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Thread: How to Cover the Costs of Mountain Mishaps

  1. #16
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    The American Alpine Club also offers rescue insurance. I am a member for other reasons (their library is phenomenal!), but it's a very nice benefit, to be certain.

    https://americanalpineclub.org/rescue


    Brian

  2. #17
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    Exactly! Controversial, yes. But hardly discredited. Here is what Guy Waterman had to say about the matter:

    Attachment 6897
    No doubt controversial as a discussion as always. Interesting to see that many of the same arguments about rescues have existed for decades. Only as an opinion and not necessarily my personal beliefs but have we evolved positively as a hiking community, or have we actually contributed to emergency events since when the article was written in Appalachia. I remember when Cell Phones first arrive in The White Mountains. That was the beginning of the onslaught of technology available to the common man which was received by the community controversially. Would be interesting if the number of rescues has increased or decreased. Also are those rescues more successful given the onset of technology. Probably not a tangible number but has the increased technology actually educated the general hiking community or actually contributed to the decline in self-reliance?
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  3. #18
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    has the increased technology actually educated the general hiking community or actually contributed to the decline in self-reliance?
    I'm pretty sure that the proliferation of cell phones has led to an increase in back country rescues, especially the type where hikers don't have a flashlight, map, compass, etc.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #19
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    I'm pretty sure that the proliferation of cell phones has led to an increase in back country rescues, especially the type where hikers don't have a flashlight, map, compass, etc.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Absolutely true. As a matter of fact, trained SAR teams get very little to no business these days. At least in NY, Forest Rangers are dispatched and reach the scene and the subject so quickly that there is no need for outside experienced assistance. Teams are falling apart and losing members from lack of activity and boredom. One point of view is that is not necessarily a bad thing, but when the rare massive SAR incident campaigns do come along, we have very few well trained searchers, with even fewer experienced crew bosses to lead crews, and are left with massive numbers of untrained ill equiped local civilians to herd and babysit into the woods.
    Last edited by Nessmuk; 08-09-2022 at 01:40 PM.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

  5. #20
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    I'm pretty sure that the proliferation of cell phones has led to an increase in back country rescues, especially the type where hikers don't have a flashlight, map, compass, etc.

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    Probably true. Of course, what goes unaccounted for is the "hey I'm running late don't worry I won't be back in time for dinner" call that maybe could've triggered a call to SAR.

    To Nessmuk's point below yours, "Search and Rescue" is now an antiquated term. Seems we can now call it "Curbside Pickup"

  6. #21
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    No doubt controversial as a discussion as always. Interesting to see that many of the same arguments about rescues have existed for decades. Only as an opinion and not necessarily my personal beliefs but have we evolved positively as a hiking community, or have we actually contributed to emergency events since when the article was written in Appalachia. I remember when Cell Phones first arrive in The White Mountains. That was the beginning of the onslaught of technology available to the common man which was received by the community controversially. Would be interesting if the number of rescues has increased or decreased. Also are those rescues more successful given the onset of technology. Probably not a tangible number but has the increased technology actually educated the general hiking community or actually contributed to the decline in self-reliance?
    The points you bring up, could make for a lengthy and interesting discussion. I once stated somewhere that cell phones have resulted in more calls to SAR and multiple people on whatever site I was on, disputed that opinion. I still find it hard to believe that is not the case, just by personal experience. I got lost in the Pemi once in December, this was pre cell phone. I just worked on finding my way out until I did, that was the only option afforded to me. I got hurt in CO and didn't carry my phone at the time (no coverage why bother) Took me almost 20 hours to get out, zero other options. In those two cases, how many of todays hikers would have called for help? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm tough, I just had no choice, but given the choice, how many of todays hikers would call?

  7. #22
    Senior Member Salty's Avatar
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    Maybe for NH when F&G shows up, they present an estimate of recovery costs and ask "are you sure you need rescuing?" Those truly in need won't hesitate (nor get billed).

    I am just kidding of course...

