Sunday, August 21, 2016

A quest to see Tuckerman Ravine skiers


Welcome to the world of Outdoorsteve and friends. In early May my son Tim, and our friend Mike hiked the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire.  Our quest was to see downhill skiers ski the Tuckerman Ravine headwall.

Tuckerman Ravine is one of New Hampshire’s unique natural resources.  Tuckerman Ravine is a vast open bowl perched on the southeast slope of Mount Washington, the highest mountain in the Northeast at 6,288 feet. In the spring snow depths in the Ravine can reach 100 feet .  

Needless to say, Tuckerman Ravine is a very dangerous area subject to avalanches and falling massive blocks of ice the size of automobiles. It also is very exciting and challenging for skiers and outdoor enthusiasts. The open porch of the Hermit Hut shelter is a great place to watch the skiers.

How do I get to ski Tuckerman Ravine?
Tuckerman Ravine can only be reached by hiking uphill for two plus hours - there is no ski lift, road, or method of access - other  than to hike.  

We start our hike (if we were skiing the Ravine we would be carrying our ski equipment) at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Pinkham Notch Hut on Route 16. The uphill 2.5 mile hike starts with a boulder laden path that turns into a snow and ice packed trail to Hermit Hut at the base of Tuckerman Ravine.

Once reaching the Hermit Hut Shelter, extreme alpine, snowboard, and telemark skiers continue to climb another hour or so up to the headwall of the Ravine’s various self-made ski lanes.

Skiing the Ravine is definitely not for the novice or intermediate skier.  Taking the wrong trail down, or falling on the ski, can lead to disaster – read this as serious injury or death.

To see a graphic of Tuckerman Ravine ski routes go to Time for Tuckerman.  These ski routes from the top of the ravine can reach 40 - 55 degrees at their steeper sections.

Seeing these talented skiers on Tuckerman Ravine is a bucket list item.  Hermit Hut is a place to talk to these local “skier celebrities” and hear their personal conquests is worth the 4 to 5 hour round trip hike. 

Pinkham Notch (el 2,032 ft) on Route 16, via the Tuckerman Ravine Trail ascends to Hermit Lake (el 3,875 ft). Approximate hiking time is 2 ½ hours in most books, however this hiking time depends on the physical condition of the slowest hiker to handle jumping boulder to boulder, weather, and time of year (read snow and ice in winter, and running streams down the Trail in spring).

Our hike was in early May with snow melt of small streams frequently crossing the Trail for the first half of the trip (1 ½ hours), and then ice and snow for the second half (1 1/4 hours. All in all this trip took nearly 3 hours for us to reach Hermit Hut Shelter.

Our hike back to Pinkham Notch Hut via the same trail was about 2 hours.

Enjoy the below video of our hike.

 
Microspikes or Crampons?
My video says we used "crampons" on the trail. In fact we used "microspikes".  To learn the difference go to Microspikes or Crampons?  For most hikers today in the Whites microspikes have replaced crampons - but some of the older hikers still refer to crampons when they indeed wear microspikes.
Ski runs in Tuckerman Ravine are steeper than routes at nearby developed ski areas. Adding to the challenge, as noted, Tuckerman Ravine skiers must work for their runs by hiking uphill for 2-1/2 miles or so to reach the ravine. There is no ski lift, no snow grooming, and no indoor shelter at Tuckerman Ravine. But “Skiing Tuckerman” does boast some of the most challenging terrain in the eastern U.S., making it a magnet for accomplished skiers and snowboarders, and legions of spectators who also make the climb to take in the scene.

Weather and trail conditions at Tuckerman and the Tuckerman Ravine Trail can also be found by clicking on the "Conditions" tab at outdoors.org."

Additional Trips to Tuckerman Ravine
  • ---------------------------------------------------
    "Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Steve's fifth book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available (2016). Order here by clicking OutdoorSteve.comOutdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send me an email and we can work out the logistics. Order at

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Radio: Wednesday August 10, 2016 at 1 pm EST at 107.7 FM WTPL

Ela (The Pearl) Ramsey
WTPL
107.7 FM

I am excited to announce I am back for an encore performance with Ela (The Pearl) Ramsey and WTPL, this Wednesday August 10th at 1 pm EST on 107.7 FM.  Earlier this summer, I had the joy of doing a live interview with Ela, and I am pleased to continue sharing my New Hampshire outdoor adventures with Ela's audience.

