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Posts Tagged ‘Pointe du Hoc Foundation’

Open Range Service Group Military Mountain and Cold Weather Workshop

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

In late January, Open Range Service Group coordinated the Military Mountain and Cold Weather Workshop, a two day round table workshop designed to bring together Military and DoD personnel with industry leaders in the area of military equipment for cold weather and mountainous operations. Held in Essex, Vermont the location is well known to those in military mountaineering circles. The forum of discussions provided insight on operational requirements based of lessons learned, current technology and future developments to support mission requirements and future needs. Topics covered ranged from advanced fiber technology and materials used for insulation in cold weather protection garments, individual mountain equipment to include stoves, sleep systems and lighting. A third day was dedicated to actual ice climbing training that utilized products discussed in the workshop briefings.

Denali Climb for the Fallen, 2nd Ranger BTN, Open Range Service Group from Marc Womack on Vimeo.

The conference kicked off with a presentation on the Denali Climb for the Fallen by members of the 2nd Ranger Bn and led by Open Range Service Group. This video is a synopsis of the ascent. The group summited Denali on Memorial Day of 2011. This key presentation really set off the tone of the entire event and while the climb was completed under training conditions, the environmental challenges faced by the crew were the same as in combat. This led to excellent observations on kit, nutrition, health and techniques. In later presentations, I was able to make direct correlations back to the initial address which was very helpful considering I had never undertaken a climbing expedition.

I attend a lot of seminars and trade shows and I have to say that this event was well worth my time. The subject matter was poignant and the speakers and attendees were a great mix. There was heavy attendance by military and industry personnel involved in mountain and cold weather ops. I was really impressed with the backgrounds of military and civilians alike and everyone added to the discussion but from different perspectives. While ultimately, everything is based on civilian climbing, different units adopt different techniques and gear at different speeds.

If you have the opportunity to attend one of ORSG’s events in the future, make sure you do it. I can’t think of many conferences where you can talk about new techniques and technologies and then try them out. If it’s even half as good as this one, you won’t be disappointed.

I want to give out a special thanks to my hosts Open Range Service Group and in particular, sponsor Primaloft.

Also, be sure to ask ORSG about their excellent performance t-shirts from New Balance commemorating the Denali Climb for the Fallen. Proceeds from sales of the shirts go to the Pointe du Hoc Foundation.