Celeste Goes Off. Should Unprepared Hikers Be Charged For Rescue On Mt. Washington?
Rescuing an unprepared hiker from a notoriously dangerous mountain is not only expensive, but it puts rescuers at risk too. That makes me angrier than the money part.
You don't put others in harm's way in the name of recreation and "making a memory". It's time for casual hikers to take responsibility for the preparation, planning and execution of their hikes. It's time to pay up. I say make it hurt. There's no price that you can put on the life of a volunteer who will one day get hurt or killed during one of these preventable rescues.
Mt. Washington is no joke, there's a long list of casualties to prove that. Yet, according to the Portland Press Herald, an 80 year old decided to climb it with a couple of teenage grandsons. They went without proper gear or clothing and grandpa almost DIED on the adventure. Too cold to continue, he told the kids to go on without him, which they DID. According to NBC News, they've done this before under their grandfather's direction on other hikes, which is a huge hiking no-no. The kids are only 19 and 14 so they listened to their grandfather. Unfortunately, another poor decision was made when the kids went down the mountain a different way and only called 911 when they returned and didn't find grandpa. BTW, I probably don't need to tell you that of course along with lacking the proper clothing or equipment, the octogenarian didn't have a phone or flashlight.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has recommended billing nine people that they have rescued this year and in 2018 due to lack of preparation. There is a law that allows the state to recoup the cost when it is determined that a person has been negligent. The amount would depend on the number of people involved and the length of the search.
The family of the 80 year old might even face criminal charges for negligence. I don't care how buff grandpa is, you never leave someone behind who is struggling. Unfortunately, it seems that he had taught this to the kids on previous hikes.
This isn't about the money for me, it's about accountability. If the only way to make some people double think a poor decision is to make them financially responsible for it, then I'm in. What do you think? What defines negligence for a Mt. Washington hike? Comment on our Fan Page.