During the show audience calls are encouraged at 866-823-1077.

You can also listen to the 1 pm show on your computer at  by clicking LISTEN LIVE.  Hear Ela and Outdoor Steve discuss "Get Outdoors in New Hampshire".

  • Ela and Steve share outdoor excursions from Steve's latest books, Outdoor Play: Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume I and II
  • More information on Outdoor Play is available at http://www.outdoorsteve.com 

    Hear Ela and Steve's July 7, 2016 WTPL Interview

    ---------------------------------------------------
    "Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Steve's fifth book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available (2016). Order here by clicking OutdoorSteve.comOutdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send me an email and we can work out the logistics. Order at http://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X or https://www.createspace.com/5725742

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Prouty - Lake Sunapee Rowing Club Participation - July 9, 2016


Steve and Dave participated in the Prouty rowing event as members of the Lake Sunapee Rowing Club (LSRC), sponsored by Casella Recycling. Under the excellent tutelage of LSRC coaches, they trained us for a month every Tuesday and Thursday evening, and 6 AM Sunday mornings.

The Rowing event is on the Connecticut River starting and ending at the Dartmouth College boathouse.  The rowers go upstream (north) on the the beautiful Connecticut River in 5, 10, 15 or 20-mile increments (up and back format).  Rowers also have the option of turning around at any time.  Steve and Dave started their loop back just shy of the 7 mile marker, returning to the Dartmouth boathouse.

Steve and Dave's total time on the river was under four hours. They estimated their total row to be 13+ miles. None of the Prouty events are time or considered races.  The winner of the events is the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

The Connecticut River is the border between New Hampshire and Vermont. 


  




The brief descriptions below from the Prouty web site say it best:

"The Prouty is an event of The Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, an organization wholly devoted to raising funds to support innovative cancer research and important patient services at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center. 

On July  8-9, 2016 in Hanover, New Hampshire, more than 5,000 participants and some 1,300 volunteers teamed up to raise more than $3.1 million for cancer care and research in the Prouty, Northern New England’s largest charity fundraiser.  Money raised at The Prouty goes to support cutting edge research and patient services that help ease a patient's cancer journey.

People from all over the country come together every July to raise funds by rowing on the Connecticut River,  walking or cycling through neighborhoods and roads in New Hampshire and Vermont, or hitting the links at the Hanover Country Club.


References:

Other Rowing Blog Posts by OutdoorSteve
++++++++++++++++++

"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

My fifth book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available (2016). Order here by clicking OutdoorSteve.comOutdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will be a great to motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send me an email and we can work out the logistics. Order at  http://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X or https://www.createspace.com/5725742

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Radio interview July 7, 2016 at 4 pm - 107.7 FM WTPL. Hear live stream at http://www.wtplfm.com


Hear Outdoor Steve’s live radio interview Thursday July 7, 2016 at 4 pm at 107.7 FM WTPL THE PULSE in Bow, New Hampshire.
  
  •  The show is also heard live via your computer at http://www.wtplfm.com/
  •  Questions and comments may be taken at Studio Line:  866-823-1077
  •   Steve will share his excerpts on his colorful outdoor excursions including his latest books, Outdoor Play: Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume I and II.
  • More information on Outdoor Play is available at http://outdooradventurers.blogspot.com/.  

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Playing Torrey Pines in a Torrential Rain

Cathy and I (mostly me) are back-of-the-pack golfers.  However, we appreciate this wonderful game. On a recent trip to southern California we decided to play Torrey Pines Golf Course, the ocean side course for the annual PGA Farmers Insurance Open, and past and future course of the U.S. Open Championship.


