Posted by Peter Jordan on January 11, 2010 at 23:13:42:
In Reply to: climbing mountains in this weather posted by Kelly on January 10, 2010 at 14:02:42:
"The Government should issue an announcement that all mountains/hills are off limits to climbers and if anyone ignores this and has to be rescued, they should foot the rescue bill themselves."
I'm always interested by proclamations like this made by people who rarely if ever venture onto mountain themselves same as it's noticeable how people are always very generous with other peoples money as in "look at all the money they have, you think they'd give some of it to xxx".
As it happens 12 members of Mayo Mayo Mountain Rescue Team including myself were up on Croagh Patrick yesterday getting some winter mountain skills training in in the event that we needed to put such skills into use in the current cold spell. Are you suggesting that even we shouldn't have been up there? The trouble with the sort of cover all blanket bans you suggest is that they impact on everyone even those who are thoroughly responsible and well equipped for the conditions as were the vast majority of those we encountered on the mountain yesterday. And even then things do go wrong and people still get into trouble. In the last year of 46 incidents dealt with by Mayo MRT there were two fatalities which both involved very experienced hill walkers who were just unlucky or died accidently.
Sure there are unfortunately many who venture foolhardily onto mountains totally ill equipped and Croagh Patrick tends to attract a very large share of them, but to ban everyone from the mountains because of the stupidity and ignorance of this small minority is to ensure that there are no experienced people there to offer advice and suggestions to those people and to impact on a whole majority of innocent people who love and respect the mountains and get great enjoyment from being out on them.
BTW incidentally Mayo and other mountain rescue teams in Ireland are operated on a wholly voluntary basis and are funded by a small grant from the Govt as well as the fundraising efforts of their members as well as donations from many of those that we rescue. Support from the public is always appreciated.
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