Wilderness Climbing Essentials Building Project
To be prepared, to leave no trace, and to travel light; all are important aspects of our outdoor endeavors. Here is a project that can become an important part of your gear bag.
We use lanyards for positioning on nearly every climb. Hopefully we will never need a pickoff strap. In a worst-case scenario, you need to unload a rescue subject from a tensioned climbing system and lower them to the ground. This may involve a hauling device to create mechanical advantage to transfer the patient/victim to a lowering system.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a piece of gear that you would be using on every climb that could also function as a portable hauling system?
Here’s a recipe for a lanyard/pickoff strap that will serve both functions.
Twelve to fifteen feet of nine millimeter static kernmantle
Two locking carabiners
Five feet high strength eight millimeter prusik cord
Two load-rated micro-pulleys
One extra prusik or runner sling
One extra locking carabiner
Double fisherman noose knot
Figure eight stopper
Picture 1: Attach working end of the lanyard (nine millimeter kernmantle) to a locking carabiner with double fisherman noose knot.
Picture 2: Attach load-rated micro-pulley and another locking carabiner to lanyard with 5:1 distel hitch
Picture 3: Place figure eight stopper knot in running end of lanyard.
Picture 4: This then, is the finished lanyard.
I keep this lanyard on my left hip as an alternate and a grillion as my primary on my right hip. To use as a hauling system to transfer victim/patient’s weight to the lowering system I do the following.
Picture 5: Micro-pulley with accompanying distel is connected to end of lowering line with carabiner.
Picture 6: Working end is also attached to end of lowering line after being threaded through second micro-pulley that is to be attached to victim/patient with extra locking carabiner.
Picture 7: add footloop or ascender to running end to assist with lifting.
System is now ready to act as hauling device with distel performing as a progress-capture device allowing hands-free capability.
Aerial and self-rescue are important considerations as we venture to our canopy environments. I do not intend this as a tutorial on rescue in general, only a heads up on what a climber should have in their bag of tricks should the need arrive, and that choosing equipment with multiple uses can prove invaluable. The more uses the better. This system sets up fast because it’s all ready to go and I think every climber should have one on their hip.