Self Rescue for Climbers - Escaping the System

© Steve Long

In part 2 of this short video series, Steve Long shows how to escape the system.
Part 1 - Tying off the Belay Plate

Having locked off the plate (see Self Rescue for Climbers - How to Tie Off a Belay Plate), you can now connect the casualty or stuck climber directly to the belay anchor so that you are now freed from the safety system - ensure that your anchors can take the direction of loading that will ensue.

Attach a prusik loop to the live rope using a reliable prusik knot such as a klemheist. This can be connected back to the belay anchor using a long sling, then tensioned by sliding the prusik as far down the live rope as possible. The belay device can now be carefully released and slack paid out to check that the prusik is holding the load without slipping. The brake rope should now be fixed directly to the anchor using an Italian (M¸nter) hitch and removed from the belay plate. Finally tension the rope and tie off the hitch with a couple of half-hitches (ìM¸nter muleî)

The system is set up ready to escape

Anchors Out of Reach

If the belay is not a convenient central anchor point, but consists of one or two anchors beyond arm's reach, escaping the system involves a couple more steps. Attach a sling to the belay ropes using a klemheist and join this to the prusik. Having escaped the system you can secure the live rope by tying an overhand knot on a bight below the klemheist and then fixing a M¸nter mule to a karabiner clipped into the loop. The anchors can now be equalized using slings to create a central anchor point. Connect the live rope back to this and if necessary all the rest of the rope can now be stripped from the anchors to be used for a rescue.

Escaping the system if the anchors are out of reach

Self Rescue for Climbers DVD

Self Rescue for Climbers DVD

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.

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16 Feb, 2011
That's a really good video. I often use the rope to build my belays, rather than slings. How would I go about escaping the system if I had a 3 or 4 piece belay equalised using the rope?
16 Feb, 2011
you mean using ropes equalised from anchors back to you not to a central power point ? if so, use the method described (and in the 1st picture) for when anchors are out of reach, put a klemheist sling around all your ropes - equalising and considering direction of pull. Link the prussik to this sling, release belay plate slowly to load this set up. Then you can use your tie-ins (remember to stay attached somehow) to create a powerpoint and tie the live rope into them via a munter-mule (locked off italian hitch) and remove the prussik and kleimheist there was a thread on this a short while ago from Andi Turner with good stuff on it
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