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Gil
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Gil
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PostTue Jan 09, 2024 6:52 pm 
Each of us has a responsibility when we go out to take a hard look at the conditions and consider our abilities. Who would look at the forecast conditions and go up there. Otherwise, we are playing with rescuers' lives.

Friends help the miles go easier. Klahini

Brucester, Anne Elk, Schroder
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thunderhead
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PostTue Jan 09, 2024 8:12 pm 
This was Friday, not now. The weather wasnt that bad Friday, a modest storm(by mountain standards) moved through late Friday into early Saturday and then improved again for the helo ride. The fact that he survived until Saturday afternoon means he was at least a little prepared. Now getting pinned down by just a routine storm and requiring rescue is perhaps poor form, but it is also rare for a journalist to give complete and accurate details in such articles, so this hiker's decision making may not have been that bad, especially if hurt. I for one would much rather see my tax money going to save semi-prepared hikers rather than most of the stupid stuff governments waste money on. Plus some day it might be me.

ChinookPass, Krylon, day_hike_mike, awilsondc, JonnyQuest, neek, Secret Agent Man, uww, huron, dave allyn
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RumiDude
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PostWed Jan 10, 2024 7:26 am 
*Mini-Rant* A few notes about how an article like this gets written. Most of these articles are sourced using official agency statements, and in this particular case that is abundantly clear by simply reading the article itself. The staff writer and editor simply take the information that the official agencies offer them. The article can thus only be as clear and accurate as the source of their information. These articles are NOT intended to be a deep analysis of the incident. Sorry if that disappoints some of you. If a particular incident were to be worthy of deep analysis, it would require a lot of time and expense. The NYT analysis of the Tunnel Creek avalanche incident several years ago is a great example of that type of deep dive. Anyway, glad that all involved returned safe and sound. Rumi

"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."

Waterman
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idoru
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PostWed Jan 10, 2024 9:18 am 
thunderhead wrote:
This was Friday, not now. The weather wasnt that bad Friday, a modest storm(by mountain standards) moved through late Friday into early Saturday and then improved again for the helo ride. The fact that he survived until Saturday afternoon means he was at least a little prepared. Now getting pinned down by just a routine storm and requiring rescue is perhaps poor form, but it is also rare for a journalist to give complete and accurate details in such articles, so this hiker's decision making may not have been that bad, especially if hurt. I for one would much rather see my tax money going to save semi-prepared hikers rather than most of the stupid stuff governments waste money on. Plus some day it might be me.
I appreciate this take. I'll try to not repeat this sentiment in future threads for fear of flogging a dead horse, but all of the judgement in SAR threads irks me. None of the criticism of this person's decision-making is going to change the fact that this happened, and it's over. We have no idea who this person is, what their experience level is, what their risk tolerance is, what they were (or weren't) equipped with, what their thought process was with taking this trip on and the overall "why", nor will we likely ever. And we certainly won't ever have the full story of what happened out there. One day, one of us might embark on adventure that seems OK for us to make, only to end up being rescued in a scenario that seemed unlikely to us at the time but highly likely to others. We make the best judgements we can, but the reality is that accidents happen or mistakes in judgement are made in spite of our best attempts. Nobody's perfect, and none of us are immune from mistakes. Just be happy folk made it out alive and move on.

bullfrog, Secret Agent Man, Lokicat, RichP, dave allyn, snowmonkey, GeoTom
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timberghost
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PostFri Jan 12, 2024 5:31 am 
I don't care who you are you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that was not a well thought out plan. Then throw in going solo. I personally feel there should be some reimbursement made to search and rescue.

vibramhead
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Randito
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Randito
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PostFri Jan 12, 2024 12:46 pm 
Even folks with well thought out plans and proper prepartion sometimes have a mishap and need help. The "They should pay for it" thinking is misguided" -- people don't plan on needing to be rescued and if they run into trouble if they know they will face a big bill -- fewer will call for help -- so more SAR operations will become body recoveries rather than rescues -- or worse extensive searchs for hikers that disappeared and are never found -- e.g. Samantha Sayers. If people reliably acted in a responsible manner -- we wouldn't need police and the need for fire departments would be greatly dimissed in the city.

day_hike_mike, Roly Poly
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lanzscape
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PostSat Jan 13, 2024 1:29 pm 
As with most things, the issue of whether the cost of a rescue should be borne by the rescued is not black and white. While it is certainly true that people do not plan to be rescued, people act stupidly and carelessly, and when their carelessness injures others or their property, they are generally expected to pay the damages, even if was just due to carelessness (aka, "negligence") and not intentional. And if someone stupidly or carelessly injures themselves or damages their own property, we generally expect that they, and not someone else, will incur the loss. With some obvious exceptions, we don't insulate people from the consequences of their personal choices, let alone careless ones. And it is true, and logical, that negative consequences of careless conduct causes people to be more careful (less negligent), which is a good thing for themselves and others. Of course, insurance is designed to protect people from their own carelessness, but this is typical (not always, obviously) at their own cost, and the costs go up if carelessness continues. I will not speculate on how careful or careless this particular hiker was with his trip planning. And I see obvious problems with trying to engage in this type of analysis to determine whether someone should be required to pay the costs of their rescue. And I certainly see the point in not wanting to discourage people from calling for a rescue. But I also see that requiring people to pay at least some portion of their rescue could make people more careful in their decisions, less inclined to undertake endeavors which are risky or not suited to their abilities, and less inclined to call for rescues which are not truly required. So, requiring the person being rescued to pay at least some cost of their rescue may well be good policy. At least, this issue does not appear to be as clear or one sided as some suggest. And I think that if I ever had to be rescued, I would certainly expect (and be willing) to pay at least some portion of the cost. Just my .02

Gil, NightOwl
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HitTheTrail
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PostSat Jan 13, 2024 3:15 pm 
If you carry a Garmin InReach device you can add rescue insurance for $30/year. That gets you $50K per incident up to two incidents per year. You also get $5K accidental death insurance policy. All for the price of a few beers (or lattes) while going to and coming from your trip.

