Letters to the Editor

Winter is no time to climb mountains

I don’t know where this letter is going – I’m so upset and angry it’s difficult to settle my thoughts down.

Unfortunately, and I do mean unfortunately, my take on winter mountain climbers has again proven valid. The past month is the Cascade mountains there have been three, count them, three winter mountain climbers killed on Mount Hood. The name of the mountain conjures up a bit of foreboding in itself wouldn’t you say? I do not like pointing this out (I know none of the climbers) but my point is being made regarding winter mountain climbers.

Mountains don’t care how much protection you have. The three climbers were probably confident that they could take on this snow-capped giant with all the latest winter gear and razor sharp crampons. They are, now, unfortunately, dead. Some protection their goose down clothing provided. Please winter mountain climbers, do not come up with the usual excuses; These people are dead and their snow gear did not “protect” them. None of them were ever in the position I maintain for protection in winter to take on 11,000-foot giant an impossibility, granted, but goose down for “protection” when Mother Nature thinks otherwise unfortunately is also an impossibility.

Can we please restore or even begin to acquire sanity regarding winter mountain climbing? Is it really a sport? Can we begin, winter climbers, to change at least your dialog regarding winter mountain climbing? Do you “have” to climb in the worst weather to stroke your own ego be you male or female? You do it for “sport” but do you have to do it during the worst weather? Well, that’s where the problem lies. And for the rest of us “flatlanders” I think we can all agree that winter climbing on all mountains should be banned just for the simple fact that rescuers won’t have to risk their lives to save your butts when Ma Nature catches you with your pants down. And don’t forget the cost of all that helicopter fuel. And if you feel that you just HAVE to climb no matter what then why not go tackle Mount Everest? At least there you die where you fall and are left there saving the lives of would be rescuers. And please limit your contact with others as much as possible. No need to take others over the precipice if you’re linked together with ropes. Be afraid on a snow bridge, a glacier crevice, etc. The idiot climbers are on the mountains and covered in goose down.

Three winter mountain climbers. Three! I’m sick of this.

P.S. Mountains have killed more people than my handgun.

Randall Thomasson

Enumclaw

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