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.

And More Practice

Just thought I'd share some photos my husband took while a few of my teammates and I were practicing "hot changeovers" on the ropes in the SAR building. My husband, by the way, has just decided to apply to be on the team. Seeing all this tech stuff lately and constantly hearing my stories for the past couple of years has finally gotten to him.

Anyway, here I've rigged myself up for the ascent with my rappel rack attached to my harness, ready for the changeover and a Prusik for a self-belay. My teammate, Marty, then does a safety check before I go up the rope.

But we don't have to go up very far to practice the changeover.

Here, I've rigged up my rappel rack and tied it off. Now I have to transfer the weight off my ascenders and onto the rack before I can descend. Sometimes, that's easier said than done. Can you see I've been sweating on this attempt?

See the reflection on this one? My husband was getting creative with our point-and-shoot.

This coming weekend, we have another field session where we'll learn how to do pick-offs--that is, how to pick someone off a cliff or wall and bring them to the ground (or back up, I suppose) without the use of a litter, in the event their injuries aren't serious or they're perhaps just stranded somehow.

I'm also ordering some gear, including an actual rescue harness rather than the recreational climbing harness I've been using (which just doesn't cut it for rescue work), a commercially sewn chest harness rather than the improvised one I'd made of webbing, a couple of Prusik sets, a helmet and some locking carabiners. It was okay to use team gear for the Academy, but we need to have some of our own equipment for the proficiency test and beyond, if we want to be active members of the Tech Team. Which I want to be.