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Thread: Teen Fined for Rescue

  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Bellingham, Ma / Dubois Wy.
    Thanked 40 Times in 19 Posts


    Charlie I think it depends on the location, the injury, all sorts of factors. In your case and in 99 out of a 100 cases (or more) going down and not continuing is the right move. But I can still also envision a situation where going up might also make sense. Especially around Mt Washington and the surrounding Presidential's where with the exception of the above treeline exposure, once you get out of the ravines the travel becomes marginally easier. From where he was turning around might mean 8+ miles back with a tough rocky descent but going forward it might only be 3-4 miles and possible help for his injury. Tough decision for a 17 year old, alone, with an injury. Never mind a 40 something.
    Last edited by billysinc; 07-20-2009 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Thanked 48 Times in 26 Posts


    Read the relevant NH law at

    It is interesting to go back to the media reports ( which include named and verified insight/information from NHF&G while the incident was in progress.)

    From that ONE particular article is this

    "Searchers found a single set of boot prints today and are following them, but they are uncertain whether they belong to Mason because of the heavy foot traffic over the weekend"

    GAH~! There WERE others out there that weekend! Scott Mason WASN'T the only biped making bootprints!

    You all know I've got an issue with the 25K assessed to Mason for his particular incident. I'm just piling that citation on ( in all seriousness) to underscore how the media recorded and represented verified statements from named F&G officials, that there was ( other) heavy foot traffic in area at the same time Scott was missing/overdue.

    Last edited by Breeze; 07-20-2009 at 09:26 PM.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Epping, NH
    Thanked 58 Times in 25 Posts


    Quote Originally Posted by Jory View Post
    I want to thank most of you for your understanding. My son is having a harder time now dealing with the stress of an unexpected 25K bill and the media's accusations, than he did for 3 nights shivering alone and in pain in the Whites. To clarify a few points, soon after Scott was released from his overnight in the hospital, we sent one $500. check to the F&G and one $500. check to the NH Outdoor Council Volunteers to express our gratitude. (I had to borrow that money)
    First, wanted to bump this, as I missed it. Thanks for your post...

    The situation is creating quite an internet buzz, as I'm sure you've discovered. For you, and others on the board, there is another good discussion going on at VFTT:

    I do hope that you know that despite the opposing camps that the white mountain communities have broken into now, everyone was pulling for Scott during the rescue. And I know that everyone is still pulling for an amiable solution for all parties involved at this point as well.

    I wish you and your family the best!
    "I've learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but that all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."
    ~Andy Rooney

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  4. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    MA, just north of Boston
    Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post

    Default Teen Fined for Rescue

    When I was 35 (17 years ago) I went to visit my uncle in Maine. He just bought a cabin in the middle of nowhere. I went in his back yard and somehow got lost. It was 10AM. I found my way out at 10PM. My family did not call for help and I was able to find my way out but if they had should I risk losing my house from the fine? You could argue I was negligent but I was not. All I did was walk in the back yard and got turned around.

    I have hiked my whole life. I was ready to stop and build a fire when I found a logging road which led out of the forest. It was real close and all I had was a book of matches and 3 $10 bills. Boy did I feel stupid. Now my coat has a permanant survival kit in it, I keep a compass on my key ring, and have one attached to my coat so it won't happen again.

    You could argue that anyone who hikes alone (even a day hike) is negligent. No matter how prepared you are there is always the possibility of missing something. Everyone who needs S&R should have had a Sat Phone because stuff happens and they were negilent for not having the phone. I don't believe that for a second but definitions can change to fit the scenario.

    Jory, good luck with your appeal. If you lose and your boy is stuck for the 25K then maybe ssome form of fundraiser can be set up but even if you raise the money it still does not make it fair!!..........Paul
    Last edited by paulgla; 07-20-2009 at 11:17 PM.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Thanked 33 Times in 29 Posts


    Has anyone considered what happens if he just doesn't pay?

    I'm no expert in NH law, but my guess is that he has some right to due process. More importantly, a right to some sort of a trial with a jury.
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default On The Rescue And Fining Of Scott Mason

    Syndicated (I think)
    columnist Tim Jones, Waterbury Rep-Am, 8/1/09, asked for
    opinions on the rescue and fining of Scott Mason. See my response below.


    I find the "bill" to rescue people in the mountains a heartless act.
    It is a symptom of an society that was going down hill ethically and
    culturally. The $25,234.65 reimbursement bill laid on teenager Scott
    Mason of Massachusetts certainly falls in this category.

    In 1979, I fell near the top of Algonquin Mountain in the Adirondacks.
    It was February with temperatures into the minus 30s degrees F and
    lower. We were coming down on hard packed snow and ice after peaking.
    The fall initially knocked me out and separated my right shoulder. I
    was well equipped as was my large party. After securing my shoulder,
    we started down while one member went for assistance.

    We were about half way down when state park people reached us. While
    we were doing OK, it was reassuring that they were there. For example,
    they had a boat sled in case I couldn't walk any longer. We all walked
    out together well into night fall. A state employee took me to the
    hospital. I certainly got a hospital bill but that was it.

    I find these huge rescue bills particularly cruel when laid on young
    people. It seems vindictive. Everyone can't know everything about
    mountain hiking in a short period. This is particularly true of
    working class urban youth who may not have that tradition in their

    Your nonmandatory hiking permit (Tim Jones) idea has merit and goes in a healthier direction. I suggest we use the National Guard for these mountain
    rescues rather than military adventures in other countries.

    After thirty years of the myth of rugged individualism, self
    aggrandizement and more, I think we are slowly righting our ethical,
    cultural ship. The surging movement for strengthening medicare and
    healthcare for all is an example.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share these thoughts.

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