Thursday, April 25, 2019

Four Unprepared Teens Rescued At Mount Colden

Mount Colden RescueA new UH-1-A “Huey” helicopter, based in Saranac Lake, was put into action Tuesday, April 23, to help DEC Forest Rangers rescue a group of teens unprepared for conditions near the summit of Mount Colden.

Four 17-year-olds from the Ballston Spa and Saratoga Springs area, one with a leg injury, were stranded near the summit of Mount Colden. They were wearing sneakers, without snowshoes, and stuck in deep soft snow, according to reports by State Police and Forest Rangers, who were dispatched to the rescue.

The new helicopter delivered Forest Rangers to the summit of Little Colden and extracted the injured teen at approximately 6:45 pm to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. The three remaining teens were treated for varying stages of hypothermia at the scene, and were escorted by Rangers to Adirondack Loj where they were reunited with family.

There has been an increase in search and rescue and recovery operations being conducted in the Adirondacks, the result of an increase in visitors in recent years. DEC Forest Rangers are now conducting about twice as many search and rescue operations as they were a decade ago, while Forest Ranger ranks remain stagnant.  The phenomenon is not limited to hikers, as Upstate New York led the nation in snowmobile deaths this past winter as many more riders took advantage of this year’s longer sledding season.

According to State Police, in 2018 four Huey helicopters flew more than 250 flights. These included law enforcement, and missions for DEC to rescue stranded hikers and other injured citizens, re-stock lakes with fish, take water samples of various Adirondack lakes to monitor quality and pollution, and conduct wildlife surveys that track various tagged species.  The helicopters also conducted a number of missions to fight forest fires.

Bell UH-1-A Huey helicopter

The Huey used to rescued the injured teen was acquired the State Police through the Department of Defense 1033 Excess Property program in July 2018, but Hueys were developed by the military in the 1950s as a general purpose and medical evacuation helicopter.  They have been used extensively in warfare and humanitarian roles, including in the aftermath of Hurricanes Sandy and Irene and to conduct hoist rescues of distressed citizens during Irene

Photo above of rescue operation by DEC; photo of the new Bell UH-1-A Huey helicopter provided by the State Police.

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70 Responses

  1. Glenn says:

    Those kids families should be required
    to help pay for the operating cost due
    to them wandering around in there
    unprepared. It’s not rocket science.
    Just some research and common
    sense.

  2. D. B. says:

    Could not agree with Glenn any stronger. It is not right for those of us who behave in responsible manners to be forced to pick up the tabs for those who so blatantly behave so irresponsibly. Genuine accidents should not be chargeable to the victims. Being an irresponsible individual should not be chargeable to those of us who put in the effort to behave responsibly. Fair is fair.

  3. Evelyn Greene says:

    I trust the kids will “pay” for their major mistake in some way–in kind, if not money. Maybe they could start by telling all their connected friends how to do it right, or not at all if they have not been trained for winter conditions.

    • D. B. says:

      Why do you trust this will happen? It seems apparent to me that fewer and fewer people today were ever given the benefit of being held responsible for and thereby learning from their mistakes. I am saddened to say that younger folks today seem to be so self-absorbed that it seems only logical to conclude that they have not been are not ever subjected to sanction for their selfishness. In a different generation, I would share your trust. In the modern world, it is upsetting I do not.

      • Jim S. says:

        Who will be responsible to clean up all the dead hikers?

        • D. B. says:

          Who is dying by simply being held responsible for the costs dumped onto others by some individual’s own recklessness? Sorry, not following your query at all…

          • Jim S. says:

            When people know they may be charged for rescue many will be reluctant to ask for help when they need it. In winter conditions hypothermia cause people to think irrationally quickly.

  4. Kathy says:

    And more rangers….

  5. stripperguy aka Mike T. says:

    I would like to see DEC rangers no longer respond to rescue calls.
    Instead, individuals in need of help could call a for profit (or non-profit) company to arrange for help after paying for that help in advance. Maybe folks could buy “hikers insurance” in advance, to offset the cost of a private rescue.

