CMC Arizona Vortex Series 1 of 4: Introduction to the Arizona Vortex

Written By: Lance Piatt

The originator of modern artificial high directionals (AHD)s, the Vortex is a tripod, bipod and monopod in one all-inclusive kit. Its precision machined two-piece head can be rigged as a standard tripod or, in advanced applications, as an A-frame, Sideways A-frame, Gin Pole or a multitude of other configurations. The tripod can be formed into an Easel A-frame with adjustable leg lengths. The versatile third leg allows rescuers to set up an artificial high directional in virtually any urban, industrial or wilderness application. When configured in the A-frame and Easel A-Frame applications, pulleys can be attached directly into the Head Set using the included quick-pins rather than carabiners, retaining valuable headspace and working clearance. The Vortex is ideal for use with high lines and tracking line offsets.

Arizona Vortex Training


The Arizona Vortex Multipod is an artificial high directional designed to elevate lines above an edge, entryway, or obstacle, and rescue operation, or rope access work. Elevate your access with the Arizona Vortex.

Using an artificial high directional helps mitigate edge friction and significantly eases edge transition for the rescuer or worker resulting in safer and more efficient evolutions.

The three main configurations of the Arizona Vortex include a tripod or Easel-A configuration, bipod/A-Frame and monopod or Gin Pole configuration. The Vortex features a two-piece headset that provides unlimited versatility and flexibility within a multitude of environments, terrain types, and applications. For example, by creating an Easel A-Frame, the Vortex head can be positioned closer to an edge or obstacle, or can be placed directly over an entryway for more efficient, lower and raise operation. When working in areas with limited access or space, the Vortex offers endless possibilities that can overcome these environmental challenges. The two-piece headset design allows the blue A-Frame head to be configured into a tripod or used independently to create a bipod A-Frame. The precision engineered telescoping legs offer quick setup and adjustment that adapt to bearing setup requirements. And for more challenging environments, the orange Gin Pole head can be used to create a high point monopod or with the accessory, the AZORP.

The Gin Pole head provides a multitude of rigging attachments features for connecting pulleys and guidelines. Because the Vortex is manufactured from aircraft grade T-6 aluminum, it offers superior strength and lightweight and packable design. The Vortex kit includes 2-sets of feet engineered for an array of terrain type surfaces and applications. The Omni-Ball Flat Foot features a rubber bottom layer for gripping smooth or flat surfaces and adjust easily to any angle. The Raptor Foot excels on uneven surfaces and includes a replaceable carbide tip that can securely bite into harder rocky surfaces. The tip offers multiple sides so that it can be rotated to expose a new point. Both Flat Foot and Raptor Foot also feature holes for anchoring and attachments of Hobble Straps.

The Vortex Hobble Straps attach independently to the feet providing quick adjustment and tensioning. A 50-foot cord is also provided to safely tether the Vortex when moving near an edge. Adding to ease of mobility and versatility, the Vortex Bag Sets include a full featured backpack with carrying the Headset, Hobble Straps, Pin Bag, Tether Cord and User’s Manual. The leg bags hold both inner and outer legs in separate compartments along with the foot sleeve. The bags are constructed from durable Cordura nylon fabric for protection and long life. The Bag Set provides the optimal solution for components, organization, protection and weight distribution for packing the Vortex rural and hard to reach urban environments.

The Arizona Vortex. Elevate your access.

Arizona Vortex Training


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