This chapter defines the technical qualifications and discusses the training requirements of the membership categories.
Qualifications and Training by category of membership

Qualification Checklists by category

Annual Activity Requirements

Winter Bivouac

China Lake Shirt Policy

China Lake Rescue and Technical Qualification Checklist - how to move up on the roster

Recommended Climbs

Individual Equipment list for Operations

Mountaineer Personal First Aid Kit list

Mountaineer's Bookshelf

Scheduled Training



1991 Written by Bob Rockwell, Daryl Hinman, Al Green
Feb 95 Revised by Al Green, Tom Roseman, Tom Stogsdill
May 97 Edited by Loren Castro



Other chapters in this manual describe resources and techniques that the China Lake Mountain Rescue Group (CLMRG) uses, such as technical rescue, Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT), and helicopter. It makes sense to also include a chapter on our most important resource: the member.

The Group as a whole decides what categories of membership are appropriate and also the general requirements for these categories (these are appended to the Group's Bylaws). The Qualifications Committee (QC) implements specific requirements for the members to qualify for these categories. The Training Committee (TC) schedules appropriate training events to allow members to meet these requirements.
This chapter describes the different categories of membership in the Group and what is expected of members in these categories. We give the requirements for attaining each category and describe the annual minimum requirements for remaining in that category. Exhibits at the end of this chapter expand on this material.
The information presented here applies to our operational membersthose who participate directly in search and rescue (SAR) operations. However, our non-operational activities (such as public education and teaching SAR skills to our field members) are important to the overall effectiveness of the Group. No specific requirements are established for participation in non-operational events, but we rely on each member to do his share.


The knowledge of each member's capabilities is essential to get the proper blend of skills required for field teams on SAR operations. To fulfill this need, the Group has Support, Rescue, Technical, and Leader categories on the call roster for the field team members. In addition, we list such skills as rescue climbing, tracking, winter, ELT, and others as needed. We list Coordinators and Special Skills personnel as non-field members, and we list Trainees who are working toward full membership.
The cloth patches on our uniform shirts and parkas describe our members' qualifications to others. We use the CLMRG and Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) patches, Kern County patch, and first aid patches. These are attached to the uniforms as described in Exhibit 3-1 (CLMRG Shirt Policy). We also use a helicopter decal on our helmets.
The Group needs experienced mountaineers with mature judgment and rescue skills. We also need members who have neither the time nor the interest to become (or remain) competent in all the required skills. Exhibit 3-2 (CLMRG Rescue and Technical Qualification Checklist) lets members measure their capabilities and growth against the Group's standards.
Exhibit 3 (Recommended Climbs for CLMRG Members) lists the areas and mountains where we expect to have most of our operations. We encourage members to become familiar with them. Members with questions about their status or training needs should feel free to ask any member of the QC for counsel and the TC for the needed practices and courses.
An annual requalification is conducted to ascertain which members have kept their skills and participation current. Some allowances can be made, but ultimately the call roster must accurately reflect each member's capability to operate in the field. The ability to climb well, and the knowledge of local mountains, is of prime importance to the Group. Every member should do at least some class 4 or 5.0 rock climbing and several strenuous mountain ascents each year. Climbing with members of the Group on scheduled Group trips is particularly encouraged because it contributes to an awareness of each other's strengths and limitations. This enables more effective cooperation on rescues and searches.


A Trainee is a person who has submitted an application to join the Group and whose application has been accepted by the QC. Trainees are not full members of the Group; they become so upon admission to an operational category usually Support. If they have not advanced to operational status in 6 months, they are usually dropped.
The Trainee category provides a bridge to full membership. Before a person is accepted as a Trainee, he must have submitted the required paperwork and demonstrated additional interest in membership. A successful background check by the Kern County Sheriff's Office is a prerequisite to becoming a Trainee.
Because a Trainee is not yet a field member, he is not eligible to be called on operations. He is, however, encouraged to participate in other Group activities, such as meetings and certain trips and training events. Of course, a trip or training event leader always has the final word on judging a person's qualification for participation in any activity that requires special experience or equipment. If the trip organizer (the person listed on the schedule as the contact) has doubts about a person who wants to go, he should check with either the trip leader (a member going on the trip who is listed highest on the roster) or with a member of the QC.
A Trainee's advancement to full membership status requires demonstration of the minimum skills needed for the target category. For Support, this means being able to camp at a remote base camp and to assist on non-technical operations. In general, the person must be in good enough physical condition to spend a long day in the field. Advancement also requires demonstration that he will be a responsible member of the Group. The Group must know and be confident of every member's abilities.
A Trainee should work to become a Support member. The QC regularly considers the Trainees and their activities with the Group. Scheduled trips and training events are particularly important for someone preparing to be a field member on the call roster. This participation demonstrates the Trainee's abilities and gives him an opportunity to become acquainted with the Group and gain familiarity with the way we function. Satisfactory performance on at least one scheduled overnight mountain climb is required. This allows observation of the person's physical condition in the mountains and the quality of his hiking and camping gear. His ability to follow directions and his level of common sense can also be reasonably assessed on an overnight trip. It is important that the Trainee makes sure that the QC is aware of his participation in the activity. The Trainee should remind the trip leader to report the event and his participation.


