Monday, January 09, 2017

Acatenango (2017)

2015’s Everest could have been subtitled ‘How a bunch of self-indulgent morons got themselves killed and in the process put many others’ lives at risk’. 

Yesterday Guatemala staged its own smaller-scale regional version of this tragi-farce, when a group of ‘excursionists’ - whose most expensive piece of trek-relevant kit was probably either a GO-PRO camera or worse, a selfie stick - got lost in driving rain and plunging temperatures on the slopes of Acatenango and duly died from hypothermia. 

I do get the appeal of ascending volcanoes, dormant ones at least, for the view, the personal challenge etc. Here in La Antigua Agua should be sufficient to meet this demand, though the dangers ought still be obvious. 

Acatenango meanwhile really ought to be surrounded by a high fence with signs warning all morons to keep out. 

Anyone else should need to apply, and pay, for permission to enter - rather like the controls that exist at archaeological sites like Machu Picchu - which would control numbers, manage preparedness and give the Bomberos a heads-up on who is on the mountain at any given time.

Part of the problem as I see it is that more and more dimwits are being drawn unprepared to these sort of activities by social media. It’s not so much that they want the experience, the challenge for themselves, they want to SHARE it. 

And like most millennials they want instant gratification, no preparation or dedication required. 

And they come to a land where many locals are willing to facilitate the risks transients take, knowingly or otherwise, in order to expand their income. 

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