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  1. #1
    Registered User Ramble~On's Avatar
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    Default Death at Chimney Rock

    http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pb...D=200880524027

    A 2 year old boy escaped his mothers grasp on Saturday while hiking at Chimney Rock State Park in North Carolina and fell to his death.
    My heart goes out to the family...I can't imagine.
    He fell from the Upper Skyline Trail down to the Cliff Trail.
    If you saw the movie "The Last of the Mohicans" you may remember the cliff scenes towards the end of the movie..those scenes were filmed here.

    It's not really for me to say but....I'll share that there is no way I would have taken my daughter on that trail when she was two..
    To Chimney Rock itself yes...but not on the Skyline Trail or Cliff Trail.
    But that's me.

    The park has decided to continue allowing children on these trails.

    Photo-cliff
    "Going to the woods is going home" - John Muir

    "Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truely get into the heart of the wilderness" - John Muir

  2. #2
    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    My deepest sympathy to the family. The mother will have a difficult time getting over this as she ask herself over and over why she took the child on this trail and could she have done anything to stop his fall.

    I agree with SpiritWind - this is not a trail for toddlers. I took my son there first when he was about 8 yo because that was the first year he was mature enough to understand the danger involved in getting too close to and being careless around cliff faces. To avoid future tragedy, I wish the Park Service would set a minimum age of at least 5 years for those trails. Both have sheer, unguarded drop-offs that require the sort of careful attention to safety that small children just cannot handle and I can sympathize with anyone trying to hang on to a willful 2 yo and trying to keep their own footing under such conditions.

  3. #3
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Very sad. Lots of places on the AT and elsewhere where there is potentially deadly terrain. There's quite a few here in NH. It would be very hard to pass or enforce any kind of prohibition though saying you can't bring children of a certain age as age alone doesn't relate arbitrarily to comprehension of the risk, behavior, obedience, etc.

    Again very sad.
    "That's the thing about possum innards - they's just as good the second day." - Jed Clampett

  4. #4
    Registered User See Bee's Avatar
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    This is sad. Will NC change how and who it lets hike at Chimney Rock?

  5. #5
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    This is very sad, and my deepest regrets go out to the family.
    I always took my son out hiking from as early as I can remember. You have to keep your guard up at all times. I don't feel children should be banned from the wilderness. Accidents happen all the time. It can happen on your sidewalk in front of the house, or in a grocery store parking lot. Adults have fallen to their deaths too, but I wouldn't ban adults from the back country either. Everybody needs to pay close attention to all that is going on around them, and be safe.

  6. #6
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    So very sad. The Mom will probably never get over this.

    Probably a good place to use one of those child harnesses and leash like I see some people use at the mall, etc. If you take them at all on this type of trail, which I agree you should not.
    If you don't make waves, it means you ain't paddling

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by See Bee View Post
    This is sad. Will NC change how and who it lets hike at Chimney Rock?

    Chimney Rock is privately owned, like Grandfather Mountain.

  8. #8
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    my deepest and heartfelt sympathies to the family... very sad indeed.
    Peanuts (aka i.j.)
    "A womans place its on the trail"

  9. #9
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    Arent they getting ready to build a big housing development out there?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by sherrill View Post
    Chimney Rock is privately owned, like Grandfather Mountain.
    It was purchased by the State of NC - and is now a State Park.

    http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/chro/main.php

  11. #11
    Is it raining yet?
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    Thumbs down

    It is sad, but so is life. I also fear the attorneys who might want to take advantage of this...
    Be Prepared

  12. #12

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    heart breaking...

  13. #13
    Registered User SweetAss03's Avatar
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    Sad, sad. However, I'm not voting for any more restictions on how to raise my child. Our nations jails are full of "State raised" Children... I think I can do a better job.

    Juw5
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  14. #14
    Registered User SweetAss03's Avatar
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    Sad, sad. However, I'm not voting for any more restictions on how to raise my child. Our nations jails are full of "State raised" Children... I think I can do a better job.

    Just my two cents.

    SweetAss
    SweetAss

  15. #15
    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    While I feel the state should leave child rearing to parents in most cases, when it comes to genuine safety issues I'm supportive of such legislation (child restraint seats in cars, restricting children from dangerous hiking trails, setting a minimum age at which a child can be left without supervision, etc.)

    I suspect the mother who lost her 2 yo son in this tragedy was not aware of the conditions on the Upper Skyline trail and would have opted not to take him had she known. The warning signs at the trailhead are similar to those I've seen at the trailheads of far less dangerous trails. A sign saying children under 5 are not allowed on the trail would be more effective IMO.

  16. #16

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    Oh God, that's horrible. I can't imagine losing a child like that.

    Yeah, that trail's not a place for a toddler, but I'm not one for more rules. There's enough of those as it is.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    It is sad, but so is life. I also fear the attorneys who might want to take advantage of this...
    It think it would be very difficult to prevail in a suit based upon an accident like this. There's the assumption of risk that goes along with parent's choice to take a child into an area with cliffs and waterfalls, and likely the hazards are reasonably apparent, and not just implied but expessed as well. I don't know the area personally, but I'm betting that the hazards are both plainly visible and posted at the park itself or on an entrance ticket, information flyer, etc. BTW, my understanding is that the parents spoke/understood very little English. Even so, the readily apparent danger of hiking in areas with cliffs isn't a language issue, and ultimately, the parent has control and is responsible for choosing to take the child into the area and the child's actions, not the state or its contractor operating the park. It's unlikely that a court would rule that a reasonable person wouldn't be knowledgable of the hazards and therefore would be responsible for assuming that risk. There would also be the issue of sovereign immunity to be overcome in suing the state government or its employees. The contractor might be more vulnerable here, but I doubt there's an actionable case.
    "That's the thing about possum innards - they's just as good the second day." - Jed Clampett

  18. #18

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frolicking Dinosaurs View Post
    The warning signs at the trailhead are similar to those I've seen at the trailheads of far less dangerous trails. A sign saying children under 5 are not allowed on the trail would be more effective IMO.
    Sad indeed. I understand where you are coming from in suggesting a new sign, but I wonder whether legislation or a rule which may be required beforehand would be legal or could be enforced.

    While it seems something more might have been done to prevent this loss of this life at such a young age, it would also require people respecting whatever is posted whether it has the force of law or not. Laws frequently aren't enough, funding for enforcement isn't limitless and enforcement personnel can't be everywhere.

  20. #20

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    What a horrible tragedy. I wouldn't dare take my 6 and 7 year old up to the cliff on that picture. I often get skiddish when we are some of the possibly not as scary summits we are on. Skids took us to the "opera box" on Standing Indian" Saturday and I was a little nervous with my kids out there one at a time.

    I can't imagine losing a child like this. This family certainly needs our prayers.

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