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Pulleys for crevasse rescue

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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby Andes6000 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:57 pm

So you're buggered if you fall in a hole on a two man team. Nice. I'll be carrying a massive pulley from now on, or a jet pack.
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby Wastral » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:15 pm

Andes6000 wrote:So you're buggered if you fall in a hole on a two man team. Nice.


If you know what you are doing its just fine. If you use biners you are screwed. Chief is right there. Then again every time I see groups doing CResc, they are all pulling on the rope with their arms pulling a whopping 100lbs tension, if that per person. 1 guy using their legs can easily get 300lbs. If it takes more than 300lbs of pull x 3:1 or effectively 1000lbs pull on your buddy, you probably are about to crush him and one will need a different approach guaranteed. Only time larger groups is nice is when the guy is jammed in to their waist and can simply pull the guy out and likewise in the unconscious guy in hole scenario. His statement about # of pickets is absurd. Gotta be the dumbest statement made in a while. Hey, what is that in your hand... Oh yea an ice axe... HEy, what is that on your back? Hey its a pack! Woo Hoo 2 anchors guaranteed without carrying anything extra, how about dem apples boys! Hmm a snow bollard is slow to make but yet another anchor. V-thread yet another. Both V-thread and Bollard must be used if you are arresting on an icy spot as pickets are useless under that situation. Obviously V-thread is useless under most situations. Semi-icy and hack a T-slot, but in that scenario your ice axe is perfectly good anyways. What else are you carrying, hey, hey, hey, its a snow shovel, yet another anchor.

I would claim that Yes, you still need to carry a picket on 2 man teams, but certainly not 3. I know a couple guys who go with 2 axes whom never carry a picket.

Pickets are lousy snow anchors unless its semi icy anyways then they are bomber. Does your class teach you to take a short/long ice screw? Probably not. Haven't seen any course teach that or anyone who claims to teach said courses teach that. Far more useful and in many situations the ONLY thing you can get in, unless you are going to sit there with your buddy dangling off your waist below while you take 15 minutes to chop a snow bollard out of hard ice.

Snow varies, your anchor system tricks must also be varied.

2 man rope teams are usually about 50 feet apart. Really needed when going over corn rows of crevasses. If short roped as is typical on a more numerous team, both of you will be in the crevasse together.
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby Andes6000 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:42 pm

Yeah i also carry an ice screw, usually to rest on, like a stubby but lately it's been dry here so in a crevasse rescue on ice that would obviously be good to have. After all that's been said perhaps more emphasis should be given to the two man team scenario in mountain courses. And maybe they do in some places but my experience has involved groups. If self rescue isn't possible then it would seem like a very dodgy affair. I guess i should ask my guide what the hell he'd do, we usually go to some very remote places. In steve house's book he describes climbing out of a crevasse while alone, with his leg all messed up. Then again he's an animal, but nice little story for us to enjoy.
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby asmrz » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:58 am

Interesting, some of the statements here.

I have never had to cross glaciated terrain where I would need all this "gear" and not have at least 6-8 screws (between the two of us) that were needed for the wall/ridge we we were going to climb after we crossed the glacier. Ice screws are (to me) as much part of crevasse gear as cleaning tool is to rock climbing.

I once witnessed a fall into a crevasse in China where the second guy on the rope in front of us just arrested the fall with an ice axe, and in full arrest position and holding the ice axe, put in a screw (old Chouinard piece of art) and tied off the fallen guy in about 10 seconds flat.

My friend Rich fell into a big one in Nepal and the guy above him (that would be me) had only a picket, couple screws on the harness and two ice tools. Rich climbed out held by an axe, picket pounded in and a good belay.

So again, we can impress a lot of folks who never saw a bottom of a crevasse except in the movies, we can all discuss different methods that are absolutely the only way to do it, but it really comes down to knowing what to do. Nothing beats practicing all of it in the field so one can be pretty sure what to do and how to do it, pronto.

