You know, I look at their TR, and can't help but say that it was predictable. And they were very lucky. Most dogs go absolutely apesh*t when caught in a thunderstorm. They kept dry (but not warm).
In my experience, a trip like this is the last trip of their lives for first timers.
I wonder about being encouraging to people who want to do this.....first backpack, owning no gear, going out for 5 days, with the complication of dogs. Didn't check the weather, or know about it. Headed out to a predicted storm. Didn't know what that meant.
Brought the wrong sleeping bags, probably didn't know how to use them effectively.
Footwear that didn't fit, and no knowledge of how to deal with it. (ugh!)
All trivial stuff to experienced people, I'm sure.
I'm just concerned about the process, here, of encouraging such things, as opposed to encouraging a measured gradually increasing process of longer trips.
When I was stationed at Whitney Portal for two weeks, Several years back, doing the Altitude project, I was astonished by the hordes of people who clearly had no clue about backpacking---going out for their first. And last. Worse, was dragging the unfortunate spouse/SO.
This sort of thing probably creates a cadre of people ready to ABOLISH wilderness, in an attempt to save mankind (or revenge!)