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#191169 - 12/17/09 08:24 PM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: Russ]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3360
Loc: USA
I like living in a society that tries to take care of people when they're in danger. I don't want the fire department to present my neighbor with a credit card terminal before pulling him out of a burning car.

Driving drunk and caused the wreck? I have no problem with billing him or his insurance company for the rescue after the fact.

I don't have enough information about the hikers on Mount Hood, other than that I hope they're warm and will be found safely soon. Without regard to how foolish they are or are not, if I were there and had the right skillset, I would volunteer for the SAR team.

#191212 - 12/18/09 07:49 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: Lono]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Lono

Some might be interested in a release by Portland Mountain Rescue, a SAR organization who actually responds to incidents on Mt Hood, and elsewhere in Clackamas County.
... (snip) ... there is generally more good sense in their press release than I am hearing in this thread right now.

+1 on that. My favourite quote from that release:

PMR believes the best way to improve climber and rescuer safety is to stress personal responsibility, preparation, and sound decision-making.

I am sure that there are lessons to be learned from this tragedy. However, those lessons will have to wait until the facts of the case are known - which they will be, in due time. I repeat myself to drive this point home: Don't trust media to get ANY technical detail correct in an ongoing event.

Edited by MostlyHarmless (12/18/09 11:47 AM)

#191282 - 12/18/09 11:47 PM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: MostlyHarmless]
urbansurvivalist Offline

Registered: 11/27/05
Posts: 127
Loc: Asheville, NC
Unless I'm mistaken, the main purpose of the equipped.org site as well as this forum is to promote better preparedness, in order to prevent and mitigate tragedies such as this.*

People who have been on this forum for years don't really need help in understanding the importance of preparation. We're here because we find the subject interesting, and perhaps because we want to help others by sharing our knowledge and experience.

The people who DO need our help are the ones being referred to as idiots, bozos, fools, and many other worse things. When a tragedy like this draws lots of media attention, and google searches, people run across this forum who know very little about preparedness, and we have an opportunity to share information and teach lessons that may one day save lives.

If the first thing a newcomer sees on this forum is members blaming, insulting, and mocking the victims, do you think they're going stick around long enough to learn anything?

*and I'm pretty sure Doug didn't setup this forum for us to debate SAR financial policies.

#191285 - 12/19/09 12:10 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: urbansurvivalist]
urbansurvivalist Offline

Registered: 11/27/05
Posts: 127
Loc: Asheville, NC
For the record: if I am ever in any kind of emergency or distress, I do not expect anyone to rescue me. Part of the joy of backpacking for me is knowing that my life and survival is entirely in my own hands.

If anyone does choose to help me, I will be grateful. But if a rescuer feels that I deserve a Darwin award or that my life is not worth taxpayer money, then I would rather take my chances on my own, and suggest that they find a different line of work. And if I ever get a bill for a rescue I didn't ask for, I will inform them where they can shove it.

I have volunteered as an EMT, worked with at-risk youth, helped people who were caught unprepared in the Alaskan wilderness, and currently I weatherize homes for extremely low-income people. I can think of numerous instances in which people make very bad decisions that caused or exacerbated their situations. Helping people isn't about pointing out someone's flaws or deciding whether they deserve help. It's about compassion. Thankfully I think there are more people who understand that than there are Susans and Benjamins in the world.

#191329 - 12/19/09 09:55 PM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: urbansurvivalist]
Andy Offline

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 378
Loc: SE PA
Originally Posted By: urbansurvivalist
For the record: if I am ever in any kind of emergency or distress, I do not expect anyone to rescue me. Part of the joy of backpacking for me is knowing that my life and survival is entirely in my own hands.

An interesting article found on MSNBC.COM discussing the debate in Oregon on requiring beacons for climbers above the treeline. Mirrors the arguments you raise.

My philosphy is that I make my life better by making it easier for others to do their jobs. So I would carry a beacon/PLB in the wilderness regardless of my expertise and experience. I'm on the fence about making it mandatory for others to do so.
In a crisis one does not rise to one's level of expectations but rather falls to one's level of training.

#191346 - 12/20/09 12:32 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: Andy]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7292
Loc: southern Cal

Perhaps we are proceeding toward a condition summarized by a phrase I encountered during my military service - "Everything that is not mandatory is prohibited."

I am waiting to see any reliable evidence that a PLB would have materially affected outcomes in this situation.
Geezer in Chief

#191349 - 12/20/09 02:37 AM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: hikermor]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"I am waiting to see any reliable evidence that a PLB would have materially affected outcomes in this situation."

Maybe they could have located them? IF the weather had cooperated, and IF they had had a PLB, they might have been home by now. It's not going to be a very happy holiday for their families... ever... especially if they never find the bodies. I guess a PLB could be good for that, too.

It's a big mountain. Why tempt Fate? She doesn't have a very good sense of humor.


#191466 - 12/21/09 05:34 PM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: urbansurvivalist]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
"It's about compassion. Thankfully I think there are more people who understand that than there are Susans and Benjamins in the world."

It is disappointing that some continue to confuse fiduciary concerns I and others have with lacking compassion for the welfare of those who make poor choices in life. It should be apparent that both Susan and I are compassionate, charitable people, who are willing to help those in need even to the debtriment of our own welfare. Sometimes the only way to help someone is through criticism and a certain amount of derision, especially when diplomacy and political correctness seems to have no effect on their foresight. Likewise, it is never prudent to continue to provide any form of assistance to those who demonstrate ambivalence and disregard for such effort, no matter the provisional cost being expended on their behalf.

Many of us on this forum, Susan and myself included, have volunteered to help others, often at great risk and expense to ourselves and those who support our effort. In voicing our concerns for those who's resources are taxed, who's fees are raised, who's access is restricted, we cite a common frustration. Those few who abuse a privilege by not assuming responsibility for their actions and the consequences that entail do so at the expense of the majority of the rest of us. One definition of insanity is to repeat the same behavior/action and expect different results. If people are making the same sort of mistakes repeatedly and ignore the predictable outcome, then someone ought to point out to them and the rest contemplating taking the same action the error in their reasoning, using whatever means necessary to make a suitable impression.

Compassion does not equal acceptance. I treat my daughters compassionately, even when I am critical of their actions. Does that make me a bad father? The results would indicate otherwise. Sometimes I criticize them harshly, like when the risk is exceptionally grave, or the pattern is becoming repetitive, but almost always with a positive result. Yes, it hurts their feelings, and I would prefer it didn't, but in my opinion it is far better than the alternative. So too the case then for calling someone out for making an avoidable mistake on the side of the mountain that costs lives and risks others, especially since I and many like me are responsible for getting them off the side of that mountain; everyone who pays taxes is being held responsible it, not just those making the rescue attempt.

There was a time in my life when I was responsible for no one and nothing more than myself. Now I have a job, a family, and social commitments that fairly preclude me from doing a lot of activities I would otherwise like, simply because the risk of my loss and my inability to cover said loss sufficiently is no longer acceptable. This is not to say I don't take any risks with my welfare, such as going to Baghdad or out to Elk camp, but I do my level best to mitigate those risks as much as possible. Life is all about risk, but it is also about accountability. No one should have one without the other, and that's been my whole point in this and other similar threads.

I've got nothing more to say about the subject anymore after this. It doesn't seem to matter how much explanation is given, some folks are just never going to accept the criticism, and being singled out and labeled for an opinion has been counterproductive to the discussion.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#191494 - 12/21/09 09:58 PM Re: Hikers Stranded on Mt. Hood [Re: benjammin]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2826
Loc: La-USA
I agree with you Ben, in EVERY WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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