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Two-man roped team w/novice on Rainier: good idea?

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Re: Two-man roped team w/novice on Rainier: good idea?

Postby nickmech » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:57 am

Yikes, reading this post is like watching a reality tv show on cable.
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Re: Two-man roped team w/novice on Rainier: good idea?

Postby Wastral » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:53 am

clmbr et al:

FYI:

I have only ever practiced on a 2 person team for self arrest and crevasse rescue. Well done some 4, but...

Yes, 2 person teams have to carry more gear. But, hauling the guy out is easy and straight forward just like in 3 or more. Its the exact same except you are the only guy hauling. May need a higher "gear ratio, mechanical advantage, pulley ratio system." In fact I find it easier than with 3 or more as I use my legs instead of like how most are taught and they use their... arms. A half fit person can easily squat double their weight. If in excellent shape 4X or more. When I used to run around in a Greenhouse and nursery all day carrying 40lb sacks of soil(4 at a time) and trees in pots, I could easily squat 4X my body weight at near infinite reps. Now? Uh, well, about 2 and not exactly infinite reps. Been laid up in a bed more than I am out recently. Anyways back to the subject.

If guy in hole is even 1/4 there, hauling out is a cinch as just a little help keeps the wall friction of climber rubbing on it away. If inert you are not hauling out under any circumstances. You may be able to exert enough mechanical advantage to kill them. [In fact this happened to a girl on Ranier when a large group was doing crevasse rescue training. They ruled the death as asphixiation, as they were hauling her under a roof. No, well sorta, what really happened is that they were hauling so hard on her harness that it rose high enough so her harness pushed into her diaphram so it couldn't push downwards and inflate the lungs.] Of course if inert this would imply that both of you went rocketing down the mountain slope a fair distance in order to generate said impact force necessary to knock the guy in the hole out.

Anyways yes, 1 guy inert, 1 guy downclimbs in and can haul guy out. I have done so and required it of myself before I felt comfortable enough to stand on a glacier in the middle of the coast range of BC on the Franklin/Jubilee/Waddington/etc glaciers.

Is it easy? No. Is it hard? Not really. Aggravating, Yes. Do have to know the steps though.

Send extra rope down. Prussic down. May have to transfer over to other line(probably), drop partners pack onto rope. Choose which line to ascend. Transfer all prussics over. Texas style prussics are BAD for this and in fact probably would make it impossible. Anyways. Someone can argue for Texas style. I will be more than happy to be proved wrong. Long prussic loops with foot loops in bottom goes through chest harness(sling)/and climbing harness. To do this you MUST have the inert climber on the OPPOSITE side of the rope! Otherwise if one does as their first inclination, putting the inert climber on your back, you will find yourself dangling nearly horizontal! THIS WILL NOT WORK! SO, guy is opposite you, inert. Have to step in their prussic, offloading their top prussic. Put your arm around them to pull them in tight to the rope and get maximum distance up of top prussic and to keep them opposite of you! Move central prussic tying said person TO the rope up. Move yours up. Step in top prussic, pull bottom stepping prussic up. Repeat. Improvise at the lip... Bring Ice axe to chop etc. If chopping to be done do it BEFORE raising your partner or at least AFTER you assess your partner Tourniquets, warm clothing, and you don't have that line in major tension with both of you on it and the snow/ice is flying.

Easy? No. Doable? Yes.

Even in the hardest situation, dangling free.

Heck of a lot easier with a wall on one side though.

PS. I am usually the guy arguing for 2 man teams to just GO and learn with BOOK in hand. Its far cheaper than a guide. Gain more experience than in a group as well as you aren't waiting in line for your turn. On the flip side, you have to think all the steps through yourself and can't rely on the guide to quickly swat you upside your head when you are being a bonehead. :P

PPS. If I had to chose >> Personally, I would rather I climb with someone who has a lot of high angle snow experience rather than someone with crevasse rescue training experience. The likely chance of a 2 person team with 1 person inert in the crevasse and the other fine, is very small to non existent in my opinion. I have never read of such an accident scenario in all the years of reading Accidents in North America. That is going on 25 years now so...

clmbr wrote:
BigMitch wrote:. . . I have always found [Excitableboy suggestions] to be the voice of reason on this forum.
Agree!

