The fines are just a trick we are using to keep undesirable out of staters out of state. Then we're going to put a big tax on the booze and cigarettes. Then we'll get a state income tax so yall aren't tempted to move here to get away from your own onerous taxes.
NH, on general principle, will always prefer to have the local community pay for something if they can get away with it.
We camped one weekend in early-mid June at a NH State Park a few years ago. We paid regular price for the campsite. Might have only been the second week the place was open. Not that many people there. In the middle of the night we were freaked out by a LARGE teen party going on all around us. We were told later upwards of 100 kids.
I drove around the park looking for help. Found none. Went to the Park Manager's house. Dark. Note on the door. "If you need help, call xxx-xxxx.
It was the number to the local police. Who had to come with with backup from the SP to break up the party.
The Director of the state agency that runs NH State Parks saw absolutely nothing wrong with taking my full priced money but providing little or no service in return. I was told the Manager doesn't move in for the summer, nor does the night watchman start until the last weekend in June. I got very frustrated with his failure to understand the concept that if you invite someone in, take their money (especially full fare), then you are obligated to take care of those people. I guess the bathrooms being open were enough for him. I mean if they discounted the price (as some Maine SP campgrounds at least used to do before they were in full swing for the summer) then you are at least getting what you pay for.
Again, not 100% for this law. But I do feel, I guess, if your negligence causes others to risk their lives or for the government to spend money they shouldn't have to, then in principal I don't have a problem with it.
Anyone that runs across updates to this issue, please keep us all informed. Buckwheat sounds so sure of himself I can't help wonder if he isn't planning to file the lawsuit himself (and already knows there will be one).
"If I get started in the right direction, I just might get to where I want to go." -- Tab Benoit
I see several points of negligence:
1. He started at 8:30 for a 17 mile day hike over the northern presi's, which in the best of conditions would have been a struggle for a fit person. At some point - probably near the summit of Washington - he should have realized how impractical this was and turned back.
2. He twisted his ankle, and kept hiking.
3. Not only was it an ill-thought short-cut, but...
4. ...it appears he didn't leave these contingency plans with anyone.
The prudent hiker would have turned around and gone back the way he came well before point 3 and 4. The fact that he was well equipped just means he didn't die out there after making some very bad mistakes.
I say flog the kid and fine the parents.
The fact that he didn't die is a huge point, the fact that he was prepared for something to go wrong is a huge point. How do you know he didn't tell his parents his contingency plans?
Do you know that he didn't inform them of the difficulty and his preparedness? After missing for a day the SAR was called by his parents to find him....you don't wait 3 days on someones contingency plans to pan out. You search for your child and expect that since he was prepared, well and alive that you and the child won't be charged as negligent.
Check this out the Australian missing hiker got $200,000 for his interview makes getting lost a little more attractive.
If you can’t fix it with duct tape or a beer; it ain’t worth fixing
If he told his parents, they would have known where to look for him. From his planned itinerary, we can infer escape routes from Marshfield to Appalachia Trailhead on just one side of the mountains. That's a hell of a lot of area to start searching. The "huge point" you keep jumping up and down and waving your hands about is the reason they found him alive, and didn't have to truck a body out of there.The fact that he didn't die is a huge point, the fact that he was prepared for something to go wrong is a huge point. How do you know he didn't tell his parents his contingency plans?
"Prepared, well and alive" are the standards we're setting to exonerate from negligence? He made some terrible and downright stupid decisions. I am fully for these fines, and I maintain the dull hope, not that they keep people out of the woods, but that they cause people to think a little bit harder about about what they set out to do and perhaps prod them to use better judgment.Do you know that he didn't inform them of the difficulty and his preparedness? After missing for a day the SAR was called by his parents to find him....you don't wait 3 days on someones contingency plans to pan out. You search for your child and expect that since he was prepared, well and alive that you and the child won't be charged as negligent.
Okay so tell me, If you get into a situation, and you need SAR crews to find you. Why should they not fine YOU.
What are your standards every time for not being considered negligent. I'm trying to make the point that life is about perspective. In his view, which I will adopt for argument, he was found not starving, injured or unable to function completely under his own power.
