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What type of rope do you carry for emergencies?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

G'day. I had a near miss with a deep gole in the middle of some trees last year. Since I ski solo alot I'm carrying an emergency pack now and want to carry a good rope for emergencies.

 

From the research I've done, I can go two ways:

 

1) Static, emergency rope - seems to be what they recommend for rescue work.

2) Single, dry climbing rope - More rugged, coated for wet conditions (which by default I will encounter skiing...). The Sterling Nano AT 9.2mm seems to be the best choice in this category.

 

 

Just wondering if any of the seasoned BC types carry rope and what type do you use? Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 14

Very interesting question. First of all, I don't venture into serious BC, so I'm not one of the people you're asking this question.  Feel free to ignore... On the other hand, I have a pretty decent rock climbing experience, so maybe I can ask some questions that will guide you in the right direction.  The specific terrain you ski, will be the critical point.

 

What time of self-rescue do you foresee?  50 feet or more of rappel on a rope with and ATC or a GriGri?  Then yes, static line would be worth carrying.

 

I can't foresee a situation where carrying a dynamic line while skiing would make sense.  (I know, someone will come up with one :-))

 

Consider the maximum length of exposure you need to protect against, and the type of exposure.  Nylon webbing, is more than sufficiently strong under static loads.  50 feet of webbing could be more than sufficient, and a fairly light load to carry.

 

Hopefully my ramblings can steer narrow down your choices...

post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by incognito View Post

 

I can't foresee a situation where carrying a dynamic line while skiing would make sense.  (I know, someone will come up with one :-))

 

 

 

 

Glacier travel for a big one. Static rope IMHO makes no sense for most BC applications or anything where a human being might experience a sudden shock load. Used to use a single 8mm dynamic rope, but again, it really depends on the intended application and terrain... All in all, if there's no need to carry rope, don't. If there's no repelling, glacier travel, belaying, etc... why bother? On the other hand, there's a lot of great super strong and light static cord (amsteel varients) that great for things like lashing a sledge together for emergency transport (prussik loops in the old days before so much small cool ascending gear was around), and even a few meter length with knots tied every foot and a half or so for cornice cutting.

post #4 of 14

Other than rappelling I'm not sure what use a rope would be for solo self-rescue, but to answer the question: I have a 30m x 6mm static rope to rap into chutes and down small cliff bands, a 30m x 8mm "rando" rope (dynamic) for glacier travel or shorter protected snow climbs, and a 60m x 8.5mm dynamic rope for longer protected snow climbs and raps.  I pretty much never carry them unless I have a specific situation in mind.  

 

I do, however almost always carry a length of 1 inch flat webbing like incognito suggests, as my just in case stuff.  It's come in handy once or twice.  

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks. I appreciate the details you've included in your responses. The most important thing is that iit can support my weight for an emergency rappel.

I want to carry rope for when I'm skiing solo. I like skiing the bowls at Whistler/Blackcomb and sometimes I'm on my own.

Last April I was skiing some trees in Harmony Bowl. I was off to the right of the main path (had some great pow...) and I almost lost a ski in a hole that was about 10-12' deep. I skied over a pillow and it was just there. My tip hooked in the hole and my downhill ski released.

The ski was a few feet down the hole (out of arm's reach). The walls were too soft for me to go down on my own. I couldn't dig down to it so had to wait until another bloke came along. Then I jumped down - literally - handed my ski up to him and he pulled me out. While we were catching our breath, another woman came along and almost went into the hole (we tried to get some branches to block it off but no luck).

So for me it's an easy lesson in being prepared for emergencies. Same day, a snowboarder died on Blackcomb mountain - he went head first into a tree well. After my experience and learning about that bloke, i'm carrying a pack now with some emergency gear (shovel, probe, rope etc.) just in case a "situation" presents itself again. better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it...

Thank again for the replies, definitely helps.

post #6 of 14
C,
Not to dampen your enthusiasm for safety, but the only thing a rope will get you if you fall into a tree well on your own is the search party saying," wow, the guy/corpse was carrying a rope... I wonder what for?" the message being that the only way to ski in an area with tree wells safely is to ski with a partner or better yet, two. Take a moment and enter the patrol phone number in your cell phone as well. Bob's suggestion of webbing is a good one for your emergency pack. And yes, I've skied with a beacon, probe, and shovel inbounds on occasion at W/BC.
Edited by markojp - 9/11/12 at 11:19pm
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Other than rappelling I'm not sure what use a rope would be for solo self-rescue, but to answer the question: I have a 30m x 6mm static rope to rap into chutes and down small cliff bands, a 30m x 8mm "rando" rope (dynamic) for glacier travel or shorter protected snow climbs, and a 60m x 8.5mm dynamic rope for longer protected snow climbs and raps.  I pretty much never carry them unless I have a specific situation in mind.  

