P. O. BOX 2037




Feb 2-19 Sat-Tue Kilimanjaro Rockwell
Feb 9-10 Sat-Sun Desert peak Renta
Feb 11 Mon Meeting Finco, Niesen, Miles,
Pre-meeting: Avalanche beacon Myers
Feb 11-15 Mon-Fri Pear Lake Hut Hueber
Feb 15-18 Fri-Mon Whitney Runkle
Feb 20 Wed First Aid Topic B First Aid Committee
Feb 23-24* Sat-Sun Winter stretcher & snow skills Myers
Feb 27 Wed First Aid Topic B First Aid Committee
Mar 1 Fri Sheriff's dinner (1830-Bakersfield) Roseman
Mar 2-3 Sat-Sun MRA winter recertification MRA rep
Mar. 9-10* Sat-Sun Desert Peak Doerr
Mar 11 Mon Meeting Schafhauser, Doerr, Castro
Mar 15-17 Fri-Sun Rock climbing trip Roseman
Mar 23-24 Sat-Sun Rock skills Roseman
Mar 29-31 Fri-Sun Whitney Runkle
Apr 6-7* Sat-Sun Desert peak Finco
Apr 8 Mon Meeting Westbrook, DeRuiter, Hinman
Apr 10 Wed CPR First Aid Committee
Apr 12-14 Fri-Sun Peak 13259 & Pinchot Rockwell
Apr 20-21 Sat-Sun Tracking seminar Breitenstein
Apr 26-28 Fri-Sun Polemonium & North Polemonium Huey
May 1 Wed Stretcher Hut night
May 4 Sat Ridge climbing
May 5 Sun Stretcher practice
*Either or both days
SUNDAY ROCK CLIMBING coordinated by Werner Hueber

CLMRG is funded in part by United Way of Indian Wells Valley.


The members present at the 10 December 2001 meeting elected the following officers for 2002:
President Tom Roseman
Vice President Bob Huey
Secretary Elaine Riendeau
Treasurer Werner Hueber
MRA Representative Walter Runkle

The members present at the 14 January 2002 meeting elected the following to the Qualifications Committee for 2002: Mike Myers Tom Sakai, and Bob Rockwell

At this time, the committees comprise the following members:

QUALIFICATIONS-Tom Sakai (Chair & Activities): Mike Myers (Operations); Bob Rockwell (Roster)

SHERIFF'S OFFICE-Tom Sakai (Chair)


ASTM -Dennis Burge
PUBLIC EDUCATION -Gina Najera-Niesen (Chair)
FIRST AID-Ellen Schafhauser (Chair)

WEB PAGE-Janet Westbrook

TRAINING- Eric Toler (Chair)

STORES-Carol Burge THE TALUS PILE-Loren Castro (Editor), Sheila Rockwell

EQUIPMENT-Andrew Mitchell (Chair)

We welcomed new members Mike Franklin and David Miles. We said farewell to Bill and Jeannette Rudy, who got their Navy orders.

All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can't get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.
--IBM maintenance manual, 1925


Qualifications Committee
By Tom Sakai

Members: Tom Sakai (Chair & Operations), Mike Myers (Activities), Bob Rockwell (Roster)

Summary of operations during 2001
Operation Talus Pile Date Type Location Leader
01-01 118, 120* 18 Feb 01 Search Mammoth Mountain Myers
01-02 120 9 Jul 01 Search Kennedy Meadows Sakai
01-03 121 29 Jul 01 Transit Death Valley Runkle
01-04 121 9 Aug 01 Search Mt. San Gorgonio Runkle
01-05 121 5 Sep 01 Alert Death Valley/Panamint Valley Myers
01-06 121 15 Sep 01 Rescue Red Rock Canyon Runkle
01-07 122 21 Oct 01 Alert Mt. Muir Roseman
*Follow-up report

Operations by type
Incidents-0 Alerts-2 Mobilizations-1 Transits -0 Searches-3 Rescues-1 Recoveries-0 Total=7

Operations by month
Jan-0 Feb-1 Mar-0 Apr-0 May-0 Jun-0 Jul-2 Aug-1 Sep-2 Oct-1 Nov-0 Dec-0

Requesting counties
Inyo-3 Kern-1 Mono-1 San Bernardino-1 Tuolumne-1

Subject outcomes
Found uninjured-5 Found injured-1 Found dead-1 Not found*2 Total=9
5 1 1 2 9
Four of the subjects were found by other teams while we were on alert or mobilized.
*One was found dead sometime after the initial search; the other walked out with an injured ankle shortly after the initial search was halted.

