My wife and I hiked the Chimneys on New Years Eve and on our way down we came across a group of people where a lady had fallen on the the slick ice and apparently broken an ankle. Her situation was compounded by the fact that they laid her down in the snow and ice and so they had to wrap her in an emergency blanket and even then she was shivering badly. By the time we got back to to the trailhead we had passed (in order) 2 rangers walking solo up to the accident, a group of 5 rangers with search and rescue and a stretcher on a a giant wheel, followed by a pair of two more rangers. At the trailhead there were at least 7 park service vehicles, an ambulance, and at least 4 or more rangers manning the parking lot.
The whole thing reminded me of the guy who broke his ankle in 2 places on deep creek (was that last spring) and walked out 5 miles with his 50 pound plus pack without any additional help...
Anyway the whole thing seemed like a waste and overuse of resources. I mean, they didn't need all of those people there to get the one lady out. nevermind the fact that there were a ton of people hiking on the trail that day, and very few seemed prepared for the fact that about .8 miles of the 1.1 miles up from the Road Prong trail (the steepest portion) were covered in ice. Very few people were wearing footwear that would protect or at least somewhat support their ankles, many were in shorts and shortsleeves with no outerwear, and I even saw one guy walking up the icy portion with a baby in a baby carrier on his back!
Yet it is the back country campers who need to be paying more?