After a tragic accident on Mount Hood left a number of climbers dead, authorities in Oregon are suggesting that satellite locator beacons be required for anyone mounting an assault the peak.
While Marin County's Mount Tamalpais is a mere 2,754 feet, compared to Hood's 11,249, the same might be considered for local hikers after 39 rescuers were sent on a six-hour wild goose chase last Saturday looking for a day hiker who ended up calling a cab.
After going missing at 1:30, the hiker likely had the bright idea of going downhill, where he found surface streets and cell-phone coverage.
A group of twelve other hikers, also lost that afternoon, returned to civilization in a similar manner.
Mill Valley Fire Department search and rescue coordinator Martin St. John told the Marin Independent Journal said none of the agencies involved plan to charge the wanderers, as "We feel charging would discourage people from seeking help."
St. John suggested that folks bring a map and a flashlight -- since, sadly, locator beacons ("Yuppie 911" to bemused mountaineers) would probably end up triggering more vain rescue attempts, and not fewer.
Other options include telling people to stay on the trails, and to go back the way they came.
Photo by Miguel Vieira.
Jackson West wonders why they don't just put up some cell towers and create an app for that.