awilsondc wrote:This is difficult because it's natural for family members to worry about each other. People with little experience hiking and climbing mountains could easily feel that being out in the middle of nowhere with no people around and no easy way to get help is extremely dangerous. In reality, the danger is much less for an experienced hiker or climber as most people know the limits of their abilities and know how to read a situation as far as when to turn back if necessary. With people who worry about me I often describe to them times where I have felt that my safety could be at risk and turned back from a summit attempt and that helps them realize I am aware of the risks, know my limits, and practice safety in the mountains.
Another way you can help family members feel at ease is to carry a SPOT, or InReach, or similar personal locator and rescue system. The Delorme InReach appears to be the best, especially when paired with their GPS unit. It will enable you to actually send and receive text messages in the mountains as well as alert rescue if you need assistance. It's somewhat spendy ($250 for the InReach, $250 extra for the Pn-60w GPS), but you may get the concerned parents to foot some of the bill if it will make them feel less worried about you.
My wife always worried about me so my climbing partner borrowed a SPOT from a friend for our Mt Forbes climb. It got knocked off in the tri-level blow down area on the approach and we didn't realize it until a few hours later. The wife went mental as she watched the SPOT not move for 3 days. She thought we had been mauled by a grizzly or broke a leg. So, in that case it added to the concern. However, a SPOT did save a life on Pico de Orizaba. A climber in another group had HAPE so bad he was coughing up blood. His group was able to get him down to where he was picked up by a guide and brought to a hospital.