Probing For Avalanche Victims

Probing offers the advantage of requiring simple equipment that can be operated by personnel with no previous training. Although the probers do not need previous training the search leader must be familiar with the technique to ensure proper execution of the probe line. a. Probe Poles. Rigid steel tubing approximately 3 4-inch in diameter and approximately 10 feet long is recommended for the primary probe pole. Longer poles are difficult to manage, especially in a high wind. Although this type...

Water Supply

Mountain water should never be assumed safe for consumption. Training in water discipline should be emphasized to ensure soldiers drink water only from approved sources. Fluids lost through respiration, perspiration, and urination must be replaced if the soldier is to operate efficiently. a. Maintaining fluid balance is a major problem in mountain operations. The sense of thirst may be dulled by high elevations despite the greater threat of dehydration. Hyperventilation and the cool, dry...

Presewn Harnesses

Although improvised harnesses are made from readily available materials and take little space in the pack or pocket, presewn harnesses provide other aspects that should be considered. No assembly is required, which reduces preparation time for roped movement. All presewn harnesses provide a range of adjustability. These harnesses have a fixed buckle that, when used correctly, will not fail before the nylon materials connected to it. However, specialized equipment, such as a presewn harness,...

Chapter Rope Installations

Fixed Rope With Intermediate 7-3 Section II. 7-5. Selection of a Rappel 7-6. Installation of the Rappel 7-7. Operation of the Rappel 7-8. Recovery of the Rappel 7-9. Types of Section III. One-Rope 7-10. Site 7-11. Installation Using Transport Tightening System 7-15 7-12. Installation Using Z-Pulley Tightening System 7-18 7-13. 7-14. Hauling 7-15. 7-16. Site 7-18. Section V. Vertical Hauling Line 7-27 7-19. Site 7-21. 7-22. Z-Pulley 7-23. U-Pulley

Rope Installations

When the water level begins to reach waist deep or the current is too swift for even a team crossing, the chosen site must be closely examined. The stream at this point may be impassable. Many times though, a crossing site which may be unsafe for individual or team crossings can be made safe with the installation of a handline or rope bridge. Crossing on a handline will still require each individual to enter the water and get wet. If a one-rope bridge can be constructed, it may require only a...

Margin Of Safety

Besides observing the standard safety precautions, the climber can avoid catastrophe by climbing with a wide margin of safety. The margin of safety is a protective buffer the climber places between himself and potential climbing hazards. Both subjective (personnel-related) and objective (environmental) hazards must be considered when applying the margin of safety. The leader must apply the margin of safety taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of the entire team or unit. a. When...

Avalanche Hazards

Avalanches occur when the weight of accumulated snow on a slope exceeds the cohesive forces that hold the snow in place. (Table 1-2, page 1-32, shows an avalanche hazard evaluation checklist.) a. Slope Stability. Slope stability is the key factor in determining the avalanche danger. (1) Slope Angle. Slopes as gentle as 15 degrees have avalanched. Most avalanches occur on slopes between 30 and 45 degrees. Slopes above 60 degrees often do not build up significant quantities of snow because they...

Directional Figureeight

The directional figure-eight knot forms a single, fixed loop in the middle of the rope that lays back along the standing part of the rope (Figure 4-16). It is a middle rope knot. a. Tying the Knot. STEP 1. Face the far side anchor so that when the knot is tied, it lays inward. STEP 2. Lay the rope from the far side anchor over the left palm. Make one wrap around the palm. STEP 3. With the wrap thus formed, tie a figure-eight knot around the standing part that leads to the far side anchor. STEP...

Chocks

Chock craft has been in use for many decades. A natural chockstone, having fallen and wedged in a crack, provides an excellent anchor point. Sometimes these chockstones are in unstable positions, but can be made into excellent anchors with little adjustment. Chock craft is an art that requires time and technique to master simple in theory, but complex in practice. Imagination and resourcefulness are key principles to chock craft. The skilled climber must understand the application of mechanical...

Figure Wind chill chart

Many other factors in various combinations determine if cold injuries will occur. (1) Previous Cold Injuries. If a soldier has had a cold injury before, he is at higher risk for subsequent cold injuries. (2) Race. Blacks are more susceptible to cold-weather injuries than Caucasians. (3) Geographic Origin. Personnel from warmer climates are more susceptible to cold injury than those from colder climates. (4) Ambient Temperature. The temperature of the air (or water) surrounding the body is...

