Adventure Tourism Can Be Deadly

Why do you have to sign all the waivers if there is no risk?

by Eric Holdeman / January 14, 2020

There is a reason the military likes to have 18-year-olds as new recruits — they have few fears. I told my now 19-year-old grandson two things when he turned 18. First, you are now an adult and will be charged as an adult for anything that you do. Second, when you are thinking, "I wonder what will happen if ...," pause and let your brain engage in thinking about the possible "negative consequences" of what you are pondering. 

Which brings me to, this Wall Street Journal article, [maybe a paywall — so google the title]: Volcanoes and Other Adventures in Tourism Are Seductive—but They Can Be Deadly.

Just because some tourism operator has been offering tours to place X for many years, doesn't mean it is "totally safe." 

One last grandson story to share, just this past weekend I asked him, "Cameron, what disaster has killed more people in Washington state than any other disaster?" Being a thoughtful and experienced emergency manager, I had thought it would be floods, but no ... it is snow avalanches. It is because of the frequency of the one- and two-person deaths, likely every year, that the numbers soon add up. I shared this with him because is he now doing mountain skiing and we all know where the best "powder" is, which is not on the groomed slopes of ski resorts, but in the wildland out-of-bound areas. One note from Cameron; he works for REI and says that it costs about $500 to be fully outfitted with all the avalanche gear, beacon, probe and shovel. 



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