Sunday, April 10, 2011

Climbing, Litter Tie In, Femur Traction

Saturday and Sunday
April 9&10, 2011
Climbing, Litter Tie In, Femur Traction
Spring Firsts

Saturday was misty and cool all day.    The following pictures show a little bit of climbing practice with the first picture being that of a short summit climb called Beginners Crack and the second picture being the lower moves on a new line that starts out hard and turns seemingly impossible.     A great little project that some day may go at a yet to be defined grade level.

Stewards Ben, Sean, Graham K, Sean, and Bob

Early Saturday evening we spent a lot of time at Byrds Nest Shelter  practicing litter tie ins and then testing them to see how well they worked if we treated the litter with patient like a giant salt shaker.    We were having so much fun practicing our tie ins that we missed last call for Pizza at Rudy's.


The picture below is of Steve H. one of this years boundary contact station Rangers.

Sunday's weather started misty and cool and ended gorgeous with the special treat of being able to see the remnants of the smoking mist swirling around under your feet down in the hollows.

On Sunday the Stewards practiced the various processes that would need to be gone through if we encountered a femur fracture in the backcountry.    It was a good practice session because we got to practice various ways to establish and hold traction depending on whether we were on Old Rag under ORMS conditions(multiple stewards, park resource back up, radios, and pre-cached medical supplies) or by ourselves with a friend in some other remote backcountry wilderness.  

Stewards Jeremy, Emily, Michael, and Bob

On the way out I was providing information on Old Rag,  Leave No Trace(LNT), wildlife, and backcountry skills to numerous groups.    One of the groups coming up the Saddle Trail consisted of about 60 folks from age one to 60 plus.   I had shared a couple of Old Rag fun facts with one of the women in the group and was about to move on down the trail when she encouraged me to give her a few more fun facts because she could use them for home schooling.     I immediately thought of one that could involve some math, units conversion, geology, and the wonder of deep time.   I rattled off my discourse about the fact that scientist tell us that Old Rag Granite is around 1.3 billion years old and that if you let one inch represent 2,000 years and then did all the math with unit conversions you would realize that you needed slightly MORE! than the whole circuit hike to represent the 1.3 billion years.    My visitor was suddenly looking very conflicted but was brave enough to share her thoughts when she said that she would not be able to use that  fun fact in her home schooling because she interpretted the bible very literally. Based on her bible interpretation, time did not go back that far.   She started to apologize for being so forward.    

As Gomer Pyle used to say,  "SURPRISE! SURPRISE! SURPRISE!"

I was able to say no, no, I had no problem with her views because my mother interpreted her Bible very literally did home ministry and provided the Eucharist to shut ins and my father was very involved with Prison Fellowship.

This allowed my new acquaintance to feel comfortable enough to steward me.   We had a great ten minute theological discussion and I received this neat 3X5 card pictured below.    If you hold it one way the red letters spell LIFE and if you hold it the other way they spell DEATH,    On the back there is a list of five passages from Romans which I will  make a point of reading and pondering.

I parted with the group by saying that I felt mountains were very spiritual places and that I hoped they found that to be true during the remainder of their visit.  

Awesome enlightening fun.

The next picture is proof of one of my many Spring 2011 firsts, Dandelions.   This encounter caused me to ponder on my love of Dandelions despite the fact that for some they are so despised that genocidal chemical warfare is justified.    

Like a moth attracted to flame Trebor Kool says:
"Dandelions are; tough, independent, pretty,  reproductively whimsical (airborne parachutes), great companions/additions for meals/salads and a major ingredient for fine w(h)ines.   With the exception of the last item, qualities that I find attractive in a woman."

Taraxacum officinale

Other firsts include my first 2011; Swallowtail, lower Berryhollow peepers in chorus, swarms of biting gnats, Red Bud in bloom down in the lower warmer elevations, tree leaves budding in the lower elevations, and greening of pastures.

Being a ORMSer has allowed me to learn so much about flora and fauna but also realize I have so much more to learn.    Keep checking on Silver Spring Wanderer's blog if your interested in learning about Appalachian wild flowers.

Upcoming Attractions
We have another full moon coming up.     The mid-Atlantic rock climbers are going to be sponsoring a SNP litter clean up service day called  ROCKFEST2 

and a large group of ORMSers will be dedicating several days training with the National Park Service at what is called Eastern High Angle Rescue Training (EHART).   Lady Gaga songs added to my I-Phone play list so it is available for future DJ requests.  

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