Volume 2, Issue 3
March 13, 1997
Editors: Chuck and Mary Girven,
and Mickey Jojola

"That Others May Live..."
Top of the Hill
Pinching Pennies
Public Relations
Bronze Boot
Classified Ads
Boots and Blisters
Who's Who and New
On the Right Track
Special Notes
Business as Usual
Gearing Up
Member Spotlight
Feature Article
Top of the Hill by Mike Dugger
One of the first concerns of new members when they join our team is, "What equipment and clothing do I need in order to participate in search and rescue?" CSAR has always provided recommendations on what gear is needed to be a field responder, but the list of recommended gear is a long one, containing some high-priced items. Letís face it - search and rescue is an expensive hobby. How does a member know what is really needed for most of the missions, versus what they can live without until the next bit of disposable income accumulates? People who have been searching for a while have acquired the gear that works for them, but new members rarely have enough information to make prudent spending decisions.

The officers have discussed this issue during the past month, and have finally arrived at a list of minimum gear needed to participate in non-winter ground-pounding. I want to introduce this list to you, and solicit your feedback. The intent is to define three lists of gear. The required minimum gear list will be just that - each member must have this gear in order to be called for missions. The second will be required items for winter conditions (below 32įF), and the final list will contain a prioritized list of items that are nice to have, but not absolutely critical to perform our primary function. This concept parallels the state certification system of gear and clothing requirements, but adds to it. Since CSAR is a ground-pounding team, we have defined items in addition to the state minimum requirement that are critical for searchers on foot. Weíll discuss the winter and recommended additional gear lists in the future. For now, consider the proposed list of REQUIRED MINIMUM GEAR. After we have all had a chance to think about this and discuss it, I would like to finalize a list we can all agree on and publish it in the new Member Guide and introductory materials for new members. Note that items marked with an asterisk (*) are required by the state, and as such are non-negotiable.

Now let me philosophize for a moment. Where do you see CSAR in 5 years? In 10 years? No matter what your answer, the continued strength and good standing we enjoy in the state requires that we continue to perform our core mission well. We have already decided that we are first and foremost ground-pounders (and are recognized as such by field coordinators in the state). This activity requires a diverse skill set, including search techniques, orienteering, tracking and litter hauling, not to mention a good measure of physical fitness. With pre-meeting instruction and one day per month devoted to training, covering these topics every six months leaves little time for additional training themes. We are a diverse group of people with varied interests, and pursuit of interests that contribute to other search and rescue services is useful. However, we must remember that we are fundamentally a ground-pounding team. When time and resources are limited, we must focus on skills which contribute directly to this function.
Boots and Blisters by Chuck Girven

Winter Bivy/Mt. Taylor Quad -- February 13-14

On February 13th eight hardy Cibola team members journeyed to Mt. Taylor for our annual winter training. Bruce Berry, our instructor for this training, provided a handout which included a list of emergency priorities, proper clothing and layering concepts, recommended equipment, along with other important information. After going over this information, we proceeded up the mountain to construct our night's lodging. Bruce showed us how to make snow caves, trenches, and other winter shelters which we put to good use later that evening after dinner, cheesecake, and a cozy fire.

We were up early the next morning to move our vehicles out of the way of the Mt. Taylor Quad. Two more members had joined us by then. We were divided into teams and assigned positions along the snowshoe/ski portion of the race. During the day we kept our eyes on various racers looking for hypothermia, dehydration, and any other problems. We kept in contact with each other and with the race officials with our radios. We cheered on our own team member, Marnie Boren, as she participated in the snowshoe/ski segment of the race.

Even though we didn't get much sleep, we all had a good time and learned valuable information on how to take care of ourselves in wintery conditions.

Hike of the MonthLower Juan Tabo Canyon0900, March 29-30, 1997
Trailhead:Upper Juan Tabo parking lot (La Luz trailhead)
R.T. Distance: @5.0 milesElevation Min/Max: 6600/7400
Hiking Time @3.0 hoursHazards: Mountain Lion (I saw tracks)
Topos: Forest Service map of the Sandias
The first part of this hike is on a trail from the Juan Tabo parking area to the Piedra Lisa parking area. Go up the stairs and turn left at the 'Piedra Lisa T/H' sign. Follow this trail a few minutes, watching for an offshoot that goes downhill to the left, crossing the sandy wash. (Don't go as far as the large towering rock formation.)

