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Know the West

Millennials, of course


Death in the Alpine” (HCN, 5/14/18) reads like yet another article bemoaning millennials and their obsession with social media. However, given the increase in popularity of outdoor recreation reported on this same issue (i.e., on page 9, “Recreation is redefining the value of the West’s public lands,”) it seems a much more straightforward explanation simply that more people are attempting to summit these peaks than have done so in the past. Attributing these deaths to social media seems to feed into a particular narrative about young people, rather than being based on the evidence. I would be much more interested to know how the number of deaths relates to the overall number of attempts, and whether that number is greater now than in the past.

Mara McPartland
St. Paul, Minnesota