This is why you should BOYCOTT NEW HAMPSHIRE! Do not recreate in this state.

New Hampshire charges for Search & Rescue. To be able to charge it must prove you were negligent. If you get hurt or need rescued you are NEGLIGENT in New Hampshire.

N.H. Fish & Game Dep’t v. Bacon, 167 N.H. 591, 116 A.3d 1060, 2015 N.H. LEXIS 34

State: New Hampshire, Supreme Court of New Hampshire

Plaintiff: New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

Defendant: Edward Bacon

Plaintiff Claims: Negligent

Defendant Defenses: No proof that the defendants actions were negligent

Holding: For the Plaintiff, state of New Hampshire

Year: 2015

Summary

A law in New Hampshire, which you cannot beat or get around, requires the state to charge you for the costs of search and rescue. The court simply stated the New Hampshire Fish & Game statement that the actions of the defendant were negligent. Proof was the prior injuries the plaintiff had suffered in his life. Boycott New Hampshire.

Facts

On September 16, 2012, the defendant began a five-day solo hiking trip in the White Mountains, during which he planned to hike several mountains with summits over 5,000 feet. At the time of the hike, the defendant was fifty-nine years old, had undergone four hip surgeries since 2005, and had an artificial hip that had dislocated on five occasions, twice during the prior year. The defendant also had a “bad back” and was taking a variety of medications for multiple ailments. In preparation for his hike, the defendant trained in a city park in Michigan, which had 250-foot hills and some “gravelly” spots. The conditions on the Franconia Ridge Trail between Liberty and Little Haystack Mountains, on which the rescuers eventually located the defendant, are rocky and steep in various locations.

On September 18, the defendant left the Liberty Springs campsite to begin a planned hike to the summits of Liberty, Little Haystack, Lincoln, and Lafayette Mountains; he planned to end at the Greenleaf Hut, which provides overnight accommodations to hikers. Days in advance, stormy weather had been forecast for the morning the defendant began the hike, and rain began a few hours after he departed the campsite. A bit later, the defendant’s pack cover “on its own accord came off and flew away in the wind.” Sergeant Brad Morse, a Conservation Officer with the Department who helped rescue the defendant, testified that the winds were among the worst he had ever experienced in that part of the Franconia Ridge Trail and had repeatedly blown him to the ground. Sometime that morning, the defendant slipped on loose gravel, slid down the trail, hit his pack on a rock, and lost his tent which fell down a ravine. At noon time, the defendant took a photograph of two other hikers he encountered on the trail, both of whom were wearing full rain gear with their hoods over their heads.

At around 1:00 p.m., the defendant encountered a waist-high rock ledge that he needed to traverse in order to continue on the trail. He attempted to jump backward up onto the ledge and, in the process, fell and dislocated his hip. Approximately one hour later, Morse received an alert that a hiker had dislocated his hip and needed assistance. He responded immediately and eventually located the defendant on the trail between Little Haystack and Lincoln Mountains. Morse testified that when he found the defendant his left leg was flexed and internally rotated, the very position that the defendant’s orthopedic surgeon had warned him to avoid due to his hip replacement.

Approximately fifteen Department personnel and thirty-five volunteers participated in the defendant’s rescue during the afternoon and evening of September 18 and into the early morning hours of September 19. When Lieutenant James Kneeland visited the defendant in the hospital after his rescue, the defendant explained that he had misread the weather report: he thought the forecast called for 30-40 mph winds with gusts up to 70 mph and heavy rain, instead of the actual forecast of 30-40 mph winds increasing to 70 mph and heavy rain. The defendant also told Kneeland that he had caught his left leg while attempting to jump backward up onto a rock ledge and dislocated his artificial hip when he fell.

Analysis: making sense of the law based on these facts.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court first looked at the statute in question.

§ 206:26-bb. Search and Rescue Response Expenses; Recovery

I. Any person determined by the department to have acted negligently in requiring a search and rescue response by the department shall be liable to the department for the reasonable cost of the department’s expenses for such search and rescue response, unless the person shows proof of possessing a current version of any of the following:

(a)    A hunting or fishing license issued by this state under title XVIII.

(b)    An OHRV registration under RSA 215-A, a snowmobile registration under RSA 215-C, or a vessel registration under RSA 270-E.

(c)    A voluntary hike safe card. The executive director shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A for the issuance to purchasers on the department’s Internet site, and subsequent annual renewals, of a hike safe card prior to a person’s need for a search and rescue response. The annual fee for a hike safe card shall be $25 for an individual or $35 for a family. A “family” shall consist of the purchaser, the purchaser’s spouse, and the purchaser’s minor children or stepchildren. In addition, if the purchaser or the purchaser’s spouse has been appointed as a family guardian for an individual under RSA 464-A, that individual shall be considered part of the purchaser’s family. A transaction fee determined by the department shall be for the Internet license agent as provided in RSA 214-A:2. The executive director shall forward to the state treasurer the sum collected from each individual hike safe card purchased and each family hike safe card purchased, less the amount of such transaction fee, for deposit in the fish and game search and rescue fund under RSA 206:42.

I-a.    The executive director shall bill the responsible person for such costs. Payment shall be made to the department within 30 days after the receipt of the bill, or by some other date determined by the executive director. If any person shall fail or refuse to pay the costs by the required date, the department may pursue payment by legal action, or by settlement or compromise, and the responsible person shall be liable for interest from the date that the bill is due and for legal fees and costs incurred by the department in obtaining and enforcing judgment under this paragraph. All amounts recovered, less the costs of collection and any percentage due pursuant to RSA 7:15-a, IV(b), shall be paid into the fish and game search and rescue fund established in RSA 206:42.

II.    If any person fails to make payment under paragraph I, the executive director of the fish and game department may:

(a)    Order any license, permit, or tag issued by the fish and game department to be suspended or revoked, after due hearing.

(b)    Notify the commissioner of the department of health and human services of such nonpayment. The nonpayment shall constitute cause for revocation of any license or certification issued by the commissioner pursuant to RSA 126-A:20 and RSA 151:7.

(c)    Notify the director of motor vehicles of such nonpayment and request suspension of the person’s driver’s license pursuant to RSA 263:56.

III.    Regardless of a person’s possession of a document satisfying subparagraph I(a), (b), or (c), a person shall be liable to the department for search and rescue response expenses if the person is judged to have done any of the actions listed in RSA 153-A:24, I.

As you can see in reading the statute, there is no definition of what a negligent act might be in New Hampshire that would trigger this requirement. To the best of my knowledge and research, neither does the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department. EVERY ACT where a rescue is run is negligence and everyone gets charged.

There are four steps to prove negligence in most states. Duty, Breach of the Duty, Injury and Damages. The last to I suppose are the cost of the rescue to New Hampshire. But what is the duty of care and who is the duty of care owed too?

A duty is a level of doing or not doing something, below which the action or in action is actionable if it causes injury. So, a hiker, as in this case, owed a duty to New Hampshire? For what? There is a duty not to get injured? There is a duty not to require assistance in getting out of the backcountry? If the duty is either of those issues, then there is a breach of duty every time and thus negligence every time.

However, at no time, has New Hampshire ever argued or proved any duty. No other state has ever identified a duty of a person away from the city owing a duty to the state to be good.

If the failure to be good is so great it violates a criminal act, that is another story. A criminal act is action so bad it causes harm to an individual or society. So, is New Hampshire arguing that an individual causing a financial loss to the state is breaching a duty to the state? Absurd!

This is how the court explained the duty of care in this case.

Also plain is that the statute imposes as the duty of care the common law standard of negligence, which we have defined as how a reasonable person would be expected to act under the same circumstances. Thus, in order to avoid liability for search and rescue costs, the defendant must have hiked in a manner that was reasonable under all of the circumstances.

