Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Yesterday’s blog about the missing person in Yosemite had me thinking about ways to prevent this. We have no clue where this fellow went, but technology is available to find you if you are in the boonies and unable to call for help. (Either vocally or cell.) Personal locator devices make use of modern technology to provide a way to find lost souls. SPOT (Satellite POsitioning and Tracking), is one such gizmo. While there are a couple of competitors, SPOT offers the most cost effective way to increase your chances of being found. The “big deal” is that SPOT uses only satellites and GPS in their solution. No cell network used. Once you have one of their devices, you activate it and off you go. Their second generation product, called the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger (or loosely “SPOT-2”), continues their solution in a smaller from factor. It’s smaller than a pack of cigarettes. (I know since I smoked in 5th grade for 2 months – didn’t inhale.) 3.7” x 2.6”
You can use 3 levels of notification. #1. I’m OK. It sends a pre-written text message or email to 10 contacts. #2. Soft help – To tell your contacts that maybe you have had enough and to pick you up at the Visitor Center (pre-written message). The big one is #3. SOS/911. This will set a rescue in motion through a satellite link to GEOS, anInternational Emergency Response Center. GEOS then notifies the responsible authority of your longitude and latitude and need for a rescue. This saves SAR teams tons of time, resources and money since they are not looking for an overdue hiker somewhere in the tundra. False alarms are reduced in SPOT-2 thanks to a simple button cover. All the time your route can be visible on a website via a tracking function that records your progress. (Great for post event analysis.) This is a very high level summary. Go to the SPOT website <HERE> to learn more. My question to you – would you consider buying or renting a SPOT for your backcountry treks in Yosemite or elsewhere? $150 retail and $99 annual basic service fee. Theyhave 100,000 uers and have 400 rescues in 2 years!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Is she really going out with him? Well, there she is. Let’s ask her. Betty, is that Jimmy’s ring you’re wearing? Mm-hmm Gee, it must be great riding with him. Is he picking you up after school today? Uh-uh By the way, where’d you meet him? I met him at the candy store, he turned around and smiled at me – you get the picture? Yes, we see. That’s when I fell for the leader of the pack. – The Shangri-Las
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com