The question is being asked whether mountain climbers should be asked or made to carry GPS beacons so when they get lost, stranded or buried the public cost to locate the mountaineers can be minimized. It’s a good question and one the public deserves to have answered. After all it is the local government being asked to foot the bill for the rescue.
As a person who enjoys the mountains but who the mountains really don’t love I’d had the helicopter ride that followed a Tibetan horse ride and the costs were north of $3,000.00. I shelled out the three grand, not the Nepalese government. Some of that cost was later reimbursed by Blue Cross Blue Shield because I’d been diagnosed by a licensed physician (from Montana) as suffering from H.A.P.E. Even the horse, a sort of ambulance, was later covered. The answer to the debate seems pretty simple to me. If you make it expensive for stranded climbers to ferry in a helicopter and for the general public to spend countless county and National Park resources to rescue them they will voluntarily carry a beacon or you simply bill them for the actual costs of rescue. The governing bodies could encourage beacons by charging a much smaller rescue fee if you have a beacon. It’s really just that simple. And some people might ask and if they don’t carry a beacon; then what? Well the answer to that question the mountain in Oregon just answered. The mountain doesn’t care if you are ready. And the mountain doesn’t care if you never leave or make it safely off.
What the general public doesn’t really get is that mountaineers and rock climbers really aren’t insane.
Mountaineering – Careful you’ll fall in love with your surroundings.
Rock Climbing - Or are they? Get ready for some sweaty palms.