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Risking lives

Aspergers_Aspie

Well-Known Member
I read local news stories on a daily basis. But was saddened today to read that these two inconsiderate runners, not only put their own lives at risk but also the lives of rescue teams. And the money and resources used for mountain rescue etc. could be used for other things. Walkers too who go to these places and need rescued too.
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Mountain Rescue is to rescue people from mountains. It's what they're there for.

Most people they rescue will probably be inexperienced, lost, or possibly slipped and injured themselves. Fog and adverse weather will leave people stranded. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. If you were lost up a mountain, in the fog and alone. But you had phone signal - wouldn't you ask for help?

At the end of the day, should only experienced mountaineers be allowed to traverse such locations? If so - how does one build up the skillset to become experienced?

Should the inexperienced who get stranded be denied help because they're "wasting" Mountain Rescue's time and money because they should've known better?

Ed
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Should the inexperienced who get stranded be denied help because they're "wasting" Mountain Rescue's time and money because they should've known better?

Ed
Excellent question at the moment, Ed.

Exactly the question raised over a tragic incident that happened recently in the US. All recorded by law enforcement. Where two paramedics treated a known alcoholic quite poorly which resulted in the man's death. With the two paramedics being subsequently charged with criminal manslaughter.

In essence, our nation's legal system answers such a question. Where those who function in a medical capacity are fundamentally not allowed to make personal or moral judgments over a victim's predicament. Whether at the peril of those aiding them or not.

Clearly in this country the state is prepared to pick up if and when anyone working in such a capacity should choose to turn their back on the Hippocratic Oath- whether they are obliged to take it or not.
 
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Dadamen

Well-Known Member
In Croatia mountain that is most common for these stories is Biokovo.

It is a mountain that is 1750 m high and rises directly from the sea. There are thousands of tourists at the seaside in summer and some of them decide to go to that mountain. But despite the fact it looks close to the sea it isn't easy to climb. Tourists, most often Czech and Polish go climbing in sandals and get stuck. In addition, there can be extremely hot up there. While mountains in inland are covered with forest and comfortable in summer this one isn't, it is just rock and small bushes. So, it is 35 degrees with direct sunshine here. Very easy to collapse from dehydration and heat stroke.
 

Forest Cat

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
In Croatia mountain that is most common for these stories is Biokovo.

It is a mountain that is 1750 m high and rises directly from the sea. There are thousands of tourists at the seaside in summer and some of them decide to go to that mountain. But despite the fact it looks close to the sea it isn't easy to climb. Tourists, most often Czech and Polish go climbing in sandals and get stuck. In addition, there can be extremely hot up there. While mountains in inland are covered with forest and comfortable in summer this one isn't, it is just rock and small bushes. So, it is 35 degrees with direct sunshine here. Very easy to collapse from dehydration and heat stroke.

Same thing happens here, often in the summer, mountains look fun from a distance and then suddenly you are stuck high up in a fog bank, wearing a thin summer dress and crocs and you don't know where you are or what you are doing.

I used to live on a mountain, at a ski resort, and once in a while tourists would get themselves stuck somewhere. I helped out a few times to get tourists down when they thought they could handle skiing down a mountain but found out the hard way that they couldn't.
 
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Dadamen

Well-Known Member
Same thing happens here, often in the summer, mountains look fun from a distance and then suddenly you are stuck high up in a fog bank in -3 degrees, wearing a thin summer dress and crocs and you don't know where you are or what you are doing.

I used to live on a mountain, at a ski resort, and once in a while tourists would get themselves stuck somewhere. I helped out a few times to get tourists down when they thought they could handle skiing down a mountain but found out the hard way that they couldn't.
In Biokovo cold isn't a problem, but extreme heat is. So, you should lightly dress for Biokovo, but wear shoes, not sandals and bring plenty of water and look for a less hot day.
But I remember one German tourist in Vrelo cave that went here in a tank top, but it is a cave and it is 8 degrees here all year long. Wherever you go you should bring some warm clothes and watch the weather forecast. While Croatian summers are usually hot there are also some stormy, windy, rainy and cool days each year.
 

Slime_Punk

Contaminating the hive mind
V.I.P Member
I like a story with a happy ending, but it's easy to turn it into a negative. Especially when the news is banking on you feeling just stressed enough to come back and read another triggering article.

The repeat offenders who have to get saved more than once and don't learn their lesson are the funniest ones to me. They need a strike system so the third time can be like, "You've done this before, you're on your own now!"

(Just kidding though, even the dumbest ones don't deserve to die)
 

Progster

Grown sideways to the sun
V.I.P Member
Weather/nature can be unpredictable and accidents can happen, even experienced climbers can get caught out. Which is where mountain rescue comes in. Their job is to rescue, not to judge.
 

