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Self evacuation

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am a new Candidate Patroler and I have a few questions regaurding self evacuation.
What are other mountains doing? If you were working mid week and were riding lift when it stopped do you allow self evac? If so what equipment are you using?( size of rope to descend, what belay device, webbing to make harness or actual sit harness )
I am very familliar with ropes and climbing practices and it seems to me that if a mountain had limited number of patrolers on during mid week and this happened, then they would want those that are trained and equipped to do a self evac. That way the whole process for the other riders would go faster.
post #2 of 23
Can't help you, but I do know of a few guys on my patrol who carry self evac kits.
post #3 of 23
One area allowed no self evac. Another wanted us to have a webbing harness, rope if we cared to carry it, but certainly we should have some dental floss and a biner to bring an evac rope up and get us out of the lift and working.

Rope-- what ever gets sent up
Harness: long 1" sling butterfly around legs and back
Device: one locking biner and munter hitch
post #4 of 23
Our patrol is expected to self-evac so that we can get to work on evac-ing the public. 7 mil rope with a rope saver in the middle, a locking biner, a small figure 8, and a diaper harness made out of 1 inch tubular webbing all fit in the back pocket of the vest. Training and recert every year.
post #5 of 23
Our area/patrol permits self-evac but only of a subset of specially-trained patrollers. Practice and recert every year. And only when cleared to do so by the Evac Chief. Our highest lift point is about 45 ft above the ground.

We carry 100 ft of 5 mm Technora line, a commercial pre-sewn loop to make a swami harness from, a locking caribiner, and a small figure-8 descender. All fits into the lower pouch on a standard patrol belt.

The patroller puts the line around the top of the chair where the upright goes up to the cable (so it won't slip off), ties the loose ends of the line together and lets it drop to the ground. Then, put on swami belt, hook up, and out. After getting out of the chair, the patroller pulls the line down and gets to work with the bigger problem.

We haven't lost anybody yet.

nypatroller
post #6 of 23
Our area allows (expects) trained patrol members to self evac. We carry 6mm (or is it 5mm) static. Doubled up, it just makes for a 10:1 safety factor. I use a swami from tied webbing, and a Monster Munter hitch on a light pear biner (petzl Attache.) I also carry a double length spectra sling for clipping in when climbing towers.

We have discussed the dental floss idea, but it is nice to carry this kit at all times, as it can be useful in accesing a patient in an awkward spot, or if tripled up, can make a quick and dirty t-bog belay.
post #7 of 23
yeah on our patrol we can choose to be self evac certified or not. those that are carry 5 mil rope, a mini safety eight, a locking biner, and a webbing strap to make a harness. when the lift breaks down tho, which it does a lot, (we did about 7 lift evacs last season) we have to wait for the ok from upper patrol to self evac.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by double.diamond View Post
, (we did about 7 lift evacs last season) .
That has to be a record! Wanted: ski lift maintenance workers.

Great fun for the patrol though.
post #9 of 23
we've had years like that!
post #10 of 23
For those of us reading the forum that are not in the Patrol or trained in evacuation...i.e. John Q Public,

What should we expect if we need to be evacuated?
How does the patrol reach the chair.
Will we put on a harness?
How does the patrol belay an inexperienced skier that may have no rappel knowledge?
How do I know you tied the right knot?
How long could this take?
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
For those of us reading the forum that are not in the Patrol or trained in evacuation...i.e. John Q Public,

What should we expect if we need to be evacuated?

Expect to wait a bit, and then have someone ski down to let you know what will be hapening. As the evacuation plays out, there will be further instructions.

How does the patrol reach the chair?

Varies depending on the type of chair, and the local protocol. We climb the tower above the cair to be evacuated, and loop the rope over the haul line. Then we slide the evac system down to each chair.

Will we put on a harness?

Not at our hill. We use these:



How does the patrol belay an inexperienced skier that may have no rappel knowledge?

Nobody is required to rappel. We control the descent from the bottom.

How do I know you tied the right knot?

Trust me, I'm certified.

How long could this take?

Depends on a lot of things.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
That has to be a record! Wanted: ski lift maintenance workers.

Great fun for the patrol though.
oh yeah its loads. and thats not even a recod. i think a couple years a go they did about 11 evacs. :

we need new lifts.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoboy View Post
What should we expect if we need to be evacuated?

Expect to wait a bit, and then have someone ski down to let you know what will be hapening. As the evacuation plays out, there will be further instructions.

How does the patrol reach the chair?

Varies depending on the type of chair, and the local protocol. We climb the tower above the cair to be evacuated, and loop the rope over the haul line. Then we slide the evac system down to each chair.