 

I do, however almost always carry a length of 1 inch flat webbing like incognito suggests, as my just in case stuff.  It's come in handy once or twice.  


Solid advice right there.

post #8 of 14

I sled ski a lot, so my pack usually has an old water ski SL rope. You can put your poles through the take off loops and use them for handles.   I had to make a rescue sled once using it and a ropes something nice to have?

 

If you ski solo a lot, I'd be wearing an Avilung.

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

I sled ski a lot, so my pack usually has an old water ski SL rope. You can put your poles through the take off loops and use them for handles.   I had to make a rescue sled once using it and a ropes something nice to have?

If you ski solo a lot, I'd be wearing an Avilung.

If you're anywhere that you want an avalung, you'll also want a shovel, probe, beacon, and a partner.
post #10 of 14

People die from NARSID in bounds too?

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

People die from NARSID in bounds too?

 

Assuming you're not being facetious, yes, they do. We had one at the local hill a couple seasons back. The victim melted out in early June. 

post #12 of 14

i'm gunna have to agree with the others that unless used for repelling a rope is not going to be very useful for a single person. As a matter of fact I don't really see it being useful for skiing in general unless glacier travel or protected climbing is required. If ur thinking of self rescuing from a tree well with a rope u wont be able to get the rope out let alone use it. 

post #13 of 14

For the OP...  A rope isn't going to help you if you're alone.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jvEYzh_1Sg

 

This was cat skiing, but could just as easily have happened any number of places at Whistler.

 

This one is inbounds at Crystal Mt. WA

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2au_229pQw&feature=related

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for the discussion. All good points/suggests.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

C,
Not to dampen your enthusiasm for safety, but the only thing a rope will get you if you fall into a tree well on your own is the search party saying," wow, the guy/corpse was carrying a rope... I wonder what for?" the message being that the only way to ski in an area with tree wells safely is to ski with a partner or better yet, two. Take a moment and enter the patrol phone number in your cell phone as well. Bob's suggestion of webbing is a good one for your emergency pack. And yes, I've skied with a beacon, probe, and shovel inbounds on occasion at W/BC.

 

Agreed. But this hole I pretty much skied into wasn't a tree well, it was more like a true well going 12' down in the snow. It was not marked as a hazard and you could only see it when you were on top of it (a couple of feet either side and you would not know it was there). I'd avoid areas with tree wells if I could, especially if I'm solo. The experience tells me it'd be better to have it nd not need it than need it and not have it. At the very least, I may have been able to rope the ski and pull it out without going down the hole. And the bloke that turned up and helped me out could have used it to pull me out. I would NOT go down a hole/well of any kind skiing solo. Walls could  easily cave in when I'm down there...

Another way i justify it is like having an emergency kit in your car. Yo don't plan to slide off the road into 20' of snow and have to hang out there until they find you. Sometimes stuff happens so like we learned in Scouts (back in the day...) "be prepared".

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


If you're anywhere that you want an avalung, you'll also want a shovel, probe, beacon, and a partner.

 

I'll also consider the avalung as I will probably be doing some BC with a few friends who live in BC and are hard core. Of course for one of those trips, shovel, probe and beacon are mandatory. And I'll be taking some av safety courses too before my next trip.

I'd prefer to always have a partner but the last two seasons I've done trips solo to W/BC. I'll ski a few days with my friends that are local but they have lives so I'll spend at least 3 or 4 days on my own. I'll sometimes link up with locals and do some stuff with them but I need to be prepared. And again, after that experience I'd just feel safer having a rope along - even if it's to help someone out that had the same misfortune i did. If it weren't for that bloke that skied up I would have had to slog out through 4-5 feet of powder, wait for ski patrol and maybe they help me get back in to get my ski - if I could find the spot again...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

People die from NARSID in bounds too?

 

Dunno if you'd consider 7th Heaven in bounds but the bloke did die. I think he was VSA/non-responsive when a buddy of mine (he mountain safety volunteer, was first responder on scene) found him. They choppered him off the hill but it was too late. A family from England found him. They noticed his snowboard - apparently he must have taken it off somehow. He suffocated head first down the tree well. My mate's a bartender and I was telling him what had happened to me at his bar that evening when he gave me the details.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

i'm gunna have to agree with the others that unless used for repelling a rope is not going to be very useful for a single person. As a matter of fact I don't really see it being useful for skiing in general unless glacier travel or protected climbing is required. If ur thinking of self rescuing from a tree well with a rope u wont be able to get the rope out let alone use it. 

 

Struth. If I happen to fall down one of these things the rope would be useless. Simple solution - just down fall down one ;-)

 

Thanks again. I'll add 50' of flat nylon webbing to the kit for just in case. Nobody plans to get caught in an avalanche but your survivability increases with an avalung and/or one of those flotation things. Might be just marginal increase but in those situations you take whatever you can get...

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