Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Team arrest: when to use it?

Tips, tricks, workouts, injury advice.
 

Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby mountainsandsound » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:18 am

Been thinking about this for a while. Glaciers aside, when would you tie together and not use some kind of protection on a steep snow slope? Do you think a team of 2 or 3 skilled climbers would almost always be better off by themselves or would roping together without running pro be a good strategy sometimes? How likely is it that your rope mates could stop your fall on snow if you could not?

I've practiced team arrest with some friends, and kept the length of rope between us about the length for cascades glacier travel. With just a slight bit of slack in the system, we were able to arrest the other person's fall most of the time with a second or two of warning. Provided the weight difference between climbers wasn't huge. What are other people's thoughts/experiences on team arrest?
User Avatar
mountainsandsound

 
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:46 am
Location: Washington, United States
Thanked: 30 times in 24 posts

Re: Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:02 pm

Being roped, except for a glacier, without running protection or a belay is never a good idea. If you are climbing together and don't feel the need for pro, unrope. If the slope is icy or steep enough where you feel like you need a rope, you will not be able to arrest, with or without partners. You should use running protection or a belay. Sometimes even on a glacier, using running protection or belayed climbing is prudent.
User Avatar
ExcitableBoy

 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:33 am
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Thanked: 446 times in 319 posts

The following user would like to thank ExcitableBoy for this post
Sierra Ledge Rat

Re: Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby kamil » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:13 pm

Agree with ExcitableBoy. It quite scares me to see roped parties without running pro on steep snow or icy slopes.
User Avatar
kamil

 
Posts: 598
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:31 pm
Location: Aódź, Poland
Thanked: 22 times in 17 posts

Re: Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby Dow Williams » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:30 pm

The main reason to rope up is for crevasses on undulating glacier terrain. Once on a steep face at or above the bergschrund...stop, access...if going to place pro, proceed. If conditions and experience are such to solo....unrope. You will not arrest each other on steep, icy slopes as well as potentially clothes line folks with your rope on the way down on popular routes in the lower 48. Good Luck.
User Avatar
Dow Williams

 
Posts: 2349
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 1:59 pm
Location: Utah and Canadian Rockies
Thanked: 219 times in 101 posts

Re: Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby mountainsandsound » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:21 pm

I guess our test slopes weren't very steep or icy thinking back on it. This latest accident on the Emmons glacier sounds similar to one on the same route a few years ago, where someone in the rope team slipped when the slopes were particularly icy and pulled everyone with them. I don't imagine many rope teams use a running belay on the route.
User Avatar
mountainsandsound

 
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:46 am
Location: Washington, United States
Thanked: 30 times in 24 posts

Re: Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:41 pm

mountainsandsound wrote:I guess our test slopes weren't very steep or icy thinking back on it. This latest accident on the Emmons glacier sounds similar to one on the same route a few years ago, where someone in the rope team slipped when the slopes were particularly icy and pulled everyone with them. I don't imagine many rope teams use a running belay on the route.

Most don't and usually it is not necessary, but unfortunately it is a beginner's route and beginners often don't know when it is too icy to continue or when to use running protection or fixed belays.
User Avatar
ExcitableBoy

 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:33 am
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Thanked: 446 times in 319 posts

Re: Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby AlexeyD » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:48 pm

Generally agree with most of the replies with one possible exception: a situation where the team is traveling either along an exposed, but featured ridge or some other terrain where there is considerable exposure yet also plentiful natural anchors (trees or rock horns) which would likely stop the team from falling all the way down in case of a fall. Of course this situation is not very common and IS, in effect, a form of running belay, but should nevertheless be mentioned, IMO. I've been on walk-offs from ice climbs, for example, where staying roped together seemed prudent. As always it's a matter of judgment and using the appropriate techniques for the given situation.
User Avatar
AlexeyD

 
Posts: 2062
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2002 11:13 am
Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 56 times in 44 posts

Re: Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby brrrdog » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:09 pm

Why is a running belay so uncommon? I just summited my first mountain last week (we were ascending Hood as we heard of the tragedy on the mountain that day) so my experience is worth about a grain of salt compared to those above. But being from Michigan, my training ground is a rope in a tree, a back yard, and a ton of reading that told me a running belay was the way to go. An upright, mid-clipped picket can be set in under a minute in most snow conditions and has the same holding power as labor intensive t-slot. With the 6 pickets we had between the 4 of us, we were able to descend the majority of the pearly gates to the bergshrund with two pickets on the line the entire time with minimal delay. I have two regrets of our trial so far: one) I wished we would have shortened the rope to balance the risk of the climbers close to the anchors and two) that we also ran the same protection going up the chute.

