P. O. BOX 2037

The Talus Pile





Feb 10 Mon Meeting Myers, D. Burge, Miles
Feb 12 Wed First Aid (Topic A) First Aid Committee
Feb 14-17 Fri-Mon Dry Schafhauser
Feb 17-21 Mon-Fri Pear Lake Hut Hueber
Feb 19 Wed First Aid (Topic A) First Aid Committee
Feb 22-23 Sat-Sun Winter stretcher practice & skills Training Committee
Feb 26 Wed First Aid (Topic A) First Aid Committee
Mar 1-2 Sat-Sun MRA Winter Re-certification MRA Representative
Mar 8-9 Sat-Sun Manley Doerr
Mar 10 Mon Meeting Hueber, DeRuiter, Green
Mar 14-16 Fri-Mon Peak 13404 Rockwell
Mar 21 Fri Sheriff's appreciation dinner Roseman
Mar 22 Sat Rock skills (Aid climbing) Training Committee
Mar 23 Sun Rock skills (Double rope) Training Committee
Mar 28-30 Fri-Sun Owens Gorge Roseman
Mar 28-30* Fri-Sun Desert peak Finco
Apr 5-6 Sat-Sun Lamarck Myers
Apr 11-13 Fri-Sun Peak 13259 Rockwell
Apr 14 Mon Meeting (Radios-TC) Schafhauser, C. Burge, ---
Apr 16 Wed CPR First Aid Committee
Apr 19-20 Sat-Sun Open
Apr 25-27 Fri-Sun Thunderbolt Huey
Apr 30 Wed Stretcher Hut Night Training Committee
May 3 Sun Stretcher Practice Training Committee
May 9-11 Fri-Sun Whitney Trail
May 12 Mon Meeting
May 17-18 Sat-Sun Kern Rockwell
*One- or two-day trip
SUNDAY ROCK CLIMBING coordinated by Mike Franklin


The members present at the 9 December 2002 meeting elected the following officers for 2003:
President Debbie Breitenstein
Vice President Paul DeRuiter
Secretary Elaine Riendeau
Treasurer Dave Doerr
MRA Representative Tom Sakai

The members present at the 13 January 2003 meeting elected the following to the Qualifications Committee for 2003: Mike Myers (Chair, Roster, New Members), Tom Roseman (Operations), and Tom Sakai (Activities).
At this time, the committees comprise the following members:


Mike Myers (Chair)
Tom Roseman (Operations)
Tom Sakai (Activities)


Al Green (Chair)
Mike Renta
Tom Roseman
Dave Miles
Dave Doerr


Bob Rockwell (Chair)
Elaine Riendeau
Carol Burge
Mary Schmierer
Terry Mitchell


Tom Roseman


Linda Finco (Chair)
Janet Westbrook


Loren Castro (Editor)
Sheila Rockwell (Cub Reporter)

Mike Myers (Chair)
Bob Huey
Al Green
Mike Franklin
Dave Miles
Debbie Breitenstein
Dan Bishop


Dave Miles (Chair)
Dan Bishop
Bob Rockwell
Daryl Hinman

Ellen Schafhauser (Chair)
Debbie Breitenstein
Gina Najera-Niesen
Janet Westbrook


Carol Burge


Janet Westbrook (Webmistress)


Dennis Burge

In 2002, CLMRG welcomed new member Dan Bishop and said farewell to Mark Lambert, Barry Niesen, and long-time member and leader Andrew (Mitch) Mitchell.

A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.
-Eudora Welty


Qualifications Committee
By Tom Sakai

Summary of operations
Operation Talus Pile Date Type Location Leader
02-01 124 11 Apr 02 Incident Last Chance Canyon Schafhauser1
02-02 124 20 May 02 Rescue Pacific Crest Trail Roseman
02-03 125 21 Jun 02 Incident University Peak Rockwell
02-04 125, 1262 14-16 Jul 02 Search Tulare County Finco & Sakai
02-05 125 2-4 Aug 02 Search Fresno County Finco
02-07 125, 1262 11-13 Sep 02 Recovery Temple Crag Roseman
02-08 126 18-19 Sep 02 Search Canebrake Sakai
02-09 126, 1262 02 Oct 02 Search Greenhorn Mountains Sakai
02-11 126 10 Nov 02 Transit Mt. Pinos (Frazier Park) Roseman
2Follow-up report
3Folded into 02-05
4Folded into 02-09

Operations by type
Incidents Alerts Mobilizations Transits Searches Rescues Recoveries Total
2 0 0 2 4* 0 2* 9*
*One search became a recovery.