Coiling And Carrying The Rope

Use the butterfly or mountain coil to coil and carry the rope. Each is easy to accomplish and results in a minimum amount of kinks, twists, and knots later during deployment. a. Mountain Coil. To start a mountain coil, grasp the rope approximately 1 meter from the end with one hand. Run the other hand along the rope until both arms are outstretched. Grasping the rope firmly, bring the hands together forming a loop, which is laid in the hand closest to the end of the rope. This is repeated,...

Bowlineonacoil

Mountaineering Coil

The bowline-on-a-coil is an expedient tie-in used by climbers when a climbing harness is not available (Figure 4-23). It is a specialty knot. STEP 1. With the running end, place 3 feet of rope over your right shoulder. The running end is to the back of the body. STEP 2. Starting at the bottom of your rib cage, wrap the standing part of the rope around your body and down in a clockwise direction four to eight times. STEP 3. With the standing portion of the rope in your left hand, make a...

Mountain Stream Crossings

Operations conducted in mountainous terrain may often require the crossing of swift flowing rivers or streams. Such crossings should not be taken lightly. The force of the flowing water may be extremely great and is most often underestimated. All rivers and streams are obstacles to movement. They should be treated as danger areas and avoided whenever possible. When rivers or streams must be crossed, there are a variety of techniques the small-unit leader may choose from, depending upon the type...

Glissading

Glissading is the intentional, controlled, rapid descent, or slide of a mountaineer down a steep slope covered with snow (Figure 10-15, page 10-14). Glissading is similar to skiing, except skis are not used. The same balance and control are necessary, but instead of skis the soles of the feet or the buttocks are used. The only piece of equipment required is the standard ice ax, which serves as the rudder, brake, and guide for the glissade. The two basic methods of glissading are a. Squatting...

Route Classification

Military mountaineers must be able to assess a vertical obstacle, develop a course of action to overcome the obstacle, and have the skills to accomplish the plan. Assessment of a vertical obstacle requires experience in the classifications of routes and understanding the levels of difficulty they represent. Without a solid understanding of the difficulty of a chosen route, the mountain leader can place his life and the life of other soldiers in extreme danger. Ignorance is the most dangerous...

Roped Climbing On Ice And Snow

Boot Belay

When climbing on ice or snow team members tie into a climbing rope the same as when they climb on rock. When crevasses are expected, a three-man rope team is recommended. a. Tie-In Method. For climbing on snow and ice, the tie-in procedure is normally the same as for rock climbing however, when moving over snow-covered glaciers, the tie-in is modified slightly. (See paragraph 10-7, Movement on Glaciers, for more information). b. Movement. For movement on gentle or moderate slopes where there is...

Use Of Ice Ax And Crampons

Movement over snow and ice is almost impossible without an ice ax and or crampons. a. Ice Ax. When walking on snow or ice, the ice ax can be used as a third point of contact. When the terrain steepens, there are a number of ways to use the ice ax for snow or ice climbing. Some positions are more effective than others, depending on the intended result. You may find other ways to hold and use the ax, as long the security remains in effect. 1 Cane Position. The ice ax can be used on gentle slopes...

Tyingin To The Climbing Rope

Over the years, climbers have developed many different knots and procedures for tying-in to the climbing rope. Some of the older methods of tying directly into the rope require minimal equipment and are relatively easy to inspect however, they offer little support to the climber, may induce further injuries, and may even lead to strangulation in a severe fall. A severe fall, where the climber might fall 20 feet or more and be left dangling on the end of the rope, is highly unlikely in most...

Glacier Bivouac Procedures

When locating a bivouac site or a gathering area where the team might need or want to unrope, at least one person will need to probe the area for hidden crevasses. The best type of probe will be the manufactured collapsing probe pole, at least eight feet in length. Other items could be used but the length and strength of the probe is most important. Other rope team members will belay the probers. The prober is feeling for a solid platform to place the tent by pushing the probe as hard and deep...

CAUTION

Rope drag can cause confusion when belaying the second or follower up to a new belay position. Rope drag can be mistaken for the climber, causing the belayer to not take in the necessary slack in the rope and possibly resulting in a serious fall. a If it is not possible to place all the protection so the carabiners form a straight line as the rope moves through, you should extend the protection Figure 6-31, page 6-52 . Do this by attaching an appropriate length sling, or runner, to the...

Weather Characteristics

The earth is surrounded by an atmosphere that is divided into several layers. The world's weather systems are in the lower of these layers known as the troposphere. This layer reaches as high as 40,000 feet. Weather is a result of an atmosphere, oceans, land masses, unequal heating and cooling from the sun, and the earth's rotation. The weather found in any one place depends on many things such as the air temperature, humidity moisture content , air pressure barometric pressure , how it is...

