May 23, 2006

Day 3 Update!

I visited a few groups in the field today. Here is Russ, Jon and Meaghan's crew. They reported more snow and cold temps above 2000 - 3000 feet. Several other groups called in to modify their route and change their pick up to avoid some of the higher peaks and thus the snow. One student from Russ's group offered me $200 to take him home. Then he found some dry socks in his pack, did a victory dance and declared, "It's okay - let's go hiking!"

Unfortunately I had to take four students out of the field today. Two had developed stomach bugs. Despite being well fed and hydrated they were struggling with upset stomachs. They probably came on course with something brewing and it came out in the cold and damp. Two other students developed sore knees and were looked at by our training staff. The verdict was strained ligaments.

The weather in the notch continues to be chilly but there wasn't any precipitation today. In this picture you can see the snow line - probably around 3000 feet.

The next group that I connected with was Jayne and Travis. They had called in a bit embarrassed but with a legitimate concern. A student had gone to fill the cook pot with water for dinner the night before and lost his grip. Before they knew it the pot was swept down stream and over a series of falls. Luckily last night they borrowed a pot from another group but they were looking at the prospect of not having a cook pot for a couple of days. So they hiked out, called me and I brought a cook pot up to them. They'll camp tonight a bit shy of their goal for the day - but as I told the instructor team - I'd rather they made a more conservative call than pushed on without a pot to cook supper in!

Cooks Paul and Alex prepare spaghetti alfredo for dinner.
Later Gunnar insisted in showing me his prune feet. Sweeeet! Dry those feet out by the fire tonight, Gunnar!The students who came out of the field today where quite reflective, I think to their own surprise as much as my own. Their thoughts on going without modern conveniences, without even a roof caused them to think about homeless people and Jews fleeing persecution during the holocaust. I was touched that this experience could conjure these kinds of connections for them.

On an unrelated note I heard on the radio that some hikers in the Presidential Range called for a rescue last night and I wanted to share this information with you in case anyone thought it was one of our groups. Click here for a Channel 9 story about the incident. Fish and Game officials said that the group didn't have tents, stoves or the clothing required for the conditions in the mountains at this time of year and that they should have turned back long before they called for help on a cell phone. Luckily everyone was okay, but it's an important lesson in how critical it is not to underestimate the mountains.

No comments:

Post a Comment