So I've now officially been in Colorado for a year now. We arrived a year ago, to the day. Looking back, I'm glad we made the decision to come out. This place is everything I've thought it could be, and more. Probably the biggest part of my life that I left back in Pennsylvania was the Fire Department and the Urban Search and Rescue Team. I had a lot of time and energy invested in that, and I miss the service. Much of the Volunteer fire companies around here involve a serious time commitment, which usually involves staffing the station. Something I just don't want to commit to around here, especially living so far away from a station. The area that I live in now is staffed by a career department. With that in mind, I have begun looking elsewhere, locally to apply some of the knowledge I've gained. I ran across the Alpine Rescue Team. It's something I've wanted to become a member of, but wasn't sure if I could until I moved more into the "mountains." After visiting one of their training session, it seems like it may be more of a possibility than I thought. Only problem is they seem to have the opposite problem facing most volunteer companies in Pennsylvania; too much interest. As a way to combat that, they only open up to new members once every 2 years, and from the 30+ applicants, select 8-12 people. Everyone gets interviewed, and then you go through a "training course." I look forward to it, should I be accepted.
On a somewhat "Alpine" related topic, tomorrow and Tuesday are the final days of the Altitude Mountain Sickness study I am involved in. Talking with the staff there, I found out that I'll be locked in the chamber with Climber and Mountaineer Pete Takeda. I will admit that before I found out about this, I didn't really know who they guy was. I recall the name vaguely, probably from articles I've read here and there. Well, as you can see from his website, he's well published, and his most recent has one some awards. I figured since I was going to spend 12+ hours in a small chamber with him, I'd read his book and have something to talk about with him.
As far as the book goes, I'd give it two thumbs up. I don't read much, especially "stories," fiction or non. Most of the stuff I read are often technical books related to the computing industry. This book has inspired me to do otherwise. I truly enjoyed it. So much so that I went out and bought another(similar) book at the bookstore tonight. The reviews of Mr. Takeda's book, An Eye at the Top of the world, are accurate. It is well written, and keeps you locked into his story. It's hard to believe that the people went as far as placing nuclear powered device on top of some of the worlds tallest mountains. Maybe its hindsight, but it just doesn't seem to intelligent to me. After reading his story, I look forward to spending some time with him, though I'm not certain its anything he may enjoy talking about, we'll see. The story has really inspired me to want to peruse some more technical mountaineering skills though. Its just a matter of finding people to go with, as its certainly not something to do alone. Also involves a little more gear acquisition too.