I read the article “A Passion for Peaks” [November/December 2014] and have to take issue with what was portrayed while Bethany Garretson was hiking Owls Head Mountain.
Granted that Owls Head is not a major peak and it’s a short hiking distance, but to romanticize and glorify someone who begins hiking at 8 p.m. with no hiking clothes and barefoot in thirty-eight-degree weather is quite irresponsible.
Hiking is serious business, especially for beginners and the inexperienced that may be reading your publication, and there are basic fundamentals in preparedness and safety that need to be followed. Just read the many accident reports that involve hikers who are not prepared and in over their heads. I wonder if the DEC Forest Rangers or search-and-rescue personnel would buy into what she did and how it was viewed by your publication as “cool.”
In summary, everyone has a right and freedom to do what they want, but a publication like yours should not give blessing to it.
Tony Brais, Liverpool
I know this was months ago, but wanted to clear the air on this. I was with her on this hike; not only wasn’t she solo, but it was earlier in the day and about 30 degrees warmer than was reported.
Nor did she fabricate the details — she’s far from the type. Somehow the anecdote strayed plenty from reality.