Hiking in a manner that is reasonable under all circumstances” If this is the standard of care, then every hiker in New Hampshire is violating the standard of care. What is reasonable? In this case, there was no expert testimony as to the reasonableness of what the defendant did. Is it reasonable to step on a rock that may roll causing the hiker to fall. Or is it reasonable to step in the mud and water between the rocks suffering foot injury, cold and other injuries.

If you can’t Hike in a Manner that is Reasonable under ALL Circumstances, don’t go to New Hampshire.

The court continued to justify its findings.

As previously stated, a person violates RSA 206:26-bb by not acting as a reasonable person would have acted under the same circumstances. The defendant argues that he did not act negligently because he was prepared for the conditions, physically capable, had proper equipment, and had adequately planned his hike. The trial court concluded to the contrary when it found that the defendant did not act as a reasonably prudent hiker would have acted under the same circumstances.

What more is needed to hike other than prepared for the conditions, physically capable and proper equipment? The 10 essentials (which there are hundreds of versions of) seems to be covered here.

However, the court found the defendant was not reasonable because of his prior injuries.

…the defendant had undergone multiple hip surgeries; he had an artificial hip that had dislocated five times, twice within the year prior to his hike; he had trained in a city park that did not remotely resemble the challenging terrain he would experience in the White Mountains; he had continued his hike despite the fact that bad weather had been forecast days in advance and that he encountered high winds and rain early into his hike; and he chose to jump backward over a rock ledge he was unable to pass, despite his artificial hip and experience with hip dislocation.

So, anyone with any prior injury should not hike in New Hampshire because that is proof, they are hiking in a reasonable manner under all circumstances.

I wonder what the Americans with Disabilities Act says about that?

And because the defendant had had prior injuries, it was foreseeable as determined by the NH Fish & Game and the court that he would get injured again.

To the extent that the defendant argues that his injury was not foreseeable, we agree with the trial court’s conclusions that the defendant’s injury was foreseeable and directly caused his need to be rescued by the Department.

This explains why there are no professional sports teams in New Hampshire, they would spend the off-season in court. Fans could sue any team arguing that since they played previously injured players, they were negligent in playing them in New Hampshire.

So Now What?

What is the real issue? The real issue is this puts rescuers at greater risk. Instead of calling at 2:00 PM in the afternoon when the weather is sunny and nice, a victim waits and calls when they are desperate, 2:00 AM. Darkness, bad weather, and little sleep put rescuers at greater risk of becoming injured in a rescue. Charging for a rescue puts rescuers at risk!

Besides the simple fact that charging for rescues increases the risk to the people in trouble and the rescuers, New Hampshire continues to do so. Either to keep people from recreating in the state or because the Legislators & the Courts are not too bright or refuse to understand.

To not pay New Hampshire for a rescue, recreate in a state other than New Hampshire.

Boycott New Hampshire

#BoycottNewHampshire

For additional Articles & Support on this subject see:

Who Charges for Search and Rescue?    http://rec-law.us/xtM6hp

Update: Give me a break! Teen charged $25K for a rescue he did not need    http://rec-law.us/zndiA7

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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N.H. Fish & Game Dep’t v. Bacon, 167 N.H. 591, 116 A.3d 1060, 2015 N.H. LEXIS 34

N.H. Fish & Game Dep’t v. Bacon, 167 N.H. 591, 116 A.3d 1060, 2015 N.H. LEXIS 34 

Supreme Court of New Hampshire

January 15, 2015, Argued; April 30, 2015, Opinion Issued

No. 2014-158

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department v. Edward Bacon

Prior History:  [***1]  6th Circuit Court — Concord District Division.

NEW HAMPSHIRE OFFICIAL REPORTS HEADNOTES

NH1.[] 1.

Negligence > Standard of Care > Ordinary and Reasonable Care

The search and rescue response statute plainly is intended to create a statutory cause of action in favor of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to recover the costs it incurs in conducting a search and rescue operation for a person whose negligent conduct required such an operation. Whether or not a common law duty exists, a plaintiff may maintain an action directly under a statute if a statutory cause of action is either expressed or implied by the legislature. Also plain is that the statute imposes as the duty of care the common law standard of negligence, which has been defined as how a reasonable person would be expected to act under the same circumstances. Thus, in order to avoid liability for search and rescue costs, the defendant must have acted in a manner that was reasonable under all of the circumstances. Accordingly, the trial court did not err in using the common law standard of negligence to evaluate defendant’s conduct under the statute. RSA 206:26-bb.

NH2.[] 2.

Appeal and Error > Standards of Review > Generally

The court will uphold the trial court’s findings and rulings unless they lack evidentiary support or are legally erroneous. It is within the province of the trial court to accept or reject, in whole or in part, whatever evidence was presented, including that of the expert witnesses. The standard of review is not whether the court would rule differently than the trial court, but whether a reasonable person could have reached the same decision as the trial court based upon the same evidence. Thus, the court defers to the trial court’s judgment on such issues as resolving conflicts in the testimony, measuring the credibility of witnesses, and determining the weight to be given evidence.

NH3.[] 3.

Negligence > Proceedings > Generally

In determining that a hiker was liable under the search and rescue response statute for his rescue costs, the trial court properly found that he was negligent when he had undergone multiple hip surgeries, had an artificial hip that had dislocated five times, had trained in a city park that did not remotely resemble the challenging mountain terrain he [*592]  would experience, had continued his hike despite the fact that bad weather had been forecast days in advance and when he encountered high winds and rain early on, and chose to jump backward over a rock ledge he was unable to pass. RSA 206:26-bb.

NH4.[] 4.

Negligence > Proximate Cause > Tests and Standards

To establish proximate cause a plaintiff must show that the defendant’s conduct caused or contributed to cause the harm.

NH5.[] 5.

Damages > Practice and Procedure > Generally

In reviewing damage awards, the court will consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the prevailing party. Furthermore, the court will not disturb the decision of the fact-finder unless it is clearly erroneous. The law does not require absolute certainty for recovery of damages. The court does, however, require an indication that the award of damages was reasonable.

NH6.[] 6.

Negligence > Damages > Particular Cases

The damage award of $9,186.38 against a rescued hiker who was found to have been negligent under the search and rescue response statute was reasonable when it represented the costs for the 15 people who participated in the rescue, including overtime, mileage, and benefits. The hiker’s argument that the Fish and Game Department employees were on duty and would have been paid regardless of their participation in the rescue failed to take into account the overtime paid, and also ignored the fact that by being diverted to the rescue operation, the employees were unable to perform their other assigned duties. RSA 206:26-bb.

NH7.[] 7.

Environment and Natural Resources > Game and Fish > Particular Matters

The search and rescue response statute specifically states that the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is to receive the reasonable costs associated with a rescue. Nothing in the statute otherwise limits the Department’s recovery, and the court will not add limiting language to the statute that the legislature did not include. RSA 206:26-bb.

NH8.[] 8.

Statutes > Generally > Legislative History or Intent

A court interprets legislative intent from the statute as written and will not consider what the legislature might have said or add language that the legislature did not see fit to include.

Counsel: Joseph A. Foster, attorney general (Philip B. Bradley, assistant attorney general, on the brief and orally), for the State.
Seufert, Davis & Hunt, PLLC, of Franklin (Brad C. Davis on the brief and orally), for the defendant.

Judges: LYNN, J. DALIANIS, C.J., and HICKS, CONBOY, and BASSETT, JJ., concurred.

Opinion by: LYNN

Opinion

 [**1062]  Lynn, J. The defendant, Edward Bacon, appeals an order of the Circuit Court (Boyle, J.), following a bench trial, finding that he violated RSA 206:26-bb (2011) (amended 2014) by acting negligently while hiking, so as to require a search and rescue effort by the plaintiff, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (Department), and that he, thus, was responsible to the Department for the reasonable costs associated with the search and rescue. We affirm.

