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Wise Old Owl

Another Cost for Thru Hiking - NH rescue fee

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Quote Originally Posted by Datto View Post
You would not believe the number of unprepared people I saw in The White Mountains on my AT thru-hike who were completely incoherent, ice-covered and unable to speak due to shivering. I was wearing every stitch of clothing I was carrying (gobs of clothing, multiple coats, two pairs of gloves, long-johns, the works) and I still was frozen to the bone -- the tourists I saw were in T-shirts and shorts. They had come through the same raging storm where I had been literally tossed up off my feet and deposited onto my head on the rocks several times on my way to getting out and to cover.

One of the tourists who had been told by the rangers to sit on the floor against a wall -- he was beyond his faculties when he struggled to get up and stumbled over to the rangers when I was standing there covered in ice. It took that tourist at least 90 seconds to get his repeated request understood by the ranger while I was standing there (I couldn't understand one hoot of what the guy was trying to say but it was just in a days work for the ranger). Finally it was understood -- the tourist wanted the ranger to go out into the storm and see if the ranger could find the tourist's dog who had run off in the storm.

A few hours later I would hear over the emergency radio that a hiker up near Eisenhower had broken his leg along the AT -- this was a 9:00pm. Rescue people went up "the hill" in the middle of that gawd-awful storm and got the guy down and to a hospital. I couldn't believe that anyone would have gone out in that huge of a storm, must less carry the guy down and get him to a hospital. Completely unbelievable.

The next morning I saw two other thru-hikers and had asked them -- individually and at two different times of day -- what they'd thought of that storm last night. Both thru-hikers said it was the only time during their thru-hike where they had feared for their life.

Those rangers and rescue people do not get NEAR the credit they deserve for rescuing so many tourists every year in The White Mountains.


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