/ Self Rescue Problem

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mmmhumous on 05 Feb 2014
There's a pair of 'experienced' climbers, moving together with coils along a very narrow ridge. He slips at take a tumble off the ridge. The rope is just straight between them with no runner, so She is a hero and jumps off t'other side of the ridge. What should they do to rescue them selves. (In all cases, assume the only way is back up).

1. Assume the ground was 'easy' to get back to the top, but they can't hear each other.

2. Assuming the ground was 'difficult' to get back to the top, but they can't hear each other.

3. He was too badly injured to climb, or attach himself for an assisted hoist.
jkarran - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to mmmhumous:

1. Tentatively climb, if the rope goes slack you know your partner is doing the same or is at least not descending further. If it doesn't then repeat a few times to see if they get the message. Communicate when you can.

2. Ascend the rope using whatever kit and skills are available/useful. Communicate when you can from a safe position/belay.

3. As for 1 or 2 depending what happens to the rope when you start to climb. Make yourself and your partner's rope safe using available kit and skills then deal with the situation once you can assess it properly.

Too many variables really to say any more.
jk
Andy Manthorpe on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to mmmhumous:

1) Put a French Prusik on the rope and slide it up as you climb. Once you have enough slack, put your belay device on under the prusik and take in through that. Keep the prusik short so it sits close to the belay device and can be pushed up with it, until you get to a point you can communicate or see what is going on the other side. Best if you both have an agreement to do this before you set off.

2) As above or prusik up the rope until you can see or communicate. Then take the appropriate action.

3) You still need to get to a point where you can tell what needs to be done. Ascend, rig a belay. Take appropriate rescue action.
andrewmcleod - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to mmmhumous:
Definitely not qualified to comment, but in any of those situations I would probably want to build some sort of a belay and attach myself/the rope to it if that was an option? Wouldn't like to consider me/my partner climbing to the top of the ridge and getting pulled over, would like to make myself safe (and by extension my partner) safe(r).

Once the rope was secured by a multi-direction anchor, it could then be ascended, placing gear for lead solo if tricky? possibly?
Post edited at 12:37
jkarran - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> Once the rope was secured by a multi-direction anchor, it could then be ascended, placing gear for lead solo if tricky? possibly?

You're not likely to have a right lot of kit in the scenario mentioned, maybe a few slings and nuts plus a bit of snow/ice kit and whatever you can improvise.

jk
andrewmcleod - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to jkarran:

Hopefully at least one of you is carrying some sort of rack and prusiks though? A few nuts, slings, krabs, a belay device and a prusik could make all the difference.
alexcollins123 - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to mmmhumous:

If all else fails, create an anchor where you are, tie off partner and let out some coils to go and see how they are on the other side! Even if you just wrap the rope around a suitable rock if you don't have any gear i'm sure it would work
martinph78 on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to mmmhumous:

I always read these sorts of things with a lot of skepticism.

If the second falls do you think the leader would have a clue which way they'd gone and have time to make the decision which way to jump, never mind actually do it? Even if it was the leader who fell and the second wasn't watching their feet, I still think it's unlikely.

I would love to hear from anyone who has done this successfully though, always happy to be proved wrong...

Personally if the ropes out in a situation where one is likely to fall, there should be runners or a belay. Or one walking the opposite side of the ridge to the other if that is possible.
Trangia - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to Martin1978:

>

> If the second falls do you think the leader would have a clue which way they'd gone and have time to make the decision which way to jump, never mind actually do it? Even if it was the leader who fell and the second wasn't watching their feet, I still think it's unlikely.

That's always been my query about this scenario, but I remember it frequently being put forward as "best practice" in the 1950s

> I would love to hear from anyone who has done this successfully though, always happy to be proved wrong...

Me too

> Personally if the ropes out in a situation where one is likely to fall, there should be runners or a belay.

Agreed
BnB - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to Trangia:

I'm extremely nervous about Scottish death roping. Let there always be runners!!
jon on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to Trangia:
> >I would love to hear from anyone who has done this successfully though, always happy to be proved wrong...

> Me too

Well not me but a friend who worked at an establishment in Leysin had to do just that when descending the snow arÍte of the North Ridge of the Zinal Rothorn. Both clients fell off the same side. Evidently it does work. A slight variation on the theme happened to me when descending the Grenz Gletscher with two people. We were roped with a fair distance between us. I felt a slight tug on my waist and looked back to see no-one at all. They'd both simultaneously fallen into two different crevasses!
Post edited at 18:03
top cat - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to Martin1978:

> I always read these sorts of things with a lot of skepticism.


> I would love to hear from anyone who has done this successfully though, always happy to be proved wrong...

>

Yes, but I was half expecting it, and had the rope running behind a block. My other half went about 10', I jumped about 5' and the rope friction did the rest. When we'd finished swearing/laughing we just climbed back up and continued.

mmmhumous on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to Trangia:

> That's always been my query about this scenario, but I remember it frequently being put forward as "best practice" in the 1950s

>

> Me too

> Agreed

Pretty much where this post stemmed from...the idea that IF you're both on top of the ridge AND decided that runners are overrated AND the 'non faller' has cat like reflexes and nerves of steel. They catch the fall.... now what?


mmmhumous on 05 Feb 2014
My thinking was:

1) Climb, get in communication. If I'd got a prussic or clove hitch on the crab on my belay loop,to tie off my coils then I might pull the live rope though this as I climbed to remove the slack

2) & 3) Like alexcollins123:

I'd create an anchor, tie off the live rope, let out my coils and the either "climb with a prussic" for safety or prussic up the live rope.

The bit I'm struggling with in my head is the "rescue part" in situation 3:
Can't see a Z hoist working on the narrow ridge. Think it'd be a judgement call whether to:
-Tie them off from a suitable anchor and leave them hanging whilst I went for help.
-Ab down and clip them in for an assisted hoist and do a spot of triage.
-
martinph78 on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to mmmhumous:

> Pretty much where this post stemmed from...the idea that IF you're both on top of the ridge AND decided that runners are overrated AND the 'non faller' has cat like reflexes and nerves of steel. They catch the fall.... now what?

Yeah, I stop and ask questions well before the "now what" stage. Such as "why are we roped together?". If the answer is "in case one of us falls" then place runners (or loop over a spike, or belay, or whatever).

Your question still works if you do place runners, one falling may cause the other to slip and fall down the other side, so self-rescue is still required, just not the cat-like reflexes and nerves of steel.

Just my opinion of course, and quite a boring one by the looks of things.

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liz j on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to mmmhumous:

Just give the other person a call on their mobile phone, communication problem solved!

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