Trackline Skate Block Using Gin Pole/Monopod AHD

Written By: Lance Piatt

Trackline Skate Block Using Gin Pole/Monopod AHD

In a trackline skate block system, the working line is the trackline in that the raise and/or lowering systems are all applied to the same system. Our AHD (we’re using a monopod/gin pole) was placed at the top of the cliff in order to gain the necessary height for us to get past the edge and away from the face of the cliff.

In the specialized field of technical rescue, the use of a trackline skate block system stands out for its efficiency and simplicity, particularly when navigating challenging terrains such as steep cliffs. Our innovative approach incorporates a monopod/gin pole as the Artificial High Directional (AHD), strategically positioned at the cliff’s apex to maximize height and distance from the edge, facilitating safer and more effective operations.

The monopod/gin pole is secured using a robust quad-guy pattern, ensuring stability and alignment with the operational needs. This setup is critical for projecting the AHD forward effectively, creating an optimal angle for the skate block system to operate.

The essence of the skate block configuration lies in its streamlined design, where twin tracklines, functioning under a Two Tension Rope System (TTRS), originate from the base. These lines integrate seamlessly with change-of-direction pulleys, extending upwards and then descending back to the patient. This circuit not only forms the skate block but also embodies the system’s working line, showcasing a classic yet effective design.

The monopod/gin pole was guyed appropriately with a quad-guy pattern and the AHD was errored forward appropriately.

The skateblock shown here is a classic setup where the twin tracklines (TTRS) begin at the base where the tensioning/lowering systems are deployed and run up through change of direction pulleys and back down to the patient, thereby completing the circuit and becoming “the skate block”.


Key Advantages of the Skate Block System:

  • Efficiency in Rope Usage: The system requires only two ropes, with each needing to span twice the length of the drop plus an additional 15 meters, ensuring coverage and safety.
  • Minimal Personnel Requirement: Its design allows for operation with fewer team members, making it an ideal choice for Search and Rescue (SAR) and fire service teams.
  • Adaptability and Versatility: Well-suited for a wide range of rescue scenarios, offering flexibility to rescue teams in diverse environments.

However, it’s paramount to exercise caution with the system’s tensioning aspect, especially concerning the pulleys at the AHD. Proper attention and care must be taken to avoid over-tensioning the trackline, as the pulleys play a crucial role in the overall tensioning system.

Essential Components of the Skate Block System:

  • High Directional Pulleys at the AHD: Serve as pivotal points for the trackline, facilitating smooth operation and direction change.
  • AHD Angle: Critical for maximizing the efficiency and safety of the skate block system, ensuring optimal performance.
  • Guying Patterns: Provide necessary stability to the AHD, crucial for the safe execution of rescue operations.
  • Tensioning/Lowering System: Integral for precise control over the movement of the patient, allowing for adjustments as needed.
  • Rope Length: Essential for planning and execution, ensuring the system has adequate reach for the operation at hand.

This comprehensive overview highlights the strategic implementation of a gin pole/monopod AHD in conjunction with a skate block system, emphasizing the operational advantages, critical considerations, and key components necessary for successful high-angle rescue missions. Through this setup, rescue teams can achieve greater operational efficiency, safety, and adaptability in challenging environments.


Peace on your Days



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