Rescue Pickoffs Pt 4 – Team Based Pickoffs

Written By: Lance Piatt

Again, we are using the CMC Clutch as the lowering and or raising device for these pick-off examples.

Once all the lines have been set up, it’s time to secure the rope rescue system. First, attach a prusik hitch to each of the lines about two feet above their ends. Connect the pick-off strap to both hitches and pull them as high as you can reach. If there is a harness that needs to be secured for the subject, attach it to the end of the pick-off strap. After that, secure yourself to both ends of the main line and belay with figure 8 loops. The lowering system will then work like any other lowering system – just be careful when lower yourself or your subject down! Keep in mind all safety protocols while using a rope rescue system. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep yourself secure at all times! Keep these tips in mind, and you should have a safe and successful rescue.

Once the rescuer is in position, they will need to attach themselves to a rope rescue system. This typically consists of a pick-off strap or pick-strap and harness combination. It is important that the rescuer takes time to readying the gear for quick attachment to the subject before beginning any conversation with them. While doing this, it is important that the rescuer speaks in a casual yet informative tone to provide reassurance and explain what will be done. This can help to reduce any further risk of danger for everyone involved in the situation.  Once the gear is properly set up, the rescuer can then begin making progress towards getting the subject safely off the edge. It is important that the rescuer remains vigilant and aware of all potential risks throughout the entire rescue process.

The rescuer should attach a pick-off strap to the rope rescue system, or connect it directly to their harness. This allows the rescuer to lower themselves until their head is at the same level as the subject’s shoulders. From this position, they are in an ideal spot to securely attach a harness or secure the pick-off strap.

The pick-off strap is securely attached to the subject and should have enough separation so both people can move up or down a face safely. By adjusting the pick-off strap, the rescuer can ensure the subject is in the appropriate position, allowing them to control their movements and navigate around obstacles. This is an important step in the rope rescue system, as it ensures the rescuer has complete control over the subject throughout the process.

When attempting a rope rescue system, the pick-off strap should be adjusted so that the person hangs a few inches above the rescuer’s thighs. This is essential for making sure there is enough clearance from the face of the cliff. For small children, they can be turned around so that their back is facing towards the cliff and they can hug the rescuer. This is an effective way to ensure their safety while performing a vertical or free hanging rope rescue.

Peace on your Days



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