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Glacier Skills and Crevasse Rescue

I'm scheduled to take a Glacier Skills and Crevasse Rescue class at the EMS Climbing School in North Conway, next week. This class is designed to prepare east coast climbers who are heading out west to climb bigger peaks like Mt Rainier. I've been told that the EMS course focuses on crevasse identification followed by practical exercises outdoors on how to tie into a rope team and pulley rescues.

Scottish Mountaineering Council

In the past, I've found  many of the videos produced by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland to be particularly helpful in understanding  specific mountaineering skills. These two describe rope team technique and pulley techniques for crevasse rescue, which sound like what I'll be learning in my EMS Climbing School class. 

Rope Technique for Glacier Travel

This video explains how to rope together the members of a climbing team, as well as the best way to tie yourself into a rope to prevent flipping over headfirst, if you fall into a crevasse.

Rope and Pulley Technique for Crevasse Rescue

If you are only roped to one other person and they fall into a crevasse, it helps to have a pulley to extract them. This video explains how to set up an anchor and pulley system to make such an rescue possible.

Fun with Ropes

I have really been having a lot of fun this winter taking ice climbing and mountaineering classes with EMS. Plus I'm really intrigued by all of the rope and knot techniques that are required to climb. I never thought I'd fall in love with this stuff, but it is cool, and I may have to master some of it this winter.

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  1. Philip,

    Awesome you are taking this course. I've had the chance to learn a lot of this stuff since moving out to the Seattle area, I've taken a couple mountaineering courses with Alpine Ascents International. There's no substitute for hands-on learning! Having hauled people out of crevasses (and jumped into them to be hauled out) in training, I can say there is a lot you learn in the process of doing it for real. Enjoy the course and let me know if you head out this way!


  2. Hey Sean, Great to hear from you. Mountains for you. Hmmmm. Running up and down them, I presume?

    I don't have any plans to come out west yet, but who knows? All the best.

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