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#125452 - 12/17/09 06:41 PM climber rescues
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
This meant to be generic discussion not particularly about the recent Mt Hood rescue attempts, but centered about the media hype and angry outpouring of public sentiment. mad

While climbing is seen by many as an outrageously dangerous sport for rich peoples children, we have to look towards other activities to put things into perspective. In Yosemite there are many more hiker deaths and rescues than climber deaths and climber rescues are almost unheard of, yet driving to Yosemite, which millions of people do, is statistically more dangerous than hiking or climbing once you get there.

The same news media that foments the public does it on purpose so they can make millions of dollars in advertising. They should have to foot the bill if they use a climbers (or other persons) misfortune to make money in advertising. The cost of an SAR especially done by volunteers is nothing to the money they make showing it on tv.

Just my $.03 worth
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#125457 - 12/17/09 08:36 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: Jimshaw]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6370
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I remember Rosie O'Donnell pontificating on TV about the "millions" of dollars being spent on the search for the three climbers a few years ago. Disgusting. The only cost to the taxpayers was some overtime for the Hood River County Sheriff's Department and vehicle fuel. SAR personnel and the Civil Air Patrol are all volunteers. US military expense (mostly aircraft) is charged to training time, because the experience gained is far more realistic than simulated exercises.

More statistics than you'd ever want to know: State of Oregon SAR report for 2008

From this report, Portland Mountain Rescue put together these numbers for the amount of SAR incidents statewide last year:

Quote:
2008 Statistics from the Oregon Emergency Management's 2008 Annual Report:
•Hikers 136
•Motor Vehicles 119
•Wandering 48
•Game Hunting 39
•Aviation 30
•Suicide 28
•Swimming 22
•Snowmobile 21
•Fishing 21
•ATV Mission 21
•Climbers 15
•Snowboarding 13
•Bicycle 11
•Other Snow 10
•Mushroom Pickers 9
•Criminal 6
•Cross Country Ski 6

Portland Moutain Rescue statement on mandatory beacon use and charging for rescues.
Mountain Rescue Association (national group) position statement on charging for rescue, after the New Hampshire incident.

This ought to give everyone enough to think about and discuss for a while!

If anyone has statistics at hand about the risk of driving to and from the trailhead (especially the "from," when you're tired), this thread would be a good place for them.


Edited by OregonMouse (12/17/09 08:43 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#125503 - 12/18/09 02:37 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: OregonMouse]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6370
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Just to explain that I'm not trying to advocate a position here but just hopefully encouraging discussion!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#125670 - 12/21/09 11:18 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: OregonMouse]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
What about a mushroom picking, suicidal, criminal hiker?

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#125700 - 12/22/09 01:12 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: wandering_daisy]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6370
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Certainly a lot more apt to need rescue (or more likely, recovery) than a climber!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#125703 - 12/22/09 01:44 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: OregonMouse]
bigb Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Maryland
Its key to eat the shrooms after you leave the woods, maybe brew some tea when you get home, eating shrooms in the woods is fun but your GPS gets a bit tricky to read

I have only climbed with a guide service, and my off trail navigation which I do more of every year is well planned ahead of time.

I really don't know whats more dangerous when comparing all these activities, when your times up its up, for alot of people stupidity speeds up the process a bit, thinning the herd I guess.

Lost climbers and hikers do tend to bring in the ratings I guess, I wonder if I didn't climb or hike what my friends and family would say about such broadcast, now they call me with what seems to be genuine concern when they read or see a story like the recent Hood tragedy
_________________________
"In the beginers mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki

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#125733 - 12/22/09 10:43 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: bigb]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Regarding your statement "when your time is up". I think that is all hogwash. I worked in a coal mine for 7 years and we had big-time safety training. I worked at a huge "world class" mine and we went 5 years without a lost-time accident. Most accidents have causes, although it is usually not one thing, but poor response to a string of things that go wrong. One safety expert said there is no such thing as an accident, just a lot of wrong decisions strung together. And it many times boils down to an unsafe attitude. I do believe there are infrequent real accidents that cannot be avoided, but I certainly do not buy into the "time is up" stuff for most accidents. Modern coal mines have reduced their accident rate by amazing numbers with intensive safety training. (Plus we all loved the time out from work for safety training!) Everyone has 100 close calls for every real accident. You really need to sit down and study what happened and learn from these experiences. And you have to realize and fess up to having the close call. And you can learn from other's accidents. Read accident reports. Not the sensational stuff on the news but the real reports, such as Accidents in North AMerincan Mountaineering.

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#125737 - 12/22/09 11:29 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: wandering_daisy]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Inexperience and the lack of knowledge concerning local conditions foster the making of consecutive poor decisions - frequently leading to trouble.

People who know what they are doing rarely need outside assistance.

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#125739 - 12/23/09 12:01 AM Re: climber rescues [Re: oldranger]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Regarding climbing accidents in North America, as I understand it, equipment failure is never the single cause of a death, it takes equipment failure and psychological failure, or a string of failures to kill ya. When the mud hits the fan, stopping and calmly assessing things will most likely prevent an accident, and I firmly believe that many people die because of civilisation related things like I have to get home or I'll miss the big game, or a days work, or my kids socker game. We don't have the patience required to take mother nature on her own terms.
I understnad many climbing fatalities happen when the rope just doesn't quite reach the next belay anchor so people simply untie and step off. All those slings around your shoulder are there for a reason, if people just thought about it a bit longer before acting.
Jim just my $.03 worth
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#125751 - 12/23/09 09:19 AM Re: climber rescues [Re: Jimshaw]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
It boils down to this - you just need to stop, sit down, and make a nice cup of tea before making that Big Decision that launches you out into the Void.

