If you’ve ever taken a dive down Mount Hood, chances are you’ve already met Steve Rollins, a rescue leader with Portland Mountain Rescue elite, nearly all–volunteer squad of Mount Hood rescuers. After all, he does have almost a hundred rescues under his well–worn climbing harness.

Even if you’re known as Captain Safety on the icy slopes of Hood or Rainier, it would behoove you (and all climbing enthusiasts) to hike over to Mountain Hardwear’s SW Taylor Street store tomorrow from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., where Rollins will be speaking about mountain rescue, backcountry tips, previous Hood rescues, and other generally terrifying and inspiring stories of survival.

Among the topics on the agenda: the frightening incident in May 2002 when three climbers perished and a rescue chopper rolled a thousand feet down the mountain face; backcountry safety on Hood and comparable peaks; and avoidable mistakes common to survival scenarios.

"I’ll be talking a little about statistics, but mainly I want to focus on the decision–making skills that are so critical to rescue missions," Rollins says.

Rollins, the former president of Portland Mountain Rescue and a twelve–year veteran rescue leader with the organization, has delivered similar lectures to young and old. Just a few weeks back he spoke at a Portland Executives Association dinner at the Benson Hotel, and he has entertained Boy Scout troops with his thrilling tales of mountain heroism.

As an added incentive, the word is that Mountain Hardwear will be donating gear to be raffled off at the event. "When I gave a talk at North Face awhile back, the crowd was small, and nearly everyone got some gear," Rollins claims. "This year, I hope for about thirty people."

Here are the details:

May 19, 2009
Mountain Hardwear
722 SW Taylor St
(503) 226-6868
7 p.m.–8 p.m.

See you there!