Wednesday, October 16, 2013

.. and now..OPEN!!!

We look forward to everyone having a safe visit. Come prepared for large crowds, early darkness, and cold nighttime temperatures..Bring water, high energy snacks, an extra layer (of clothing) and a headlamp or flashlight.. and don't forget your camera! 

(Remember: If you find that you've bitten off more than you can chew, it's ok to turn around.. it's a beautiful hike regardless. Give yourself permission to have fun!)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Old Rag Mountain is Closed

During this, hopefully brief, period of time in which the government is closed for business, Shenandoah National Park, including Old Rag Mountain is closed to visitation.. Old Rag Mountain Stewards will not be on duty...nor will Shenandoah National Park rescue assets. Some sites on Facebook are encouraging visitation despite the closure (In particular, the Old Rag Mountain fan site).  We believe this is irresponsible for numerous reasons... with the primary concern being that of safety and accident response.

We encourage you to use good judgement and understand that you and you alone are fully responsible for your actions.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hello 2013!

There is so much  going on..Following several well-deserved months off, the ORMS are chomping to get back on the mountain! 
The 2012 season ended with a bang, finding the stewards out almost all night with an assistance call for a sick and long overdue hiking group..( remember, especially in the "shoulder seasons" , when you come to hike Old Rag Mountain, come prepared for dramatic changes in the weather... Sunny and 70 in Fredericksburg may be windy, 34 with sleet on Old Rag... Don't just wear your flip-flops, tank-tops and cutoffs. And if you do, be prepared to turn back when the weather is not what you expected.)

In spite of the crowding that we all experience on weekends on Old Rag, it still remains one of the top-rated hikes in the Eastern US!

Havinng said that, with the looming budgetary constraints that the National Park Service is facing, the visitor assistance that the Mountain Stewards provide will be more important in 2013 than ever!
ORMS patrols will be starting in April... and going thru mid November. 

During 2012, we refrained from recruiting new volunteers. 2013 is a new ball game!
 If you have solid outdoor skills, are in good condition and have a basic knowledge of wilderness first aid, have a few weekend days to spend on the mountain,and would be interested in helping with this invaluable service, contact us!( We'll connect with you to schedule some "hike along" days.

We are looking forward to the 2013 season with great anticipation. We hope you are as well!   

By the way, the ORMS was featured for their visitor assistance work in the "2012 Accidents in North American Mountaineering" compiled and published by the American Alpine Club. Check it out!