Support members assist, primarily, on non-technical operations. They must have the equipment to camp at a remote base camp and the physical condition to spend a long day in the field. Exhibit 3-4 (Equipment List for Operations) contains all the items the fully equipped member needs, and the Support member should strive to purchase the articles as soon as possible. This list was made by considering the multi-faceted requirements of safe mountaineering practices and the combined experience of many past operations. It represents a reasonable trade-off among the conflicting requirements of utility, weight, safety, and cost for the well-equipped field member.
A cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) card and at least a Standard First Aid card must be obtained before becoming a Support member, and these skills must be maintained.
Exhibit 3-5 (Climber's First Aid Kit) lists the required emergency medical items. Every field member is expected to have at least the items in this kit on all operations. Each individual kit may not be very effective in itself, but several kits combined create an adequate kit for most problems.
The QC has compiled a list of suggested reading materials in Exhibit 3-6 (Mountain Rescuer's Bookshelf).
Exhibit 3-2 (CLMRG Rescue and Technical Qualification Checklist) is intended to guide the progress of Support members working to attain Rescue or Technical status.


Rescue members are mountaineers. They are expected to assist in the field on any SAR operation the Group is called on. A Rescue member must be competent in roughly half of the first nine skill categories on the Rescue and Technical Qualification Checklist. Considerable variation in the mix of skills is permitted. The following, however, are considered essential: Physical Condition, Equipment, First Aid (see Chapter 7), and Participation. Also, some of the elements of the remaining skills are essential for the Rescue member. All skill items that are required for becoming a Rescue member are highlighted on the checklist. The remaining items, to make up approximately half of the entire checklist, are an individual choice. Rescue members must be comfortable on class 4 rock, experienced in roped climbing, and competent (T3) trackers.


Technical members are experienced and capable in a broad range of climbing and SAR skills, with the emphasis on high-angle rescue. A Technical member must be competent in all the first nine skill categories on the checklist. In addition to the skills mentioned above for Rescue, the following are added: Technical Climbing and Rescue, Search and Tracking, Maps and Route Finding, Helicopter Techniques, and Organization and Leadership. Winter is optional, but it is strongly encouraged because the Group is expected to accomplish winter SAR operations under severe storm conditions.


Operation Leaders (usually simply "Leaders") are selected from the Technical and Rescue members and ranked annually by the voting members (all members except Trainees and those Special Skills members who do not mobilize for operations).. The QC decides how many Leaders the Group will have each year. Leaders are responsible for accepting a SAR request for the Group, determining the type of response called for, leading the effort until its completion, and performing the necessary wrap-up including reporting.
Leadership skills are gained by individual study, seminars, and practical experience. All Leaders must be able to lead any kind of SAR operation that we are called for.
Each member team of the MRA identifies which of its Operation Leaders will be Joint MRA Operation Leaders those capable of leading an overall search or rescue operation involving several mountain rescue teams. While over the years the Group has had different criteria for selecting its Joint MRA Operation Leaders, currently all of our Leaders are defined to be so qualified.


The main role of the Coordinator is to perform in-town communication and coordination functions for an operation. The Coordinator is the primary assistant to the Operation Leader during the startup phase. The Coordinator receives information, makes suggestions to ensure that nothing is overlooked, and provides the communication link between the Leader and other entities that are or will be involved in the operation. This includes contacting members to describe the situation and ascertain their availability, requesting other teams and other resources, planning for backup teams, and dealing with agency representatives and the news media. In the ideal situation, the Operation Leader is then able to concentrate on getting ready and planning for our response without being concerned with the details of information flow. When no regular Coordinator is available for an operation, a Leader who cannot go may assume that role.


Special Skills members are Support members who may or may not go into the field but who possess important skills that can be useful during many operations. They include telephoners, base camp personnel, HAM operators, medical personnel, and others of value to the Group.
Having a Coordinator or Special Skills member leave home to participate in an operation might be useful for many reasons. This participation must have the specific prior approval of the Operation Leader, and the role of this member in the operation is decided by the Operation Leader. This member must be prepared to function in the designated role and be an asset to the operation. The minimum requirement is to be adequately equipped (e.g., food, clothing, sleeping gear) to be comfortable in a primitive base camp. This member must have a current Special Deputy card and current CPR and first aid cards.
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Exhibit 3-2 (CLMRG Rescue and Technical Qualification Checklist), consisting of 10 skill categories, is intended to guide the progress of Support members working to attain Rescue or Technical status. (The 10th category is Winter, which is optional for both Rescue and Technical.)


This checklist is primarily for use by Support and Rescue members as they work toward Technical qualification. It itemizes the skill categories expected for a Technical member. It can also be used by Technical members who want to check their skills against the current Group standards.
No strict interpretation of Rescue status is defined because different members advance in different skills. To achieve Rescue status, members must become fully proficient in at least half the skills on the checklist, which must include Physical Condition, Equipment, First Aid, and Participation. These skills are highlighted as are elements of other skills that are also considered essential for Rescue members.
Support members should generally try to attain Rescue status within two years and Technical status within another two years. Exhibit 3-7 (Scheduled Training Activities) is a compilation of available training events organized according to the skill categories given below.
All members are encouraged to improve in areas of personal interest and to attain high levels of skill and knowledge in these specialties. The call roster lists specialties such as rock climbing, tracking, and winter mountaineering.
The following are the items on the checklist and suggestions for achieving mastery of them:

1. Physical Condition

Maintain excellent aerobic condition. Be able to carry a heavy pack. Maintain good body strength and try to maintain good altitude conditioning. An appropriate test for physical conditioning for mountaineers is to be able to ascend Mt. Whitney in under six hours by the trail or the Mountaineer's Route.

