Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
Norman_Clyde

Letter to P-I blames climbers for rescue costs

Recommended Posts

yours, pointed at you first, then up there (and maybe at them too). Then they confront you with the finger.

 

My, what a shock(er)!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was in SAR 10 years ago and probably half the time our pagers went off it was to look for runaway Alzheimers patients.

Yea its still that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was in SAR 10 years ago and probably half the time our pagers went off it was to look for runaway Alzheimers patients.

Yea its still that way.

 

Ditto here in central WA. That, and people getting drunk and falling in the river/irrigation canals. And lost hikers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditto in the Sierra, there it was usually hikers caught in an early snow storm at high elevation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the reason operations involving lost hikers and hunters typically cost more than climber rescues has to do with the "search" part of search and rescue. Large numbers of people are very often involved, hence more expense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't YOSAR charge for rescues if the parties needing rescued do not have adequate equipment?

 

I seem to recall they are either charged money or for criminal wrecklessness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the reason is because law enforcement can be more involved in a search operation in the woods versus a rescue up in the mountains.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I be you are right about that being an important factor, Jon. The searches are typically going to involve more PAID staffing in addition to just larger numbers with larger logistics expenses and the aircraft support for mountain rescue, as we have been discussing, is often not chargeable to the operation.

 

The point is, we should be careful when asserting that "climbers cost less than hikers to rescue" or whatever. To the extent that if you read up on it that appears to be true -- fine. But you'll have to consider things like volunteer labor being actually worth something and military training exercises being significant components as well.

 

In addition, those of us who are members of the American Alpine Club actually DO have rescue insurance and I believe that some folks HAVE been billed for their rescues or at least some portion of the cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think when all was said and done I spent somewhere in the neighboorhood of 2000 hours involved with SAR. That doesn't include gas, class expenses, equipment, etc. It came to the point where it was hard to justify the time and expense.

 

I don't think climbers rescues cost any less, but there are sure far far less of them. One search that stands out in my mind was a women who was lost with her baby and two dogs on Tiger, I think maybe during the fall. People were pretty frantic to find her because of the baby and it was getting a little chilly out. I think there were two helicopters in the air with infrared. We found her pretty quickly but the amount of resources used was enormous! Why aren't people writing letters about people like this who are endangering another person (their child) and are ill prepared for such environs? Sorry to say I'm all about survival of the fittest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Climbing is perceived as a thrill-sport based on unnecessary risk and there is certainly some truth to that perception. We can argue that the risks are not really all that great -- and you might find some insurance company analysis to back that argument up -- but I think the reason climbers are singled out as opposed to boaters or irresponsible mom's has to do with this idea that we are reckless thrill-seekers. We could argue that anybody who goes to a Mariners game and parks under the viaduct is asking to get mugged and they should pay for any police support they receive, or that mom who takes her child outside during marginal weather has similarly courted disaster, but I don't think those arguments are going to go very far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was rescued in the Enchantments the dudes in the helicopter were stoked becuase they got to do a real life rescue in more precarious terrain than their training ground on the Yakima reservation. They even turned out all their lights (10pm or 11pm was the rescue) on the Blackhawk and used night vision goggles during the whole rescue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Possibly a tangent, possibly relevant:

 

National Forests can charge people who accidently start forest fires, and I know negligent people in Nat'l Parks have been charged fees for their rescue -- how does that relate to this topic overall, in your minds?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Possibly a tangent, possibly relevant:

 

National Forests can charge people who accidently start forest fires, and I know negligent people in Nat'l Parks have been charged fees for their rescue -- how does that relate to this topic overall, in your minds?

 

I had a friend who blew out a knee by the Gardners by Winthrop. He had a helicopter come and pick him up by the SAR folks out there. I think it was a county helicopter--but I could be wrong. My friend said he had to pay $5000 for the helicopter ride.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to my (past) discussions with the crew chiefs at the Yakima Firing Center, these guys actually prefer to use NOV for low-light operations. They can see better (i.e. a wider field of view) with NOV than with a spotlight, and the current version of NOV has a built-in IR light source that helps them to read maps while in flight without switching in and out of NOV (bummer to continually readjust your night vision) or having to use penlights and such. And it's all "hands free", which is a good option to have while flying a chopper.

 

Granted, the sample size for this survey was rather small...

 

dvic576.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had a friend who blew out a knee by the Gardners by Winthrop. He had a helicopter come and pick him up by the SAR folks out there. I think it was a county helicopter--but I could be wrong. My friend said he had to pay $5000 for the helicopter ride.

 

Yeah medical insurance doesn't cover that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BTW the PI is reading this wave.gif

 

Are they going to quote my cyberstalking, bitchslap comments word for word rockband.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had a friend who blew out a knee by the Gardners by Winthrop. He had a helicopter come and pick him up by the SAR folks out there. I think it was a county helicopter--but I could be wrong. My friend said he had to pay $5000 for the helicopter ride.

 

Yeah medical insurance doesn't cover that.

 

I just checked my medical insurance benefits and they cover 80% of ambulance expenses (air and ground).

 

They also cover 100% of chemical dependency treatment after the $200 bar tab... er... I mean copay. bigdrink.gifbigdrink.gifbigdrink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sent a letter to the editor at the P-I. Don't know whether or not they'll print it; it was over 400 words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very cool to read all the good stuff posted. Sobo, thanks for putting in the time and effort on behalf of all of us.

 

I have a little info re: Yos rescues. My son was briefly unaccounted for on the Mist trail this past September, due to receiving poor directions from my father (fortunately he found his own way down without difficulty). My dad later told me that contributing to his relief at my son's belated appearance was the knowledge that, if a search did have to be mobilized, there is an automatic $5K charge to the party involved. I never tried to verify this, but he lives in CA and goes to Yos all the time, so it's probably correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you get flown off a mountain, and dropped at your car,

 

1) does it count as a summit?

 

Dru, this counts as 6 summits. But if you're careless and forgetful, you can easily turn 6 into 9... smirk.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×