MRA 50th Anniversary Conference


by Pete Carlson
June 24-28, 2009

Six 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 ever.


Pete doing a little carvase rescue training.

Pete tests his snow anchor placements

Pete on the summit of Mount Hood "Pete lower right"

RMRU Award Plaque

RMRU is a volunteer search and rescue team that covers Riverside County and assists other teams with search and rescue efforts in other counties. Each member purchases their own equipment and takes time off work, without compensation, to participate in search and rescue missions. Team equipment is purchased from contributions from the community. We are a non-profit organization and are funded by donations from people like you.

To read about past missions and see pictures of the team in action, click on the Missions link at left.