2. Technical Climbing and Rescue

Complete the Group's basic mountaineering course. Make enough class 4 and 5 roped climbs, particularly in the mountains, to be familiar with rope handling and anchor placement techniques. Ascend a fixed rope. Climb snow and ice routes using ice axe, rope, ice screws, flukes, and crampons. Practice arrests. Cut a bollard. Learn and practice aid climbing. Place a bolt. Tie off and retrieve a fallen climbing partner. Take a stretcher class. Participate in stretcher practices to learn rescue techniques. Be able to rig a stretcher, a three-point anchor, and brake and mechanical advantage systems by yourself. As a stretcher attendant, climb above the stretcher with ascenders or Prusik slings.

3. Search and Tracking

Learn and practice tracking techniques. Do sign cutting exercises. Study search methods to become familiar with hasty search, confinement, and line search techniques. Participate in search case study exercises. Learn search organization.

4. Maps and Route Finding

Learn to use topographic, Bureau of Land Management, and Forest Service maps. Be able to locate yourself on the map and to describe this location by radio. Know how to triangulate using visual or L-PER bearings. Learn to use the Global Positioning System (GPS) units and how to report your location to base camp. Be familiar with the areas and mountains on the Group's list, and climb the popular routes.

5. Equipment

Obtain personal items on the equipment list. Learn and practice the assembly, use, and storage of the Group's gear shown on the checklist.

6. Helicopter Techniques

Know helirescue techniques and attend at least one practice. Practice rigging the stretcher for a helicopter hoist. When these skills are satisfied, a Helo Decal, which should be attached to the front of the rescue helmet, is issued.

7. First Aid

Take the Red Cross First Aid course and CPR course. Standard classes and additional Mountain Rescue related First Aid skills are given in April and October. All field members must have both the Standard Red Cross First Aid Card and a current CPR card. Technical and Rescue members are required to attend one Group course for First Aid and Professional CPR course annually.

8. Participation

The emphasis here is on activities with the Group. Operations must be field operations with significant participation. The climbs must be significant mountains and can be the same ones made for technical, familiarization, or winter checklists.

9. Organization and Leadership

Know the Group operation rules and procedures. Understand the roles of authorities and volunteer groups. Know the capabilities of fellow members. Leaders, study the Operation Leader procedures and California Region Mountain Rescue Association (CRMRA) joint operations procedures (Reference 3-1).

10. Winter Mountaineering (Optional)

Note: This skill is optional for all categories, but Technical members are encouraged to become winter qualified as soon as possible.
The first prerequisite to the Winter Mountaineering qualification is that the member must be a strong mountaineer. There is a clear distinction between the person who is perhaps a capable and experienced winter traveler and one who is a winter mountaineer. Most members of Group are excellent winter travelers with good knowledge of survival techniques, and these members are valuable for a large fraction of our winter operations. However, the "W" designation is given only to currently qualified winter mountaineers who have climbed several of the major Sierra peaks under winter conditions.
Generally speaking, winter operations are our most strenuous and demanding and are potentially the most dangerous. The Winter-qualified member must be able to help in a difficult search and rescue operation anywhere in the Sierra under winter storm conditions. Sometimes, we get calls to even more distant and higher locations with even more severe conditions. Special clothing and equipment are requiredsee Exhibit 3-4 (Equipment List for Operations).
Each member should have climbed, under winter conditions, routes that are class three or harder in the summer.
Each member must have demonstrated the proper use of the ice axe for travel, stepcutting, arrests, and belays. He must be experienced in the use of crampons and snowshoes and familiar with avalanche transceivers. He must have set up, in the field, each of the Group tents. He should have demonstrated the construction of snow caves and igloos. The member must have participated in the following activities prior to becoming Winter qualified:
· One snow stretcher practice.
· One avalanche seminar: MRA, CLMRG, or other.
· Three Group overnight mountain climbs under winter conditions that involve camping on snow and melting snow for meals and drinks.
· One winter bivouac experience. The topic of the winter bivouac deserves further attention. The Winter Bivouac section in this chapter discusses rationale, details, and ground rules.


