This is the conclusion of the fourth year of the ORMS program! How the time has flown and how things have changed!!!
It's hard to say just what impact our volunteers have had on the visitor experience to Old Rag. With exponential increases in the levels of visitorship over the past several years, the negative impact to the trails, plants and rocks themselves is very noticeable.. despite volunteer efforts!
Beyond the ecological and educational focus, the part of the program visitors are more likely to receive favorably... is the "enhanced" first response capability that the ORMS program brings to Shenandoah National Park.....
Operating much as the National Ski Patrol does at snowsports areas, ORMS volunteers are always training for emergency situations which are specific to Old Rag.
The final weekend involved a lot of visitor outreach, an amazing amount of high level technical training and the construction of a "highline" for load transfer and difficult rescue scenarios.. definitely memorable training for all participants and spectators alike!!
This is also the time of year when receive a lot of inquiries about "how to become and Mountain Steward".
The first step is to contact us... express your interest and tell us a bit about yourself...
The second step is , after you have been vetted, is to join us for a few days of "hike along" training on the mountain.. Following a successful "hike along season" , you will then be invited to join the Stewards for their formal training programs... and that is when it really gets going!
(all imagery courtesy ORMS Anne R.)