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Alpine_Tom

RMI Crevasse rescue school

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Amongst all their other services, RMI does a one-day crevasse rescue school about a dozen times a year, and I'm considering taking it. Why? Well, though I've practiced crevasse rescue techniques (never for real, and hope to keep it that way) and set up z-pulley's, I've never had any formal training. I don't strongly feel the lack on my CV, but it would make my wife a bit happier about my "brushes with death." And, there's a bit of reassurance to knowing that someone who has done this a LOT and knows what it's supposed to look like has reviewed my technique. Plus, doing it under pressure -- in front of a bunch of other classmates -- seems like better practice than screwing around on the snow at Snoqualmie pass, which is where I've actually done it.Someone posed here in the last week that he'd taken the this course from RMI about 15 years ago (?) and thought it was a total waste of time. Does anyone else have any feedback on it?

While it'd be nice to take two weeks for the AAI course, I haven't got the free time. I don't get two weeks in the mountains in two years (I know, wah, wah, I've made my bed, etc.) Besides, I can self-arrest. I can do pressure breathing. I can even put on crampons without getting hurt. I don't really want to hang around with a bunch of beginners learning how to put on a seat harness and practicing boot-axe belays.

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Yes, I took it 10+ years ago, and I thought that it was a breakthrough in the subject (no pun). I later taught crevasse rescue professionally, so I'm prejudiced about taking formal courses. I would say, go for it.

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Why not just head out with some buds to lower Coleman (eg.) , sometime when there are crevasses, (like not right now cause they are all buried under the freshiez2.gif )and spend a day or two lowering victims into crevasses and then rescuing them?

Pros: - you dont pay as much- you and your friends not you and some strangers- you can drink beer- better hands-on to lecturing component

Cons: no course to look good on your resume.

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Dru, What's the absolute simplest way to mind the prussick knot at the master point of the rescue, with the least effort and a minimum of gear? Just wonderin', dude.

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I have mixed feelings about this class. I took it two or three years ago and definitely got some good instruction from it.

The downside was the lead instructor was more interested in bragging about the time he went to Annapurna, and how he got pro deals on clothes, and about this one time in band camp... than in teaching crevasse rescue. Also the class was 90% scary guys who thought this was the short course in getting them to the top of the mountain the next day. There seriously was guys wearing lycra bike shorts and asking how many kilo-newtons of force a snow bollard was rated for.

If I were to do it all over again, I would just grab Andy Selters book and head up for some snow at the Pass. You'll get the same info, it's just a matter of discipline to actually go out and do it and really do some practice.

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quote:

Originally posted by none:
Dru, What's the absolute simplest way to mind the prussick knot at the master point of the rescue, with the least effort and a minimum of gear? Just wonderin', dude.

Is the answer ..Use the little blue pulley instead of the red one since they are a little bit smaller and do a better job of keeping the prusik out of the pulley itself?

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quote:

Originally posted by none:
Dru, What's the absolute simplest way to mind the prussick knot at the master point of the rescue, with the least effort and a minimum of gear? Just wonderin', dude.

Well I believe, even though I am not, could not, and would not be Dru, is to use the "never mind" method.

That is, never mind using a fucking ratchet prussick, use your wall hauler instead...pulley, prussik, all in one, no minding...Yeah they weigh alot more, but you said easiest now didn't you mr smartass professional crevasse rescue dude? You did say that right? Just wonderin', dude.

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quote:

Originally posted by none:
Dru, What's the absolute simplest way to mind the prussick knot at the master point of the rescue, with the least effort and a minimum of gear? Just wonderin', dude.

I guess you are asking a trick question cause the answer is, DONT FALL IN! Also it is spelled Prussik after Dr. Karl Prussik who was RURP's great granddad.

tongue.gif" border="0

I always use those plastic stick-em-on-the-oval Petzl jobs anyways. No stickin prussiks cause they just dont fit. What the hell, in a pinch you can even ditch the pulley and just use a biner. how do you think they did it before they invented pulleys anyways?

[ 03-18-2002: Message edited by: Dru ]

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I posted on this topic a few days back. I took the RMI rescue class about 11 years ago and it sucked. As before, the RMI instructors were more interested in making their drinking appointments at 2pm at Paradise Lodge than teaching us shit. They used jumars instead of prussiks cuz thats what they carry on Everest- sheeit- jumars too heavy for my type of climbs- I just picked up my titanium spork. Best use of my $11.02 REI dividend ever.

I am with Juneriver on this one- go take Selters book and find a crevasse with an easy walk out. Practice prussiking up and over the lip- you will learn more than RMI knows after a day or so

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quote:

Originally posted by willstrickland:
Or how 'bout this one Dru, I'm sure you'd appreciate this. Two words, two biners...Garda hitch

i tried that thing once but it didnt work and i dropped my partner to his death when it failed. guess i should have practiced it more. rolleyes.gif" border="0

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Sort of on topic, where's a good spot on Hood or Raineer to practice, for those learn-it-yer-selfers. Obviously we must wait for spring, but where have y'all found a few crevasses that are easy to walk to and easy to walk into?

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quote:

Originally posted by b-rock:
where have y'all found a few crevasses that are easy to walk to and easy to walk into?

just about every crevasse i've ever walked to has appeared to be easy to walk into shocked.gif" border="0 walking out of a crevasse, well that's a different story wink.gif" border="0

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quote:

Originally posted by James:

just about every crevasse i've ever walked to has appeared to be easy to walk into
shocked.gif" border="0
walking out of a crevasse, well that's a different story
wink.gif" border="0

Right, well walk into, not fall into... wink.gif" border="0

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quote:

Originally posted by b-rock:
Sort of on topic, where's a good spot on Hood or Raineer to practice, for those learn-it-yer-selfers. Obviously we must wait for spring, but where have y'all found a few crevasses that are easy to walk to and easy to walk into?

