Rucking rules

April 24, 2017

Rucking” is the military term for hiking under load. As you can imagine, this is a huge issue for the military, as soldiers must wear body armor and carry weapons, ammo, water, communications equipment, and other gear as they conduct patrols and missions. Rucking performance and injury prevention are hugely important for military operations and personnel.Movement over ground under load is also key for many mountain sports, from dayhiking to backpacking to big mountain alpinism. In reviewing the research the military has already done on this subject, we discovered five rules that are just as applicable to mountain sports as they are to combat operations. Read on to make sure you’re following these military rucking rules on your next backcountry adventure.

1. One pound on your feet equals five pounds on your back.

This old backpacking thumb rule holds true, according to a 1984 study from the U.S. Army Research Institute. They tested how much more energy was expended with different footwear (boots and shoes) and concluded that it take 4.7 to 6.4 times as much energy to move at a given pace when weight is carried on the shoe versus on the torso.

In practical terms, this means you could carry half a gallon more of water (a little over 4 pounds) if you buy boots that are a pound lighter, which isn’t hard to do; and that’s a lot of water. Now imagine the energy savings of backpacking in light trail running shoes rather than heavy, leather backpacking boots over the course of 7-day backpacking trip.

2. One pound on your feet equals 5% more energy expended.

Heavier footwear doesn’t just affect you because of its weight. Heavier boots are stiffer and less responsive as well. This reduces the efficiency of your body’s stretch reflex on hitting the ground.Five percent doesn’t sound like much, though, so how does 5% translate to run times? Well, 5% would slow your mile pace time down by 30 seconds, depending on how long you’re running. But, the faster you attempt to run, the more that 5% will affect your performance.

3. Every 1% of your body weight in your pack makes you six seconds slower per mile.

Carrying weight in your pack isn’t free of cost, though. Each 1% of your body weight carried in your pack makes you 6 seconds slower per mile. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, each 1.5 pounds of weight in your pack slows you by 6 seconds per mile. For a 150-pound hiker, on an extended trip, cutting your pack weight down from 40 to 30 pounds saves you 40 seconds per mile.

4. A 10% grade incline cuts your speed in half.

Grade greatly affects speed. By “grade” we mean how much terrain incline or decline there is. At 10% grade, for example, for every 10 feet you travel forward, you’ll travel 1 foot up. In terms of angles, 10% equals 5.74 degrees. A 5.74 degree angle doesn’t seem like much until you’re humping up it mile after mile. You’ll know how hard it is because you’ll move twice as slowly over it than over flat ground with a given load.

That last little part—with a given load—is important. A 10% grade will cut your speed in half no matter if you’re carrying 45 lbs. or 80 lbs.

5. Going up slows you down twice as much as going down speeds you up.

Don’t believe you’ll make time up on the other side of the hill. You won’t. You’ll only make half the time up.Why don’t you gain as much by running downhill as you lose running up? Braking forces. As you descend, you have to brake your speed with your quads to keep yourself under control. The steeper the downhill, the more braking. This added load on your muscles further affects your uphill performance if you have repeated bouts of up and down work.

Obey signs and dont always trust google maps

January 11, 2017

Skiing and Snowboard lessons at Lake Tahoe

December 18, 2016

Lessons are available from beginners to experts at Squaw Alpine Meadows at Lake Tahoe. They can accommodate any level of experience. Check it out at Alpine Meadows

Dog sledding and sleigh rides available Lake Tahoe

December 18, 2016

Dog sitting in sleigh rides are available through Squaw Valley this winter. 1 hour dog sledding tours with racing teams. Guest ride in a four-person sled moving about 13 miles per hour through the door. Book this through Resort at Squaw Creek. 

I word from  the Lyon County sheriff in Nevada on the new gun background checks and recreational marijuana. Be aware!

