EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Backcountry, Telemark, and Cross Country › 21 skiers need rescue/assistance on Wednesday in OB Steamboat! UGGHHH
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21 skiers need rescue/assistance on Wednesday in OB Steamboat! UGGHHH - Page 2

post #31 of 50

At Revelstoke, BC, Canada, they have this little sign:

 

 

post #32 of 50

here's the funnier part:  i was lucky enough to be at steamboat last wednesday; it snowed all day albeit lightly, but by afternoon areas in bounds were skiing pretty dam good in fact i spent the whole afternoon skiing under the sundown lift, in the trees on either side of it, and it just got deeper and deeper and i saw so few souls cutting it up with me it never occurred to me to waste the energy to go anywhere else. 

post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skierish View Post

I don't buy it.  I think you're underestimating the strong instinct for self-preservation that most people have.  If someone truly believes their life is in danger, they're typically going to seek out professional assistance.  After all, some locales do charge, yet they seem to have no shortage of customers.  Most people would rather be alive to worry about how to pay for the cost of rescue than the alternative.  That's been my observation anyway.

I spent an entire career in emergency services, and I know people gladly (well, maybe not "gladly," but certainly unhesitatingly) incur the cost of an ambulance ride over seemingly the most trivial of concerns...the kind that causes medics to roll their eyes behind the patient's back.

BTW, how do you know people have died because of the fear of rescue costs???  I mean, they're dead, and the dead tell no tales...or so I've heard anyway.  Did they leave a note written in their own blood in the snow saying, "I would have called for help, but I was too afraid S&R might charge me for a portion of the costs...Good-bye, cruel world!!!"?

As a member of the 'under-insured' class, I have almost died rather than go to the hospital for fear that I would have thousands of dollars of out of pocket expenses. I had appendicitis and wasn't feeling very well. When my GF took a look at me she insisted I go to the ER. They immediately prepped me for OR. If I'd waited any longer, I might not be writing this post. It took me a year to pay off the expenses and severely taxed my finances.

So, yes, fear of costs will prevent someone for calling for help.
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdave69 View Post

here's the funnier part:  i was lucky enough to be at steamboat last wednesday; it snowed all day albeit lightly, but by afternoon areas in bounds were skiing pretty dam good in fact i spent the whole afternoon skiing under the sundown lift, in the trees on either side of it, and it just got deeper and deeper and i saw so few souls cutting it up with me it never occurred to me to waste the energy to go anywhere else. 

I could never understand why people rush to the side country on epic powder days, especially when they don't have a clue. If it's skiing that well inbounds, just stay safe and enjoy. Go into the sidecountry when a. you know what you're doing, where you're going and what the conditions are and b. when inbounds is crappy. 

post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by docbrad66 View Post

At Revelstoke, BC, Canada, they have this little sign:

 

 

Great post - says it all.

post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

 

Your brothers friends party should have realized that they didn't have time to complete the wall and retreated.  They may have been slowed down through no fault of their own, but the decision to go on that left them stranded and needing rescue is theirs alone.  In BC skiing this would be an example of a Heuristic Trap.  The party was too fixated on their summit goal and lost site of the reality of their situation.

Not really, I wasn't there so I can't say for sure exactly what happened, but bailing off the wall on a trad climb is not a trivial matter and in the best of cases involves leaving a lot of expensive gear behind. It's also totally possible that due to the structure of the crack bailing off the wall wasn't really possible. It's also possible that a group below them prevented them from retreating down the wall. Like I said I wasn't there so I don't know the exact circumstances.  

post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

Not really, I wasn't there so I can't say for sure exactly what happened, but bailing off the wall on a trad climb is not a trivial matter and in the best of cases involves leaving a lot of expensive gear behind. It's also totally possible that due to the structure of the crack bailing off the wall wasn't really possible. It's also possible that a group below them prevented them from retreating down the wall. Like I said I wasn't there so I don't know the exact circumstances.  

