Wolverines as search and rescue “dogs”: good idea for YOSAR?

large wolvering

The wolverine is an aggressive hunter

Here’s a story that is very different.  How about training wolverines to perform search and rescue?

Wolverines?   What are they? Wikipedia sez:

It is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids. The wolverine, a solitary animal, has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times larger than itself.

Mustelids??   Whatever.  So are we are going to trust them to help people in distress? Read on.

I saw this article in Outside magazine. Oh, I get it free by trading in American Airlines miles for magazines. I only had 8,000 miles – so I’d never get a free trip and before they expired. AA is clearing their books. I guess. Why not just let them expire?

Anyway, there is a man in Anchorage who takes captive-raised wolverines and trains them. They can smell things (like dinner 20 feet below the snow).Why not sniff out people? From birth they are subjected to “operant conditioning“…do and get a reward. Just like our Yorkie!

A downside: when they mark their territory, they let out a pungent odor. Some folks all them “skunk bears.”

Their sense of smell is better than dogs. Wolverines in nature have to be good at detecting prey. Rover just sits around the house waiting for puppy chow.

The breeders are talking to the Alaska Fish and Game department for potential use in avalanches. Maybe Yosemite Search and Rescue, aka YOSAR, may one day employ them. Dogs are used now – but who knows?

Learn more about dogs in search and rescue.

Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Rescue me. Take me in your arms. Rescue me, I want your tender charm. Cause I’m lonely Rescue me” – Fontella Bass
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Half Dome Permit Process – How to improve your odds.

March is THE month to apply for permits for ALL 2017 for the honored right to ascent the famous cables at Half Dome. They have been up since 1919 and are beckoning.

Here’s the way it works. Anytime during March, you apply with up to 7 prioritized dates…you can ask for up to 6 permits. Recreation.gov manages it – not Yosemite.

Men on mountail

Only one way to get up – with a permit

The leader HAS to be on the hike. This prevents scalping. You cannot sell or buy permits. They will tell you in April if you won. Weekdays in June are the highest demand. In fact, over 5,000 people ask for permits then.  So be flexible and go later in the summer.

There is NO advantage to applying early in March – 2 chimpanzees draw the winner from all who  submitted an entry. It’s $4.50 to apply.

The odds are very low of getting a permit. About 40,000 a year go up…..remember 4 million visit Yosemite! 350 are allowed up each day. WAY better than in 2009 when over 1,000 hit the cables on weekends. (Permits began in 2010).

Learn more about it. See our PERMITS tab.

Is there a way to have a better chance?

YES. I’ve been up 41 times and broke the code.  2 summers I did it 5 times each year. Knowledge is good.  So I created a “seminar” video where I spill the beans.

If you missed the 2016 seminar I did on “How to improve your odds of getting a permit,” I recorded it and you can learn the best ways to maximize your chances of snagging a Yosemite Half Dome Permit.  There are no guarantees, but last year MANY used these tactics and won.http://hikehalfdome.com/dome-tshirts-order/

If you’d like to see it, send me an email with YOUR email and I will reply with the link. I’ll ask for $5.00 to  help pay for my Ferrari (not).   Use MrHalfDome @ gmail.com

Want a I made it to the top  Shirt?   Read on!

Go for it.

Half Dome is calling and YOU must go.

Posted in Permits | 2 Comments

Dogs are more than pets. With training they save lives by being “Rescue Dogs”

Most of us know little about the extensive role these canines perform to save folks.

We have a Yorkie who could probably bring a Band-Aid to an injured hiker. YOSAR – Yosemite’s Search and Rescue team uses big dogs … they call them YoDogs.

I wanted to share information provided by Jenny Holt, an advocate for the pups. She provided the following info to help enlighten us on these four-legged friends.  Enjoy this guest blog.

THE WORK OF RESCUE DOGS

Dogs have superior vision, advanced hearing and an incredible sense of smell that is roughly 100 times more powerful than our own. These three factors mean that they’re the perfect candidates to lead search and rescue teams in all kinds of disasters.

Unique Skills

Whether it be natural disasters such as mountain slides in the Himalayas, or man-made catastrophes such as building collapses in New York, dogs are able to assist. They can cover large areas quicker than a human search party, can climb rubble without disturbing it and can even track a victim’s scent through the 40,000 dead skin cells we emit every minute. In fact, it’s estimated that one dog can do the work of thirty humans. A dog’s efficiency doesn’t even depend on whether it’s day or night! Unlike their human counterparts, dogs see well in the dark. In fact, sounds carry better at night which means that they’re more likely to be able to locate a victim by what they hear.

Rescue dogs

Rescue dogs to the rescue!

Photo:  Credit and to learn more:  http://www.particularpaws.com/blogs/news/5-amazing-rescue-dogs/

YoDogs

Whether it’s natural disasters such as mountain slides in the Himalayas, or manmade catastrophes such as building collapses in New York, dogs are able to assist. They can cover large areas quicker than a human search party, can climb rubble without disturbing it and can even track a victim’s scent through the 40,000 dead skin cells we emit every minute. In fact, it’s estimated that one dog can do the work of thirty humans. A dog’s efficiency doesn’t even depend on whether it’s day or night! Unlike their human counterparts, dogs see well in the dark. In fact, sounds carry better at night which means that they’re more likely to be able to locate a victim by what they hear.

Remarkable, aren’t they? 

Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: ” Who let the dogs out? Who, who, who, who?”
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

Posted in News | Leave a comment