While yesterday was used to take care of some much needed though routine activities, such as cleaning labs which are not currently being used and filing reports, today had a much more unique and fun activity: GSAR training.
GSAR stands for Ground (or Glacier) Search and Rescue, and after a morning spent learning how to tie knots, belay, and use prussic knots to climb out of crevasses, we were issued our boots, helmets, crampons and other necessities and then went hiking up part of the Marr Glacier to learn a bit about self-arrest. As in how to stop yourself when one of your climbing partners who is roped to you falls into a crevasse or begins to slide down a slippery slope. It's amazing how quickly you can gain velocity when you begin sliding down a slick glacier. So we practiced ways to put on the brakes using ice axes and crampons. Pictured at left are about half of the folks I will be staying with here at Palmer Station for the next 6 months who are all member of the GSAR team. Neglecting to bring a tripod for the camera, we quickly improvised a tripod using our ice axes and a glove. Kneeling (l-r) are Dan Simas, Phil Troska, and myself. Standing are Karen Malesky, Sara Russell, Dave Weimer, Rob Kummelehne, and Lana Cohen. A Motley Crue.
Because we have such a small population here at Palmer, we're all members of various teams in case of emergency. I, for example, am a member of the OSAR team (Ocean Search and Rescue), GSAR team, Spill Response Team, Trauma team, and last but not least one of the First Responders for the Fire Team. As I'm trying to get into a nursing school this year, Trauma team is my favorite, but when you get the chance to go out and play and practice with a group of fun peeps like this, it's double+good.