BigMitch wrote:. . .
I think that it is completely nuts for your husband, whom we assume has not crevasse rescue experience, to attempt such a thing with another climber, who may or may not have crevasse rescue experience.
. . .
If two guys want to make such an attempt, they had better be experts (mere training is not enough) in crevasse rescue for a two-man rope team (not a 3 or 4 man rope team) and they had better be on-top of their physical game.
. . .

However, I just wonder how a person in self arrest position, if succeeded, with one ice ax (extra hummer and a couple of pickets may increase feasibility though) can rescue the other one on the other end of the rope in air and unable to move or moving without control? (Crevasses on Rainier may be up to 600 feet deep.)

Making the illusion that knowing crevasse rescue makes the trip safe is absolutely wrong. The only technique (beside no falling policy) that may prevent from bad consequences of unfavorable outcome is self arrest, not crevasse rescue, especially not in up to two-person team. Even a professional guide died on Rainier being dragged down the crevasse by one of her clients in a multiple-person team.

Mountaineering is a dangerous activity with many variables that may create a deadly situation with not much time to respond. It does not mean that every person attempting the mountain, even without preparation, must get in trouble. But it means that even the best (extremely prepared and experienced) climbers die in the mountains (and not necessary on K2). Understanding this is crucial; the rest is just lowering the odds and enjoying the climb.
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Re: Two-man roped team w/novice on Rainier: good idea?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:10 pm

BigMitch wrote:I suggest that you do what Excitableboy suggests. I have always found him to be the voice of reason on this forum.

Thanks, very kind of you to say.
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Re: Two-man roped team w/novice on Rainier: good idea?

Postby clmbr » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:16 pm

nickmech wrote:Yikes, reading this post is like watching a reality tv show on cable.

Well, it might has become such.

Wastral wrote:clmbr et al:

FYI:

I have only ever practiced on a 2 person team for self arrest and crevasse rescue. . .

Thank you for very detailed explanation. I appreciate that. But my question was not exactly how to take out a person from a crevasse after you established secure anchors but the steps before that. From the moment one of you was able to stop the fall to the moment that person is able to get up and help the other one. Maybe I’m wrong, you definitely sound like having way more experience and expertise (I’m not sarcastic), but I’ve done self arrest in various conditions (practice and real situation) and found that sometimes it is very hard or even impossible to get a solid grip (due to various slope angels & various snow/ice conditions, not to mention your own small avalanche). And then secure your pickets or ice screws and transfer the rope to free yourself.

And most importantly, how knowing crevasse rescue makes mountaineering safe? Why there is, otherwise, an assumption that a possible crevasse fall is the most dangerous aspect of mountaineering? Statistics or perception?
Wastral wrote:. . .The likely chance of a 2 person team with 1 person inert in the crevasse and the other fine, is very small to non existent in my opinion. I have never read of such an accident scenario in all the years of reading Accidents in North America. That is going on 25 years now so....

* * *
Wastral wrote:. . . Personally, I would rather I climb with someone who has a lot of high angle snow experience rather than someone with crevasse rescue training experience. . .

That was my whole point. I call it “no fall” policy.
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Re: Two-man roped team w/novice on Rainier: good idea?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:16 pm

Wastral wrote:PPS. If I had to chose >> Personally, I would rather I climb with someone who has a lot of high angle snow experience rather than someone with crevasse rescue training experience. The likely chance of a 2 person team with 1 person inert in the crevasse and the other fine, is very small to non existent in my opinion. I have never read of such an accident scenario in all the years of reading Accidents in North America. That is going on 25 years now so...


I'm the opposite. Climbing steep snow is rather intuitive. Crevasse rescue, not so much.

Wastral wrote:The likely chance of a 2 person team with 1 person inert in the crevasse and the other fine, is very small to non existent in my opinion. I have never read of such an accident scenario in all the years of reading Accidents in North America. That is going on 25 years now so...

Your opinion flys in the face of fact. May I remind you of the Wickwire/Kerrebrock accident on Denali that left Kerrebrock 'inert' and Wickwire relatively unhurt (he was able to set anchors, rappel, jug a line, set hauling systems) yet was unable rescue Kerrebrock who suffered a slow death?
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Re: Two-man roped team w/novice on Rainier: good idea?

