Tying in

Every climber ties into a seat harness. For glacier travel, each person also needs to wear a chest harness. (Review the details in Chapter 6 about making and tying in to chest harnesses). Here are some general glacier tie-in procedures, depending on the size of the rope team:

Three-person rope: This is the standard size for a rope team on a moderate glacier. The middle climber ties into the very center of the rope, most commonly with a double bowline through the tie-in loops of the seat harness. The small loop that remains at the end of the double bowline should be clipped with a locking carabiner to the harness to ensure the knot can't come loose. The two other climbers tie in at the very ends of the rope, usually with a rewoven figure-8.

Four-person rope: Divide the rope into thirds. Two climbers tie in at the ends, the other two tie in at the one-third points.

Two-person rope: Although a three-person rope is preferred for moderate glacier travel, ropes will sometimes have only two climbers. The most convenient procedure is to use only a part of the rope so you don't have to drag the whole thing through the snow. Each climber ties in anywhere from 25 to 50 feet from an end of the rope; then each carries a loose end on top of the pack or around the shoulders. This keeps the loose rope out of your way while you climb, but ready for use in a crevasse rescue.

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