Injured on Vacation: Are Some Destinations Better Than Others?
Hopefully it never happens, but what if you hurt yourself while on vacation? In a metropolitan area you'd be very close to great medical care, but if you're traveling in the rural countryside things might be a little more complicated. According to a report by the American Trauma Society, about 87.7 percent of the country's population is within a one-hour ambulance or helicopter ride from an advanced trauma center. However, this zone only includes 28.39 percent of the land area. So when you're out mountain climbing, be careful!
Nothing says adventure quite like climbing a mountain, and few summits are more rewarding than the Grand Teton in western Wyoming. This peak, which rises to an elevation of 13,770 feet (4,197 meters), can be climbed alone or together with nearby Teewinot and Mount Owen in a three-mountain route known as the Cathedral Traverse. The Grand itself is a six-pitch climb, meaning you and your partner must set the rope six times on your way to the top. While this may sound harrowing, it's actually an ideal challenge for intermediate climbers (at the 5.8 level) with multi-pitch climbing experience who want to take the sport to the next level.
Just because the Grand Teton is accessible to average climbers doesn't mean that it isn't dangerous. Between 1992 and 2009, 10 people died trying to summit the mountain, and each year as many as 30 major search-and-rescue operations are launched to help distressed climbers. Just to be on the safe side, consider hiring a guide. For less than $1,000 a person, this expert climber can help ensure that you make it up and down the Grand Teton in one piece.