Postby Wastral » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:45 pm

PPS. I have personally known 2 people who have died white river rafting/kayaking. I simply refuse to do it anymore. Adrenaline is nice but... The number who die compared to the number who do this sport is insanely high. I quit white water lock stock and barrel 15 years ago after my friends best friend died. Lost my friend on the Nooksak doing a "safe" rafting trip. Class 2 stuff... no problem. Anything higher?

****************************************************
I have never had a problem setting up an anchor with my partner dangling below. For practice, tie an OLD rope to your harness with a pack filled with ROCKS on a steep slope with a cliff below. NOW, tie a GOOD rope to your harness to a BIG belay up topside. Either have your friend throw the pack down. Start in the self arrest position and see how hard it is to self arrest. Honestly the way its shown typically, using the pick end, almost never works unless teh snow/ice is bullet hard. Adze all the way for me for a start position. I have had a problem when pinched between 2 crevasses setting up an anchor and my brother was in the 3rd; he self extracted as we were essentially belay "walking" in near self arrest position and fell all of 3-5 feet. Yet another scenario where more people wouldn't have helped as they would have been on yet another bridge. Setting up an anchor on a bridge... Only if you are desperate.

**********************************************

Which year was this? How could I have missed it? Googled it.

81' The guy got wedged head first in... Everyone fell in. I doubt having 3 or 4 would have made any difference in extraction in a timely fashion before he died. Key was upside down can happen even if your setup is correct. Unless they had a helicopter tied to his harness... The caveat of course is the possibility with 2 or 3 self arresting would have prevented this crevasse fall in the first place. How far apart were they on the rope? Hmm now you guys are gonna force me to hunt down Accidents in North America 82! Then again, how many teams over the years have I read about all 3 or 4 of them going tabogoning down the mountain together? Reminds me of Foraker and Colby Combs and their avalanche among many others. Or the 11? who fell in on Hood on the south side "easy" route. 3 teams as I recall or was it 2? Some conditions it is simply impossible to self arrest no matter how many are there.

I wasn't postulating that I would wish to climb with someone without crevasse rescue training. As I have clearly stated up thread that without said training I simply would not climb with such a person or at a minimum go with them unroped.

I was more stating a generalization. There are far more falls on ice leading to death/serious life threatening injury than crevasse rescue falls and the need for crevasse rescue extraction techniques. Both are highly MANDATORY traits for any alpine mountaineer.

PS. While climbing UP steep snow/ice is intuitive(I agree), DOWNCLIMBING such terrain is NOT especially the facing out variety. More people die going down than up from what I have read on steep snow/ice. Going down one already has a head start and correlating speed when the slip occurs compared to going up.

PPPS. I personally don't have much to any experience in 3 or 4 person teams and their ability to stop falls compared to a 2 person team. Those who do, feel free to instruct me!

ExcitableBoy wrote:
Wastral wrote:PPS. If I had to chose >> Personally, I would rather I climb with someone who has a lot of high angle snow experience rather than someone with crevasse rescue training experience. The likely chance of a 2 person team with 1 person inert in the crevasse and the other fine, is very small to non existent in my opinion. I have never read of such an accident scenario in all the years of reading Accidents in North America. That is going on 25 years now so...


I'm the opposite. Climbing steep snow is rather intuitive. Crevasse rescue, not so much.

Wastral wrote:The likely chance of a 2 person team with 1 person inert in the crevasse and the other fine, is very small to non existent in my opinion. I have never read of such an accident scenario in all the years of reading Accidents in North America. That is going on 25 years now so...

Your opinion flys in the face of fact. May I remind you of the Wickwire/Kerrebrock accident on Denali that left Kerrebrock 'inert' and Wickwire relatively unhurt (he was able to set anchors, rappel, jug a line, set hauling systems) yet was unable rescue Kerrebrock who suffered a slow death?
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Re: Two-man roped team w/novice on Rainier: good idea?

Postby clmbr » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:54 pm

It's not Rainier but close: "Mark Cartier, Mount Hood Climber, Dies After Falling From Oregon Mountain"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/1 ... _ref=green

As I said, even the best climbers die in the mountains due to various (often unpredictable) reasons, and we have to keep that in minds.

Sorry for the loss and condolences to his family and friends.
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