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2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby x15x15 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:58 pm

you definitely want to know the ABCs of crevasse extraction. just realize that with a two-man team the process can get complicated. the partner ontop may need to do a bunch of problem solving. carrying a full pack, or dragging a sled can convolute the process a bit more. feet of new snow makes it worse. the actual rescue may not look anything like whats in the books.
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:56 pm

x15x15 wrote:you definitely want to know the ABCs of crevasse extraction. just realize that with a two-man team the process can get complicated. the partner ontop may need to do a bunch of problem solving.

If you are doing two man glacier travel, you need to have a BIG bag of tricks.
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby Wastral » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:41 am

ExcitableBoy wrote:
x15x15 wrote:you definitely want to know the ABCs of crevasse extraction. just realize that with a two-man team the process can get complicated. the partner ontop may need to do a bunch of problem solving.

If you are doing two man glacier travel, you need to have a BIG bag of tricks.


Bag of Tricks? More like limited options.

1) Haul more gear, with minimum of 2 pullies each, upwards of 2 pickets/equivalent, 3 Ice screws of various lengths(1 must be long for V thread anchor), 2 ice axes, 4 prussics as you will need all of the above anyways for snow anchors, 4 webbing loops, 2 locking carabiners, some folks say more, but I think this is stupid for a 2 person team as they will have more standard carabiners instead, so a total of about 6-8 carabiners. Don't forget slings/biners for your pack. It should have one already on it ready to be tossed onto the rope below you for starters. 2 prussics to get your butt out, 3 to set up and 1 to pull on the rope, though with only 1 guy pulling, wrap rope around your waist and pull with your legs in squat formation. Why idiots pull with their arms is beyond me. 1 guy squatting exerts more force than 2 guys pulling in steep slippery snow by a very large margin unless the person in question is a complete wimp. In nice FLAT terrain a group of guys pulling obviously can exert more force and speed yanking someone out of a hole. On steep terrain? HA! Unless you set up your system where you are pulling backwards towards the hole just begging for said crevasse lip to break away and drop even more of your dumb butts into the hole... Seen this numerous times and my mind boggles every time.
1a) Plan on dropping loop to get buddies pullies or prussicing down if buddy is unconscious.
2) prussic down and put guy on your front and prussic back up.
3) Prussic down switch climber over and use pullies in 2:1 to get unconscious guy out.

If in 2 man team one really needs to know how to do #3 as #2 is near impossible

Its a good thing the average crevasse fall in is about 5 feet and the person in the hole can usually self extract themselves far faster than pulling. 2nd fastest option is to drop a loop to give a little extra boost.

Personally, I like LOTS of rope when on a 2 person team. 60m rope for 2 person team and you will still not have enough rope length when crossing large crevasses forcing BOTH of you to be on the bridge at the same time. Talk about scary if the Fit Hits the Shan. Need space to stop the fall as well which every idiot teaching crevasse rescue completely forgets. Spend huge amount of time talking about getting the guy OUT, but never practice STOPPING the guy going in. Essentially anything over 40 degrees and you may as well not be roped up if there is no pro in on icy terrain or even some of the super slush scenarios which in many respects can be far worse. On really large bridges obviously you create an anchor and belay across. Moats, bergshrunds. =)

Get a partner and practice this on a steep snow slope. Bundle up even if its VERY sunny out. Practice everything from rigging yourself, to stopping a fall WITH A PACK ON, to setting up. You don't necessarily need to practice on a crevasse location to learn how to do it. Yea, it makes it more "real" and you get a jolt of reality of fear dumped into your system, but its not completely needed. BRING a snow shovel, find and overhanging rock ledge with a giant snow slop below and snow on top or just a very steep 45 degree spot and go for it.

PS. Freedom of the hills IMO is junk in regards to crevasse rescue technique. They have a very basic gloss covering of the issue.
PPS. Youtube videos put out by the canadian alpine guides association are excellent. CAG Several other guide organizations have their youtube video's up as well. Type in Crevasse Rescue training or some such. THough nearly 100% of these videos are with 3+ person teams.
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby x15x15 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:46 pm

PS. Freedom of the hills IMO is junk in regards to crevasse rescue technique. They have a very basic gloss covering of the issue


yup.

and practicing extraction is what most folks don't do. still, the actual reality of extraction after a hard fall into a hidden crevasse will put the partner ontop in a very precarious situation. i hope that person can think outside of the box!
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:49 pm

Wastral wrote:
ExcitableBoy wrote:
x15x15 wrote:you definitely want to know the ABCs of crevasse extraction. just realize that with a two-man team the process can get complicated. the partner ontop may need to do a bunch of problem solving.