In summary:
  • Temperature was unseasonably cold at 45 degrees and windy.
  • Rain was expected.
  • Due to the weather, the course was not crowded.
  • South Course fee was $110 each plus $25 for a cart.
  • Decision time - do we play or not?  Answer - Yes!
  • As we were finishing the second hole of the South Course - life threatening weather was instantly upon us (check out the video).  Horrendous wind, lightening, rain, and hail came down from the sky. Evacuate the course!
  • We asked for a Raincheck, but the starter said the course had a  No Raincheck Policy. Decision time: 1) Walk away from our $245 paid fee for two holes, 2) Continue in live-threatening conditions, or 3) Wait in soaked clothing in hope the weather clears. We chose door number 3 - given this was a life-time opportunity to play a U.S. Open Course.
  • As we played the tenth hole - the sky again explored with life-threatening conditions.  We both readily agreed we had proved ourselves on this beautiful PGA course - and it was time for a hot shower, warm clothing, and lots of nice memories.



Halfway through the 10th Hole - No need to prove ourselves



http://torreypinesgolfcourse.com/about.htm

"About Torrey Pines

Located in La Jolla (pronounced "la hoya"), California, Torrey Pines Golf Course sits on the coastal cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and is recognized as the premier municipal golf course owned and operated by a city. It is named after the Torrey Pine, a rare tree that grows in the wild only along this local stretch of the coastline in San Diego County and on Santa Rosa Island.

It offers two picturesque and, due to its yearly hosting of the PGA TOUR's Farmers Insurance Open event, widely recognizable championship 18-hole golf courses. It is surely the most accessible public facility for the die-hard enthusiast wishing to play at a world-renown facility that nearly all golfers know by name.

Torrey Pines was the site of perhaps the most memorable modern day U.S. Open Championship, when in 2008, under the typically brutal conditions of this major tournament, injured and hobbling Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate during their sudden death playoff after 90 grueling holes of exciting golf.

Torrey Pines will host the 2020 US Open Championship."


++++++++++++++++++

"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

My fifth book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is available February 2016. Order here by clicking OutdoorSteve.comOutdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will be a great to motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send me an email and we can work out the logistics. Order at  http://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X or https://www.createspace.com/5725742

Monday, February 15, 2016

FOTCR 2016 Knights of Sufferlandria Sufferfest Challenge


The FOTCR Warriors
 Notes:
1.      A domestique is a road bicycle racer who works for the benefit of his team and leader. In French, domestique translates as "servant".
2.      FOTCR (Fellowship Of The Chain Ring) is the name of the club lead by Domestiques Ricko and Larry.  The name was derived as a play on the title of Tolkien’s masterpiece.
3.      Bits taken from the http://www.thesufferfest.com web site.
a.       About the Sufferfest: Amongst all the afflictions that torture humanity, there is one that gets almost no attention. One that numbs minds, destroys motivation and kills enthusiasm. Turbo Trainer Boredom Syndrome (TTBS) and Treadmill Boredom Syndrome (TBS) must stop. And here at Sufferfest Studios we are determined to make these scourges on humanity a thing of the past. To do that, we create the hardest, most exciting, most effective training videos in the world for time-crunched athletes who thrive with our high-intensity/low volume training philosophy. They’re also funny.

Our downloadable videos are the only ones to feature officially licensed footage from professional races like the Tour de France, the Tour of Flanders, the Road World Championships, Challenge Roth, Diamond League Track & Field, the Milan Marathon and more. We combine that with brilliant, hand-picked music and structured interval workouts designed by world-class coaches. On-screen instructions mean that you simply need to follow – NO THINKING REQUIRED JUST SUFFERING!!!!


You see, we want to make you faster – whether you’re a pro or a first-time newbie – and we want you to have a good time while that happens. We also strive to deliver the best customer service in the industry. The Sufferlandrian community deserves nothing less.
    1. KNIGHTS OF SUFFERLANDRIA There are those who know how to suffer. And there are those who do not know how not to suffer. There are those who look pain in the face and laugh. There are those who can’t look pain in the face because pain is too scared to look up from the pounding it’s getting. Yes, there are Sufferlandrians. And then there are Knights of Sufferlandria. To be awarded the highest honor accorded by the Sufferlandrian Ministry of Madness, one must simply do 10 Sufferfest videos, back-to-back.
Preface:
On February 13, 2016 Rick, Domestique of the FOTCR (Fellowship Of The Chain Ring), threw down the gauntlet for the FOTCR membership to accept the Sufferlandria Sufferfest Challenge.  Seven (7) members accepted.   Below is the Submission Form that Domestique Rick submitted to document the efforts and request knighthood for three (3) FOTCR warriors.