Group data
Callouts 7
Total hours expended 315
NAWC excused hours 0
Total vehicle miles 1575
Average number of members per callout 8.6

The desert at night is a great open-air dome, the largest bedchamber in the world.
--Carlos Fuentes

First Aid Committee
By Ellen Schafhauser
Members: Ellen Schafhauser (Chair), Debby Breitenstein, Dr. Bill Ferguson, Andy Mitchell, Gina Najera-Niesen, Janet Westbrook
The following hours are required in first aid:
a. Four hours of CPR skills, once a year by all members. (Required by Sheriff's Office.)
b. Four hours of Standard First Aid, once every three years by all members.
(Required by Sheriff's Office.) This emphasizes wilderness first aid.
c. Sixteen hours total for Topics A and B of the CLMRG First Aid Skills Course.
Eight nights, two hours a night, divided into Topics A and B. (Required by CLMRG for Leaders and Rescue members) It is part lecture, demonstration of skills, and hands-on practice of skills and equipment.
Topic B was offered on 3, !0, 24 Apr and 1 May. Because of the attacks on 9 Sep 01 and the resulting restriction of Base access, we had two 4-hour search and Topic A scenario trainings on 17 Oct and 24 Oct in town.
American Red Cross CPR Classes were held on 23 May, 23 Aug, 12 Sep, and 20 Dec.


Editor: The Group received this e-mail message about member Elaine Riendeau recently.

Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 9:49 AM
Subject: baby

Hi all,

Well Elaine went and had that baby, two weeks early, she was due on 2/12. Of course she had a usually busy day on Sat, she went running up the college hill (3-4 miles), hung wall paper (babies room), and went out with the ladies that evening. Towards the end of the evening she noticed that her water broke, at least she was hoping that was the case. She got home around 10:00 pm and told Larry to start packing those bags, she wasn't packed yet. She got to the hospital and was dilated to 9 cm, only 1 cm to go. She had the baby at 12:26 AM on Sunday Morning. All went well, 3 hours of labor and she looks great.

Name: Noah Joshua Riendeau
Weight: 6 lbs 14 oz
Length: 20.5 in
Date: 1/27
Time: 12:26 am

Editor: We were saddened to learn of the death of Life Member Barbara Slates. The following obituary appeared in the 2 January 2002 issue of the News Review. More information in the next Talus Pile.

Barbara jean Slates of Inyokern died Dec. 26, 2001, in a traffic accident near her home. She was 70. Graveside services will be held Wed. Jan 2, 9a.m. at Desert Memorial Park, Ridgecrest.

Ms. Slates was born Oct. 8, 1931 in Ohio. She had a lifelong love of books and learning and was the first in her family to attend college. After earning her master's degree in chemistry, she moved to China Lake in 1957. Here she met Richard Slates whom she married in 1960.

Both were volunteers for the China Lake Mountain Rescue Group and participated in rescue operations and group outings. Richard died in a rescue attempt on Telescope Peak in 1966. Barbara never remarried, working and raising her four children alone while continuing to volunteer for CLMRG.

She retired from NWC after 25 years as a chemist and information specialist. She spent the next years relaxing on her 20-acre ranch north of Inyokern in the shadows of the mountains she loved so much. She lived with her daughter Pam, three dogs, three cats and a horse.

She will be remembered fondly as an honest, independent woman who treasured the simple things in life, and dedicated herself to loving her children and her animals.

She is survived by her sons, Michael Slates of Bishop and Christopher Slates of Auora, CO; daughters Jennifer Date of Ft. Campbell, KY and Pamela Slates of Inyokern; sister Ruth Kolegar of Parma, OH, and one gandchild.


Whitney Trail
2 December 2001
By Bob Rockwell
At 0915, Mike Myers, Tom Sakai, Eric Toler, Loren Castro, Dan Bishop, Bob Adams, and I started up from the Road Closed sign on the Whitney Portal road at elevation 6400'. We carried snowshoes and expected to use them soon because of dire predictions of snow depth. Also, we had awakened to rain in Ridgecrest with evil-looking storm clouds to the north and thought the weather gods might be really dumping in the Sierra.
But the snow on the road wasn't nearly so bad as we had expected, and we saw tracks where a few people had driven up. In fact, as we reached the Portal, a Jeep Cherokee--without chains--passed us. There was only about 6 inches of snow at the Portal.
We didn't put on snowshoes until over 9000' because the trail had been beaten down by previous hikers. By then, the snow depth was about two feet. We all turned around shortly after 1400. Sakai, Toler, Adams, and Bishop reached Lone Pine Lake (10,000') while Myers, Castro, and I had to settle for 9,600'. At Lone Pine Lake, the snow was about three feet deep.
Surprisingly, the hike had started off nice enough with the cloud bottoms around 10,500' but relatively warm and no wind. Later, a few flakes began to fall, and by the time we turned around, the beginning of the storm predicted for the day had begun to entertain us.
We were back at the vehicles around 1630 and home by 1830. A good workout: 11 miles round trip and 3600' gain; a little less for Mike, Loren, and me.