    Allow the rangers to get back to work, instead of wasting time and tax payer money for these unending calls for help…

    • Boreas says:

      I agree with some points you are making. Is there a legal reason that stipulates only DEC/State personnel can conduct S&R and air evacuation? Often volunteers are used to assist certain S&Rs – especially where technical knowledge is needed as in ice/rock rescues. Is it so far-fetched for private concerns to take over some of this responsibility – especially the more routine foot searches (coordinated with DEC). They could be for-profit, contracted by state, or volunteer, and the “victims” could pay or donate accordingly. Medical evac and transfer helicopters currently assess fees well in excess of $20k, but I suspect they would be ill-suited and ill-trained in this type of environment. If nothing else, private fees assessed or donations accepted from foot S&R could be used to help defray some of the cost of air, boat, and snowmobile evacuations.

    • Billiam says:

      nice username buddy

      • James Marco says:

        Billiam, I believe Mike T.’s moniker was the result of him building cedar strip canoes. I had to look it up several years ago on one of the ADK canoe lists when someone mistook me for him because I also build cedar strip canoes. We had a confusing minute or so of conversation with a mutual acquaintance at the Forked Lake boat launch when he mentioned “Stripperguy” and I thought he meant the occupation, not a proper name for someone. I don’t think he is an actual club stripper, but hey, what do I know.

  6. Suzanne says:

    I’ll bet Pete Fish would give these stupid kids (and their parents) a good talking-to. And yes, we do need more Rangers. The state is spending big bucks pushing tourism so more inexperienced hikers can get themselves in trouble, and at the same time not coming up with the money to hire more Rangers, who are over stressed and poorly paid.

    • Glenn says:

      I’m not sure what the solution is.
      Maybe more rangers at trail heads.
      I’ve seen people back in carrying
      nothing more than a 16oz bottle of
      water and wearing Teva sandals.
      Is their any answer to that lack of
      common sense?

      • suji says:

        I once, a number of years ago, encountered a big Boy Scout troop heading up the Marcy trail from Heart Lake with two kids carrying a big corrugated cardboard box of egg cartons, about 12 dozen, between them, so nothing surprises me. There would have been adult scout leaders in charge of this expedition, so one can’t blame the kids for being led by idiots. I’m hopefully assuming that sort of thing doesn’t happen any more, but one never knows.

  7. Lawrence Keefe says:

    When the state and local towns promote tourism as heavily as they do, are they creating an “attractive nuisance”? When you are luring folks into your area, do you not owe them service include emergency service?

    But then again, you can’t fix stupid. These guys were from the area and should have known better. Is there some merit to the argument of improving the gene pool by not providing rescue?

    If there was a permit system, would that be offering free rides down from a summit for a tired, now entitled, hiker?

    This is a great debate.

  8. Vanessa says:

    While I am super sympathetic to the idea that it is annoying and unfair for the state to foot the bill for these kids being irresponsible – the solution is not to stop rescue missions, nor is it to make private citizens pay the full cost of the rescue (to an extreme degree. Agreed upon and limited fines, on the other hand, are an excellent deterrent.)

    Adding rangers to provide both enforcement but ESPECIALLY education will reduce incidents like these a LOT more than leaving kids to die out in the woods will. I would much rather have trained rangers and officers handling these incidents than a private company – imagine that business model! They’d be sending out ill-informed people just to rescue them…

  9. James Marco says:

    Vanessa, yes, I agree.
    I think that any hiker found in “Violation of the rules” should be “charged” for a rescue. As in this case, no snowshoes on a peak is a pretty clear violation of the rules that state you need snowshoes in 8″ of snow. Someone doing wrong and requesting a rescue should be charged for that rescue, at the very least, a ticket & fine commensurate with the cost of the rescue. This puts the onus squarely on the Ranger or ticketing party, though. I also agree that education would have made it clear they needed snowshoes before they even attempted the hike, and, likely warmer cloths. Back to the old argument: “how to insure every hiker has a basic hiking education?”

    But, LNT practices aside, it is possible to use a belt to strap on a couple pine boughs as snow shoes, if they knew of this trick. Post-holing (with or without a fall) could have been the root cause of the leg injury…they didn’t say. Of course, you end up with a situation where a very inexperienced hiker going without snowshoes because of ignorence and a very experienced hiker going without snowshoes because of his knowledge and not being able to tell the difference from a Ranger’s standpoint. He has the option of ticketing them for cutting live trees (though side scrubbing, ie less than 3″ is allowed,) or, ticketing them for the lack of snowshoes…(and being an ahole, or, ignoring it, of course.)

    It is clear we need more Rangers. The kids should have been caught BEFORE they even started to Colden. I know, I know…regulations, personnel, too many access points, costs too much, restrictions on who can hike, etc.

