39 votes
Accepted

Should one attempt to rescue a stranger from a crevasse or wait for mountain rescue?

Yes, you absolutely should rescue the climber when the situation allows. The reason that matters most is suspension trauma: Prolonged motionless hanging in a harness can lead to loss of consciousness ...
imsodin's user avatar
  • 21.7k
25 votes

How to safely rescue someone drowning as an untrained bystander?

I learned the following in my lifeguard training from the Boy Scouts: REACH: Victim(s) are located close to the shoreline and the rescuer(s) can retrieve them by reaching with their persons, ...
Josh Kurland's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

Do electronics interfere with avalanche beacons?

Yes it does, especially mobile phones. I attended an avalanche course last year. The guide did a very simple demonstration. He powered his avalanche beacon on "send" mode, and put it on his ...
Giomsen's user avatar
  • 920
24 votes
Accepted

Why does suspension trauma happen?

Most climbing harnesses support the majority of your weight, if freely suspended, around the tops of the thighs. While the waist belt may be designed to take the brunt of loads in a fall once you are ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
  • 6,202
20 votes

Should one attempt to rescue a stranger from a crevasse or wait for mountain rescue?

Additionally to @imsodins brilliant answer, I'd say the same applies to almost any mountain rescue situation: if you are able to contribute to the situation while maintaining your own safety, do it (...
knitti's user avatar
  • 1,461
20 votes
Accepted

Seeking advice on getting a wild bird out an open window or door, alone, with no help. (Location, Virginia)

Do the opposite, make the room dark, as dark as you can get it. Almost all birds will sit down when they can not see. Then you can either cover it with a box, (slide cardboard under it,) or a towel (...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 4,088
19 votes
Accepted

Crevasse rescue with knots in the rope

In a 3:1 (Z-pulley) haul, the victim's rope is used for hauling directly. As you point out correctly, a surface rescue is impossible if you have knots in the rope, since the rope is under tension and ...
Felix's user avatar
  • 6,829
16 votes

How to safely rescue someone drowning as an untrained bystander?

I was always taught three very important things to consider before you even attempt to rescue someone in distress in the water. You, yourself, all alone, barely float. You might think you're awesome ...
coteyr's user avatar
  • 2,800
15 votes

Do electronics interfere with avalanche beacons?

I am the lead hardware engineer for Backcountry Access. Interference from personal electronic devices (PED) is very real, and it can range anywhere from minimal impact to severe. The reasons are a ...
David VanHorn's user avatar
14 votes

Is there a practical risk when wearing an avalanche beacon on your top layer?

Given that your avalanche beacon has the potential to be your partner's lifeline (or your own), it makes sense to protect it. Rocks, branches, skis, poles, ice tools, there's a lot that could ...
tempest_col's user avatar
13 votes

Double Mariner Mechanical Advantage

I think a picture is worth more than a thousand words in this case. Let's first see how the 3:1 pulley system works. I'm choosing the colours so that any changes in pulley or force modulus will be ...
QuantumBrick's user avatar
  • 3,379
10 votes
Accepted

What are the correct techniques for rescuing someone who has fallen through the ice?

Most important: Be prepared! On organized skating tours (at least in sweden) the following is mandatory equipment. An ice probe (to determine ice thickness so you wont go through in the first place) ...
Guran's user avatar
  • 1,982
9 votes

Double Mariner Mechanical Advantage

TLDR: This is a very common setup here and intuitively I always thought it was 4:1. So I needed to check more rigorously and the result is: Petzl made their homework, it is 7:1. Let me try to explain (...
imsodin's user avatar
  • 21.7k
8 votes

Should one attempt to rescue a stranger from a crevasse or wait for mountain rescue?

The most important point in any emergency is to avoid making the situation worse. The situation you describe is dynamic and may have several outcomes. Its not really possible to make a decision ...
Qwerky's user avatar
  • 941
8 votes

Is there really no way to rescue a climber from the death zone?

The problem with rescuing someone in the death zone is, well, that it is the death zone. Supplemental oxygen helps, but the decreased pressure is also problematic. If you are injured or sick, you are ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 10.7k
7 votes

How can I rescue someone lost in an avalanche?

In addition to Dangeranger's answer: If you as victim have climbing equipment or a rope, fasten it to your body (if not already fastened) and release your rope. It is very, very hard to find avalanche ...
Thorsten S.'s user avatar
7 votes

Why does suspension trauma happen?

The main problem is the disruption of the normal blood circulation. The blood pressure generated by the heart alone is not able to persistently pump back the blood from the feet, it needs the venes ...
knitti's user avatar
  • 1,461
7 votes

Fisherman rescue, what gear is required?

Unless you are properly trained in rope rescue techniques I would not advise attempting a rescue unless it is pretty clear that the casualty is in immediate danger. The issue here is that a ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
  • 6,202
7 votes
Accepted

Double Mariner Mechanical Advantage

One very easy method to determine the MA of a pulley system is the T-method: You assume that you pull with one unit of tension. Next you assume each contiguous section has the same amount of tension ...
flawr's user avatar
  • 1,747
6 votes

How to safely rescue someone drowning as an untrained bystander?

I think you want a TL;DR answer. The other answers have danced around this but here it is. This proposal requires no special training and is easy to remember. Are you ready for it? Wait until the ...
Machavity's user avatar
  • 482
6 votes
Accepted

How fast does suspension trauma happen?

The wikipedia page you quote should be right, of course this may vary by situation and person. So The asnwer to "how fast" is "about 20 minutes". This is indeed not a whole lot of time. When it is ...
knitti's user avatar
  • 1,461
6 votes

What are the correct techniques for rescuing someone who has fallen through the ice?

If anyone has ever fallen through ice, you know how devastating is the physical shock of loosing all your body heat in a flash. I fell through ice once, but was fortunately able to get to shore ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 9,609
6 votes

What are the correct techniques for rescuing someone who has fallen through the ice?

The standard way of pulling someone up would be to throw your rescue line to them and then pull them up. But as with anything that is potentially dangerous, the most important part is for everyone (in ...
neptun's user avatar
  • 201
6 votes

Seeking advice on getting a wild bird out an open window or door, alone, with no help. (Location, Virginia)

When I had a bird in my home I used a light blanket (the empty cover of my bed's blanket) to throw it over the bird. Then it was not able to move fast anymore and I was able to carefully take it from ...
Allerleirauh's user avatar
5 votes

How to improvise a rescue 'throw bag' rope?

A line that sinks would be an deadweight if you had to throw again, and hard to find. The throw bag also gives an obvious floating target and flies well (for a difficult throw with a long line current ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.4k
5 votes

What should a rescue team be equipped with?

In addition to personal equipment appropriate to the terrain and conditions there are some rescue specific basics which should be easy to provide, this is more geared to providing support to the main ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
  • 6,202
5 votes

Fisherman rescue, what gear is required?

Don't Given your description and your background: Don't even try it! Hauling any load up a slope is much harder than up a vertical cliff, and to attempt that with an injured person... just don't! You'...
Guran's user avatar
  • 1,982
5 votes
Accepted

How to pull someone up in a rescue situation?

In an ideal situation where you are using a belay device in guide mode off of the anchor, I would use a z-pulley, mostly because it would be so fast to set up. Consider your position before setting ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
5 votes

Crevasse rescue with knots in the rope

In addition to Felix's excellent answer of what should be done it practice, it is well worth knowing how to pass a knot in the rope (whether while rappelling or hauling). This will generally be more ...
erfink's user avatar
  • 4,198

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