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#1455 - 12/26/09 03:08 PM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: Bob West]
dbd Online


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 216
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: Bob West
Are we going the way of the former Soviet Union, which had government mandated mountaineering courses to qualify students as "Master of Sport" before to allowing them to climb the hard stuff?

We're not going that way, they provided government support to the expeditions for their qualified Masters.

Quote:
The idea of a Nanny government doesn't sit well with me. Unfortunately...

Worse than that, even the non-profits are into it. I understand that the US Olympic committee only allows those who have passed 'qualification' to participate in the 'hard stuff' every four years.

Dale B. Dalrymple
http://dbdimages.com

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#1457 - 12/26/09 04:59 PM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: dbd]
AlanK Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 583
Loc: Glendale, CA
Originally Posted By: dbd
Originally Posted By: Bob West
Are we going the way of the former Soviet Union, which had government mandated mountaineering courses to qualify students as "Master of Sport" before to allowing them to climb the hard stuff?

We're not going that way, they provided government support to the expeditions for their qualified Masters.

Quote:
The idea of a Nanny government doesn't sit well with me. Unfortunately...

Worse than that, even the non-profits are into it. I understand that the US Olympic committee only allows those who have passed 'qualification' to participate in the 'hard stuff' every four years.

Ah, but Dale, they were good at dominating the Olympics too! In fact, if the USA wins the most gold medals, we are literally going the way of the old USSR. wink

Seriously, I don't see this action by the Oregon Legislature sending us down the USSR road. And if you want a nanny state, check out Texas. A couple of weeks back, a 4-year old was booted out of school in the Dallas area because his hair was too long. Now only a nanny would do that!

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#1458 - 12/26/09 05:09 PM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: AlanK]
Bob R Offline


Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 129
Loc: Ridgecrest, California
Speaking of the Olympics, I can't resist sending a couple of quotes. The first, from Baron Pierre de Coubertin, in 1908:

"The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part,
the important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing
is not to have conquered but to have fought well. To spread these precepts
is to build up a stronger and more valiant and, above all, more scrupulous
and more generous humanity."


And the second, from the US Olympic Committee Overview Commission, in 1989:

"Winning medals must always be the primary goal."

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#1459 - 12/26/09 09:29 PM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: Bob R]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7994
Loc: Fresno, CA
It seems that with the Olympics and the Soviet Union coming into the discussion, this topic is migrating toward Chat Room quality. So I feel ok writing more...

> Winning medals must always be the primary goal

Seems to be the sentiment more than ever these days: All for the winner, nothing for anyone else. Just ask those Big Banks how they justify their top exec salaries.

But back to the topic at hand: Citing Slippery Slope / Camel's Nose / Thin-end-of-the-wedge / Give-em-an-inch... arguments is using logical fallacy to make a point.

Regardless, I am sure we will see more and more rescues (or recoveries) aided by locator beacons or gps signaling devices.

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#1461 - 12/27/09 06:37 AM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hoo [Re: Steve C]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: Steve C
... Regardless, I am sure we will see more and more rescues (or recoveries) aided by locator beacons or gps signaling devices.


I think that's a safe bet.

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#1463 - 12/27/09 02:05 PM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hoo [Re: KevinR]
AlanK Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 583
Loc: Glendale, CA
Originally Posted By: KevinR
Originally Posted By: Steve C
... Regardless, I am sure we will see more and more rescues (or recoveries) aided by locator beacons or gps signaling devices.

I think that's a safe bet.

Sure seems like a safe bet. I can understand objections to being forced to carry beacons (or almost anything else). I can certainly understand an aversion to people using these devices for no good reason -- pushing the rescue button for the equivalent of a stubbed toe. I have more trouble with objections to the devices themselves. It sure seems like they will end up saving a lot of SAR time and effort in cases where SAR is truly necessary. At least that's how I hope it turns out.

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#1465 - 12/27/09 03:28 PM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: dbd]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 856
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA

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#1467 - 12/27/09 07:04 PM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: Bee]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
I don't doubt at all that more lives would be saved, it's practically a certainty, but liberty is more important than life, and I have to respect the choices people make for themselves, if you enter the mountains without a safety line you are making the decision to accept death if you find yourself in a situation you cannot get out of alone, for all my care of people I cannot force a choice upon them, you can always recommend a course of action but no matter if it is from complete stupidity the choices some make I still will let them walk that path.

