Hot answers tagged

40

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 and eventually even death. Of course you say the victim is conscious, so he might be able to move or even install a foot-loop to transition weight to his legs. ...


25

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 suspended the weight will tend to settle onto the leg loops, depending of course on the position that you end up in. But either way the harness will end up ...


25

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, rescue pole or hook, an oar, a backboard, etc without having to enter the water. Victim(s) must be conscious, alert, and able to grab and hold on to the ...


25

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 backpack over the snow surface. All participants walked away from his beacon in a straight line with their own beacons in "search" mode. We all marked in the snow the ...


23

First - Assess the situation and determine if an active rescue is possible and safe. Many would-be rescuers are caught or killed in follow up avalanches because they acted without assessing the surrounding conditions. Assuming you have equipment to assist in the rescue follow the guidelines below. Yell to alert your partners and other people that may be ...


21

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 (and if you're not able, stay out of the way of the rescue team) securing your position takes precedence over the next steps (you don't want to be the next task ...


19

You never want to stop yourself with the crampons because they are liable to catch, flip you over and, at best, put you in a worse situation than before and, at worst, break your legs. Instead you want to first stop yourself using the pick of the ice axe, with your crampons raised above the ice. You can use your knees as an additional brake. The way you do ...


19

This is a very complicated topic, and you can take an entire course where you learn and practice the techniques. Reading an answer on SE is not going to be enough. You need to practice. The following is just an outline. There is an entire chapter in Freedom of the Hills on glacier travel and crevasse rescue. The first step is always going to be to construct ...


19

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 you cannot untie the knots. However, you can also drop a different strand of rope down to the victim and haul them out with that (it's then called a rescue ...


16

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 at back floating, but put just a ten pound weight on your chest and see if you can still float. A person will weigh more than that. People in distress in the ...


14

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 you need some kind of urgent help. They use a satellite network operated by government agencies worldwide, and send your distress call directly to a government-...


14

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 little complicated to understand, but basically the worst case is if the PED emits a signal at or very close to 457kHz, which is the beacon frequency. LED ...


14

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 potentially damage this important piece of equipment before you even enter avalanche terrain. In the event of an avalanche, it's not just the pressure of snow on ...


13

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 easily visible, and this sketch is nothing but a simplified physicist's view of the 3:1 pulley system the OP attached to his post. Take a moment to see this ...


12

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).


11

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 team would cary in addition to the basic equipment ( only specific team members that have completed extensive training are qualified to be involved in any of ...


11

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 should be a record of usage and falls. If no record exists, then it is unknown whether the rope has taken any significant falls or if it is still safe to use. ...


10

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 guides in one organization. That being said, I think the process described by @ReverendGonzo (which I will call default process) is very common and also the ...


10

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) A backpack with a complete change of clothes in a watertight bag. The backpack must have a harness that goes between your legs so it doubles as a flotation ...


9

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 without seeing the details of the situation. If you attempt to help and mess up there may be more casualties to rescue and the injuries may be worse. Alternatively ...


9

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 (my handwritten notes are unpublishable...). The following derivation is (hopefully) rigorous, but as it is only text and some formulas it is potentially not ...


8

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 and the "muscle pump" generated by movement of the legs, especially of the feet against the ground. The loss of consciousness is a symptom, but after a person ...


8

The Wikipedia article has a lot of detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distress_radiobeacon. There's no fee. In the USA, the response comes from government agencies such as the Coast Guard. It does need to be registered, but registration is free and easy online. If you use it when there's not an emergency, you could be fined.


8

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 not going to get better no matter what type of supplies could be hauled up to you. The only way to rescue someone is to get them down, and get them down quickly....


7

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 and you can easily determine them all step by step. (A more detailed explanation can be found here.) In this case this would look like so: In practice however ...


6

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 victims, some are not even found after hours of searching. The chance that at least some part of 30 m rope will be over the surface and therefore allows ...


6

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 quite easily on my own because I was very close to the shoreline and able to walk out. Believe me icy water takes all the energy out of you. A few years back, a ...


6

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 particular the one in the water) to be prepared, which can only be seen to in advance. One technical but sometimes overlooked aspect is that when you are the ...


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