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Newsletter

January 2012


The Sun Also Rises…not like anyone really needs a reminder, but here is the 10 day outlook for our local weather, courtesy of the Weather Channel:
Kings Beach, CA (96143) Weather
Updated: Jan 1, 2012, 6:05pm 
                   

Tonight Jan 1

Mon 2

Tue 3

Wed 4

Thu 5

Fri 6

Sat 7

Sun 8

Mon 9

Tue 10

 

 

 

Mostly Clear

Partly Cloudy

Sunny

Sunny

Sunny

Mostly Sunny

Mostly Sunny

Partly Cloudy

Mostly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

-- High

55°

55°

57°

55°

48°

42°

48°

50°

50°

29° Low

25°

25°

28°

22°

20°

23°

23°

24°

23°


 TNSAR inside sources have reported Old Man Winter sightings in Key West, Florida, presumably moonlighting as an Ernest Hemingway impersonator.  Given the busy season in Florida, Old Man Winter will not be at the next TNSAR general meeting. But you should be! 6:30pm, Granlibakken Hut, Monday, January 2, 2012. Prior to the meeting, please remove your studded snow tires, wear shorts and flipflops, and start planning an outdoor wedding. We need all the help we can get. 
 


Not Quite Déjà vu…exactly 372 days ago TNSAR pagers went off on Christmas night, 2011, for a group of 9 lost snowshoers. It was the beginning of a very busy week; between Christmas and New Years we responded to nine different search events. Needless to say, our stay at home wives, kids, and husbands were not at all pleased with the pager’s incessant call. And this year I thought we might be in for a Groundhog Day Christmas repeat when the pagers rang out on Christmas eve for a snowshoer “in need of assistance” somewhere in the Soda Springs area. I was at work when my wife called saying, “…Merry Christmas, you have a #@*&#%$ search!” Her tone was, how shall we say, not exactly thrilled. Alas, we were called off when Donner Summit Fire Fighters and Paramedics responded. I never did hear what exactly the snowshoer needed assistance with…presumably he needed help locating some snow.



Finally
...TNSAR pagers rang true a few days ago, December 28th, when a Father/Son hiking duo went missing somewhere in the Twin Peaks vicinity. According to Placer County Sheriff’s office, the pair had hiked up to Twin Peaks the previous day and had such a good time they decided to do it again. The second time around was an extended affair as the pair got confused at the junction of Tahoe Rim Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail and mistakenly hiked south on the PCT instead of north on the TRT to where they parked their car. A few miles into their wrong turn the pair started to descend a series of switch backs into Blackwood Canyon and realized that they had indeed gone the wrong way. Luckily for us, bored searchers with too much time on their hands and not enough snow on their skis, darkness fell and the hikers were forced to spend the night. Around 8:30pm, several groups of searchers departed from the parking lot at the top of Ward Canyon. The general plan was to hike up to Twin Peaks from various points and to hopefully intercept the hikers somewhere along the way. The area has a spaghetti-like network of hiking trails, biking trails, and old jeep trails. Another pair of searchers went south to Blackwood Canyon on motorcycles to search the paved road and another series of trails that eventually lead up to the PCT and the area just south of Twin Peaks proper. With a dearth of snow, tracks were all but impossible to locate, let alone follow. The hikers found an abundance of mud, misty rain, and shallow snow drifts but no definitive tracks and no lost hikers. The motorcyclists found that ice is quite slippery for knobby rubber tires and that it really hurts when you fall onto pavement covered with black ice. Oh, and we didn’t find any missing hikers either. Finally around 4am all searchers returned to the parking lot without the missing hikers. A few hours later another fresh set of searchers returned to the PCT north of Twin Peaks and located the missing Father and Son who were surprised to learn that a search was underway for them. The pair were a bit cold, hungry, and somewhat humbled but were in good shape overall. The searchers were decidedly disappointed that the puzzle had been solved. This was officially TNSAR’s first search of the winter, if you can call it that, season and no one (except the missing hikers) really wanted it to end.
 


Techno Buzz…gadgetry never ceases to amaze. According to the Vancouver Sun, researchers are testing micro cameras and recording devices strapped on to the wings of beetles for potential search and rescue operations. Yep, bugged bugs. Researchers are hopeful that the insects could someday access inhospitable disaster locations and provide important information on possible survivors and/or conditions for searchers. They have even installed little generators onto the insects so that they can provide their own wing power for the micro devices as they travel into the nooks and crannies of earthquake rattled buildings, tsunami leveled nuclear power plants, and various other environmental miscreants of mayhem. Whoda thunk? TNSAR is contributing to this research by trying to figure out how to keep the little buggers aloft with a Snickers bar strapped to their backs….



When searches don’t come…searchers come to you. June 7-10, 2012, the annual conference of the National Association of Search of Rescue (NSAR) will be held in beautiful Lake Tahoe; aka Harveys Resort and Casino in South Lake Tahoe. Full registration info can be found at www.nasar.org under the “conference” link (http://www.nasar.org/page/25/2012-National-Search-and-Rescue-Conference/conference/1788). This is the ultimate search and rescue shop talk extravaganza; three full days of hiker hell stories, show and tell of the latest and greatest gear and technology, and endless supplies of bad coffee and doughnuts. It’s actually quite fun. TNSAR presented the Winter Aware video about 10 years ago (on a VHS machine) when the conference was in Reno, NV and it was standing room only. So grab your favorite neon orange search outfit and head to Harveys this coming June.
 


Fare Thee Well…2011. From the Newsletter Department, Second Company, Alpha Division, Special Operations Classified Command post, I would like to personally wish you and yours a safe, happy, and healthy New Year. It doesn’t necessarily have to be prosperous. I’d trade wealth for health any day, but if the winning lotto numbers show up on your doorstep try not to complain.
 


Proof Positive…that men are pigs.



Cheers!


B. Wright

The goal of TNSAR is to conduct fast and safe rescues, and to help educate the public on winter safety. If you would like to help TNSAR in this cause, please use the following PayPal donate link. Thanks!

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