MT. COMO (9,006') 3X May 25, 1999

Be it was another nice spring day, with my old peak buddy Fred in some need of this peak. He drove the both of us in his vehicle suitable for the rough approach roads. I had climbed this peak 2X with the Reno club, them so generously having had a good 4WD to carry myself and the rest of the group to hike this Pine Nut Range summit, the year before.

Since I have no big problem doing a recheck of my description of my notes, used for my peaks guide, and that I mostly have my fun and never any rescue or outside assist required, we made the drive. He knew that I had my directions updated, so getting the peak was a near certainty. We had little problem driving the same roads, although I recall some errors in my memory, but as I could then remember the way, we successfully arrived to the place to park the car.

Dirt roads lead southward to the top, along a high ridge. I hiked on mostly ahead, but took few photos, as I had so many already, and being limited in my budget, didn’t waste film. I topped out ahead of Fred, and started with photos. My register was still there, and some others had signed in. Fred finally came up. It was just another fine Nevada afternoon, with clouds building up.

Hiking back, we saw some wild horses. We must have gotten back to the vehicle and driven out without any problem. Fred mostly declined any offers for fuel sharing, but I didn’t keep track of any money if I gave him. We long consider it a donation. He appreciates my company and sometimes assist, as once he couldn’t read the directions for changing a flat tire, without his reading glasses. Sadly, he’d be dead or stranded, as it looks like being aged, he can’t think well enough to survive.

Lots of my company refuse to carry survival gear, as I do, and they must think to rely on me. I have plenty of light weight and warm clothing along, and if an emergency arises, I don’t leave people for dead. Albeit my plan was to try to see that the immobilized don’t freeze to death, and I’d go for help. Still to today, hikers refuse to consider that accidents do happen. I tried to tell some, but they simply do not listen. Millions of people go driving without the required insurance. Some get caught, and still they do not learn. While it’s your own life and money, people I knew were wiped out because they had no insurance. So goes the common thinking—it can’t happen to me.

As I have aged and the technology became good and affordable, I selected to obtain and use it. There is the daily news about less than smart hikers, who get into problems. Some of them appear smart enough to have beacons, which look to work. We had tried to have our own self-rescue people back in the early 1970’s, as we were a bigger club of climbers. It is said to take 12 strong people to carry out a litter, with 6 at a time to switch off. We learned how to assemble a sled from skis, and other old rescue techniques. Before helicopters, it was difficult or near impossible to evacuate injured people. Horses were used, and instead of minutes to the hospital, it could take weeks. Though the problem of finding lost hikers is still a problem. Even if you have a beacon, you can become unconscious and unable to press the button. It’s best to not travel solo, or without companions enabled enough to provide some smart help!