If you are doing two man glacier travel, you need to have a BIG bag of tricks.


Bag of Tricks? More like limited options.

My point was that a two man crevasse rescue can become very complicated very quickly so one should be able to work through any issue that comes up. Knowing just one way to do it is not enough.
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby Wastral » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:03 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:
Wastral wrote:
ExcitableBoy wrote:
x15x15 wrote:you definitely want to know the ABCs of crevasse extraction. just realize that with a two-man team the process can get complicated. the partner ontop may need to do a bunch of problem solving.

If you are doing two man glacier travel, you need to have a BIG bag of tricks.


Bag of Tricks? More like limited options.

My point was that a two man crevasse rescue can become very complicated very quickly so one should be able to work through any issue that comes up. Knowing just one way to do it is not enough.


My point is that everyone on a 3 man team has to know this information already as well.

Otherwise they are all up shit creek as well if the only one who knows their ass from their elbow is 20 feet down with a broken collar bone and going into shock. Or worse yet, 2 men in the hole instead of the standard 1 making it even harder than 2 man! There is no difference between 3 man and 2 man crevasse rescue technique. None. 3 man still have to carry pullies/anchors/prussics/slings/knowledge unless its the easiest situation in the book under perfect conditions. Just more warm bodies to pull with and more warm bodies to carry extra gear. Technique is the exact same except you can get one guy backing up the anchor when the other guy goes over the lip to help whoever is in the crevasse.

Its just that in 2 man, one MUST know what they are doing whereas in a 3 man there is a 1/3, even 2/3 chance that they can just go along for the ride and be a dumb schmuck putting their friends and buddies at risk through ones own ignorance. In this case willful lazy ignorance. I have seen it multiple times and when climbing with such people my mantra of DO NOT SLIP goes into overdrive as I know damn well they probably can't get me out in less time before I freeze to death and therefore I wear more clothes and go SLOWER.

2c down the drain

Maybe you like going onto crevasse terrain with ignorant schmucks. I don't and refuse to do so unless taking serious precautions against their ignorance.

Every person needs to know ALL aspects of crevasse rescue.
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:08 pm

Wastral wrote: There is no difference between 3 man and 2 man crevasse rescue technique. None.


I gotta disagree on this one. With a three man team, it is possible to raise a victim with a z haul, but a single climber raising another climber with just a z system is highly unlikely. The man on top will need a greater mechanical advantage, thus the need for the Z x C.
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby WouterB » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:49 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:
Wastral wrote: There is no difference between 3 man and 2 man crevasse rescue technique. None.


I gotta disagree on this one. With a three man team, it is possible to raise a victim with a z haul, but a single climber raising another climber with just a z system is highly unlikely. The man on top will need a greater mechanical advantage, thus the need for the Z x C.

I think you completely missed the point. If in a three man team, two people fall down the crevasse, you're in the same situation as in a two man team where one fell in. Worse in fact, as there's more weight on the rope for you to haul up (assuming a worst case scenario). Wastral is -quite righteously- pointing out the importance of every person you rope up with having a full working knowledge of the different aspects of, and scenario's possible in crevasse rescue, as well as each man carrying (his own) full gear.
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby Wastral » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:04 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:
Wastral wrote: There is no difference between 3 man and 2 man crevasse rescue technique. None.


I gotta disagree on this one. With a three man team, it is possible to raise a victim with a z haul, but a single climber raising another climber with just a z system is highly unlikely. The man on top will need a greater mechanical advantage, thus the need for the Z x C.


I am going to describe why I don't believe a Z x C would ever be used in a 2 man team. I personally have never used it. When situations warranted more I made a 4:1, 6:1, 8:1 with pullies from myself and my partner as this required going DOWN into the hole and checking them, at which time one can grab their pullies as well and now one has tons of pullies.

Ok onto my description.

A 2 man team cannot use the Z X C unless one can drop a loop into the hole. Probably won't have enough line anyways to do so.IF the guy in the hole is not completely stuck where he cannot get his prussics out and climb out himself, the likelyhood of getting a drop loop and hooked up is 0 or near 0 as well. Even a guy with one injured leg/arm can still self extract themselves far quicker than a single person hauling up top. I have never seen when this is NOT the case, even under the circumstances of a deeply incised lip.