A Tying the Knot

The middle-of-the-rope Prusik knot can be tied with a short rope to a long rope as follows Figure 4-20. STEP 1. Double the short rope, forming a bight, with the working ends even. Lay it over the long rope so that the closed end of the bight is 12 inches below the long rope and the remaining part of the rope working ends is the closest to the climber spread the working end apart. STEP 2. Reach down through the 12-inch bight. Pull up both of the working ends and lay...

Mountaineering Equipment

Commanders at every level must understand the complexity of operations in a mountainous environment where every aspect of combat operations becomes more difficult. Leaders must understand that each individual has a different metabolism and, therefore, cools down and heats up differently, which requires soldiers to dress-up and dress-down at different intervals. Provided all tactical concerns are met, the concept of uniformity is outdated and only reduces the unit's ability to fight and function...

Snow And Ice Anchors

Equalized Snow Pickets

Ice and snow anchors consist of snow pickets, flukes, deadman-type anchors, ice screws, and ice pitons. Deadman anchors can be constructed from snowshoes, skis, backpacks, sleds, or any large items. a. Ice Pitons. The ice piton is used to establish anchor points. The ice piton is not seen in modern ice climbing but may still be available to the military. The standard ice piton is made of tubular steel and is 10 inches in length. Ice pitons installed in pairs are a bombproof anchor however, ice...

Subjective Hazards

Subjective hazards are created by humans for example, choice of route, companions, overexertion, dehydration, climbing above one's ability, and poor judgment. a. Falling. Falling can be caused by carelessness, over-fatigue, heavy equipment, bad weather, overestimating ability, a hold breaking away, or other reasons. b. Bivouac Site. Bivouac sites must be protected from rockfall, wind, lightning, avalanche run-out zones, and flooding especially in gullies . If the possibility of falling exists,...

Objective Hazards

Objective hazards are caused by the mountain and weather and cannot be influenced by man for example, storms, rockfalls, icefalls, lightning, and so on. a. Altitude. At high altitudes especially over 6,500 feet , endurance and concentration is reduced. Cut down on smoking and alcohol. Sleep well, acclimatize slowly, stay hydrated, and be aware of signs and symptoms of high-altitude illnesses. Storms can form quickly and lightning can be severe. b. Visibility. Fog, rain, darkness, and or blowing...

Snow And Ice Climbing Hardware

Mountaineering With Rigid Crampons

Snow and ice climbing hardware is the equipment that is particular to operations in some mountainous terrain. Specific training on this type of equipment is essential for safe use. Terrain that would otherwise be inaccessible snowfields, glaciers, frozen waterfalls can now be considered avenues of approach using the snow and ice climbing gear listed in this paragraph. a. Ice Ax. The ice ax is one of the most important tools for the mountaineer operating on snow or ice. The climber must become...

Combination Techniques

The positions and holds previously discussed are the basics and the ones most common to climbing. From these fundamentals, numerous combination techniques are possible. As the climber gains experience, he will learn more ways to position the hands, feet, and body in relation to the holds available however, he should always strive to climb with his weight on his feet from a balanced stance. a. Sometimes, even on an easy route, the climber may come upon a section of the rock that defies the basic...

Footwear

Currently, CTA 50-900 provides adequate footwear for most operations in mountainous terrain. In temperate climates a combination of footwear is most appropriate to accomplish all tasks. a. The hot weather boot provides an excellent all-round platform for movement and climbing techniques and should be the boot of choice when the weather permits. The intermediate cold weather boot provides an acceptable platform for operations when the weather is less than ideal. These two types of boots issued...

A fullbody harness does not prevent falling head first body position in a fall is caused by the forces that caused the

2 Although running the rope through the carabiner of the chest harness does, in effect, create a type of full-body harness, it is not a true full-body harness until the chest harness and the seat harness are connected as one piece. A true full-body harness can be improvised by connecting the chest harness to the seat harness, but not by just tying the rope into both the two harnesses must be fixed as one harness. Fix them together with a short loop of webbing or rope so that the climbing rope...

Chapter Rope Management And Knots

Preparation, Care and Maintenance, Inspection, Terminology 4-1 4-2. Care and 4-3. Section II. Coiling, Carrying, 4-5. Coiling and Carrying the 4-6. Throwing the Section III. Knots 4-7. Square 4-8. Fisherman's 4-9. Double Fisherman's 4-10. Figure-Eight 4-11. Water 4-12. 4-13. Round Turn and Two Half 4-14. Figure-Eight Retrace Rerouted 4-15. Clove 4-16. Wireman's 4-17. Directional 4-18. Bowline-on-a-Bight Two-Loop 4-19. Two-Loop 4-20. Figure-Eight Loop 4-21. Prusik 4-22. Bachman 4-23....