Follow-up Search for "The Germans"
Death Valley
4-6 January 2002
By Debbie Breitenstein
I was a member of the original search party in October 1996 (refer to Operation 96-16 in Talus Pile Number 100 dated February 1997). The case has been bugging me ever since. I finally decided to do something about it, so . . .
Linda Finco, Al Green, Tom Roseman, and I left Ridgecrest at noon on January 4 to search some areas of Anvil Canyon in Southern Death Valley. (So that you don't have to skip to the end, we were not fortunate enough to solve this puzzle, so it still beckons.)
I had contacted the park the day before and spoken to two rangers to let them know what we were doing and to see whether we might be able to review information on the search. No one had information at the time, but one woman I spoke with did comment that theories are many and varied and we need only say the key words "the four Germans" and everyone would know who and what we were talking about. We stopped at the Visitor's Center in Furnace Creek to fill out permits and talk with the rangers. No one with any history was in attendance, but we were given a point of contact in case we did locate any evidence. From there, we proceeded to Warm Springs Canyon to set up camp.
Warm Springs is a wonderful camp, which I very highly recommend for any future visits. It is sheltered, has the only legal fire pit in the valley outside of the north campgrounds, has tables, has warm, natural pools to bathe in, and is smack in the middle of the canyon. Beautiful spot.
Now to the search: After a solitary Friday night, we headed out Saturday morning at a decent hour. We decided that we would search the lower sections of Anvil Canyon in hopes of finding evidence that has been washed into the brush over the intervening years.
We found a mining road that cuts across the ridges towards Anvil Canyon. From there, we searched the canyon floor up to and including Mesquite Springs. The springs were the lowest point our own team searched back in 1996. The canyon is amazingly clean--no bottles, 1 OLD can, and 1 mylar balloon. I found a tiny birdpoint and one burro bone. Tom found a recently deceased bobcat, a beautiful creature with a plush winter coat. It appeared undamaged and likely died of rabies or a feline distemper or a similar bad sort of thing. We kept a distance to be safe.
That night, there were new cars at Warm Springs. The first person we met happened to be Randy Walker's father, Cliff. He was there helping three other men who were there searching (you guessed it!) for the Germans. (And then I understood why the rangers seemed mildly amused by my interest.) These men have been searching the area regularly for a few years as private citizens. They are NOT members of any search group but rather people who have found the case suspicious and have decided to solve it. As citizens, they have had limited information on the details around the search, so we did manage to provide them some information to think about. Meanwhile, they have been consulting psychics, 5 at least, 3 of which had told them that Manson's old gang had been in the canyon (on cars and motorcycles) and had shot the family and buried their bodies in various areas.
They had not seen the area until after El Nino had altered the wash, so we provided them with a few details that altered their speculations. In particular, there had been no tracks other then the van, so no one had transported the bodies back out as the psychics were claiming. Also, they assumed that we had not looked for graves or searched several of the areas our team spent three days covering.
A second theory (also proposed by a psychic) was that the Germans had found a metal object that had been lost from the China Lake ranges. It was something they weren't supposed to see. This theory was presented before they knew who we were and where we were from. We refrained from telling them that we'd have to make them disappear now.
Other theories were ventured. Currently, some of their group is convinced that there was foul play and are focusing efforts on locating evidence, circumstantial and other, that supports this. See the article Al got from E C Harder (off the web site listed below) for other thoughts. We spent about an hour beside Al's fire (he's a great pyromaniac, and we never got cold) discussing the original search and the various speculations that abound.
On day two, we started our search at the road crossing of Anvil Wash a few miles below the Canyon opening and worked up west to where we had started the day before. We found a corkscrew (which still works fine), a whole burro skeleton, two ancient (need a church key to open) beer cans, and lots of rocks and flotsam.
On returning to work Monday, Tom found a number of messages on his office phone from two park rangers. Dave Brenner, the ranger who originally found the car and works that area of the park, attempted to give us information on areas that the park service is still focusing search efforts. Apparently he is still actively pursuing this case. Additionally, Kyle Nelson, a park law enforcement ranger, called to make sure we had been contacted in response to my initial contacts with the park service.
Dave B is planning to search an area to the North of Anvil Canyon. (At the time of this writing, I have no information on what evidence might be driving the search in this direction.) It is likely that we may be invited to assist if anyone else is still interested. I will keep you updated if there is any new information.
Also, Al received a business card from
E. C. Harder and went to his web site to get the current report on their search efforts. The report, which was the attachment in his last e-mail to the Group, may be obtained from Al has requested to be notified of any newer reports. Tom has a business card and e-mail address from D. Hasselman of Virginia who is very interested in the physic part of the search.
For photos of our "expedition," see Al's pictures on the web: Open Death Valley 010502


