Floating the Litter Using an A-Frame and Gin Pole Trackline

Written By: Lance Piatt

Steep angle litter work can be about as difficult as any high angle rescue. The main reason is that the litter attendants will have to pick and choose the terrain while still maintaining patient contact and visual. This isn’t always doable and often teams are working with minimal personnel so choosing a system that works is critical.

Here, we choose a more advanced set up using an entire Arizona Vortex, meaning that all three legs but in two segments. The top is an A-Frame and the bottom system is a monopod or gin pole set up. The main reason we chose this setup here was height. First, we needed to get the litter up and off the ground immediately and secondly, because of the terrain we needed to keep the litter moving without the need to “carry it”. This means the system needs to “float” the litter and patient all the way to the top and through the AHD into the awaiting vehicles for transport.

When the terrain angle approaches 40°, the risks go up significantly. Two ropes (TTRS) will always be the go-to default. There are variations of opinions as to how attendants are used (be it 1 or 2 persons) and we’ll leave that part up to the AHJ. Adding one too many people can add a significant load to the system, while not enough could also become a problem.

The litter setup is important and the terrain and type of system will dictate the style of the litter bridle system. However, regardless of the system used, the attendant(s) is simply there to assist in the progress, not to carry the load and if need be, attend to the patient.

For the litter yoke, we used the classic and more traditional Long Tail Bowline tied directly to the bridle system.

Key points for this unit include:

  • Anchors

  • Proper AHD setups

  • Trackline height and functionality

  • Patient packaging

  • Litter bridle setup

  • Hauling / Lowering system

Rigging Lab Academy Course References

To further enhance your knowledge and understanding of the key points mentioned in this unit, we encourage you to check out the following courses available exclusively at Rigging Lab Academy.

The training & the skills your team needs to help succeed! ALL IN ONE PLACE.

Are you interested in knowing even more about Twin Tension Systems and AHD use?



Peace on your Days



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