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

Requesting counties
Fresno Inyo Kern Tulare
1 2 5 1

Subject outcomes
Found uninjured Found injured Found dead Not found Self-rescued Total
2 1 2 3* 1 9
*Two of the subjects were found later at home.

Group data
Callouts 9
Total hours expended 1591
NAWC excused hours 0
Total vehicle miles 4351
Average number of members per callout 6.8

Training Committee
By Eric Toler

Date Event Location Leader
23 Feb Winter stretcher practice & avalanche beacon search practice. Glacier Lodge Myers
2-3 Mar MRA Winter Re-certification (cancelled by MRA).
23-24 Mar Rock skills. Attended by Breitenstein, Doerr, Franklin, Gates, Mitchell, Hueber. Fossil Falls Roseman
11 Apr Evening tracking (1.5 hours) with Niesen and Breitenstein. Attended by Castro (1 hour), Franklin, Green. Tracking in the area was fairly easy this time although Barry placed one set of tracks barefoot for the final 5 hours for those who stayed and tried to finish that section of the problem. (Barry is very brave or has VERY tough feet) Ridgecrest Niesen and Breitenstein
1 May Stretcher hut night Ridgecrest Finco
5 May Stretcher practice Fossil Falls Finco
14 May Noon tracking by Michelson Lab Ridgecrest Niesen
14-15 Jun Tracking Seminar. Bishop, Miles, and Franklin received their T3 ratings. Seven others attended plus one guest from mounted SAR. Thanks to Finco for instructing and Myers for his motivational speech.
Mini-report by Debbie Breitenstein
In mid-June, I held the tracking seminar as required by the Training Committee. It was held over two days and broken into four parts to make the best use of the time and weather (avoiding the mid-day heat). June 14 was an introduction to tracking that reviewed tools and techniques. It was held at the NAWCWD Training Center and in the adjoining fields. The session was about three hours. Session 1 was at Satellite Lake for three hours. Session 2 was in the Training Center for 2 hours. Session 3 was an evening search in the Rademacher Hills behind the college from 1600 until about 1930. All participants of sessions 1 and 3 should receive 2 hours of tracking credit. All performed at a level of T3 or better. Breitenstein
10 Sep Evening tracking practice. Attended by Toler, Sakai, Finco, Myers, Huey, Najera-Niesen Ridgecrest Schafhauser
30 Oct Stretcher hut night and tent check. The tent check was intended to verify that the necessary items (snow flukes, soft stakes, guy lines, etc.) are packaged with the tents so that they will be ready for the winter season. Hueber (Equipment Committee chair) supports this purpose. Ridgecrest Huey
3 Nov Stretcher practice Fossil Falls Huey

Public Education Committee
By Gina Najera-Niesen

Date Activity Number of Participants Members
10 April Mojave Primitive Encampment 50 girls
5 adults Linda Finco
Debbie Breitenstein
Dennis Burge
Tom Sakai
Al Green
Werner Hueber
Loren Castro
20 April Boy Scout hike up Owens Peak 8 Boy Scouts
1 adult Al Green
Carol Burge
4 May Cub Scout hike up Owens Peak 45 Cub Scouts
45 adults Mike Myers
18 May Law Enforcement Day Local community Tom Roseman
Werner Hueber
Mike Myers
Tom Sakai

Hug-a-Tree presentations
Date Location Students Presenters
May 10 Faller Elementary K-5 460 Terry Mitchell, Andrew Mitchell
Total Number 460