Completed Submission Form for Knighthood
Record Of Suffering: FOTCR 2016 Knights of Sufferlandria Sufferfest Challenge
https://youtu.be/LqnvHNHTKq8; Url Of Glorious Photo: I am the bald guy, Festina jersey, in the video link above.

Body: On Saturday 2/13, a gruppo of seven (7) Knighthood questers, all members of the Fellowship of the Chain Ring (FOTCR) assembled at the Fort Walsh Naval Air Station in Bedford NH: Shannon Kamieneski; Roy Tilsley; Larry Gagnon; Bob Fortin; Jeff Kerr; Brian Mahoney, and your humble correspondent.


The main hangar (family room) of said facility had been prepared for this event the night before, by putting down tarps, assembling trainers and bikes, and gathering all manner of nutrients to sustain the questers. We were off (our rockers) and cycling by 7:40 a.m.

The Order of Battle was as indicated in previous FB posting, to wit: Downward Spiral; TBTITW; Angels (2010); Violator (those 64 sprints nearly did me in); A Very Dark Place; DAYT; Angels (2015); The Rookie; Nine Hammers; and The Wretched.

As the morning progressed, Brother Gagnon, who only recently underwent a hip replacement (!!) and was definitely honoring Rule 5 stopped his journey as had been planned, but stuck around for several more videos to offer coaching, encouragement, and the sight and smell of beer....A bit further down the "road", Brother Fortin and Sister Kamieneski gracefully withdrew, but will undoubtedly quest another day. Brother Tilsley did like wise after Video No. 6, but he will be heard from again. That left three of us: Kerr (on rollers for 6 vids); Mahoney; and Walsh.
We kept laboring through the final 3 hours, having in mind the observation made by the previously successful Dame Kelly Sorah that once you finished 7, you were going to make it through to the end!

Fought off cramps, incipient spasms, soreness etc. to finish with the Wretched, a little bit after 6:45 p.m. WOW!! All 3 of the survivors agreed that they only kept going because the others did so, and to bask in the glory of epic suffering.

I wound up with 124.60 miles (most I have ever done in a day) on a Cycle Ops fluid trainer, with AVS of 13.2, and MAX of 24.5; Jeff had 172.13 miles, most of which was on rollers - holy schmoke! 

My lovely wife Carol should get big props for putting up with this, and for providing spectacular brownies, granola mix, etc. for sustenance. Our friend Steve Priest made an excellent video during the course of the event, and there will be additional info. from Jeff, Brian, etc. when they submit their application.

We are very proud of this achievement, and even happier that we raised just under $2,000 to benefit New Horizons for NH, a soup kitchen/shelter for the homeless in Manchester!
We kneel, and most humbly request admission to Sufferlandrian Knighthood.
Kind regards,
Rick, Domestique of the FOTCR
Bedford, NH

-----------------
RULES FOR A KNIGHT OF SUFFERLANDRIA ATTEMPT
http://thesufferfest.com/pages/knights-of-sufferlandria

Besides learning the Rules for a Knight of Sufferlandria Attempt, at the end of the above web page is a list of knights from the United States.  Sir Jeff is #245, Sir Rick is #246, and Sir Brian is #247.
++++++++++++++++++

"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

My fifth book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is available February 2016. Order here by clicking OutdoorSteve.comOutdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will be a great to motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send me an email and we can work out the logistics. Order at  http://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X or https://www.createspace.com/5725742

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Winter Day on Perkins Pond





This video shares one winter day on Perkins Pond.  On a snowy 10 degree morning, we see the Isle of View.  After a lazy breakfast, we walk through the woods on snowy trails.  Later we clear a patch of ice near the island in preparation for a weekend of ice-skating.