I

The following facts are established by the record. On September 16, 2012, the defendant began a five-day solo hiking trip in the White [*593]  Mountains, during which he planned to hike several mountains with summits over 5,000 feet. At the time of the hike, the defendant was fifty-nine years old, had undergone four hip surgeries since 2005, and had an artificial hip that had dislocated on five occasions, twice [***2]  during the prior year. The defendant also had a “bad back” and was taking a variety of medications for multiple ailments. In preparation for his hike, the defendant trained in a city park in Michigan, which had 250-foot hills and some “gravelly” spots. The conditions on the Franconia Ridge Trail between Liberty and Little Haystack Mountains, on which the rescuers eventually located the defendant, are rocky and steep in various locations.

 [**1063]  On September 18, the defendant left the Liberty Springs campsite to begin a planned hike to the summits of Liberty, Little Haystack, Lincoln, and Lafayette Mountains; he planned to end at the Greenleaf Hut, which provides overnight accommodations to hikers. Days in advance, stormy weather had been forecast for the morning the defendant began the hike, and rain began a few hours after he departed the campsite. A bit later, the defendant’s pack cover “on its own accord came off and flew away in the wind.” Sergeant Brad Morse, a Conservation Officer with the Department who helped rescue the defendant, testified that the winds were among the worst he had ever experienced in that part of the Franconia Ridge Trail and had repeatedly blown him to the ground. [***3]  Sometime that morning, the defendant slipped on loose gravel, slid down the trail, hit his pack on a rock, and lost his tent which fell down a ravine. At noon time, the defendant took a photograph of two other hikers he encountered on the trail, both of whom were wearing full rain gear with their hoods over their heads.

At around 1:00 p.m., the defendant encountered a waist-high rock ledge that he needed to traverse in order to continue on the trail. He attempted to jump backward up onto the ledge and, in the process, fell and dislocated his hip. Approximately one hour later, Morse received an alert that a hiker had dislocated his hip and needed assistance. He responded immediately and eventually located the defendant on the trail between Little Haystack and Lincoln Mountains. Morse testified that when he found the defendant his left leg was flexed and internally rotated, the very position that the defendant’s orthopedic surgeon had warned him to avoid due to his hip replacement.

Approximately fifteen Department personnel and thirty-five volunteers participated in the defendant’s rescue during the afternoon and evening of September 18 and into the early morning hours of September 19. [***4]  When Lieutenant James Kneeland visited the defendant in the hospital after his rescue, the defendant explained that he had misread the weather report: he thought the forecast called for 30-40 mph winds with gusts up to 70 mph and heavy rain, instead of the actual forecast of 30-40 mph winds increasing [*594]  to 70 mph and heavy rain. The defendant also told Kneeland that he had caught his left leg while attempting to jump backward up onto a rock ledge and dislocated his artificial hip when he fell.

The defendant testified to a different version of events at trial. For instance, he testified that he was unaware of the weather conditions on the day of the hike because he did not have his reading glasses with him, and that he did not encounter any significant rain or wind. Additionally, he testified that when he dislocated his hip he had not fallen, as he told Kneeland, but instead had jumped backward over a rock ledge and swung his legs up while perfectly maintaining his left leg to avoid flexion and internal rotation.

At the close of the trial, the court accepted closing memoranda from both parties. Thereafter, the court found for the Department “for all of the reasons cited in the plaintiff’s [***5]  closing memorandum,” and awarded the Department $9,334.86 in damages. The defendant filed a motion to reconsider, to which the Department objected. The court denied the defendant’s motion, stating that “[t]he actions of the defendant were a gross deviation from those of a reasonable person that surpasses the [negligence] standard required.” This appeal followed.

II

The defendant raises three arguments on appeal. First, he argues that the trial  [**1064]  court erred by judging his conduct under an ordinary negligence standard which, he asserts, is not the standard mandated by RSA 206:26-bb. Second, he argues that there was insufficient evidence to support the court’s finding that his actions while hiking were negligent, thus necessitating his rescue by the Department. Third, he argues that the court’s damages award was improper under RSA 206:26-bb because the award included recovery for expenses that the Department would have incurred regardless of its effort to rescue him. We address each argument in turn.

A

The defendant first argues that the court erred by applying the ordinary negligence standard to determine his liability under RSA 206:26-bb. He characterizes this standard as “incorrect,” and asserts that the court should instead have [***6]  applied “the full and complete” civil standard of negligence, although he fails to articulate how this standard differs from the standard of “ordinary negligence.”

To resolve this issue we must engage in statutory interpretation. HN1[] “Statutory interpretation is a question of law, which we review de novo.” [*595] 
Appeal of Local Gov’t Ctr., 165 N.H. 790, 804, 85 A.3d 388 (2014). “In matters of statutory interpretation, we are the final arbiter of the intent of the legislature as expressed in the words of the statute considered as a whole.” Id. “We first look to the language of the statute itself, and, if possible, construe that language according to its plain and ordinary meaning.” Id. “We interpret legislative intent from the statute as written and will not consider what the legislature might have said or add language that the legislature did not see fit to include.” Id. “We construe all parts of a statute together to effectuate its overall purpose and avoid an absurd or unjust result.” Id.

NH[1][] [1] We have not previously had occasion to construe the search and rescue response statute. It provides, in pertinent part:

HN2[] I. [A]ny person determined by the department to have acted negligently in requiring a search and rescue response by the department shall be liable to the department [***7]  for the reasonable cost of the department’s expenses for such search and rescue response. The executive director shall bill the responsible person for such costs. Payment shall be made to the department within 30 days after the receipt of the bill, or by some other date determined by the executive director. If any person shall fail or refuse to pay the costs … the department may pursue payment by legal action … .

RSA 206:26-bb. HN3[] This statute plainly is intended to create a statutory cause of action in favor of the Department to recover the costs it incurs in conducting a search and rescue operation for a person whose negligent conduct required such an operation. See Marquay v. Eno, 139 N.H. 708, 714, 662 A.2d 272 (1995) (“Whether or not a common law duty exists, … a plaintiff may maintain an action directly under [a] statute if a statutory cause of action is either expressed or implied by the legislature.”). Also plain is that the statute imposes as the duty of care the common law standard of negligence, which we have defined as how a reasonable person would be expected to act under the same circumstances. See Gelinas v. Metropolitan Prop. & Liability Ins. Co., 131 N.H. 154, 161, 551 A.2d 962 (1988). Thus, in order to avoid liability for search and rescue costs, the defendant must have hiked in a manner that was reasonable under [***8]  all of the circumstances. Accordingly, we hold that the trial court did not err in using the common law standard of negligence to  [**1065]  evaluate the defendant’s conduct under RSA 206:26-bb.

B

The defendant next argues that there was insufficient evidence upon which to find that he acted negligently, resulting in his need for rescue by [*596]  the Department. In particular, the defendant takes issue with the fact that the trial court’s order stated that it found for the Department “for all of the reasons cited in the plaintiff’s closing memorandum.” He asserts that, in so doing, the court improperly adopted as its findings the facts recited in the Department’s memorandum — which facts, he claims, are not supported by the evidence. We disagree.

NH[2][] [2] HN4[] We will uphold the trial court’s findings and rulings unless they lack evidentiary support or are legally erroneous. Cook v. Sullivan, 149 N.H. 774, 780, 829 A.2d 1059 (2003). “It is within the province of the trial court to accept or reject, in whole or in part, whatever evidence was presented, including that of the expert witnesses.” Id. “Our standard of review is not whether we would rule differently than the trial court, but whether a reasonable person could have reached the same decision as the trial court based upon the same [***9]  evidence.” Id. “Thus, we defer to the trial court’s judgment on such issues as resolving conflicts in the testimony, measuring the credibility of witnesses, and determining the weight to be given evidence.” Id.

We first consider the defendant’s argument that the trial court’s findings are not supported by the evidence because the court adopted the Department’s closing memorandum, which he claims relied upon findings that were also not supported by the evidence. Having reviewed both the evidence presented at trial and the Department’s closing memorandum, we reject the defendant’s argument that the Department’s closing memorandum was not supported by the evidence.

