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View Full Version : Cell phone rescue in the Whites



woodsy
07-21-2007, 21:51
Rescue on Mt Jefferson in NH could be hikers most expensive call ever.
Read about it here. (http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070719/NEWS02/707190367/1003/NEWS02)

Yahtzee
07-21-2007, 22:00
So embarrassed for my hometown. Shorts? I can't begin to fathom how one enters the Whites without the knowledge that it might be cold up there.

At the end of the day, tho, whatever they pay, it sure beats dying.

Jimmers
07-21-2007, 22:20
I may have hiked the Whites too many times to be able to understand how someone can get lost on Mt Jefferson, especially if they're near the summit in decent weather. Just makes no sense to me.:-?

Only thing I can think of is maybe they drove to the top of Mt Washingon and took a hike from there. That and the Ridge of Caps trailhead are the only trailheads within a short distance of Jefferson, and I'd like to think that anyone that can find the Ridge of Caps trail knows at least a little bit about hiking.

buckowens
07-21-2007, 22:33
Sometimes I think there should be a "Dad License" required...:rolleyes:

Outlaw
07-22-2007, 07:37
This sort of moronic stupidity reminds me of one of the first times I hiked up Mt. Washington. It was back in the early 1970's and I was carrying a Kelty Tioga loaded with who-knows-how-much stuff. I'm greeted by a family that just drove their car up (you know the kind, they put that rediculous bumpersticker on that says, "This Car Climbed Mt. Washington"). They're all clean and spiffy wearing white tennis shorts and all. In the meantime, I stink and so does my pack. The dad asks me to let his teen age son put on my backpack so he could take a picture with him wearing it, like the kid just finished hiking to the summit.

So, there I am contemplating letting the kid try on a pack that I'm sure exceeded 50 lbs. just to watch him struggle under the weight and then get covered in my stinky sweat or tell the old man no, 'cause the kid never carried it up and down the peaks for a week like I did.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
07-22-2007, 08:01
I'm glad the rescuers are being allowed to charge those who abuse the system for their services.

aaroniguana
07-22-2007, 09:05
Every village needs an idiot.

superman
07-22-2007, 09:09
There should be a warning label on cell phones. Maybe it would say that "the use or reliance on a cell phone may cause poor judgment." Maybe the legal system could use a "cell phone defense" to get them out of trouble. :-?

DavidNH
07-22-2007, 09:21
These idiots deserve to be fined for every cent they got. Make it 100,000 plus!

First off.. any one with the slightest clue does not START a climb to a major peak like Jefferson as late as 3PM WITHOUT at least having a flash light.

Secondly..all they had was sorts? I can see starting out in shorts.. but you'd think they would pack extra clothing when going to a peak where temps are usually 20 or more degrees colder.


This could be a problem with trails like the caps ridge..you start at 3500 feet and in normal hiking top you are at the top in a few hours. The closenss of the peak is desceptive. Perhaps we could close off the real short trails?

Finally...that most evil of inventions the cell phone gives people a false sense of security. You can't rely on it. These people were just endangering the rescuers.

I really hope the Dad is completely embarrassed. He should be.

Daviud

Frolicking Dinosaurs
07-22-2007, 09:33
This guy would be charged with child endangerment in a perfect world IMO.

The Old Fhart
07-22-2007, 10:08
DavidNH-"This could be a problem with trails like the caps ridge..you start at 3500 feet and in normal hiking top you are at the top in a few hours. The closenss of the peak is desceptive. Perhaps we could close off the real short trails?...............
Finally...that most evil of inventions the cell phone gives people a false sense of security. You can't rely on it. These people were just endangering the rescuers."Actually the Caps Ridge trailhead on the Jefferson Notch Road is 3009 ft but closing off the shorter trails is elitist and would accomplish nothing. If anyone lacks the common sense to carry what is needed and the shorter trails are closed, they'll just take the longer, harder trails to Jefferson (like the Castle Trail) and be that much harder to rescue.

