“The single-minded determination that drives people to climb mountains in the first place is the same quality that can doom them.”-Boston Globe
Not Without Peril just picked up another sorry story. That book is fascinating read that chronicles he over 100 deaths that have occurred on New Hampshire’s Mount Washington.
I highly recommend that outdoor travelers read, The Young Woman and The Mountain, a recent Boston Globe article. <<–
It’s a story we’ve read before, smart people doing dumb things in the wilderness. This one is a bit surprising, in that Kate Matrosova was the ultimate professional: super smart, driven, able to think ahead, make adaptations, and have a back up plan in place. But this death was not a freak occurrence, it was avoidable. Between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., the temperature at the summit of Washington was 21 degrees below zero. The wind was blowing 77 miles per hour, and the wind chill was -67. That evening, gusts were recorded that were up to 140 miles per hour.
Yes, she had the right gear, had done these types of winter traverses before, carried a Spot, and had a plan. But, this time, it all didn’t work out, and now life is over for her, and also partly for her husband, who was waiting for her in their car for the last time, ever.
In addition to inexperience, the second major contribution to her death was her not knowing that there is a major drawback to choosing a Spot location device in the depths of real winter. Who knew this?
I didn’t, but I do now.