How about the North Face of the Paradise parking lot? Been used before.

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The place I've done it, which I guess you could duplicate up around Mt. Hood someplace, is on the snow walls at the side of the road up by Alpental. The walls were about 8 feet high at the time, and pretty hard, and looked enough like a crevasse edge (to us) with the benefit of being an easy drive ad no real danger.

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quote:

Originally posted by b-rock:
Sort of on topic, where's a good spot on Hood or Raineer to practice, for those learn-it-yer-selfers. Obviously we must wait for spring, but where have y'all found a few crevasses that are easy to walk to and easy to walk into?

I might suggest that before anyone who's never prusiked/jumared/set up anchors (don't know if you, b-rock, have or haven't) goes and plays in a crevasse, try setting up deadman anchors and practicing your prusik/jumar technique on a snowbank in any parking lot in the mountains. Paradise is usually perfect. Alpental too. I actually honed my jumaring on the Ravenna Bridge just north of the U-district long ago, that is until the Seattle Police caught us. Not recommended!One of the nice things about snowbanks, and something I do recommend, is to tie together, and have one person leap off the snowbank, having the others hold the fall and set up a drilled rescue. You'll be surprised what it feel like to do it, especially trying to get it done as a group of two. You'll figure out soon that Dru's advice is the best here for groups of two- don't fall in, and second, have jumaring/prusiking dialed in. Rainier's closest crevasses for a one day trip for practice are probably on the Nisqually. There's also a few on the Paradise Glacier just behind McClure, or another option is to practice on those huge dropoffs between Panorama Point and McClure- just beware of the cornices.

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quote:

Originally posted by Alpine Tom:
The place I've done it, which I guess you could duplicate up around Mt. Hood someplace, is on the snow walls at the side of the road up by Alpental. The walls were about 8 feet high at the time, and pretty hard, and looked enough like a crevasse edge (to us) with the benefit of being an easy drive ad no real danger.

In the fall when the snow has baked off there are great crevasses on lower Coleman gl. on Baker, and Warren Glacier on Garibaldi, that offer steep ice walls and one can walk into the end of. Not only good for rescuing a "victim" but you can also set a TR and get some vertical ice mileage preparatory for the waterfall season without the collapse dangers of the seracs. I think there is some good stuff on Overlord Glacier up at Whistler too. Baker is simplest access of the 3.

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Well, you're right, I am a smartass. My point is apparently well taken, though, in that a few of the responses are BS.

There are a hundred ways to perform the crevasse rescue, and I wouldn't argue with any of them. But, I would argue for safety, efficiency and light weight. The biner replacing the pulley can be fine, depending on the actual load vs. the force available (eg: your skinny arms, vic weighs 250lbs.). The Jumar and the Wall hauler are the worst ideas I have heard, cuz of weight. The answer is: 6 or 7mm cord on a 9mm rope often work without "minding" on a cheap REI blue pulley, esp. if you set up your rescue all on one side of the vic's taught rope, and dress the prusik nicely. I never use the fancy ATC in front, or any of that, and the dozens of people I have worked through this with haven't had to either.

Guides are pricks, I'm the first to admit it! [geek]

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Back on the issue of a self-tending prussik; there is a prussik alternative called the bachmann knot which will not jam in the pulley. It is tied with a series of wraps of the prussik sling around the spine of a carabiner and the rope. Freedom Of The Hills shows an illustration of it in its section on knots.

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quote:

Originally posted by tread tramp:
Back on the issue of a self-tending prussik; there is a prussik alternative called the bachmann knot which will not jam in the pulley. It is tied with a series of wraps of the prussik sling around the spine of a carabiner and the rope. Freedom Of The Hills shows an illustration of it in its section on knots.

You can do the same thing with an autoblock. Saves a biner, and tends itself beautifully...

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quote:

Originally posted by none:
Dru, What's the absolute simplest way to mind the prussick knot at the master point of the rescue, with the least effort and a minimum of gear? Just wonderin', dude.

KC, I'm not Dru, but I'll bite. My favorite to use as a prussik-tender is a simple in-line belay device. I still have a double-9mm Sticht plate I take on alpine climbs to use for belaying, rapelling, and this if need be. I've also used an ATC. Am pretty sure Selters shows how in the diagrams in his "Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue." I'm just too lazy right now to go down into the basement to my little library, or to my pack where I have a phototcopy in a zip-loc bag I take on all my glacier trips.

BTW, just where do you get in your quick climbing fixes living in Davenport?

-Pindude

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quote:

Originally posted by whillans:
How about under the West Face of Siula Grande?

Joe Simpson could probably even tell us one of the best places in the northwest, and one of the most common, is the toe of the Nisqually.

-Pindude

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I get my climbing fixes on-line now, since I'm a Mr. Mom with a 6 month old! The thing about the prusik is, that it is the only friction knot that I know of (until proven wrong!) that runs both directions, whereas the autoblock and the bachman are one way. So, again, the belay device is unecessary in the alpine environment, unless you intend to do severe ice. The hip belay and the munter hitch provide excellent, lw options, and the 20 foot nylon cordelette, when one knows the right knots, performs more tasks and does them better than a belay device.

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