As stated above, there is no separate checklist for Rescue. Instead, the Support member striving for Rescue qualification must have gained at least half of the skills listed on the Technical qualification checklist, including all those that are highlighted.
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Once a member achieves the Support, Rescue, or Technical category, the Group requires that the member participate annually in certain activities to maintain that level. Members who do not satisfy one or more of the annual requirements for their category are put on probation for the following year (probation status is not indicated on the call roster). If a member does not satisfy the requirements during the probation year, he is put in a lower category for the next year. Support members who do not satisfy their requirements for the second consecutive year are dropped from membership in the Group unless they have a special skill that can qualify them for retention. Annual requirements must be met during the calendar year, except for the winter climb, which is a seasonal requirement.
We stress that these are minimal activity requirements. Members who consistently perform at a minimal level in quantity or quality of activities or who allow their skills to lapse may also be moved to a lower category without the benefit of a year of probation.
Regular contact, beyond operations and mountain climbs, is important in order to appreciate all the facets of the Group's activities, be familiar with the other members, and contribute fully to the Group's functioning. Examples include regularly attending the monthly business meetings, participating in standing or ad hoc committees, being a member of the board of directors or a committee chairperson, participating in public education events, and giving lectures to the summer mountaineering class or to local school groups.
A member who meets all of the annual activity requirements contributes a large amount of time in service to the Group. Nevertheless, each individual requirement is a minimum and members are encouraged to participate beyond these minimums in areas of their interest. For example, if a member is to realistically maintain a rescue climbing lead rating, he must make many roped climbs during the year on a variety of terrain (friction, chimneys, jam cracks). This is even more important for the member with a high rating. Yet, only one climb is actually required, and it is more of a demonstration that the member is still interested and capable of climbing at the indicated level. Analogous comments can be said about any of the specialty skill areas.
Annual activity requirements for each category of field membership are summarized below in Table 3-1 and detailed in the following paragraphs.

Table 3-1. Annual Activity Requirements

 Activity  Technical  Rescue  Support
 Operations  3 commitments  3 commitments  3 commitments
 Mountaineering trips  3 (one overnight)  3 (one overnight)  3 (one overnight)
 Regular contact  Yes  Yes  Yes
 First Aid Review  CLMRG  CLMRG  Standard
 First Aid Card  Standard & CLMRG  Standard & CLMRG  Standard
 CPR  Professional  Professional  Any
 Stretcher practice  one  one  one
 Tracking  3 hours  3 hours  optional
 Roped climb  one  one  optional
 Winter  optional  optional  optional
ELT optional optional optional


Support members are encouraged to be particularly active as they learn mountaineering and SAR skills and to become familiar with other members and with Group procedures. Each year, they must complete at least the minimum requirements for SAR, training, and participation listed below.
· Three operations or commitments.
· Three mountain climbs with Group members on separate scheduled Group trips, including one overnight trip.
· Regular contact with the Group.
· Maintenance of a Standard First Aid card and an annual CPR card.
· One Group rock stretcher practice.
· If tracking rated, three hours of Group step-by-step tracking practice in two or more events.
· If rock climbing lead rated, one multi-pitch (at least three pitches), roped climb with a Group member on a scheduled Group trip leading a pitch at their rated ability.
· If winter qualified, one scheduled Group overnight mountain climb under winter conditions during the previous winter season.
· If ELT qualified, one Group ELT practice.


Rescue members are active mountaineers who maintain all the skills required to support SAR operations conducted by the Group. Each year, they must complete at least the minimum requirements listed below. Rescue members who fall below the minimum requirements may, after a year of probation, be placed in the Support or Special Skills category.
· Three operations or commitments.
· Three mountain climbs with Group members on separate scheduled Group trips, including one overnight trip.
· Regular contact with the Group.
· Annual Group First Aid and CPR classes.
· One Group rock stretcher practice.
· Three hours of Group step-by-step tracking practice in two or more events.
· One multi-pitch (at least three pitches), roped climb with a Group member on a scheduled Group trip leading a pitch at their rated ability.
· If winter qualified, one scheduled Group overnight mountain climb under winter conditions during the previous winter season.
· If ELT qualified, one Group ELT practice.


Technical members are mountaineers who maintain all the skills necessary for any SAR operation conducted by the Group. Each year, they must complete at least the minimum requirements listed below. Technical members who fall below the minimum requirements or who consistently perform at a minimal level in quantity or quality may, after a year of probation, be placed in the Rescue, Support, or Special Skills category.
· Three operations or commitments.
· Three mountain climbs with Group members on separate scheduled Group trips, including one overnight trip.
· Regular contact with the Group.
· Annual Group First Aid and CPR classes.
· One Group rock stretcher practice.
· Three hours of Group step-by-step tracking practice in two or more events.
· One multi-pitch (at least three pitches), roped climb with a Group member on a scheduled Group trip leading a pitch at their rated ability.
· If winter qualified, one scheduled Group overnight mountain climb under winter conditions.
· If ELT qualified, one Group ELT practice.


Coordinators are members who handle the callout and coordination of operations. They should maintain regular contact through Group activities, including meetings, and participate in three operations annually.


Special Skills members need not be mountaineers, but they must be willing to assist on operations that need their specialty. They should maintain regular contact with Group and stay current in their special skills.
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A search assignment is almost always intended to last no more than one day in the field. However, for a variety of reasons (sudden storm, slower than expected progress, anticipated helicopter pickup doesn't materialize, etc.), we must be prepared to spend the night out unexpectedly. Each member carries bivouac gear for this eventuality.
In summer, a person who is unprepared (equipment, clothing, or skills) normally suffers only discomfort. In winter, the consequences of being unprepared can be fatal, and any preparation for survival that can be done becomes paramount in importance.
The winter bivouac serves several purposes. First, it gives each member striving for Winter qualification a chance to experience, under controlled and planned conditions, the situation that he may well encounter on a future operation. Clothing, gear, and ideas can be tried out in relative safety. Second, for the member who just wants to obtain some winter survival skills, we can provide him this opportunity while being safely accompanied by experienced personnel.
Most importantly, however, it has been well established that mental attitude, outlook, and confidence are critical factors for persons caught in a survival predicament. The Group believes that the member who has already participated in one of our winter bivouacs is less likely to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the real situation and experiences a corresponding increase in the probability of survival. The Outward Bound program is also based on this premise.
The bivouac is not recommended for anybody without some prior overnight winter mountaineering experience. Clothing and equipment, presumed by the novice to be adequate, should be tested and validated under more reasonable conditions before committing to this serious undertaking.