A few more minutes will take you to an uphill/downhill choice. (UTM 365.3, 3898.4). Go downhill and across to the other side of the chamisa/cholla flats. Follow a trail that skirts the north side of the flats to the dirt road. You should be about 20 minutes into the trek when you meet the road.

Now go north to the Piedra Lisa trailhead (about 7 minutes). After 7 more tough uphill minutes, you'll go down to a wide rock-strewn arroyo. (UTM 365.3, 3899.5) To the right are Waterfall Canyon, the Movie Trail, and Fletcher Canyon. But we're going to the left, down into lower Juan Tabo Canyon. The first few minutes are spent skirting the lush growth in the wash. The best bet is to stay to the right side. After that, the terrain becomes open and easy to walk on (and to follow tracks). Just follow the sandy wash, crossing the dirt road when you get to it.

In about 45 minutes, you'll end up at the fence to the Sandia Indian Reservation.

Turn back, and choose the rightmost wash whenever there is a choice. About 30 minutes from the fence, take a trail along the hill on your right. (UTM 364.4, 3898.5) This trail (called the Sandy Arroyo trail) begins in almost the opposite direction of your travel. Soon it widens out and heads more southward, eventually meeting the blacktop. This trail is the preferred evacuation route from this area.

Instead of walking along the road, go up to the top of the ridge 'behind' you, where you'll find an indistinct trail leading towards the dirt road to the Piedra Lisa parking area, then take the trail to the Juan Tabo parking area again.

According to the map, part of this hike passes through private property. However, it is not marked and is certainly not apparent when you're hiking. If someone asks you to leave their property, do so politely.
Business as Usual by John Mindock

Pinching Pennies by Melissa Smith
New patches will be available at the next business meeting. We still have a few Forest Service maps of the Sandia Mountain wilderness and several all weather safety whistles for sale for $4 each.

Gas voucher forms must be submitted each month at the business meeting. Please pay attention to your receipts, vouchers submitted for which there are no receipts or the receipts do not match the forms are reimbursed at the lesser amount. For those of you who do not come to business meetings, I recommend that you contact me directly to make arrangements for collecting your reimbursements. Any balances not claimed within 6 months will be considered a donation to the team and treated as such. As of this time we have received reimbursement for all vouchers submitted through January 1997. Please see me if you have any questions.
Who's Who and New by Bob Ulibarri
A few things in the membership arena are still be reworked and I will bring you up to date on the latest information. It has been a major book-keeping problem tracking new memberís attendance to three CSAR approved function before orientation. Because of this, I will now be asking the new and active members to take an active role in letting me know when new memberís three functions have been completed. This will make sure that new members who are active do not get overlooked for an orientation because of our record keeping shortcomings. The way this will work is as follows;

At a new members first meeting, they will receive a introductory package with a table on the last page. This table will look like the following:


When a new member attends a CSAR approved function (a function approved by the Training Officer), the new member must get an active member to sign off showing that the new member was in attendance. This will sever two functions, first, it will allow new and active members to interact on a regular basis and second, it will help new members who are very active to get an orientation as soon as they have completed three functions.

Please help me in this process of getting new members into the filed by introducing yourself to every new member that you can. It will benefit the team by getting new members oriented and into the field as soon as they have had an orientation.

Also let me be the first to congratulate our new active members this month; John Schroeder, Ella May Robinson and Tom Russo.Lori Brockway will be up for active membership at next monthís meeting. As always, please call me if you have any comments or questions concerning team policies or membership.
Gearing Up by Melinda Ricker
We are acquiring a locker to store our search gear at the District 10 Zamora Road Fire Station which is one mile east of I-40 and North 14.
Public Relations by Chuck Girven
The Gateway 66 Committee has contacted me about CSAR participating again this year. It is tentatively scheduled for May 17th. We will be at the same location as last year -- Central and Eubank at the Home Depot parking lot. Anyone interested in participating should let me know. Last year we received many good comments from the people who stopped by our booth. Hopefully we will be prepared to present some of the material the PSAR committe is working on.

