Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dam Rappelling

It's not every day I find the Altadena Mountain Rescue Rescue Team rappelling from the Devil's Gate Dam. But there they were Wednesday as twilight was coming on.

I let them rappel (wasn't that nice of me?) and they let me take photos. When they were finished, they answered my questions. I hadn't known before that to become a member of the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team you must first become a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy as well as an EMT.

Wow. I'd heard it was an all-volunteer organization, but let's be clear: these guys are volunteer heroes.

And not just guys. The deputy leaning over the dam is a woman, and so is the trainee in this photo. It was her first rappel ever, and she was already a pro.

The Altadena Mountain Rescue Team has its own website at, but I couldn't get it to load. How much does that matter? Do they have to be techies when they've got so much else going for them?

You can see a cool rappel from a helicopter in this video of the Rescue Team.
I shot the trainee's full rappel, and those photos are at Overdog.


USelaine said...

When I first saw the thumbnail, I thought you posted a traffic accident - car at angle to railing, touches of red, doors open...

Bibi said...

At first I thought you didn't approve of the rappellers and had meant "Damn rappelling"! Then my spellcheck clicked in! Good action shot!

marley said...

Never mind volunteering, you couldn't pay me enough to do that! Ropes, heights and the potential to fall! No thanks! Thank goodness for people like them :)

Jim said...

Yep, true heros. So many of us wouldnt have the nerve to do that for fun, must less do it trying to save someones life. Great photos.

Petrea said...

I can see it, u.s.e. Especially because it looks like someone had a bonfire in the dam basin--smoke stains, lower right.

Ha! Bibi, I very much approve of these rappellers because I'm a hiker. When I'm not being lazy. When it's not too hot. Or too cold.

Marley, Jim, I thought the same thing--most of us wouldn't want to try. Although with ropes and three good coaches, I believe I'd love to rappel off the dam!

Dina said...

Good for them! Good for us you just happened to be there to photograph.
Your interview over at Overdog is wonderful. I appreciate the eye-to-eye contact from your lovely portrait.

freefalling said...

I saw you last night!!
There I was, all these miles from you, cozied up in front of the fire in my pj's on a freezing cold night, and this face came on the tv.
It was an instant knowing.
Not a surprise recognition, but a "yes, I know that person".
It was weird!!!
It was only a glimpse but I knew straight away, it was you.

Petrea said...

Dina, one great thing about the internet is you meet wonderful people. The lousy thing about it is you don't get to hug them.

I feel the same way about you, freefalling. I wonder what you were watching? But alas, they're all brief...