Verbal Commands

Table 6-1, page 6-44, lists standard rope commands and their meanings in sequence as they would normally be used on a typical climb. Note how the critical BELAY commands are reversed so they sound different and will not be confused. The belay is on you may climb when ready the rope will be managed as needed. CLIMBING as a courtesy Proceed, and again, the rope will be managed as necessary.

Climbing Software

Static Rope Construction

Climbing software refers to rope, cord, webbing, and harnesses. All mountaineering specific equipment, to include hardware see paragraph 3-4 , should only be used if it has the UIAA certificate of safety. UIAA is the organization that oversees the testing of mountaineering equipment. It is based in Paris, France, and comprises several commissions. The safety commission has established standards for mountaineering and climbing equipment that have become well recognized throughout the world....

Basic Principles

Up scree or talus, through boulder fields or steep wooded mountainsides, over snow or grass-covered slopes, the basic principles of mountain walking remain the same. a. The soldier's weight is centered directly over the feet at all times. He places his foot flat on the ground to obtain as much boot sole-ground contact as possible. Then, he places his foot on the uphill side of grass tussocks, small talus and other level spots to avoid twisting the ankle and straining the Achilles tendon. He...

Care And Maintenance

It must be cared for and used properly. These general guidelines should be used when handling ropes. a. Do not step on or drag ropes on the ground unnecessarily. Small particles of dirt will be ground between the inner strands and will slowly cut them. b. While in use, do not allow the rope to come into contact with sharp edges. Nylon rope is easily cut, particularly when under tension. If the rope must be used over a sharp edge, pad the edge for protection. c....

Springloaded Camming Device

The SLCD offers quick and easy placement of artificial protection. It is well suited in awkward positions and difficult placements, since it can be emplaced with one hand. It can usually be placed quickly and retrieved easily Figure 5-16, page 5-14 . a. To emplace an SLCD hold the device in either hand like a syringe, pull the retractor bar back, place the device into a crack, and release the retractor bar. The SLCD holds well in parallel-sided hand- and fist-sized cracks. Smaller variations...

Climbing With The Feet

Smear Point Climb

Climb with the feet and use the hands for balance is extremely important to remember. In the early learning stages of climbing, most individuals will rely heavily on the arms, forgetting to use the feet properly. It is true that solid handholds and a firm grip are needed in some combination techniques however, even the most strenuous techniques require good footwork and a quick return to a balanced position over one or both feet. Failure to climb any route, easy or difficult, is usually the...

Climbing Hardware

Hand Drill Piton Ring Climb

Climbing hardware refers to all the parts and pieces that allow the trained mountain soldier to accomplish many tasks in the mountains. The importance of this gear to the mountaineer is no less than that of the rifle to the infantryman. a. Carabiners. One of the most versatile pieces of equipment available to the mountaineer is the carabiner. This simple piece of gear is the critical connection between the climber, his rope, and the protection attaching him to the mountain. Carabiners must be...

Types Of Clouds

Cloud Types

Clouds are one of the signposts to what is happening with the weather. Clouds can be described in many ways. They can be classified by height or appearance, or even by the amount of area covered vertically or horizontally. Clouds are classified into five categories low-, mid-, and high-level clouds vertically-developed clouds and less common clouds. a. Low-Level Clouds. Low-level clouds 0 to 6,500 feet are either cumulus or stratus Figures 1-1 and 1-2, page 1-16 . Low-level clouds are mostly...

Figure Rope teams moving in the accumulation zone of a glacier

Adam Ondra Anseilknoten

2 When conditions warrant, three to four people will tie in to one rope at equal distances from each other. To locate the positions, if three people are on a team, double the rope and one ties into the middle and the other two at the ends. If four people are on a team, form a z with the rope and expand the z fully, keeping the end and the bight on each side of the z even. Tie in to the bights and the ends. 3 Connect to the rope with the appropriate method and attach the Prusik as required. The...

Deadman

Deadman Mountaineering

A deadman anchor is any solid object buried in the ground and used as an anchor. a. An object that has a large surface area and some length to it works best. A hefty timber, such as a railroad tie, would be ideal. Large boulders can be used, as well as a bundle of smaller tree limbs or poles. As with natural anchors, ensure timbers and tree limbs are not dead or rotting and that boulders are solid. Equipment, such as skis, ice axes, snowshoes, and ruck sacks, can also be used if necessary. b....