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#125763 - 12/23/09 01:37 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: wandering_daisy]
bigb Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Maryland
Thanks for commenting on one cliche and not putting the whole post in perspective. Well done

As far as I know people who die, stay dead,
_________________________
"In the beginers mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki

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#125805 - 12/24/09 03:21 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: bigb]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
????????????????????????????
_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#125814 - 12/24/09 07:40 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: wandering_daisy]
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 231
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
Right on Wandering. Thanks for your important comments on the subject of safety.
I did professional safety work for most of my life. I object to the latest Accident Reports by the AAC that say they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. They say that, for example about rockfall. Were they wearing helmets? Did they stand under a climber above? Did they make the decision to climb in spite of loose rock in the area? You are right, a series of decisions and suddenly you have a situation. There is usually a fundamental (proximate) cause of the accident, but most often a couple of factors combine to overwhelm our ability to recover.
_________________________
Jim M

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#125858 - 12/26/09 10:52 AM Re: climber rescues [Re: midnightsun03]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I don't get it either. He seems to be responding to my post. Must have been something I said.......

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#125861 - 12/26/09 12:28 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: oldranger]
bigb Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Maryland
It says who I'm responding too, in the title bar, just showing a lack of appreciation to posters that take one sentence or phrase to comment on without taking the time to put the posters entire comment in perspective

if I disagree with a phrase or a term I try to make sure its meaning matches my assumption, most of the time they don't and my comment would have been misguided.
_________________________
"In the beginers mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki

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#126095 - 12/30/09 04:02 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: bigb]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
We have a policy here of very low tolerance for personal attacks on other posters. Keep it civil or this thread will be locked. Abusive posts will be deleted in their entirety.

If you think a point you are making has been misinterpreted, try to clear it up rather than get into a one on one insult contest, which neither of you will win.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#126111 - 12/30/09 08:10 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: TomD]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6370
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Thanks, Tom! goodjob
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#126140 - 12/31/09 05:11 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: TomD]
bigb Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Maryland
It just wouldn't be me if a post now and then didn't get deleted
_________________________
"In the beginers mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki

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#126311 - 01/05/10 01:20 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: bigb]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
bigb- I am not offended. I was responding to a specific line in your post - not the entire post. I think that is done often on this forum. My language perhaps was a bit "rough". Sorry about that. However, I stand by my statements regarding the "when it is your time" attitude.

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#126384 - 01/06/10 03:48 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: wandering_daisy]
bigb Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Maryland
Right on, I'm not a big fan of that myself, but since we have an understanding maybe everybody else can blow it even more out of proportion for our entertainment,
_________________________
"In the beginers mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki

Top
#126400 - 01/06/10 10:58 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: bigb]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Big B
Chill, its ok, you're being redeemed by your obvious efforts at humility, just don't over do that too. You're forgiven... smile and Big B, learn to use spell check.
Jim crazy
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#126711 - 01/12/10 05:44 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: Jimshaw]
gorge_medic Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 131
Loc: Kentucky
I have to add two caveats to my opinion...I do volunteer SAR in a non-mountainous area, which subtracts the cost of a lot of personal gear, and I also "work" primarily in areas with a dense canopy, which negates the use of air resources. I can certainly understand how both factors can add a lot of cost to a rescue mission.

That being said, I shy away from the prospect of SAR agencies charging for their services, even if only to offset the cost of team gear and medical supplies. My professional life is spent as a paramedic and EMS educator, and every shift seems to abound with patients who are reluctant to seek medical care (in some cases, much-needed) because of the cost it will incur. I have unfortunately seen people die or have otherwise severe problems because of not "catching the early show" and getting the problem fixed before it becomes a life-threatening one. My fear with charging for SAR ops would b similar; people who need help would wait until it's too late to call for it out of fear for financial ruin. I think it's important to remember that backcountry travelers are in a distinct minority in the US (so I gather, have no stats to back it up), and charging a small group of "customers" for the costs of training and maintaining a state of readiness would soon approach astronomical for the average person.

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#126889 - 01/16/10 11:08 PM Re: climber rescues [Re: gorge_medic]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Doing SAR in a mountainous region, we responded to a broad spectrum of incidents which were non back country related - a young girl snatched off the street by a deviant, a young baby wandering away from home, drivers breaching flooding roadways or missing mountain curves, air crash victims, and two gentlemen who drove their station wagon into a vertical, 100 foot deep mine shaft. Why? They were driving down a road with their lights off. Why were their lights off? They were driving away from the scene of a burglary they had perpetrated. We pulled them out, at significant risk, after they had been at the bottom of the shaft for about three days. The county jail probably never had more grateful inmates. I suppose it might have made sense to charge them for their rescue, although the cost wasn't really that great.

Local law enforcement agencies usually have a mandate to maintain the public peace, and the availability of a trained, usually volunteer, outfit able to operate in nonurban situations is a valuable resource for accomplishing this.

As a volunteer organization, we were willing to accept donations from victims and their families. For many years, the largest donation we had received came from the owners of a dog we had rescued......

I think donations are a better way to approach the problem.

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