SAR team members may be aware that the 126th Air National Guard based out of Bangor is going on deployment this year with their choppers. Accordingly, Baxter State Park Alpine Ranger Rob Tice alerted MASAR on Sunday April 6th at the regular meeting to be prepared for long strenuous carry-offs for some of the 30-50 SAR calls the park staff get every summer and fall. Ethan and I were both there to hear it.
That means us too. My best guess: we can expect between five and fifteen such calls between now and Christmas.
How many of you will be here this summer AND are physically and mentally prepared for this? I know my skills are good, but my hill fitness was certainly questionable the last time I climbed Katahdin. In the meantime I quit my desk job as Interim Provost and started daily walking and hill-walking to get back in shape. I think I can just about handle it.
The rest of you, if you want to be used, need to get organized. We can't take out-of-shape people on these calls. Heavy is here next week and the week after, and he and I can lead some hikes on Mt Harris and elsewhere. Look for alerts in the students@unity listserve.
Those of you planning to be in the neighborhood all summer, and willing to commit to regular fitness training and to monitor cell phones and home phones diligently, should contact me by email with cell and home numbers (both please) and your local addresses, and I'll put a summer scratch team together.
In the fall we will be looking to ramp this up a level yet.