Placing anyone in danger unnecessarily makes no sense. If, however, each participant takes a full winter pack, he will not gain true heightened confidence from the experience. Therefore, we expect each member to take the normal complement of food, clothing, and equipment (including emergency supplies) that he would normally carry on a day-long search assignment under winter conditions. There are no limitations on total pack weight, but the following list suggests that a person can be comfortable with less than 15 pounds.

Pack Items:

lbs oz
day pack 2 4
light sleeping bag* 2 0
bivouac sack 1 2
Ensolite pad (1/2") 1 0
stove, pot (1/2 share) 1 6
shovel 0 15
food 3 0
headlamp 0 4
quart canteen (full) 2 4
first aid kit 0 9
Total 14 12

* Can be eliminated if adequate clothing is worn.

Clothing Items:

down or pile parka
shell parka
polypropylene expedition weight underwear
wool or pile shirt
wool, pile, or down pants
socks, 2 pair
winter boots
wool or pile mittens
shell mittens
wind pants


Distance of the bivouac site from the roadhead is not stipulated here. It should not be so remote as to constitute a danger in the event of a multi-day storm yet not so close that the emotional commitment to the survival situation is absent. One-half mile to five miles is probably in the right range, but the type of terrain to be traversed is important, too. Walking ten miles up a road might be fine, but going two miles might be too far if it crosses over a major pass. Also, the location needs to have appropriate snow conditions for shelter construction.


Because a tent might not be carried on a search assignment, members need to be knowledgeable about building snow shelters in an emergency. Therefore, on the bivouac trip, tents are left behind and participants build, for example, igloos, snow caves, and trenches to spend the night. (However, tents are carried and are available when novices are present.) Instructions on snow shelter construction are available from any Winter-qualified Group member, and training seminars on the topic are given from time to time.


3-1. Joint Operation Procedures, California Region Mountain Rescue Association, 15 May 1993

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The mountain in the CLMRG patch below is a simplified drawing of Mt. Whitney as viewed from the north. Because our activities are concerned mainly with the southern portion of the Sierra Nevada, Whitney seems an appropriate symbol. The Buttress and the Mountaineer's Route are shown.

Center the patch by the lettering, not by the shape of the mountain. Use the "A" in CHINA for the top-center point. Use the "'C" and the "E" in CHINA LAKE for horizontal alignment.

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NAME:_______________________________________________ DATE:_______________

This checklist is primarily for use by Support members as they work toward Rescue and Technical qualification. It divides the skills required for a Technical member into 10 categories. To achieve Rescue status, members must become proficient in at least half the skills listed, which must include categories 1, 5, 7, and 8. Other skills specifically required for Rescue status are identified by asterisks. Support members should generally try to attain Rescue status within two years. Members may choose to remain in Rescue but are encouraged to improve in the remaining areas to achieve Technical status. This checklist should also be used by Technical members to check their skills against the current Group standards.


Some exercises, with scores to strive for, are suggested below. Scores attained by some members of Group are noted in parentheses. Other demonstrations of current physical condition can be accepted.

Time for three-mile run 24 min. (18 min.) ____________
Time up Lone Butte, no pack 25 min. (16 min.) ____________
Time up Lone Butte, 50 lb pack 40 min. (32 min.) ____________
Time up Mt. Whitney Trail 6 hr. (3.2 hr.) ____________

Sit-ups in two minutes 60 (80) ____________

Pull-ups 10 (20) ____________


Climbing and rescue skills to achieve. Check each item when you feel competent.

*Prusik, jumar ____ Piton use ____ Step cutting ____
Partner tie-off ____ *Cam use ____ *Ice axe belay ____
Partner retrieval ____ Aid climbing ____ Ice screw use ____
*Chock use ____ Cut bollard ____ Snow fluke use ____
Bolt use ____ *Ice axe arrest ____ *Crampon use ____
Ice climbing ____        

List the dates of Rock Skills Classes List the dates of Snow Skills Classes/Practices
Ascending/descending __________ Self-arrest __________
Self-rescue __________ Crampon use __________
Aid Climbing __________ Snow Anchors __________

List multi-pitch roped climbs, at least 5.0, as defined for annual requirements
(10 for Technical; 5 for Rescue):

1. __________________________________________________________________________
2. __________________________________________________________________________
3. __________________________________________________________________________
4. __________________________________________________________________________
5. __________________________________________________________________________
6. __________________________________________________________________________
7. __________________________________________________________________________
8. __________________________________________________________________________
9. __________________________________________________________________________
10. _________________________________________________________________________

I feel that my climbing lead capability is now: Free _______Aid _______

The best times to practice the rescue skills listed below are on stretcher practices. When learned, many of the items can be checked off at the hut with a few other members or alone.

