June 30, 2017
Some of the Rangers and local climbing guides were out and about today at Camp Muir training together under the unrelenting sun (double check you packed your sunscreen, spf lip balm, sun shirt, extra water and extra electrolytes).
We were working together today to refresh on our rescue skills incase someone gets injured on the D.C. this summer and we need to get a patient down in a litter to camp Muir. The local guides are up here every day working hard, and they are a valuable resource for such situations, possibly the first responders (not to mention all the hard work they put into maintaining the DC).
Our day of training was long and it was probably half the time it would take to rescue someone from above the DC if they were non-ambulatory. It takes a long time to dig enough snow anchors in rotting snow to hold a litter, patient and litter attendant. Not to mention how many anchors we would have to build to descend a few thousand feet with 300 ft long ropes.
Don't forget, you and your climbing partners are your first line of defense on this mountain (or any mountain really). Most important is to prevent an accident with smart decisions: don't linger in areas prone to ice and rock fall, assess every bridge you cross no matter how many crossed it before you (with these hot temps routes are melting out and changing fast), and stay fueled and hydrated. If things turn south, have the tools and skills to self extricate and provide self care. The rangers and guides practice these essentail rescue skills but we hope to never need to use them to save you because there is a good chance it could take us 8 to 36 hours to evacuate you from the field.
Climb Smart and Have Fun.