Crevasse Rescue: Inside the Crevasse

By Don Graydon.

While the climbers on top are busy going through the various steps leading toward final rescue, the fallen climber has work to do down below, beginning with the moment of recovery from the fall.
Here are the immediate actions to take if you are the fallen climber:
  1. Attain an upright position, if you haven?t done so instinctively. Normally this is done by clipping the climbing rope through the carabiner at your chest harness.
  2. Get into your prusik slings on the climbing rope, permitting you to alternate between standing and sitting as you dangle. You will be a lot more comfortable and will be ready to climb up the rope using the slings.
  3. Get your pack and ice ax out of the way. You may be able to send them up on a rope from the rescuers.
    • You can also clip the ax to your seat harness, letting it hang so it doesn?t interfere with your movement.
    • For the pack, you can also choose to girth-hitch a short sling through its haul loop and one shoulder strap and then clip the sling into the climbing rope with a carabiner. Clip into the climbing rope between your seat harness and prusik attachments. The pack will then hang below you; as you prusik up the rope, the hanging pack will slide freely along the bottom of the loop of climbing rope and weight the rope, making it easier to climb.
  4. Keep warm. Close your parka, put on the hat and gloves you had stuffed in your pockets, and try to put on additional layers of clothing.

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