I spent 3 days last week with the Mountain Skills Semester group teaching rope rescue. The first two days were spent at the Yam bluffs, learning the different tools that a climber can draw from to effectively rescue their injured partner from steep climbing terrain. We were able to cover: counter balance lowers, tandem rappels, hauling systems and the uses of different types of specialized rescue gear. Rain on the last day forced us to the University of Calgary climbing gym, which was a great venue to put all the skills together to solve different rescue scenarios.
Everyone on the course did a great job of absorbing lots of new information, and we could tell that everyone was beginning to understand the principles behind the systems, allowing the use of the right tool at the right time.
Rope rescue is a very important, though often overlooked, tool that every recreational climber should learn, and practise often. Even if you can communicate with outside help, it may be up to you to first get your partner to the ground. Learning these skills under the close supervision of a certified ACMG guide is the best way to gain a thorough understanding of the systems, and receive hands on coaching and demonstrations.Yamnuska offers a Rock Rescue weekend on June 19th and 20th. You can choose to join us for one or both days on this Canmore-based course. This is an excellent intro or refresher before starting the rock climbing season. Check out the program webpage for more information (Rock Rescue). For those looking to refresh their Crevasse Rescue Skills, we also have a two day advanced Crevasse Rescue Course for mountaineers coming up on May 15th and 16th at the Columbia Icefields. Similar systems, different situations and anchors, but every bit as important for safe group travel!
Tomorrow the Semester group starts 8 days of rock climbing in Skaha near Penticton, B.C.! Climb ON!