Roofed crevasses

Wide roofed crevasses present special problems. The fallen climber may be hanging free, without a stabilizing wall for support, and the accident rope typically entrenches itself deeply into the snow of the crevasse roof. The climber may be bombarded by snow and ice dislodged by the rescuers above, who will be working in an area of proven instability.

Sometimes it's necessary for a well-belayed rescuer to take a shovel or axe and enlarge the hole the climber fell through. Do your best to keep snow and ice from hitting the climber.

Knowledge and preparation will minimize the hazards of roofed crevasses and the other problems of traveling near crevasses. Glacier travelers who learn about crevasses and regard them with a healthy respect may never fall in. If they do, they will know the techniques that give them the best chance to get back out.

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