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eternalX

2 member rope team on glacier

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Is there anything extra that might be nice to have around if your rope team is only two members? I was thinking that it might be nice for both members to have two pickets, whereas right now we have it that the lead has two and the tail has one. We're bringing the talkabouts too, which we wouldn't normally bring.

 

 

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since the lead guy is going to be testing the waters, doesn't it make sense for the second to have two pickets?

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But doesn't the leader need two pickets for crossing unstable snow bridges? one before and one after? Or do you figure that if the leader doesn't fall then the tail should be fine? We'll make sure to put the fatter one up front!

 

 

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I don't bother placing pickets until someone falls in. Or to belay across something extremely sketchy. Otherwise you're probably wasting a lot of time on anything bigger than a snowcone.

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the big deal about 2 man rope teams on glacier is that if one person falls in a crevasse the other guy really has his hands full. it's really hard to put a picket in at the same time you're holding the fall in a self arrest postion. if you don't think so try it with simulation some time.

 

one thing some people do is each person carry a second tool. this can be *a little* easier for the holder to make a quick anchor out of, and the person in the crevasse can use two tools to climb out.

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I think I read in a recent mag that the AAI or someone thinks that it is a good idea to tie a hitch every ten feet or something like that inbetween your partner and yourself which will create friction on the lip of the crevasse if someone does fall in

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scot'teryx said:

I think I read in a recent mag that the AAI or someone thinks that it is a good idea to tie a hitch every ten feet or something like that inbetween your partner and yourself which will create friction on the lip of the crevasse if someone does fall in

 

and make it harder to prussik or haul out, try untying knot when weighted....

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Dru said:

a knife shocked.gif

 

And Simon Yates should be a critical component as your partner for a two man rope team, looking for some extreme alpine adventure.

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I recall reading that tying butterfly knots, maybe 3 or 4 evenly spaced between climbers, was a good idea. They can catch on the crevasse lip and reduce the length of the fall.

 

Also consider leaving enough rope coiled in/on you pack to set up a z-pulley if necessary (tie in 15 or 20 feet short and coil the remaining end.) Some like to leave enough rope to rap down to an injured climber and administer first aid if necessary (fine with a 50 or 60 meter rope), but you can also plan to descend the tensioned rope with prussiks or ascenders if you're prepared and practice it.

 

Consider tossing in a cell phone or CB radio, but think long and hard before turning it on. Sometimes a call to say you're safe but running late can save worry and effort of lots of folks.

 

Consider starting your 2-person experience on a well-traveled route where help would be more readily available, or on a non-technical route where the risk is relatively low. Building up some confidence and experience that way goes a long way.

 

As someone noted above, practice building an anchor in self-arrest position with the rope under serious tension....it's not as easy as it may seem. (hint...set up your pack so you can take your picket off with one hand.)

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Dru said:

scot'teryx said:

I think I read in a recent mag that the AAI or someone thinks that it is a good idea to tie a hitch every ten feet or something like that inbetween your partner and yourself which will create friction on the lip of the crevasse if someone does fall in

 

and make it harder to prussik or haul out, try untying knot when weighted....

 

I think one of the considerations is that the knots limit the distance of the fall and makes building the anchor easier. Untieing and moving the prussiks (or asceders/tiebloks) around the knots is the tradeoff.

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The knot strategy can work well on glaciers.....when there is snow for the rope to cut into. If you are on the Emmons this late in the season, I am assuming (and only assuming) that the glacier is pretty close to being dry. Meaning that the rope would not really cut into the lip of the crevasses. I may be wrong, but this style definaltey works better when there is a layer of softness over last season's snow accumulation, rather than solid ice that has been going through the melt-refreeze cycle all summer long.

 

If you are going to travel in a two man team, you should be able to extract a fallen climber from a crevasse by yourself. Period. The hardest thing is actually setting up the anchor. Once you can take the weight off your harness and onto the anchor, then you are alomst home free. Just like a normal extraction from this point forward.

 

I would also suspect that the Emmons this time of year has clearly defined snow bridges and you will know where the looming gapers are as they will be visible. I doubt you will have serious issues with punching through completely covered hidden crevasses. With that said, snow bridges can still collapse, so just be cautious. Have a blast and best of luck with solid weather! bigdrink.gif

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ryland_moore said:

If you are going to travel in a two man team, you should be able to extract a fallen climber from a crevasse by yourself.

 

 

Agreed!

ryland_moore said:

Once you can take the weight off your harness and onto the anchor, then you are alomst home free.

