Crevasse Rescue Clinic

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Summary

This clinic is a brief overview of the methods to do a crevasse rescue drill either for those who plan to travel on 3-4 person rope teams and wish to be less of a liability (basic crevasse rescue), or wish to gain further understanding of crevasse rescue by learning additional skills for more situations (advanced crevasse rescue). These skills are one of the key learning objectives discussed on our Glacier School trip.

For some participants, they may be seeing this system for the first time, or reviewing skills taught on previous instructional courses (for basic crevasse rescue). For the advanced crevasse rescue clinic, we ask that participants have either taken Glacier School G1 before, have attended a basic crevasse rescue clinic, and feel confident running the simplest drill. Due to time constraints, we will ask that participants of both clinics are familiar with the following knots/hitches: -prussik hitch, -clove hitch, -munter-mule-overhand combination (MMO), -alpine butterfly or Figure 8 on bight. *Note: if you are not familiar with these knots/hitches, you can schedule a knots/hitches session with me prior to the clinic 45 minutes ahead of the clinic start time.*

The clinic generally will last approximately 2.5 hours, and will discuss briefly how to place snow anchors, in addition to running the crevasse rescue drill. **NOTE: THE CREVASSE RESCUE DRILL IS A FUNDAMENTAL MEANS OF RESCUE WHEN TRAVELING ON GLACIERS. WITHOUT THIS SKILL LEARNT AND POLISHED, YOU ARE A LIABILITY TO YOUR TEAMMATES WHEN TRAVELING IN GLACIATED MOUNTAIN TERRAIN.** The itinerary below discusses what skills will be taught in each clinic, and how the clinic will be structured.

    • NOTE: THIS COURSE IS MERELY A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF A SPECIFIC, COMPLEX SKILL TAUGHT IN OUR MOUNTAINEERING CURRICULUM. BY NO MEANS DOES IT SUBSTITUTE AS A REPLACEMENT FOR G1, AS G1 DISCUSSES MANY ADDITIONAL SKILLS THAT REDUCE YOUR RISK WHEN MOVING IN GLACIATED MOUNTAIN TERRAIN. IT DOES HOWEVER PROVIDE A SKILLSET INTO WHICH YOU WILL BE LESS OF A LIABILITY ON TRIPS WHERE YOU CAN LEARN THESE SKILLS, SUCH AS BEGINNER-ORIENTED MOUNTAINEERING TRIPS.**

Itinerary

Basic Crevasse Rescue Clinic

  • 1st 15 mins: Meet at clubroom and obtain any necessary gear (snow picket, rope, harness, ice axe, etc).
  • 30 mins in: Meet atop Wreck Beach stairs (Trail 6 to Wreck Beach). If you already have your own equipment for crevasse rescue, please meet us here 30 minutes after the official start time of the clinic.
  • 1 hour in: Discuss equipment necessary for crevasse rescue/why crevasse rescue is a necessary skill.
  • 1 hr, 10 mins in: Demonstrate simple snow anchors (placement and connectivity)
  • 1 hr, 30 mins in: Demonstrate simplest form of crevasse rescue drill, with co-instructor and instructor commentary.
  • 1 hr, 45 mins in: Allow participants to practice crevasse rescue drill.
  • 2 hrs, 30 mins in: Regroup, debrief, and pack up equipment. Option for additional debrief and discussion at nearby pub.

Advanced Crevasse Rescue Clinic

  • 1st 15 mins: Meet at clubroom and obtain any necessary gear (snow picket, rope, harness, ice axe, etc).
  • 30 mins in: Meet atop Wreck Beach stairs (Trail 6 to Wreck Beach). If you already have your own equipment for crevasse rescue, please meet us here 30 minutes after the official start time of the clinic.
  • 1 hour in: Discuss scenarios where the simplest form of crevasse rescue drill fails. Point out why we need to learn advanced skills.
  • 1 hr, 10 mins in: Demonstrate a few scenarios where the most simple crevasse rescue drill does not apply: -middle person falls in, -two person rescue. Introduce new techniques such as: -advanced haul systems (5:1 or 6:1), passing knots; both which are applicable to these scenarios.
  • 1 hr, 40 mins in: Allow participants to practice either: -2 person rescues or -middle person falls in. If time, allow time to practice both.
  • 2 hrs, 30 mins in: Regroup, debrief, and pack up equipment. Option for additional debrief and discussion at nearby pub.

Schedule

  • 1st and 3rd Thursday afternoons/evenings: Basic crevasse rescue clinic.
  • 2nd and 4th Thursday afternoons/evenings: Advanced crevasse rescue clinic.

Note: see the Trip Agenda for updates: http://www.ubc-voc.com/tripagenda/upcoming.php

Gear

  • Climbing harness
  • 2 prussik cords
  • Anchor-building material: slings and cordelettes. I prefer to run the drill with 2 48" slings and 2 cordelettes (18' lengths of 6-7mm cord)
  • 5 locking carabiners
  • 6 non-locking carabiners
  • Mountaineering ice axe
  • Climbing rope (50-70m single rope)*
  • Snow pickets*
  • Additional tools that make the drill easier or possible for 2-person rescue (optional tools for crevasse rescue)*

Note: Everything with a * on the end denotes group gear that will be provided by instructors. If traveling on a glacier, it is expected that you will have this gear within your group, but for the sake of this clinic, it will be provided by your instructors.*