 

Obviously I wasn't there either.  I have been a climber.  Getting rescued in the dark off of a trad climb is also not a trivial matter.  I don't know how much expensive gear really needs to be left.  A few anchor pieces and slings for sure.  Is the cost of that gear split among the group members worth more than the hassle and cost of a rescue?  I don't believe that the structure of the crack would preclude going down if it could be protected on the way up.  As to any groups below them, did they all need to be rescued?  Or only your brothers friends group?  At some point on the way up the group should have realized that they were not on target to successfully top out.  The descision becomes, do you get rescued in the dark or do you undertake getting your selves safely down in the daylight.  The recognition of a point of no return or a working bail out option on a skiing or climbing route is part of pre-trip planning.  They got caught because their decisions put them there.  Blaming the slow group seems like weak sauce.

post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

The question isn't whether or not they'll seek help; it's when. If you're facing the prospect of a five- or six-figure bill that you probably can't afford and certainly don't want to pay, your mentality is going to be "I'll get myself out of it" up until you can't get yourself out of it (e.g. when it's dark and storming and your stuck on a cliff). If you're not facing that type of a bill, you are more likely to call at an earlier juncture when there's less danger for everyone.

 

An ambulance ride costs like $50 with insurance and what a couple hundred without? That's not at all the same thing as paying for a full rescue operation. You don't think many people without insurance avoid going to the doctor/hospital for fear of going bankrupt over sky-high medical costs? 

 

Maybe.  Human nature is what it is, though.  If somebody is scared enough, they'll seek help.

You're often right about what I bolded, though, but it's not because of a fear of costs.  It's due to embarrassment.  In my experience, far, far more people decline or delay calling emergency services due to embarrassment rather than a fear of costs.  For every concern I've ever heard expressed about cost, I'd bet there are 100+ expressions of embarrassment.  I'd be interested to hear any of our Ski Patrollers' take on that cost/embarrassment reaction.

 

Joe, where on earth do you live where an ambulance ride is "couple hundred" bucks???  It was over 1,200 when I left Dallas...and that was last I knew!  Could be more now...

People that can't afford 'em still use 'em...all the time.  Let's face it, people that can't pay the bill won't have to.  We don't have Debtor's Prisons anymore.

 

Besides, I'm not suggesting everyone should have to pay for rescue...just those found to be negligent in those actions that necessitated a rescue.  Even then, reimbursement could be based on a sliding-scale, ability to pay kind of system.  Stupidity in the BC that endangers others should have consequences other than a disapproving finger-wag, though.  Like I said, plenty of other places have a reimbursement for rescue system in place, and their business appears to be as good as those places that don't have it.

post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

 

Obviously I wasn't there either.  I have been a climber.  Getting rescued in the dark off of a trad climb is also not a trivial matter.  I don't know how much expensive gear really needs to be left.  A few anchor pieces and slings for sure.  Is the cost of that gear split among the group members worth more than the hassle and cost of a rescue?  I don't believe that the structure of the crack would preclude going down if it could be protected on the way up.  As to any groups below them, did they all need to be rescued?  Or only your brothers friends group?  At some point on the way up the group should have realized that they were not on target to successfully top out.  The descision becomes, do you get rescued in the dark or do you undertake getting your selves safely down in the daylight.  The recognition of a point of no return or a working bail out option on a skiing or climbing route is part of pre-trip planning.  They got caught because their decisions put them there.  Blaming the slow group seems like weak sauce.

Several groups had to be rescued off the wall which is why I added the part about people below them. If the crack winded sideways it could certainly be protected on the way up and not leave you able to set an anchor should you have to repel.

 

Edit: also in terms of gear when each piece cost 20-50 per cam and 15-25 on average for nuts and 3 pieces for the average anchor cost quickly adds up.   

 

Second edit: Now that I read it climbing makes a perfect case for whether or not people would wait/call for rescue if they had to pay. Also I'm not necessarily defending what my brother's friends did, just trying to point out that without being in the situation it's very difficult to understand why people made the decision they did. For all I know they may have been on track to make the top in time until a last minute hold up at which point it would have taken them longer to egress then try for the top. As we have both conceded we weren't there but at least to me it's much easier to see/ understand all the complexities involved in the call/ no call when you cna for the most part take out the route decision part of it. 


Edited by lonewolf210 - 2/19/13 at 7:48pm
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skierish View Post

 

Maybe.  Human nature is what it is, though.  If somebody is scared enough, they'll seek help.

You're often right about what I bolded, though, but it's not because of a fear of costs.  It's due to embarrassment.  In my experience, far, far more people decline or delay calling emergency services due to embarrassment rather than a fear of costs.  For every concern I've ever heard expressed about cost, I'd bet there are 100+ expressions of embarrassment.  I'd be interested to hear any of our Ski Patrollers' take on that cost/embarrassment reaction.

