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40 votes
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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 ...
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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, ...
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25 votes
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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 ...
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24 votes
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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 ...
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  • 6,172
21 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 (...
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  • 1,451
19 votes
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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 ...
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  • 6,759
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 ...
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  • 2,820
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 ...
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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 ...
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13 votes
Accepted

What order of response time can I expect if I hit the "911" button on my SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker?

Types of satellite-based emergency beacons Personal Locator Beacons Personal Locator Beacons (or PLBs) have one and only one purpose: to send your location to emergency responders, indicating that ...
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  • 8,600
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 ...
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  • 3,313
12 votes

What should a rescue team be equipped with?

To be honest, the most important thing a Rescue Team needs to have is plenty of manpower (and womanpower!) with training and experience (speaking as a member of a UK Cave Rescue Team).
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11 votes

How can I know if a rope is certified? I found a hidden tag

It is never advisable to use any safety gear that you do not know the history of. Doesn't matter if it is legit, what matters is the history of the rope. If it's a club rope for climbing then there ...
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  • 53k
11 votes

What is the proper technique for self-arrest when wearing crampons?

Although @ReverendGonzo gave a nice answer I want to start a little debate. There is no explicit answer to this question. Different alpine clubs have different opinions and even different mountain ...
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11 votes
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What should a rescue team be equipped with?

Below is the bare minimum list of gear I would require anyone on my team to carry during and rescue operation. It does not include any of the numerous pieces of rope equipment that members of the rope ...
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10 votes
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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) ...
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  • 1,887
9 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 ...
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  • 941
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 (...
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  • 21.5k
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 ...
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  • 10.5k
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 ...
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  • 1,451
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 ...
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7 votes
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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 ...
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  • 1,717
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 ...
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  • 9,534
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 ...
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  • 161
6 votes
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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 ...
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  • 1,451
6 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 ...
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  • 6,172
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 ...
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