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MtnHigh

More Jabs at PMR by the Oregonian

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I already carry a cell phone and often a GPS and avy transceiver and those things take enough away from the experience. Requiring heavy equipment in an activity where speed often increases safety and weight always decreases speed is a mistake.

 

cascadeclimber, I agree with almost your entire post, except for this part. I take such things along with me and have noticed no detrimental experience on account of having them. What good parts of your experience are you giving away to the inanimate objects you carry in your pack or pocket? Those things take nothing, only what you give them. Does the high tech textile engineering of scholler detract from having just a wool jacket? What about the materials science and engineering going into ice tools or ski construction--surely those things don't detract from the experience of having all wood and steel equipment.

In addition, the newest McMurdo PLB is 5 or 6oz. I realise weight can be an issue, but at 6oz I can swing it, personally. And there is no reason that the weight won't go lower over time. At what point would a 2oz PLB be too heavy? I suppose there will always be someone.

 

btw thanks for your website--have enjoyed a lot

 

Are you serious? I've known plenty of people that cut off extra pack straps and strip everything in or on their pack to shave an extra ounce. Climbers obsess about weight because as pointed out priorly, speed is safety and weight decreases speed.

 

Dane- Frankly I find your idea that regulations are needed to help with body recoveries laughable. If I'm dead I'm dead. No need to come get me.

 

I don't have your thousand yard stare from all the near death encounters you have been involved in so I guess I'm just not climbing hard enough and my opinion doesn't count as much as yours. I'll try harder in the future.

 

I still don't see what the problem is that people are trying to solve and you didn't explain to me how any of these new regulations are going to save people's lives. With all the death you've had to deal with I would think that by this time you would be somewhat hardened to it and accept it as part of the sport. Great to educate people and I would never tell someone that they couldn't or shouldn't take whatever they feel they need to take to make their attempt a success. But it should be left up to the individual to make that decision not some bureaucrat or an op/ed cartoonist.

 

 

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Yes I am serious. I'd love to hear how those things "take enough away from the experience"--as if any one of those items made your day any less awesome or kept you from your goals. Right. Sure people obsess over weight - but for many cascade volcano routes that isn't quite a make/break issue. Maybe for world class climbers doing routes light-and-fast in remote areas etc etc, but anyone capable of climbing any of the routes on hood, is not going to be held back by a 6oz beacon, for instance. I understand a 5lb sleeping bag or an ancient locator the size of a 2 liter bottle and weighing 5lbs, sure-but we're not talking about that. So at what point would a 1oz beacon 'weigh too much'. Speed CAN be safety, not IS. I understand the cost argument a lot more than weight--but even then in the scope of what I have spent on outdoors equipment, it is just another one of those purchases--and will probably last longer than many of the other things.

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I'm not making the weight argument because as you say it's not a 1 oz beacon that would hold me back. It would be the fat in my ass and the lack of proper skill set that would hold me back. But you are well aware that climbers OBSESS over weight and it's not up to you or I to tell them what they should take with.

 

As far as the cost...shit dude... I'm a dirtbag who can barely afford gas money to get to the closest crag let alone another $3-400 gadget that Salem tells me I have to take with.

 

Can someone please explain to me what the problem is? Are more people dieing and getting lost up there than is being reported? Seriously...I don't get up to Hood often because I can't stand the crowds but is there a huge problem with SAR screwing up on Hood?

 

What is the problem that we are trying to fix?

 

Is there anyone on this board that was involved directly with the last two high profile SAR efforts where people died on Hood? Do you also feel that "something needs to be done"?

Edited by Atreides

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I said I agreed with everything cascadeclimber said except that those devices have already "taken so much away from the experience", and he was saying he does not advocate someone in salem telling climbers specifically what they must carry, especially due to the slippery slope it creates. I honestly prefer it to be about your own choice and self reliance as much as possible. If you are in such a bad place that you can't rescue yourself, and you have tools to call in help, I support having that help available when it can be. If you don't have a phone, PLB, someone to call in an attempted rescue when you're overdue, no route info left, no shovel, etc etc and you die of something like a broken ankle due to shock or exposure or something, that is terribly unfortunate but really comes on you, not anyone else.

 

I agree many climbers are poor. Also, many are not. I somehow found a way to increase my gear even when I was unemployed, lord knows. I'd also if you're fullon mountaineering or whatever anyone wants to call it, chances are you've spent a lot between boots, tools, rope, clothing, pack, ..sleeping bag..bivy?..etc. I would contrast that to living out of your van and climbing in the desert or something, not necessarily as much is needed for that.

