Regular Posts Tagged ‘rock rescue’
ACC Rock rescue and Alpine Rock Efficiency
24th May 2011Posted in: Blog 0

Well it is spring….I think…although the forecast this week looks more like monsoon season. Maybe I should be practicing my ark building skills:)

What spring means though, is time to start thinking about summer objectives.  Even though some of those objectives aren’t in shape yet, there is lots you can do in the “off” season to get yourself ready. The past couple weekends I worked some courses for the ACC Calgary section.  The first was a women’s self rescue day at Yam bluffs.

We were blessed with stellar weather and spent the day learning some of the basics of self rescue.  Obviously there is a ton to learn when it comes to rescue systems but trying to tackle them all in one day is futile, because you will only be memorizing systems instead of truly learning why you are doing something.  We focused on escaping belays, ascending ropes, prevention, multipitch efficiency, lowering on a reverso, rappel methods and what to do if you dropped your ATC and ended with a knot passing challenge.

I was really impressed with the group. Everyone came with a lot of skills already and could have been bummed about spending a gorgeous day practicing skills. Instead everyone embraced the information overload and took in as much as they could with smiles on their faces! These are the girls to go climbing with this summer…they’ll get you out of any fix!

This past weekend, I worked an Alpine Rock Efficiency course at Rundle Rock.

We’ve probably all been there…scrambling up something, unroped, and found ourselves in one of those situations where we really wished we had a rope on.  The opposite of that is getting on a Red Rocks classic and being behind 5 of the slowest parties in the world….every person being clipped to 5 different points of their anchor and ropes strewn everywhere.  Sometimes people hesitate to get the rope out because they only know one way to use it…a very time consuming, long pitching 3 point anchor way!  This course focused on those challenging zones in the risk equation…the times when probability of falling is low, but consequence is high, which we find frequently in the alpine.

Efficiency in the mountains means safety.  Learning how to think ahead, manage excess rope, speed up transitions and add terrain and your body to your anchors were just some of the things we covered.

The challenge for me on these courses is the fine line between allowing people to learn without stepping on their toes, balanced with knowing when to step in so that no one gets in over their head!  Even though this can be stressful to do in “real” terrain, it is an essential part of people’s learning that is often not covered or allowed in other courses. Once again great energy from everyone this weekend and I’m looking forward to another one of these courses next weekend and an advanced alpine weekend in a couple weeks where we will actually get out and climb an objective!

If you are interested in any of these courses, please visit the ACC Calgary section website.

And if you are bored of finding animals two by two in the next week, go find yourself a place to hang your rope and practice some skills to make yourself a smarter climber this summer!