By far the most common rescue situation is the second climber requiring assistance to reach the belay - particularly partners who have been persuaded to attempt a route beyond their normal aspirations!
It is a simple matter for a leader who has practised rescue techniques to effect a 3:1 pulley if the second is less than one third of a rope-length below. The first step is to lock off the belay device. A French prusik is now attached to the live side of the rope and clipped into the belay, to act as a one-way clutch. A loop of rope with a screwgate karabiner attached is lowered down to the stricken climber, who is instructed to clip this to the attachment point on his/her harness.
Any slack in the system is now taken in, and the leader is able to release the belay device, which now acts simply as part of a pulley in the hoisting mechanism. The second is able to assist by pulling on the strand of rope traveling towards his or her harness in the process of hoisting. It is important that the leader keeps an eye on the French prusik clutch system to check that nothing jams up allowing slack rope to build up with attendant potential for a fall.
Aimed at recreational climbers, Self Rescue for Climbers is a comprehensive guide to solving problems encountered in such situations as multi pitching in the mountains, sea cliffs or roadside crags. The DVD's format enables the viewer to access relevant information quickly, providing a basic toolbox of techniques which can be applied in any situation.
With scenarios filmed on famous climbs in locations including Malham, Gogarth, the Llanberris Pass and Tremadog, Self Rescue for Climbers is not only 90 minutes of expert instruction, but also a stunning tribute to the possibilities available to the recreational climber in North Wales.
In part 4 of this short video series, Steve Long shows how to prussik up a rope.
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