    Privatization of rescues will lead to people in need thinking they can work out a situation rather than paying for a rescue…not a good thing…a person in need could wait TOO long. I’m not a big fan of that option. And, it clearly defines those with lots of dollars calling for a “rescue” when they get tired and those that simply cannot afford such a bill in the next twelve months even badly injured.

    • Suzanne says:

      James,

      A lot of these kids don’t know how to use belt to hold up their pants, let alone make snowshoes with pine branches. One of these guys was wearing shorts! Some responsibility should be placed on the parents of these children, who should teach them, know where they are, what they’re doing, and whether they are properly equipped. Kids do crazy things, of course, but don’t parents pay attention any more?

      • geogymn says:

        “but don’t parents pay attention any more?” To a 17 year old? Are you kidding me?

        • Suzanne says:

          No, I’m not kidding. I know a lot of parents who pay attention to their kids, and I know a lot of intelligent 17-year old kids who behave responsibly.

    • Eric says:

      Kids these days have access to education and information that any if us over 40 would have begged for at their age. This is not a scenario where more education is needed. The rules are posted at most if the trailheads i believe, it is all online, as are the latest conditions. It is clear that ignorance is not a defense. Entitlement mentality is rampant and a lot of social issues can probably be traced back to it. These almost adults, one of which presumably navigated a 2 ton or so instrument of death to the trailhead, need to be fined. Not a monetary fine that their parents would most likely pay off, but scrubbing toilets in a rest stop with a toothbrush type fine. Then a letter, to be published online, about their ordeal, decisions they made, and the outcome. Then a letter of thanks to the responders for being there to help and the taxpayers for paying for the services they needed. Start doing this and i bet something will change.

      • Glenn says:

        Well said. I agree with that 100%

      • Boreas says:

        Parents are still somewhat responsible for their minor children. I am 100% for public service for minors (trail work, cleanup, hiker education, etc.) but feel the parents should also share some financial responsibility in the form of a reasonable fine or public service as well.

  10. J Amell says:

    while social media is cited as the “reason” for the drastic increase in use of the High Peaks there is also plenty of information regarding “snowshoe or ski” regulations during snow season, current snow and trail conditions, proper gear, etc to be found online. Seems like what is grossly lacking is common sense and responsibility for self.

    Yes, there is a shortage of rangers and hiring more rangers to monitor trail heads a la Pete Fish (and given the authority to turn unprepared hikers away) would also help.

  11. Todd Eastman says:

    Rescues and dealing with inexperienced adventurers comes with having wild places on public land.

    No one became accomplished at outdoor activities without making mistakes, no mistakes… no experience!

    Many of the hikers, climbers, skiers, and paddlers I have met throughout my travels around the world have cut their teeth in the Adirondacks. Many great stories of the near misses that come with those formative adventures, and some of those involved rescues.

    If billing for rescues is intended to teach a lesson, it is a stupid idea. Billing for rescues in other parts of the world is offset, or perhaps a result of, by rescue insurance. Funding for professional rescue teams and ranger time should be the clear and simple goal of any reimbursement by a victim’s insurance policy.

    An outdoor person who has never made a serious mistake, is not someone I would want to share a rope or a trail with.

  12. Yeah, agree with Todd Eastman, that the wild places of the world and we are DAMN lucky to have one of the World Class Wild Places right here in our own area code, are the “Call of the Wild” to young adventurers and some of those will adventure INappropriately, hopefully just ONCE (“fool me twice..”). Since social media is the way that everyone under 30 communicates with the world, in ADDITION to tripling the DEC budget for rangers and land management, there should be graphic hard-core frostbitten limbs and ruined lives video education short films made, featuring survivors (maybe even require that, lieu of rescue fees, the rescued persons appear in these and describe their woes). Place these 5 minute shorts on all the Adirondack websites/facebook/sites and update them so they don’t get boring. These shorts would be similar to the BEST of the drunk driving videos we watch as part of driver education class. It’s about time that people see firsthand what your feet look like (and I know, having had a companion get frostbite in the Catskills and spend 30 days in the Albany Med burn unit) when you don’t bring the right boots/socks/vapor barriers/hand warmers. About time the postholers see what happens to THEM when they fall thru and/or what happens to the backcountry skiier when WE fall INTO, their thoughtless, brainless and totally unnecessary bareboot holes. We all read these stories of rescued persons on Adirondack Almanac and in Tony Goodwin’s “Accident” Reports – if 5 of these per year were made into video education shorts, it might stop 50 more from happening…. Videographers take to the call….

