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, June 14, 2016

Grand Teton National Park

We recently returned from a Rigging for Rescue seminar on contract with the Jenny Lake climbing ranger cadre of Grand Teton National Park.  It is always a privilege to train in beautiful settings such as the Tetons. Additionally, the Jenny Lake ranger cadre is a very experienced crew of practitioners that bring a lot of skills to the table. The discussions and exploration of topics/techniques is generally much richer in depth and breadth, given the vast amount of collective rescue experience in such a team as the Jenny Lake rangers.

Each day we traveled by boat across Jenny Lake itself in order to access the granite crags in Cascade Canyon, near the base of Baxter Pinnacle. We covered a bit of refresher material, some new command & control ideas, pickoffs, litter work, and a big Guiding Line that traveled over the rugged talus field adjacent to the popular Practice Rocks cragging area.
2-attendant litter work above Jenny Lake

The ever reliable 540 Rescue Belay device

 Pickoff stations near Hidden Falls

Helmets and PFDs - safety first!

The Tetons
Vertical litter orientation for high angle

RfR Specialty Techniques - Ouray, Colorado

Our recent spring open enrollment offering of RfR Specialty Techniques included a diverse group of practitioners. We had folks from mountain rescue teams, special operations community members, and  even a participant from the Danish navy.

Topics and techniques explored included:

  • a detailed discussion of artificial high directionals including the construction and use of a Sideways A-Frame bipod
  • a mid-face litter pickoff 
  • the Kootenay Highline System in a spectacular location across the Ouray Ice Park gorge
  • the San Juan Pickoff along with multi-pitch transitions 
  • and much more
    Kootenay Highline System

    Mid-face litter pickoff

    Station management at a hanging belay

    Multi-pitch transition using the San Juan Pickoff

    Sideways A-Frame
The last exercise was particularly challenging as it included a hanging belay transition - similar to what you would find in a big wall setting.  When you cannot unweight the system via a stance, all of the tension transfer tools in your toolbox need to be well applied and carefully considered.  In a hanging belay, it is very "self critiquing" when you don't get the steps just right.