On our legs we wear gaiters for both hiking and working on the ice. The gaiters keep snow out of our boots and pants, provide a little extra warmth on a cold day, and keep the microspikes from snagging on our pants.

The red-colored microspikes we wear on our boots give us firm footing from slipping both walking in the snow packed icy woods, and on the ice covered pond.

A winter hike is educational with animal tracks in the snow bringing to life forest inhabitants that leave no trace in the summer. 

Later we snowmobile on the Pond.  Enjoy this video.


+++++++++++++++++++

"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

My fifth book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is available Feb 2016 and can be ordered by clicking  OutdoorSteve.comOutdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will be great to motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send me an email and we can work out the logistics. Amazon has a special where you can order the paperbook and the e-book comes free! Hmm, use the paperbook for bathroom reading – and the ebook as a reference book with links for on-line references, places to go, and videos for bucket list musts!   http://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X or https://www.createspace.com/5725742


Monday, December 21, 2015

CERT Net Control Training on Search and Rescue (SAR)

The Bedford, New Hampshire Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) (http://www.bedfordnhcert.org) includes members trained as ham radio operators. To be a ham radio operator a person must pass an Amateur License exam conducted by the Federal Communications Commission Universal Licensing System.  Upon passing the Operator Technician exam a person receives their unique call sign, such as KC1BJI.

An amateur radio net, or simply ham net, is an “on-the-air” gathering of amateur radio operators. Most nets convene on a regular schedule and specific frequency, and are organized for a particular purpose,  such as the Bedford CERT hams use a directed net to maintain and practice their radio communication skills. A formal, or directed net, has a single net control station (NCS) that manages its operation for a given session. The NCS operator calls the net to order at its designated start time, periodically calls for participants to join, listens for them to answer (or check in ) keeps track of the roster of stations for that particular net session, and generally orchestrates the operation of the net.

Tonight I was the NCS person under the tutelage of Ric, Communications Officer of Bedford CERT.

Each week's agenda has a check-in with each person using their Federal Communication Commission assigned call sign.  They also identify the type of power used (such as fixed station commercial power, fixed station emergency power, mobile or Handheld).  Announcements and training education are part of this exercise.  The announcements are items of interest to the CERT members (for example upcoming CERT training sessions and meetings).

Tonight's training session was conducted by Steve.  The training focused on two related search and rescue (SAR) topics of particular importance in rural New Hampshire:
  1. The Hiker Responsibility Code 
  2. Ten Essentials of Hiking
The Hiker Responsibility Code, was developed in 2003 as a joint program between the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHFG)The Hiker Responsibility Code was needed when the number of WMNF search and rescue occurrences were increasing because of negligence and ignorance on the part of wilderness hikers.  The costs of air searches and rescues, along with the safety risk to SAR volunteers, were unacceptable.

The Hiker responsibility code is intended to ensure that hikers are equipped with the gear, knowledge and experience they need to have a safe journey into the wilderness.

Knowing the Hiker Responsibility Code and the essential equipment and knowledge (Ten Essentials of Hiking) may save your life in the wilderness, it could also save you being charged thousands of dollars for YOUR search and rescue.  The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is authorized to sell voluntary Hike Safe Cards for $25 per person and $35 per family. People who obtain the cards are not liable to repay rescue costs if they need to be rescued due to negligence on their part in the wilderness. The card is valuable for anyone hiking, paddling, cross country skiing or engaging in other outdoor recreation. An individual may still be liable for response expenses if they are deemed to have recklessly or to have intentionally created a situation requiring an emergency response.

People who possess a current New Hampshire Fish and Game hunting or fishing license, or a current registration for an off-highway recreational vehicle, snowmobile or boat, are already exempt from repaying rescue costs due to negligence.


Follow the Hiker Responsibility Code
(http://hikesafe.com/)
You are responsible for yourself, so be prepared:
  1. With knowledge and gear. Become self-reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather and your equipment before you start.
  2. To leave your plans. Tell someone where you are going, the trails you are hiking, when you will return and your emergency plans.
  3. To stay together. When you start as a group, hike as a group, end as a group. Pace your hike to the slowest person.
  4. To turn back. Weather changes quickly in the mountains. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also affect your hike. Know your limitations and when to postpone your hike. The mountains will be there another day.
  5. For emergencies. Even if you are headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Don’t assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself.
  6. To share the hiker code with others.
Voluntary Hike Safe cards are available at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/safe/index.html.

