It’s old news now that a rescue group in Canada is being sued for an allegedly botched rescue. But I bring up this subject because I’ve seen quite a bit of buzz lately about how rescue groups are growing frustrated because the Canadian government isn’t coming up with liability insurance for them. All well and good, but I don’t understand a couple of things. First, I find it hard to believe that rescue groups in Canada have been operating all these years without some sort of liability protection. More, my understanding is that anyone can sue anybody. It’s the outcome that counts. Thus, people getting their climbing harnesses in a bunch over this seem to be over reacting. In other words, what’s changed? Perhaps the lawsuit just jogged people’s awareness? If so, great, but no need for panic. More here.
The subject of ski helmets is always worth some brain cell involvement. In other lawsuit news, a family in Ohio is suing doctors who they claimed killed their brain injured son to harvest his organs. The young man had hurt himself in a snowboard accident. The article isn’t clear on whether a helmet was in use or not. But I can see possible public service adds coming out of this sad incident. Something like, “if you don’t want your organs harvested, wear your helmet.”
I’ve always admired “adaptive” sports such as sit skiing. Beyond that, it’s one thing taking a lift up for your vertical when you don’t have the use of your legs, but getting vert under arm power is a whole different game. That’s why paraplegic climbers are indeed a breed apart. Whether they’re yarding up El Capitan by doing pullups the whole way, or pushing a sled up a mountain with arm power alone, these guys are radical. Check out this recent Kilimanjaro climb by a guy with a hand powered quad.
Lastly, I thought we could all use some inspiration from the skiing robot.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.