Crevasse rescue

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Preparation for crevasse rescue
A "casualty" during training

As a crevasse rescue method is called to rescue a climber from a crevasse . Different methods are used depending on the situation.


Big rope teams

In large groups, ideally with four or more mountaineers, the team train method is usually used. A large part of the team pulls the victim out, only the climber closest to the column is entrusted with communication tasks. The problem here is the risk of further injuries for the accident victim, since the pull on the rope is very great. The rope may cut into the ice at the edge of the crevice and the person to be rescued will be pulled against the ice wall, which can cause chest injuries in particular .

Three-way rope teams

For a three-person rope team, the recovery is much more complex and the loose role is used. While the rearmost climber (furthest from the crevice) takes on the task of securing the middle one, the latter can create a safe stand. An ice screw is preferably used for this . If this is not possible, an ice ax can be dug in the snow across the pull of the rope. Then the pull of the rope is transferred to the anchorage by means of a cord , which is secured by the weight of the stand builder. This relieves the rearmost climber and can move to the edge of the crevasse. The loose end of the rope is now lowered to the victim with a threaded snap hook as a loop. He now hangs the carabiner in the rope point of his climbing harness, creating a deflection point that enables easier pulling up , similar to a rope pull . Another cord is attached as a backstop using a Prusik knot .


If the group is unable to pull the victim out of the gap, the victim has to save himself. Using two accessory cords, climbing loops can be created with Prusik knots, with the help of which one can climb up to the edge of the crevasse. This works by alternately loading the accessory cords, one of which is attached above head level and one at leg level. The lower one is firmly connected to a foot so that the climber can push himself upwards, whereby the upper accessory cord is pushed further before it takes over the load again so that the leg sling can be tightened.

However, you cannot get over the edge of the crevice because the rope is cut (the load creates pressure on the ice, which melts in the process) and you cannot push the loops any further. First, the lower cord is dismantled and a backstop (for example Gardaschinge ) is tied to the rope point and the loose end of the rope is guided through this, which in turn acts as a deflection. Now the rope has to go through a carabiner, which is attached to the upper cord, and a rope pull is created. With its help, the climber can now pull himself up and relieve the rope at the edge of the crevice by bracing himself with his feet. In this way, the cord can be pushed over the edge of the crevice and the victim can completely free himself from the crevice.

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