Information on Mountain Road Conditions.

Recently, two LBTO staff members got into difficulties driving down the snowy mountain road at night. They were unable to raise anyone on their vehicle radio, and had to start hiking back toward the summit. Fortunately, they found a spot with cell phone connectivity, and were ultimately picked up and returned to the summit by folks from SMT.

Because of this, we have learned some lessons and propose some winter safety rules to protect us all in the future.

When you are going down after dark in the winter (or even in the summer) with poor driving conditions, we strongly recommend you do the following:

1. If staff are working at the LBT, make sure they know when you are leaving and have them monitor the radio until you notify them that you are safely down.

2. If there is a UofA police officer on the site, please let him/her know that you are leaving the site and that you will notify him/her when you are safely off the mountain.

3. If there is no UAPD or LBTO on-site staff but there are observers at the Vatican or SMT, please call one of them and ask that they monitor the radio until you are safely down. You should call them to let them know when you are safely off the mountain.

4. If you are the only folks on the mountain and you are planning to leave the LBT at a reasonable time (before 9pm), call the mountain operations manager or someone else in Safford and let them know you will be coming down. They can monitor the radio for your safety until you are down. Remember, they are on the road early so that any later than 9pm is cutting into their sleep.

The purpose of this policy letter is to insure everyone's safety. The mountain is hazardous in the winter and even in the summer when driving in the dark. Should there be an emergency, we do not want anyone to be on the mountain driving without someone designated to monitor their progress.

-- DavidThompson - 22 Dec 2006
Topic revision: r2 - 30 Jan 2007, DavidThompson
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