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[pct-l] Re: ice axe

Once again I am saddened to see John's name bandied
about in the great ice axe debate that takes place on
this list every year.  I understand that there are
some on the list who are only trying to drive home a
point that might save someone's life, but I don't
think it is necessary to use John's name year after

John was no fool, he was not running out of food, he
was not despondent, he was not caught in a white out -
it wasn't even snowing for Heaven's sake.  He was an
older, intelligent, experienced packer who decided he
wanted to head into Lone Pine to wait for his friends,
put his feet up and call his much loved family.  He
was quite familiar with Army Pass having crossed it
before.  He fell.  He could have tripped over a rock
for all anyone on this list knows.  It was John's time
to go - Via Con Dios.
Conversely, the Chico firefighter who fell on an icy
Mt. Baden Powell the month before turned his hands
into hamburger meat, was badly injured and spent three
days waiting to be found.  Destiny sent a ranger along
a closed road and had him stop for no reason at about
the only place he could hear the calls for help.  The
firefighter lived.

The decision to carry an ice axe is an individual one:
 Don't tempt fate by making the wrong one!  If you
need it and don't have it you might die - or put
another way - if you don't have it you better not put
yourself in a situation where you need it because you
might die.

Helen Hillberg

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