Outside magazine, July 1997
Letters: Bad Intentions
I am appalled that killer Chad McKittrick got off with such a light sentence ("The Killing of Wolf Number Ten," May). At the very least, his restitution ought to include the cost of his capture, transportation, handling, housing, feeding, psychological care, release, and
monitoring. Furthermore, his permit to own firearms should be immediately and permanently revoked.
Like many whom author Thomas McNamee interviewed, I believe in conservation and take no joy in the wanton and senseless destruction of wildlife or the environment. That said, I also take offense at the tactics our government uses in the prosecution of an otherwise innocent individual for an honest mistake.
How would Chad McKittrick feel if someone who regarded him as an inferior species shot and killed him for no other reason than that the opportunity to do so existed?
What is most depressing about Admiral Richard Byrd's lie is that he almost got away with it ("Truth Be Told, They Lied," May). If Byrd had simply been honest instead of living with and harboring his lie, life would have been much easier for him and for those who knew him.
Whether he reached the Pole or not is almost unimportant — he had the courage to try. Too bad he didn't have the courage to tell the truth.
|Bess Balchen Urbahn
The Views on Everest
Climbing Everest is not, as it's often portrayed, a heroic, laudable activity ("False Summit," May). I would argue instead that Jon Krakauer's broken promises to his wife and his insistence on continuing to put himself in danger are irresponsible. Perhaps now that he has
climbed the "geologic embodiment of myth," Krakauer might consider the possibility that he has fulfilled his destiny and earned permission to redirect his life.
Krakauer admits that his mindset before he went to Everest was that a successful climb "won't merely alter your life, it will transform it." Yet any such transformation hasn't been positive for Krakauer. Surviving Everest has been like the shell shock that lingers after a terrible battle. If his outstanding insight results in one life saved or one reckless soul calmed, however,
his writings will not have been in vain.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ... wake me up when you guys are done writing about Everest.
It's All in the Mix, Really
I'm not sure what to make of Outside's May issue. You devoted a large portion to stories about some yahoo driving his family into debt in pursuit of a moronic encounter with a grizzly bear, a woman who "bonked" her way across America and lied about it, and a litigious French cyclist who can't even take pleasure in victory. Why populate your magazine
with hooliganism, lies, and plain old sour grapes?
Virginia Beach, Virginia
The Secret of Supply and Demand
Ah, the lives of the dreamers. so Troy Hurtubise hasn't found any buyers for his Rube Goldbergian grizz-proof suit ("Toward Thee I Lurch, Thou All-Destroying but Uninterested Grizzly Bear," May). Patience, Troy — the market will find you. In fact, one of my neighbors
has the surliest Samoyed you'd ever want to encounter, and I'm sure our postman would love such an outfit.
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