NH[3][] [3] We next consider whether there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court’s determination that the defendant acted negligently. As previously stated, a person violates RSA 206:26-bb by not acting as a reasonable person would have acted under the same circumstances. The defendant argues that he did not act negligently because he was prepared for the conditions, physically capable, had proper equipment, and had adequately planned his hike. The trial court concluded to the contrary when it found that the defendant did not act as a reasonably [***10]  prudent hiker would have acted under the same circumstances. The following facts, recited by the Department in its memorandum and based upon the evidence, support the trial court’s conclusion: the defendant had undergone multiple hip surgeries; he had an artificial hip that had dislocated five times, twice within the year prior to his hike; he had trained in a city park that did not remotely resemble the challenging terrain he would experience in the White Mountains; he had continued his hike despite the fact that bad weather had been forecast days in advance and that he encountered high winds and rain early into his hike; and he chose to jump backward over a rock ledge he was unable to pass, despite his artificial hip and experience with hip dislocation.

 [*597] NH[4][] [4] To the extent that the defendant argues that his injury was not foreseeable, we agree with the trial court’s conclusions that the defendant’s injury was foreseeable and directly caused his need to be rescued by the Department. See Estate of Joshua T. v. State, 150 N.H. 405, 408, 840 A.2d 768 (2003) (stating that HN5[] to establish proximate cause a plaintiff must show “that the defendant’s conduct caused or contributed to cause the harm”). For the foregoing reasons  [**1066]  we conclude that the trial court’s determination [***11]  that the defendant acted negligently does not lack evidentiary support and is not legally erroneous. See Cook, 149 N.H. at 780. Accordingly, we uphold the trial court’s ruling.

C

Finally, the defendant argues that the court’s damages award was improper because it included wages and mileage for on-duty Department officers who would have been paid regardless of their participation in the rescue operation. In essence, he claims that the damages provide a windfall to the Department. We disagree.

NH[5][] [5] HN6[] “In reviewing damage awards, we will consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the prevailing party.” Gallentine v. Geis, 145 N.H. 701, 703, 765 A.2d 696 (2001) (quotation and brackets omitted). “Furthermore, we will not disturb the decision of the fact-finder unless it is clearly erroneous.” Id. (quotation omitted). “The law does not require ‘absolute certainty’ for recovery of damages.” Id. (quotation omitted). “We do, however, require an indication that the award of damages was reasonable.” Id.
RSA 206:26-bb states that “any person determined by the department to have acted negligently in requiring a search and rescue response by the department shall be liable to the department for the reasonable cost of the department’s expenses for such search and rescue response.” (Emphasis [***12]  added.)

NH[6][] [6] The trial court awarded $9,186.38 in damages to the Department, plus costs and interest. At trial, Kneeland testified that this amount represented the Department’s costs for the fifteen personnel who participated in the rescue, and included overtime, mileage, and benefits. These figures were contained in a document entitled “Search and Rescue Mission Report,” which was admitted by stipulation as a full exhibit. This detailed, itemized report, when viewed in the light most favorable to the Department, indicates that the trial court’s damages award represented the “reasonable costs” associated with the rescue, as required by RSA 206:26-bb.

NH[7,8][] [7, 8] We reject the defendant’s argument that this sum provides a windfall to the Department because certain officers were on duty and thus would have been paid regardless of their participation in his rescue. Not only does this argument fail to take into account the overtime paid to [*598]  Department employees who would not have worked in the absence of the rescue, but it also ignores the fact that, by being diverted to the rescue operation, Department employees were unable to perform their other assigned duties. HN7[] The statute specifically states that the Department is [***13]  to receive the “reasonable costs” associated with the rescue. RSA 206:26-bb. Nothing in the statute otherwise limits the Department’s recovery, and we will not add limiting language to the statute that the legislature did not include. See Appeal of Local Gov’t Ctr., 165 N.H. at 804 (HN8[] “We interpret legislative intent from the statute as written and will not consider what the legislature might have said or add language that the legislature did not see fit to include.”). Because the trial court’s damages award of $9,186.38, plus costs and interest, is reasonable, and thus is not clearly erroneous, we uphold it.

Affirmed.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, and Bassett, JJ., concurred.


February 2018 UIAA Newsletter, Please Subscriber to keep current in the Mountains!

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The UIAA newsletter. February 2018
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The UIAA Newsletter. February 2018.

In Brief

The UIAA Alpine Summer Skills guide is now available worldwide as a digital download. In the field of mountain safety, the UIAA and the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) publish recommendations related to The Chadar Trek. The use of portable hyperbaric chambers is the subject of the UIAA’s latest medical advice profile. In Asia, the reputation of the UIAA Safety Label continues to develop in an rapidly expanding market. The 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing season concludes this weekend in Kirov, Russia following a busy season of World and European Cup events. Newsletter subscribers have the opportunity to enter a competition to win a signed copy of Doug Scott’s latest book – The Ogre. The most recent member association to join the UIAA – Malta Climbing Club – comes under the spotlight. The 2018 UIAA Mountain Protection Award opens in late March coinciding with a special ceremony to commemorate 2017 winner Mount Everest Biogas Project (MEBP).

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ALPINE SUMMER SKILLS GUIDE
AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE AS DIGITAL DOWNLOADThe UIAA Alpine Skills Summer guide was first published in 2015. Produced in collaboration with the Petzl Foundation, the guide and has been well received worldwide and is currently available in five languages. To mark the launch of a digital version of the publication, the UIAA is running a series of articles from the guide designed to help hikers, climbers and mountaineers develop their skills and knowledge of the mountain environment.

The guide was developed specifically as a reference document for trip leaders and instructors of club and federations within the UIAA – an aide memoire for climbers and mountaineers who attend training courses delivered by instructors and guides who have gained qualifications accredited by the UIAA. Now open to the wider climbing and mountaineering world, the handbook’s four modules focus primarily on summer activities. Full story here

The digital edition of Alpine Skills: Summer, a downloadable application which permits free updates to content, can be purchased here.

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2018 UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD
APPLICATION OPENS ON 24 MARCHApplication for the 2018 UIAA Mountain Protection Award will open immediately after a special presentation is held in Kathmandu, Nepal for Mount Everest Biogas Project (MEBP) winner of the 2017 Award. A dedicated press conference will also be held in Nepal to showcase the Award and will feature representatives from the MEBP and the 2015 winner KTK-BELT Studio. The press conference coincides with the UIAA Management Committee meeting, held from 23-24 March. Details on the press conference, and how to apply for the 2018 Award, will be available shortly.
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UIAA ICE CLIMBING WORLD TOUR

SEASON FINALE

An enthralling 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour, partnered by The North Face Korea, concludes in Kirov, Russia this weekend with the final act of a dramatic season. The quest to be World Tour champion across both the male and female lead and speed competitions is still wide open. A preview of the season finale will be available to our ice climbing news subscribers tomorrow. Livestreaming will be available on the UIAA Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels, on the Olympic Channel, and on partner channel EXTREME. To subscribe to ice climbing news please click here.

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PHOTO STORY

An inspirational image of UIAA Honorary Member Jordi Pons Sanginés, 85 years old, ice climbing on Pedraforca (2,506m) in the Pyrenees. The area is a noted paradise for rock climbing, with limestone walls up to 800m high. In the winter several ice falls form, making this spot – some 150 km from Barcelona – a perfect location for ice climbing training.Full picture on our Facebook page.

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THE CHADAR TREK:
ESSENTIAL SAFETY ADVICEIncreasingly popular as a trekking destination among both Indian and international adventurers and tourists, the Chadar Trek, an ice passage across a fast flowing river in the Zanskar region of Ladakh, is also a route which presents a number of safety concerns.

With the aim of providing anyone planning on crossing this magnificent ‘ice highway’ with greater safety information, the UIAA Training Panel, with the support of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF), has provided the following information related to the prevention of accidents and dealing with unforeseen situations. This advice is also available on the IMF website. Full story here.