When it comes to people that love you well they made that decision, they choose death over rescue in disregard for their families and that is a matter that is none of my business.

When it comes to cost of looking for or rescuing someone, perhaps we could sign a form that clearly states if you go missing no SAR operations will be conducted.


Edited by RoguePhotonic (12/27/09 07:06 PM)
_________________________
FlickR

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#1468 - 12/27/09 08:33 PM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I cannot pass up an opportunity to insert a Benjamin Franklin quote -- one of my favorites:

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" -- Benjamin Franklin
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#1471 - 12/28/09 06:55 AM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: Bee]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
I've been watching this topic without comment for a while and can understand both sides of the argument. It would be great if Oregon (and Washington) could just blow off the SAR for those taking excessive risks on these ultra-dangerous mountains - sorting the fools out, as Bee suggests - but we all know that will never happen. Anyone missing or in trouble in the wilderness is going to be searched for, regardless of how they wound up in that situation. Signing a waiver wouldn't stop that - it's just not how government agencies work.

I've spent time hiking some of the big boys in the PNW - Rainier, Hood, Baker and Adams - and I can personally attest that they are in a different league than most of the trails I've hiked over the years in the Sierra or Rockies. Aside from the fact that they are glaciated, which increases the You're-Gonna-Die factor substantially, the weather is just brutal. The day I did a section hike of the PCT on Hood - just above Timberline Lodge at about 8500 feet - was the scariest hike of my life. It started out in traditional PNW fog/mist (I've yet to actually see Mt. Hood in all its glory), then turned into sleet, snow and howling winds - while still remaining foggy! At no point during the hike was I able to see more than 60-70 yards ahead. Also, this was in mid-September. Two days before this I was enjoying a hot, clear hike on the Fremont Lookout trail of Mt. Rainier, which was one of the most beautiful treks I've ever taken. A day before that, I was hiking in cold, foggy mist on Mt. Baker. The last day of my trip I returned to Rainier - where it was warm and beautiful a few days before - and I couldn't even get to the trailhead at Paradise because almost a foot of snow had fallen the night before.

What I took away from that hiking trip was that the Cascades are a different breed of animal. ""Good weather" is a very relative term in that part of the country, and I was always below the snowline (which is ridiculously low compared to the Sierra or Rockies). Visbility constantly sucked, and I never knew from one day to the next what Mother Nature was going to throw at me. Again, this was September - theoretically one of the two or three best weather months of the year for that part of the country. I'm not sure what the annual weather statistics are for Hood, but Mt. Rainier averages about 500 inches of snow per year. Think about that. An average, run-of-the-mill year brings over 40 feet of snow to that mountain. The year I was there (2008), it was over 1000 inches - and that was not a record.

Having experienced 9 hiking days of the PNW's "good" weather, I have a healthy respect for what winter mountaineering must be like on Hood and others in Oregon and Washington. I personally would not like to be mandated to wear a PLB if I was heading up Hood in the winter (completely theoretical, 'cuz it's never gonna happen), but I have the greatest empathy for what SAR personnel must have to go through on those mountains in winter.

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#1497 - 12/31/09 11:19 AM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: Bob R]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
BobR, I have taken a considerable amount of time to respond to your post, as I wanted to give it deep consideration.

My tendency is to defer to the SAR experts, but people who are intimately involved in things occasionally get "group think" on a topic, so I would explore a little further.

I think your points about the number of deaths of climbers and SAR have great merit, although deaths of either is unfortunate.

I have been profoundly impressed by the SAR people in the marine environment, who have made their jobs tremendously simpler, through the use of technology. Their point, of making the process simpler, seems to have merit. Their popular phrase is "take the SEARCH out of Search and Rescue".

I would grant that the number of lives saved would be small. (although some would argue, what is that worth?) However, the amount of effort involved in the typical winter SAR in bad weather, would seem to be hugely simplified, if you knew where the person was.

However, the marine and mountain environments are very different, and what applies to one, may have no relevance to the other.