Combined Federal Campaign donors
Randy Barker Susan Haynes Valerie Nutter
Roger Brower Tamara Tucker Scott Quackenbush
William Deemer Thomas Lystrup Eugenia R. Schneider
Dale Diede Johnnie M. Maschhoff Carey Schwartz
Belmont Frisbee

First Aid Committee
By Ellen Schafhauser

The First Aid Committee offered Topic A (China Lake Advanced First Aid) on Feb 6, 13, 20, and 27 and Topic B on November 6, 13, 20, and 27
The Committee offered four CPR classes during the year.
Three CLMRG members earned an American Red Cross CPR and First Aid instructor certification. The First Aid Committee changed the qualifications of the instructors from teaching professional CPR to teaching community CPR. Community CPR is required by the Sheriff's Office, and getting the instructor's certification for community CPR is easier to attain than for professional CPR. At present, we have five instructors for community CPR.
The Committee purchased a lightweight portable traction splint.

Equipment Committee
By Werner Hueber

Our major purchase, using funds provided by one of our major donators, was a tripod called the Arizona Vortex. This tripod allows us to perform high angle technical rescues from big walls such as the East Face of Mt. Whitney safer and quicker. Together with the Rescue Hoist, which we purchased last year, the tripod gives our team a unique capability for high-angle technical rock rescues.
During one of our training sessions on rock climbing, it became apparent that our battery-powered drill doesn't work any more. We decided to buy a new one to drill holes for bolt anchors. It works very well and much better than the old one ever did. We will use it to replace old bolts on some of our local training routes and for technical rescues.
The Sheriff purchased two GPS units called eTrex for the Group, which include an altimeter and a magnetic compass. He also purchased a lightweight four-season tent from Bibler for us.
We also purchased a new Mapping System, TOPO, which covers all of California and installed it into the Group's laptop computer. It is much more user friendly and allows us to generate 7_-minute maps with waypoints and routes. This system will also be very useful to manage search operations.
An "Excess Tent Committee" recommended excessing four of our oldest tents and purchasing one very lightweight four-season two-man tent. We had a silent auction and sold one tent. The remaining surplus tents were sold on E-Bay. With these funds and some funds from the Group, we purchased a Bibler two-man tent.
Another major purchase was a lightweight two-piece Cascade Toboggan stretcher made of Kevlar. It has a smooth surface and can be used on both snow and rock. It has excellent vertical-raise handling characteristics.
Our ICOM H-16 radios required considerable maintenance. A "Radio Committee" will make recommendations for purchasing new radios.

Emergency Services Council
By Linda Finco

CLMRG became more involved with our local Emergency Services Council by attending the monthly meetings and participating in the tabletop exercises and field exercises sponsored by the city. The Emergency Services Council is made up of representatives from a variety of community organizations, such as the Police Department, Fire Department, BLM, hospital, and schools, and volunteer organizations, such as CLMRG, RACES, and Gear Grinders.
We provided the council with our Emergency Services Disaster Plan. We participated in a city-wide tabletop exercise in March but were unable to send any participants to the field exercise in April.
The city's emergency plan structure was implemented for the Sidewinder 50th Anniversary activities in November. RACES and the police department did the majority of the work, but all other agencies were asked to be on standby. The event was a success with no incidents to report.

ASTM Committee
By Dennis Burge

The purpose of our American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee is to be aware of, and participate in, development of standards by ASTM's Search and Rescue sub-committee. I am a voting member, so I receive notice of ballots on proposed new standards. Occasionally, a standard is proposed that we feel would be detrimental to CLMRG or MRA. Such was the case in 2002 with a proposed "Standard Guide for Training of a Level I Land Search Team Member." This is a very detailed 10-page document that we (Al Green, Werner Hueber, and I) thought would be a big pain for the Training Committee to have to deal with, so I cast a negative vote with our comments. They rejected the comments but decided it needed rewriting for other reasons, and it will be voted on again in 2003.