Just like a normal extraction from this point forward.

 

Hmmmm. I'd say a "normal extraction" would typically include more bodies to haul and reset prusiks, and more pooled group gear to work with. If you are the only rescuer and your partner is injured, you still have big problems to overcome even after you get an anchor in, and significantly different options than when you are in a larger team. I guess my point would be to not ask what gear you need to bring, but ask yourselves exactly what it is you, as a single rescuer, will need to do in the event of a fall, and then figure out what gear you'll need to pull that off. That would likely mean more extra prusik loops, cordalettes, pulleys, anchors, etc. than you would normally carry per person on a larger team.

 

There is something called the Canadian Drop Loop (or Lone Rescuer) system that you might want to take a look at. I can tell you that it works great in practice under ideal conditions, and becomes increasingly difficult once you start adding in things like a rope trenched at the lip, steep terrain, bad weather, injured victim, insufficient gear, etc. One place it is described is in the Falcon Press book called "Glaciers! The Art of Travel and the Science of Rescue." It does require a 60m rope to be very practical, but it allows for either climber to have enough rope to rap to the victim if necessary, and to set up a 6:1 system for extraction. I do a lot of 2-person glacier travel and use this tie-in method, not because I know it will work for sure, but because it seems to slant the odds in my favor more than anything else I've come across so far.

 

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After you get back from the Emmons, read Jim Wickwire's book for a scare. Hope you have fun up there! Now I think I know what you were getting at REI, maybe wink.gif

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Bottom line with a 2 person rope team is this: Both people need to be capable of stopping, anchoring, and rescueing a fall by themself. This means each person needs gear to build an anchor/hauling system, and the knowledge of how to do so while holding a fall.

 

Don't bet that there will be other teams nearby to help.

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Consider having an extra prussik (in addition to your chest and foot prussiks) already on the rope. Then, once you get the anchor in, all you have to do is clip it to the prussik. Also, if you are on snow, consider a fluke. Flukes can be set with one hand.

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Dru said:

scot'teryx said:

I think I read in a recent mag that the AAI or someone thinks that it is a good idea to tie a hitch every ten feet or something like that inbetween your partner and yourself which will create friction on the lip of the crevasse if someone does fall in

 

and make it harder to prussik or haul out, try untying knot when weighted....

 

and hang up on absol-fucking-lutely-everything! pitty.gif

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Fence_Sitter said:

Dru said:

scot'teryx said:

I think I read in a recent mag that the AAI or someone thinks that it is a good idea to tie a hitch every ten feet or something like that inbetween your partner and yourself which will create friction on the lip of the crevasse if someone does fall in

 

and make it harder to prussik or haul out, try untying knot when weighted....

 

and hang up on absol-fucking-lutely-everything! pitty.gif

 

I think the idea with knots between 2 on a rope is to also tie into the middle 45 ft of rope. That way each person has a coiled 55-60 ft they can throw down. Obviously the negative would be having to rig prusiks on the free line while hanging.

 

I first heard of the knots in the rope while in the Alps ski touring. Most of the euro's also carried a couple of ice screws so they could anchor into the sidewall and get situated.

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russ said:

Fence_Sitter said:

Dru said:

scot'teryx said:

I think I read in a recent mag that the AAI or someone thinks that it is a good idea to tie a hitch every ten feet or something like that inbetween your partner and yourself which will create friction on the lip of the crevasse if someone does fall in

 

and make it harder to prussik or haul out, try untying knot when weighted....

 

and hang up on absol-fucking-lutely-everything! pitty.gif

 

I think the idea with knots between 2 on a rope is to also tie into the middle 45 ft of rope. That way each person has a coiled 55-60 ft they can throw down. Obviously the negative would be having to rig prusiks on the free line while hanging.

 

I first heard of the knots in the rope while in the Alps ski touring. Most of the euro's also carried a couple of ice screws so they could anchor into the sidewall and get situated.

 

no i read the article, they used the knots to addd friction on the edge of the crevassse... they said like put a butterfly knot every 10 meters or something... theoretically sounds good, but what about the hagups and the near impossibility of self-extraction after riddling the rope with knots? confused.gif

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fleblebleb said:

After you get back from the Emmons, read Jim Wickwire's book for a scare. Hope you have fun up there! Now I think I know what you were getting at REI, maybe wink.gif

 

heh. Actually i was at REI to get a belay device for my buddy and a pair of boxer briefs. No more gooch prooblems for me!

 

 

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