Editor: The Over the Hill Track Club (OTHTC)--a popular local social club--offers and participates in some unusual foot races each year. These activities seem to appeal to several members of CLMRG. This is a summary of the racing feats of our members last year as reported in OTHTC's newsletter THE ROADRUNNER.

Los Angeles Marathon
4 March 2001
Member Age Sex 10K Half 30K Chip time Clock time
Curtis Davis 36 M 0:57:14 2:01:58 2:56:08 04:08:49 04:10:24

American River 50-Miler
7 April 2001
Curtis Davis completed his first 50-miler. Andrew Mitchell completed yet another 50-miler.

Leona Divide 50-Miler
Lake Hughes, California
14 April 2001
Member Time
Mark McKinney 12:15:44

Wild Wild West Marathon
Lone Pine, California
6 May 2001
Member Age Place Time
Mark McKinney 33 46 4:59:45
Eric Toler 34 82 5:59:02

Bishop High Sierra 30K/50K/50M
Bishop, California
19 May 2001
Member Distance Age Time
Andrew Mitchell 30K 49 4:01:46

Laura's 5K Walk & 10K Run
Cerro Coso Community College
Ridgecrest, California
20 October 2001
Member Event Sex Age Place Time
Mark McKinney +1 5K Walk M 33 22 46:47
Note: The +1 was Mark's four-footed companion.

Blackhorse Marathon
Fort Irwin, California
18 November 2001
Member Time
Elaine Riendeau 4:49
Andrew Mitchell 4:50
Editor: Elaine was seven months pregnant at the time of this marathon.

OTHTC High Desert 50K Ultra
Ridgecrest, California
9 December 2001
Member Time
Mark McKinney 5:07:33
Curtis Davis 5:49:37
Andrew Mitchell 6:57:25

OTHTC High Desert 30K
Ridgecrest, California
9 December 2001
Member Time
Dennis Burge 4:04:22

The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.
--Damon Runyon


Editor: The following appeared in the EarthLink Weekly Email Newsletter of 12 March 2001:
The next time you're thinking about hitting the trails, stop by this information-packed backpacking site. You can learn the basics about clothing, gear, and related subjects; read articles from other backpackers about their adventures; search a database of trails to find prime locations in your region; and browse links to backpacking-related sites. If you register with the site, you can also participate in discussion forums.

Monday, November 5, 2001 (AP)
Woman electrocuted while climbing 55-foot power pole
(11-05) 12:13 PST RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- A woman whose therapist said she climbed power poles, trees, and freeway overpasses to feel safe was electrocuted while climbing a
55-foot power pole.
Pam Johnson, 50, who was being treated for a multiple personality disorder, climbed a power pole Saturday evening and did not respond to officers who tried to talk her down before she touched the power line that electrocuted her.
"She was constantly doing this," police Lt. Alex Tortes said. "They managed to talk her down before. Usually, she just keeps climbing until she reaches the top. She'd just sit and then we were able to talk her down."
In April, Johnson was talked down from a power pole by therapist James Madia, who at that time said she scaled tall objects to reach safety, not to hurt herself.