  13. Ben says:

    Social media, social media, social media. Social media and cell phones are the reason for the increase in rescue missions. Before this technology, the hikers would have been better prepared, because they would have done actual research (like reading a guidebook) to figure out where and how to hike somewhere. Before cell phones you most likely would have ‘mann’ed’ or ‘woman’ed’ up and hiked your cold tired body off the mountain, rather than call 911.

  14. D. B. says:

    I don’t think anyone is advocating simply abandoning human beings, no matter how dunder-headed they might be at perhaps only one moment in time. And as I said earlier, genuine accident victims should NEVER be billed for anything. But is anyone actually advocating against holding people responsible, at least financially, for their own lack of common sense and reckless conduct? Really???

    • Boreas says:

      Drivers of motor vehicles can be ticketed for reckless driving. People can be arrested for reckless endangerment. Hikers get a pass for reckless behavior that endangers themselves, other hikers (postholes), rescuers, and pilots? I don’t understand that reasoning. I understand that education is not the same as experience, but we have to start with education.

      With cell phones, the idea and practice of self-extraction seems to have become lost. I found myself in a similar situation 50 years ago due to lack of experience when hiking in dangerous late spring conditions. But even with our lack of experience, we proceeded with the knowledge that we would be safe by simply turning around when we ran into deep snow in the col between Street and Nye (no snowshoes, but at least we had boots!). We stupidly toughed it out and proceeded to our destination and returned back through the deep snow.

      What differs with this modern account is total lack of appropriate footwear for backcountry hiking, let alone spring mountain conditions. The other is any sort of responsibility to turn around when dangerous conditions were encountered. Essentially, they were relying on emergency extraction by a cell phone call if they cold no longer proceed (leg injury).

      Once these hikers chose to proceed into snowpack with inappropriate footwear, let alone no snowshoes, they were recklessly endangering themselves and the extraction team they called into action. I feel there should be some legal and/or financial repercussions for those actions. If not monetary, why not public service for trail maintenance or hiker education?

      • Vanessa says:

        Folks, let’s keep in mind that the judgement of “recklessness” is subjective. Lack of proper footwear is a super easy one – we all agree that that’s a recipe for disaster. But being non-specific about what else we’re defining as irresponsible would make any penalty subjective and hard to enforce fairly (per the above, I think limited fines are a good idea. I got a nice hefty 275 (!!) dollar speeding ticket on I87 as a teenager and yup, that got thru to me to drive more safely.)

        Another element that is a really tough part of this discussion is folks with either physical or mental health issues that need help. I feel like most of us wouldn’t consider someone who is out of shape as being reckless, but then again, I read numerous accounts of cardiac arrests in the woods on these pages. Think there have been at least 2 this winter. I have an old hiking buddy who insists, ah just leave me there if I croak – which is a nice (sorta) sentiment, but also unhygienic as hec….

        • Boreas says:

          The point is, there is reckless behavior and there is simply unwise behavior. It may be subjective, but when recklessness is obvious, why not ticket? Just as in traffic court, people can fight the charge if they feel they were in the right. I am not advocating a public hanging – community service seems an acceptable compromise to me. With NO risk of penalty you are saying backcountry recklessness is acceptable. Luckily no one was injured in the helicopter extraction, which is certainly not a benign technique. It is a highly specialized and potentially dangerous form of rescue, which could be potentially fatal for crew and passengers.

          BTW, another account states one of the youths was in shorts.

          • Todd Eastman says:

            Do you always carry the “10 essentials”, what ever the fuck they are, when you go for a stroll?

            Exactly who is prepared?

            Does having the right gear replace judgement?

            Do you honestly want a situation where someone is penalized for seeking adventure?

            Please clearly define recklessness without unduly impacting the interaction between humans and nature.

            Why not use helicopters for something like this? Should they only be used to fly victims of more deserving incidents?

            Don’t be old and dull…

            • Boreas says:

              Todd,

              Just because you haven’t died in the mountains doesn’t mean you should advise people to hike without caution and preparation just to get their rocks off. You know the answers to everything you asked – except I don’t stroll in the HPW. I hike, and hike prepared. Just seems reasonable – don’t endanger myself or others unnecessarily.

              If people want to seek adventure in a reckless manner – fine – just don’t call in the cavalry if you get into trouble. Part of the adventure is getting yourself out of the trouble you got yourself into. It shouldn’t become a burden on taxpayers and a risk to emergency personnel.