We use line launchers. their basically guns that shoot a thin line over the cable and we then use that line to pull a rope over. We have about 4 people that ski the lift line shooting lines over every span.

Will we put on a harness?

Not at our hill. We use these:



We use that to. I think it might be standard.
How does the patrol belay an inexperienced skier that may have no rappel knowledge?

Nobody is required to rappel. We control the descent from the bottom.

How do I know you tied the right knot?

Trust me, I'm certified.

How long could this take?

Depends on a lot of things.
It usually takes us about an hour and a half to two hours. We had one evacuation during a blizzard on our longest lift that took 4 hours.

By the end of the season last year we were so efficient at them due to the amount of practice we had that we did one in 50 minutes.
...
post #14 of 23
post #15 of 23
we did our self evac recerts today. fun stuff. one of our patrollers got caught in his rope and ended up coming down upside down.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by double.diamond View Post
we did our self evac recerts today. fun stuff. one of our patrollers got caught in his rope and ended up coming down upside down.
There's not enough beer in the world to cover that one.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by double.diamond View Post
By the end of the season last year we were so efficient at them due to the amount of practice we had that we did one in 50 minutes.

It's odd, but somehow that fact would make me strangely comfortable about skiing at your hill! If a lift has to break down on me, might as well happen where the staff is highly proficient...!
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post
There's not enough beer in the world to cover that one.

haha no kidding. he got a new nickname: Pinata
post #19 of 23
here's a newspaper article from The Albuquerque Journal from today.

[img=http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/3656/scan0001dc0.th.jpg]

i'm the guy in the green circle.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by double.diamond View Post
oh yeah its loads. and thats not even a recod. i think a couple years a go they did about 11 evacs. :

we need new lifts.
Jeezus please us, where do you ski? I patrol on the chintziest little mountain in the area, but we have never had a lift evac. And yes, we are allowed to self evac.

Dean.
post #21 of 23
I have not patrolled in a long time & I know this is an old thread, but... we were not allowed to do self evacs when I patrolled. The decision to allow certified patrollers to self evac is based on a number of decisions and depends on the size of the ski area, experience of the patrollers, etc.

We did lift evac training from a (low) chairlift, and also did an evac of the Loon Mountain (NH) gondola, which was fun.

I patrolled at Blue Hills in Milton, MA near Boston. I forget the number of chairs, but the hill is only 300 ft vertical. Evan with a limited number of evacuees, it took a while to run the line, get the people down, etc. Running several teams is a lot faster.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by double.diamond View Post
(we did about 7 lift evacs last season) we have to wait for the ok from upper patrol to self evac.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

Quote:
 
That has to be a record! Wanted: ski lift maintenance workers.

Great fun for the patrol though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j View Post

we've had years like that!
I've seen two in one day.  They thought they had it fixed LOL!
post #23 of 23
We had our first real lift evac in 20 years. Of course it was Christmas week, it was our main lift and it was fully loaded. It is a 1600 vert foot H.S. Quad with 22 lift towers and about 140 chairs so we had to evac about 280 customers.
We use the evac seat mentioned above connected to 200 feet of 11.5 mil rope. we have throwable light line in each bag and several line launch guns stored separately. We cert every fall and the full timers practice rappelling down the cable every spring. all of the chairs can be evacuated from the ground, where we raise the seat to the customer, he sits on it and we lower him to the ground. Several sections have the lift cable too high off the ground and need to be assisted from the air, where a patroller climbs a lift tower, attaches to the cable and slides down to the chair where he assists us on the ground to get the rope over the cable, and to assist customers if needed. We got 90% of the chairs evacuated in under 2 hours, and the last chair in 2 1/2.

I was lucky to be on top of the mountain when the call came in to evac. I was with 2 other patrollers and we ran into summit and grabbed one of the 8 lift evac bags stored there and the 3 of us started evacuating right at the top bullwheel. By the time we got the 2 top chairs evaced, another team had done the 3rd and working on the 4th. My impromptu team of three then leapfrogged 2 teams and went to the next open section that we can reach by ground. I found out later by this time there was another team working from the bottom, 4 full-timers were harnessed up and climbing lift towers to get to the difficult sections. Snowmakers in sprites and groomers were also out to support us.
I wound up working of 5 sections, and I think I was on the ground for the below video of one of our last chairs dowloaded.
Here's a customer's video of one of our higher chairs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDdjVS1nNok&feature=related

What amazed me was that none of the customers were too much trouble getting talked out of the chairs, and most were great. I guess seeing others do it in front of them helped. The only problem I had was the reverse, occassionally a customer was too eager to get out of the chair and started moving before slack was out of the line and I had to yell at them to stop and wait for instructions.
All in all, it went very smoothly, and we now know what to expect when it happens again in 20 years.
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