Backup support

A party gains in strength if it has a support team nearby or if there are other climbers in the area. To be useful, a support team must be willing and able to come to your aid, and ready to initiate rescue automatically at a prearranged time. Then, if your party doesn't report in by a certain time, a rescue effort will get under way.

At the very least, be sure to leave a written description of your plans with a responsible person who will dispatch help if you don't return on time. Leave enough information so rescuers have a fair idea where to look, but there's no need to make it so detailed that you limit your own choices when you get to the area. If you do deviate from the schedule you left behind, keep in mind that you may be complicating any rescue effort. Give an estimated time of return, but build in enough leeway so that a few hours' delay from a routefinding error or other minor problem won't result in having the rescuers called out. Don't forget to check in when you return.

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