Falling into a crevasse is never the plan – but surprises can happen. You need to know how to get your partners out, using crevasse rescue techniques, efficiently and with back-ups. This course is strongly suggested for those climbers who are considering tackling bigger climbs that involve glacier travel. In our two-day course we’ll practice the fundamentals of crevasse rescue, then we’ll take our skills out onto the glacier on the second day to refine our travel techniques, informed by our understanding of how to extract a partner in the unlikely event that someone does punch through. We’ll have ample opportunity to refine techniques and have plenty of chances to practice. We’ll also be able to go more in-depth on rope systems and route-finding on glaciers and in glaciated terrain.
Day 1 – Crevasse Rescue
This is the focus of the first day of our program. Together we’ll practice all the fundamental skills, and your guide will teach you strategies for combining technical ropework into systems that work quickly and efficiently.
Day 2 – Glacier Travel
On the second day, we’ll review your crevasse rescue fundamentals and then focus on the art of glacier travel. Remember, the goal is to stay on the surface and make it to the summit. This requires a lot more than just knowing what to do in the event of a crevasse rescue. First we’ll focus on effective communication and use of the rope to minimize the falling hazard. We’ll talk about how seasons and terrain can effect the crevasse hazard and we’ll practice identifying sagging bridges, compression zones, icefall hazard and areas where travel will be most efficient. These skills relate to route-finding. They also set us up to avoid crevasse falls, which can be dangerous, and crevasse rescue which consumes time and energy that we’d rather use climbing.
These two days are packed with both education and practice. Glacier travel is about more than just knowing what to do with the rope. This is especially true for the many complexities of the alpine environment where glacier travel is a portion of your climb, and crevasse rescue techniques must be a solid skillset, should you need to employ them in the mountains.