Z x C only works when the guy is barely in. In which case its far quicker for the guy in the hole to prussic up to either the lip, cut in lip, or new line dangling down at which time they switch ropes and get their own ass out of the hole far quicker than setting up a pulley system. Not to mention they stay warm.

z haul is 3:1, adding a C gets 6:1. A single guy can generally raise another single guy on a Z unless one is a completly out of shape wimp. Everyone can squat/leg press double their body weight. Average guy half in shape can squat 400lbs all day long. 400lbs x 3 divided by pulley efficiency gets around 800lbs of force when all is said and done subtract friction drops it to around 400lbs @@@ the climber! If you need more than this, something is WRONG and you are probably killing your partner under a lip! Gets back to why I am dumbfounded when everyone seems to pull with their back and arms in a crevasse rescue situation! Gets them less than HALF OF WHAT THEY CAN GET WITH THEIR LEGS!

If one needs more force than this something is seriously wrong and you are probably pulling your buddy in half. If your buddy is injured and you really do have to get more mechanical advantage because the guy is inert, then you have to get your butt into the hole and administer first aid first and grab their pullies etc 2nd. At which time a ZxC isn't desired either as a straight up 4:1, 6:1, or 8:1 is preferred as this leaves a line available to descend down yourself, or switch your buddy over onto that new line because of lip cut in!!!

Yes, a 2 person team should know how to build a Z x C, but it will probably never be used as there are far quicker/simpler ways to get someone out of a hole or the situation determines a far more complicated way entirely. Either straight Z with guy in hole helping, or dangling, or straight, C without the Z, or none at all allowing the top guy to take pics of his beffudled friend prussicing out.

IF I have stated something in error here please let me know. I am always willing to learn a better way. From all the different situations I have practiced, the above fits with what I and my climbing friends have found to be true for 2 and more person teams in all situations. True, I haven't had many crevasse fall ins. Only 1 had a serious lip and the guy who fell in simply prussiced out in under 5 minutes after the anchor was made. The other times were all practice.

PS. Regarding 2 in the hole on 3 man team, you have to descend and grab their gear and also hope person nearest you can switch lines and prussic out. In either case unless you are very close together the 1st person won't have enough rope to drop a C into the hole in the first place.
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:13 pm

Wastral wrote: A 2 man team cannot use the Z X C unless one can drop a loop into the hole.

That is simply untrue. A Z x C system can be setup by setting up a regular Z system then passing the pulling side of the rope through a third pulley connected to the power point of the anchor.

I also disagree that one climber can raise another climber with a 3:1 unless the climber in the hole is significantly lighter than the man doing the hauling.

WouterB wrote:I think you completely missed the point. If in a three man team, two people fall down the crevasse, you're in the same situation as in a two man team where one fell in. Worse in fact, as there's more weight on the rope for you to haul up (assuming a worst case scenario). Wastral is -quite righteously- pointing out the importance of every person you rope up with having a full working knowledge of the different aspects of, and scenario's possible in crevasse rescue, as well as each man carrying (his own) full gear.


As for two people in a hole with one man out, yeah, that is a bad situation. I completely agree everyone on the rope team has to know their stuff. For a two man rope team both climbers have to have a lot of extra tricks other than the one method that Freedom Of The Hills teaches.
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby Wastral » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:19 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:
Wastral wrote: A 2 man team cannot use the Z X C unless one can drop a loop into the hole.

That is simply untrue. A Z x C system can be setup by setting up a regular Z system then passing the pulling side of the rope through a third pulley connected to the power point of the anchor.

As for two people in a hole with one man out, yeah, that is a bad situation.


In which case that is not a Z x C system. That is just a straight up Z with an extra leg. One can add infinite legs this way and it is still a Z system. It is only a 'C' system when the middle of the 'C' 'loop' is sent DOWN to your buddy in the hole and clipped to their harness through your buddies pulley.

EDIT: Yes, if one has the pullies you can add infinite legs, thus in my previous post why I wrote 4:1, 6:1, 8:1 depending on how you set it up and assuming both members have 2 pullies for a total of 4 after grabbing my buddies pullies. Now I understand why you state you need 3 pullies on each person. You are making a 2 legged Z system. Right?
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby Wastral » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:28 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:I also disagree that one climber can raise another climber with a 3:1 unless the climber in the hole is significantly lighter than the man doing the hauling.