November 27, 2016

​Sheriff’s Message, Week of November 20th                       
Community Friends,
An old adage wrongfully attributed to Winston Churchill states a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. What he did say was “For myself I am an optimist—it does not seem to be much use being anything else….” A life filled with optimism produces less life stresses, which has shown to prevent chronic disease, and helped people live longer, happier, and more productive lives. The recent election results, regardless of the chosen candidate or ballot question has produced many pessimists on both sides; I however, have chosen to be an optimist.
In a civil case that originated in Moundhouse over a denied gun sale to a medical marijuana card holder, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in September of this year that the marijuana card applicant was not allowed to purchase the gun from the dealer, and the dealer was right in denying the sale. This is a very liberal court; however, they have established case law in that no firearm transfers can be made to marijuana users.
The ATF is updating their background check form to include a warning that medicinal and recreational use of marijuana is illegal for gun transfers. Sometime in January 2017, a new ATF form will be used with the new warning. Our new state law mandates transfer background checks, in which firearm buyers have to answer questions, including the marijuana question. Answer truthfully and the transfer is denied; lie on the question and they could be prosecuted for a federal crime; transfer the gun without a background check conducted by a licensed FFL dealer, it is a gross misdemeanor under the new state law.
We are working with our District Attorney’s Office in the development of a county ordinance for vehicle marijuana prohibitions, similar to the open alcohol container laws. If approved by our commissioners, the ordinance can be enacted long before our state legislature can pass a law to help improve road safety.
The provision in the new law prohibiting marijuana cultivation within a 25 mile radius around retail marijuana establishments is causing concern in group of marijuana growers. In fact, they are already talking about passing another petition to eliminate the 25 mile rule. We believe county zoned retail marijuana establishments can stabilize crime rates by minimizing home invasions and burglaries associated with home grows and stored cash from illegal sales through regulated and controlled cultivation facilities and retail establishments.
There has been some citizens asking us to retire our K-9, Deputy Bo because of the new marijuana law. Deputy Bo is trained for the detection of marijuana, and we still need him in our schools detecting marijuana products to help deter the drug from coming on campuses. Marijuana is still illegal for person under 21 to possess, he can assist us in other criminal investigations, and he is more than just a drug do; he is a dog that can apprehend criminals and help protect our deputies on the street. We will not be retiring him.
And finally, one of our local manufacturing companies, Trex, recently donated $5,000 to the Lyon Sheriff Advisory Council (LSAC) in support of our canine program. We wanted to thank them for their support in helping to make our community stronger and safer.
As always, keep the faith.
Al

Search and rescue around tahoe

November 18, 2016
  

After running from law enforcement, the SAR team rescued two suspects.Running from law esubjects who suffered hypothermia and other cold related illnesses. Photo/Provided

After running from law enforcement, the SAR team rescued two suspects who suffered from hypothermia. Photo/Provided

By Kathryn Reed

Inappropriate clothing and shoes, no plan for if things go wrong, and unrealistic expectations that a cell phone will reach help that is nearby.

This is increasingly what search and rescue teams with El Dorado County are finding. It’s the result of more people in the woods and so many of them being unprepared. The movie “Wild” has helped perpetuate the idea that inexperienced hikers will survive.

This fall two women had to be rescued near Cascade Falls because they weren’t prepared for the storm that came in even though forecasters had been talking about it for days. They said they didn’t know about the pending storm and thought spandex leggings would be sufficient. They got disoriented and told rescuers they were going to die. They didn’t – thanks to volunteers who brought them back to safety.

That’s a routine call.

The number of calls El Dorado County search and rescue crews go on has doubled since 2010. In 2015, EDSO SAR was called 89 times. (That doesn’t mean they went out each time.) In the first 10 months of 2016, SAR has been called 130 times. Most of those people don’t live in the area.

Training is necessary to keep the team sharp. Photo/Provided

Training is necessary to keep the team sharp. Photo/Provided

“People are coming to the area without physical fitness or the experience to recreate safely,” sheriff’s Deputy Greg Almos told Lake Tahoe News.

Almos runs the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department SAR program. It’s made up about 30 volunteers in Tahoe; of those about a dozen are active on a regular basis.

Eagle Falls is where they go to the most; with twisted ankles a routine issue. Many people are less than a mile from the trailhead. Their lack of fitness contributes to the initial injury and then not being able to make it out, Almos said. The altitude and weather are other contributing factors.

The veteran SAR leader is an advocate for getting people outdoors, but he also believes there needs to be responsibility and common sense. This means education before getting on the trail.

A hiker who suffered a foot injury this summer at Eagle Falls is carried to the trailhead. Photo/Provided

A hiker who suffered a foot injury this summer at Eagle Falls is carried to the trailhead. Photo/Provided

People go for day hikes without bringing another layer for when the temperatures in the mountains drop. They don’t have packs with the essentials – like enough water, food, a flashlight, even a map. Nor do they have a plan in case they don’t make it out.

“It’s amazing how many people I talk to when I discuss a save your life plan over the phone and they cannot fathom why we are not there. When I say it will take several hours to get there and that they need to make preparations to survive, and I tell them what to expect and say it could be four hours, I get arguments,” Almos said. “After 20 minutes they call to say ‘where are you?’ I ask them how long it took to get to the top of Tallac. They say six hours. I’ve had people straight up say where is the helicopter. This isn’t Uber. People have a hard time understanding that.”

Then there are the times when people don’t know where they are. It’s getting harder to trace cell phone numbers because of privacy laws. Search warrants can sometimes be obtained after the fact. That is why dispatchers ask for consent to track people’s phones.

The helicopter arrives to transport a lost person from Maggies Peak in February. Photo/Provided

The helicopter arrives to transport a lost person from Maggies Peak in February. Photo/Provided

A relatively new phenomenon searchers have been dealing with is “meet-up groups.” These are Internet-based groups where random people meet for a certain activity. They aren’t abiding by the basic protocols of hiking at the speed of the slowest person and making sure everyone returns to the trailhead.