As to cell phones being evil, I've never had one do anything evil to me.;) They are no different than matches and items everyone should carry. Matches start forest fires and don't always work when it's windy or wet, but used wisely can be a lifesaver. I don't think the cell phone was missused in this incident. The ill prepared hikers could have been far worse off without the cell phone. If nothing else the phone call gives SAR people a location to look for the bodies.:eek:

Fiddleback
07-22-2007, 10:38
Firstly, I'm a little bit envious of the cell phone coverage. I don't get cell phone service at my home and the closest coverage is a 15 minute drive west to near the Blackfoot-Clark Fork confluence. Sometimes I get a signal near the summit of one of the nearby mountains but the time spent getting there effectively means there is no cell phone service here..."not that that's a bad thing." I might carry a cell phone on the trail if I could be confident of reliable service but...

As for the sperm doner and his progeny, I'd like to see part of the fine (puhleez let there be a fine!!) be the public reading of this thread.

FB

rickb
07-22-2007, 10:44
First off.. any one with the slightest clueI think the father and his daughter were from Pennsylvania.

People screw up outside thier zones of experience all the time. Whether its someone who has never been in the ocean getting caught in a rip tide while on vacation, or a college kid getting killed after venturing into a bad section of Boston at 3AM. People screw up.

Its not like this pair were betting thier lives on screws placed into frozen water, or even challenging a thunderstorm in a race to get to the next shelter. Or walking down the AT in drunken stupor.

They just made a mistake because they didn't know any better. It happens. Had the same thing occured after being warned by a ranger (which seems not to be the case), it would be far different, IMHO. As the story is written so far, BFD.

superman
07-22-2007, 11:20
I think the father and his daughter were from Pennsylvania.

People screw up outside their zones of experience all the time. Whether itís someone who has never been in the ocean getting caught in a rip tide while on vacation, or a college kid getting killed after venturing into a bad section of Boston at 3AM. People screw up.

Itís not like this pair were betting their lives on screws placed into frozen water, or even challenging a thunderstorm in a race to get to the next shelter. Or walking down the AT in drunken stupor.

They just made a mistake because they didn't know any better. It happens. Had the same thing occurred after being warned by a ranger (which seems not to be the case), it would be far different, IMHO. As the story is written so far, BFD.

What you say is true. I think my reaction to it was that it's a story that reflects the increasing tendency for people to bring a cell phone instead of the gear that would have allowed them to deal with the situation themselves without rescue being called. I understand that a thoughtful person carrying a cell phone can simply be another tool incase of the unexpected. Unfortunately the carrying of cell phones for many has been translated to mean that the cell phone is carried instead of reasonably thoughtful preparation. Rescue people take a degree of risk every time they have to go rescue folks. It's what they do but safety of rescuers should not be called on when it can easily be avoided with a bit of thought and preparation. Rescuers are a resource that should not be squandered.

Frosty
07-22-2007, 12:08
that most evil of inventions the cell phone gives people a false sense of security. You can't rely on it. Actually, it was not a false sense of security. These people got into trouble and would have been in serious trouble without the cell phone. In this case, the cell phone was probably a life-saver. It (hopefully) will cost them a ton of money, but they are lucky they had it.

The problem isn't that cell phones are evil. The problem is poor judgement on the part of the man who started a climb at 3:00 without adequate clothing or gear.

People did not suddenly start doing stupid things and needing rescue only after cell phones came into being. When I was coming down the Jewell Trail late on Sunday afternoon in mid-September in the early 90's, I met a guy going up. He was wearing shorts, T-shirt and carrying a single water bottle in one hand. He said he was going to the top. I tried to tell him there was no way he could get up and back before dark, but he took off up the hill. It was unseasonably warm but that wouldn't last after the sun went down.

People don't need compasses and cell phones to be irresponsible. They do it all by themselves.

Keep the focus of the problem where it belongs, on irresponsibility, not evil equipment.