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Thread: How to Cover the Costs of Mountain Mishaps

  1. #31
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    It's only a matter of time before there is a real catastrophe involving a rescue, like a helicopter crashing with great loss of life. If you read The Last Traverse, that story could have had a really, really sad ending. Those pilots did some remarkable flying and risked their lives because a couple of hikers were out in conditions that they should not have been in. And when this catastrophe occurs, there will be such a hue and a cry raised that something will have to be done. It always takes a disaster for things to change.

  2. #32
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    It's only a matter of time before there is a real catastrophe involving a rescue, like a helicopter crashing with great loss of life. If you read The Last Traverse, that story could have had a really, really sad ending. Those pilots did some remarkable flying and risked their lives because a couple of hikers were out in conditions that they should not have been in. And when this catastrophe occurs, there will be such a hue and a cry raised that something will have to be done. It always takes a disaster for things to change.
    What really annoys me is the hypocrisy among the hiking community. People raise the issue of rescuers being put in danger and the lack of funding for the SAR community over and over. When Albert Dow was killed, everybody decried the irresponsible backcountry users putting SAR in danger. Funding and cost come up as an issue all the time. Yet when you make any reasonable suggestion to remedy either problem, everybody throws their hands up and says, you cant do that, it not safe, nobody will call for a rescue. I guess I'm willing to address the issues and find a solution. You go into the backcountry, there is a level of responsibility that must be assumed. Granted, I'm single and my life has never been rainbows and unicorns, so maybe that's the disconnect. Things can stay the same, but the next time a SAR person is hurt or killed, because someone didn't have a headlamp and wasn't going to be home by supper and a freak storm over takes them. At least we can say they weren't afraid to call for help, thank God for that. I'll be over here keeping my mouth shut about it.

  3. #33
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    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.
    Correct. Certainly plausible someone could be lost, but confident they can find a way out and only get themselves more lost. One reason COULD be over the cost, could be embarrassment, could be pride. Seems counterintuitive to suggest not being self-reliant, and there is a fine-line, but SAR seem to suggest they'd rather you err on the side of caution and call/seek help then wait.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dug View Post
    One reason COULD be over the cost, .
    That was my thought. 2 guys loose the trail and realize they don't know where they are. "I'm not paying some guy $1,000 to come walk us out of the woods. I think that ridge line is where we came from. Let's go that way..." Que the dropping temperatures and rain as it gets dark.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Another important cause for delay is ego. I can't tell you how many SAR incidents I have been on when some guy goes missing, perhaps a hunter who did not come out to meet his partners when and where they thought he should have. Usually family members are involved. They begin to conduct their own unsuccesful land search as the hours tick by. Finally, late in the day they admit they cannot find the guy and call the authorites, much too late to plan, gather resouces, and mount a formal incident search except perhaps for a couple of forest rangers (if available) doing a quick Type 1 "hasty" search (rough roadside/trailside) before it gets totally dark. Unless it is a child, or someone who has a severe medical condition, chances are the continued search will be delayed until the next morning when further resources can be called to task (if available). But the subject's friends were CERTAIN that with their skill and deep knowledge of the area they ccould have by themselves easily found him before dinner time. Maybe the thought of an official cost penalty is in the back of their minds as well. SAR delayed.
    "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]

  6. #36
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    It's only a matter of time before there is a real catastrophe involving a rescue, like a helicopter crashing with great loss of life. If you read The Last Traverse, that story could have had a really, really sad ending. Those pilots did some remarkable flying and risked their lives because a couple of hikers were out in conditions that they should not have been in. And when this catastrophe occurs, there will be such a hue and a cry raised that something will have to be done. It always takes a disaster for things to change.
    Going back in the Way Back VFTT machine, we did lose a VFTT'er when he went out to attempt Shasta and a helicopter did crash during that search. It was at least one and two major VFTT implosions and was back when rec.backcountry and rec.climbing were all together.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  7. #37
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Again a lot of hypothetical scenarios with out any hardened facts. I think Sierra’s last post speaks tons. Can someone please site an incident where the victim stated that they would have called but they were afraid of being charged? Not saying it isn’t possible that it might occur but isn’t it possible hypothetically that maybe just the opposite might be true. That charging for every rescue might actually be a deterrent in the number of rescues. Neither instance has no direct proof. Again people’s responses including my own are merely based in opinions. Thank goodness for our SAR community but they are trained in just that rescue and that is the job they should do. The entire situation is bigger including psychosocial parameters and fiscal concerns. I do appreciate the SAR community’s insightful info but basing decisions on just their opinions is not the whole picture. There are other authoritative issues involved on how to fund rescues that they are not qualified to answer that affect the overall outcome.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  8. #38
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Again a lot of hypothetical scenarios with out any hardened facts. I think Sierra’s last post speaks tons. Can someone please site an incident where the victim stated that they would have called but they were afraid of being charged? Not saying it isn’t possible that it might occur but isn’t it possible hypothetically that maybe just the opposite might be true. That charging for every rescue might actually be a deterrent in the number of rescues. Neither instance has no direct proof. Again people’s responses including my own are merely based in opinions. Thank goodness for our SAR community but they are trained in just that rescue and that is the job they should do. The entire situation is bigger including psychosocial parameters and fiscal concerns. I do appreciate the SAR community’s insightful info but basing decisions on just their opinions is not the whole picture. There are other authoritative issues involved on how to fund rescues that they are not qualified to answer that affect the overall outcome.
    Yes, they are opinions. Educated opinions, which is more than most of can say, but opinions none the less.

    Pride/Ego is likely a bigger concern.

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