“We are getting people who are leaving people out there. This is an epidemic I think we are going to see an awful lot more of,” Almos said.

Descriptions of what they were wearing or looked like are often vague.

Compounding the problem is friends and relatives back home who might call to report the person overdue often don’t know where the person was exactly going or with whom.

About a dozen of these calls are now happening annually.

Nothing is routine, and it’s not unusual for rescues to require technical skills – especially at Lover’s Leap and the cliff area at Vikingsholm. Climbers get stuck.

Their rescuers aren’t getting paid. Search team members provide their own gear.

It’s not unusual in the busy summer season to get back-to-back calls. Sometimes they are on a call for consecutive days. They receive training, but they all come to the “job” with a love for the outdoors and a desire to help others.

All of the volunteer search and rescue members are on-the-ground team. There is the management team that runs the command post and sets up the coordination, a Nordic team, snowmobile group, mountain rescue unit that handles extreme weather backcountry cases, and K-9 teams. The West Slope has an equestrian group and OHV.

And the people they rescue are not charged a dime.

Tahoe  Flume and rim trail map

November 18, 2016

Washoe County search and rescue 2 On Top Flume Trail

November 17, 2016

Last week two people while hiking on the Tahoe Flume Trail got scared when it became dark. They called Washoe County search and rescue to meet with them at mile marker 7 on The Flume Trail to help them back down to the road. At the road they were met by over that took them back to their car.
When they went hiking they didn’t have the proper clothing or lighting and their cell phone was being used as a flashlight.
Washoe County search and rescue is only too happy to help people that get into a jam while visiting are wonderful Backcountry area.
Many things to Washoe County search and rescue which is an all-volunteer search team based out of Washoe County.

A message from a sheriff in Nevada

November 14, 2016

​Sheriff’s Message, Week of November 6th                       
Community Friends,
We are happy to report that there were no known issues throughout the county on Election Day. Additionally, there has been no active protesting in our county, unlike the urban cities portraying actions of a third world country. While many of you are glad the election is over, its aftermath began the day after. Our phones blew up with individuals wanting to know about the law and marijuana licenses. One person even wanted his marijuana and pipe back, now that it is legal. He did not get it back.
On January 1st, anyone 21 years of age or older can legally smoke or consume marijuana. Lyon County is now mandated to have at least two retail marijuana stores, and every residence in the county, including the cities of Fernley and Yerington can grow up to 12 plants unless they are within 25 miles of a retail marijuana store. There are some restrictions on growing marijuana at the home, so growers will have to read the law to ensure compliance.
The LCSO will be advocates for retail stores to cover the entire populated county so no one can grow in the home under the 25 mile rule, thus forcing all users to purchase government over-sighted marijuana. Oops, guess some of those people should have read the entire law before voting for it. We will also reaffirm our work place policy prohibiting marijuana use. Under the new law, ALL employers may establish a similar policy prohibiting employees from using marijuana. Oops, more of those voters didn’t read that part either. So for those unemployed non-users, or non-users seeking a better job, higher pay and better benefits, be patient because new job opportunities may be available after January 1st.
We began staffing a marijuana transition policy for our deputies this week. We need legislators to enhance NRS 484B.150, the open alcohol container in a vehicle law, to include marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia. The new law is extremely vague and weak on driving and using, and should include vehicle passengers. It will be illegal to smoke or consume marijuana in public places. We will write the $600 ticket for each violation seen, and we will do the best we can when we catch those under 21 with marijuana, marijuana concentrates (edibles) and marijuana paraphernalia.
The gun background check law also go into effect on January 1st. This is a very confusing and poorly written law even for us. I won’t tell you the loop holes in how to bypass this new law, which there are many. Expect in the near future another ballot proposal similar to California’s Prop 63 that just passed, aimed at closing these loop holes. This is how the anti-2nd Amendment groups chip away at our Bill of Rights, and sadly, many sheep continue to follow along. Nonetheless, to be safe, if you sell your gun to someone outside of your immediate family, have the sale go through a FFL dealer. The LCSO is not going to put much emphasis or resources into enforcement of this expanded law. We have other priorities.
And finally on a positive note, we did graduate Deputies Johnson and Greenhut from the Category I POST Academy after 16 weeks of training. They now begin their patrol training, another 12 weeks of training before they can work by themselves. Congratulations to both!
As always, keep the faith.
Al

Tahoe fire restriction still on.

September 7, 2016

​@LakeTahoeUSFS: Fire danger at Tahoe remains a concern and fire restrictions are still in effect. Read more https://t.co/run1V21aXw/s/B_3D. https://t.co/KGjVuG59Od/s/GHXs