 

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Obviously you've never come upon a rotted, maggot invested body or one partically sticking out of the ice...or the rather large blood spot that use to be a human being an avalanche can leave. Or awaken sucking dirt into your lungs.

 

That kinda stuff makes some people look at *life* differently, not just climbing.

 

I do find it laughable that weight comes into the conversation. While we all might obsess over weight in or outside our pack at one time or another you have to be a real gumby to make that claim an issue in this discussion. If an extra 4oz is going to keep you from pulling a move you suck bad anyway.

 

my opinion doesn't count as much as yours

 

To who? You or me?

 

I'm certainly not the only one here, but I had been involved in very few incidents over my entire climbing career and know climbers who have died. But I find it easy to tally them and even easier to look back at their specific accidents and realise many would have likely lived if they had recieved more timely attention. I don't find myself hardened by those experiences but more willing to be objective and hopefully find ways to avoid such an incident myself. Same kind of problem solving that gets you up climbs imo.

 

I have suggested that a modern beacon with current technology be developed and that it become as accepted and common in our community as a helmet or rope is now. I didn't see a down side in that equation. Times change.

 

Some one hands me a 4oz beacon and says I have to use it on Denali, Hood, Rainier or the beach I'd most likely just say thanks (if it actually worked as intended) today or 30 years back. Where's the beef...I just don't get it. Now if you want me to actaully PAY for that beacon we *might* have a problem if it isn't my choice.

 

Better than the damn shit cans and bags we now are required to use because their are just too many climbers.

 

The whole dying thing and discussion isn't all that fun. But the conversation is entertaining. Reminds me of another discussion I only read about but seems appropriate to mention now as we discuss PLBs.

 

My generation in no special order has laughed at harnesses, pitons, nuts, Friends, helmets, leashes, umbilicals, bent shafts and 'pon spurs.

 

The previous generation laughed at ropes and crampons just to name two.

 

Most of the big ice faces in the Alps were done very early on sans rope. Not because the climbers were stupid or brave but because they knew they didn't have the technology (no nylon ropes or ice pitons/screws) to use a rope and catch a partner in a top rope fall let alone on a lead fall. So better to climb without a rope and no one fall...or if you did, you didn't kill your partner by that mistake hopefully.

 

You wore hob nailed boots and used a 100cm axe to chop steps...lots of steps. Sure people ski those lines now and still die when they fall down them. But back before the turn of the last century some really fit and able men climbed hard and risked just we do now.

 

They also adopted nylon ropes, crampons and later on trams and then even curved tools. Trams or PLBs? Now their is a trade off :)

 

I don't see a PLB changing the way I climb now or that it would have changed the way I climbed in the past. But I am an old goat, it might well change yours.

 

I'm not the first to repeat this, "today's death route is tomorrow's trade route." One of the reasons that continues to be true is we as climbers adopt new technology quickly be it a rope, crampon, Friend, Nomic or a PBL.

 

Unless you are soloing naked, technology makes it all possible.

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1. The toll booth to enter parks like Mount Rainier or the Olympics

2. Mandate to carry bear canisters

3. Blue Bags

4. Mandated electronic dog collar for "risk taking hikers"

 

some of these things make sense to protect the area.

 

btw Dane I don't think anyone has a problem with using evolving technology. its the mandate that is the issue. its the bigger issue of risk management of an issue that has been sensationalized by the media.

 

 

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we as climbers adopt new technology quickly be it a rope, crampon, Friend, Nomic or a PBL.

 

Pretty sure any of these items being required by law would be outrageous to most here, and would not reduce risk or expense of rescue.

 

Apart from the PBL (I assume you mean PBR here).

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Sorry PLB as in "personal location beacon"....

 

OK guys but what you miss is if groups of folks were getting killed because they decided ropes weren't a required part of their kit on a glacier we might well take exception to that action as climbers.

 

If a PLB actually would save lives (technology limits accepted for the moment) doesn't it seem foolish for us (climbers) not to be more accepting of them in the community?

 

I read more here of "hell no I don't want/need a beacon" than I do "a workable beacon would make sense". PMR flamed the fire of this one as much as the deaths and resulting media attention has imo.

 

Just saying and asking the question?

 

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Who are you debating this point with? Did I ever say you shouldn't carry a beacon? Take the kitchen sink for all I care. But it's not any business of your's to tell me what to take.

 

And no...I think I've made it pretty clear that I'm not a hardman out knocking on deaths door every weekend. The hardest route I may ever get up on Hood might be Cooper's Spur. The bodies usually fall onto the Elliot so no...not a lot of maggots up there.

