Climbers and Rescue Teams
In March 2014, a climber rescue at Shortoff Mountain in Linville Gorge required a helicopter rescue and resulted in another climber receiving a ticket from the US Forest Service for disorderly conduct during the rescue. This rescue was covered live on local media stations and the ticket resulted in an uproar in the NC climbing community and was also criticized in local media. Numerous conversations among various parties followed the rescue and resulted in an agreement to hold a joint meeting between rescue personnel, including those involved in the Shortoff rescue, and representatives from the climbing community.
On April 27th, 2014 a group met in Morganton, NC to discuss the rescue and perhaps more importantly, discuss ways to improve relationships between climbers and rescue teams and increase understanding of each other’s roles in climber rescue situations. This was a very productive meeting and everyone left with a better understanding of the other's perspective. We believe it laid the groundwork for improved relations and better rescues in the future.
The report from that meeting is attached as is a one page set of tips from the recent issue of the Vertical Times by the Access Fund. The tips are a great set of guidelines for all climbers to follow when it comes to rescue situations.