Winter here in the Cascade Mountains is always a magical time, but it was a wild start to the season this year in Oregon! New Vision Wilderness (NVW) saw foot upon foot of snow pile up in our beautiful field area and our clients learned new ways to coexist with extreme weather. Each day, they dug snow tunnels and igloos, and NVW devised new systems to maintain the highest level of safety, supervision, and structure for our clients.When Drew, our President, and I met at the trailhead to the field area for snowmobile training and to resupply the groups, we found more than a foot of fresh snow on the ground and rain falling steady. We decided the groups should each hunker down at the closest wall tent so they could dry their gear and have a place to warm up until the storm passed. However, G1, the adolescent girls group, had difficulty making it to their wall tent due to the heaps of new snow. With our Ranger, an on-snow ATV, we moved A1, the young adult group, to the closest campground so G1 could use their already warm and toasty wall tent. After their ride on the Ranger, A1 spent the night in two cozy cabins, complete with warm showers, and gave one graduating student a send-off he would never forget!
With a safe and comfortable, the girls group began the trek toward their new wall tent. Once we piled their packs high on the Ranger and snowmobiles, the girls were happy to make the trek and find their gear delivered right to the front door of the wall tent! When the day was over, the clients had dry gear and a hot meal from their resupply, and were happy to know they had weathered the storm. Darkness had fallen when we all reconvened at the trailhead. Field directors, logistics, field staff on their off-shift, everyone had come together to ensure the clients’ needs were met.
“In how many companies does the President come out to snowmobile supplies out to groups?” asked Andrew, our Executive Director. NVW learned a lot that day about the tenacity of our clients and the strength of our team. Conditions demanded an incredible team effort, but that’s just how the winter started here in Oregon. Since then, the weather has calmed down (we’re even seeing the sun today!) and our groups are in an area with much less snow, but neither NVW nor our clients will forget the lessons we learned this December.