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OT/Mount Hood climbers reach safety

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The part of the story that bothers me is the controversy over the mountaineers/climbers who don't want to wear electronic locators. Whether the people in the story were experienced or not, or foolhardy to attempt this is one thing, but at least they were wearing the locators that helped them get rescued.


The state of Oregon is considering making it mandatory that climbers wear locators. Some are saying that they think it takes away from the "allure" of climbing, that dying is part of the risk. WHAT? If they run into trouble, sooner or later someone will figure out that they are missing/lost/hurt and need help. Do they think that the rescuers wouldn't still try to do everything they can to help them? Rescuers risk their lives all the time for these people, the least they could do is make is easier for them. We wear seatbelts while driving, you wouldn't white water without a life vest--geez-- so many examples where following rules makes it safer for everyone. I think it's selfish to not wear gear that can save your life, and this particular issue smacks of selfish thinking to me...JMO



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I suspect even that lab was smart enough that the only reason he went up that mountain was that they had a leash on him.


I certainly hope that the fools who think this is a neat adventure have to pay for the rescue. Those people have to get paid, and those vehicles cost.


We finally seem to have a law here in NC that, at least, if you decide to canoe or kayak in a hurricane or flood, you pay the whole cost of the rescue.


They also showed film yesterday of a snowboarder outrunning an avalanche. What they glossed over was the fact that this area was marked as avalance danger and that he caused the avalance in the first place.

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I've heard that if you hike down into the Grand Canyon and have to be helicoptered out, you have to pay for the rescue. Seems fully fair to me. And if you want to climb a mountain in the winter, carrying a beacon to reduce the risk to your potential rescuers seems a small thing to ask! My Utah daughter is an EMT trained in wilderness and avalanche rescue, and I would highly resent anyone thinking that the "allure" or excitement of an outdoor activity was more important than taking a common-sense step to make her job safer.

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Yes, it is wonderful that the people got down alive and well, and their dog definitely played a major role in this happy ending. But as a long term mountaineer, the story doesn't give me a warm happy feeling.


News reports say the climbing group were experienced rock climbers but not experienced mountaineers. That figures. Experienced mountaineers would not have been on Mt. Hood in winter with those extremely harsh weather conditions. The fact that three people fell at one time is a strong indicator that they were in way over their heads.


In the Grand Teton National Park there are regulations that require anyone who goes climbing any time of year to first obtain a permit from National Park Service rangers. The rangers know the weather forecast and they can assess the experience level of the applicants. They can check their gear to make sure the party is properly prepared for the planned climbing trip.


I don't understand why the authorities in the Mt. Hood area don't implement a similar program to require climbing permits. The inexperienced climbers are the people most likely to get into trouble on the mountain. One would think that the rescue people would get tired of expending time and effort, while putting their own lives at risk, to rescue inept climbers who never should have been on the mountain at that time.


The fact that three climbers died on Mt. Hood in December should have made a stronger impression on people. I generally prefer to see regulations kept to a minimum, but some people need to be protected from their own ignorance.

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