 

Joe, where on earth do you live where an ambulance ride is "couple hundred" bucks???  It was over 1,200 when I left Dallas...and that was last I knew!  Could be more now...

People that can't afford 'em still use 'em...all the time.  Let's face it, people that can't pay the bill won't have to.  We don't have Debtor's Prisons anymore.

 

Besides, I'm not suggesting everyone should have to pay for rescue...just those found to be negligent in those actions that necessitated a rescue.  Even then, reimbursement could be based on a sliding-scale, ability to pay kind of system.  Stupidity in the BC that endangers others should have consequences other than a disapproving finger-wag, though.  Like I said, plenty of other places have a reimbursement for rescue system in place, and their business appears to be as good as those places that don't have it.

I have insurance and thought I saw on my card that it's $50 or $100. I have no idea how much it is without insurance, but it's a moot point: $1,200<<<<< unknown cost of rescue, which could go into five and six digits. The ambulance example is poor; a more apropos example would be the actual cost of medical care, which can also quickly exceed your entire life savings/earnings, as alluded to by someone above. 

post #41 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

Several groups had to be rescued off the wall which is why I added the part about people below them. If the crack winded sideways it could certainly be protected on the way up and not leave you able to set an anchor should you have to repel.

 

Edit: also in terms of gear when each piece cost 20-50 per cam and 15-25 on average for nuts and 3 pieces for the average anchor cost quickly adds up.   

 

Second edit: Now that I read it climbing makes a perfect case for whether or not people would wait/call for rescue if they had to pay. Also I'm not necessarily defending what my brother's friends did, just trying to point out that without being in the situation it's very difficult to understand why people made the decision they did. For all I know they may have been on track to make the top in time until a last minute hold up at which point it would have taken them longer to egress then try for the top. As we have both conceded we weren't there but at least to me it's much easier to see/ understand all the complexities involved in the call/ no call when you cna for the most part take out the route decision part of it. 

You're talking about two different situations. Originally, you framed it as though it was a slow group that got them off to a late start, causing them to get stranded. Their fault. Shouldn't have gone if they didn't think they could make it. 

 

Now you're saying it could have been running into a snag on their climb that slowed them down (and subsequently those below them), necessitating rescue. That's more of a grey area and might hinge on how late their start was versus what actually happened during their climb. If it was truly unforeseen and out of their control, it seems that it wouldn't be their fault. 

 

Either way, it doesn't seem any more difficult to determine than negligence in other types of situations. Courts, judges, arbitrators and the like do it every day. Not saying I really support that system for S&R, but I don't see why it would be all that difficult to implement. 

post #42 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

You're talking about two different situations. Originally, you framed it as though it was a slow group that got them off to a late start, causing them to get stranded. Their fault. Shouldn't have gone if they didn't think they could make it. 

 

Now you're saying it could have been running into a snag on their climb that slowed them down (and subsequently those below them), necessitating rescue. That's more of a grey area and might hinge on how late their start was versus what actually happened during their climb. If it was truly unforeseen and out of their control, it seems that it wouldn't be their fault. 

 

Either way, it doesn't seem any more difficult to determine than negligence in other types of situations. Courts, judges, arbitrators and the like do it every day. Not saying I really support that system for S&R, but I don't see why it would be all that difficult to implement. 

I honestly don't know that much other than it was a single group that caused the hold up and that multiple groups had to get rescued and that they were 4 pitches up when they got stuck.

post #43 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skierish View Post

 

I don't buy it.  I think you're underestimating the strong instinct for self-preservation that most people have.  If someone truly believes their life is in danger, they're typically going to seek out professional assistance.  After all, some locales do charge, yet they seem to have no shortage of customers.  Most people would rather be alive to worry about how to pay for the cost of rescue than the alternative.  That's been my observation anyway.

 

I spent an entire career in emergency services, and I know people gladly (well, maybe not "gladly," but certainly unhesitatingly) incur the cost of an ambulance ride over seemingly the most trivial of concerns...the kind that causes medics to roll their eyes behind the patient's back.

 

BTW, how do you know people have died because of the fear of rescue costs???  I mean, they're dead, and the dead tell no tales...or so I've heard anyway.  Did they leave a note written in their own blood in the snow saying, "I would have called for help, but I was too afraid S&R might charge me for a portion of the costs...Good-bye, cruel world!!!"?