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#1509 - 01/02/10 01:03 PM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: Ken]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
Hmmm. Seems like much of this is missing the point. The risk for the climbers is not hugely relevant. Everyone here is right, the much cherished right to get hurt or even be stupid is still intact. It's the risk to the SAR people -- their right NOT to get hurt or injured trumps everything else. As was noted above, someone is going to come to find you, that's just the way it works. Anything that helps pinpoint the location of someone in trouble is a major help to a SAR and reduces the risk to the people responding.

I'm still mulling over the use of PLBs or SPOT devices in general, but Mt. Hood in winter (or Rainier etc), which is the only place this is proposed as a requirement, is a special case. The problems have been in having no clue where the person is because they're buried by snow but, not inconceivably, in a snow cave and quite possibly alive. Narrowing a search area and looking for clues is the most frustrating thing about a search. I'm definitely not convinced that because "only" one SAR person had died there that requiring locator beacons is not justified. If ANY SAR team injury or death can be prevented by a pretty simple gizmo, then I'm for it.

Arguably, having a winter ranger hand you the thing and giving you explicit instruction on how and when to use it as well as what may or may not happen when you do so, seems like a major improvement over just pulling it out of a box, tossing the instructions and heading off to the mountain.

Hmmmm. Too much thinking: I'll spin this a step further, before you even carry one of these things on your own, you've got to listen to a short pep talk on respective responsibilities: yours and the agency who may come to look for you. That would even be a question when getting your permit -- do you have a PLB or SPOT device with you?

Some of you might also remember the case of the kids who dug in in the mid-80s. Nine people died -- including 7 kids. Since time was lost trying to locate them, I think some might have been saved had a beacon been in use.

George
_________________________
None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.

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#1517 - 01/03/10 10:10 PM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: Bee]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
I disagree on that point because just as we take the risks to go into the mountains SAR personnel accept and take the risk of getting injured or killed to go and look for people.

Across the whole spectrum of jobs and activities, "if your not willing to die, don't do it".
_________________________
FlickR

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#1521 - 01/04/10 04:27 PM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: RoguePhotonic]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: RoguePhotonic
I disagree on that point because just as we take the risks to go into the mountains SAR personnel accept and take the risk of getting injured or killed to go and look for people.

Across the whole spectrum of jobs and activities, "if your not willing to die, don't do it".


Well, let's see. My main point remains that the risk is reduced by carrying a tracking/signaling gizmo. Surely we can agree that, even for manly SAR people who "accept" the risk of dying, a reduced risk is better than a greater risk... .

But I also strongly disagree with your "not willing to die, don't do it." I have been on an uncomfortable number of body recoveries over the years -- for both friends & co-workers and visitors. For me, there is absolutely no romance or comfort in the oft-used rationalizations that the person "knew the risks" or "died doing what he loved." You've still got a bloody rag-doll body, bones or whatever; a grieving family and friends; and, not to get too heavy, an emptiness that follows you forever.

Again, anything that reduces that risk is a darned fine idea by me... .

g.
_________________________
None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.

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#1525 - 01/05/10 03:07 AM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: Bee]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
I acknowledge that people don't think of such realities so plainly, I don't think anyone really gets into a car thinking I accept that I am engaging in an extremely dangerous activity to get me some where faster and I am lazy enough or have urgency enough that I accept my fate shall it come to me.

I don't engage the notion of family grievance because sure anger comes to mind for me, the thought of the consideration of what my family "might" feel and that my rights should be taken from me more or less by them involuntarily is very angering, now I admit that I have no family which I love or have any connection to at all so I regard my life very personally, but I am far from a selfish person, in fact I live in misery because I am just the opposite, but should I actually have someone be it family or not that I care for and they care for me I would carry a PLB for their sake, but as I said before that is my choice and one I make for myself and those I would love, to force a choice to be made for me or anyone else crosses a line that shouldn't be crossed, in fact I feel doing so takes us yet another step further back in an evolutionary standard of moral or enlightened living within a societal structure, and yes I am making a point that spans the whole spectrum of the concept of a nanny state but any transgression into our lives must be taken into consideration on a larger scale because of where it might lead and what effects it may ultimately have on us and the lives of others such as has been mentioned about clouding our judgement and growth in proper skills because of false security.

