Thursday, July 7, 2016

Risk Management

Somebody help me understand why people do these things!

Climbing the side of a mountain, driving pegs into the mountain off which to hang a tent for sleeping a couple of miles in the air, hang gliding, flying a personal airplane without adequate training, jumping out of airplanes that are flying very well, drunken boating with no personal flotation device, chasing lightning storms and hurricanes and tornadoes for the purpose of taking pictures of those calamities...

And now, let's add "hiking in Arizona's Superstition Mountains when it's 111° outside" to the list.

From the news: 

GOLD CANYON, Arizona — A Phoenix man hiking in the Superstition Mountains has died from exposure to extreme heat.
Pinal County Sheriff's officials say emergency responders were called around 1:30 p.m. Saturday to the Peralta Trail in the Superstition Wilderness near Gold Canyon.
They say 25-year-old Anthony Quatela III and a male friend had been hiking since 7:30 a.m. and ran out of water.
The friend called 911 after they both started to fall ill.
Deputies say Quatela became unconscious and never recovered.
The friend was treated by firefighters for dehydration and exposure.
Sheriff Paul Babeu says the incident was one of three heat-related emergencies in a four-hour period in the Superstition Wilderness.
The National Weather Service reported temperatures as high as 111 on Saturday in metropolitan Phoenix.
I saw a young woman being interviewed outside Phoenix.  With that wide eyed innocent breathiness so common to the young, she told the reporter that "One TIME I went like HIKING when it was like very WARM and I didn't take enough WATER and it was very DANGEROUS..."

Image result for desert heat
Don't look for me
These are people who go hiking for the physical and mental benefits of a good long strut in the mountains, and then they fail to take at least 1,000 gallons of water with them when they sally forth into the heated mountains of Arizona.  I would buy a used fire engine, tanks filled to the top, to take with me out there.

As sorry as I feel for the loss of Mr Quatela, and for the sorrow felt by his family and friends, I need help understanding why people do these things, putting themselves (and those who have to try to rescue and revive them, to be quite frank about it) at tremendous risk for no really good reason.

I just don't get it.

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