National Guard and ROTC building yurt in Logan Canyon

Skiers planning a backcountry excursion through Logan Canyon this winter may have the chance to rent the newest yurt being built at Blind Hollow in Logan Canyon.At about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Utah Army National Guard, with the assistance of the Army ROTC, flew in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter to transport approximately 2,000 pounds of equipment that will be used to build a yurt, a Mongolian-style hut, to replace the old one. Paul Bowman, program coordinator for USU’s Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC), said the old yurt was covered with a vinyl skin that has rotted out and been replaced multiple times.”The structure we’re going to have up there now is considerably more heavy duty and longer lasting,” he said.In order to lift the pieces up to the site, Bowman contacted Capt. Michael Rhinehart, the executive officer with the university’s Army ROTC program. Rhinehart said the ROTC sent a request to the Utah Army National Guard, who in turn supported the operation while also supporting ROTC training. He said some cadets participated in an air-assault training this summer, during which they learned how to attach large loads to helicopters for transport.”It worked out really well as a training exercise to put some of the training that the cadets just got this last summer into actual play,” Rhinehart said.Rhinehart said 10 cadets assisted with the operation – some were assigned to the pickup zone to hook up the equipment to the helicopter, while others were assigned to the drop zone to receive the load. On both ends of the operation they also provided security for the area, ensuring that it was safe for pickup and receiving.Bowman said the project went well.”It was good from the word go,” he said. “When I first called the ROTC, I talked to Capt. Rhinehart, who was pretty enthusiastic about it from the beginning.”

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