The question of whether mountain climbers should be required to carry mobile communications devices has been a point of debate (and even legislation) since the high profile incident on Mt. Hood in Oregon that resulted in the deaths of three climbers and other tragic mountaineering accidents. Often the push for mobile communication devices comes hand-in-hand with the question of charging climbers for rescues. In an excellent article in the Northwest Mountaineering Journal, Rad Roberts explores the details of this highly debated topic and presents the Search and Rescue perspective.
Here are some of the key questions that Rad addresses.
- Do mobile communication devices improve outcomes for mountain search and rescue?
- What is the best mobile communication device for Northwest mountain climbers?
- Will climbers take greater risks when they think they can easily call in a rescue?
- What equipment is most likely to improve climber safety?
- Would there be unintended consequences of requiring climbers to carry a signaling device?