Blog reader Tom gave me a heads-up about an interesting event yesterday near Vail, Colorado. Apparently two men climbed fourteener Mount of the Holy Cross and somehow got “stranded” near the summit. Responding to the pair’s 911 call, rescue workers flew to the summit in a helicopter, hiked down to the men then hiked with them back up to the helicopter and flew back to civilization. According to Greg Burkhardt of the Vail rescue group, “They just got very scared.”
I’m glad the two rescued climbers are okay, but have to ask the question: Someone can get scared on a wilderness mountainside and call a helicopter via 911, but we can’t watch Davenport’s fourteener movie because it violates some wilderness regulations? Yes Virginia, I know we have to consider the rule of law — but I can’t help thinking about the issue of fairness.
Note to self: If needing close aerial photos of mountains in legal Wilderness, climb first, call 911, then shoot photos while flying out.
You know winter is coming because the Warren Miller PR machine is alive and well, and thus we see the annual press about Warren himself appearing hither and yon. This article (defunct link removed 2015) in Investor’s Daily is a cut above as it shares some interesting details about the great man’s life. I knew he spent winters skiing on private slopes in Montana, but didn’t know his personal resort had lifts that could move 5,500 skiers an hour — yet a normal day might see 35 people on the slopes. No lift lines? You bet. I wonder what it’s like being a ski patroller there? You’d have to get your first aid cert twice a year just so you wouldn’t forget how to put on a bandaid.
And speaking of resorts, the country of Nepal is cutting the fees for off-season Mount Everest trips. Next thing you know, they’ll have Everest climbs for sale on Travelocity! That’s not trivial, as a Nepali permit for 10 people on Everest is $87,600. Add to that the cost of having your cuerpo hauled up and down the mountain by Sherpas, and it gets pricey. Article here.
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.