Recommendations for Glacier Traverse1. The number one rule: each skier or mountaineer should wear a harness. How are you to going to raise someone out of a crevasse if he doesn't have a harness? 2. Hauling equipment must be within reach at all times, i.e. on the gear loops of the harness. 3. In heavily crevassed areas or where the snow bridges are fragile, don't hesitate to operate roped-up (20 to 30 meters apart with the rope taut). That allows you to stop a fall in a crevasse and quickly install a hauling system. This set-up may slow you down, but it's quick to rope-up is and is easy to undo when out of danger's way.
Standard ScenarioThe technique taught here is based on a best-case scenario: the activists are roped up, with a length of extra rope at each end of the roped team. One person on the team falls in the crevasse and the others must stop his fall and build a hauling system off a dead-man. The dead-man is built using a pair of skis tied together with a sling and buried in the snow. You can also use an ice axe, backpack, etc.
Equipment on the HarnessThe hauling kit everyone should have on their harness will allow you to build a simple hauling system and increase the mechanical advantage if necessary. That doesn't mean that you'll be carrying lots of extra weight or be bogged down by bulky equipment. Only a few pieces of equipment are needed:
- A self-jamming pulley (MICRO TRAXION and Prusik cord)
- A progress capture device (TIBLOC for a Prusik)
- Slings and karabiners (a minimum of three)
- Two ice screws
Rescuing an Uninjured Climber from a CrevasseOnce the weight of the fallen climber has been transferred to a solid anchor, he or she must be raised. If the victim is uninjured, the procedure is rapid. 1. The climber on the surface lowers a self-jamming pulley to the victim (or a combination of prusik-pulley and prusik knot) on a loop of spare rope, which is attached to the anchor. 2. The victim installs the system onto the harness, and pulls up on the rope which he or she is tied into. The climber on the surface helps and belays at the same time using the self-jamming pulley. It may be possible for the victim to raise his or her weight by using one or two rope clamps / grabs.
NOTE:Guard against further accidents: the climbers on the surface must remain roped up during the rescue maneuvers. Also, take care that the self-jamming pulley is installed the right way round.
Rescuing an Injured Climber from a CrevasseOnce the weight of the fallen climber has been transferred to a solid anchor, he or she must be raised. If the victim is injured, a hauling system is required. If the fallen climber cannot help with the rescue maneuvers (if he or she is injured or unconscious), it will be necessary to set up a reduction system to reduce the force necessary to raise the victim.
The Hauling TechniqueThe hauling system presented at the clinics is called the Mariner reduction or Z-Drag hauling system.
- The self-jamming MINI TRAXION pulley is placed at the anchor point of the system, connected directly to the dead-man, to haul the victim and to prevent him from lowering back down.
- The TIBLOC is placed on the rope that leads to the victim. The free end of the rope coming from the pulley runs through a locking karabiner connected to the TIBLOC. The free end of the rope is pulled to haul up the victim.