Sunday, May 20, 2007

Seach and Rescue (SAR) callouts

So the park has been open for 15 days and the problems are already starting to roll in for hikers and climbers. I've my fingers crossed that there will be NO serious accidents this summer (like last year), but the callout trend remains alarming. Over the past week, we've had 3 missions launched because of overdue parties. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

One instance involved two reportedly overdue climbers (i.e. example of what not to do) and it required park rangers to respond last Tuesday. It all started as a miscommunication between family members (i.e. parent and climber). The parents thought that the climbers would be home on Sunday night, the climbers planned for Wednesday. This discrepancy led to a 911 call late Monday night and a search that involved two helicopters (one military Chinook) and numerous NPS personnel...

The primary issue was that the two climbers did not register. If they had, there would have been no search, but since the team was reported overdue by 24 hours, something needed to be done. As it turns out, the climbers were prepared to spend the extra time and they did summit too, but one father didn't know those plans and neither did we. The moral of the story, register, OR face the US magistrate to explain why you didn't.

On the brighter side of the things, our friend and former climbing ranger Mimi Allin (goes by AKA Allin too) is getting gobs and gobs of media attention again. Being the POET of Green Lake obviously carries a fair amount of clout in Seattle. KING 5 Evening Magazine visited her recently, and if you live in Seattle, maybe you should too. Hint hint, nudge, nudge...

In other good news, the Glacier Basin Trail is looking better now that the rangers flagged it extensively. Recent rangerly type activities also included helicopter training. In these David Gottlieb images, a Chinook is inserting personnel at Camp Schurman. Every year, the pilots and rangers need to be recertified in hoist operations. Over at Camp Muir, the guide services are setting up weatherports on the Cowlitz Glacier while most climbing teams are ascending the Ingraham Glacier. Everyone is looking forward to Memorial Day weekend. Now the big question, what will the weather bring??