BTW there is a huge difference between climbing team of two people and a 6-10 people party in glaciated terrain. Most technical climbing teams do not go anywhere in groups...So any "class room" teaching approach should be somewhat different for two people on a rope as opposed to a group on the rope...
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby Wastral » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:25 am

The Chief wrote:Wastral

... have you had to do an actual crevasse rescue of your partner with just yourself in complete arrest,


As a matter of fact, YES!

I can tell you have not. Why can I tell?

If/when you stop your partners fall, you can get up off your face and onto your knees and make said anchor system. No, you certainly won't have much mobility, but you can get your pack off just fine. Yes, you do have to keep leaning forward, but certainly not face planted. I know, that is how all the courses teach it in a multiperson group, but its not reality.

One can easily test what I just said. DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT FOLKS! PRACTICE! Requires 3 people for practice. Though you could do it with 2 and a dummy weight. If you use a dummy weight you could practice self arrest and anchor building, but for now probably not a great idea as a 10 foot tumble isn't such a great idea if you haven't practiced self arrest weighted on a steep slope with run out BEFORE HAND!

Go to a ski parking lot. They will have a 10' wall of snow in the parking lot. Put a heavy dude on the bottom of the rope with a pack on to properly simulate, put him about 2-3feet off the ground(its slopish so not really a problem). Build an anchor system up top well above the guy who will take the load and then have to build an anchor system. Tester is prussic'd onto rope, takes tension of dangling guy 2-3feet off ground in self arrest position. Release top anchor. Now you have a dangling dude about 1-2 feet off the ground, he might have to bring his knees up, and tester in self arrest position. Now practice moving with a load tied to your harness and building an anchor system. You will quickly figure out what you can and cannot do and how steep one can do it. If its steep you are both in the drink anyways...

Enjoy getting wet and cold. Or wet and warm on a sunny day. :D
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby Wastral » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:18 am

If its blue ice, no one is stopping anything unless there is a lot of pro in. Basing your arguments on such is rediculous.

If its icy, its easier to move around as the front points of your crampons will hold you and your partner below. Under sloppy snow conditions its very hard to move around and build an anchor. These are the worst conditions(new snow).

Chief, are you trying to prove you have never practiced crevasse rescue other than under one scenario? Seems so. So far you are just proving my statement that most of those "teaching" crevasse rescue have never actually practiced under various conditions and scenarios.

A wall of snow is the same no matter where it is. Yes, parking lot is actually harder as their will be MORE weight on the arresting person as there will not be a snow lip for the rope to cut into. That lip creates a TON of drag making the effective weight on the self arresting partner much lower. Thanks for proving once again that you don't know jack about crevasse rescue. Good thing you are "teaching" the course. Poor SOB's.
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby Andes6000 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:03 pm

In the mountains nothing is certain. We will never be in complete control of any situation, or ourselves. All one can do is train and hope to have enough experience and luck when the time comes. Skill and wisdom has been offered to the big table and the good climber is the one who is always open to learning from others. Thanks to all. At the very least a roped team usually has a better chance of survival. Amazing how many a great climber has perished in crevasse fall, in most cases unroped.
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby Andes6000 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:17 am

Looks like the third guy is just supporting the anchor, gonna get me a mini traxion or the micro traxion that weighs 50%less.
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby WillP » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:30 am

Or, instead of a heavy mintrax, you could use on the end of that loop... a pulley! Or better yet, as someone previously mentioned, a DMM Revolver locking 'biner. And 'Chief', before you start, yes, I have used this system; and no, it wasn't "BITD" or "when Fred Flintsone was a kid", it was a couple of weeks ago.