 

I've heard the argument about climbers back in the day scoffing at the new technology. This is a different scenario entirely. All of those things you mentioned were introduced to fix a specific problem and more importantly they worked. Some of the old timers didn't see a problem with the way they did it and decided not to accept it. What's the problem? Should we force anyone rock climbing to use a harness and make swami belts a misdemeanor? Should it be illegal for me to climb Hood without crampons? Should I not be allowed to free solo naked?

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My point is simple.

 

All of those things you mentioned were introduced to fix a specific problem and more importantly they worked

 

A modern beacon with current technology can work as intended. The right beacon can make identification and mobilization faster when in need of a rescue. At least in part my debate is with PMR and anyone thinking along those same lines.

 

Hopefully none of us will be laying on a glacier somewhere, injured and dying slowly of hypothermia remembering this conversation and wonder why we made the decisions we did.

 

I'm done.

 

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as a matter of good taste, atreides, you shouldn't be allowed to solo naked. no one wants to see that...

 

 

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the debate was that the editorial cartoon was not tasteful, that PMR says no about the legislation, which almost every last person here also agrees upon (its dumb technology, unenforceable mandate, and unlikely to lead to your rescue any more than a cell phone). However, PMR's byline that was in the news for the public was "We don't advocate mandating them - it would make people be riskier". Not "We strongly advocate that climbers/climber community voluntarily carry technology that could help their potential rescue/survival chances, but we absolutely can't support mandating MLUs for a variety of reasons, including it would increase risk and be unenforceable.

 

let someone else clean the language up - but they need a better line than the one that the public got. Sure if you read their detailed statement it says they support leaving a detailed itinerary and a person to call if you dont check in, bring a PLB, MLU, phone, shovel, bivy, cord of wood"

 

Then most of the response here, as Dane says, was "yeah, no way I'd carry a beacon, salem can't tell me what to do, it changes the game, I want to die if i get hurt but can't get out on my own, etc".

 

Personally, being a new climber and having felt quite comfortable and that conditions were excellent along and above the reid just a week before this accident -- it has me squarely set on getting that McMurdo beacon. Not because it will influence my decisions one iota, but that if something does go wrong and I can't get myself out of there or someone will die if they don't get help fast enough, it is superior technology to a MLU or cell phone. And because I'd easily spend the same amount on boots, jackets, sleeping bags, tents, ice tools, etc, even if I try to shop for deals.

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I hear you dude...didn't mean to flame and I don't think I disagree with you in general. But this light as a feather, cheap rescue beacon doesn't exist as far as I know. I think many would take them if they worked...just like most of us carry avy beacons in the winter, shovels, probes, pons etc etc etc. But the ides that climbers need to mobilize to demand this new technology be invented and then used by everyone is IMO kind of naive.

 

I am still curious though whats your beef with PMR's stand on this issue? Where is the need for all this that PMR is missing?

 

 

 

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Cool...pick one up and let us know how it works.

 

I'll look for it on ebay in a couple of years.

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as a matter of good taste, atreides, you shouldn't be allowed to solo naked. no one wants to see that...

 

 

what... you don't think pasty white man flesh is sexy? What if I at least wear boots?

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I'm confident PMR would be happy to chase after PLBs all day. There is no question they take the search out of search and rescue. If that message is being misunderstood, they need to work on their message. The logical disconnect of mandated use as "tax dollar reduction devices" is the issue.

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Not sure if that is directed at me. I didnt feel flamed so no worries. The McMurdo Fast Find 210 is a newer beacon that recently came out, it is very small

http://www.fastfindplb.com/en/index.php

 

its no panacea, it ain't gunna keep anyone warm, and its not going to stop rockfall or an avalanche, but to me it seems pretty damn small and light, reviews from numerous sources are very positive, and at $300 (or less if we get a group deal that someone on CC is trying to organize) it is competitive with many other pieces of gear I buy.

 

Climbers don't need to mobilize to demand this tech--it is being created and there are many users that would benefit from smaller beacons that can be kept on the person (boaters, for instance).

 

I am not upset by PMR but listen, the public heard "we don't agree with mandating these because people will be riskier" as they stand in front of a mountain with 3 dead kids, 2 they can't find on it. (RIP) Sorry, but the public is dumb and they don't believe that, they see 3 dead folks picture and say these PMR people are wrong/have an agenda/want climbers to do whatever they want. Legislation to make MLU mandatory won't come from climbers, but sure as heck the public idiots would support it and mobilize it. Thus I personally think PMR should be more proactive about emergency tech. use: "we strongly advocate voluntary use of safety technology, but emphatically disagree with the legislation of it because ".

