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Progress Capture Testing for a jigger

Progress capture testing for a jigger I was about to post an article about the jigger (aka a set of fours) – how to build (and troubleshoot) using a couple of small double pulleys and cord (coming soon). I tried to remember if I had ever tested the progress capture...

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Lightweight systems – testing to the next level

  Lightweight systems - testing to the next level Once you start testing you is realise there is more testing to do. The testing aimed to push the limits of the belay for the lightweight rescue system. We decided on a 1.5m drop on 3m of rope with a 200kg load. Back in...

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Lightweight rope rescue setup

  Lightweight rope rescue setup By drawing the systems we found that it defined what we need to take with us. A rescue team of four One of the aims of going lightweight is to bring rescue back to being normal. Let's plan out the system around what we would normally...

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The American Death Triangle in the real world

  The American Death Triangle in the real world Recently (Feb 2018) I wrote a blog on the forces involved in the American Death Triangle. I questioned if there were some occasions we can use this style of rigging. Note: I would recommend reading this first article...

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Mechanical rescue belay for 10mm rope?

  Mechanical rescue belay for 10mm rope? Putting two belay devices with assisted braking through their paces We tested rescue belays (belay devices with assisted braking) as they would function as part of a two-rope system for lightweight back-country rescue. Out in...

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Deploying the rope for a big canyon pitch

Deploying the rope for a big canyon pitch Using rethrow and out of the bag techniques Over the past few years, we have been descending some bigger canyons. By this I mean the pitch is longer than half the length of your rope, e.g., 30m for a 60m rope. On these big...

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Setting up your Prusiks for Lightweight Rescue

Setting up your Prusiks for Lightweight Rescue In this article, we will go over how to set up 7mm Prusiks for 10mm rescue rope. This same long and short Prusik can be used as a belay and as well as a progress capture and haul. Prusik Cord The Prusik cord we chose to...

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Ice Anchor Testing Fox Glacier

  Ice Anchor Testing Fox Glacier Every year, Fox Glacier Guiding takes thousands of people onto the Fox Glacier. As part of their operation, they guide people on hikes around the glacier where they use ice screws for hand lines (safety lines) and for top rope ice...

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Baseline testing for lightweight rope rescue

  Baseline testing for lightweight rope rescue Making sure we have sufficient safety factor for 10mm rope and 7mm cord This article is about getting some hard data to back up a change in practice - using lightweight rope rescue systems. That is going from 11mm to 10mm...

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Let’s lighten the load

Let's lighten the load After a particularly arduous 24hrs underground and 1000m of hauling on a deep cave SAREX(Search And Rescue EXercise) we started our journey towards asking the right questions about lightweight rope rescue. Could we lighten up the backcountry...

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Double Fisherman’s vs Overhand Rethread

Double fisherman’s vs. overhand rethread Tying Prusik loops with a bend for your Prusik Minding Pulley For tying Prusik loops I have always used the double fisherman’s bend. However, the double fisherman’s is bulky and as a result, never sits quite right on the body...

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Sheet Bend vs Bowline Knot

Sheet bend vs bowline knot A knot that drives you around the bend! On a cave excursion through Bulmer cave system (New Zealand) I noticed, on two occasions, a single sheet bend rigged at the top of a fixed handline but being used as if it was a bowline knot. I suspect...

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Build a 9:1 pulley system with a Jigger

Build a 9:1 pulley system with a Jigger Something I am always looking to do is find new ways to make gear more useful. For rescue one of the great tools in the toolkit is the jigger (aka set-of-fours). This is a pre-constructed pulley system made, in this instance,...

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Rig a big canyon pitch

Rig a big canyon pitch Over the past few years, we have been descending some bigger canyon pitches. By this I mean the pitch is longer than half the length of your rope where you need to join another. You may get away with doubling your rope until the day you need to...

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When anchor acronyms go bad

When anchor acronyms go bad There are a lot of anchor acronyms out there in the rigging, rope and rescue world. A few examples include: SERENE: Solid (or strong), Equalized, Redundant, Efficient, No, Extension ERNEST(A): Equalized, Redundant, No, Extension, Solid (or...

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Get more friction with a double Munter

Get more friction with a double Munter A number of organisations (e.g.ski patrols and glacier guiding) use a 6mm Spectra or Dyneema line for escape or access. The upside of using this type of system is it is lightweight and easily carried all day. One of the downsides...

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More and more about less and less

More and more about less and less. This idea has been rolling around between the ears for some time - so time to release it to the world. If we have more and more information about finer and finer detail that makes no difference to our practice then why do we need it?...

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What is your risk priority?

What is your risk priority? Or risk management in the real world. For the past few months, I have started to use the term 'risk priority' to describe how to manage emerging risks in the moment. A lot of the places we work are dynamic in nature. Maybe we are moving...

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