058 The Case of Kate Matrosova Part V – The Conclusion

Kate Matrosova was a highly experienced hiker from Southern Siberia, Russia. She came to America on a student visa and successfully graduated with a masters degree in Financial Engineering. Though she worked for many firms on Wall Street, she also had a passion for the outdoors. She had a passion for climbing big mountains such as Kilimanjaro and McKinley, and was an active marathon runner. At 32 years old, she hiked the Presidential Mountain Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire carrying light gear for a day hike. Unfortunately, she never made it out alive. The weather conditions reached -85F and 141 MPH winds. Rescue teams attempted to reach her after she activated her communications device, but to no avail. Kate Matrosova was discovered a day later. 

Ty Gagne is the CEO of Primex, a public entity risk pool based in New Hampshire, and is also a certified wilderness first responder. He wrote the book Where You’ll Find Me about Kate’s experiences and those who were a part of her recovery. In this podcast, he interviewed Wayne and asked him about his experiences as a supervisor over the search and rescue mission for Kate.

Brett Fitzgerald is a member of the search and rescue team that located and recovered Kate Matrosova. He is an experienced climber and outdoorsman who takes clients up the White Mountains. 

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Ty Gagne’s new book
  • High quality volunteers in NH
  • Embrace being a hero
  • Continuation of Wayne’s interview
  • Hasty team was important; other teams covered beacons
  • Covered lots of ground
  • Brett Fitzgerald interview
  • Out skiing during the day before the rescue
  • Telling clients “there is a 0% chance of reaching the summit today”
  • Had the kits ready to go
  • We weren’t sure if we could find her; she could be anywhere
  • Wind picked us off the ground
  • Kate was frozen solid
  • Can’t think of her as a human; need to get the load down
  • Felt like you were drowning 
  • Continuation of Wayne’s interview
  • Hard to communicate above treeline
  • Work to do after recovery
  • Inform next of kin
  • Accomplishments of Kate: calls from reporters from New York
  • Many rescues can be prevented
  • Preparation: more research, investigation, and paying attention to the weather
  • There’s a reason trees don’t grow up there
  • I got it in my calendar, I’m going to hike
  • Flexibility and knowledge is key
  • The finding of Kate’s mountaineering axe
  • Dedication to all search and rescue volunteers

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