This place is a paradise. This place is home for some and vacation for many more. In this place there is so much to do, to explore, to experience. And, there’s so much danger. There’s a fine line between doing what you love and the risk that comes with that passion. This place can also be a resting place.
Each year there are people who die in these outdoors. Some of these people locals, some of these people just visiting. This is a small place and when something tragic happens, the community feels it. It’s a reminder about this place. Each year you are sadly reassured, this place is dangerous.
Here, you hear of people dying doing what they loved. Certainly, that’s better than dying doing something you didn’t love. And, it’s not like if you’re really careful you’ll be able to evade death forever. We’re all going to die, and there are always going to be others left behind.
We all have that something we love to do, that place we want to go, to conquer. We love these beautiful, and dark places. These places that call to us to come and play. These activities that are pleasurable and these places that are exhilarating. And somewhere shadowed in the elation of achievement is the other side, the other possibility. It’s choices, decisions made here, that make all the difference between doing something you love and the possibility of being able to do that something again.
There are signs all around that serve as warnings to be considered. Some signs are subtle. Some signs, like with a skull and crossbones, not so subtle. One such unambiguous sign in the Maroon Bells, a plaque along the Maroon Lake Trail, provided by the Forest Service reads:
The beautiful Maroon Bells, and their neighbor Pyramid Peak, have claimed many lives in the past few years. They are not extreme technical climbs, but they are unbelievably deceptive. The rock is downsloping, rotten, loose, and unstable. It kills quickly and without warning. The snowfields are treacherous, poorly consolidated, and no place for a novice climber. The gullies are death traps. Expert climbers who did not know the proper routes have died on these peaks. Don’t repeat their mistakes, for only rarely have these mountains given a second chance.
DO NOT ATTEMPT CLIMB IF NOT QUALIFIED
And here you can see what a second chance looks like:
And not to pick on climbers. Sure, climbing is dangerous. But, you could be eaten by a bear hiking, you could ride off a cliff mountain biking, or you could break your leg running, and then be eaten by a bear. Everything comes with risks. None of the information found on this site is a suggestion for you to go out and do it. That’s why we have a disclaimer you agree to by using this site. Everyone makes their own decisions. The point is, be careful. There’s a fine line between experiencing that amazing thing and returning to share it with others, or serving as their grim reminder about this place.
Are you being careful? What’s your favorite YouTube video of something insane in this place? Share in the comments below.