About Rigging for Rescue

Rigging for Rescue offers technical ropework seminars renowned for their focus on applying the critical thinking and systems analysis skills required to competently incorporate ropework and rigging into effective rescue systems. For more information visit www.riggingforrescue.com

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Winter in Ouray means ice climbing, and at Rigging for Rescue it means ice rescue workshops. Ice Park Manager and Rigging for Rescue instructor Kevin Koprek has been working hard to build our winter playground, and the proof is in the results. Check it out here: http://www.facebook.com/OurayiceparkInc

And mother nature has been doing her job to grow the backcountry climbs that also make Ouray the ice climbing capital of North America. The San Juan Mountain Guides Blog is a reliable source for current backcountry conditions.

Every year, Rigging for Rescue offers Waterfall Ice Rescue Workshops to military and civilian SAR teams from all over the country. RfR also hosts an open enrollment ice workshop running January 15-20. This offering focuses on efficient climbing movement and companion rescue in addition to team based rescue techniques. More information and photos can be found on our website here.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Ouray this winter!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yosemite Update and Beyond

Rigging for Rescue held an open enrollment Update and Beyond seminar in Yosemite Valley in October.  It was great to see old friends and train in such an inspiring setting.  Below are some photos from a packed week.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

ITRS 2011

Earlier this month representatives from Rigging for Rescue once again attended the International Technical Rescue Symposium in Ft. Collins, Colorado.  Every year ITRS brings together members of the rescue community to discuss the state of the art of technical rescue.  This event is always a worthwhile experience - a great opportunity to share ideas and visit with friends.

Included in this year's program was a report from Matt Stark from YOSAR.  Matt shared the findings from an ongoing evaluation of the Yosemite Helicopter Rappel Program, which included a study conducted in conjunction with Rigging for Rescue.  The RfR report can be found here.

Next year's ITRS will be held in Seattle, Washington from November 1-4.  We hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ouray Mountain Rescue Refresher

The Ouray Mountain Rescue Team recently completed a 3-day Rigging for Rescue workshop.  Included in the field exercises were the 2-attendant moderate slope lower and raise and guiding line pictured below.  It's always fun to train in the sunshine with close friends!

2-Attendant Technique

2-attendant 1

2-attendant 2

2-attendant 3

Guiding Line

Guiding Line 1

Guiding Line 2

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pike 'n Pivot

Pike 'n Pivot is a technique developed by Rigging for Rescue in the mid 1990's as a method for negotiating a 90 degree edge with no high directional.  The technique greatly reduces the effort needed to execute a difficult edge transition using more traditional methods.

The footage below shows a Pike 'n Pivot during an open enrollment seminar in Ouray in September of this year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rigging for Washington

Rigging for Rescue instructor and Denali National Park mountaineering ranger Brandon Latham is currently in Washington DC as as rigging consultant for the ongoing repairs to the Washington Monument.  Learn more about the project here: http://www.usatoday.com/news/destinations/story/2011-09-29/Expert-team-faces-a-monumental-task-in-Washington/50610458/1

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Updated Website

New content in the updated Rigging for Rescue website includes:

-2012 open enrollment calendar for both the Rigging for Rescue and Update and Beyond seminars.
-Information and photos for the 2012 Mountain Rescue Week
-Information about contract testing
-And selected testing videos

Included in the testing videos now available on the website is this favorite, which many may recall from past Rigging for Rescue seminars

About this video:
200kg test mass. Fall factor zero. 10.5mm climbing rope (aka dynamic rope). 30m of rope-in-service using a Tandem Prusik Belay. More than 5m of stop distance. High elongation ropes - like a climbing rope - are not appropriate as rescue belay lines. 

Rigging for Rescue is producing this video for promotional purposes. It is not comprehensive and is not intended to be instructional. Further, Rigging for Rescue reserves all intellectual property associated with this video.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ice Workshop 2012

This year's ice workshop will run from January 15-20 in Ouray, Colorado.  More information about this offering is available on the Rigging for Rescue website here: http://www.riggingforrescue.com/WI.html .

