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Crampon

Climbing Rangers .............................

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Just an ignorant question here.......

 

What gear do climbing rangers carry, whether it be style of crampon, or packs, perhaps anything that makes their job easier on a routine rescue of an injured climber.

 

Does the park sevice supply some stuff, or what are the things they have the option to supply themselves....stuff like that I mean.

 

And final question......What are the minimal qualifications for this area of service within the NPS?........Are they Paramedics, or are they just Emts and so forth.

 

And their climbing qualifications, and how you go about qualifying as one.

 

I have spoken to several people, and we all share the same inquiry......And would like to know who it is that makes decisions whether we live or die....Sorta speak.

 

Thanks

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As far as becoming a ranger at RNP, you almost always start off as a full time volunteer. If you are a climbing ranger, you will generally work 8 on, 6 off. 2 of those days are spent in the climbing office, a few more are spent up at Camp Muir, and then you spend a few days doing a patrol of the mountain (a climb).

 

The park provides free housing while you are on your shift.

They generally give a $10/day or so stipend.

 

They also provide jackets to use while you work there.

 

I also know they usually pack light.

 

I'm not sure, but I think it is suggested that you are WFR certified.

 

It's kind of a totem pole type of thing. You start out volunteering for the first year or two, then gradually work your way up the ladder.

 

I'd suggest doing it. I know a few people who did/ are doing it this year and they seem to like it. I plan on doing it next summer. Talk to the park earlier rather than later.

 

Hope that helps a little.

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Just an ignorant question here.......

 

... And would like to know who it is that makes decisions whether we live or die ... .

 

That's your decision, not theirs.

 

Really.

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The park provides free housing while you are on your shift.

They generally give a $10/day or so stipend.

 

At Rainier: Housing is not free. Seasonal quarters at Longmire run over $200/mo for a shared room. Also, as of a few years back there was no per diem stipend.

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I give applause to the Climbing Rangers for their job of dealing with the public and public errors on the mountain. I've seen them in action and would like to say they do an outstanding job on Rainier!! smile.gifMountainMarty

Edited by mountainmarty

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The park provides free housing while you are on your shift.

They generally give a $10/day or so stipend.

 

At Rainier: Housing is not free. Seasonal quarters at Longmire run over $200/mo for a shared room. Also, as of a few years back there was no per diem stipend.

 

You might want to recheck your references.

 

While you are working (the 8 days that you are on, you can get housing there. I know one guy who is staying at the old visiter center in Paradise in a dorm room.

 

As for the stipend, they do get it.

 

Whatever though, not a big deal either way.

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Cramps,

You might try shooting a PM to Mike_Gauthier. He is, after all, the Lead Climbing Ranger at MRNP... and an all around really nice guy.

I'm sure he could point you in the right direction with all kinds of great info and stuff. That is, if he isn't out rescuing someone right now.

 

 

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The park provides free housing while you are on your shift.

They generally give a $10/day or so stipend.

 

At Rainier: Housing is not free. Seasonal quarters at Longmire run over $200/mo for a shared room. Also, as of a few years back there was no per diem stipend.

 

You might want to recheck your references.

 

While you are working (the 8 days that you are on, you can get housing there. I know one guy who is staying at the old visiter center in Paradise in a dorm room.

 

As for the stipend, they do get it.

 

Whatever though, not a big deal either way.

 

Perhaps you are talking about volunteers, of which I don't know anything.

I was a climbing ranger from 1995-1999, and have worked intermittently for Mike G. w/the climbing program during the winter on a few occasions since then. We always paid, and paid well, for our housing. In fact Chad Kellogg and I paid over $200/month to room together in a rodent-infested closet in the basement of the Jackson Visitor center one summer.And we never received any sort of stipend. Perhaps that has changed, but I'm in frequent contact with Mike and am friends with several of the current staff and haven't heard anything of it. VIP's may have a different situation though.

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Crampon:

 

The entry level grade for "Park Ranger" as a climbing ranger is usually GS-05, which requires a 4 year college degree. At the time I worked there, there was no official medical training requirement, but this may have changed, and in any case it is strongly recommended (both by the park, and by me...) that you go for a WFR at minimum. Climbing rangers deal with some very advanced trauma incidents along with occasional altitude problems. Not only that, it's not uncommon to get involved in lower mountain incidents such as vehicle wrecks, visitors having heart/asthma issues, on and on. If you are really interested in emergency medicine, then go for the WEMT, and you will almost certainly get to use it.

As for climbing qualifications, I think this is a gray area, but certainly prior Rainier experience and/or a demonstrated experience at altitude on other peaks should be considered a minimum. You'll need to have a climbing resume in order. Obviously, the ability to demonstrate proficient use with ice axe, crampons, and technical glacier travel skills including crevasse rescue is also expected, as is a high level of physical fitness.

The park does provide high angle SAR training each year, so prior proficiency with complicated, technical roped rescue techniques is helpful but not expected.

My experience is that there are rescuers who are short on climbing skills, and then there are climbers short on rescue skills. Generally, I would expect the latter will be favored in the hiring process.\

The rangers are issued all technical climbing gear: axes, crampons, boots, harnesses, helmets, hardware, screws, pickets, etc. Clothing issued also includes jackets, pants, capilene and gaitors. Also issued are backpacks, first aid kits, headlamps, shovels, beacons, you name it. It wasn't always like this! The rangers, but more importantly the public, have Mike Gauthier most of all to thank for getting the park to budget for these items a number of years back.

When I started work at Rainier, the SAR cache was an abomination. The gear which was not already broken was at least 15 years old or more and long past its usefulness. Climbing rangers generally used (and abused) their own gear while on duty and while earning low wages. This has all changed.

Typical summit climb packs for the rangers would be a basic 1st aid kit, all personal clothing plus extra warm layers (for victims), pickets, extra water, extra food and lots of webbing for rigging. Light enough to climb fast, but enough gear to initiate a rudimentary rescue and treat moderate injuries on the spot. Obviously it's not practical to be climbing around kitted out for a full trauma incident, that's when helicopters and extra ground support get involved.

Hope this helps.

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That was awesome W, thanks alot, really painted a good picture for me.

 

Thanks for taking out the time and explaining it to me.

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