Rodafina

Hopefully Human
V.I.P Member
suddenly you are stuck high up in a fog bank in -3 degrees, wearing a thin summer dress and crocs.
That’s interesting hiking attire for you, Forest Cat. I didn’t expect you to go with that style. :smilingimp:

(PS, I’m just messing with ForestCat because he’s a masculine dude, but guys, wear whatever you want… No judgments from me.)
 

Forest Cat

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
That’s interesting hiking attire for you, Forest Cat. I didn’t expect you to go with that style. :smilingimp:

(PS, I’m just messing with ForestCat because he’s a masculine dude, but guys, wear whatever you want… No judgments from me.)

A nice summer dress with a floral pattern and crocs, that's me in the mountains. :D
 

YabbaDabba

Apprentice Person
V.I.P Member
There is a lot of great backcountry camping near me. A cell signal is rare to non existent. A responsible camper will carry a satellite communicator in case of emergency. Something I'll start doing this summer. Insurance through your device manufacturer is recommended. And really that's the real reason why I'll get a communicator is for the insurance. I wanted to go the nerdy route and get my ameture ham radio certificate so I could use a portable ham radio to call for help. But I cannot find insurance for that. And googling for information about search and rescue near me says the fire department has taken it upon themselves to invoice the rescued person directly because the province will not pay.

It bothers me that I can pay to access a provincial park and no one makes sure you know that if you require rescue that you are on your own for payment. I carry backups for backups for my safety. I even bring this special roll of tape that claims it will become hard as rock and I can make a cast out of it if I need to.
 

Duncan74

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I don't know your local environment, nor the specific event you refer to.

I grew up hiking and camping in the peaks and lake district of the UK, which are simultaneously breathtakingly beautiful, and incredibly susceptible to changes of weather. I've been there when I was camping in a makeshift shelter from branches, leaves at -7deg C (by deliberate choice 100m from a building) and as part of a group where we got hit by a massive storm leaving 11 of the 14 tents written off and the others damaged. At no time in all my years did I ever feel at risk, as there was always a plan B and C and we were within our capabilities, initially with experienced leaders and latterly as the experienced one to others.

This reminds me of a situation from 2008. There is a major 'event' in the UK, known as the Original Mountain Marathon. 2 day hike/orienteering event in teams. On this particular year the weather got really really gnarly and then it made the news during the event, and all manner of stories came out.

Eg this one: Organisers criticised as atrocious weather brings chaotic end to marathon fell race - headline, event shouldn't have gone ahead, 2,500 people on course, hundreds had to find temporary shelter, lack of people to crew the local mountain rescue teams.

And then there was this alternate follow up: Response: Our mountain marathon was far from chaotic. Highlights the lack of rescue teams was mainly as many of the competitors were the mountain rescue teams, and so already out on course, with all their skills, and doing exactly what all the teams were trained and equipped to do - head to high ground, find shelter, stay put until conditions improve and daylight.

Indeed I also was hearing from people who were competitors. Who had gone out there to test themselves in these conditions. You don't go up there in late october to get a suntan.

But now I'm living in NZ I'm really conservative about the trips I do, and the kit I take. I've not got the local skills to have confidence to go out there and be able to survive. I tend(ed) to limit myself to organised events, known course, many other people and regualar checkpoints. My sue of 'tended' in past tense was in my last off-road trail run, indeed the one on teh easiest terrain I'd done I tore my ankle ligaments whilst I was distracted checkign on another runner sat by the trail holding her leg. She'd fallen on same rock, then got up and ran off as I went down. I ended up hopping back 1km to the last hut, and then took 4 hours to hop out 7km to the start of the 4x4 track where the medics picked me up. I declined a helicopter as whilst in pain, it was daylight, I was not in life risk, and I had an awesome Dept Conservation Ranger giving me a personal rundown of all the plants and wildlife we saw on that trail. Was epic. (surgery after less so, and now banned from trail running).

My main point being, that there's some really good reasons we WANT people to be out learning the skills in the right way, and sometimes that means that there will need to be rescues. And that's where those really skilled people can practice their rescue skills too. You can get caught out by being ill prepared, unskilled, or you can be well prepared, and well skilled, but still need some help. Most people doing mountain rescue do it as they love the countryside. They would be the first to passionately object to anything that suggested curtailing public access to the hills, as they themselves started somewhere.
 

Shamar

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Yes, go for a hike in the desert with lots of exposed skin, no hat, and and no water, or go into the mountains with sandals and light clothes. What could possibly go wrong? I learned early on, NEVER go out into the field without checking the weather and carrying gear for the worst likely case. And I have sailed through survival situations that would have been a disaster for most people. I once helped pick up a person lost in the Mohave. He was found a little more than 1/2 mile from his car. No canteen. He fit in a kitchen trash bag and I think we got most of the pieces. I don't like to talk about the details. Proper gear and understanding the environment was drilled into us from day one of field training in college.
 

