I was about to say I don't have PMs turned off - but then I remembered it was the last thing I did before I "left."
I've been in the past very frustrated with people in forums who encourage fools to be more foolish, or beginners to do very difficult challenging routes, or not said anything when people post what is clearly an ambitious route with some signs of ignorance of what it will really mean for them. I have to keep reminding myself that not everyone spends six years chasing lost people, training each month for night navigation, and hearing story after story about the many ways ignorant and willful people get into trouble. Not to mention the experienced backpackers, the not-so-willful but still ignorant, the blissfully unprepared day hiker, and the rest - stuff happens and stuff does not respect your many years of wilderness experience sometimes.
And also even if you've spent time in SAR, not everyone in SAR hikes or backpacks for fun - and certainly they haven't been doing it the way I do, with groups of people, many of which I never see more than a couple times and many who are just getting into it then go on to more adventurous things than I care to do - a Facebook friend has been taking canyoneering classes and climbing classes, and thanked me the other day for launching him into the outdoors. My groups become a way for hikers to meet other like minded people, and go their own way - and that's fine. But in addition to that it demonstrates over and over to me - when we say "experienced" we all mean very different things. Almost to the point that the word means nothing at all - one single night short backpacking trip made one person feel entitled to join my backpacking group, and when I responded to the negative (I prefer that people have many trips of longer duration under their belt before they join that group) she blew up at me. How dare I make assumptions about her? To which I responded, I can't make assumptions at all. You have to tell me about your experience for me to know about it. Vague assurances are what I get from people who intend to use me as a free guiding service - and then they are over their heads, unable to go onward, and I am hiking out with a limping guy who's vomiting and needing help filtering water to replace the three liters he lost in the past hour. And she is still angry, this lady who I have never met who wants to join a group that does five to nine day backpacking trips, and still giving me attitude in email as if I should know better - and I've come to the point that this is what I will not allow any more, this attitude that you get to just do whatever you like, who cares who that inconveniences? Who cares if you can't do 10 mile days and get sick unto the point of altered personality? You should let me go backpacking with you! I'll be fine! And then they don't tell me about hot spots, don't tell me about anything they are suffering until it's blisteringly obvious they are either about to descend into heat stroke or just fall over on the trail, because they said they would be fine and therefore they have to deny not being fine almost til it's too late.
I screen people a lot more than I used to. I have to - even on the day hikes. But I still enjoy taking people, because the majority of them aren't really problems and honestly benefit and enjoy the trips I plan. And I still have people who will do risky things, right in front of me sometimes. I had four people take off on a different angle while hiking cross country to Moose Lake - an "experienced" hiker decided to navigate using Big Bird Peak (it wasn't the right peak) and ended up too far down the ridge. Of course, it was all about getting to the destination - except it wasn't. I wanted the group together for safety - if someone rolls a rock, or a rock rolls on them, on the steep terrain, we needed to be together, if only because I had the PLB. He didn't listen well. This is a frequent problem - talk, send descriptions, have a meeting before the hiking starts, and once you're out there it all goes right out of their heads.
So it's a learning curve for me, accepting that people will do whatever they think is best and accepting that it makes no sense at all sometimes - from my perspective. I get that people who go a lot and never have things happen will have a totally different angle on it all. But I have seen a lot - a LOT - of goof ups, from fireballs on canister stoves to day hikers who got bored and wandered off leaving their group to call the helicopters out to to help. People completely fail to respect the amount of time others spend looking for them, worrying about them, or trying to figure out how to convince them not to race ahead (even when they have missed intersections in the past and gotten lost).
I try not to talk about it so much anymore. It just sounds like I'm making it up, or bragging, because no one hikes this much... but there's a core group of us who do. We have to kind of be our own support group. We get a lot of angry entitled people yelling at us for having some rules of our own for this stuff. So that's why I sound a little hardnosed or set on the side of safety. Not enough people have an idea of how it works yet, and they want to be treated like intelligent adults, instead of ignorant beginner hikers. Well, ok. I guess I get to do that until you need a compass and a map.