Terminology

Tensionless Anchor

When using ropes, understanding basic terminology is important. The terms explained in this section are the most commonly used in military mountaineering. Figure 4-2, page 4-4, illustrates some of these terms. a. Bight. A bight of rope is a simple bend of rope in which the rope does not cross itself. b. Loop. A loop is a bend of a rope in which the rope does cross itself. c. Half Hitch. A half hitch is a loop that runs around an object in such a manner as to lock or secure itself. d. Turn. A...

Recording Data

An accurate observation is essential in noting trends in weather patterns. Ideally, under changing conditions, trends will be noted in some weather parameters. However, this may not always be the case. A minor shift in the winds may signal an approaching storm. a. Wind Direction. Assess wind direction as a magnetic direction from which the wind is blowing. b. Wind Speed. Assess wind speed in knots. 1 If an anemometer is available, assess speed to the nearest knot. 2 If no anemometer is...

Operation Of The Rappel Point

Due to the inherent dangers of rappelling, special care must be taken to ensure a safe and successful descent. a. Communication. Climbers at the top of a rappel point must be able to communicate with those at the bottom. During a tactical rappel, radios, hand signals, and rope signals are considered. For training situations use the commands shown in Table 7-1. I am on belay and you may begin your rappel. I have completed the rappel, cleared the rappel lane, and am off the rope. Notes 1. In a...

Military Mountaineering Contents

MOUNTAIN TERRAIN, WEATHER, AND HAZARDS Section I. Mountain 1-3. Rock and Slope 1-4. Rock 1-5. Mountain 1-6. Route 1-7. Cross-Country 1-8. Cover and 1-10. Fields of Section II. Mountain 1-11. Considerations for 1-12. Mountain 1-16. Cloud 1-17. Types of 1-20. Weather 1-21. Recording Section III. Mountain 1-22. Subjective 1-23. Objective 1-24. Weather 1-25. Avalanche DISTRIBUTION RESTRICTION Approved for public release distribution is unlimited. This publication supersedes TC 90-6-1,...

Rock Classifications

Rock is classified by origin and mineral composition. a. Igneous Rocks. Deep within the earth's crust and mantle, internal heat, friction and radioactive decay creates magmas melts of silicate minerals that solidify into igneous rocks upon cooling. When the cooling occurs at depth, under pressure, and over time, the minerals in the magma crystallize slowly and develop well, making coarse-grained plutonic rock. The magma may move upward, propelled by its own lower density, either melting and...

Installation Using Zpulley Tightening System

Rope System Mountaineering

The Z-pulley tightening system Figure 7-14 is another method for gaining a mechanical advantage. a. The rope is brought across the obstacle the same way as discussed in paragraph 7-10. b. Once across, the far side man anchors the rope. c. One soldier ties a friction knot autoblock, web wrap, Kleimheist with a sling rope onto the bridging rope on the near side bank. Two steel carabiners are inserted with opposing gates into the friction knot. d. The rope is routed around the near side anchor and...

Threeloop Bowline

The three-loop bowline is used to form three fixed loops in the middle of a rope Figure 4-24, page 4-26 . It is used in a self-equalizing anchor system. It is a specialty knot. a. Tying the Knot. STEP 1. Form an approximate 24-inch bight. STEP 2. With the right thumb facing toward the body, form a doubled loop in the standing part by turning the wrist clockwise. Lay the loops to the right. STEP 3. With the right hand, reach down through the loops and pull up a doubled bight from the standing...

Figureeight Bend

The figure-eight bend is used to join the ends of two ropes of equal or unequal diameter within 5-mm difference Figure 4-9, page 4-12 . a. Tying the Knot. STEP 1. Grasp the top of a 2-foot bight. STEP 2. With the other hand, grasp the running end short end and make a 360-degree turn around the standing end. STEP 3. Place the running end through the loop just formed creating an in-line figure eight. STEP 4. Route the running end of the other ripe back through the figure eight starting from the...

Bolts

Bolts are often used in fixed-rope installations and in aid climbing where cracks are not available. a. Bolts provide one of the most secure means of establishing protection. The rock should be inspected for evidence of crumbling, flaking, or cracking, and should be tested with a hammer. Emplacing a bolt with a hammer and a hand drill is a time-consuming and difficult process that requires drilling a hole in the rock deeper than the length of the bolt. This normally takes more than 20 minutes...

