Saturday, June 2, 2012

Week 3 at Mount Rushmore

Standing on Lincoln's head, clipped in to the harness
and safety line.

This past week was filled with lots of climbing!  In the beginning of the week I hiked up to the top of the mountain with LE Ranger Steve Wollman and Interpretation Ranger Blaine Kortemeyer; both are on the Ropes Team here at Mount Rushmore.  We were going up to set the safety line for the fiber optics rock monitoring project that will be taking place next week.  Safety is always a number one concern within the parks, especially when it involves climbing and walking on top of the heads.  The safety line’s function is to have a solid line to hook into while walking near the edge of the heads.  This ensures that in the chance you would lose your footing, you would not fall down the mountain.  While being on the Memorial we were wearing the proper climbing gear with extra carabineers, helmets, and were always clipped in to the safety line.  It was yet another exciting view of the faces that most people do not have the privilege to see.  I look forward to continuing to help with the rock monitoring project next week!      

Putting on the climbing harness.

Part of the safety line.

I have also been working on completing the S-130 online fire course; I am hoping to be finished with it by sometime next week so I can participate in the pack test and field day.  While doing some work in the ranger station, my supervisor, Brad Eggers, asked me to catalog the violation notices to be sent to the Central Violations Bureau.  They must keep an accurate record of the number and type of violations that have been issued.  This was helpful for me to get a better grasp of the common violations that take place in the park.  Some typical violations include speeding, drug related offenses, and failure to have valid driver’s license and/or vehicle insurance.

One of the tricky sections climbing to the
 top of Mt. Baldy.

Thursday was another day spent hiking on the mountain.  Myself and LE Ranger Ed Belmore hiked to the top of the Memorial and then down the other side.  We continued with about a four mile back country hike to Mount Baldy which is within the park boundary.  Mount Baldy is a little over 5,500 feet high and offers some challenging rock climbing in order to reach the top.  But the struggle is well worth the view; on a clear day you can see Rapid City which is about 25 miles away.  I will not be getting tired of the spectacular views out here any time soon!
Friday ended the week with another hike to the top of the Memorial to continue some security work. I also spent a few hours walking around the viewing platforms and trail getting some exposure to visitor questions and comments.  It is great to see the enthusiasm on the faces of the visitors as they enter the park and see the Memorial for the first time!
ProRanger Erin Langeheine

1 comment:

  1. Climbing rocks could be a great defense against the zombie apocalyps!