Mountaineering Guide

Improvised Harnesses

Making Chest Harness From Rope

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...

Manual Carries

Rope Carry Things Back

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...

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...

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...

Lowangle Evacuation

Steep Angle 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...

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...

Equalizing Anchors

Self Equalizing Rope 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Highangle Evacuation

Mountaineering Evacuation Course

Evacuation down cliffs should be used only when absolutely necessary and only by experienced personnel. The cliffs with the smoothest faces are chosen for the route. Site selection should have the following features suitable anchor points, good loading and unloading platforms, clearance for the casualty along the route, and anchor points for the A-frame, if used. There are many ways to lower a casualty down a steep slope. As long as safety principals are followed, many different techniques can...

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...

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...

Using The Hands

The hands can be placed on the rock in many ways. Exactly how and where to position the hands and arms depends on what holds are available, and what configuration will best support the current stance as well as the movement to the next stance. Selecting handholds between waist and shoulder level helps in different ways. Circulation in the arms and hands is best when the arms are kept low. Secondly, the climber has less tendency to hang on his arms when the handholds are at shoulder level and...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

Utilization

Commando Rope Crawl

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...

Figure Wind chill chart

Cold Injuries 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...

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...

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...

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...

Procedure For Managing The Rope

A number of different belay techniques are used in modern climbing, ranging from the basic body belays to the various mechanical belays, which incorporate some type of friction device. a. Whether the rope is wrapped around the body, or run through a friction device, the rope management procedure is basically the same. The belayer must be able to perform three basic functions manipulate the rope to give the climber slack during movement, take up rope to remove excess slack, and apply the brake...

Munter Hitch Caution

Beta Climbing Munter Hitch

The belayer must ensure he is wearing adequate clothing to protect his body from rope burns when using a body belay. Heavy duty cotton or leather work gloves can also be worn to protect the hands. 1 Sitting Body Belay. The sitting body belay is the preferred position and is usually the most secure Figure 6-22 . The belayer sits facing the direction where the force of a fall will likely come from, using terrain to his advantage, and attempts to brace both feet against the rock to support his...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Coiling And Carrying The Rope

Man Carrying Large Coil 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,...

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...

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...

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 Typical climbing sequence

Sequence Climbing

Typical climbing sequence (continued). Figure 6-3. Typical climbing sequence (continued). Figure 6-3. Typical climbing sequence (continued). Figure 6-3. Typical climbing sequence (continued). (1) Many climbers will move more than one body part at a time, usually resulting in lifting the body with one leg or one leg and both arms. This type of lifting is inefficient, requiring one leg to perform the work of two or using the arms to lift the body. Proper climbing technique is lifting...

Climbing Software

Inch Climbing Sewn Runner

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....

Physical And Psychological Conditioning

The commander must develop a conditioning training program to bring his unit to a level where it can operate successfully in mountain conditions. Priorities of training must be established. As with all military operations, training is a major influence on the success of mountain operations. a. U.S. forces do not routinely train in mountainous terrain. Therefore, extensive preparations are needed to ensure individual and unit effectiveness. Units must be physically and psychologically...

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....

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...

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...

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...

Route Planning

Proper route planning can make the difference between success and failure on long mountain movements. Careful map reconnaissance, knowledge of the enemy situation, terrain analysis of the operational area, and an accurate assessment of the unit's capabilities are all key parts of the planning process. a. Map Reconnaissance. Topographic maps provide the primary source of information concerning the area of operations. A 1 25,000 map depicts greater detail than a 1 50,000 map and should be used...

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...

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...

Snow And Ice Anchors

Feather Cartoon Images

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...

Soses Shape Orientation Size Elevation Size

All-purpose, lightweight, individual carrying equipment extreme cold weather clothing system para-amino benzoic acid progress capture device personal flotation device spring-loaded camming device special operations forces standard operating procedure shape, orientation, size, elevation, slope sun protection factor Union des International Alpine Association ultraviolet A (radiation wavelengths between 320 and 400 nanometers) ultraviolet B (radiation wavelengths between 295 and 320 nanometers)

A Tying the Knot

Tie an overhand knot in one of the ends. STEP 2. Feed the other end back through the knot, following the path of the first rope in reverse. STEP 3. Draw tight and pull all of the slack out of the knot. The remaining tails must extend at least 4 inches beyond the knot in both directions. 1 There are two overhand knots, one retracing the other. 2 There is no slack in the knot, and the working ends come out of the knot in opposite directions. 3 There is a minimum 4-inch pigtail. The...

Care And Maintenance

Example Cpompleted Form 3685

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....

Rope Tug Commands

Sometimes the loudest scream cannot be heard when the climber and belayer are far apart. This is especially true in windy conditions, or when the climber is around a corner, above an overhang, or at the back of a ledge. It may be necessary to use a series of tugs on the rope in place of the standard voice commands. To avoid any possible confusion with interpretation of multiple rope tug commands, use only one. a. While a lead climb is in progress, the most important command is BELAY ON. This...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Solar Injuries

Solar injuries can happen in warm weather or in cold weather. These types of injuries can be just as incapacitating as most other injuries but usually are not fatal. The peak hours of ultraviolet (UV) radiation are between the hours of 1100 and 1500. Due to the long wavelengths of ultraviolet light, cloudy days can be more dangerous than sunny days. On sunny days the soldier takes more care due to the bright conditions. On cloudy days the soldier tends not to wear sunglasses or sunscreen. a....

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...

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...

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...