Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue, Inc. Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue, Inc.


November 2009

According to…Godchecker - your Guide to the Gods, the current top three Norse Gods are Odin, Loki, and Thor. Apparently these were double tough hero types who wielded manly man swords and chopped off heads and limbs and whatever else got in their way. And that was just while they were waiting in line at the breakfast buffet! On the battlefield it got really ugly…Anyways, I was recently stationed on a barstool in a tiny town north of nowhere, and I overheard two impartially imbibed ignoramuses arguing about the Norse translation of the word ‘Granlibbaken’. One such fellow insisted that it was French not Norwegian, and it meant, “…one big fuggin’ leprechaun.” The other bleary-eyed gentleman spat at his compadre and swore that the literal translation was indeed Norwegian and it meant, “…a rather large piece of small bacon.” I, your faithful and bespectacled TNSAR newsletter guardian, corrected both these kind sirs and was promptly relieved of my barstool and thrown from the premises. Literally translated, Granlibbaken means, “…hill sheltered by fir trees” and that is where the next monthly meeting of the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team will be held…in a small hut…near a hill…surrounded by fir trees…and some pine trees at 6:30pm. Leave your swords at the door.

My Dog Wears Diapers
Technically they're pull-ups, not diapers. There is a difference. Here's a picture of her if you don't believe me. Yes, they're pink. She's a girl. My point, in case you were wondering, and you should be, is that things get tired. Bladders, for instance, get tired. Or even buildings. Buildings, sometimes, get tired. This one is not far from that bar I got thrown out of. People also get tired. Especially people who like to wander around in the middle of a snowstorm looking for other people who are also wandering around in that very same snow storm. Don't let this happen to you! The take home message, friends and neighbors, is to get in shape. Believe it or not, this is serious stuff. Not only for TNSAR newcomers who are working diligently to get onto the 'A' skier list but also for TNSAR old-timers who are working equally hard to get off the dern 'A' skier list. Shapeliness has nothing to do with the cut of your ski, it has everything to do with how prepared one is both physically and mentally before going out on a search. Yes, it is 'fun' to go out on searches. Fun in the sense of adventure, fun in the sense of service to someone in need, fun in the sense of escalating adrenaline and stiff shots of endorphins. But that sense of fun will quickly become your worst nightmare if you, and I'm pointing, if you suddenly become a liability on a search. What's the quickest way to become a liability on a search? Go out unprepared. Have another bowl of ice cream and forget going to the gym in the morning. Neglect changing the batteries in your beacon at the beginning of the season. Skip the next first aid training because of, God forbid, a football game. Currently we, as a “professional” Search and Rescue organization, operate under the “don't ask, don't tell” principle when it comes to search readiness. We don't ask you if you've done 100 sit-ups today, and you don't tell us if you had crystal meth for breakfast. We are both guilty of operating under some pretty serious assumptions, or at least assumptions with some pretty serious consequences. Especially with regard to that breakfast you just had. So do your part. Turn off the TV. Go for a bike ride. Head over to the nearest independent bookstore and order the TNSAR trifecta: Snow Sense by Jill Fredston and Doug Felsar; Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Temper; The ABCs of Avalanche Safety by Sue A. Ferguson and Edward R. Lachapelle. And by all means, practice what you preach. Sunny Fall afternoons at the beach are perfect training grounds for beacon searches. A hike to your favorite Aspen grove is a perfect place to practice with a GPS unit. Don't delay, Old Man Winter is heading our way…

CrossFit I did it. I took the plunge. At the October TNSAR meeting a husky looking fellow named Travis gave a little talk about the benefits of CrossFit training and what it could do for TNSAR members looking to get in, ahem, stay in shape. Well I took the bait, I signed up over at CrossFit Avalanche's new gym in Tahoe Vista. For those of us new to the CrossFit philosophy, the overall gist is pretty straightforward; the training program aims to gain proficiency in 10 fitness domains: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy. The program is hugely popular (in 2005 there were 18 CrossFit-affiliated gyms, in 2009 there are 1,500) and mighty intense. In fact, the main criticism of the program is that it is too intense, bordering on cult-like according to some. So far no one has offered me kool-aid and my experience has been nothing but positive. Except for the fact that I'm always sore. There may be something to that intensity criticism. Stay tuned, I'm keeping track of my progress. I think it's progress…

Waiting for a rescue---------B.Wright

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