Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ORMS Spring Training

Sat. & Sun.  March 26&27, 2011

As has been its history the ORMS Spring training weekend was,


Sorry folks I just accidently lost about 40 minutes of writing.   I will need to recreate it later out of time for now.  

But somehowTrebor Kool managed to sneak into the showing of Almost Alpine and has leaked a clandestine reveiw of it over on Quixotic Cosmos if your interested.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Begins

March 12 & 13, 2011
Old Rag Saturday
Wilderness First Aid Sunday

Saturday was a wonderful hiking day.    Warm air, bright blue skies and all of the streams were bubbling and cascading down the mountain.     The Hughes was a river not a stream.  Every culvert had running water.  Washes that are dry most the year had babbling brooks flowing in them.  

Old Rag International Parking had less than ten available parking spaces.    The neighbors did not need to open up the satellite parking lot (their pasture) but keep in mind that if they do it is a $10 charge in addition to the SNP entrance fee (The SNP parking lot is free.).    Since it is within walking distance there is no shuttle service.  ;-)

There was a little bit of ice still on the Ridge Trail.     For me it was a pleasant surprise and reminder of our past winter to come across a small patch of ice in the middle of the rock scramble.   You could easily find a path around it or pick your way up through it.   There were more than just a couple of rock climbers to be seen hiking out late in the day with their ropes, boots, helmets, taped hands and other specialized gear hanging on their packs

On a one to ten rating system this Old Rag sunset was a five at best but that said it was still wonderful to watch.
On the way out I saw the green emerald eye glow from hundreds of spiders peaking out from the leaf liter for the first time this year.    A sure sign of Spring and one of those little special treats of hiking in the dark with the aid of a bright headlamp.   While it was not on the mountain I heard my first Spring peepers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SM6leUVorY   while driving through the Piedmont on my way back home.

On Sunday I volunteered to help Emergency Response Training, LLC with a Wilderness First Aid class.  

I played one of two victims in a scenario for a class of scouts and scout parents preparing for a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch this summer.



They had not arrived as of this weekend but it is only a matter of time so it would be a good idea to remember to bring your bug repellant.

Check this Blog's label list to bring up more information about ticks.   As carriers of Lymes, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other diseases some consider these critters the most dangerous thing you will encounter in the park.    Permethrin for your clothing, bug repellant for your skin and tick checks when you get home are all very important disease prevention measures.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sat. And Sun. March 5&6, 2011

Saturday March 5, 2011
One-On-One Training

Bearfence Hike
and Skyline Drive

The Forsythia along the road up to the trail head was just starting to bloom.

When we arrived at the parking lot it was lightly raining and the cloud deck was really low.    As the day progressed the rain stopped and the cloud deck went from about 200 feet off the ground to about five thousand feet off the ground.

Alex F. and Ray J.  my One-On-One students.   Great additions to the PATC Trail Patrol roster.


Hire A Guide
(A very inexpensive TIME expander.)

A thought for all you busy professionals whose TIME out in nature is a more limited resource than the money you earn during your long hours of professional work.   Think about hiring a guide.   For a relatively small amount of money a good guide can make sure that your hours are optimized:
  • If you are  a 5.8 lead climber on business travel and you can only fit in an extra day at your scenic destination which has a climbing area you have never been too, if you hire a guide they can make sure you squeeze in the best routes that your talents and time will allow before you have to jet back home.
  • Maybe you can second 5.10 but are uncomfortable leading it at the moment.   Hire a guide and they can lead the classics that are within your seconding ability but beyond your leading comfort zone. 
  • If you want to take relatives, friends or coworkers out for an outdoor experience but have never given any thought about how or where you could do this while making it fun and safe for all hire a guide.   Guides are all about being able to provide enjoyable safe outdoor experiences for clients with a very wide range of abilities.
  • If you want to experience a hidden back country gem but wanted to avoid the chance of wasting your time bushwhacking to the wrong place hire a guide.
I once estimated how many wonderful sunny 70 degree days I might have to spend in the outdoors over the remainder of my potential life.  I will not share the the results because they are depressing as in Just shoot me now!  

After doing this simple mathematical exercise I went from thinking "Why would I every hire a guide?" to thinking "Heck it might make sense to hire two on some days." or "Hiring one to spend an extra day prepping a route or caching supplies.".  

For those of you with a little economics ... rational humans should act as though TIME as a very inelastic resource but they do not.   Since most humans think of themselves as immortal they are terrible at making rational decisions about the value of TIME. 

For a primer on inelastic resources visit the following link and look for the section on elastic versus inelastic.

Think of Guides as a resource/tool that can expand your life-time-limit of great outdoor experiences.    If humans were rational about how they value time they would have bid the price for guide services way above the current market rate.    Since humans, even very smart humans like consultants, lawyers, doctors are terrible judges of the true value of time (Their intuitive assumption is that they are going to live forever and TIME is infinite therefore of very little value).     At the present moment, using a guide service at American or European prices is a scandalous bargain.     If you can afford the air fare some foreign destinations have guide prices that are a fraction of what the going rates are in America or Europe.

If you are looking for a local guide or an organization involved with outdoor experiential learning check out:

If you double click than expand/enlarge the picture you should be able to read the text on this sign.

On Sunday it was raining pretty hard all day. Rather than spend the whole day out in the rain Anita and I explored Skyline Drive and took a short hike on Bearfence Mountain. This mountain has a great rock scramble on it and one of the few 360 degree views in SNP. Anita and I will be returning here for some trad climbing training and bouldering in the future.

It seems from the SNP Trail Head sign that in warmer weather this is rattlesnake country. Because of the rain I did not take my camera but Chad has a better post with pictures about Bearfence Mountain at: