The woman was able to buy more minutes on the mountain. {thank god for Visa!}

    A Victoria roommate initially reported the pair overdue to police and passed along their number.

    A Cormorant helicopter from the 442 squadron at the 19 Wing Comox CFB was dispatched around 1 a.m. yesterday and visual contact was made using flashlights. The pair were plucked off the narrow rock ledge by using a helicopter hoist, which is, essentially, a rescuer dangling from a wire. They were not injured.

    A rope-rescue team that had been climbing was called off when searchers requested air support due to the technical aspects of the rescue and concern about hypothermia.

    The rescue was located more than 200 metres away from where the GPS co-ordinates indicated. Unless programmed correctly, a GPS in elevation may have some variances, said Palmer.

    The names of the hikers were not released.

    © Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008


    Unless programmed correctly, a GPS in elevation may have some variances
    This is a good "something" to note, for those of you who use hand held GPS units while hiking. It was something I was not aware of, at any rate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    The rescue was located more than 200 metres away from where the GPS co-ordinates indicated. Unless programmed correctly, a GPS in elevation may have some variances, said Palmer.

    This is a good "something" to note, for those of you who use hand held GPS units while hiking. It was something I was not aware of, at any rate.
    I'm confused. So the rescuers were at the right lat/long, but wrong elevation? Did they think to look up/down first?

    As far as I know, for every lat/long pair there is one, and only one, value for elevation that comes in contact with the ground.

    What is probably meant by the quoted statement is that changes in elevation can cause GPS calculations for lat/long to be incorrect. If your handheld GPS is trying to do a 2D location using 3D data, its going to be incorrect/misleading (can only isolate it down to an area formed by the intersection between elevation and Satellite line-of-site). Just a guess, IANA GPS Engineer.
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    I know bugger all about hand held units myself, but can't see why some of the more sophisticated units can't judge position in three axis'. We can make tools that do pretty much anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    I know bugger all about hand held units myself, but can't see why some of the more sophisticated units can't judge position in three axis'. We can make tools that do pretty much anything else.
    the more advanced survey units can, but you still need a accurate elevation to start from. but they cost upwards of $10,000 and this was only tracked through a cellphone

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