Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 3, Page 17
Spring 1992
Alumni Profile; Rescuer scales hill and dale

     The devastating effects of the '89 avalanche in the Breckenridge,
Colo., ski area could be seen for miles. A wide swath of snow covered
everything in the avalanche's path, including seven trapped skiers.
Despite the poor weather conditions and the danger of a secondary snow
slide, Sharon Robinson Dale, Delaware '82, and her co-workers set out
to bring out the casualties.
     For eight years, Dale has been one of 25 year-round volunteers in
the Vail Mountain Rescue Group. Trained to climb up the Colorado
cliffs and down canyons and crevices to rescue lost hunters and
skiers, injured mountain climbers and plane crash victims, the
volunteers are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Dale says the
rescues sometimes involve four- to five-hour walks into the back
country, sometimes through rain or snow.
     An accredited full-time ski instructor of adults and children in
the winter months, Dale teaches disadvantaged youngsters from Chicago
how to backpack in the summers. She traces her love of mountain
climbing and backpacking to one of Delaware's Winter Session outdoor
leadership courses, which she took while studying for her bachelor's
degree in physical education.
     In her spare time, Dale likes to scale mountains. "Mountain
climbing is a whole different experience," she says. "To reach the top
gives me energy for the entire year." To train for a planned climb in
February of the 26,000-foot-high Aconcagua Mountain in Argentina, the
highest mountain in the Western hemisphere, Dale spent an hour every
day, running up stairs with a pack on her back and working out with
weights. "In mountain climbing, physical strength, not total aerobic
fitness, is important," she says.
                                     -Cassandra Lassiter, Delaware '92