Were you doing so in the squat position? Bet you were pulling with your arms/back like nearly everyone else I have seen doing so as there is no "easy" way for 2 guys to squat and pull with their legs at the same time. They have to sit side by side pretty much and carry an extra prussic as the rope has to run between both of them. This is because nearly everyone learns for a 3 or 4 person team instead of 2.

Yes, I have serious issues with the way the Mountaineers "trains" folks in crevasse rescue. And the errors just keep getting passed down to new climbers from previous climbers how never really understood to start with or practiced and figured out that what they were "taught" was BS.
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:40 pm

Wastral wrote:
ExcitableBoy wrote:
Wastral wrote: A 2 man team cannot use the Z X C unless one can drop a loop into the hole.

That is simply untrue. A Z x C system can be setup by setting up a regular Z system then passing the pulling side of the rope through a third pulley connected to the power point of the anchor.

As for two people in a hole with one man out, yeah, that is a bad situation.


In which case that is not a Z x C system. That is just a straight up Z with an extra leg. One can add infinite legs this way and it is still a Z system. It is only a 'C' system when the middle of the 'C' 'loop' is sent DOWN to your buddy in the hole and clipped to their harness through your buddies pulley.

EDIT: Yes, if one has the pullies you can add infinite legs, thus in my previous post why I wrote 4:1, 6:1, 8:1 depending on how you set it up and assuming both members have 2 pullies for a total of 4 after grabbing my buddies pullies. Now I understand why you state you need 3 pullies on each person. You are making a 2 legged Z system. Right?


I learned this as one permutation of a Z x C, but I think when you talk about adding an extra leg (4:1, 6:1. 8:1) we are talking about the same thing. Chalk it up to semantics. One can set up Z x C systems without dropping in a loop, but also by using a second rope; one end anchored to the power point, the other attached to the pulling end of the main rope by prusik and pulley. Although if the man in the hole can't prusik out, one should rap down to assess, stabalize, haul out his pack before setting a hauling system.
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby Wastral » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:08 pm

Gotcha, we are on the same page and chapter now. I have never heard of someone calling that a ZxC without actually dropping the loop to the person in the hole itself. :wink:

Anyone else found that a straight 2:1 is generally sufficient if the guy in the hole helps even a tiny bit on a 2 person team?

ExcitableBoy wrote:
Wastral wrote:
ExcitableBoy wrote:
Wastral wrote: A 2 man team cannot use the Z X C unless one can drop a loop into the hole.

That is simply untrue. A Z x C system can be setup by setting up a regular Z system then passing the pulling side of the rope through a third pulley connected to the power point of the anchor.

As for two people in a hole with one man out, yeah, that is a bad situation.


In which case that is not a Z x C system. That is just a straight up Z with an extra leg. One can add infinite legs this way and it is still a Z system. It is only a 'C' system when the middle of the 'C' 'loop' is sent DOWN to your buddy in the hole and clipped to their harness through your buddies pulley.

EDIT: Yes, if one has the pullies you can add infinite legs, thus in my previous post why I wrote 4:1, 6:1, 8:1 depending on how you set it up and assuming both members have 2 pullies for a total of 4 after grabbing my buddies pullies. Now I understand why you state you need 3 pullies on each person. You are making a 2 legged Z system. Right?


I learned this as one permutation of a Z x C, but I think when you talk about adding an extra leg (4:1, 6:1. 8:1) we are talking about the same thing. Chalk it up to semantics. One can set up Z x C systems without dropping in a loop, but also by using a second rope; one end anchored to the power point, the other attached to the pulling end of the main rope by prusik and pulley. Although if the man in the hole can't prusik out, one should rap down to assess, stabalize, haul out his pack before setting a hauling system.
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Re: 2 Man Crevasse Rescue Advice Wanted!

Postby x15x15 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:44 pm

i have limited experience here, thankfully, but i will still throw a wrench in this discussion. who here has really used pickets, deadmans and icescrews, etc... and i mean really used them? taken falls on them?

what happens when you have no real anchor point? ok, maybe a deadmans buried, but that aint much. there is a ton of stress being placed on your system as you raise the fallen...

just another thing that the dhude standing on top will have to figure out.
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