For once I agree with you Luke. [...] The morons going out into the middle of the gully to get better pictures just takes the cake.
Thank you to agree with me...
It is a mistake to go in the middle of the snow slab, the climber said: "he was climbing through soft snow about thigh-deep or waist-deep"... but I don't think that he is a morron
If you swim in a lake and you swim to the middle of the lake, you have water every where around you. It is dangerous for nothing. When you climb a mountain and you arrive at the summit, you have one of the most spectacular moment in your life. It is one reason why climbing is so attractive and so ridicule to scare people at a point that you suggest them to hike lion head trail instead of central couloir.With a little bit more leadership of two person, they would have been safe.
You have a leader of the team, who brought eleven climber to close to the top. Thinking that his job is done, he let the second party past to the summit and stay with the rest of the team to make sure that every think is O.K. He made a mistake not saying to be carefull at the snow field, but they were pratically at the summit.
The second party had also a leader. Is it the one who walk into the snow? I don't know. But the leader have also to take a decision: taking beautifull picture or secure is party. As the leader of the team let them go. The second party probably think that they were safe now...and, after a full day in safe ground, they underestimated the danger of the montain
...even with a moderate avalanche danger and a ranger who talked to them.
We are in the case of the women of mt jackson who, with the wind in her back, hike to the summit. And, when she turned back to follow her foot print, she realized that she can be lost if she try to follow her path. She stayed in the mountain doing jumper jack all night long.
Underestimation is not stupid...it is just that some one don't have enought experiences or are distracted by some thing else (beautifull women for example). You drive, try to reach your cell phone...and have an accident... or you coffee fall on your leg... These are mistakes, you are not stupid, but the result is... Today, the people are not son of climber who climb with daughter of climber. Today, the climber come from every where and they have to know that basic technique exist and they have to train there technique to be able to estimate a real dangerous. All technique are easy because under stress or other consideration, one most be able to use it. But it is not because you read about a french technique, pied en canard or an other like pidgeon hole, that you are able to do it in the cliff when your life is at risk.
We saw that the avalanche awardness is no longer an advantage because, even if the people of the team talked to a ranger and saw the avalanche condition, they climbed. Avalanche awardness said: O.K. today it is low, go for it and if you don't have experiment, we will laught at you or today I don't want to rescue you in the mountain, so do some thing else. Sad