Around the 7,000 foot level we began to wonder why the skiers had not
The weather was continuing to deteriorate.
We were fatigued from climbing for over 10 hours,
gaining nearly 6,000 vertical feet of elevation and descending 4,000
feet in biting wind and cold.
coupled with our lack of experience,
lack of rescue training,
lack of rescue equipment,
and the time of day gave us doubts about trying to ascend and
the conditioning and competence of our party varied widely.
Our instructor's first responsibility was to keep all of his party of
novices together and get them back to base camp safely.
Given these considerations,
we were quite happy to agree to continue our descent.
Back at the base camp,
I found someone who seemed to be associated with the party of four and
told him his friends must be in trouble.
Assuming this person would inform the proper authorities,
we broke camp,
hiked out and drove home.