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MALTA
AT THE CROSSROADS OF THE MEDITERRANEANAt the 2017 UIAA General Assembly, the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation welcomed its latest member. With the election of the Malta Climbing Club (MCC) as full member, the UIAA now represents 91 member associations from 68 countries.

The MCC was set up in 2010, a time when in Malta there was no truly representative climbing organisation. “It was felt that the sport needed a structure which in addition to promoting the sport locally, would also work towards providing local climbers with the support and services that climbers now often take for granted in their own countries all over the world,” explains the federation’s President Simon Alden. Full story here.

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MORE FROM THE UIAA NEWSROOM

At a series of meetings and tradeshows in China, the UIAA Safety team discuss the promotion and development of the UIAA Safety Label and Standards in Asia. A guide on when, and how, to use portable hyperbaric chambers is the topic of the latest UIAA MedCom article. Rock Climbing Festival organisers from Central and South America are invited to apply for the 2018 UIAA Rock Climbing Awards, with cash prizes of up to 5,000 CHF on offer. Registration for UIAA Youth Events in Fontainebleau, France and Iran is open.

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UPCOMING EVENTS
2-4 March
ICE CLIMBING – WORLD CUP
Kirov, Russia
23-24 March
UIAA MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETINGS
Kathmandu, Nepal
23-24 March
UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD PRESS CONFERENCE
Kathmandu, Nepal
The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 91 member associations in 68 countries representing about 3 million climbers and mountaineers. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

UIAA OFFICE
c/o Schweizer Alpen-Club SAC
Monbijoustrasse 61 Postfach CH-3000
Bern 14, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0)31 370 1828news

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UIAA Newsletter_December 2017

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The UIAA newsletter. December 2017
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The UIAA. Newsletter. December 2017.
Welcome to the latest UIAA newsletter.

During the month of November, the UIAA played a leading role in mountain sustainability discussions at both the International Federation Forum in Lausanne and in Bonn during the 23rd United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – COP23. Ahead of 11 December’s International Mountain Day (IMD) titled ‘Mountains under Pressure: climate, hunger, migration’, the UIAA invites its member federations to share news of their IMD activities with news. The UIAA Ice Climbing season starts this weekend as the countdown to January’s World Cup series gains momentum. Meanwhile, application for the 2018 UIAA Rock Climbing awards is open and the UIAA MedCom shares advice for gap year and charity-event travellers.
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INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION FORUM
UIAA’S INTEGRAL ROLE IN SUSTAINABILITY DISCUSSIONSOn 9 November, the UIAA took part in a panel discussion at Sport Accord’s International Federation Forum (IF) in Lausanne, Switzerland discussing the relationship between sport and biodiversity and the role of the sporting community. The theme of the three day conference was the International Federations’ Impact In Leading The Way To Towards A Sustainability Agenda. The IF Forum programme is a collaboration between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Global Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF), the Association of Summer International Federations (ASOIF), the Association of Winter Olympic Federations (AIOWF),the Association of the IOC Recognized International Sports Federations (ARISF), AIMS (Alliance of Independent Members of SportAccord) and Associate Members. Full story here
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2018 UIAA ROCK CLIMBING FESTIVAL AWARD
APPLICATION OPEN

The international rock climbing community is informed that application for the 2018 UAA Rock Climbing Festival Award is now open. The annual Award was created in 2015 and is granted to the festival which best demonstrates a commitment to safety, sustainability and the development of rock climbing as a sport. The chosen festival is selected from a shortlist of applicants and chosen by the UIAA Rock Climbing Working Group. To date, Award winners have come from Africa (South Africa, 2015), Europe (Greece, 2016) and North America (USA, 2017). Please note, for 2018 the UIAA is inviting applications from festivals held in South America. Full story here.

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FEDME’S MOUNTAIN SAFETY COMMITMENT
SPANISH FEDERATION MAKING IMPRESSIVE STRIDESOver last few years, FEDME (Federación Española de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada), a full UIAA member, has reinforced its commitment to mountain safety, introducing a number of innovative and extensive measures to expand knowledge and consciousness about mountain safety on national level. One of their recent successes saw the publication of a detailed report about tests carried out on anchors in the marine environment. Here is their story.Full story here.
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In collaboration with Mountain Partnership, the UIAA took part in a side event discussion during COP23, titled “Implementing the 2030 Agenda & Paris Agreement in mountains: building a Framework for Action” during COP23. A video replay of the side panel discussion is embedded (starting at 7:15.00)

Organized by Mountain Partnership, the Government of Kyrgyzstan and the UIAA, the panel explored common challenges and solutions for addressing climate change impacts in mountains during the event, supporting concrete actions, putting in place long-lasting processes and establishing policies that strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments. The UIAA was represented by Mountain Protection Commission delegate Joop Spijker (NKBC, Netherlands). He addressed the subject of mountaineering and climate change. UIAA Honorary Member Ang Tshering Sherpa (NMA, Nepal) also took part introducing ‘Community Experience of the Climate Change in the Himalayas and Solutions’.

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2018 UIAA ICE CLIMBING SEASON
IMPORTANT UPDATES

The first event of the new UIAA Ice Climbing season starts this weekend in Domzale (Slovenia), a perfect opportunity for young athletes to develop their skills and senior campaigners to prepare for the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour in January.

The following links provide useful information about the 2018 season.
Latest Updates – including final calendar
A guide to the European Cups
Athletes’ Handbook
Rules & Regulations
UIAA & Ice Climbing

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HOW TO CHECK THE QUALITY OF A COMMERCIALLY ORGANISED TREK OR EXPEDITION
LATEST UIAA MEDCOM ADVICE

This, the sixth article in the UIAA’s series dedicated to high-altitude medical advice, has a very clear target audience, principally trekking or expedition company operators and their potential clients, notably those on gap years, round the world tickets or taking part in charity events.

As the number of mountaineers who are joining organised treks or expeditions continues to increase, so does the incidence of altitude-related diseases. Technically simple high altitude treks and peaks with easy access such as Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, or the Everest trek (with fly-in to Lukla) are still potentially dangerous because of the rapid ascent profile undertaken by many trekkers and/or offered by numerous trekking companies. Full story here.

FROM THE UIAA NEWSROOM

Following on from October’s UIAA General Assembly, the UIAA Access Commission led a mountain workshop in Tehran. Angelika Rainer, one of the stars of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour recently made history. Hohhot is confirmed as the venue for the Chinese leg of the 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour. Registration for two 2018 UIAA youth camps in France – part of the Global Youth Summit series – is now open.

UPCOMING EVENTS
2 December
ICE CLIMBING – EUROPEAN CUP
Domzale, Slovenia
9 December
ICE CLIMBING – EUROPEAN CUP
Bratislava, Slovakia
11 December
INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN DAY
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The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 92 member associations in 68 countries representing about 3 million climbers and mountaineers. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

You received this message as a subscriber to the UIAA monthly newsletter.

UIAA OFFICE
c/o Schweizer Alpen-Club SAC
Monbijoustrasse 61 Postfach CH-3000
Bern 14, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0)31 370 1828

news

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UIAA looking at how 8000 meter peaks are identified

New way to identify peaks would add eight new peaks to the 8000 meter listUIAA Safety Label logo color1

The UIAA (International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation) is the worldwide organization that defines, for lack of a better word, mountaineering. One of the organizations latest investigations is to re-define what is an 8000 meter peak. Currently there are 14 of these peaks, first climbed by Reinhold Messner. The change in definition would add 8 peaks to the list.

Below is the current analysis of how the new definition would work and how it would apply.

1)  Initial goal: defining one or more criteria for identifying 8000er peaks for a new, enlarged and officially accepted list. Earlier literature on the subject indicates the possibility of a topographic criterion (a peak is a topographic entity) and a mountaineering criterion (let us not forget that a list of this type is targeted primarily at mountaineers). Successive goal: applying the new criteria, as rigorously as we choose, to all possible new 8000ers.