Speaking of PSAR, the last meeting on Febuary 24th of the PSAR committee covered the children's version of the presentations. We decided to break it into sections; one for elementary and brownie and cub scout ages and the other for boy/girl scouts. We discussed handouts and activities that would help the children remember the basic points we want to reinforce.
On the Right Track by Mickey Jojola
Well Jake had his first field readiness evaluation this past February. He didn't pass but we sure learned a lot, or at least I did. The stress of a real search is immense. One would think that a training search would not be a stressful (or at least that's what I thought). Jake's test consisted of 1/2 mile X 1/2 mile square, or 160 acres. Not a lot when one thinks about it. This area was to be searched in a total of 4 hours. He was to find 2 subjects hidden somewhere within this area. No big deal, right? Add two evaluators, a time keeper, and a host of other "watchers" and what do you get? STRESSSSSSSS. This is where I learned that I can really pass the stress I feel to my dog. It took a while for me to calm down enough for Jake to forget about the stress and concentrate on searching. Realistically, Jake did fantastic. For the first 2.5 to 3 hours his energy level was good and he really worked. Towards the end he did get tired and really slowed down (as we humans do when we search hard for a long period of time).

The thing that I really learned is that when in the field you have to really trust your dog and follow through. At about 1.5 to 2 hours into the test Jake hit a scent pool which sent him into a ravine. He lost the scent at the bottom (the scent was being blown over our heads at this time). Here is where I messed him up. Instead of following through and searching the "hot spot" I sent Jake to another area to try and pick up the scent again. When he did not find the scent at the new spot I kept on going to the end of the search area. What I should have done was return to the "hot spot" and focused on that area. He might have had a better chance of making the find (maybe not but who knows). Anyway, in the end I think if I hadn't been trying to impress the evaluators, wasn't so stressed and focused on Jake we might have passed. Oh well, we will do it next time. A friend told me that I must have been real cocky to think that I could have passed the first time. Sometimes you have to shoot for the top.

In the end I realized that it was probably me who messed Jake up. I hope he can forgive me and work as well next time.

Until next month, Happy Searching..........

There will be a Cibola dog training session on Saturday, March 22, at 8:30 a.m. on Skyland Road in Tijeras. For more information call Catherine Wambach at 281-9137.
Member Spotlight: Chuck Girven
I grew up in a small rural community in Illinois where I had the usual boyhood scrapes and adventures (and a few unusual ones like cutting off my thumb). When I was 10 my mother was diagnosed with cancer, which she battled for six years. Shortly after she died I decided it was time I struck out on my own. The next big event (and definately the smartest move I ever made) was talking my highschool girlfriend into marrying me after graduation. Mary and I had two kids: a son Ben (he's really Charles Benjamin Girven VIII) and a daughter Jessica. We stayed in Illinois until 1978 when we moved to Phoenix. I drilled water wells for a company that did government contracts. Unfortunately, about this time the government started cutting back on their well-drilling projects, so I started doing construction work to pay the bills.

While in Arizona we really enjoyed the wilderness, 4-wheeling, hiking, backpacking, and camping during our off-hours. But after a year or so the construction market started to dry up, so we moved back to Illinois where I got my old job back (since high school) at a farm implement manufacturing company. Through dumb luck and by being at the wrong place at the right time, I moved from the factory into management. Mary had gone back to college after the children were in school. After graduation, she was offered a job at Sandia Labs in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The economy was taking a downward spin in the Midwest, especially our area, so we moved westward once more. We remembered the fun we'd had in Arizona and looked forward to enjoying the wide open spaces again.

One day I met a man at work who told me about the Urban SAR team. I went to a few of their meetings, but soon realized I would rather be doing wilderness SAR. At one of the Urban SAR meetings I met Rick Goodman. I called his office and got a list of other SAR teams in the area, and the rest is history. I'm very proud of being a member of Cibola SAR, especially for the good that we do for the people of New Mexico.
Bronze Boot Presented to Marnie Boren
Marnie Boren participated in the recent Mt. Taylor Quad too, but as a contestant rather than a volunteer, and made an impressive display of fitness and stamina...way to go Marnie!
NMESC Notes by John Mindock
The big news this time of year is the ESCAPE. The latest issue of the NMESC newsletter (which will be available at the March meeting) describes the set of courses which will be available. It also includes a registration form. Six CSAR members will be hosting courses at this year's session. Mike, Bob U., Larry M., Melissa, Mary B., John M. Also, John M. and Mickey are members of the Board and will have responsibilities related to the event. I strongly encourage you to attend this ESCAPE, not only for the excellent educational opportunities, but for the camaraderie.

