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#178792 - 07/31/13 02:38 PM Re: Calling for help [Re: midnightsun03]
MountainMinstrel Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/06
Posts: 104
Originally Posted By midnightsun03
From "Accidents in North American Mountaineering 2012" p 86: "The party's decision not to take a communication device, while admirable in some sense, may have also increased the time required to get help. As it was, the NPS was already poised to initiate a search, which sped up the overall response, but sadly, to no avail. The lesson here is to bring a communication device -- and use it appropriately."

My first thought when I read this was "how awful for his family and friends" because his accident wasn't anonymous, and the public conclusion is that they essentially created their situation, which in the minds of most people will be forever after viewed as sheer stupidity. Not exactly the legacy I would want to leave the world with.

Actually, I am a bit surprised that a functioning signaling device is not considered required equipment for teams attempting difficult routes up Rainier and other high peaks on NPS land. If the NPS is going to have rescue teams on standby, it only makes sense to carry something because you know a rescue is going to be launched whether you request it or not. So even people who "accept the responsibility of life and death on the mountain" are going to have a rescue attempt made - the NPS isn't going to let someone just die on the mountain and brush it off with "meh, he knew what he was getting into."

Ahh, pride.

MNS


It is interesting that they require us to carry bear cans to save the bears, but not signaling devices to save people. Our priorities are really messed up! I think that it would make sense to require a signal device and have rental options at permit stations like we do for bear cans here in the Sierra Nevada.
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#178798 - 07/31/13 04:42 PM Re: Calling for help [Re: MountainMinstrel]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1735
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
There are far too many frivolous and/or trivial rescue cell phone and PLB calls already. If these devices were required I can only imagine how many "I'm really tired" calls the authorities would be handling. One party in the Grand Canyon put out three requests for help in as many days: one was because they didn't like the water. "Be careful what you wish for-------------!"
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#179185 - 08/15/13 08:01 AM Re: Calling for help [Re: MountainMinstrel]
BillgGruff Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/15/13
Posts: 11
Loc: Troutdale, Oregon
Quote:


It is interesting that they require us to carry bear cans to save the bears, but not signaling devices to save people. Our priorities are really messed up! I think that it would make sense to require a signal device and have rental options at permit stations like we do for bear cans here in the Sierra Nevada.


If people weren't stupid and lazy they would all hike their food up a tree w/ rope and take a good long look at a good map before they went anywhere. I wonder how many stupid people would leave camp without caching their food in bear country. And I wonder how many more bear encounters would happen if lazy people just wandered into wilderness areas w/ power bars and cell phones.

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#181630 - 12/31/13 09:48 PM Re: Calling for help [Re: BillgGruff]
Talthing Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 14
I am grateful that we have SAR teams...even if I've never called in myself. I've heard of plenty of well prepared people that needed a rescue (usually because of an injury). and, even if they did charge per rescue, you'd still get the boneheads that call in 'because they don't like the water'. I'm definitely planning on getting a SPOT II for my trip (High Sierra Trail) in 2015. Those of us that know what we're getting into don't push the button willy-nilly. But when we do push the button, please come running...I promise it won't be a waste of time.

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#181633 - 12/31/13 10:42 PM Re: Calling for help [Re: BillgGruff]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By BillgGruff
Quote:


It is interesting that they require us to carry bear cans to save the bears, but not signaling devices to save people. Our priorities are really messed up! I think that it would make sense to require a signal device and have rental options at permit stations like we do for bear cans here in the Sierra Nevada.


If people weren't stupid and lazy they would all hike their food up a tree w/ rope and take a good long look at a good map before they went anywhere. I wonder how many stupid people would leave camp without caching their food in bear country. And I wonder how many more bear encounters would happen if lazy people just wandered into wilderness areas w/ power bars and cell phones.


Haven't been to Yosemite lately, have you?
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#181635 - 12/31/13 10:51 PM Re: Calling for help [Re: Talthing]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Talthing
I am grateful that we have SAR teams...even if I've never called in myself. I've heard of plenty of well prepared people that needed a rescue (usually because of an injury). and, even if they did charge per rescue, you'd still get the boneheads that call in 'because they don't like the water'. I'm definitely planning on getting a SPOT II for my trip (High Sierra Trail) in 2015. Those of us that know what we're getting into don't push the button willy-nilly. But when we do push the button, please come running...I promise it won't be a waste of time.


I got a PLB. Stronger signal, and no question about it in the minds of folks who have my itinerary. SPOT devices that are supposed to send signals to let folks know OK and then do not get the signal through leave family members panicking that the SPOT is sitting there not moving for days... And they forgot it on a rock. Or it got picked up by another hiker and has been moving in the other direction.... on another forum, this was an issue for a few days - the family got messages texted to them by someone who was obviously not "dad".

My PLB is in a secure place and my fellow group members know where it is in case I am incapacitated, and not to use it unless there is no chance of getting us back out of the wilderness without help. It'll last for five years, at which point I'll replace the battery as scheduled, and it has no subscription fees.

If you read the wilderness guide published on the sequoia-kings canyon website, there's a paragraph that emphatically states not to rely on electronic signaling devices - this is an indicator that no one should pretend that they replace the oft-repeated request that you leave an itinerary with someone who will call for help if you don't return by a specified time. The vast majority of backpackers don't ever call, but the odds are sometimes not in your favor so it's always a good idea...

I wouldn't want to require that people carry the devices. Some chafe at the notion that they should leave an itinerary... I can only imagine the yowling and howling that they be forced to haul some electric gadget along "for no reason."
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