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Mountain climbers put rescuers at risk with their thrill-seeking

| March 1, 2007 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

I have a question I'd like to pose to anyone with any knowledge on the subject. That being mountain climbing.

More specifically, why is it permitted at places like Mt. Hood or even Rainier where historically, winter climbing conditions prove time and again to be limb- and life-threatening?

We close beaches when dangerous rip tides are prevalent. It's illegal to shoot Niagara Falls. Yet each year it seems two or three groups of these self-centered morons set out for the top of the mountain with little to no regard for their own safety and well being. That in itself is fine with me.

The problem begins when these geniuses get themselves lost, stranded, hurt, or otherwise incapacitated. Herein lies the big problem. Now we have to risk the lives and limbs of the rescuers in an attempt to save these guys.

A lot of these rescuers have a spouse and kids at home that are depending on them to come home at night. I just wonder if any of these idiots ever consider the potential ramifications of their thrill-seeking.

Aside from the risk of life and limb on these rescue and recovery missions, what about the money spent? We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars plus here. Who picks up that tab?

I don't blame these guys for wanting to climb the mountain just because it's there, but hey, what's wrong with August?

Bob Creighton