MRA 50th Anniversary Conference
by Pete Carlson
June 24-28, 2009
members of RMRU went to the annual MRA conference this year
at Mt Hood Washington along with over 200 other rescue people
from throughout the USA and even other countries around the
world. (Pete Carlson, Glenn Henderson, Gwenda Yates, Mike George,
Kirk Cloyd, and new member Carlos)
I arrived 2 days early for a per-conference snow and ice training
host by the Crag Rats Rescue Group at Cloud Cap Inn and put
on by Portland Mt. Rescue. The group was made up with 20 mountain
rescue members from all over the USA and we broke up into two
groups of 10 each with two Portland MRA members leading each
group. We hiked up onto the glaciers and practiced safe roped
travel, carvase rescue, and anchor placements for two days.
I was great to work with other Rescue Members and see how other
teams do things. On Friday of the conference there were over
50 sessions of classes to choose from, 2 in the morning and
2 in the afternoon. Each person could choose what they wanted
to attend; most sessions had to do with snow and ice since we
were surrounded by snow and ice at Timberline Lodge on the side
of Mt Hood.
Friday night was the Old-Timers discussion group. Some of the
original members of MRA who were at the first conference 50
years ago sat up on stage on talked about the olden days. It
was a great group of people who have really given a lot to the
MRA over the years. Included in the group was Jim Whittaker
(First American on Mt Everest 1963).
Sat we broke into teams of 6-10 people each, every group was
made up of members from different MRA teams. We then went around
to 9 stations all out on the snow to do problems that the Portland
MRA team had set up for us to solve. This was a great leaning
experience to work with members of other teams all day. By the
end of the day we felt like we had been working together for
years and all on the same team. Sat night was the awards dinner
and show where RMRU received our award.
Sunday morning was the business meeting which Glenn and Gwenda
attend. I left at Midnight Sat night or first thing Sun morning
to climb Mt Hood. By 5:30am I was on top with 4 other MRA members,
3 from China Lake and 1 from Portland. We where back at Timberline
Lodge by 9am before the snow got soft and rocks stated falling
on the route. Everyone learned a lot and had a great time meeting
and talking with fellow MRA members from across the United States.
Our thanks to Portland MRA for hosting this great conference;
they put in a lot of work to have one of the best conferences
doing a little carvase rescue training.
Pete tests his snow
Pete on the summit of Mount Hood "Pete