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#79907 - 12/14/06 04:17 PM Re: Missing Climbers on Oregon's Mount Hood
harrkev Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/05/01
Posts: 384
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Quote:
I guess I really look at these three poor guys as victims more than anything else. Victims of the government not passing laws enforcing stricter guidelines due to past lessons that cannot seem to be learned. Regardless of the rescuers knowing the risks they take they should not have to volunteer to be put in harm's way. The risk should not have existed in the first place for them, period.

Hmmm. Well, poor diet kills more people each year than blizzards. Let's outlaw all fatty food.

My point is just that everything carries risks. When I drive to work in the morning I could get in a car accident and die. That is a risk, but I judge the risk to be acceptable. When I go hiking, I could run into a bear, mountain lion, or rattlesnake and die. But I judge the risk to be low, and the rewards of hiking to be worth it. That is my right.

Those guys are experienced, and know the risks. Yet they judge it to still be worth it. I do fault them for not checking on the weather properly before they left (does anybody know if this bad weather was predicted and a simple $20 weather radio could have warned them?).

In some extreme examples, perhaps the government should step in and close certain things if the risk is too great. But apparently a lot of people do successfully climb this mountain even in December.

BTW: Does anybody know if PLB and sat-phone signals can penetrate bad weather? Water has a tendancy to absorb radio, especially at high frequencies.
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#79908 - 12/14/06 04:25 PM Re: Missing Climbers on Oregon's Mount Hood
Simon Offline


Registered: 04/24/06
Posts: 398
Loc: Tennessee
Quote:
Hmmm. Well, poor diet kills more people each year than blizzards. Let's outlaw all fatty food.


Not that I advocate nationalized health care, mind you, but if our tax dollars were paying for all people's health care instead of supporting SARs, then people will sure start saying that is a valid point.
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#79909 - 12/14/06 04:31 PM Re: Missing Climbers on Oregon's Mount Hood
Simon Offline


Registered: 04/24/06
Posts: 398
Loc: Tennessee
Quote:
The last thing we need is for the government to butt their noses in.


I agree with you wholeheartedly, but my point is, the government is paying to search for them now. Who owns and operates that Blackhawk helicopter looking for the climbers now that I have seen on TV?
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#79910 - 12/14/06 04:35 PM Re: Missing Climbers on Oregon's Mount Hood
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
How about this.

One can climb whenever one wants, equipped as they decide, but some form of rescue insurace policy be required, so that could pay for the cost of any rescue, instead of the taxpayer having to foot the bill? I have heard that in some areas any rescue would be charged to the rescuee (is that a word?), but in others it is not. Some states used have an automatic rescue insurance if you are a license hunter/fisherperson. There used to be an insurance policy available from some agency in Alaska, I forgot which, that covered rescue. I seem to recall a rescue attempt a few years ago, possibly on Hood (getting old is a bummer), where a military Blackhawk crashed during a rescue attempt (there was even great video of the crash). Should the taxpayer be responsible for the cost of the aircraft and the injuries to the crew, or should the victims have to pay? After all, they are the ones who made the decisions, good or bad, that started the whole rescue in the first place...
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#79913 - 12/14/06 04:53 PM Re: Missing Climbers on Oregon's Mount Hood
Simon Offline


Registered: 04/24/06
Posts: 398
Loc: Tennessee
I agree with you Nighthiker. I don't really want the government in charge of anything. But in so many situations that's who's lap it always seems to fall into. I hope the military's funding is a win-win situation, but I'm not holding my breath seeing how they usually spend money. I think OldBaldGuy had an interesting point - an insurance policy to pay for SARs - a way of warding off government regulation and avoiding tax dollars being spent.
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#79914 - 12/14/06 04:54 PM Re: Missing Climbers on Oregon's Mount Hood
cedfire Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 659
Loc: Orygun
Agree 110%. Uncle Sam has no business making further restrictions on what we do outdoors, when, and how. You can't prevent stupidity with overlapping layers of red tape and additional user fees.

If these three guys went up with total disregard for the weather conditions, poor equipment, and bad planning... then they probably shouldn't be labeled as "experienced climbers" by the media. They will have to deal with Mother Nature on their own.

