Letter: Foolishness in the Mountains
To the Editor:
I just returned from a hike in the White Mountains to read the piece on the lost hikers who had to be rescued from Mount Madison. They were quoted as saying, “The only thing we did wrong was the time of year.”
I think they missed a few other errors. The White Mountains are not Mount Ascutney — conditions in the Presidentials can be hazardous at any time and regardless of conditions on the ground. That big warning sign they blew by is there for a reason. If you’re covering three miles in five hours, the 22-mile traverse will take about 30 hours. It’s hard to do that if you start at 12:45. And if you can’t even get to the trailhead without getting lost, venturing up to the peaks seems like a risky move.
You would do your readers a service by not glossing over the foolish and dangerous choices that forced rescuers to climb up in the rain and dark to get these people to safety. I love hiking, and I wish more people would take it up — but in a way that responsibly protects the safety of the hikers and their rescuers.