The number of people climbing in the Pine Lakes National Park is on the rise. While this is good news for local businesses, it’s bad news for Clive Baker, the search–and–rescue coordinator for the Pine Lakes area.
Thirty–seven people have been rescued from Claw Peak so far this year. Clive Baker believes this number is so high because the climb only takes a day.
“People think nothing can go wrong on a day trip. They forget that it’s a tough climb, and many are badly prepared and inexperienced. Last week, a climber got into difficulty because he wasn’t wearing crampons. He was on a mountain in the middle of winter, and he didn’t have essential equipment. That just astonishes me.”
According to Mr. Baker, more climbers are getting into trouble each year, and this is putting a tremendous strain on local search–and–rescue volunteers. “Each rescue operation involves dozens of people and costs thousands of dollars. When there’s more than two or three rescues a month, the bill soon adds up.”
Mr. Baker believes that educating climbers will improve the situation. “I’d be much happier if people took more responsibility for their own safety. Is that really so much to ask?”
Clive Baker says that any person planning to climb Claw Peak should consider taking the following items.
You’ll also need suitable clothing and footwear and enough food and drink.