Still not saying that he did not make a mistake in planning, but on a bad day 1 mile could be too much to deal with, 2 miles could...3....it all depends on how bad your day gets. Bad idea to into great gulf as well, but as was posted before...the kid was joined by the SAR crew for the last 45 minutes of his 3 day hike that was supposed to be 1. If he was truly negligent he would have been dead in 3 days in the Whites or at least very worse for wear.
Are they going to charge the guy that fell backwards and almost died because he didn't use the correct hand and foot holds on the known "steepest mile of the AT"?
Call it an error in planning they will
trailhead stoning is due
Someone has to pay for it.
Sorry, this is WhiteBlaze, not worldwideconspiracy dot comskinewmexico-"Just another way to scare people away from using the wilderness. Cost of SAR will end up as justification to closing backcountry to citizens some day."
Wrong. He was marginally equipped for a summer day hike at lower elevations. April is still winter in the Whites as the following references state. Also, being rescued would be roadside at the base, not at the top of a snow covered mountain.. The only way down was to ride in a snocat about 8 miles to the main road because there were still winter conditions on the mountain.Homer&Marje: "I'm sorry... wasn't the kid prepared and about 45 minutes from rescuing himself?? … He didn't ask to be rescued!!! He found the rescuers when he was 45 minutes from the top of Washington, where I assume he would have called to let his family know he was ok and to find a way down."
As the news story says: “…authorities say he wasn't prepared for the conditions he encountered and shouldn't have set out on such an ambitious hike.” ... “The search team will hike with Mason back to the summit of Mt. Washington, where he will then ride a Sno-Cat down the auto road. Because of where Mason was located and conditions on the ground, this is the only prudent exit from the mountain.”
The conditions on the mountain this time of year are common knowledge and are posted at the AMC visitor center at the start of the trail. Here are some other references to conditions to be found in the Whites in early spring.
A number of posters familiar with the area and conditions have made some good observations:AMC White Mountain Guide 27th edition: "The descriptions in this book are intended to apply in the conditions that are usually encountered during the normal hiking season, which runs approximately from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. In some years ice or snowdrifts may remain at higher elevations until the early part of June-or even longer-and possibly much later in some of the major ravines, on north facing slopes, and in other sheltered places like Mahoosuc Notch. …. When snow or ice are present, trails are often far more difficult to follow, and usually far more arduous, or even dangerous, to hike on. ….. Spring and fall are particularly difficult seasons in the mountains, since the weather can be pleasant in the valleys, and brutal on the summits and ridges. A great number of the serious incidents in the mountains occur in spring and fall, when hikers deceived by mild conditions at home or even at trailhead may find themselves facing unanticipated severe, perhaps life-threatening , hazards."
From the news story-“And people have been out there in winter in hard-packed snow. But with these spring conditions, it was soft snow, it was deep snow," said Fish and Game Maj. Tim Acerno.”
Classic Hikes of The World, Peter Potterfield, Chapter 8, White Mountain Traverse (I edited the chapter of this book), “April and May often produce difficult conditions, with deep, wet snow.”
Chomp-"If I planned on a 1 day hike that turned into THREE DAYS I would consider my plan a total and complete disaster. I would consider that I was unprepared for the hike that I had attempted... because if I was prepared to that hike of hike (physically, experience-wise and gear wise) than the hike would have truly taken one day."Sleepy The Arab-"If I have left late, I've had the prudence to know when things were not proceeding as planned and turn back. The times I have been injured, I take the shortest, and quickest way back to civilization. When necessary, I use a map and guidebook to avoid wandering in the more remote and inaccessible parts of the state. Seriously, why did this kid wander into the Great Gulf?"There are also some statements that are so laughable that they deserve comment as well.As I posted previously: “Anyone familiar with the area knows the Great Gulf isn’t the place to be when there is lots of snowmelt. Being on the east side of the mountains it has a tendency to fill with snow and the sun doesn’t have a chance to melt it as fast as that on the westerly slopes. When we get several days of unusually high temperatures the snow starts to melt fast, causing problems for ill informed hikers. It isn’t unheard of for hikers to be trapped in the Great Gulf by high water and having to wait a day or so for it to drop so they could get out.”