 

Edited by Water

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What I should have said is that things like cell phones and MLUs take away from *my* experience, or rather, the experience I desire, which is wild, untrammeled wilderness.

 

And the difference between cell phones and MLUs, and an avy transceiver and GPS is that the latter two make backcountry travelers more self-sufficient and the former two tend to make us less self-sufficient.

 

I don't want to carry an MLU, even if it weighs an ounce, which they don't. Just like I don't go near the south sides of Hood or Rainier in the summer. I detest crowds as they take away from the wilderness experience *I* desire, as does some technology. These are my choices and preferences and I'm not saying they do or should apply to everyone. And *that* is my overall point: What is a good choice for one person is a poor choice for another. "Safely" equipped parties have died on Slipstream while "unsafe" parties (Twight) have soloed it in a few hours. There is no one 'right' rule here and trying to force one won't result in anything postitive.

 

So those of you who want MLUs go get them. I for one understand and do not begrudge you that choice, but please also try to find some respect for people who make other choices. For what it's worth I feel the same way about seat belts and motorcycle/bike helmets. I choose to use them, but also believe it should be a choice, not a mandate.

 

Lastly, if we are forced to use MLUs then the damn hunters and ORV people ought to be included in the requirement, too.

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hear ya on the experience being unique to you. Yes, if we are forced to use them, by all means ORV, hunters, etc need to be mandated as well.

 

you'd say GPS makes you more self-sufficient, batteries, satellites/signal and all? Than a map and compass? would a PLB (and not MLU which is a POS) make you less self-sufficient? From my view having a PLB is not going to influence what choices I make while climbing. However it would play a role if an accident happens--If my partner(s) or I end up staring death in the face with no other options, I'd take the PLB in hand over not having it. Would you not? Or do you think you would push the red button before you exhausted all your options, or would it influence you to make choices you wouldn't otherwise make? I guess I don't personally see how having a cell phone turned off and in my pack could trammels my experience in the wilderness (other than the weight?). Does it seem like you couldn't die as easily from a shattered tibia due to shock or exposure if you had a cell+service or a PLB? I'm curious how you personally decide which technology trammels your wilderness experience.

 

I mean the metal stays in your pack, the GPS, the ice tools all have tons and tons and tons of technology, hell, thousands of years of meturlogy behind them but you don't go without them. They make you more self-sufficient in that you don't need someone to make a path, put up bolts, etc, but many of them are technologically advanced tools for sure.

 

I don't care if you don't want these items, sure, and I don't think your attitude is bad--but I guess I don't logically or emotionally see how you decide which technology is too much and which isn't - or the why of it, rather, unless it negatively influences your decision making process, which would be an understandable reason to have a strong opinion about not taking it.

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I have suggested that a modern beacon with current technology be developed and that it become as accepted and common in our community as a helmet or rope is now.

 

Um... the straw man argument with the magic beacon that will be 100% win and 0% fail is not the issue. It's like saying "A super gluey shoe and glove should be developed using gecko tape and then everyone should be made to use them." Saying that something can be made better does not equate to saying that what we have now should be made mandatory.

 

Right now there is no law requiring (for instance) roping up on a glacier or a technical climb. Should climbers be required BY LAW to rope up? It will reduce the number of deaths and the number of rescue callouts somewhat. Should Bachar have been arrested by the tool for free soloing? should Croft and Honnold? How 'bout Ueli Steck?

 

If we don't mandate roping up then why argue in favor of requiring beacons - magic ones with pixie dust OR real world existing ones?

 

 

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I propose they mandate the use of gravity assist and suspensor belts. Float up and down any route safely and with minimal effort. Blue Tooth enabled retinal Internet feed also required.

 

Or a person could just not give a shit and proceed as normal. Law mandates Tauntaun use? So? Just because the unwashed masses decide something is a good idea doesn't mean I have to change the way I live. I'd like to see The Tool arrest me for not riding a Tauntaun.

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Should I not be allowed to free solo naked?

<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Boots, gloves and a t-shirt. Thats how I roll <<<<<<<<<<<<<

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"But to the folks here advocating for mandatory equipment, I am telling you this is a very, very slippery slope that, if implemented, will not end with MLUs."

 

Word.

 

Any attempt to substitute mandates for judgment as a means to increase safety will be as futile as it is intrusive and foolish.

 

 

 

 

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"Any attempt to substitute mandates for judgment as a means to increase safety will be as futile as it is intrusive and foolish".

 

That says it all... Where's the damn fork?

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