Very sad indeed, and I feel sympathy for the families and friends of those who lost their lives.
Call me a Soft Townie, but I can't help thinking,that going to an extremely inhospitable environment, in January, with extremely bad weather conditions forecast, is just plain madness. Of course, I can kind of understand the thrill of adventure thing, overcoming your own limitations and the conditions, etc, but it just strikes me as pretty bloody selfish and irresponsible, to be so arrogant as to think you can take on the elements in such a manner. This is compounded by the fact that rescue crews will have to risk their lives, to try and help those in trouble. Not to mention the enormous expense, to the mainly voluntary aided, and largely charity funded, organisations.
I am sure there are many who are very experienced, know the risks and can minimise the need for involving risk to others, but I also feel that there are those for whom such risk-taking means that consideration for others is secondary. I know the SAS and that need to train in such conditions, but a group of people out for a weekend jolly should surely not be putting themselves, and possibly others, in such harm's way.
Certainly, quite a few of these 'Extreme Outdoor Adventure' types that I've met, have been quite arrogant, and it seems that they use the 'sports' as a way of showing off; 'look how hard I am'. I've met people who've actually boasted about having to be rescued by helicopter and stuff. Stupid arseholes.
I appreciate there can be a fine line between 'calculated risk' and reckless stupidity. I think most of us err on the side of caution and safety.
If you can do something, where you are aware of the potential risks, and are equipped for the worst eventuality, fine. If you need to be rescued from a Scottish mountain, following an avalanche that warnings have been broadcast about, then maybe you have been pretty bloody irresponsible, I reckon.
I dunno. I'm sure it's not that simple, but it seems like yet another group of stupid idiots who think they are harder than nature.