Pure B.S.. The SAR units in the Mount Washington area are among the world’s best and include some world class Everest climbers.Buckwheat-"Lastly ... the authorities were unprepared to conduct the rescue, which is what led to the massive costs."
You’ve got NH mixed up with the USA which actually has an “air fleet”. Your statements are ridiculous. NH does use the ANG helicopter, if available and where conditions permit its use.Buckwheat-" They had to bring a helicopter from Maine because their air fleet is being mismanaged. …I hardly think that the kid should be required to pay for the ineptitude of the government of the state of New Hampshire as it relates to proper maintenance of its aircraft fleet.."
Totally false. Try to actually find out how SAR works in NH before making such wild statements.Buckwheat-"New Hampshire rescue officials whom we pay to be on duty should someone need to be rescued are trained, equipped and paid to perform those duties for all whom require it, regardless of that person's circumstances…. It is why we hire them and pay them with our tax dollars."
False. The trails this hiker was on are on WMNF land and were not 'created' or maintained by the State of NH. The state does own about 59 acres on the summit of Mount Washington which is a state park. By contrast, the Great Gulf (WMNF Wilderness Area) is 5500 acres. Please name one trail the state of NH created. (hint-There are some elsewhere in the state.)buckwheat-"The State of New Hampshire created many of these trails."
From there, if no help was available, the fastest and safest route would be the auto road by foot correct?
Marginally prepared as they say was enough to keep him warm, dry, and alive. In my book after all his error in planning, which I have said was WAY too big of a hike that time of year...
Same time of year I was up at Moosilauke and made it on snow shoes to the first stream crossing...and turned around. Was just going to do a mile or two out and back but we immediately saw that the conditions were not in our favor...So I do know something about staying safe in the Whites.
I might not be a local there, but I've been hiking there for a long time.
If I suddenly can't move because I happen to need an appendectomy, well, I can't help that. Get me out of there; please don't fine me.
You continually equate "negligence" with "death." The fact that he didn't die doesn't mean he wasn't negligent. Perhaps you should consult a dictionary.Still not saying that he did not make a mistake in planning, but on a bad day 1 mile could be too much to deal with, 2 miles could...3....it all depends on how bad your day gets. Bad idea to into great gulf as well, but as was posted before...the kid was joined by the SAR crew for the last 45 minutes of his 3 day hike that was supposed to be 1. If he was truly negligent he would have been dead in 3 days in the Whites or at least very worse for wear.
Not negligent, no fine.Are they going to charge the guy that fell backwards and almost died because he didn't use the correct hand and foot holds on the known "steepest mile of the AT"?
Call it an error in planning they will
With that, I also think you are misconstruing my definition of negligence equating to death. I'm saying that the kid was found no worse for wear...was not starving, dehydrated, hypothermic, delusional, snow blind, or so many other things that could happen to a lost hiker. I'm saying that in a perfect world, had SAR not been called, he could have made it out alive.
I know TOF you said that the authorities said he was minimally prepared...If so it was just on the cusp of bare minimum and just enough...I have continually said I believe his error in planning was the most significant cause of negligence...but he was prepared for a bad outcome...either way.
Not negligent. No fine.
Ha Ha! Very Watered Down damn debatable.
Folks when someone makes a human mistake it is something that we all hope is not non - life threatening. When we talk about mistakes of others it makes our success so much better when we learn from our mistakes.
It's Human and down right ok.
There was an Old Man with a owl,
Who continued to bother and howl;
He sat on a rail, And imbibed bitter ale,
Which refreshed that Old Man and his owl. . WOO <Audio
Just one more point:
Elsewhere on this site is a thread about a 14 year old who shot and killed a hiker. He got 30 days in juvenile hall for his negligence due to his young age and no intent. His debt to society will be over in 30 days.
This thread talks about another juvenile who misjudged his capabilities, but did no harm to himself or others except for some time and unneeded costs. He will be paying his "debt to society" for years to come. $25,000 is a many year debt for a 17 year old.
Something is very wrong here.