It’s Been a Busy Couple of Weeks

You may have noticed that things have been a bit quiet lately around Mountain Ramblings; no, I am not about to suddenly stop posting, and the blog isn’t going anywhere.  The fact of the matter is I’ve been horrendously busy.  In fact, today is my first day off after working four double shifts this week.  It was nice to sleep in!

The biggest thing that has happened lately is EHART.  EHART stands for “Eastern Region High Angle Rescue Training,” and is put on every year by the National Park Service.  This year the training was held at Little River Canyon National Preserve in Alabama.  I was privileged to be able to attend with several other mountain stewards attached to Old Rag Mountain Stewards.

Little River Canyon National Preserve. Photo by Ben Minehart.

What a week it was!  I’ve always wanted to learn high angle and rope rescue techniques, and have been studying them on my own for the past year, but I actually got to put into use many of the things I’ve been reading about.  I learned a lot of new stuff too, and a whole lot of new techniques.  It was a full, very packed week.

I was also privileged to meet company reps. from Sterling Ropes, Metolius, and Petzl.  All of them were great guys, and after seeing some demonstrations and talking to them I have even more respect for the products they represent.

I also discovered that my tent is not as waterproof as at first I thought.  It turns out that the seam around the bottom, where the floor meets the walls of the tents, leaks like a faucet.  I also accidentally pitched the tent in the low area of the campground; I woke up with an indoor swimming pool in my tent.  While having an indoor swimming pool on my property would normally be wonderful, when your property is a tent it’s much less desirable. My thermarest became my life raft, and I ended up moving my tent in the middle of the night to higher ground.

I’ve included some pictures below.  You can find a video of the falls and a panorama video of Little River Canyon at the Mountain Ramblings Youtube Channel.  Enjoy!

The falls at Little River Canyon National Preserve.
Ben and Chad work at the edge during rappel training.
Rigging a back tie with Ben.
Chad goes for a ride in the Stokes basket. Clint is working as Litter Attendant, and Matt and Todd are helping out at the edge.
If anyone ever tells you that ascending a rope is easy, don't believe them. It's plain, hard work.

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