Brute force

Here's a technique we can all understand. Just grab the rope and pull. This is an excellent method for large groups because it's fast, uncomplicated, uses minimal equipment, and requires little or no help from the fallen climber. It works best when perhaps half a dozen strong rescuers can haul on the rope and when the working platform for the pullers is flat or downhill.

After the rescuers have established an anchor, checked the fallen climber, and padded the rope at the lip of the crevasse, they line up along the accident rope and grasp it. They haul by pulling on the rope hand over hand or by moving step by step away from the crevasse.

One rescuer tends the anchor and its tie-in point to the accident rope (where it is attached with a prusik knot, Bachmann knot, or a mechanical ascender). As the rope is pulled up, this rescuer sees that it moves smoothly through the tie-in point. The knot or ascender is then in position to grip and hold the rope if the rope is dropped or the pullers need a rest.

Rescuers should pull the rope at a slow, steady pace, especially when the fallen climber reaches the crevasse lip. If the rope has cut into the lip, the climber could be hurt by being pulled into the wall. At this point, rescuers may ask the climber to scramble over the lip while they hoist.

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