Lost and Found... the newsletter of Volume 3, Issue 3
12 March 1998
Editors: Tom Russo, Mike Dugger,
and Mickey Jojola

Cibola Search and Rescue
"That Others May Live..."
Top of the Hill Boots and Blisters Who's Who and New
Coming Attractions Mini Lesson Public Relations
NMESC Notes Feature Article Disclaimer
Classified Ads Web News
Recent Missions
Callout Information
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Top of the Hill by John Mindock
If anyone is interested in the tracking course ($125) offered by Universal Tracking Systems in Gallup, May 1-2-3, please leave a message on the hotline prior to the April meeting. We will vote on reimbursement, if there are any potential attendees, at that meeting.

Please send in your registration forms for the ESCAPE as soon as possible. This helps those NMESC Board members who are handling the paperwork, because it doesn't flood them at the last minute. The ESCAPE is an excellent opportunity to learn about SAR topics from experienced and qualified instructors.

With our busy season approaching, it's time to work on physical fitness. The new PACE Study Guide includes a sentence indicating that the SAR field volunteer is expected to be able to walk up to ten miles and spend up to twelve hours on assignment.

One way to get a workout is the Hike of the Month. You are encouraged to make those treks, both for the trail knowledge and the exercise. Wear your search pack and clothing, so you can make adjustments and discover any problems. Of course, exercising only once a month is probably a little short of the requirements for a healthy life, let alone SAR. Back to Top
Boots and Blisters by Paul Husler
I would like to congratulate the five members of CSAR who passed the litter evaluation this month: Scott Pierce, Jason Metzger, Susan Corban, Melinda Ricker and Ryan Jackson.

Hike of the MonthWhitewash Trail area0800, Mar 28/29, 1998\01998
Trailhead: East end of Menaul
R.T. Distance: 4.0 milesElevation Min/Max: 6000/8100
Hiking Time 3.5 hoursHazards: The usual
Topo Maps: USFS map of the Sandias
The Whitewash Trail is named after the smooth waterfall rockface which is at the bottom of Whitewash Canyon, at the end of Candelaria. This is also known as the Piedra Lisa Canyon, offering a bit of confusion with the altogether-different Piedra Lisa Trail, which is in the north portion of the Sandias.

At the beginning of this hike, there are many intersecting trails from which to choose. Eventually, they all wend their way along the south rim of Whitewash Canyon, and then up one 'master trail' which leads to the top via steep switchbacks.

The first goal is to reach the top of the ridge east of the parking area. Begin on the obvious wide trail at the southeast end of the parking area, which will turn eastward and wind around the south edge of the ridge. Although there are many routes up the ridge, for this hike, use an arroyo which has metal fence embedded in the ground acting as prevention for soil erosion. Follow this up and keep going north until, about 1/2 hour into the trek, you see a meadow with two prominent trails heading North/NNE. Either of these trails will eventually lead to the south rim of Waterfall Canyon.

Off to the east, you'll see a high tree-lined ridge, which is the eventual goal of this hike. (Actually the trail continues beyond that ridge, across two more ridges, finally ending at the Oso Pass junction, but that's not part of this hike.)

It will take less than 2.0 hours to get to a knoll on top of the tree-lined ridge at the 8130 foot mark. This knoll is conveniently known as 'the 8130', and it provides a view into Three-Gun Canyon and even the cement plant in Tijeras. Its UTM's are approximately 366.5 and 3886.8. From here, turn around and head back, noticing the various arroyos and ridges which might serve as opportunities to head south into the west end of Embudo Canyon.
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Mini Lesson by John Mindock

Orienteering - Part 1

This series of mini-lessons will focus on orienteering - the skills associated with map and compass. The goal of the series is to detail the aspects that are required to accurately use map/compass in the field. In addition, the student will be informed of common terminology associated with orienteering.

Many books have been written about orienteering - this series cannot cover every facet of the subject. The emphasis will be on those aspects that SAR personnel would most likely utilize on missions.

Finally, there is no substitute for field work. The best usage for this series is to attempt to comprehend the subject matter, then perform the suggested field exercises.

This first lesson describes salient features of topographical maps.

Topographical Maps

The word 'topography' refers to the 'layout' of the land ( hills, valleys, cliffs, etc.). A topographical map (topo, for short) depicts those aspects of the land's surface by using contour lines, colors, and other devices. The common topo is known as a 7.5 minute map, because it depicts 7.5 minutes of latitude and 7.5 minutes of longitude. The scale on a 7.5 minute map is 1:24000, roughly equating to 0.1 miles of terrain per 1/4 inch on the map. Another name used often is a 'quad', referring to the quadrangular shape of the map. Topos are named after a significant feature which they encompass (I.e., the Sandia Crest quad).