*Stretcher rigging ____ *Victim tie-in ____ *Ascend above stretcher ____
*Attendant tie-in ____ *Brake system ____ *Three-point equalizer ____
*Stretcher belay ____ *Simple Z MA ____ Snow stretcher practice ____

*List dates of three stretcher practices:
1. __________________________________________________________________
2. __________________________________________________________________
3. __________________________________________________________________


Read Mantracking ____ Search organization course ____
*Tracking practice, 7 hours ____ *Perimeter cutting exercise ____
*Basic tracking course ____ *Read tracking chapter CLMRG manual ____
ELT workshop ____ ELT field exercise ____
*Attend a case study seminar or search practice ____    


* a. Map skills can best be checked by doing some problems in triangulation and location description.
Map and Compass course taken on _____________
* b. Familiarity with the UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) coordinate system. _____________
* c. Familiarity with latitude/longitude coordinate system. _____________

d. Route finding can be tested only in the field on climbs. Familiarity can be presumed from having climbed the route. Mark up a copy of the RECOMMENDED CLIMBS FOR CLMRG MEMBERS (located in the Manual) to indicate those you have done. List these climbs below (10 for Technical; 5 for Rescue):

1. __________________________________________________________________________________
2. __________________________________________________________________________________
3. __________________________________________________________________________________
4. __________________________________________________________________________________
5. __________________________________________________________________________________
6. __________________________________________________________________________________
7. __________________________________________________________________________________
8. __________________________________________________________________________________
9. __________________________________________________________________________________
10. _________________________________________________________________________________


a. PERSONAL GEAR Check your personal gear against the EQUIPMENT LIST FOR OPERATIONS. List the items you need: ___________________________________________________________________________________

Do you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle? Yes_____ No_____
Do you have a ready pack in the hut? Yes_____ No_____

b. Group GEAR You should know how to assemble, use, and repack all the Group gear
(i.e., be comfortable in the use of all the equipment listed below).

MSR stove ________ List base radios that you can operate:
* Stretcher ________ __________________________________
* Stretcher wheel ________ __________________________________
Beam antenna ________ __________________________________
Omni antenna ________ __________________________________
* Attend radio hut night ________ __________________________________
Operate & change batteries in L-PER, Set up PT-400 for helicopter use _____
(DF for ELT) _________ Program Icom H-16 _____
List group tents that you have assembled: Change batteries in the following radios:
__________________________________ __________________________________
__________________________________ __________________________________
__________________________________ __________________________________
__________________________________ __________________________________
__________________________________ __________________________________
Operate & program GPS units ________


* Read CLMRG manual chapter ____ * Helicopter practice ____
* Rig stretcher for helicopter lift ____ Horse collar practice ____


* Current CPR card and Community First Aid for all field members

Date of First Aid card ______ Familiarity with:
Type of First Aid card ______ Blood pressure kit _____
Date of CPR card ______ Traction splints _____
Type of CPR card ______ Zee extrication device _____
Date of last Group annual review ______ Oxygen equipment _____
Ambu bag _____
Group First Aid kits: (unpack, inspect, and repack for familiarity): _____


The emphasis here is on activities with Group. The operations should be field operations with significant participation. The climbs must be overnighters and can be the same ones you make for the Technical, Route Finding, or Winter categories (10 each for Technical; 5 each for Rescue):

Mountain Climbs


______________________________________ ______________________________________
______________________________________ ______________________________________
______________________________________ ______________________________________
______________________________________ ______________________________________
______________________________________ ______________________________________
______________________________________ ______________________________________
______________________________________ ______________________________________
______________________________________ ______________________________________
______________________________________ ______________________________________
______________________________________ ______________________________________


Knowing everyone's capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses is important. With a current call roster in hand, ask yourself which members you know well, slightly, or not at all.

* Take Group seminar on organization and procedures. _____
* Read CLMRG manual chapter on Operation Leadership. _____
Read CRMRA joint operations procedures. _____
Read other literature (see recommended list):

10. WINTER (Optional)

List three overnight mountain climbs under winter conditions (significant, committing climbs).

1. ________________________________________________________________________________
2. ________________________________________________________________________________
3. ________________________________________________________________________________

Have winter gear (see equipment list) _____
Own an avalanche transceiver _____
Participate in snow stretcher practice _____
Participate in avalanche seminar _____
Participate in winter bivouac trip _____
Camp on snow; melt snow for water _____
Build and use igloo or snow cave _____
Use ice axe and crampons _____
Use snow and ice anchors _____
Set up Group tents in the field _____
Use snowshoes _____

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The areas and climbs listed here are where we can expect to have search and rescue operations. Members should become familiar with the roadheads, trails, and routes in both summer and winter. The technical difficulties span the range from walking roads to climbing with aid, so everyone should be able to find something for his or her taste in climbing.

When climbing, observe the route and region in terms of possible searches or rescues. For example, try to imagine where people might get into trouble and then think how the victim might be rescued from the various spots. Consider that the rescue might occur under clear or stormy conditions and during the day or night.

