25 hardy EMR members gathered at Briggs Middle School in Springfield to practice their skills and test the waterproofing of their rain gear at the fifth edtion of the Fall Academy. Trainers covered topics such as anchors, raising/lowering systems, and litter rigging. Thanks to Laurie Monico for organizing this event, as well as to her group of talented instructors. Another big thanks to our smiling, energetic membership for attending.
Our annual ice practice to the Eliot Glacier on the north side of Mt Hood was a success. This year it coincided with the Crag Rats' Ice Follies. The Follies are an annual event where other units of the Oregon Mountain Rescue Association gather for a weekend of alpine training on the late season ice of the Eliot Glacier. Saturday we climbed up to the glacier and practiced building anchors and ice travel on less than vertical terrain. One of the highlight Saturday night was in the Crag Rats' lodge where they put on a big dinner for everyone. New trainees met members from different units who they will be working with this year on inner agency missions and older members caught up with friends from these units. A good time was had by all. Sunday morning we set off for the glacier this time to practice our ice anchors in setting up top ropes into crevasses so we could practice more vertical ice climbing.
The practice was more productive due to Alex Ellis' Ice anchor presentation at this month's meeting. Alex fine tuned his ice climbing skills in the Adirondacks. When not shaking the screaming barfies from hands he can be found pursuing his post doctorate at the UO. His presentation can be found on our website here.
Thanks to Tom Baldwin for the photos and Mike Taormina for helping lead the training.
As you can see below the the north side of the mountain was very dry, all we need is a little moisture from a fall storm and some cool clear nights for ice on the upper mountain....