              • Todd Eastman says:

                ” Just seems reasonable – don’t endanger myself or others unnecessarily.”

                That my friend is a massive grey area…

            • Suzanne says:

              Going for a “stroll” is not quite the same thing as climbing Colden when it’s still Winter.

              Preparation involves bringing along warm clothes, rather than shorts and sneakers in the snow, it’s, like, a concept.

              “Do you honestly want a situation where someone is penalized for seeking adventure?”

              Well, yes, when the “adventure” involves a whole lot of other people (the Rangers and the helicopter pilot) risking their lives to rescue a bunch of idiots who didn’t know the foggiest idea about what they were doing.

              “Don’t be old and dull”?

              Try not being young and dumb. The vulgar language is also unnecessary.

          • Vanessa says:

            Right, I’m 100% for posting and enforcing fines. But it’s got to be 10s of k to fly one helicopter soirée, so I don’t think it’s fair to pass all that cost back to a family just because their kid behaves stupidly. We already pay taxes to support state employees and yet again, we are all *definitely on the same page that more of that state money needs to go to rangers.

      • James Marco says:

        Yes, I agree in general outlines. But, trying to decide what constitutes reckless behavior is a judgement call. This is certain to vary in interpretation.

        Always do the rescue. You really don’t have any choice. At the scene, a ranger or other “competent authority” can enforce the laws by simply issuing a ticket. A manditory fine, either in dollars or in public service, can be directed by the legal system (provided no one buys the judge…what a thought!) It is in place, it just needs to function. The requirement for snowshoes/skis in heavy snow (soon to be 12″) IS reasonable anywhere on the trails. Not just when you start.

      • Suzanne says:

        Eeewww, Street and Nye — you were dumb but brave. Even in the Summer it was a bummer! I was there 50 years ago, too — twice! The blowdown was heavy and I got lost once but remembering Old Mountain Phelps’ advice that water runs down hill, I made my way back down with some anxiety but fairly little difficulty. I was 15 at the time, carried a map, compass and necessary supplies. (In my pack basket. We didn’t have fancy backpacks back then. Or cell phones.) I find it remarkable that people holler for help the first thing when one should be able with a little common sense to get oneself out of predicaments.

        • Vanessa says:

          This too – another area where education would help. With a little orienteering, many of the folks I read about that end up calling could probably get themselves back on trail with minimal effort.

        • James Marco says:

          Mountain lore, is an education of sorts. Following a stream downhill is usually a good strategy, but be prepared for the occasional waterfall/cliff in the way.

          Yeah, education is a biggie. There is little that can be done anywhere, as in this case, without having some sort of education. It is hard to determine how to insure that all hikers receive some basic instruction. I really don’t see any way of reaching everyone except by an actual hiking permit. You can never fix stupid. But ignorant can be taught.

  15. geogymn says:

    17 year old kids are, by and large, ignorant. They shouldn’t drive, drink, or hike. We need them to survive so they can fight our wars.

    • Boreas says:

      geogym,

      Jackass videos come to mind. We will assume this wasn’t a prank…

    • Sula says:

      Not all 17 year old kids are ignorant, and most who grow up in the Adirondacks are intelligent and responsible. As for your comment about needing them to fight our wars, what an awful thing to say. Do you have kids?

      • geogymn says:

        I am glad you see that as awful. I have a son who became a Marine. I am proud of his passion but disappointed that he was but cannon fodder.
        But the reality is that we send 18 year olds off to war but will not allow them a beer and apparently a hike.
        I give those knuckleheads a lot of credit for expanding their limitations compared to those who live in a virtual reality,

        • Suzanne says:

          I am hoping that your son came back alive and well. My best friend’s kid enlisted at 18, served two tours in Afghanistan, and returned back there afterwards to join the Reserves, where he was killed trying to help the local people whom he got to know and love. I knew that boy when he was a child, and he always wanted to be a soldier. Liam Nevins, RIP.

          • geogymn says:

            Yes, everything turned out fine, thanks for your concern.

            The point I failed to make is that young people are going to make mistakes and not share the same sensibilities as an older individual. But we don’t complain about those detriments as those detriments turn into assets when us older individuals are trying to build an army.
            We respect to Liam, I am thankful for his service to our country.

