Rope teams

Rope teams of three climbers each are a good size for moderate glaciers because they provide two people, not just one, to arrest a ropemate's fall into a crevasse. Glacier rope teams usually keep 40 or 50 feet between climbers, putting three people on a 120-foot rope and three or four on a 150-foot or 165-foot rope. Putting the climbers much closer together increases the danger that more than one will be dragged into a crevasse before a fall can be arrested.

On severely crevassed or very steep glaciers where frequent belaying is required, rope teams of only two climbers (as in rock climbing) are the most practical.

A minimum of two rope teams is recommended for glacier travel so that a rope team involved in an accident will have backup help. While the team with the fallen climber concentrates on holding the rope fast, the second team can set up a snow anchor and then help with the rescue, including providing a second rope.

Continue reading here: Tying in

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