Editor: The following information is at URL
New wind chill chart
This winter, the National Weather Service and Meteorological Services of Canada will use a new Wind Chill Temperature Index designed to calculate a more accurate reading of how the cold air feels on the human skin.
Since 1945, the United States and Canada have used an index, which relied on observed winds 33 feet above the ground and focused on how fast the cold temperatures combined with winds made water freeze. The new index accounts for the wind effects at face level and a better calculation for body heat loss. For example, under the old index system, a temperature of 20 degrees with a 15 mph wind translated into a reading of five degrees below zero. The new index calculation would translate the same conditions to six degrees above zero.
The new index is based on the following factors:
Wind speed calculated at the average height of the human face, about five feet (the human face is most often exposed to the cold).
Updated heat transfer theory, which factors heat loss from the body to its surroundings during cold, windy days.
A consistent standard for skin tissue resistance.
Clear night sky conditions.
A lowered calm wind threshold from four miles to three miles.

Webmistress note: it is a major pain to make a table out of this when you can go to the above web site and print the whole chart in lovely colors if you wish. Sorry -...

Temperature across the top, wind speed down

0 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 -35 -40 -45
5 36 31 25 19 13 7 1 -5 -11 -16 -22 -28 -34 -40 -46 -52 -57 -63
10 34 27 21 15 9 3 -4 -10 -16 -22 -28 -35 -41 -47 -53 -59 -66 -72
15 32 25 19 13 6 0 -7 -13 -19 -26 -32 -39 -45 -51 -58 -64 -71 -77
20 30 24 17 11 4 -2 -9 -15 -22 -29 -35 -42 -48 -55 -61 -68 -74 -81
25 29 23 16 9 3 -4 -11 -17 -24 -31 -37 -44 -51 -58 -64 -71 -78 -84
30 28 22 15 8 1 -5 -12 -19 -26 -33 -39 -46 -53 -60 -67 -73 -80 -87
35 28 21 14 7 0 -7 -14 -21 -27 -34 -41 -48 -55 -62 -69 -76 -82 -89
40 27 20 13 6 -1 -8 -15 -22 -29 -36 -43 -50 -57 -64 -71 -78 -84 -91
45 26 19 12 5 -2 -9 -16 -23 -30 -37 -44 -51 -58 -65 -72 -79 -86 -93
50 26 19 12 4 -3 -10 -17 -24 -31 -38 -45 -52 -60 -67 -74 -81 -88 -95
55 25 18 11 4 -3 -11 -18 -25 -32 -39 -46 -54 -61 -68 -75 -82 -89 -97
60 25 17 10 3 -4 -11 -19 -26 -33 -40 -48 -55 -62 -69 -76 -84 -91 -98

Wind Chill (F) = 35.74 + 0.6215T - 35.75(V0.16) + 0.4275T(V0.16)

T = Air Temperature (F) V = Wind Speed (mph)

The National Weather Service in Missoula will issue a Wind Chill Advisory when wind chills are expected to reach 10 degrees below zero. A Wind Chill Warning will be issued when wind chills are expected to be 20 degrees below zero or less.
Further Information: The web link NWS Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services includes a Wind Chill Calculator.



President Tom Roseman 939-4812
Vice-president Bob Huey 499-7406
Secretary Elaine Riendeau 939-6577
Treasurer Werner Hueber 375-2165
MRA Representative Walter Runkle 377-5931


Qualifications Tom Sakai 375-7404
Qualifications Mike Myers 939-5995
Qualifications Bob Rockwell 375-2532
Public Education Gina Najera-Niesen 939-6577
Training Eric Toler 939-9894
Equipment Andy Mitchell 375-0168
First Aid Ellen Schafhauser 375-4043
Sheriff's Office Tom Sakai 375-7404
ASTM Representative Dennis Burge 375-7967
Emergency Services Linda Finco 375-7951
Summer Class
Stores Carol Burge 446-7038
The Talus Pile Loren Castro 375-3279

Web Page Janet Westbrook 375-8371

Gina Najera-Niesen

CLMRG gratefully acknowledges recent gifts from the following friends:
Southern California Edison employee Ridgecrest, California
Mario & Yolanda Gonzales Valley Village, California "In memory of Dave Dykeman"
Mimi & Bob Dow Chevy Chase, Maryland "Memorial Gift--Robby Dow"
William Harris Nashua, New Hampshire "In loving memory of Mary Harris"
John A. and Marilyn Wick Gooding, Idaho
LCDR Edward H. and Florence Albright Ridgecrest, California
Clifton J. Chandler Ridgecrest, California
Dorothy Gould Solana Beach, California "In memory of Emma Teffeteller of
Solano Beach, California"
Lois H. Admanson North Salem, New York In memory of her brother, Carl Heller
Mono County SAR


Check our web page at
Mono SAR has a web page at

All telephone numbers in The Talus Pile are area code 760 unless noted otherwise.