So, to the original OP - pick up a couple of the locking Revolvers, they work pretty well (not as well as a 'proper' pulley, given), and you've gotta carry lockers anyway. What I'd like to see is a similar thing (maybe a bigger pulley) in an oval locker.
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby Wastral » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:14 am

Other than the fact that said DMM Rev's are junk. They are useful in a vertical dead weight scenario(bag hauling rock climbing). In crevasse rescue where the load is cyclical(on and off) and its horizontal(gravity will pull it off the DMM micro pulley as it has no sides), means that in the DMM rev's case, the rope will fall off the pulley every bleeping time and creates more friction than if one were using JUST normal carabiners as the side of the pulley(such as it is) will cut into the rope making it even harder to pull. I won't even talk about the obvious fact that DMM rev's axle is far too small and bends creating monstorous friction freezing said bearing under load of more than a couple hundred pounds. Lets see standard 3:1 with 200lb(man+pack) in hole = 600lb load. In short, DMM are barely ok for hauling a haul bag, but nothing larger.

Thanks Chief for demonstrating, once again, you have never practiced what you are espousing. Keep digging deeper. Quite interesting watching how deep you will humiliate yourself.
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby Wastral » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:56 am

The Chief wrote:
Wastral wrote:Other than the fact that said DMM Rev's are junk. They are useful in a vertical dead weight scenario(bag hauling rock climbing). In crevasse rescue where the load is cyclical(on and off) and its horizontal(gravity will pull it off the DMM micro pulley as it has no sides), means that in the DMM rev's case, the rope will fall off the pulley every bleeping time and creates more friction than if one were using JUST normal carabiners as the side of the pulley(such as it is) will cut into the rope making it even harder to pull. I won't even talk about the obvious fact that DMM rev's axle is far too small and bends creating monstorous friction freezing said bearing under load of more than a couple hundred pounds. Lets see standard 3:1 with 200lb(man+pack) in hole = 600lb load. In short, DMM are barely ok for hauling a haul bag, but nothing larger.

Thanks Chief for demonstrating, once again, you have never practiced what you are espousing. Keep digging deeper. Quite interesting watching how deep you will humiliate yourself.


And that is according to ... WHOM?


Oh, anyone who has bothered to actually use one. Once again demonstrating you haven't. Do a very quick search even here on summitpost for those trying to use it to haul simple haul bags up a cliff.
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby Wastral » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:42 am

As someone who was suckered and bought one of the damned things, after reading those pretty PR pieces that you properly trotted out as they are posted all over the web, it ain't worth the money and they are barely better than a carabiner as the damned rope, as I said above, jumps off the damned pulley all the time making them a PITA as soon as there is a partial sideways tug on your setup. Likewise the "pulley" easily jams as I stated above. Its a piece of crap. Under perfect conditions it can help a bit, but by and large its a POS.

As I stated above, thanks for demonstrating you have never actually used one. Way to talk out of your beret.

PS. Finally figured out my name meaning did ya? Way back when the user name wastrel was already taken so I had to modify it to wastral.
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby asmrz » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:09 pm

Ok Guys, back to the problem at hand. As I stated earlier, I rememeber only a few times in all those years of my climbing, when I crossed heavily crewassed glacier with more than just one partner.

Is it that this site deals only with group hiking even on glaciers? Is this where the issue lies? Is it not reasonable, for at least full disclosure here, to discuss what most two people alpine climbing teams face in heavily glaciated terrain?

Nobody addressed the modern (I could address the old, very old) methods for a team of two. All the presented facts, ideas and arguments up to now, dealt with a crowd on a glacier. Good for teaching classes, not very useful in the world of alpine climbing. Most teams in technical alpine terrain are teams of two people. Address that, not a class room setting which basically just gives participants a hint on what the issue might be..
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby asmrz » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:02 pm

Rick, thanks for being frank.
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Re: Pulleys for crevasse rescue

Postby johngenx » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:38 am

I like the SMC CR (Crevasse Rescue) Mini Pulley. They mind prussiks, are light enough to carry two, and while won't stand up to big wall hauling, for emergency crevasse rescue, work well.

I use a drop loop with a Z stacked on it to create a 6:1 (theoretical, of course) which uses quite a bit of rope, but makes hauling a lot easier. It also means avoiding lip cut in difficulties. It's quick and easy to rig once you practice a bit.
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