Much like yelling “jump” to someone standing on a bridge railing, is working/encouraging DXpeditions to physically dangerous destinations a morally clear thing to do?
It is also freaking expensive – a recent DXpedition trimmed short by conditions was tallied as costing almost $40 per QSO!!!
As DXers are we like the little kids playing near a busy road, daring each other to run across to the other side and back, hoping traffic doesn’t wipe someone out? Just egging each other on, which is good fun until someone ends up hit & hurt (or worse)?
Some have suggested we attribute an “extra risk” rating to DXPedition opportunities – where if a location is rated by how much extra risk is incurred.
Obviously taking a trek to sat St Pierre is not much more risky than normal tourism, but is obscure because the route there is complicated, whereas a DXPedition assault to Rockall in the far north Atlantic is so risky that to date only military teams have gone there. These differing levels would get a score.
What to do with the scores is argued about – whether to even do anything more than making people aware of risks levels?
Personally I am avoiding supporting or working DXPeditions that feature noteworthy risk levels. I’m not going to guilt myself egging folks to put themselves at risk. Now if I happened on someone calling CQ from one of these places, I will work myself through the moral conundrum at that moment, but I’m not going to actively push people into danger zones – lest we end up with combat zone operations counting for DXCC!
Some of the places that are stupid risky can and should be removed from the list. Scarborough Reef makes us look like some people who lost a dare, or are auditioning for a new Jackass movie.