By Walter Runkle
Close encounters of the wild kind # 1
I climbed Owens Peak (8453') on Saturday, November 2. When I got back down to my truck, I saw Chuck and Sue Faris. They told me they had seen a bear on their way up. The bear didn't want to move, so they turned around! Fortunately, I did not see the bruin on my way up or down.
Close encounters of the wild kind # 2
On Monday November 11, I did a day hike up to Haiwee Pass (8170'). After the third stream crossing (about 15 minutes from the trailhead), I saw some brown fur on the trail. I soon realized it was the head and neck of a full-grown deer. I also soon realized that it was VERY fresh and that I had obviously disturbed some carnivore eating its breakfast! I thought about turning around, but I figured the carnivore should be full, so I probably wasn't in danger if I just kept going.
I didn't see any obvious footprints, but three feet up the trail, I saw the deer's stomach and intestines. That was all that was left. The rest of the deer was gone. Going up the trail the only footprints I saw were the deer's. After a stretch, they left the trail and went up the hillside. The deer must have been coming down for a morning drink, which would have been its last.
I will admit to being a little nervous the rest of the day. All I could think of was that woman runner in Northern California who was attacked and killed by a mountain lion several years ago. I made plenty of noise as I hiked along and checked my "six o'clock" about every 30 seconds or so! The rest of the day was uneventful, and of course when I got back down to the spot about 1430, the deer's head and neck were gone. The stomach and entrails were all that remained. I assume it was a mountain lion, but I'm not sure because I couldn't see any tracks. I just want to let everyone know to be alert out there!

A foot-cramp will get me out of bed the quickest, but as an alarm clock, it's my last choice.
--Russ Christian


Date Location Participants Notes
1 Jul Kern Peak Hinman
7 Jul Granite Knob Green, Roseman, Hueber
mid-Jul Middle Palisades Hinman
13-14 Jul Summer class day trips Huey, Myers, Sakai
19 Jul Premier Buttress Roseman, Runkle, Hueber
19-21 Jul Julius Caesar Runkle
27-28 Jul Summer class overnight trips Finco, Runkle, Sakai Finco: Split, Sakai: Morgan (Tamarack Lake Trailhead)
Whitney Mountaineer's Route Franklin Fast-2:58 to the summit
Whitney Sakai
Thor Toler
1 Aug Tuolomne Barry and Roseman
2-4 Aug Whorl, Finger Peaks Runkle, Hinman See trip report below.
6-7 Aug Crystal Crag, North Arete
Clark Canyon, sports climbs Hueber, friends
10-11 Aug Bolton Brown & Thumb B Niesen
14-17 Aug Heller, Russell, Tunnabora, Carillon Rockwell, Green, Hinman, guest John Ellsworth Daryl and John did Russell; all did Tunnabora and Heller; Daryl, John, and Bob did Carillon. Summit day on Heller was Al's 70th birthday. See trip report in The Talus Pile #125.
23-25 Aug Russell B. Niesen, Franklin, Gates Did 4 pitches. Stashed food the week before
25 Aug Candlelight Peak, East Ridge Rockwell, Myers, Chuck and Sue Farris
27 Aug Thor Rockwell, Roseman, Paul Sigala
28-29 Aug Tom Schafhauser
30 Aug-2 Sep Tuolumne Meadows Roseman, 12­14 others Cool but not cold. Climbed lots of stuff. Climbed West Crack after 3-4 hour wait. North Dome. Nice views.
31 Aug Edge of the World Green, C. Burge, Hueber
31 Aug-1 Sep North Fork--Lone Pine Creek
Rockwell, guests RJ Secor, Tom Campell Horseshoe meadows - $6/night. At dark, rangers checked permits, people on side were allowed to camp in dirt. All turned around on Heller. RJ climbed Langley, Tom and Bob climbed Cirque and Trailmaster.
7 Sep Boundary Barry and Gina
8 Sep University Rockwell, Myers
8 Sep Kern Slabs Roseman, Breitenstein, Hueber
14 Sep Alabama Hills Hueber, Runkle
11 Nov Rogers-Bennett-Telescope-Bennett-Rogers Rockwell, Florian, and 4 guests