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Schroder
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PostSun Jan 14, 2024 8:24 am 
lanzscape wrote:
And I think that if I ever had to be rescued, I would certainly expect (and be willing) to pay at least some portion of the cost.
Washington State does not bill for any rescue costs. There's only one exception: an incident caused by a person being intoxicated and that person has to be convicted first in order to recover costs. You do have to pay for some transport costs, such as being carried by an aid car to the hospital.

Cyclopath, Anne Elk, RumiDude, day_hike_mike, dave allyn  zimmertr
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RumiDude
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RumiDude
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PostSun Jan 14, 2024 10:34 am 
Schroder wrote:
lanzscape wrote:
And I think that if I ever had to be rescued, I would certainly expect (and be willing) to pay at least some portion of the cost.
Washington State does not bill for any rescue costs. There's only one exception: an incident caused by a person being intoxicated and that person has to be convicted first in order to recover costs. You do have to pay for some transport costs, such as being carried by an aid car to the hospital.
My understanding is that once they take you to the staging area all the rest of the costs of the incident fall on the rescued. In other words, once they get the person/people to the ambulance or whatever, that is the end of the no-cost rescue. Personally I am glad that rescue does not cost those in need regardless the circumstances. If we used this forum as an example, it can almost always be argued the individual is at fault to some degree. Parsing through that to assign responsibility is kinda idiotic. One only needs to notice the wacky scenarios of New Hampshire to see how it is arbitrary and capricious when assigning blame. In contrast, when my partner and I were in Ireland and she suffered a severe injury on the Wicklow Way, the ambulance ride was free all the way back to Dublin. We paid 100 at the ER. We would not even had to have paid for that if we had bothered to get the injury certified by the system, but we were ready to move on with our trip. So though we self rescued with the help of a couple mt bikers out to the road and down into a small village, the rest of the expense would have cost us nothing. As it was we paid the 100 (approximately $100) rather than be delayed an extra day. Rumi

"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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Randito
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Randito
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PostSun Jan 14, 2024 12:16 pm 
A friend of mine was bike touring in Albainia. she crashed and broke her femur and had other injuries. Setting the break required surgey and three days in the hospital recovering. Total bill was $100 USD. Albania has less than half the GDP per capita than the USA -- but they are able to provide emergency and medical services to not only their citizens -- but their vistors at non bankrupting rates. Is the problem irresponsible recreationalitsts or way in which the economy has been restructured so that lower and middle income people are fighting for scraps?

pula58, Anne Elk, RumiDude, dave allyn
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MangyMarmot
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PostSun Jan 14, 2024 5:28 pm 
I bet Albania has a much, much smaller ration of lawyers to citizens.

Cyclopath
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lanzscape
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PostMon Jan 15, 2024 6:43 am 
"Is the problem irresponsible recreationalitsts or way in which the economy has been restructured so that lower and middle income people are fighting for scraps?" So there is no problem with irresponsible recreationalists? Numerous threads here suggest otherwise, as does hospital ER statistics, as do my own observations of the way people behave in recreation areas. All I suggested is that there are logical reasons for why people should pay at least some portion of the rescue costs THEY incur, as people generally do for nearly all costs THEY incur. Even $100 for non-rescue hospitalizations in Albania. Rescues are not free. If charitable funds want to help those in need to pay their part of the cost, or you want to forgive it altogether for those that can afford to recreate in some remote location but can't afford to pay any of the cost of being rescued, that's fine as well. And as for insurance being available for those with Garmin for only $30 a year, sounds like a great option, but why would someone who only hikes in Washington pay even that small sum if rescues in Washington are "free?"

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Gil
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Gil
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PostMon Jan 15, 2024 7:18 am 
I help to support the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team, but I will do my best to never need their services. That means erring on the side of caution when conditions dictate, not overestimating my abilities (which diminish as I grow old, a fact of which I must be cognizant), and even being aware of my companions' abilities and constraints. This is not some unfair restriction on my activity. It's being responsible as a member of society.

Friends help the miles go easier. Klahini

Cyclopath, gb, hearingjd, thunderhead, lanzscape
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HitTheTrail
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PostMon Jan 15, 2024 8:39 am 
lanzscape wrote:
And as for insurance being available for those with Garmin for only $30 a year, sounds like a great option, but why would someone who only hikes in Washington pay even that small sum if rescues in Washington are "free?"
Often times injured and stuck hikers/climbers have to wait up to 12 hours for the free chopper ride. You can request a private one to come right out if you deem it necessary. But that will cost you $15-$20 grand and the insurance could come in handy.

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