What were they thinking?

I had another post in mind this morning, but I'm preempting it due to my rather zesty mood.

Last week, two young men were hiking in the back country and found a snow cave. Ironically, it's a trail that TOG and I hiked a few weeks ago. In fact, here's one of the shots from that hike where you can see back country snow in the draws. It doesn't look it as this shot was taken from across the valley and I've cropped it in so tightly, but this snow is likely 15 feet high in the front.... And you can see how it's hollow underneath.

Back country snow2  

We hiked this trail the end of July. With the huge snow pack we had this year, I'm not surprised at how much snow is still around. No one going into the back country should be surprised, it's been all over the news.

Anyway, these young men found a snow cave last week and decided to go in and see how far back it went. In August. After a 4 day 90+ hot spell followed by a freak day of pounding rain. I can't even begin to tell you how unstable that snow would have been. So the snow cave collapsed on them. Fortunately a scout troop was nearby and the alarm was sounded and search and rescue came and after 5 hours of moving huge chunks of ice and snow, both young men were found alive and evac'd out.

They've both since had surgery for broken backs at an area hospital and they should both survive, thank goodness.

I know I should have more compassion, but each year I'm amazed that people go into the back country with so little common sense. I can't begin to count the number of people we've seen hiking 4 miles in on a steep trail with sandals and beer cans sticking up out of their knapsacks. It doesn't taking a psychic to figure out they probably don't have any emergency gear, a first aid kit, a thermal blanket, a whistle or anything that might save their lives. And while they're young and they'll probably get up and down the trail in one piece, they're only one bad decision away from being on the news.

So while I'm glad these kids are going to be okay, I'm also frustrated at their lack of common sense. If you asked 10 people who had never been hiking about going in a snow cave at this time of year and in those conditions, I'm betting all 10 would say it was a horrible idea. So yeah, I feel bad that these kids were hurt... I'm happy that they're both going to survive their ordeal. But in the end all I can say is "what were they thinking?"

Asthmagirl (shaking her head in disbelief) out!