AP Confuses Climbing and Hiking

I used to have this half-joking theory that the reason there was a noticeable increase in sensationalist news after l’affair OJ was that there were a bunch of reporters out there with nothing to do otherwise.

So too with the recent disasterfucking going on, especially surrounding Mt. Hood. For some reason I can’t quite fathom, people having accidents while mountain climbing is almost as alluring as Laci Peterson’s smile. And then there’s your bitchy conservative uncle complaining about the cost of the rescues to the taxpayers.

Horseshit.

Only a tiny fraction of search and rescue missions have anything to do with mountain climbing. And that’s what those people do: they rescue, and the training is important. They can’t just sit there.

And there are fewer accidents than the common wisdom would suggest. It’s not unlike how every plane crash (Air Mauritania??) makes the news, but a car crash better have Mel Gibson in it. So, until there is someone else getting eaten by a shark or some other Anna Nicole level event, we’re apparently going to have buzz about every rescue (even if not fatal) on Mount Hood.

And here’s the coup de dumbass: the AP writes a story, with quotes from………. a website saying that the experts say leave the dogs at home. What? The dog saved these climbers’ lives.

Oh, and the headline? Leave ’em at home during hikes. You’ve got to be kidding me. This reporter doesn’t even bother to search the distinction between the alpine climbing these people were doing and……hiking. That’s sorta like comparing taking the bass boat out to the local fishing area and paddling an outrigger canoe between Hawaii and Tahiti.

Sure. Next time I try to summit Mount Hood via the south face, I’ll leave my dog at home even though it saved these guys’ lives. (I still don’t get that.) But, the next time I trek up the local hill, even my little ankle-nipping pug is coming with.