Here are some photos from previous Ice Workshops:

Rigging for Rescue also conducts ice workshops on a contract basis.  Contact the RfR office for pricing and scheduling.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Destruction in the name of Education

Rigging for Rescue’s slow pull machine, dubbed “The Rack”, has been brought out for two recent seminars. Seminar participants were invited to test knots, anchor systems, hardware, and any other item that they wanted to see pulled to failure. Clearly these tests can only be considered “quick-look” and non-comprehensive testing.

This Prusik bypass failed at 27.4 kN

Monday, July 11, 2011

Paint it Black

Members of Rocky Mountain Fire and West Metro Fire collaborated for a Rigging for Rescue seminar in Ouray last month.  Part of the curriculum included a multipitch lower off of the Alimony Wall in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  Home to the biggest walls in Colorado, the Black Canyon is a true gem.  Kudos to the seminar participants who executed this exercise in good form. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Update and Beyond: Highlines, Guiding Lines, Deflection Lines, Oh My

A diverse group of rope access, fire service, swiftwater and mountain rescue personnel attended last week's Update and Beyond seminar in Ouray, including folks from Australia, Rescue Japan, North Carolina, and Colorado's Front Range. 

As usual, it was a skilled and motivated crew that found time for both training and fun in the Ouray sunshine.

Deflection Line over the Gorge

Guiding Line to float the litter over difficult terrain

Highline over the reservoir 


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rigging for Rescue in Iceland

2011 marked Mike's third trip to Iceland and fourth time working with members of ICE-SAR.  This year’s training was held in and around the Reykjavik area. It included ICE SAR participants from various teams around the island nation.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Instructor “Training” – Mt. Huntington

Rigging for Rescue instructors Mike Gibbs and Kevin Koprek took some time following their recent contract seminar with Denali National Park and the 212th RQS to climb the much revered Mt. Huntington.  Gibbs and Koprek chose the Colton/Leach route, a neighbor to the much more often climbed West Face Couloir.  This Alaska Grade 6 route was established by British climbers Nick Colton and Timothy Leach in 1981. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Denali/212th RQS

Rigging for Rescue instructors Mike Gibbs and Kevin Koprek recently completed an annual seminar with 212th Rescue Squadron and Denali National Park.  This year’s collaborative training between the Denali Mountaineering Rangers and Air Force Pararescuemen took place in the Ruth Gorge.  As always, it was a great seminar in an incredible setting with skilled, motivated participants.  

Monday, May 2, 2011

Busy Spring!

Recent months have seen Rigging for Rescue instructors racking up frequent flyer miles crisscrossing the continent conducting both open enrollment and contract seminars, including seminars for The Canadian Department of National Defense, Organ Mountain Technical Rescue, the South Marin Fire Protection District, the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, the Ontario Provincial Police and two open enrollment seminars in the Yosemite Valley. 

Kootenay Highline System with a reeving variation with the South Marin Fire Protection District

 The blue glacier ice surrounds Brian as he waits for rescue

Eklutna Valley falls away under the rescue crew as they work at passing a knot during a long lower

Special thanks to seminar participant John Borland for the above photos from the AMRG seminar.  More can be found at his blog: http://www.morffed.com/2011/Rigging-For-Rescue-Seminar/16472600_q9bsS#1239626232_n7M4w

If you participated in any of these seminars, feel free to email us with any photos that you would like posted.

Ice Rescue Seminars on Contract

In addition to our open enrollment Waterfall Ice Rescue Workshop, we were please to host several ice rescue workshops on contract in Ouray this year.  Participating groups included the 103rd Pararescue Squadron, the Canadian Special Operations Regiment, and Canadian Forces SAR Techs from various Squadrons.  Thank you to all who participated.

 Leading Ice

Companion Rescue

Thursday, March 31, 2011

2011 Ice Workshop

Another Rigging for Rescue Waterfall Ice Rescue Workshop is in the books.  Thank you to all our participants who helped make it another fantastic training!

Transitioning to the second station during a multi-pitch exercise