Searchers with the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group are putting their rescue skills to the test this morning during a training session in Chugach State Park.
About 20 veteran and rookie searchers will meet at the Upper Huffman trail head off Sultana Drive at 10:30 a.m.
Then they'll be given a scenario to follow, said longtime group member Bill Romberg. Romberg said his role will be to help advise newer group members during the training, which is expected to last four to six hours.
For now, only one or two organizers know what to expect, Romberg said.
"That's a mystery. And that's on purpose," he said. "I don't even know what it is, actually."
Alaska State Troopers often call on the rescue group for help locating people lost, injured or stranded in the backcountry, or to recover bodies.
The nonprofit volunteer group conducts about 50 searches a year, troopers said.
During the early stages of a search-and-rescue effort, the troopers will often only have a few pieces of information for the searchers, Romberg said. The team needs to know how to work step-by-step to find a person, treat any injuries in the field and bring them to safety, he said.
The group is gearing up for winter, when snow sports enthusiasts head to the mountains and, sometimes, end up needing help getting out, Romberg said. Still, fall is a busy time of year for the rescuers, he said.
"In the transition season, right now, people tend to get surprised and get into trouble," Romberg said.