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Thread: Globe Article and VFTT Thread

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    Default Globe Article and VFTT Thread

    This article in the Boston Globe raised a lot of controversy over on the Views from the Top Forum. What do people here think?

    http://www.explorenewengland.com/tra.../uphill_battle

    KDT

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    What's the controversy?

    Were they always planning on taking the cog down? The only debate for me is whether or not they get to claim their first Mount Washington summit.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

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    The thread is in the Q and A New England section titled Boston Globe Article.

    Here:

    http://www.viewsfromthetop.com/index-vftt.html

    See for yourself, if you have the time, it is a very long thread. Most feel it was imprudent to take kids under 10 up in bad conditions. Most also feel it was irresponsible to print the article without mention of how to make it safely to the top, and they feel that this will lead to more people going unprepared and pushing on to the summit when they should be turning back. "If these kids can do it, so can I."

    The writer also claims that they had their Cog tickets in advance, which you can't do, unless you buy a round trip, but only use it to come down, which is undetermined if this is what they did.

    It is also a point, as you stated, that they shouldn't claim the peak because they didn't hike back out, but that seems to be the least of the controversy.

    KDT

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    Quote Originally Posted by KD Talbot
    It is also a point, as you stated, that they shouldn't claim the peak because they didn't hike back out, but that seems to be the least of the controversy.

    KDT
    I figured, but I like to cause trouble.

    To be even more difficult I'd argue that there is nothing wrong with climbing Mount Washington in challenging conditions. Ten years old does seem a little young. Has anybody looked at the actual weather conditions for that day?

    Even non-fiction is trumped up with drama and exaggerations. 35mph winds get rounded to "about 50mph". A passing snow shower becomes "we hiked in a snowstorm." It's not exactly a lie.

    Maybe they did hold a roundtrip ticket and only planned on using half. It wouldn't be the first time in history anybody has done that.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

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    The big fear also is that such a report with its hints of bravado,devil-may-care, all-conquering spirit despite the risks attitude, is that it may propagate others to do the same. The Whites cannot be mitigated. These mountains can be tiring to a rookie, however most unfamiliar with them merely look at the easy access, seemingly short mileage("I walk that at home"),and elevation gain. Why have there been incidents on Jefferson this year, people look at the starting elevation of Ridge of the Caps Trail and say "no problem", look at the amount of rescues there this year alone. I would rather read an article where one will honestly discuss the risks, the factors, and their realization of such then a blown up drama. Admittedly, the author sure is getting publicity from the hiking community.

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    Upon further reading I find myself more confused but I'm not losing any sleep.

    As other people noted in VFTT there may have been some artistic license in this article. Afterall, its not a science journal.

    I'm trying to think how old I was when my family hiked from Madison hut to Lakes in 45F degree rain and fog. Probably 10 or 11. At that age it was a monstrous undertaking. The weather, the distance, the thought of hiking for 8 hours when a car could cover that distance on the highway in 8 minutes. I do remember that I was cold, my hands were numb, and at that age I was probably a little scared. Of course, we made it. My hands did thaw, my socks were still wet the next day. In hindisght it wasn't scary, but actually kind of fun. And although it felt like 45F it probably was much warmer.

    I have a feeling all of these people could have easily hiked down. They would have been cold and grumpy but they would have made it. Given the prospect of listening to those kids complain for the next four hours I'd take the cog.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

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    Quote Originally Posted by FisherCat
    I would rather read an article where one will honestly discuss the risks, the factors, and their realization of such then a blown up drama. Admittedly, the author sure is getting publicity from the hiking community.
    It's a good thing nobody ever talks about the odds of dying on Mount Washington. That would send an even worse message.

    If somebody can fill in the blanks please do.

    Number of deaths (excluding Cog accidents, auto road accidents and plane crashes) divided by the total number of people who ever traveled on the slopes of Mount Washington.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

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    Quote Originally Posted by KD Talbot
    The thread is in the Q and A New England section titled Boston Globe Article.

    Here:

    http://www.viewsfromthetop.com/index-vftt.html

    See for yourself, if you have the time, it is a very long thread. Most feel it was imprudent to take kids under 10 up in bad conditions. Most also feel it was irresponsible to print the article without mention of how to make it safely to the top, and they feel that this will lead to more people going unprepared and pushing on to the summit when they should be turning back. "If these kids can do it, so can I."

    The writer also claims that they had their Cog tickets in advance, which you can't do, unless you buy a round trip, but only use it to come down, which is undetermined if this is what they did.

    It is also a point, as you stated, that they shouldn't claim the peak because they didn't hike back out, but that seems to be the least of the controversy.

    KDT
    For me I think this guy made a bad judgement call yet things turned out alright. If someone had slipped and broken a leg they all would have been in serious trouble.

    After reading this, "If we could just make it to the shelter at the summit, we could take the Cog Railway down, a far preferable option." I don't think he was saying he had the tickets in advance. Just that at that point he felt it to be the better way. That sets off alarms in me because tree line is far closer than the summit at that point and the had no clue if the storm and winds would get worse.

    As far as bagging the summit is concerned, making it to the summit is great and rewardable, but most mountains don't have a shuttle or train to save your butt. The only way down is the way you went up.
    Steve
    Is there really any BAD weather???

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    I would have commented over there except for the fact that's its an exclusive "invitation only" web board.

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    If I read this correctly, the group got rained upon (sleeted, hailed and snowed upon as well) after it reached the top of the headwall. I have to agree that going back down Lionshead in those conditions would've been dangerous, especially when the auto road is only a short lateral hike away to lower safety.

    I think the criticism should be directed on the initial decision to climb given the known prevailing conditions at the start.
    When you're chewing on life's gristle
    Don't grumble, give a whistle
    And this'll help things turn out for the best. And always look on the bright side of life.

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