Thursday, November 18, 2010

Season's End

ORMS season 2010 is now wrapped up and in the history books.. he third season of our presence on the mountain, and increasingly a critical first response asset. Once all the numbers and end of day reports have been sifted , sorted and deciphered, I'll have a more detailed report.. For now, we'll just look at our last day of the season... a professional "fun day".

Part of the job of the ORMS is to know Old Rag mountain extremely well and to be able to provide first response services as needed. Every week during the season there is training specifically geared to prepare stewards for both of those goals.

The last day of the year, started with the "lead stewards" giving a technical and safety brief for the days evolution.

The evolution for the day was to ascend the mountain via the western slabs utilizing fixed ropes.. a stumble or slip, unroped, would result in a terrible tumbling fall of more than 500 feet .
Midday found the team still well below the summit.... basking in the mid November sun.
The climb finished with the team topping out right at sunset.. packing up gear and breaking out headlamps for the hike down the mountain and waiting pizza!

Old Rag Mountain Stewards 2010

Photos courtesy of Ben Minehart and Karen Toth

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"There was no way I was making it down on my own."

"I'm the big blue burrito they helped down the mountain and thank God they did. There was no way I was making it down on my own. .. I have plenty of time now to reflect upon the events yesterday and I am so grateful to the wonderful people that helped me out. (ORM Steward )Bob, was first on the scene, was honest and thorough telling me exactly what to expect. I am so inspired by the generosity and good nature of these volunteers. Everyone who helped was fabulous and I'm eternally grateful."
This was received from a person who experienced a very difficult time and accident during the ascent of Old Rag on 7 November.. A more complete accounting of the weekend can be found on Bob's blog.
This year, from May thru November, the ORMS program has made a big difference on Old Rag Mountain both in terms of the visitor experience and the resource protection. Our last official weekend on the mountain is November 13, 14. Then, we'll be gone until next Spring. If you or anyone you know is (very) fit, interested in mountain skills, helping others, educating people about this magnificent natural resource (Stewarding!) and would like to join this select group, please contact us!