Danger signs in the wilderness??

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Rockskipper

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This was discussed somewhat in the thread called the Mystery of Kim and Carol, but in a way it's a topic on its own, so will start a new thread. We've had a lot of deaths here in the West Elks of Colorado so far this year (7), especially Capitol Peak (4 to date), and SAR has performed lots of rescues, one which they said was probably the riskiest they've done in 30 years.

So, now people are pressuring the Feds to put up signage in the wilderness. IMO, it's just more of the social media thing where people become aware of a cool place and have to go get a selfie. There have always been deaths in the backcountry, but the number of visitors is becoming a danger in itself. Hanging Lake just enacted a shuttle/permit system because of the overuse. It feels like solitude is getting harder to come by.

http://www.postindependent.com/news/crime/forest-service-seeking-new-ways-to-urge-backcountry-travelers-to-prepare-for-risks/
 

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Outdoor_Fool

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While I can understand the Sheriff's frustration, a sign at the trailhead should suffice. Beyond that, the visitors must understand that they are responsible for their own decisions.

I envision the day that there are signs scattered along all trails listing hazards but somehow, one hazard is not mentioned and that particular hazard kills someone. Then the FS is sued for insufficient warnings. Bring on the nanny state.
 

regehr

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I definitely appreciate the various signs one sometimes sees at the trailhead warning of rattlesnakes or bears or whatever. If I came from out of state or out of the USA I might not know about these things or have any easy way to guess their existence in some particular area. But in general the kind of people who are taking the biggest risks are unlikely to read or pay attention to the signs, right? Anyway you do see some super dumb stuff particularly in the frontcountry but most people survive it.
 

Jackson

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I can understand warnings at the trailhead, but anything beyond that is excessive. Warning people at the trailhead that a trail has some exposure could be good, but I'd imagine nearly all people heading off to summit a high, rocky peak are already aware of that.
 

Dave

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Assumption of risk. Big no from me on any signage in designated wilderness. I'm a little more flexible in heavily used backcountry but would still lean to no.
 

Shirt357

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Honestly I think that you could put up 5 million signs, warnings, etc. and have briefings, hand out pamphlets, etc. and you would still have these issues. From what I have seen, there are just those people who do not "get it" and just act like these places are another scenic tourist attraction like Disney or something. It may be one reason I try to go to less known or traveled locations because some of the things I have seen make me really wonder about people. Everything from flip flops, no water, no rain gear, etc.

It is definitely the responsibility of the person taking on the hike/backpack trip, or climb however every time the rescuers have to go out they risk their own lives and use up valuable resources that limit them in other areas. I honestly am not sure what the solution is... but it is not more signs or other tactics people will/can just ignore.
 

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IntrepidXJ

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SteveR

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Generally I am against signs, and for personal responsibility, but:
In the Canadian Rockies close to Calgary, our local Kananaskis safety team rescued a total 19 hikers last week! Eleven separate callouts on one recent weekend! And that does not include Banff NP. Typically these consist of a mix of user groups as this is a multi-use zone- hikers, climbers, boaters, ATV'er's and MTB'er's. Last week though, it was mostly hikers, on several popular peaks that feature well beaten ascent routes and cellphone reception. The three common factors were late starts, footwear suited for the shopping mall or tennis court, and lack of preparedness (no headlamps or warm clothing). At least the rescuers weren't risking their own lives as they all too often do- by being slung under a heli in marginal flying conditions to save cliffed out hikers or scramblers, as they were able to hike up at 0 dark hundred in 3 instances to get these unprepared fools to safety.
Maybe it is time for some explicit signage at trailheads for popular Banff and Kananaskis summits, many of which have a long history of people getting into trouble.
Something like this?
20130615_IMG_1869-copy-2.jpg
 
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Rockskipper

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Kind of reminds me of the signs on the Montana freeways telling how many fatalities so far each year.
 

Ben

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reminds me of the signs along the Mist Trail in Yosemite telling of the people that have died getting swept over the waterfalls. doesn't seem out of place there, so many people that trail is a mall.
 

Wanderlust073

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Just scanned past some article related to the girl who died climbing to Conundrum hot springs or wherever, making a big deal that everyone needs to be aware that if you start feeling sick at elevation the cure is to get lower.

I realize that no one is born with such knowledge, but if you're heading up a mountain without having done the minimal amount of research required to uncover that basic fact beforehand, it seems unlikely that you're the type to notice, read or take the warnings of a trailhead sign to heart.

Some times the herd thins itself...
 

Wanderlust073

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But if you watch this video, you'll see why it still doesn't really matter. Mountain bikers are nuts. :confused:
I love how he taps the sign as he goes by, lol
 

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