  16. adkDreamer says:

    The article does not provide an allegation that the hikers were acting in a reckless manner. It is entirely possible that the hikers had no intention of venturing near the summit of Colden but were compelled to for an unknown reason (e.g. the leg injury occurred before they ascended up, were trying to get a cell signal and the leg injury at first didn’t seem that bad at first but became incapacitating later). There are any number of plausible scenarios. Readers and commenters are free to let their minds wander, but the article simply does not provide enough information to draw any conclusions regarding their intentions, mindset (alleged mens rea), planned travel route, etc.

    • Boreas says:

      Passing a trailhead and ignoring signage indicating the need for proper backcountry gear – including snowshoes when deep snow is encountered – is reckless before they even approached the mountain. The Rangers indicated they were ill-prepared. If they attempted a climb that way (sneakers and shorts), most reasonable people are going to say they were being reckless from the start.

      • adkDreamer says:

        There is no statement made in this article that concludes the hikers ignored any signage. That is a baseless allegation. There is nothing in this article that states the hikers entered the woods at a trailhead – another baseless allegation. This article states: “…teens unprepared for conditions near the summit…” (not ill-prepared), there is no information that the summit was their intended route or destination. Any comments that begin a sentence with ‘If’ are pure conjecture.

        • Boreas says:

          Dissect the language however you want, your argument is falling on deaf ears. Read Scott van Laer’s assessment.

          • adkDreamer says:

            Not dissecting or arguing anything, just repeating the facts of this article and pointing out that which does not appear in this article. I am addressing this article and this article only.

            I am sorry you lost your hearing. I searched this article and comments and I haven’t found Scott van Lear’s assessment.

    • Sula says:

      Oh, please.

  17. Todd Eastman says:

    The risk aversion noted in these comments would not allow a person to go beyond the parking lots in many US mountain regions…

    … HTFU…😊

  18. JohnL says:

    It seems like every time there’s a rescue, there’s an article written, and there are the exact same comments from the exact same people. My wife’s explanation for this particular episode is all you really need. “They’re kids”. Aren’t there any better things to write about. This subject is just too predictable.

  19. Gerard Fogarty says:

    I personally know one of the individuals that were involved. 3 were grossly unprepared. The fourth had all the right gear and extra clothing, food and fluids. That person advised against doing the hike because of the lack of preparedness and they chose to proceed anyway. That person gave everything they had to the others and was able to get enough of a signal to call for help. In my opinion that person saved three very lucky people. I fear the outcome would have been much different, had that person not been there.

    • Paul Gebhard says:

      I feel bad that the prepared hiker is going to get lumped in with his unprepared friends. I just wonder if he knew what he was doing, as you indicate, why he did not speak up and say, “Hey, we need to lower our sights and hike in Lake George!”. I’m sure he won’t make that mistake again!

    • Boreas says:

      Gerard,

      I would say they all were quite lucky. Unfortunately peer pressure often gets the better of all of us at some times. Happened to me several times – some of my worst experiences in the HPW.

      The DEC stated they had no snowshoes and were consequently ticketed – is that correct or not? If indeed this is true, the better prepared hiker was still not properly prepared for hiking up high. Hopefully all learned a variety of lessons!

      • Gerard Fogarty says:

        I did say that person “had all The right gear”.. That included snowshoes and microspikes. Sorry I wasn’t clear.

        • Boreas says:

          Gerard,

          I felt you were clear, I was just trying to make sure as the initial DEC report stated “they” were without snowshoes or adequate footwear. But I doubt any further details or clarifications will be reported by DEC since all worked out well. Hopefully the injured hiker is doing well. Thanks for the clarification.

  20. Bill the bum says:

    Who among us never made a stupid decision as a teenager.

  21. James Marco says:

    Who among us never had to pay for making a stupid decision as a teenager?

  22. Boreas says:

    Boy Scout training helped me a lot. The motto “Be Prepared” often means carrying a 200 pound backpack for a hike to the mailbox, but it usually keeps me out of serious trouble. Like the Scouting organizations or not, they do offer some unplugged instruction and environmental philosophy which has evolved over the years.

  23. Paul says:

    This is a totally bizarre story? One well prepared kid and 3 totally unprepared. I am surprised they even were able to get up there? The kid wearing shorts is carrying a pretty substantial pack?

    There is only a few sentences about the “hikers” the rest is about helicopters. Any more info on why four 17 year olds would be doing this at the peak of mud season? I assume that their parents just let them drive up, could be a few parenting issues involved here.

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