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Body of Menlo Park hiker found on Mt. Tamalpais

Original post made on Apr 13, 2014

Authorities used fingerprints to identify a body found this morning (April 12) on a slope of Mt. Tamalpais as the body of 33-year-old software developer Magdalena Glinkowski, a resident of Menlo Park.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, April 12, 2014, 7:59 PM

Comments (31)

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Posted by Julie
a resident of another community
on Apr 13, 2014 at 5:30 am

Source: ABCTVnews.com

"Two hours after more than 100 search and rescue volunteers resumed their search for Glenkowski came a grim discovery. "Two of the cadaver dogs who were involved in the search efforts today alerted to the presence of a possible deceased body," said Marin County Sheriff's Department spokesman Lt Doug Pittman."

One can speculate (or at least, wonder) that she might have been found in time to help her had the initial 3-day search not been discontinued by the Marin County Sherriff's Department..

100 volunteers found her because they kept looking and because they cared.

God bless the volunteers in this country.


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Posted by RIP
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 13, 2014 at 8:51 am

Speculating is ghoulish. Let the medical examiner to their job.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 13, 2014 at 9:47 am

If you've ever been involved in one of these searches, you know it can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. There are simply so many places over vast acreage to search.

There is no guarantee that a lost hiker will ever be found... regardless of the number, speed, urgency or motivation of searchers.

Blame no one.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm

POGO:
Re: "There are simply so many places over vast acreage to search."

They found her body a half-mile from the parking lot! That is not vast acreage and it is not a needle in a haystack.

Almanac article: "Search dogs and volunteers from the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office spotted a female body about half a mile from the Bootjack parking lot where Ms. Glinkowski was seen on a surveillance camera."

Lt. Pittman sums it up by saying: (From Almanac Article):

"Lt. Pittman said. "We felt it was prudent to go back and do an even more intense search," he said.

Blame no one? When warranted, blame is authorized.


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Posted by Blame warranted?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Julie, you fail to include in your citation of the article that "Her body was found down a steep southeast slope, in a drainage area that Lt. Pittman said is rarely traveled. The area was steep enough for a mountain-rescue unit to employ ropes and rigging to get down to the body."

By trying to find ways to place blame, you imply that someone related to the victim can now sue someone for her death. This thinking is what is so wrong with our society these days. No one takes responsibility for their actions (a woman hiking alone is clearly not advised) and accidents are never simply accidents. This could be a tragic accident where a woman hiking alone fell down a steep slope. Regardless if she survived the fall initially, it is not the fault of search and rescue timing to warrant now calling it negligence on their part.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Blame Warranted?
Re: " No one takes responsibility for their actions ..."

Not only should individuals take responsibility for their actions (and I might add, non-actions) but so should the individuals who are working for our government take responsibility for the decisions they make. Why was the search called off after 3 days? And then the Lt. In charge states that it would be "prudent" to recommence the search! After how many days?!

I am NOT in any way suggesting that anyone sue anyone.
What possible good would that do?

I feel so sorry for the woman who lost her life and for her family. That is what has motivated me to make the statements I have made. The instant I learned that the search had been suspended I felt it was a mistake to do so.

Yes, I read about the terrain. But I also read that she was spotted by someone on the trail. So her location was visually apparent.

No one knows all of the answers yet. There could be other facts that are as yet unknown. Other possibilities that have not surfaced.

To that extent, "blame" is not appropriate or fair. I agree.

But, omg, why call off a search so soon? And a search that eventually found her within a small perimeter?...and visible to someone on the trail. Something just doesn't add up.

Bottom line: I wish they could have saved her. I know that alot of people wished for that same outcome and worked hard to accomplish it.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Blame Warranted?

Re: ..."(a woman hiking alone is clearly not advised)"...

It is not. You are right.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 14, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Julie:

she was spotted on the trail by a runner BEFORE she disappeared. It also appears from the story that the Sheriff didn't have that information until just before they recommenced the search. From what I can tell, that is why the restarted the search in that specific area.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Menlo Voter:

Oh. Okay. It was somewhat unclear to me exactly when the Sherriff's Dept. received that tip. I read an article in a Marin County newspaper and it was unclear there as well

Just trying to make some sense of it.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2014 at 4:28 pm

MEN hiking alone - not a good idea, either.


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Posted by Mary
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 14, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Wait. Why shouldn't women hike alone? If that's the case, we have much, much larger problems we need to address. Why do we, as a society or as a human being, accept that a woman alone cannot be safe nor free to hike a trail on a well-known site?


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Posted by Dave Boyce
Almanac staff writer
on Apr 14, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Dave Boyce is a registered user.

Lt. Doug Pittman of the Marin County Sheriff's Office told the Almanac that he received the tip around 7 a.m. on Friday, April 11.

The search restarted about 24 hours later, on Saturday morning, April 12. The delay, he said, reflects the big change in urgency between a rescue and a recovery.

In the interim, the Sheriff's Office assembled the search teams and analyzed the section of the park specified in the tip, he said.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 14, 2014 at 5:03 pm

1. Neither men nor women should hike alone. If you need a reason, then you didn't read the article.

2. Saying that they found her 1/2 mile from the parking lot is hardly justification for laying blame and I'm glad you honorably corrected your charge. It's always easy to second guess searchers when you have the information AFTERWARDS. But when someone is missing, you have no idea where they may be. It is far different to find someone when you have hundreds... even thousands of acres to search.