Setting Up A Belay

Self Belay Techniques

In rock climbing, climbers must sometimes make do with marginal protection placements along a route, but belay positions must be made as bombproof as possible. Additionally, the belayer must set up the belay in relation to where the fall force will come from and pay strict attention to proper rope management for the belay to be effective. All belay positions are established with the anchor connection to the front of the harness. If the belay is correctly established, the belayer will feel...

Level Mountain Leader

Mountain leaders possess all the skills of the assault climber and have extensive practical experience in a variety of mountain environments in both winter and summer conditions. Level 3 mountaineers should have well-developed hazard evaluation and safe route finding skills over all types of mountainous terrain. Mountain leaders are best qualified to advise commanders on all aspects of mountain operations, particularly the preparation and leadership required to move units over technically...

Figure Glacier cross section

Glacier Hidden Crevasse

1 Firn is compacted granular snow that has been on the glacier at least one year. Firn is the building blocks of the ice that makes the glacier. 2 The accumulation zone is the area that remains snow-covered throughout the year because of year-round snowfall. The snowfall exceeds melt. 3 The ablation zone is the area where the snow melts off the ice in summer. Melt equals or exceeds snowfall. 4 The firn line separates the accumulation and ablation zones. As you approach this area, you may see...

Threeman Climbing Team

Often times a movement on steep terrain will require a team of more than two climbers, which involves more difficulties. A four-man team or more more than doubles the difficulty found in three men climbing together. A four-man team should be broken down into two groups of two unless prevented by a severe lack of gear. a. Given one rope, a three-man team is at a disadvantage on a steep, belayed climb. It takes at least twice as long to climb an average length pitch because of the third climber...

Zpulley System

Pulley System

The Z-pulley system is a simple, easily constructed hauling system Figure 7-26, page 7-30 . a. Considerations. Anchors must be sturdy and able to support the weight of the load. Site selection is governed by different factors tactical situation, weather, terrain, equipment, load weight, and availability of anchors. b. Theory. Use carabiners as a substitute if pulleys are not available. The mechanical advantage obtained in theory is 3 1. The less friction involved the greater the mechanical...

Section Iv Belay Techniques

Tying-in to the climbing rope and moving as a member of a rope team increases the climber's margin of safety on difficult, exposed terrain. In some instances, such as when traveling over snow-covered glaciers, rope team members can often move at the same time, relying on the security of a tight rope and team arrest techniques to halt a fall by any one member. On steep terrain, however, simultaneous movement only helps to ensure that if one climber falls, he will jerk the other rope team members...

Transport Knot Overhand Slip Knotmule Knot

Overhand Slip Knot

The transport knot is used to secure the transport tightening system Figure 4-26, page 4-28 . It is simply an overhand slip knot. a. Tying the Knot. STEP 1. Pass the running end of the rope around the anchor point passing it back under the standing portion leading to the far side anchor forming a loop. STEP 2. Form a bight with the running end of the rope. Pass over the standing portion and down through the loop and dress it down toward the anchor point. STEP 3. Secure the knot by tying a half...

Level Assault Climber

Assault climbers are responsible for the rigging, inspection, use, and operation of all basic rope systems. They are trained in additional rope management skills, knot tying, and belay and rappel techniques, as well as using specialized mountaineering equipment. Assault climbers are capable of rigging complex, multipoint anchors, and high-angle raising lowering systems. Level 2 qualification is required to supervise all high-risk training associated with Level 1. At a minimum, assault climbers...

Establishing A Belay

A belay can be established using either a direct or indirect connection. Each type has advantages and disadvantages. The choice will depend on the intended use of the belay. a. Direct Belay. The direct belay removes any possible forces from the belayer and places this force completely on the anchor. Used often for rescue installations or to bring a second climber up to a new belay position in conjunction with the Munter hitch, the belay can be placed above the belayer's stance, creating a...

Types Of Rappels

Figure Climbing

During military mountaineering operations, many types of rappels may be used. The following paragraphs describe some these rappels. a. Hasty Rappel Figure 7-4 . The hasty rappel is used only on moderate pitches. Its main advantage is that it is easier and faster than other methods. Gloves are worn to prevent rope burns. 1 Facing slightly sideways to the anchor, the rappeller places the ropes horizontally across his back. The hand nearest to the anchor is his guide hand, and the other is the...

Internet Web Sites

Army Publishing Agency http www.usapa.army.mil Army Doctrine and Training Digital Library http www.adtdl.army.mil acute mountain sickness, 2-6, 2-8, 2-21 anchors, 5-1 to 5-16 artificial, 5-8 to 5-15 bolts, 5-14, 5-16 illus chocks, 5-11 placement, 5-12, 5-13 illus deadman, 5-8 pitons, 5-9 hero loop, 5-10 illus placement, 5-9, 5-10 illus removal, 5-11 illus reusing, 5-11 spring-loaded camming device, 5-13, 5-14 illus natural, 5-1 boulders, 5-2 illus bushes and shrubs, 5-4 illus chockstones,...