VictorR

Random Member
V.I.P Member
In Croatia mountain that is most common for these stories is Biokovo.

It is a mountain that is 1750 m high and rises directly from the sea. There are thousands of tourists at the seaside in summer and some of them decide to go to that mountain. But despite the fact it looks close to the sea it isn't easy to climb. Tourists, most often Czech and Polish go climbing in sandals and get stuck. In addition, there can be extremely hot up there. While mountains in inland are covered with forest and comfortable in summer this one isn't, it is just rock and small bushes. So, it is 35 degrees with direct sunshine here. Very easy to collapse from dehydration and heat stroke.

Vancouver has this problem with both tourists and locals.

Nearby and easy access to many mountains leads many to take to moderate and sometimes even high difficulty trails in flip flops and other completely inappropriate attire, not to mention lack of basic supplies like water.

The North Shore Rescue (NSR) responded to over 200 calls in 2021 (source), but as with most SAR (search and rescue) teams in Canada, they are volunteer-based, consisting of dedicated mountaineers who put in their own time (and quite often, money, equipment and supplies) to help those who, for whatever reason, become lost.

Vancouver area mountains tend to have a lot of steep gullies and other highly technical terrain that often lead lost/inexperienced hikers who default into going downhill into significant trouble.

To address the OP's question, the NSR operates on a basis that everyone gets rescued for free as they believe that charging for rescues (or imposing fines) would likely lead to people not calling right away, and potentially getting into more dangerous situations, putting the lost individuals and the rescue team(s) at more significant risks.

As for myself, I'm no expert, but I often get and carry extra trail maps with me since every now and then I'll get asked by someone how to get to the parking lot...
 

Dadamen

Well-Known Member
Vancouver has this problem with both tourists and locals.

Nearby and easy access to many mountains leads many to take to moderate and sometimes even high difficulty trails in flip flops and other completely inappropriate attire, not to mention lack of basic supplies like water.

The North Shore Rescue (NSR) responded to over 200 calls in 2021 (source), but as with most SAR (search and rescue) teams in Canada, they are volunteer-based, consisting of dedicated mountaineers who put in their own time (and quite often, money, equipment and supplies) to help those who, for whatever reason, become lost.

Vancouver area mountains tend to have a lot of steep gullies and other highly technical terrain that often lead lost/inexperienced hikers who default into going downhill into significant trouble.

To address the OP's question, the NSR operates on a basis that everyone gets rescued for free as they believe that charging for rescues (or imposing fines) would likely lead to people not calling right away, and potentially getting into more dangerous situations, putting the lost individuals and the rescue team(s) at more significant risks.

As for myself, I'm no expert, but I often get and carry extra trail maps with me since every now and then I'll get asked by someone how to get to the parking lot...

Our rescue service is also volunteer-based. I remember one interesting education with them when a man from our rescue service came to school to educate us about how to safely go to the mountains. The first rule was not to go alone.
 

Duncan74

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
One of my last trail runs the weather was awful. Was a half marathon up to a ski lift with some 1300m of vertical descent and ascent in it. At the finish it was 140kph winds and a -4 wind chill. Note that this was on the second day of 'summer'. But rules said we all had to carry a seamsealed waterproof, thermal long sleeve top, etc

15494112117_d22e3cc262_z.jpg


The following year after several people had ended up with hypothermia, they change the rules from stating that you had to carry this, to 'you have to put it on if told by a marshall'. Literally we had people 'racing' for 4-5 hours in alpine conditions who thought they would lose too much time to stop and put on the clothes they were carrying.
 

Dadamen

Well-Known Member
One of my last trail runs the weather was awful. Was a half marathon up to a ski lift with some 1300m of vertical descent and ascent in it. At the finish it was 140kph winds and a -4 wind chill. Note that this was on the second day of 'summer'. But rules said we all had to carry a seamsealed waterproof, thermal long sleeve top, etc

View attachment 95189

The following year after several people had ended up with hypothermia, they change the rules from stating that you had to carry this, to 'you have to put it on if told by a marshall'. Literally we had people 'racing' for 4-5 hours in alpine conditions who thought they would lose too much time to stop and put on the clothes they were carrying.

These early summer days often fail to be real summer, but then the heat in September and October won't stop.

The man that really worries me about risking his life is Ivica Kostelić, a former alpine skier. In 2017 he almost froze to death when a storm caught him on an expedition on Greenland. Then in 2022 he had an accident again, this time when sailing across the Atlantic.
 

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