Mountain climbers are passionate about their sport, just like cross country skiers, snowmobile riders, hunters and fisherman. The author of “winter is no time to climb mountains” (Letters, Courier-Herald, Dec. 30) labels mountain climbers as idiots and suggests that the government should intervene to protect them from themselves. Don’t we have enough government intervention in our lives? God gave us a free will for a reason.
If we use Randall Thomasson’s logic that winter mountain climbing should be banned because it is dangerous for rescue workers, than he would also have us ban winter boating to protect the Coast Guard and ban snowmobile riders for fear of causing an avalanche and also endangering rescue workers. Where would the application of this concept end? Stop winter hunting? Fishing? Hiking? Cross country skiing?
I do think it is reasonable to require the use of locating beacons and to require climber registration, and maybe even a small fee to go toward rescue operations. However, it is not reasonable to take away the rights of others as Randall Thomasson suggests. My brother Mark Weigelt was killed in a mountain climbing accident near the top of 9,418 foot Chelan County peak in October of 1972. Mark was an avid outdoorsman and he was passionate about the sport of climbing. While it is tragic that Mark passed away doing what he loved, it would compound that tragedy to have the government further remove our right to personal choice. God gave us a free will for a reason and we need to protect our right to use it.