Climbing Areas: Walker Pass to Sawtooth Peak; Langley to Williamson;
Panamints; Kern Plateau; Kern River Canyon; Palisades; Onion Valley Peaks
Class 1 Climbs: Whitney Trail, Kearsarge Pass Trail
Telescope Peak Trail ,Kern River Trails
Sierra passes north to Mammoth
Class 2 Climbs: Argus Peak ,Maturango Peak
Owens Peak, Olancha Peak
Sawtooth ,Langley
Thor, Corcoran
Williamson ,Kaweah Peak
Kern River (trailless sections)
Class 3 Climbs: Owens Ridge routes, Mt. Russell
Whitney -Mountaineers Route, Middle Palisade
Temple Crag ,Spanish Needle Peaks
Candlelight ,East Ridge University Peak (Traverse)
Mt. Heller
Class 4 Climbs: Five Fingers, Owens Ridge routes
Le Conte, North Palisade
Mt. Sill ,Thor Face
Norman Clyde ,Muir East Face
Humphreys, Great Falls Basin (rappel the falls)
Clyde Minaret ,Thunderbolt peak
Class 5 Easy: Owens Ridge routes ,Whitney East Face (III)
Third Needle (III) Whitney Buttress (III)
Lone Pine NE Ridge (IV)
Class 5.5 +: Thor Pink Perch (III) Irvine East Buttress (III)
Lone Pine South Wall ,Owens Ridge routes
Mt Sill Swiss Arete (III) Temple Crag Moon Goddess Arete (III)
SE Face of Clyde Minaret (IV)
Grade V Climbs: Keeler Needle, Whitney Direct
Snow Climbs: U-Notch, V-Notch
Laurel Snow Chute ,Darwin Glacier
Mendel Ice Chute
Qualifications Committee
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In general, carry any gear you might possibly want to the Hut on first mobilizing. The Coordinator usually cannot specify expected conditions completely. You can leave unneeded extra gear behind, but have your gear packed and be ready to change rapidly. Sometimes, we must have a team airborne within 30 minutes of the initial call. There must be no loose gear in the aircraft. Note: Items in lists 3 and 4 are required for winter qualification.

1. BASIC (Take these on any operation)
day pack (preferably bright colored)
first aid kit (see CLIMBER'S FIRST AID KIT)
poncho or rain gear
bivouac sack
matches (waterproofed)
candle (for starting fires)
headlamp and extra bulb and batteries
pocket knife
compass (accurate for use with topographic maps)
topographic maps of area
flare (available at hut)
nylon cord (at least 25 feet)
cup and spoon
canteen (filled with water and extra for operations in dry areas)
food (extra for emergency bivouac)
pocket notebook and pencil
toilet paper
sunglasses or goggles or both
wrist watch (people with radios especially need watches)
hard hat
parka, orange (coated nylon or Goretex)
shirt, orange with patches and nametag
boots (Vibram soles or equivalent)
gloves or mittens
sweater (wool or pile)
personal stuff (Chapstick, camera, etc.)

trail marking paper (available at hut)
long slings (2) (10-12 feet for carrying stretcher)
carabiners (2)
field glasses (optional)
altimeter (optional)

ropes (available in Hut) runners (2) (6 feet of 1-inch webbing)
carabiners(4) Prusik slings (2) (3 feet of 5mm Perlon)
harness (optional)

boots, high quality alpine (plastic double boots recommended)
socks, wool (2 pair)
expedition weight poly-pro long underwear
pants (wool or pile)
down parka or extra wool or pile sweater
mittens, cold weather
sleeping bag (one per team)

ski pole (1 or 2) or ice ax with basket
gaiters, long
shovel (for snow caves, avalanches, etc.)
Pieps or compatible equivalent

ice axe
ice pitons or screws (2) (available at Hut)
carabiners (6)
ice hammer (available at hut)
ropes (available at hut)

ropes (available at hut)
rock hammer (available at hut)
bolt kit (available at hut)
pitons (6) (available at hut)
rock shoes
chocks, cams, etc. (12)
carabiners (16) (at least 12 free of gear)
aid slings (optional)
runners (8) (6 feet of 1-inch webbing or 24-inch sewn runners)
runners, long (2) (10-12 feet of 1-inch webbing or 48-inch sewn runners)
Prusik slings (2) (3 feet of 5mm Perlon)
8 ring or equivalent belay device
pulley (with bearings)

backpack tent, or bivouac sack
ground cloth food (3 days)
sleeping bag pad
stove, fuel, and pots (1 set per team)

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Mountaineer's Personal First Aid Kit






Patient Assessment


latex exam gloves, in Zip-loc bag 2 pair protective


reporting forms, pencil reports!!
pocket mask or microshield 1 CPR protective
antibacterial gel or towelettes, alcohol Vionex towelettes clean hands
Wound Care, Minor


Bandaids, assorted 10


Moleskin, 4" x 4" 1 blisters
antibiotic ointment, foil packets 3 Neosporin small wounds and burns
blister kit 1 Spenco second skin
soap, small tube Ivory, Campsuds clean around wound
antiseptic towelettes or alcohol gel 3 clean around wound
finger coverlet 1
aloe vera gel with lanocane shallow burns
Wound Care, Major


sterile gauze pads, 3" x 4" or 4" x 4" 4 more are recommended


roller gauze (3" x 5 yd) 1


Steristrips 3
3"x4" non-adherent dressings 2
Ziploc Freezer bag 1 irrigation
PI solution or ointment irrigation
Vaseline Gauze 1 occlusive dressing
Fractures and Sprains