These days it hardly is a joke anymore in saying if you don't commit a felony before breakfast your doing good, we don't need more laws we need people to learn to take care of them selves!

And once again with SAR I disagree because you may say someone is going to come looking for you, that is just how it works but as far as I know it's not the law that anyone must come and it certainly is reasonable to tell someone not to come and that you don't want help and I question the merit of someone that loves you that has no respect for your personal decisions.
_________________________
FlickR

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#1531 - 01/05/10 10:03 AM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: RoguePhotonic
. . . now I admit that I have no family which I love or have any connection to at all so I regard my life very personally, but I am far from a selfish person, in fact I live in misery because I am just the opposite . . .


Dude, it ain't Ozzie and Harriett, but you have a "family" here.

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#1690 - 01/13/10 06:06 AM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: George]
Bob R Offline


Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 129
Loc: Ridgecrest, California
Originally Posted By: George
As was noted above, someone is going to come to find you, that's just the way it works. Anything that helps pinpoint the location of someone in trouble is a major help to a SAR and reduces the risk to the people responding.

And anything that unnecessarily sends SAR teams in increases the risk to the people responding. Here is something that is currently making the rounds of the mountain rescue community: "Yuppie 911"

The link was sent to us by Matt Scharper, Deputy Chief State SAR coordinator, Office of Emergency Services, Sacramento.

He is quoted in the article with "There's controversy over these devices in the first place because it removes the self-sufficiency that's required in the backcountry. With the Yuppie 911, you send a message to a satellite and the government pulls your butt out of something you shouldn't have been in in the first place."

In his email, he added "There have been various reports of sporting goods stores in California marketing PLB's and SPOT's in place of avalanche transceivers."

-----

"If you build it, they will misuse it." (Apologies to Ray Kinsella.)


Edited by Bob R (01/14/10 11:15 AM)
Edit Reason: Added quote

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#1702 - 01/13/10 08:52 PM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: Bob R]
dbd Online


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 216
Loc: San Diego
Over the holidays I watched a rerun of one of the old black and white Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes movies. The cursed pearl is stolen from a museum protected by a new high tech security system. After the usual sequence of murders and the recovery of the pearl, the good doctor asked Holmes how the security system had been supposed to work. The response was:
"Electricity, Watson, the new high priestess of false security."

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#1712 - 01/14/10 08:55 AM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: Bob R]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
"There have been various reports of sporting goods stores in California marketing PLB's and SPOT's in place of avalanche transceivers."

Why do I find such a statement, on a politically hot topic, by a government employee, problematic. The smartest govt operatives spread the rumors to a tight group, who actually do the spreading to the public.

"CLMRG has had various reports of links to Al Queda". Please prove this statement is not true.

Maybe we are going the way of the Soviets........

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#1727 - 01/14/10 07:42 PM Re: Oregon may require locator beacons for Mt. Hood [Re: Ken]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
Quote:

And anything that unnecessarily sends SAR teams in increases the risk to the people responding. Here is something that is currently making the rounds of the mountain rescue community: "Yuppie 911"

The link was sent to us by Matt Scharper, Deputy Chief State SAR coordinator, Office of Emergency Services, Sacramento.


Hmmmm again. Yes, that's a good point and, if looked at strictly from a statistical evaluation, it's not impossible that the risk to SAR people is increased from an increase in (bogus) responses vs. the benefit of risk being reduced by narrowing the search area and the time in the field, as well as the number of teams and flights that respond. In spite of several very hyped unnecessary activations, I'd say there isn't enough data to make a determination. I actually talked to a tech today at GEOS/SPOT response center and asked if he had an estimate of bogus activations. He said they're very few.

Also, such an evaluation would make my head hurt. They're two different groups: people who really need help and people who don't. We're still in the early stages of these gizmos and, with luck, will figure out some way of reducing their unnecessary use.

Although the "Yuppie 911" quip is pretty good, it's definitely not a yuppie thing. In my experience, all age groups and income levels have been misusing them (I speak here as a slightly offended member of the Yuppie cohort, though not income...). As such, I prefer "mommy button."

g.


Edited by George (01/14/10 07:46 PM)
_________________________
None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.

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