Ten + 2 Essentials when Hiking
1. Map
2. Compass
3. Warm Clothing
4. Extra Food and Water
5. Flashlight or headlamp
6. Matches/fire starters
7. First aid kit/repair kit
8. Whistle
9. Rain/wind gear
10. Pocket knife
11. Contractor type 40- gallon trash bags
12. Duct tape
Notice the above Ten + 2.  Most discussions deal with the ten essentials to carry, but personally, I also carry two trash bags and duct tape.

The below two White Mountain National Forest signs say it all when it comes to relating the Hiker Responsibility Code and the Ten Essentials.


For those interested in more Search and Rescue information, see my Blog post Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Search and Rescue Training http://tiny.cc/wa8e7x,

KC1BJI.  73 (e.g. "73" is hamspeak for "best regards" when signing off).






References

+++++++++++++++++++

"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

My fifth book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is available Feb 2016 and can be ordered by clicking  OutdoorSteve.comOutdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will be great to motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send me an email and we can work out the logistics. Amazon has a special where you can order the paperbook and the e-book comes free! Hmm, use the paperbook for bathroom reading – and the ebook as a reference book with links for on-line references, places to go, and videos for bucket list musts!   http://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X or https://www.createspace.com/5725742



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II


I just made my December 2015 publishing date.  You can order at https://www.createspace.com/5725742 or http://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X


Outdoor Play "Fun 4 4 Seasons" Volume II is a gift for all ages that never gets outdated. Steve Priest’s fifth outdoor book, Outdoor Play, “Fun 4 4 Seasons” Volume II, was published February 2016.

Many of Steve’s expeditions are indeed bucket list items:
  • Northern Forest Canoe Trail;
  • Maine Island Trail;
  • Crossing the fabled Knife Edge trail to the terminus of the northern Appalachian Trail;
  • Paddling the boundary waters of Ontario and Minnesota;
  • A spring hike into Tuckerman’s Ravine to watch extreme skiers on 70 plus feet of snow;
  • Camping in the NH Great North Woods with a near 100% sighting of moose;
  • Allagash Wilderness Waterway;
  • Descending into the Grand Canyon via Bright Angel Trail;
For outdoor persuasions of any age: 
  • Hike to Diana’s Bath;
  • Zip line over the Mt Sunapee treetops;
  • Squam Lakes Natural Science Center to see in their natural habitat “up close and personal” black bear, bobcats and mountain lions;
  • Paddle McDaniel’s Marsh to see eagle, beavers, and other wildlife;
  • Learning to row (like in crewing);
  • There is a chapter on How to be an Outdoor Enthusiast;
  • And much more;
If you want 5 or more books signed, send me an email and we can work out the logistics.  

Order at https://www.createspace.com/5725742 or http://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X.

See http://www.OutdoorSteve.com for more description.
+++++++++++++++++++

"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Search and Rescue Training


Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is your neighbors, friends, and co-workers - a collection of community volunteers that want themselves and their town to be prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster.

I am a member of Bedford, NH CERT and the Londonderry, NH ALERT (A Londonderry Emergency Response Team). Their missions are maintaining a trained, dedicated group of volunteers:
1)      Assist their communities and its public safety departments in times of need.
2)      Serve as a community source for education on emergency preparedness and prevention.
3)      Recruit and regularly train volunteer citizens.

Search and Rescue Training (SAR)
I have taken advantage of search and rescue training offered by both the Londonderry ALERT and Bedford CERT. The types of their search and rescue training I have been part of include:

  • Wilderness line search to locate missing persons or objects (SAR).
  • Orienteering – how to read and use a compass and/or map.
  • Red Cross Advanced First Aid certification including CPR, splints, bandaging and transporting patients.
  • Amateur Radio (Ham Radio Operators) within SAR.
 Below are briefs of the above selected CERT and ALERT training exercises, which blend the learned skills for SAR, map and compass, first aid, and ham radio communication.

