About Coconino County

About Coconino County

Encompassing 18,661 square miles, Coconino County, Arizona, is the second largest county in the U.S. but one of the least populated. Our county includes Grand Canyon National Park, the Navajo, Havasupai, Hualapai and Hopi Indian Reservations, and the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world. Elevations range from 2,000 feet above sea level along the Colorado River to 12,633 feet at the summit of Mt. Humphreys in Flagstaff.

February 21, 2010

Back From Ropes That Rescue

 
And, boy, am I ready for a full day at home in my PJs. Seven 10- to 12-hour days of rigging, rappelling, raising, and a lot of learning has left me tired, bruised, sore (from packing in and out heavy loads of gear and tweaking muscles in ways they aren't all that used to), punctured (with cactus spines), exhilarated, and much more educated about tech rescue than I was a week ago. 

Being an instructor-level course, it was a real challenge for me, but I've brought home with me a significant amount of new tricks and skills and a much greater awareness of what's possible in the world of rigging and rope rescue.

In addition to all of the hands-on work, the class went into the physics behind anchors and pulley systems. I may not remember all of the details, but that information definitely gives me a better idea of why things work they way they do ... not to mention what doesn't work and why certain set-ups would be dangerous.

Needless to say, the class was amazing. And so were my fellow students and the assistant instructors, who were also there to learn. All were very supportive, patient, and helpful to me when I occasionally (okay, frequently) got frustrated. At the same time, they encouraged me to venture outside my comfort zone and push myself. I didn't go over the edge nearly as much as other participants, though, since I wanted to concentrate on rigging and belaying--skills I'll use with my own team more often than not at this stage.



If you'd like to see more (and larger) photos from the past week, see Ropes That Rescue Rigging Class Photos: Sedona, Arizona.


2 comments:

Hiking Lady said...

Your ropes class sounds like an invaluable learning experience! I am so grateful that there are so many highly trained search and rescue people like you who spend time learning new skills.

I was at Mt. Baldy in CA yesterday and saw a SAR team practicing avalanche rescue. So amazing!

Deb Lauman said...

Hi, Carol!

Avalanches--now that really scares me. Whenever we're searching on the peaks in the snow, avalanche danger is always on my mind.

A backcountry skier got caught in one here recently, but luckily he was able to stay on top of it for the most part while on the 1,500-foot "ride" down the mountain and ended up buried only to his waist, so I heard. His friends saw him disappear and called SAR, but the subject apparently got out his own cell phone and called 9-1-1 when he came to a stop and said, "Hey, I've just been in an avalanche." A helicopter picked him up.