This is a tragedy and my sincere condolences to her friends and family.


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Posted by Blame warranted?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 14, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Agree with POGO's sentiments exactly. And yes, I should have said no one should hike alone without making it sound like I meant only women. The buddy system is best for anyone hiking or taking part in other activities in an isolated location.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Re: "Blame no one"

Yes. Blame no one. Don't blame the victim...either.

Most of all: Don't blame the victim.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Thoughts and Prayers, and condolences to the family. As a parent who has lost an adult daughter, there are no words
to describe it. I also know people who did search and rescue work, one friend of mine would get picked up at San Carlos Airport by a huge helicopter for her and the dog, both were extremely dedicated. Thank you to the searchers, this was a tragedy and unfortunately they do happen.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Who is trying to blame the victim? It doesn't make good sense for anyone to hike alone. We read numerous stories about terrible situations that lone hikers find themselves in. [Portion removed. Please don't speculate on the cause of death.]


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Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 15, 2014 at 3:33 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Nobody blamed the victim. Nobody should hike alone. I think some posters just like to argue just to argue. Very sad situation condolences to the family.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:36 pm

As someone who hikes alone all the time, I have to wonder what these people who apparently never do think of the value of solitude and the taking of reasonable risks.

Don't hike alone??? Life is short and hiking partners with whom I can have interesting conversations are rare. I will hike alone if and when I feel like it and whatever happens, happens. It was worth it.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm

SteveC - I was remembering that in all rural/camping type of activities I participated in, we were taught not to hike alone - the advice was for adults and children. Some of the good reasons were that even if you were competent, experienced and safe alone, you might come across a situation where you need to help someone in distress, and if you weren't alone, the help would be faster and more effective. This has really changed in the past 20 years. From winter skiing to summer hiking, there are tragedies that occur to lone hikers that could be prevented or ameliorated by not hiking alone.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I might add that if the photo of Ms. Glinkowski shows anything, it almost certainly shows enthusiasm for going alone on a hike.


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Posted by hiker
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Hiking alone is like driving alone. Many people die alone in car crashes; many many more than die alone when hiking. Many of these people could have lived if they had another person to help them or if they used another form of transportation. You need to judge the risks for yourself and make your own decision, especially if you are an adult. Saying "don't hike alone" is blaming the victim, which I do not. Rest in peace.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:49 pm

It's certainly not blaming the victim. It's merely pointing out that some of these tragedies could be prevented. And how about that cyclist that died after running a red light and being hit? Yep, there's blame from me for that action. Hiking alone - it's a wonderful feeling, but it's also not necessary like running errands in one's car, or picking someone up from the hospital in a car, or one's children, or taking the dog to the vet. It's a poor analogy.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 15, 2014 at 5:20 pm

As SteveC said: "I think some posters just like to argue just to argue."

You want to hike alone, especially in isolated places, you do so at your own peril. I only hope that you never find yourself injured and alone as the sun is setting.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 15, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Peril? Now there's a loaded word.

Given my ordinary precautions and acute awareness when doing "perilous" activities for decades -- I could describe them but, knock on wood, I will not -- injury has not visited me often.

But as I said before, forcing myself to have company when I want to be alone with nature and my own thoughts simply because I want to come home safe and sound is, for me, not a choice. At the cost of my insights when I'm alone? At the cost of the satisfaction of hours of contemplation with no one and nothing to interrupt me? Forget it, man.

Steve McQueen once said: "I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth." That's a sentiment I find compelling, even if I were in the middle of nowhere and did not wake up.

There are worse fates than dying alone, including dying in a hospital. We are all alone all the time. Hell is wanting to be alone and having busybodies and do-gooders trying to comfort me with their company.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 15, 2014 at 6:07 pm

As SteveC said.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 15, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

I have soloed in the wilderness. I would do it again. The key is to let someone know you're going, where you're going, you're route and when you expect to be back. When you don't return or check in at the expected time someone can be sent to look for you and they will know where to look. It's similar to filing a flight plan when flying.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 15, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Thank you, Menlo Voter.

And slight regard to you, Pogo, for implying that I like to argue for argument's sake.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2014 at 6:39 pm

I was pretty badly injured while hiking, years ago. In fact, I still have problems with that injury. I'm grateful I wasn't alone. I almost was airlifted out, but decided to tough it out, since the outcome would be the same.

When one is careful, takes precautions and is aware of the potential importance of their decision to hike alone, at least they're more informed.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Steve C
Re:"Nobody blamed the victim. Nobody should hike alone. I think some posters just like to argue just to argue. Very sad situation ..."

Maybe some posters just like to argue, I don't know. But I am not one of those kind of poster.

When one says that someone suffered an unfortunate event that would not have happened to them had they not done this or that...then you are saying they are responsible for what happened to them...because of what they either did, or did not do.

If that's not blaming the victim, what is it?

This IS a sad situation.

Magdalena Glinkowski died. A young woman of a mere 33 years old who was fluent in four languages, obviously bright with a bright future ahead of her with family and friends who mourn her.

And here we are---including myself in this opinion---here we are gabbing about yes or no whether hikers should go out alone when they hike. And, yes ...who's point-of-view is "Right".


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Posted by Julie
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Menlo Voter:

Excellent advice. Especially filing a "flight plan".


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