Upulley System

Hauling System

The U-pulley system is another simple, easily-constructed hauling system Figure 7-27, page 7-32 . a. Considerations. Anchors must be sturdy and able to support the weight of the load. Site selection is governed by different factors tactical situation, weather, terrain, equipment, load weight, and availability of anchors. b. Theory. Use carabiners as a substitute if pulleys are not available. The mechanical advantage obtained in theory is 2 1. The less friction involved the greater the...

Recovery Of The Rappel Point

After almost all personnel have descended, only two personnel will remain at the top of the rappel point. They will be responsible for establishing a retrievable rappel. a. Establishing the Retrievable Rappel. To set up a retrievable rappel point, a climber must apply one of the following methods 1 Double the rope when the rappel is less than half the total length of the rope. Place the rope, with the bight formed by the midpoint, around the primary anchor. Join the tails of the rappel rope and...

B Check Points

1 There are two overhand knots in the front. 2 The ropes are not crossed between the legs. 3 A half hitch is formed on each hip. 4 Seat is secured with a square knot with overhand safeties on the non-brake hand side. 5 There is a minimum 4-inch pigtail after the overhand safeties are tied. 4-32. GUARDE KNOT The guarde knot ratchet knot, alpine clutch is a special purpose knot primarily used for hauling systems or rescue Figure 4-32 . The knot works in only one direction and cannot be reversed...

Rescue Systems

Rescue systems are indispensable when conducting rescue operations. A large number of soldiers will not always be available to help with a rescue. Using a mechanical advantage rescue system allows a minimal amount of rescuers to perform tasks that would take a larger number of people without it. a. Belay Assist. This system is used to bring a climber over a section that he is unable to climb, but will continue climbing once he is past the difficult section. 1 First, tie off the following...

Highaltitude Cerebral Edema

HACE is the accumulation of fluid in the brain, which results in swelling and a depression of brain function that may result in death. It is caused by a rapid ascent to altitude without progressive acclimatization. Prevention of HACE is the same as for HAPE. HAPE and HACE may occur in experienced, well-acclimated mountaineers without warning or obvious predisposing conditions. They can be fatal when the first symptoms occur, immediate descent is mandatory. a. Contributing factors include rapid...

Manual Carries

Personnel who are not seriously injured but cannot evacuate themselves may be assisted by fellow soldiers. Personnel who are injured and require prompt evacuation should not be forced to wait for mobile evacuation or special equipment. a. One-Man Carries. The basic carries taught in the Soldier's Manual of Common Tasks fireman's carry, two-hand, four-hand, saddleback, piggyback, pistol belt, and poncho litter are viable means of transporting injured personnel however, the mountainous terrain...

Wiremans Knot

Mountaineering Guide

The wireman's knot forms a single, fixed loop in the middle of the rope Figure 4-15, page 4-18 . It is a middle rope knot. a. Tying the Knot. STEP 1. When tying this knot, face the anchor that the tie-off system will be tied to. Take up the slack from the anchor, and wrap two turns around the left hand palm up from left to right. STEP 2. A loop of 30 centimeters is taken up in the second round turn to create the fixed loop of the knot. STEP 3. Name the wraps from the palm to the fingertips...

Level Basic Mountaineer

The basic mountaineer should be a graduate of a basic mountaineering course and have the fundamental travel and climbing skills necessary to move safely and efficiently in mountainous terrain. These soldiers should be comfortable functioning in this environment and, under the supervision of qualified mountain leaders or assault climbers, can assist in the rigging and use of all basic rope installations. a. On technically difficult terrain, the basic mountaineer should be capable of performing...

Utilization

Mountaineering Soldier

The rope bridge can be used to move personnel and equipment over obstacles. There are several methods of accomplishing this. a. Method of Crossing. If dry crossing is impossible, soldiers will use the rope bridge as a hand line. Preferably, all soldiers will tie a safety line and attach it to the rope installation as they cross. If the soldier must cross with his rucksack, he may wear it over both shoulders, although the preferred method is to place another carabiner into the top of the...

Weather Hazards

Weather conditions in the mountains may vary from one location to another as little as 10 kilometers apart. Approaching storms may be hard to spot if masked by local peaks. A clear, sunny day in July could turn into a snowstorm in less than an hour. Always pack some sort of emergency gear. a. Winds are stronger and more variable in the mountains as wind doubles in speed, the force quadruples. b. Precipitation occurs more on the windward side than the leeward side of ranges. This causes more...