I wonder if the climbers took a GPS with them. Coupled with the cell phone it would have been very handy for at least getting closer to the guy holed up on the mountain. A PLB would have been useful, too.

Hopefully all three turn up with nothing more than mild frostbite.

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#79915 - 12/14/06 05:01 PM Re: Missing Climbers on Oregon's Mount Hood
north_of_north Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 22
Loc: Gunflint Trail, Minnesota, USA
Last thing we need is more government career bureaucrats passing more unenforceable feel good laws supposedly, in this case, to protect us from the laws of nature. The direction of this nanny state mentality seems to be to make everyone a victim of something, no matter how illogical.

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#79916 - 12/14/06 05:05 PM Re: Missing Climbers on Oregon's Mount Hood
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
"...a win-win situation..."

That is true, the military sometimes loves to get involved in a civilian rescue, just for the training. When I was still a working highway cop I had a Naval Air Station nearby, and several times I had a Navy Huey (I know, I am dating myself here) happen to fly by, see the crash I was working, and land unvited with an offer to help. Once they even took over CPR for me, a real nice thing, since CPRing is far down on my list of fun things to do. But when things go wrong, as they can, and the miliary chopper, which was called in because the local agency does not have one, gets totaled, the taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill
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#79918 - 12/14/06 06:39 PM Re: Missing Climbers on Oregon's Mount Hood
billym Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Oakland, California
Thats right more government always fixes everything.

Per capita climbers are some of the most self sufficient and safe outdoors folks around. Most climbers adhear to a "self rescue" philosophy. Less climbers need to be rescued each year than either hunters or hikers. We don't need no stinking badges I mean climbing licences.

Climbing in winter can be dangerous but as some have previously noted it is also a safe time to climb on "loose" routes; the ice and snow glue everything together. In fact last I checked you can't climb Hood after the middle of July due to rock fall hazards. That is why climbers get up so early; to get the climb done and to get out of the "bowling alley" that happens as the mountain warms up.

Climbing Mt Hood in winter would be a very reasonable way to train for climbing a larger mountain in a colder climate like Vinson or Elbrus which are each one of the famed Seven Summits.

Traveling light and fast is a proven method that almost all modern climbers use. Yes you have to leave some otherwise essential survival items behind sometimes but that is part of the reality and even the chram.

I climb a lot in the Sierras during spring, summer and fall. If you want to move efficiently you cannot carry much in the way of gear. In summer when the night time temps can still get real low I carry a light windshell, an Emergency sleeping bag like an AMK Heatsheet bivy, a lighter, tinder, MP1 tabs, a SAK and a whistle in a small Camelback. Yes if I get stuck on a legde overnight it will be long and cold but I can't carry any more and be able to lead through offwidth and chimeny sections. Even with the Camelback sometimes I have to trail it below me on a piece of webbing. Many other climbers including the older school ones don't even carry that much. I have climbed with friends who leave the car with "a rope a rack and the shirt on their back" that is all. That quote is from some pioneering American climbers from a few decades ago.


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#79919 - 12/14/06 06:47 PM Re: Missing Climbers on Oregon's Mount Hood
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 937
Loc: Channeled Scablands
The majority of SAR folks are volunteer. They buy their own gear, use their own gas etc.

The military choppers, manpower etc are already paid for if they are on a search or not. Where there is usually extra expense is by the Sheriff's Dept as they are responsible for heading the search. In some cases the lost folks will be billed if they were real boneheads.

Insurance is a good idea.

Legislation is lame. Move to Europe if you want to live like that, where
baseball bats and pointed knives are registered.

The weather on Mt Hood can change all by itself regardless of the weather
around it. It is one of those risks you can't completely avoid. It is an hour by hour judgement call on what you think will be coming next.

Carrying
a lot of what if gear may slow you to the point of getting into real trouble.

A beacon may help, but if you are in a position where rescuers can't
get to in bad weather, without a cell or way of communicating the direness
of the situation, you may just be leading them to their death. They can't
tell the difference from "oops i broke my ankle and need some help
down when the storm clears" and " My buddy has altitude sickness with crackling rails and bloody sputum and needs to come down NOW"

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