Before we started up the chute I did remind everybody to keep their heads up to the team as much as possible in the hopes that if one person did begin to slip or fall that somebody would be able to call it before it caught the whole team off guard. Two of us also were using a runner strength ax tether that I would probably encourage the other two to use next time - the snow was just soft enough to get the ax shaft buried leaving us well-attached to the mountain at times of rest. We made sure the rope was on the uphill side, so a fall from the rear would turn the person to the mountain and not away from it.

On the way down someone bobbled off of hogs back but he didn't really miss the trail, I made sure that everybody remembered to call "falling." It was 5 minutes later when somebody did just that. After looking up from my own arrest I was proud to see two guys with their faces buried and on top of their axes while the third was making his way back up to the trail. With legs of jello at the end of the day, it was something we all laughed at, but who knows what would have happened without the first warning. Next time, I'll make sure every day starts out the drills to make sure everybody's muscle memory is where it should be.

I know a lot of the accident reports start off with the tangled mess of a rope team or people complain of rope teams clogging a route, but are there good experiences that DIDN'T turn into front page news because they DID use a rope team?

Like I said I'm a total noob here - but I figured I'd add several months of having my nose in a book or article as points of argument. This is also an article covering some of the what/whens of simul-climbing:
http://www.mountainz.co.nz/content/arti ... sition.php

In the case of the Rainier accident, I'd say the rope team did what it was supposed to. There are other questions in terms of self rescue or team rescue that could be asked but I'm not in a position to ask those questions. In the end, I'll say that I'm for educated rope teams. Perhaps the teams that more people are against are those that simply tie themselves together and think they are instantly safer because a rope is involved.
brrrdog

 
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:14 pm
Location: Michigan
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts

Re: Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby Vitaliy M. » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:16 pm

Perhaps the teams that more people are against are those that simply tie themselves together and think they are instantly safer because a rope is involved.


I am against these groups. Rope does not make you safer. Just adds the chance of taking everyone else out who is roped to you if whole team is not doing what it is supposed to.
User Avatar
Vitaliy M.

 
Posts: 1012
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:23 am
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Thanked: 287 times in 215 posts

Re: Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby kamil » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:21 am

Yeah, then it's one down, all down.
There was a similar topic here before.
User Avatar
kamil

 
Posts: 598
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:31 pm
Location: Aódź, Poland
Thanked: 22 times in 17 posts

Re: Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby DanTheMan » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:08 pm

When Pete Schoening is a part of your team.
DanTheMan

 
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 5:24 am
Thanked: 18 times in 7 posts

The following user would like to thank DanTheMan for this post
mconnell

Re: Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby Ben Beckerich » Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:36 am

Never rope without protection, unless it's done for expediency, without any expectation of added safety, and with the understanding that it doubles (triples, quadruples, how many on the rope?) your odds of dying.
where am i going... and why am i in this handbasket?
User Avatar
Ben Beckerich

 
Posts: 374
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:24 am
Location: saint helens, Oregon, OR, United States
Thanked: 65 times in 50 posts

Re: Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby Wastral » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:45 am

If roped on a 2 man team, short roped(20 feet or so), soft snow 40+ degree with cliff below, 1 hand on ice axe, 1 hand on picket. Slam picket in, slam axe in. Pickets hold far better than axes. 2nd guy goes, he slams picket/axe in, 1st guy goes. Can nearly move as fast as walking. I can't say for a 3 or more man team, but it should work just as well.

If roped on a 2 man or more team, short roped, hard snow 40+ degrees, either go unroped, or place pickets, rock pro, ice screws. Generally on such slopes till near vertical, ice screws won't work unless its winter or really high elevation, or you are in a major gully where massive crud has slammed said snow into thick ice holding a screw. In which case what the $#$_$)$@_ are you doing in such a dangerous place? RUN! Screw the rope or pro. Get the bleep out of there! Its why most folks climbing mountains, IF they are going to climb a gully, they will pick as small of a gully as possible and hug the sides allowing rock pro as its faster to place unless you are in true ice in which case ice screws are darned fast and very reliable.

Medium hard snow, pickets, clove hitched as low as possible or major hammering, or digging T-slots(ug).

Um, usually, I just have to trust my partner not to slip as it takes way too much time and mental energy to sit and debate if one should really be roped on this particular section or not. Likewise it is near impossible to carry enough pickets for such sections to provide adequate protection.

Risks in everything. Eventually the odds stack against you.
Wastral

 
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: Washington, United States
Thanked: 25 times in 21 posts

Re: Team arrest: when to use it?

Postby coderedsafety » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:22 am

Protection is important and the techniques of training you mentioned here are very important as well because team arrest is required but I haven't been through it but then also I believe that rescue team are very important.
coderedsafety

 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:10 am
Location: Hammond, Indiana, Indiana, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post


Return to Technique and Training

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.