Pace Committee Report

The PACE committee is now in the Operational mode. Nine people were trained as evaluators for packs and tests for Field Certification, including CSAR members Mike, Larry M., and John M. Another four were trained as test evaluators only. These people were selected from more than thirty applicants, based on their SAR experience in the field and their participation as instructors in SAR topics. Field Certification sessions are scheduled throughout 1997, with the April 19 date targeted to the teams in the Albuquerque area. In late March, there will be an issue of the SAR COMPASS newsletter with more details on the schedule. Also in March (22/23), there is an ICS-200 course. PACE is handling the registration for this session, but Rick is handling the mailings, etc. This course is the prerequisite to future Section Chief courses.
Buying Gaiters by Chuck Girven
Since we have several new members on the team who may not have experienced heavy-duty search-style hiking, I thought I'd write an article concerning gaiters and what to look for when you are considering buying a pair.

Gaiters come in two heights: ankle-high that reach just above your ankles (hence the name, pretty smart huh?); and knee-high which reach to just below your knee. For dayhiking the ankle-high gaiters would normally do a pretty good job. They're light and usaully have some type of elastic around both the top and bottom openings and a bootlace hook and/or instep cord to keep them from riding up over your boots. When we are out on a mission or training, it usually contains some type of bush-whacking or scrambling up or down a rocky mountainside. For these reasons, I would recommend that you get the knee-high gaiters. Most of them come with an instep cord or strap to keep them in place over the tops of your boots and a drawstring that cinches around your leg just below your knee. Certain brands have different sizes available to make it easier to get a good fit. An extra bonus to the knee-high's beside keeping out the rocks and debris is the added protection against rattle snakes biting you. It might not stop them completely but it does add another layer between them and you.

There are several different varities and manufacturers of gaiters and some of the different features are worth mentioning. Some inexpensive models are stepthroughs. You pull them on before putting on your boots, like pants. After putting on your boots you just secure the instep strap and you're ready to go. These are pretty easy but if you decide you need your gaiters while out in the field it would require stopping and removing your boots to put them on -- not a good idea in the rain or snow. Front closure gaiters allow simple application. The instep strap goes under your heel and the closure runs up the front of your leg. A nice feature about these is that you can get to your boot laces without removing the gaiters completely. A minor disadvantage is that they could bite into your legs if you kneel down to check out footprints or clues. Side closure gaiters are very easy to put on and off. Altough sometimes you have to be a little bit of a contortsionist to get them zipped up. A note to skiers: Front and side closures are the only styles you can take on and off while you're strapped into nordic ski bindings. The instep strap of rear closure gaiters is in the way. Rear closure gaiters are usually less costly. They don't need a storm flap over the zipper as it's not exposed to the elements as much. The rear zippers don't have as much stress on them, but as mentioned above, they are very difficult to reach.

The style of gaiter you chose depends on your outdoor activities. Searchers are usually out in the worst weather and in the dark so you want a gaiter you can put on and pull off very easily. Most members on the team have side closure type gaiters. The ones I have have been with me for over two years and I haven't cussed them too much. It is mostly my mistakes that have caused most of my problems.

I didn't touch much on super gaiters and overboots. If you are in the high mountain environment, your feet need additional insulation and your boots could use extra protection from crusty snow and rocks. The super gaiters and overboots cover the entire boot. Super gaiters leave the sole of the boot exposed. They have a tight, stretchy, usually rubber instep strap. You'll need a fairly rigid sole as flexible boots tend to curl up due to the toe and heel pressure super gaiters have. Overboots are for colder conditions. They are great when used with crampons or snowshoes because their fabric soles have no traction. These two styles are not really practical for our purposes.

Some shopping tips to look for when you are ready to buy your first pair of gaiters are:

I hope this will help you when you are shopping for your gaiters. Don't just pick one out figuring that they should do the job!
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Special Notes
Disclaimer the Editors
The information in this newsletter was gathered from many sources and presents facts as we believe them to be true. This newsletter is not meant to be an official document, but a means to disseminate team information.