The Yates Case

THE MAIL

To the Editors of the Crimson:

The Gus Yates case has been on my mind for some time now, and it seems to me that the article and letters published in The Crimson so far have ignored an important issue. Mr. Lowenstein, for example, says in a March 14 letter, "...the regulation of an act which would affect only the individual involved, such as mountain climbing, is ridiculous."

The question in my mind is whether Gus Yates's death on Mt. Katahdin--had it taken place--would have affected only him. Presumably he, like most of us, has a circle of family and friends whose lives would be severely disrupted by his loss. Indeed, I would guess that the law which he broke was passed at the urging of survivors of solitary climbers less lucky than he.

Whether a sense of personal and social responsibility should be enforced by law is a legitimate question; I'm not at all certain that it should. But unless Mr. Yates--"individualistic and independent" though he is--is truly alone in the world, he has a duty to himself and to those who care about him not to endanger his own life unnecessarily. He should not climb dangerous mountains alone--legally or otherwise. Kim Hasse   Freshman Proctor