Most topos were developed in the 1950 - 1960 timeframe, and revised in the mid-1970's. This often results in mis-representation of current features.

Contour Lines

Picture a set of imaginary flat vertical surfaces ('planes') that are parallel to one another, twenty feet apart, and slicing through the land. The contour lines shown on the topo are the intersection of the land with any of those planes, so that the outlines scribed by the lines provide a bird's-eye representation of the terrain.

The distance between adjacent contour lines is called the contour interval. Some maps use forty-foot contour intervals, while others use twenty. There is a phrase on the bottom margin of the map which states 'contour interval xx feet'. For the remainder of this series, we'll assume a contour interval of twenty feet.

If an area has many contour lines, the land rises upward more steeply compared to a place where there are few. With practice on a topo, one can become accomplished at envisioning the type of terrain depicted, recognizing features such as cliffs, ridges, valleys, arroyos, and saddles.


Typical Land Features

Contour lines for typical land features appear as follows:


Grids are man-made schema devised to provide reference lines/points for map features. The most interesting to SAR is the UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator). For this document, suffice it to say that UTM's are a set of numbers representing meters from the equator and meters from one of a group of 'North/South' lines. Although Latitude and Longitude are depicted on the map, their scale is usually too large for field personnel to use accurately.

Exercises - Orienteering Part 1

  1. Why are topos also called 7.5 minute maps?
  2. About how far (on land) is a distance represented by 3.75 inches on a topo?
  3. What are two differentials in altitude that contour lines often represent?
  4. How can one recognize steep areas by looking at a topo?
  5. What features are represented by the various colors on the topo?

Field Exercise

Go to a valley for which you have a topo. Locate nearby peaks, hills, saddles, etc. and compare what you see to the contour lines on the map. Then go to a high point and notice the appearance of the same features from the new perspective. Back to Top
Who's Who and New by Mickey Jojola
Well another month has gone by and spring is almost upon us. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Susan Corban on becoming our newest active member. Currently we have 4 prospective members awaiting orientation. Or should I say I am waiting for them to let me know when they are ready for orientation. As stated earlier, it is up to the new recruits to inform the membership officer that they are ready for their orientation and subsequent field deployment. I look forward to getting together with these and future recruits for orientations which will enable them to get into the field.

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Coming Attractions by Tom Russo
Next month's minilesson will be the second part of the knots lesson which was promised for this issue. Unforseen delays in photo processing required putting it off. Back to Top
Web News by Tom Russo
In revamping the web-based database functions I find I've bitten off a touch more than I can chew given the time I have to spare at the moment --- I've got all the basic functions and information that were in the original system in place, but there are a few projects that I've been asked to implement which will take a bit of careful consideration before plunging into the implementation. If you have any experience with SQL-based database application design I could use any help you can offer. I'll still do the programming, but haven't the time right now to plan the details of the database design as carefully as they need to be planned. Call me if you've got the time and experience to help out on this. Back to Top
NMESC Notes by Mickey Jojola
Well the NMESC successfully hosted another WFA (Wilderness First Aid) course in Rio Rancho the weekend of Feb. 28 through March 1. Both I and Randall Wahlert were there from Cibola. To be honest I was very impressed with the class. I learned things that I had no idea could be done. The most important being the patient assessment. I now feel confident that in the event that I may become injured in the field (and am still coherent) I will be able to assist myself. I highly recommend this course to those who are interested in increasing their first aid skills and relating them to the wilderness. Back to Top
Safety During Off-trail Searching by John Mindock

Safety Measurement

The measurement of "danger" of an activity is not simply a function of the intrinsic aspects of that activity. Rather, it is depicted by the severity of its unmitigated risks. For example, a skilled climber rappelling down a 900-ft cliff may actually be considered safer than a roping novice simply peering over the top. Why? Because much of the rappelling risk is mitigated by the climbing expert due to equipment, training, and experience. The key to safety is mitigation of risks. Specific to this article, there are a number of ways to mitigate the risks of off-trail searching. First, the hazards:

Mitigation Techniques

To mitigate the risks of off-trail searching, wear proper clothing (such as sturdy boots, gaiters, long-legged pants, long-sleeved shirt, gloves, eye protection, and a hat). Additional facets include physical fitness, selective choice of handholds, prudent decisions about the next step, judicious choice of routes, and practicing off-trail hiking.

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Classified Ads (20 words maximum, no services)
Backpacking stove: "OLICAMP SCORPION" - very compact and lightweight; including fuel = $30.00. Contact Andrew Parker @ H: 842-9502/W: 239-3938 Back to Top
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.