Buy it, it's happened.  Yes most do call for help, but there are plenty of cases where people have delayed calling for help and it's cost lives.  A search and rescue effort is a slow process.  It's not calling 911 and an ambulance shows up at your house in under 10 minutes.  Best case scenario is hours with a S&R effort.  There is a reason why some people work in S&R and assholes like us don't.

post #44 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post


Buy it, it's happened.  Yes most do call for help, but there are plenty of cases where people have delayed calling for help and it's cost lives.  A search and rescue effort is a slow process.  It's not calling 911 and an ambulance shows up at your house in under 10 minutes.  Best case scenario is hours with a S&R effort.  There is a reason why some people work in S&R and assholes like us don't.

Tanner Hall was a multimillionaire when he hurt himself in Chad's Gap, and he still didn't want to pay for an ambulance.  Granted, he was unlikely to bleed out from what he did. 

post #45 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post

Buy it, it's happened.  

 

You're being a pushy salesman, so I refuse to buy it...not even on sale!

You still haven't said how you know for certain people have died due to a fear of rescue costs.  It evidently wasn't the bloody note in the snow thing, so did they come to you in your dreams and tell you this in their spirit voices?

 

It would be interesting to determine the number of deaths in the BC where a process for the rescued party to partially or fully reimburse rescue costs is in place vs. the number of BC deaths in those places where rescue is free.  I'd bet there's no appreciable difference.

 

I would research it myself, but I'm too lazy and have a semblance of a life...a teeny-tiny one, but one nonetheless.

post #46 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skierish View Post

 

You're being a pushy salesman, so I refuse to buy it...not even on sale!

You still haven't said how you know for certain people have died due to a fear of rescue costs.  It evidently wasn't the bloody note in the snow thing, so did they come to you in your dreams and tell you this in their spirit voices?

 

It would be interesting to determine the number of deaths in the BC where a process for the rescued party to partially or fully reimburse rescue costs is in place vs. the number of BC deaths in those places where rescue is free.  I'd bet there's no appreciable difference.

 

I would research it myself, but I'm too lazy and have a semblance of a life...a teeny-tiny one, but one nonetheless.

That's not really a fair comparison. I don't know the numbers but I wouldn't be surprised if something like 90% of deaths in the BC SAR couldn't have gotten there in time anyways. Most die in avalanches relatively few die from exposure

post #47 of 50

It's happened.  That is all I can say.  Believe it or not.  I do chat with a number of S&R guys on the regular, but I am not the keeper of what they have experienced either.
 

post #48 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post

 

We do have a Search and Rescue card in this state.  It is also attached to hunting and fishing licenses.  For $3 year or $12 for 5 years you can purchase the card out right.  Your name will go in a registry.  If S&R is called out to rescue you, all you have to do is let them know you purchased the card.  You don't have to have it with you.  The S&R group will get reimbursed for their expenses out of that fund. 

 

Yes these people were morons.  No argument there.

 

A nice touch- A Wolf Creek Season Pass includes the SAR donation and the back of the season pass reflects that the passholder has paid.

post #49 of 50

sad and funny at the same time.    Thought the boat had some tough stuff but didn't think it was this extreme ... of course, being out of bounds makes sense.   Do like the stories Lemming's statement. 

 

Wife and bro in law years back on a very fogged up zero vis day followed tracks that took em into some trees steeper and tighter than they could do.  This inbounds and hey hiked their way back up .... 2 hrs later ... though some softer deep snow. 

 

They learned their lesson!

post #50 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

There's an interesting debate to be had. I always thought that paying for rescue makes sense, but I remember reading the exact opposite opinion from some type of S&R insider. The logic is that when faced with that type of massive bill, people will put off calling as long as possible, so if and when they do call, it will put S&R in even more danger. 

 

I don't necessarily think charging will diminish stupid behavior, as evidenced by all the crimes that are committed regardless of fines and consequences. No one that goes into the backcountry does so with the thought that they'll be calling rescue, so I don't really think that fees will be a strong deterrent. Actually, I doubt half of those folks are aware of whether or not they could be charged to begin with. Some places in the U.S. do charge and it doesn't stop incidents. 

 

A permit system with heavy fines would make more sense as a deterrent, assuming there was some type of enforcement to it. 

OMG NOOOOOO!!!! I actually agree......    damn it...... 

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