Line Search and Rescue Training at Musquash Conservation Area, Londonderry, NH


Searches Prepared for a Winter Line Search


Under the general name of Line Search and Rescue training, the ALERT and CERT teams teaches and practices four general steps:

  1. Locate the victim using Line Search Method: Maintain a line of searchers arms-length apart. Walk straight ahead (as best in a wilderness environment). A person behind line guides line to maintain a straight line of search. Left and right end line searchers insure line is staying together. Move through assigned search area looking for signs of distress or hint of missing person or item. See Picture: Searchers Prepared for a Winter Line Search.
  2. Access the victim.
  3. Stabilize the victim by treating any life threatening injuries.
  4. Transport the victim to a safe area for professional assessment.

There is a safety dress inspection to be sure all line searchers are dressed appropriately for the condition of the environment. If someone is unequipped they cannot participate. For example, in winter weather a check is made to insure no cotton clothing is worn. No jeans are allowed. Best fabrics are polypropylene, silk or wicking fabrics on skin layer. Then layers of wool and fleece. Proper footwear, hydration and a snack are needed for an extensive excursion.

For this exercise a body (dummy) is placed within an area and the line search team assigned a section.  When the dummy is found, the team proceeds to provide first aid and then transports the “person” to a safe area.


First Aid Administered On-site

Training was at the Hickory Hill Road trailhead of the Musquash conservation area off High Range Rd. in Londonderry.  Map of Musquash Trails, Londonderry, NH  http://tiny.cc/iyd75x

Orienteering Training by Londonderry NH ALERT at Beaver Brook Association, Hollis, NH

Our Beaver Brook Orienteering GPS Route


Getting a Compass Bearing

There is a Beaver Brook Orienteering Course laid out among the trails where a trainee can apply map and compass skills and off trail navigation.  Each attendee must bring their compass and GPS (if they have GPS), and print a copy of the trail maps and orienteering course. http://www.beaverbrook.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Beaver-Brook-Seasonal-0907-map.pdf

The Londonderry ALERT conducted the training. We combined hiking with a few hours of navigation training with map and compass. We practiced how to read a map, determine a compass bearing, and how to follow that bearing to 9 different points through wooded areas identified on the orienteering map.

Amateur Radio – Ham Radio Operators


Both CERT and ALERT offer instruction in using hand operated radios.  Members practice their radio skills in the SAR exercises. Ham operators have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology, operating principles and regulations, demonstrated by passing an examination for a license to operate on radio frequencies known as the "Amateur Bands." 

These frequencies are allocated by the Federal Communications Commission for use by hams from just above the AM broadcast band all the way up into extremely high microwave frequencies.

Learn more about Amateur Radio at New Hampshire American Radio Relay League Section Web Site http://www.arrl-nh.org/

Map and Compass Training

The UNH Cooperative Extension, provided a two hour class on compass and topographical maps. The presenter emphasized Map, Compass and Pacing, so, “you will know where you are.”
Pacing: We began the class by going outdoors.  The instructor used a measuring tape to lay out a 100 foot distance, and had each member of the class count their normal paces back and forth to get the average number of steps. He wanted us to “memorize forever”, that, in my case, 40 paces closely approximates 100 feet. The Lesson: In the woods with a map, knowing distance can be critical.

Maps: Here are a few map items discussed:
Compass tips:
  • Azimuth is 0 to 360 degrees.  Quadrant is 0 to 90 degrees.
  • Declination – in New Hampshire, magnetic North is 16 degrees west from true North.  Declination is zero degrees west side of the Great Lakes
  • The compass arrow is ALWAYS correct!
  • Box the arrow (north)
  • You can see about 100 feet in the woods of New Hampshire.  Sight on a rock or a tree.
  • Good to know measures:
    • 1 miles is 5,280 feet
    • 1 acre is 43,560 sq. ft. or approximately 208’ x 208’

Compass and Map References (One Page Briefs from Appalachian Mountain Club):


Search and Rescue Bedford CERT and Londonderry ALERT

References:


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