2)  Working assumption. Definitive judgments on the list, that we will propose, will be down to those 8000er climbers that want to collaborate with us. Their judgments will be primarily useful with regard to possible new 8000ers that they themselves have climbed, or at least observed and documented close-up. On the other hand, we should avoid judgments that are too heterogeneous and difficult to reconcile. For this reason, I think we should propose criteria in a clear form and that can be easily applied, we should also make a first attempt to compile the list of the new 8000ers. Naturally everyone will be able to propose modifications but an attempt at a list would certainly simplify the process.

3)  From the concept of a mountain to the concept of a peak. This is a general discourse but I think it is useful to mention it briefly because it serves to avoid that confusion which has unfortunately tarnished earlier articles on the enlargement of the 8000er list.

Many mountaineers ask why there are 14 8000ers and on what basis they have been chosen. If it is true that the compilers of the Survey of India had to triangulate the highest point of a mountain, I think that in those places and times, one was impressed above all by the overall bulk of a mountain and by its majestic proportions (as always happens among mountain dwellers). Thus were the 14 8000ers established, the 14 highest and most imposing mountains. When climbers began to reach their peaks, perceptions began to change: the mountaineer began to see that there was another peak of the same mountain: which was the higher? Was it separated from him by a sufficiently deep col, could it therefore be considered as a peak? So a mountain could have several peaks. Was it worth climbing that other peak, perhaps via a new route? All niceties, of course, as long as you were not even dreaming of climbing to the summit of these mountains. However the concept of peaks is gaining ground until it becomes, perhaps, the dominant concept, at least in certain areas. The inadequacy of the 14 standard 8000ers and the request to enlarge the number of them, in my opinion, reflects the evolution of these ideas, from the intuitive and immediate idea of a mountain to the (more rational) idea of a peak. In other words we are talking about extending to the Himalayas and Karakorum what happened in the Alps some time ago, passing from the concept of a mountain (or massif) to the concept of a peak. The two concepts should not be confused, note that we will be listing peaks. The concept of a mountain continues to be useful in some cases, when, for example, the eternal problem of ridge gendarmes and their relation to the mother mountain arises. However we will examine this later.

4)  Possible topographic criteria.

Preliminary sources of information. As well as the texts published at the time of the choice of the 82 Alpine 4000ers (see the site http://www.club4000.it), the following sites are useful for the 8000ers and for the criteria for making choices on them:

[1]  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topographic_prominence, that clearly defines prominence.

Mountaineers

[2]  http://www.8000ers.com, including a lot of data on the 8000ers.

[3]  www.peaklist.org

The possible topographic criteria are as follows:

(a)  Criterion of the maximum adjacent col. This criterion was used around 20 years ago to define the Alpine 4000ers. It was very simple and immediate, and had a favourable welcome from the international commission and the UIAA. Note that, in many cases, the concepts of maximum adjacent col and of prominence (see below) are the same thing. Recent studies (see sites [1-3] above), however, suggest that this criterion should be more rigorous regarding the definition of maximum adjacent col. Unfortunately this greater rigour would reduce the simplicity of the concept.

(b)  Criterion of prominence (or orometrical prominence). This is the principal criterion proposed in sites [1-3] above and today carries a broad consensus. The definition, as explained in site [1] above, is simple, using Fig. 1.

clip_image002FIG. 1

 

Suppose that we want to assess the prominence of peak X, that has two higher peaks nearby (M1 and M2). Follow the ridge that unites X to M1 and identify the lowest col on it (col C1), this is the minimum col. Do the same on the ridge that unites X to M2 and identify a second minimum col, that is C2. Then select the higher of the minimum cols, C2, which is then called the key col. The height difference between X and the key col (line p) is the prominence of peak X. Naturally, if there were several higher peaks in the vicinity, each of the ridges and minimum cols would be considered. If there were only one higher peak, there would be only one ridge and the minimum col will automatically be the key col. In reality the idea of prominence has two faces. If the peak that we are considering is isolated (i.e. some distance from the higher peaks), the measuring of prominence becomes complicated and requires a knowledge of many, many cols as well as the use of dedicated software and obviously a computer, indeed it is of little interest to mountaineers. For example, the key col of Mont Blanc is next to Lake Onega in Russia, the key col of Mount McKinley (Alaska) is located by Lake Nicaragua in Central America, and so on. If instead peak X is a satellite of a higher peak nearby, e.g. one of the 14 8000ers (that luckily is the case for us), then the evaluation of prominence becomes much simpler.

(c)  Concept of dominance.  This is an interesting concept because it expresses the percentage of individuality of a peak, independent of its absolute altitude. If however we look at the formula that expresses dominance D (see site [2] above):  D = (P/Alt)  100, where P is the prominence and Alt the absolute altitude of the peak, we note immediately that Alt in our case is always close to 8000, or at least little distant from it, therefore the formula in practice becomes D = P/80. D is therefore in fixed proportion to P (about 80 times smaller than P). So D is effectively a duplicate measure of P and is of little use to us. It could however be useful when we compare mountain groups with very different altitudes.

In conclusion, considering the popularity of prominence, its simplicity of application, at least in our case, the fact that data on the prominence of 8000er satellites (which are those peaks that interest us) is available on site [2] above, and finally (the most important issue) the fact that the use of a concept already broadly accepted is another reason why the UIAA should not raise too many objections to our proposal – all these things have convinced me of the value of using this measure in our work on the topographic aspects (let me know what you think about it).

(5)  Choice of the critical value of prominence.  This is the crucial point: we have to choose a number, even if only approximate – if not, we are locked into the realm of personal opinions. There are two routes we can take. The first is that followed, for example, in site [2] above to find a valid value for prominence in order to divide the mountains into categories of greater or lesser importance. One idea is 30 metres because that has been for a long time the length of a climbing rope. In the work done for the Alpine 4000ers, however, I preferred another idea that seemed more realistic and closer to what mountaineers have in mind.

Please indulge me for a moment and I will briefly illustrate the idea. The starting point, and this is fundamental, connected to the idea of a peak, is identifying the peak with respect to the surrounding area. In other words we think of the peak as a point that stands at a certain difference in height with respect to the surrounding area. OK but what is the minimum difference in height, above which we consider the feature to be a peak? If we see a mass that rises 300 metres above the surrounding ground, that is a peak; if we see a mass that rises 30 cm, that is a rock. Obviously there is within each of our minds a critical value above which we talk about a peak, even if none of us has probably ever tried to put a figure on that value. The problem is indeed putting a figure on the critical value of prominence. To get at it, I considered the 4000ers that, in the numerous earlier lists, were accepted by some and rejected by others because they did not stand out enough. These 4000ers were evidently the key that could resolve the problem. I calculated therefore the average of the height differences between these doubtful 4000ers and their respective highest adjacent cols. The average height difference was in the range of 30-40 metres. It was therefore apparent that, below 30 metres, mountaineers do not speak of peaks. This was the minimum height difference acceptable to call a 4000er a peak. It is important to note that this criterion and this value of 30 metres were not inventing anything new nor were they overturning existing criteria or values. They did however make explicit what had been hidden in the earlier lists, even if still in an implicit form.

To use this procedure in our case we must select an initial base, for example one or more lists proposed previously for the new 8000ers which are candidates to enter into an official list. In this field there are very few lists proposed, and in general they are drawn up by a few isolated mountaineers. There is however an earlier work (see the very useful document of Luciano Ratto sent to us on 5 April) carried out by a group of 43 Slovakian 8000er climbers, who have made a total of 85 ascents to peaks over 8000 metres, among which all the 14 official ones plus a few minor peaks, and have used their extensive experience to compile a list of possible new 8000ers (the table appears on the site http://www.8000.sk/21×8000.pdf). In my opinion, it would be senseless not to give due weight to this valuable work and I think it could be our starting point. The small number of other lists, compiled by isolated mountaineers, would have little bearing on our case, according to me, given that the opinions of these few others would have little weight compared to those of the 43 Slovakians. Note that, even when we worked on the 4000ers, we were not able to benefit by the opinions of this many mountaineers and experts. No criterion of choice has been indicated in the Slovakian list; moreover, at the moment of publication, several of the 8000er climbers were no longer alive for which, more so than for a work founded on criteria that have been pondered over and shared, it is perhaps likely that many of the opinions were individual, and that those opinions have not been closely coordinated. Nevertheless, our aim is to extract that critical value, previously unexpressed, that is hidden within the list, using a method similar (if not identical) to that followed for the 4000ers.

