quote:Originally posted by Flowing-Brook
wow, this conversation has gone ballistic. Relax people, he didn't commit a crime or hurt you. He got lost in the mountains, it could happen to you too. Exercise a little compassion...please.
I hate the argument that we shouldn't criticize another's actions because it could happen to us too. That's really not always the case. Frequently not.
When I read about someone who just slipped at the wrong moment, I think 'wow, that could happen to anyone'. when I read about someone who chose to go backcountry skiing (that's what it's called once you cross the rope) in dangerous conditions with no backcountry equipment or knowledge, no, I don't think 'that could happen to me'. In fact, that couldn't happen to me. These sorts of things aren't random acts that strike out of the sky. This man's issue was completely his fault. He didn't have the knowledge or skills to be where he was. He didn't have the equipment to be doing what he was doing. That is not a random chance. That is a distinct failure to take appropriate care.
When I go backcountry skiing, I check the conditions, carry appropriate gear, and know where I'm going (and have a map and compass with me to ensure I go where I'm planning to go).
While I haven't personally happened to go slackcountry outside a resort, if I did, I would do so with full preparation for backcountry skiing.
I have also never gotten lost. And the chances are extremely low that I ever will. I research an area before I go. I have solid navigation skills. I carry a map and compass everywhere I go, and I check where I am and how to get back to where I came from regularly. If I don't feel safe, I turn around. These are all things smart travellers do to avoid being in this man's predicament.
Some SAR callouts happen for things that could happen to anyone. This isn't one of them. This was entirely preventable, and it's simply not true that I (or many other prepared backcountry users) could just suddenly find myself in the same position.
One might have compassion as a human, but that doesn't require one to ignore the fact that it was entirely his own poor choices that put him where he was.