17 Nov Minor Peak (5200+) NW of Five Fingers Rockwell, Bishop From road to Owens Peak, continued NW along ridge, finally to another minor peak (5620+). Then dropped south back to the road. Easy day; only 2300' gain, but some fun scrambling.
17 Nov Roseman, Hueber, Green
17 Nov Alabama Hills Roseman, Hueber, Green, Roy, B. Niesen, Gates
24 Nov Telescope Roseman, Sakai,
C. Burge, Breitenstein, Bishop, B. Niesen
23-24 Nov Palmer Schafhauser, Huey, Bishop Hiked by flashlight Friday evening, hiked 5 miles or so past 1st waterfall. Next day, hiked up to 2nd waterfall, walked around it (8'), next waterfall was 8-10',Ellen didn't do the 3rd waterfall. Huey and Bishop continued. Made peak on 3rd day. 28 miles round trip.
Dec 1 Mirror Lake Rockwell, Sakai, Florian Parked at the Meysan Trail spot and hiked the Whitney trail to Mirror Lake and back. Hiked in snow, about 2 feet deep at Mirror Lake. Did not use snowshoes
Dec 1 Roseman, Hueber, Gates, Hinman Went climbing
Dec 6-7 Wildrose, Rogers Sakai, Huey Road was dry at kilns, some snow on trail.
Dec 7 Sawmill Point Rockwell, Sakai Just under 5000' gain, so a nice workout. Would have been even better without the snow.. At least then we'd have made the last 50'.


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.

Las Vegas Marathon
Las Vegas, Nevada
3 February 2002
Name Time
Andrew Mitchell 5:08:12

OTHTC-CCCC Coyote Chase 2 Miles
Cerro Coso Community College
9 March 2002
Name Age Sex Overall
Place Age Group
Place Time
Loren Castro 69 M 15 1 17:03
Dennis Burge 66 M 17 2 17:44

American River 50 Miles
Sacramento, California
6 April 2002
Name Time
Andrew Mitchell 12:36:50

Leona Divide 50 Miles
Lake Hughes, California
20 April 2002
Name Age Time
Curtis Davis 37 11:24:22

KO Half Marathon
Cerro Coso Community College
16 November 2002
Name Time
Andrew Mitchell 2:17:26
Tom Sakai 2:24:12

High Desert 50K Ultra & 30K
Cerro Coso Community College
8 December 2002
50K Ultra Division
Place Name Age Time
98 Curtis Davis 38 5:41:03
147 Andrew Mitchell 51 6:25:40

Gina Najera-Niesen

CLMRG gratefully acknowledges recent gifts from the following friends:
Edward H. and Florence Albright Ridgecrest, California
Clifton J. Chandler Ridgecrest, California
W. Ross & Lois H. Adamsen North Salem, New York "In memory of Carl Heller"
Kathryn J. and James K. Wilson Inyokern, California
John A. and Marilyn Y. Wick Gooding, Idaho
Inyo County Sheriff's Posse SAR Team For Temple Crag operation
Aspen Rescue Group "This booklet may save your life"
Edison employee Ridgecrest, California
Family of Arwen Lienau Moraga, California "In memorium"


Check our web page at
Mike Franklin reports that is in a list that allows subscribers to update e-mail. CLMRG could subscribe to the list.
Bob Rockwell reports that in a recent telephone call, Honorary Member Chip Lancaster said that
he misses seeing everyone up here and enjoys the contact that The Talus Pile gives him. He is still "teaching helicoptering" in San Diego.
All telephone numbers in The Talus Pile are area code 760 unless noted otherwise.

Tidbits Issue 13 of 29 March 2002
A wilderness area asked hikers to fill out comment cards. These are actual comments.
Trail needs to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.
Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests.
Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow during the winter.
Chair lifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them.
The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.
A small deer came into my camp and stole my jar of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call 123-456-7890.
Reflectors need to be placed on trees every 50 feet so people can hike at night with flashlights.
Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.
Need more signs to keep area pristine.
A McDonalds would be nice at the trailhead.
The places where trails do not exist are not well marked.
I brought lots of sandwich makings but forgot bread. If you have extra bread, leave it in the yellow tent at V Lake.
Too many rocks in the mountains.