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  • Writer's pictureMichael Jeffers

Improvised Rescue for Climbers

We managed to find possibly the only piece of dry rock in Perthshire today for a day teaching climbing problem solving today.

Upper Cave Crag in Dunkeld is steep enough to ensure that the bottom pitch of “The Ramp” was almost completely dry despite the dismal weather.

Topics covered included what to do when you drop your belay plate (Belaying with Italian hitch with both in reach and out of reach anchors. Locking off an Italian hitch under load.

The we moved on to hoisting using a belay plate both in normal mode and guide mode.

More serious problems require the uninsured climber to escape from system (both with in reach and out of reach anchors.)

The most serious problems covered involves what to do if the uninsured climber has to abseil down to rescue an unconscious or incapacitated partner. This is easier to do as a single abseil in which case the rope can be left in situ. If more than one abseil is required then this must be done as a counter balance abseil so the rope can be retrieved and reused.

Obviously it is hoped that these skills are never needed in earnest but all climbers should have a toolkit of skills to deal with common problems and/or a partner who is stuck.

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