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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thrilla in the Gila

The support for Team 4 is impressive, so I'd say it's about time for an update. In the end, the two teams out this week weren't issued satellite phones, hence the lack of podcasts. And as far as cell coverage goes, it's quite simple, at least according to Gila National Forest Recreation & Trails Manager Les Dufour. Speaking of team leader Dean Rainwater, Les spelled it out:

"If he has a cell phone, he's out of luck."

But it sounds like the weather down there is at least making for a pleasant enough experience. Where water scarcity is usually an issue, the region has recently been buffeted by a string of afternoon showers, predicted to stretch into the weekend. The team's water caches may very well be rain-soaked by the time they find them.

"It rained a full inch here last night," Les said. "They were probably getting to their second stash of water right as it was really coming down on them."

Maybe not the New Mexico experience they had in mind, but so it goes on the divide. Here's hoping they packed that rain gear.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update on 'Thrilla in the Gila'...Team 4 might just be happy about a 'little extra' water. ...Robin,Lakeland Fl.

Anonymous said...

If the teams don't have satellite phones and cell phones don't work...what happens if there is a medical emergency? How do they contact someone for help?

Scott G. said...

As with any trip to the backcountry, there is some risk involved, and accidents do happen. We've done our best to head any catastrophes off at the pass in both designing teams and establishing relationships with land managers before the teams are out. Les knows about where the team is at during the day, for example, with an idea of campsites as well. That alone is a step in the right direction.

More importantly, perhaps, are the team members themselves. We've balanced skills on each team so at least a few have a good knowledge of first aid; in the case of Team 4, Rebecca Stearns is trained in CPR, AED, first aid, and is a test away from being EMT certified. Greg White was a terrain analyst for the Special Forces, and all are experienced backpackers.

There's going to be some risk, but we're lucky to be working with some excellent volunteers on this project. All are fully capable of handling themselves in emergencies, and as a team are that much stronger.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Scott. Greg is my husband. I trust his skills but I am a wife and I worry. :o) I would have felt a little better if they would have had the satellite phone. 2 more days.

Take care,
Courtney

michelle said...

Scott,
Thanks for the update on "Thrilla in the Gila"!!!

Keep 'em coming if you have them.

And thank you for the tireless hours you've put in making the amazing BACKPACKER CDT Project become a reality!!!

All the best to the team.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Scott....I too was trying not to be too concerned about the 'no phone' situation. I figured that each time Matt and I go out we have no phone and so far we've been fine. He has a good head on his shoulders and I believe, as a team, they are well covered and as you say, that much stronger.
Robin

Anonymous said...

Scott G. - Seems like you've put some hard work and hours into all of this. Just want to say thanks and its appreciated. GO TEAM 4!!!

Anonymous said...

Greg called early this morning and said that they were able to push through and finished early. He said that he had a blast. He said that they got a picture of a tornado and that they also ran into a Pygmy Rattlesnake. They had just checked into the motel and were going to get some much needed rest. After they wake up, they plan on doing some sight seeing. Thanks for all of your support, Scott. Take care everyone.
Courtney

Anonymous said...

I just spoke to my awesome husband, Dean. Stated they finished last night around midnight by putting in a 20 mile day. He was very upbeat and said it was an incredible trip. It stormed every night and one night it was below freezing. They got stuck out on the plains in a hail storm huddling together in a tent for about 45 minutes until the hail stopped. Stated his team "ROCKS" and everyone worked wonderfully together --- a great group of people.

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