Bosterson wrote: ↑
May 26th, 2020, 7:35 am
Jerry, both of your descriptions were wrong, see below. Both were climbers who got in various trouble; neither did it "right" vs "wrong." I think the only takeaway of yours that's apt is to try not to do things right now that require rescue, such as climbing in high avi conditions after the storms and snowfall (up there) we had last week. There's a big difference in the risk of needing rescue between someone climbing Hood on any route, and someone just going for a hike. Mountains are always more unpredictable, even in good conditions.
I'm going to risk looking like more of a fool than normal and just go ahead and say that both parties were pretty bone-headed, even before taking into account the additional risks of Covid-era adventures.
For one thing, I was up at the mountain on Friday. I'd hoped to ski the Magic Mile, but they didn't open the lift, because the weather was bad! There wasn't any visibility.
Who the heck decides that this is the right weather for a solo Mt Hood climb???
For another, the climber did this with a phone that was apparently not off and safely stowed??? The kiosk at the climber's check-in warns explicitly about not returning straight downhill; had the climber saved his phone battery (was he busy making videos or photos?) he could simply have turned on his GPS and walked south to the Lodge instead of gallivanting 9 miles over to Paradise Park.
For another, the storm was a big dump of snow (the tree skiing on Friday was terrific!
), and who the heck decides to climb the Reid headwall on a warm day after a big snowstorm? I don't know the age of both members of the party, but if the injured person was 21, that might speak to the experience level of the team.
Furthermore, why was that team traveling here from Colorado to climb our mountains and expose our SAR crews to this much addition risk in the middle of the pandemic???
Look, I love climbing, and, who knows, maybe I'll end up in the ANAM journal at some point. It's not like we don't all take risks, and risks far above those taken by responsible hikers!
On the other hand, I skied up to the top of the Triangle Moraine the other day, turned around at 9,800' and had a good ski back down to the lodge. That's a pretty tame trip by a lot of standards, but I got a good workout, got some great views, had a great ski, all while traveling with a competent partner, within visual and telephonic range of the Lodge, under clear skies and low avalanche probabilities, while barely leaving my county.
It is possible to have a good time, while operating safely for oneself and others, and following the intent of Governor Brown's executive orders, and these people failed. I'm glad that PMR is still around and allowed to help, and I'm glad they've publicly encouraged more responsible climbing during this time.