Rescue Teams To Tackle Mt. Hood Summit / Winter Climbing Safety

CBS News is reporting that Rescue Teams will tackle a Mt. Hood Summit today to Search For Missing Climbers. This drama has been unfolding over the last week after terrible conditions on top of the mountain socked the climbers in during what is arguably the worst time of year to try climbing Hood, according to local rescue experts.

This seems to have become a theme in recent years – more and more folks are tackling summits that they might night quite be up to, witness the mess on Everest earlier this year when numerous climbers passed a fellow mountaineer who was slowly dying on the side of the mountain. Even right now, a prominent Colorado climber is missing in the Himalayas.

I’m all for pushing the limits, and as technology improves and becomes more pervasive, it is allowing us to go places that were thought to be off-limits just a decade ago. In fact, those climbers on Mt. Hood likely wouldn’t have stood a chance of being rescued within a month let alone a week, if not for the ability to triangulate signals received from one of their cell phones. But at the same time, adventurers are often associated with a bit of, shall we say, overconfidence? Our modern age may be compounding that problem as we rely on our gadgets to get us out of tight spots that would have killed us not long ago. Just remember, nature can just easily take out those gadgets as it can you. One undeniable advantage of today’s technology is that we have unprecedented access to information on everything from up-to-the-minute weather conditions to the best place to buy thong underwear. So, by all means, pack that GPS unit for your next adventure, but be sure to educate yourself on your surroundings before you go too.

If you plan to tackle any summits this winter, here’s a few good places to start:

Avalanche Schools
Winter Mountaineering Gear List