As part of the Mountain Rescue Team in the Mt. Washington Valley, I was involved with the search and rescue during the avalanche on Mt. Washington that occurred on December 1, 2002. Unfortunately two people died in this tragedy; neither of whom were carrying ID, making identification, processing, and notification of the next of kin difficult and time consuming for the search team and the authorities. Since training for a cycling charity event last spring, I have not been on bike, foot, kayak or on the end of a rope on rock or ice without my Road ID wrist band. Having just come off this most recent rescue attempt following an avalanche in the back country, I realize how important it is for climbers, hikers and back country skiers/riders to always carry ID...for your own safety and for the safety of the team that may be called out to rescue you.
Communications in the back country are limited at best. When an injured person or body cannot be identified, everyone is held up and left in a potentially dangerous situation longer than need be. I also climb by myself quite a bit and certainly don't want medical attention withheld because no one can find out who I am. It has made my holiday shopping easy this year....all of my friends and family that participate in any outdoor activity are getting some form of Road ID. Plus, the flash of silver looks cool and always gets an inquiry from someone you meet. Be smart and use this effective form of identification wherever you go and don't climb when there's even a modest chance of avalanche....its just not worth it.
- John .F from Newburyport, MA