SAM splint 1


triangular Bandage 2 sling, cravat


elastic bandage, 3" 1 Ace or Equisport Vetwrap


adhesive tape, 1" 1 roll
large safety pins 2+
bandage scissors 1
safety razor blade in lieu of scissors
tweezers 1 Uncle Bill's splinters
hypothermia thermometer 1
small flashlight
Sawyer Extractor kit snakebite, insects
Miscellaneous Gear
nylon cord improvise splint, etc.
duct tape improvise splint, etc.
Ensolite blue foam pad padding
large trash bags inner vapor barrier
Personal Medication
oral electrolyte replacement solution Gatorade powder cramps, diarrhea
aspirin pain, fever
Ibuprophen Advil, Motrin inflammation, pain
Acetaminophen Tylenol pain, fever
Benadryl allergy, sleep
Codeine (Rx) pain
Epinephrine (Rx) Anakit anaphylaxis

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The following books and magazines are suggested reading for members of Group. Books marked with an asterisk are recommended by the Training Committee for individual purchase.


*Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, 5th edition, Grayden, 1992
Accidents in North American-Mountaineering, AAC, annual
Avalanche Handbook, Ag Handbook 489, US Dept of Agriculture, Forest Service, 1978(A best buy)
Climbing Ice, Chouinard, Sierra Club
"Snowshoeing", Prater, The Mountaineers, 3rd edition, 1988
Wilderness Skiing, Tejada-Flores & Steck, 1972
How to Rock Climb, 2nd edition, Long, 1993


*Mantracking: Introduction to Step-by-Step Method, Robbins, 1977
*Wilderness Search & Rescue, Setnicka, Appalachian Mountain Club, 1980
Mountain Search and Rescue Techniques, May, Rocky Mt. Rescue Group, 1973
Tracking: A Blueprint for Learning How, Kearney, Pathways Press, 1978
On Rope, Padgett & Smith, 1987
High Angle Rescue Techniques, Vines & Hudson, 1989


* Emergency Response, ARC, current edition
American Red Cross Community CPR, current edition
American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer, current edition
Emergency Care & Transportation of Sick and Injured, current edition, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
Medicine for Mountaineering, current edition, Wilkerson, 1992


Mountain Rescue Leadership, Williams, MRA, 1977


Desert Peaks Section, Road & Peak Guide , Bernard & the DPS, 1988
Joshua Tree Rock Climbing Guide, Vogel, 1992
Red Rocks Select, Swain, 1995
Rock Climbs of Tahquitz & Suicide Rocks, Vogel & Gaines, 1993
Rock Climbs of Tuolumne Meadows, Reid & Falkenstein, 1992
*The High Sierra, Secor, 1992
Sierra Club Totebook Guides, (one for each topographic quadrangle)
Starr's Guide to John Muir Trail & High Sierra, current edition
Yosemite Climbs: The Big Walls, Reid, 1993
Yosemite Climbs: Free Climbs, Reid, 1994
Mount Whitney Guide, Hellweg & Mc Donald, 1990
The Domelands, Moser & Vernon, 1992
The Needles, Moser, Vernon & Paul, 1992
Sequoia Kings Canyon, Moser, Vernon & Hickey, 1993


A Guide to Mountaineering Ropes, Edelrid
Be Expert With Map & Compass, Kjelstrom & Bjorn, 1976
Fifty Classic Climbs of North America, Roper & Allen, 1979 (Sierra Club reprint)
History of Sierra Nevada, Farquhar, UC Press, 1972
Land Navigation Handbook, Kals, Sierra Club, 1983
Exploring the Southern Sierra: East Side, Jenkins, 1995
How to Rock Climb, (series by Long et al)
Sierra Classics, Moynier & Fiddler, 1993


"Rock and Ice"
"The Climbing Art"

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The following is a list of types of Group training activities that are scheduled regularly. They are organized according to the qualifications specialties used. Checklists for many activities are available.

Activity Frequency
Technical Skills
rock skills (aid climbing, jumaring) every year
stretcher class (4 nights) every year
stretcher hut night before each practice
rock stretcher practice (2 at Fossil Falls, 1 at Owens Ridge/Kern Slabs/etc.) 3 each year
ice axe and snow stretcher practice every year
Owens Ridge climbing every year
ice climbing seminar as needed
dynamic belay practice as needed
Search and Tracking:
tracking practice (noon) 10 per year
tracking seminar (weekend) every other year
tracking slides lecture/practice (Note 1)
sign cutting practice (Note 1)
search techniques lecture (Note 1)
search practice (Note 1)
ELT practice (night) every year
Maps and Routes:
map & compass lecture every year
map/compass/mirror practice on peaks as needed
Group Equipment:
equipment/tent hut night every year
radio hut night every year
helitac lecture every year
helitac practice as needed
Organization & Leadership:
Group policies/procedures lecture every year
leader training lecture as needed
search case studies as needed
winter bivouac as needed
Pieps practice (night) as needed
avalanche class lecture as needed
avalanche probe practice as needed

Note 1: This activity will be scheduled in alternate years when the tracking seminar is not scheduled or more often if needed.

return to top Training Committee 18 May 93

On-line JGW 5/99