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    In those two cases, how many of todays hikers would have called for help? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm tough, I just had no choice, but given the choice, how many of todays hikers would call?
    I think it is just a generational thing. Younger people are "trained" to ask for help, told there is no shame in failure, etc. Self reliance seems like a dying character trait. I've only had 2 significant mishaps hiking (a severely sprained ankle and a dislocated shoulder) and I never at any point thought I should call for help. My first thought was "OK this is pretty serious. How do I get myself out of the woods?". Fortunately I was able to do so on both occasions so I'm not really sure what I would have done otherwise. I had a cell phone and PLB for the ankle but not the shoulder (That incident prompted me to get a PLB though). I've also had a few occasions where I'd lost the trail too and never thought to do anything else but figure it out with my map and GPS.

    EDIT: And before I get roasted I'm not saying that getting hurt is a failure or worthy of shame. As usual I'm probably not accurately conveying my point about the modern thought process...
    Last edited by DayTrip; 08-09-2022 at 04:53 PM.

  9. #24
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I already have a solution to the cost of rescues in NH, but it's not widely accepted. First off, the Hike Safe card is not the answer, nice try, actually terrible try. If you are rescued in NH, regardless of why, you get an itemized bill and are responsible for the whole cost. If you need too, you can be put on a payment plan. I could never figure out, why everyone runs around trying to figure out how to pay for something and they give it out for free. You broke your leg, ok it happens, not your fault. But the 25 people that went up and carried you down and slipped you into a waiting ambulance need to be covered for their effort and time, period. Can someone explain to me why this is a bad plan?
    The last thing we want is someone not calling for a rescue because they feel they cannot afford it.

  10. #25
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    The last thing we want is someone not calling for a rescue because they feel they cannot afford it.
    Or delaying calling for help until the situation deteriorates and turns a routine assist into a dangerous rescue.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  11. #26
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    The last thing we want is someone not calling for a rescue because they feel they cannot afford it.
    Whenever someone makes this comment, I just shake my head. It's ridiculous and completely unfounded that this will happen. But you and me not agreeing on something is nothing new.

  12. #27
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    Whenever someone makes this comment, I just shake my head. It's ridiculous and completely unfounded that this will happen. But you and me not agreeing on something is nothing new.
    I'll agree with you. There is really no data or solid information to back up this theory. Much of it is based on rescue personal's comments rather than any statistical analysis. Not to be belittle their expertise in any way but IMO their comments on this matter are based upon opinion rather than fact. Stating that is just my opinion.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  13. #28
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    If you are lost, are you liable for injuries incurred by your rescuers?

    https://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-...628-story.html

    Concern over climbers waiting until too late to call, causing a potentially more dangerous rescue:

    https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/to...#comment-31409
    "Still, why waste taxpayers money rescuing climbers indulging in their need for adventure? Because charging for rescues would have a string of unintended negative consequences. The most vocal opponents of rescue fees, it turns out, are not climbers, but rescuers.

    Charging for rescues would lead stranded climbers to delay calls for help until the last possible minute, increasing the risk to climber and rescue crew alike, says Charley Shimansky, education director of the Mountain Rescue Association, a group representing 3,000 search-and-rescue volunteers."

    https://www.williamsnews.com/news/20...e-rescue-crew/
    After spotting a safe landing zone for the helicopter, the observer hiked to Saville’s location and escorted him to the helicopter. The topography where Saville was found features steep canyons and rocky terrain along these waterways.

    Saville expressed concern that he would have to pay for the search effort. However, YCSO Public Information Officer Dwight D’Evelyn said that has “never the case,” and YCSO “does not want anyone to ever avoid calling for help because of cost concerns.”





    Unfortunately, the very thing we are, or should be, taught, could also make it worse for those very people tasked to do assist should you not be able to. Pride is a wonderful thing, until it gets you killed and endangers others.

    And, correct, any evidence is what rescuers fear may happen, I can't find any examples of it actually happening...yet.
    Last edited by dug; 08-10-2022 at 03:03 PM.

  14. #29
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky View Post
    Or delaying calling for help until the situation deteriorates and turns a routine assist into a dangerous rescue.
    You really think injured people are going to lay there with their condition deteriorating pondering a high bill? I just don't agree with that position at all.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    You really think injured people are going to lay there with their condition deteriorating pondering a high bill? I just don't agree with that position at all.
    I'd think people would be more likely to wait to call for rescue in scenarios like being lost or proceeding further and further into dangerous terrain or weather. It never seems as bad until you've gone well over that line. I think when most people have had an accident and are actually hurt they wouldn't hesitate to call for a rescue regardless of cost.

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