Good article and conversation. I just wanted to add that I know of an example of a governing agency not reacting with more regulation in the face or litigation, although I imagine this is rare.
When I lived and climbed in the Tetons in the 90’s the initial policy at that time was a sign in and sign out before all climbs. No gear or experience checks thank God! My roommates and I got to know the rangers well as I was often more focused on the post climb beer than letting them know I was back which resulted in many phone calls the next day to check up on me.
At some point a young guy, off by himself, fell off the snowfields on the east face of Buck Mt and launched off a 300 ft cliff, predicatably dying. When the rangers went out late the next day they found him pretty quickly. This happened every year somewhere in the Tetons and still does today. In this case, the family decided that it was the negligence of the delayed response of SAR (24 hours after he should have returned) that was responsible for their son’s death. Not his own judgement or the 300 ft fall which likely (hopefully) killed him instantly.
I don’t know all the details but the Park won the lawsuit and, the following year, dropped the sign in/sign out policy. Too much exposure to liability policing everyone’s whereabouts I guess. Everyone I knew of in the community supported the move and, to this day, from my experience, they are still pretty hands off about regulating climbers beyond protecting the environment from being overrun.
Hopeful case I believe.