Personal Hygiene And Sanitation

The principles of personal hygiene and sanitation that govern operations on low terrain also apply in the mountains. Commanders must conduct frequent inspections to ensure that personal habits of hygiene are not neglected. Standards must be maintained as a deterrent to disease, and as reinforcement to discipline and morale. a. Personal Hygiene. This is especially important in the high mountains, mainly during periods of cold weather. In freezing weather, the soldier may neglect washing due to...

Installation Using Transport Tightening System

Transport Tightening System

The transport tightening system provides a mechanical advantage without requiring additional equipment. a. The rope must first be anchored on the far side of the obstacle. If crossing a stream, the swimmer must be belayed across. If crossing a ravine or gorge, crossing may involve rappelling and a roped climb. Once across, the swimmer climber will temporarily anchor the installation rope. b. One man on the near side ties a fixed-loop knot for example, wireman's, figure-eight slip knot...

Equalizing Anchors

Equalized Anchors

Equalizing anchors are made up of more than one anchor point joined together so that the intended load is shared equally. This not only provides greater anchor strength, but also adds redundancy or backup because of the multiple points. a. Self-equalizing Anchor. A self-equalizing anchor will maintain an equal load on each individual point as the direction of pull changes Figure 5-18 . This is sometimes used in rappelling when the route must change left or right in the middle of the rappel. A...

Fixed Rope With Intermediate Anchors

Mountain Climbing With Anchors

Whenever the route varies from the fall line of the slope, the fixed rope must be anchored at intermediate anchor points Figure 7-3 . Intermediate anchor points should also be used on any long routes that exceed the length of a single rope. The use of intermediate anchor points creates independent sections and allows for changes in direction from one section to the next. The independent sections allow for more personnel to move on the fixed rope. This type of fixed rope is commonly used along...

Rock And Slope Types

Different types of rock and different slopes present different hazards. The following paragraphs discuss the characteristics and hazards of the different rocks and slopes. a. Granite. Granite produces fewer rockfalls, but jagged edges make pulling rope and raising equipment more difficult. Granite is abrasive and increases the danger of ropes or accessory cords being cut. Climbers must beware of large loose boulders. After a rain, granite dries quickly. Most climbing holds are found in cracks....

Improvised Harnesses

Bowline Coil

Without the use of a manufactured harness, many methods are still available for attaching oneself to a rope. Harnesses can be improvised using rope or webbing and knots. a. Swami Belt. The swami belt is a simple, belt-only harness created by wrapping rope or webbing around the waistline and securing the ends. One-inch webbing will provide more comfort. Although an effective swami belt can be assembled with a minimum of one wrap, at least two wraps are recommended for comfort, usually with...

Aid Climbing

When a route is too difficult to free climb and is unavoidable, if the correct equipment is available you might aid climb the route. Aid climbing consists of placing protection and putting full body weight on the piece. This allows you to hang solely on the protection you place, giving you the ability to ascend more difficult routes than you can free climb. Clean aid consists of using SLCDs and chocks, and is the simplest form of aid climbing. a. Equipment. Aid climbing can be accomplished with...

Tensionless Anchor

Anchor Rope Tree

The tensionless anchor is used to anchor the rope on high-load installations such as bridging and traversing Figure 5-11, page 5-8 . The wraps of the rope around the anchor absorb the tension of the installation and keep the tension off the knot and carabiner. The anchor is usually tied with a minimum of four wraps, more if necessary, to absorb the tension. A smooth anchor may require several wraps, whereas a rough barked tree might only require a few. The rope is wrapped from top to bottom. A...

Lowangle Evacuation

Cliffs and ridges, which must be surmounted, are often encountered along the evacuation path. Raising operations place a greater load on all elements of the system than do lowering operations. Since all means of raising a victim pulley systems, hand winches, and power winches depend on mechanical advantage, it becomes easy to overstress and break anchors and hand ropes. Using mechanical raising systems tends to reduce the soldier's sensitivity to the size of the load. It becomes important to...

Safety Precautions

The following safety precautions should be observed when rock climbing. a. While ascending a seldom or never traveled route, you may encounter precariously perched rocks. If the rock will endanger your second, it may be possible to remove it from the route and trundle it, tossing it down. This is extremely dangerous to climbers below and should not be attempted unless you are absolutely sure no men are below. If you are not sure that the flight path is clear, do not do it. Never dislodge loose...