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Response To "Worst Case Scenario"

Author: Dan House
Date: February 03, 2004
The following is a response from Dan House out in Kansas City, to the article "Worst Case Scenario." The solution is not the same that I would have used, and is one that I had not considered. Therein lies the value of throwing these problems out for all to consider. I now have at least two solutions to the rescue situation presented.---Joe Maher

Dan Says:

I like the idea of sharing techniques for rescue. I have to hope that we all may never have to use the skills, but all of us should be experts at them. It is like CPR; having me know how will not save my own life but only if others know can they attempt to save me. I guess it goes to say that we should only climb with another that you can trust your life with.

This is how I would get an injured climber down that is on SRT at 10 feet from his tie-in point. I am assuming that there are no other anchor limbs to use and we both have our own lanyards.

His rope is 150 feet long and attached to the tie in point at 90 feet. This leaves about 40 feet coiled on the ground.

Shout for help and pray.

Climb up his rope to come up next to him.

Be sure and position injured climber upright in his harness.

Secure myself to the tie in point with my own lanyard.

Assess injury and perform First Aid immediately.

Secure the injured climber with his own lanyard.

Climb up to just below tie-in point using my own lanyard.

Rig the bitter end of his rope thru a belay device attached to the tie in point.

Attach his bitter end to him and hoist him up enough to get him off of his SRT devices.

Begin to lower him and test belay system.

Remove him from his lanyard and lower him to the ground.

Remove the rope from the belay device.

Rappel down fixed line that is still attached to the tie in point.

Attend to injuries on the ground.

Depending on extent of injuries either leave victim and run for help or build travois to portage out climber.

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