Summary of 2011 Activities
In 2011, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group (RMRG) had another busy year, although the above average snow in the high peaks and wet spring at lower elevations delayed the busy season of rescues by a month or more. RMRG responded to 146 calls. Climbing related persons in distress (mountain climbing, rock climbing and scrambling) were down slightly from last year (less scramblers in 2011). By land management jurisdiction, 2011 was the year of averages. City of Boulder Parks and Open Space, National Forest (outside of Indian Peaks Wilderness) and (non Rocky Mountain National Park) Out of County calls for 2011 were identical to their annual averages over the previous five year period. [Those are not typos on the 2011 Operations Summary (PDF)]
In 2011 RMRG used bolts or pitons on a rescue for the first time in decades. During 2011 RMRG placed bolts or pitons on three rescues where the use of natural protection or nuts or cams was not possible. The bolt placements occurred in high alpine environments while the piton placements occurred on icy vertical rock terrain in Boulder Mountain Parks and Open Space. Somewhat out of the ordinary, RMRG completed approximately 6 miles of scree evacuation, almost twice the recent annual average. The number of scree evacuations in 2011 was less than the average. Thus, there were several rescues in 2011 with unusually long scree evacuations. [Members, do more push ups!!].
RMRG also contributed 1000's of hours of time in assisting the Boulder County Sherriff's office in preparation for response into flash flooding in Four Mile Canyon. Consequences of a severe wild fire in 2010 increased flash flooding hazard in the area. RMRG established evacuation routes for local residents, pre-planned evacuation routes and responded to at least 3 calls during a flash flood event.
In March, RMRG published the Yellow Spur Rope Failure Investigation, documenting a fatal 2010 climbing accident.
In August members of RMRG and Alpine Rescue Team travelled to the Grand Teton National Park to assist in the filming of "The Grand Rescue," a documentary based on the famous 1967 Grand Teton North Face rescue. RMR and Alpine supplied historical cable rescue equipment and technical assistance for the filming.