The list in question includes 6 satellite peaks considered worthy to join the main 8000ers, i.e. (1) Broad Peak Central; (2) Yalung Kang (Kangchenjunga group); (3) Kangchenjunga South Peak;  (4) Lhotse Shar; (5) Lhotse Central Peak I (or Middle West Tower); (6) Kangchenjunga Central Peak. Note that the Slovakians also include the South (or South East) Peak of Makalu, at the time believed to be 8010 metres. Subsequently this peak has been ignored, see site [2] above – in particular the accurate Kielkowski guide assesses its height at 7803 m. Therefore I do not think it needs to be considered among the possible 8000ers.

As we shall shortly speak of the measured values of the various prominences of the 8000er satellites, I should say that the practical methods used to evaluate them are in general connected to photographs and the contour lines of the best maps, as well as naturally to the direct testimonies of those who have observed them close-up. Regarding Google Earth, it is easy to verify that the altimetry, especially in the high mountains, is somewhat approximate. If this inaccuracy were systematic, when I calculate the difference in height between a peak and a col (that is connected to the prominence), this difference would eliminate the systematic error on the two absolute values and all would be well. Unfortunately I have seen that, in many cases, this is not so, for which reason I am reluctant to use Google Earth. Note that even for the prominences listed in site [2] above, only maps and photographs, and not Google Earth, are used.

At this point let us look at Table 1, drawn from site [2] above, in which prominence data is collected for various 8000er satellite peaks (naturally the prominence values are a point on which the 8000er climbers could give useful opinions).

TABLE 1

PEAK

PROMINENCE

 (metres)

PEAK

PROMINENCE

(metres)

 

 

 

 

Broad Peak Central

181

Annapurna East Peak

50

Kangchenjunga West Peak (or Yalung Kang)

135

Yalung Shoulder

40

Kangchenjunga South Peak

116

Lhotse Central Peak II

37

Lhotse Shar

72

K2 P. 8134 (SW-Ridge)

35

Lhotse Central Peak I

65

Annapurna Central Peak

30

Kangchenjunga Central Peak

63

K2 SE Peak

30

 

 

Everest West Peak 

30

 

 

Kangchenjunga SE Peak

30

 

 

Nanga Parbat South Peak

30

 

 

Shisha Pangma Central Peak

30

 

 

Everest NE Pinnacle II

25

 

 

Everest NE Shoulder

19

 

 

Everest NE Pinnacle III

13

 

 

Lhotse N Pinnacle II

12

 

 

Lhotse N Pinnacle I

10

 

 

Lhotse N Pinnacle III

10

 

As you can see in the Table, the six 8000ers proposed as true peaks by the 43 Slovakians (on the left) have prominences ranging from 63 to 181 m. In the second column are the excluded peaks that have prominences ranging from 50 m to very low values for the minor gendarmes.

It is immediately apparent that there is a singular connection between those peaks considered true 8000ers by the 43 Slovakians and the peaks which have prominences greater than the critical band between 50 and 63 m (centred therefore on a value of about 60m).

It is notable too, looking at the group of 8000ers proposed by the 43 Slovakians and the other peaks that have been discarded, that there are no cases of peaks being accepted with prominences lower than those of the excluded peaks. In other words, the prominence values account entirely for the distinction between the two groups of peaks. Another significant point is that, in site [2] above, the prominence value of 60 m has been chosen to separate categories of mountains of varying importance (categories B and C, more important above 60 m of prominence, category D under that value). Finally, a further positive point, these results eliminate the problem of the simple gendarmes, a problem that recurs often among mountaineers (personally I recall the disputes about the Grand Gendarme of the Weisshorn being a 4000er, subsequently it was excluded from the list). In general the simple gendarme, entirely assimilated to the mass of the mother mountain, should not be considered a peak, regardless of its prominence, such discussions have always been nebulous and of little use because decisions can rarely be taken according to rational, and not personal, criteria. Well, in the current case, this possible source of dispute does not arise because the large family of gendarmes and spurs are all relegated to the group of the excluded peaks (something that I personally agree with), not because of personal disputes but on the basis of an easily verifiable criterion, that of prominence.

In conclusion the Slovakian list would seem to offer a solid and realistic base for our purposes. Therefore it seems to me to be quite justified to propose, as the critical value for topographic acceptance of the true 8000ers, a prominence of about 60 m.

It is clear that if the critical value of 60 m of prominence is accepted, the six peaks listed in the left part of Table 1 enter automatically into a preliminary list of possible new 8000ers. A curiosity: the prominences of the 14 original 8000ers are much greater than 60 m – the smallest is that of Lhotse at 610 m. The risk of having to remove one of the original peaks from our list is avoided!

Lastly, even if the problem of the gendarmes fortunately should not concern us further, it must however be said that that the distance of the gendarme from the mother peak represents an extension of the topographic criterion from the height difference to the horizontal difference, and this horizontal difference is important in certain cases. For example, as we will see shortly, for the two satellite peaks of Annapurna, that will be evaluated on the basis of the mountaineering criterion, their significant horizontal difference can be a valid measure of their independence from the mother peak and can help us in deciding on their acceptance or rejection.

(6)  Mountaineering criterion.  This is obviously an important criterion for us, and could be useful above all when a possible 8000er, rejected on a topographic basis, excited a lively mountaineering interest. The mountaineering criterion is obviously related to climbing the peak in question, whether that concerns the quantity of ascents or the quality of the routes on it. But on all the climbing routes that can be considered, priority should be given, in my opinion, to those routes than can be defined as specific routes, those climbing routes that terminate on the peak, those routes used by  mountaineers that have considered the peak an end in itself and therefore autonomous in a mountaineering sense. If the peak in question, regardless of the first criterion, gained a positive evaluation on this second criterion, it could still be inserted in the list of the true 8000ers.

We should not give however, in my opinion, an excessive importance to the mountaineering criterion, as has happened in earlier articles in which this criterion claimed all the space and relegated the topographic criterion to second place. Let us not forget that a peak is an objective reality, a protuberance that rises above the ground surrounding it and exists independently of the routes marked out on it. Therefore it seems right to me to use the mountaineering criterion as the secondary consideration.

Another question on the mountaineering criterion. In general, in earlier articles in which a peak’s mountaineering importance was evaluated, the routes already marked out were considered. This approach puts us on tricky ground. Every time an important new route was opened, perhaps one that we have already defined to be specific to the peak, we would have to make changes to our list and the list would lose meaning and value. In other words the mountaineering criterion, considered in this way, becomes a moving target and therefore unreliable and a source of confusion. Much better, if you ask me, to consider the general mountaineering value of a peak, in the sense of evaluating its mountaineering interest, whether for the routes already open or for possible routes still to be opened, for example on evident and definite pillars or spurs, routes that appear enticing and have not yet been traced only because they exceed the technical level reached up to this point. In this way the mountaineering criterion can also become a fixed criterion, if it is tied to the structure of the mountain and therefore of great utility and solidity, just like the topographic criterion.

IN CONCLUSION. According to the criteria expounded above, the procedure to follow to accept or not an 8000er into the group of the true peaks is ultimately quite simple (at least as a procedure). First step: if the topographic criterion of prominence is favourable, the peak is accepted with no further consideration. In the case of prominence a little under the prescribed minimum or if there is a particular mountaineering interest, we pass to the mountaineering criterion. This, if favourable, can let the peak pass into the accepted list. Finally, if there is a negative outcome to both criteria, the peak must be discarded.

