The Iron Fist of Preparation...

The Iron Fist of Preparation...

Friday, March 23, 2012

 The Situation #1:

You and your climbing partner just finished climbing a relatively straightforward multi pitch climb, and now you’re ready to descend. The length of the route wasn’t excessively long, and it had bolted rap anchors the whole way down. Nothing about this day seemed out of the ordinary.
Your partner goes on rappel and  gets about 60 ft below you, when all of a sudden a rock crashes down and strikes your partner on the head. She had backed her rappel up with an autobloc, so she is hanging on the ropes beneath you, unconscious.

The ropes are tensioned. You are at the anchor, and need to get down these tensioned lines, pick off your partner, descend to the next anchor, pull the ropes and continue down the route to where medical assistance may or may not be on its way, depending on your location and cell phone reception.

Do You know how:
  •  To pick off a casualty in descent?
  •  You would get out of this situation with 2 pieces of prusik cord on you?
  • You would do it with only 1 small piece of p-cord that you were planning on using for your autobloc backup?
  • You would manage this without any p-cord?
  •  To manage a casualty in the most efficient manner, through transitions on multi-pitch rappels?

How would your strategy change if:
  • Your partner were significantly larger than you?
  • Your partner did not back up the rappel and descended to the bottom of the rope’s stopper knots, well below the next rappel anchor?

If the answers to these questions don’t come to mind immediately, don’t feel ashamed, or even try to hide it. 

Recognize that there may be holes in your technical skills that can easily be remedied. 

The mission of the Technical Rescue Instruction Project is to help climbers recognize plausible circumstances in which they might not be prepared in their emergency response planning, and provide a venue for them to gain the necessary skills to potentially save lives.

If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved, email

Thank you for reading this blog,
Scott Archibald 
Managing Director
Technical Rescue Instruction Project, Inc.

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