(7)  This is a possible list of peaks of 8000 m that could join the true and accepted 8000ers. It is a list that makes no claims, useful more than anything else for looking at the applicability of the criteria outlined above, nothing more.

Broad Peak Central,  Kangchenjunga West Peak (or Yalung Kang),  Kangchenjunga South Peak, Lhotse Shar, Lhotse Central Peak I, Kangchenjunga Central Peak: they would pass the tests outlined above.

Annapurna East Peak,  Annapurna Central Peak: they do not meet the topographic criteria (the first of the two failing only by a few metres) and nor are they accepted by the 43 Slovakian 8000er climbers. But, as well as the significant distance of these two peaks, both from each other and from the principal peak (a favourable fact because it witnesses to their independence, even if we have not proposed this as a true and proper criterion), in this case it may be right to consider the mountaineering criterion. We could then observe that the routes traced on the North and South faces (Himalayan Index), and also further possible routes on the South face with its great spurs and buttresses, could make the case for adding these two peaks to the list.

Other comments.

Broad Peak group: Forepeak and Broad Tooth (not cited in site [2] above). The first is a summit feature without significant character whereas Broad Tooth is a spur almost indistinguishable from the main body of the mountain. Not worth pursuing.

Everest S Peak: (absent in site [2] above). From good photos taken with people in them, a prominence of about 30 m is evident. Does not meet the topographic criterion.

There remains the East summit of Manaslu, 8013 m, almost never cited among the possible 8000ers, nor is it cited in site [2] above (see photo on last page). Given that the altitude of 8013 m has not been contradicted by more recent measurements (see the case of the Makalu SE peak) and considering the difference between 8163 and 8013 m (150 m), it is possible that its prominence exceeds 60 m (see photo). But it appears to me that the Manaslu pyramid is a unit that reaches 8163 m, and that the East summit is a gendarme not sufficiently independent from the principal pyramid. This of course is only my opinion.

In conclusion, according to this list, there would be eight other 8000ers possibly to add to the 14 main ones. Note: the same eight had already been mentioned as possible true 8000ers in an article of the CISDAE (Italian Centre for Study and Documentation on Extra-European Mountaineering) in  the Scarpone (magazine of Club Alpino Italiano) of October 2006.

Problem of nomenclature. If our project should ever reach the UIAA, it is worth noting that (i) there is often more than one name for the peaks of the various satellite 8000ers (and not only the satellites) and (ii) such names are often hybrids between the local language and the cardinal points in English. For example, I like a name like Lhotse Shar but a local name mixed with South, North, West, etc, does not appeal. This will get sorted out in time.

So do you want to climb 22 peaks above 8000 meteres?

Mountaineers

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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PR piece with great information on building to climbing a big mountain

International Mountain Guides, LLC
February 2012
What’s Your Game Plan For 2012?

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Chulu Peak Base Camp in Nepal

You’ve had a month…how are the New Year’s Resolutions going? If you’re like most of the world the first couple weeks of January were filled with workouts and diets, the tricky part is making sure that February and March follow with the same passion! There’s no better way to do that than to set a goal and work towards that goal. Better yet, sign-up for a climb this summer, give us a few bucks and watch your motivation level skyrocket (money tends to do that). Below are a few tips that might peak your motivation or at least get your brain focused on whatever your next goal might be.

Start Small (Relatively Speaking) 

For beginner climbers it’s important to set yourself up for success. Remember you can’t eat an elephant in one bite. We get a lot of “I want to climb Everest….what should I do?” And the answer is always the same: Have you climbed Mt. Rainier? Mt. Baker? Something in the North Cascades?

If the answer is no, then we know where we need to start. Unfortunately a lot of folks try to run in crampons before they know how to walk in them. Let’s see if you even like climbing before we get you to the South Col on Everest!

Are your knees shot? No excuses…try a trek. Machu Picchu, Everest Base Camp, or even Kilimanjaro! We’ll take care of the weight on your back and the logistics – you just put one foot in front of the other.

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 Ok, I’ve Climbed A Few Things – Now What?

 

We hear this a lot: “Last summer I climbed Mt. Rainier and had a blast! The summer before that my wife and I climbed Shuksan and it was super fun. This year we want another challenge – what do you recommend?” 

This is a great question and one that is fun to answer. Once you’ve got a couple climbs under your belt the world starts opening up. Climbs in Mexico, Ecuador, and Bolivia, or climbs like Mt. Bona, Mt. Whitney, and Chulu Peak, are popular ‘next steps’ after a first or second climb. Many of these programs feature cultural aspects to them, so be sure look at the non-climbing days on the itinerary to see what else you’d enjoy on the program.     

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 Bolivia Was Fun, Now Can I Climb Everest? 

Ok, so you’ve climbed a few things and you’ve got you eyes on one of the big guys! It’s important to keep in mind that every mountain is different and can have its own prerequisites. Take Denali for example, success on Rainier in the summer and a high five on the summit of Aconcagua often isn’t enough. A Denali Prep Course on Rainier is needed to get you qualified for Denali. The same goes for Everest, a summit of Rainier and success at altitude in Mexico just doesn’t cut it, whereas going to Cho Oyuto test your lungs at 8000m is often the route of choice for our Everest climbers.The point being, there is no tried and true recipe to the top of the world. Some people just let the cards fall where they may and climb as their vacation, families, and resources allow. Others set long term goals and map out a 5-year plan.

Regardless of what type of climber you are or what your goals may be: if you’re having fun, you’re doing it right.

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 From A Guide’s Perspective: Staying In Shape

By Jess Culver

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Lets face it, it’s hard to stay in shape between seasons. It starts when the Halloween candy comes out, gets even worse come Thanksgiving and hits its peak somewhere between Christmas and New Years. Then, the 1st of the year rolls around and you’re a few pounds guiltier and several pounds heavier. Finding the motivation to shed this weight can be tough. Here are some tips I use between seasons.

For me, I know I have to be in good shape when the Rainier season opens, which is probably in the back of a lot of your minds as well. With that in mind, I’ve found that setting small goals between big goals really makes the time go by a lot quicker than the alternative: 4-5 days a week on the hamster wheel. I like to sign up for a few running races in the winter and spring.  I’ll start small, maybe a 5k, then work up to a 10k and eventually a half-marathon and then the full 26.2. There are countless programs out there that will set you up for success at these races. They work if you’re honest with yourself and stick to the program.  And don’t be intimidated by the people that run these races, they are all smiles and are super supportive to all shapes, sizes and speeds. Trust me, you’ll have a blast. (Read more)

 

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 Medical Minutes by Adventure Medical Kits  

  

Q: What should you do if you find yourself in the mountains without adequate eye protection?  

 A: Improvise 

It is possible to improvise a pair of “sunglasses” that will help protect eyes from ultraviolet light, especially in snow and at elevations above 2500m (8000 feet). Cut small slits in a piece of cardboard (e.g., use one side of a cracker or cereal box) or in a piece of duct tape folded back over onto itself (Fig. 25). The slits should be just wide enough to see through, and no larger than the diameter of the eye. Tape or tie these “sunglasses” around the head to minimize the amount of light hitting the eyes.   
 

Snow Blindness

If you remember from a previous newsletter snow blindness is a sunburn to the eye that results in a corneal abrasion. It results from exposure to intense ultraviolet radiation at high altitude or while traveling in the snow. At higher elevations, more ultraviolet light is easily reflected off snow. Because signs and symptoms of snow blindness are delayed by about 4 to 6 hours from the time of exposure to the light, victims are unaware that the injury is occurring until it is too late to prevent it. Wearing adequate eye protection (100 percent UV-blocking sunglasses with side protectors) can prevent snow blindness. (read more)

Nepal 2001. Mount Everest is the peak with the...

Image via Wikipedia

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