Crevasse Rescue
The following crevasse rescue description is based on the course work provided by Jason D. Martin, a senior
instructor and guide at the American Alpine Institute.  This systematic description will make the most sense to
those students who have worked with Jason in the field on crevasse rescue systems.

Jason's two person crevasse rescue description is broken into three parts.  The first part is entitled
Anchor; the
Z-Pulley and the third, C on Z.  Most students obtain the best results when they think of this as a
dynamic three part system.  Students have problems and get lost when they lose sight of their objective.  Any
time one gets lost while working through the system they should step back and think clearly about what they
are trying to do in that part of the rescue.

1)  Self-arrest and place your foot over the rope.  Be sure to kick your feet in firmly to hold the weight.
2)  Place a piece of snow or ice protection and attach it to a locking carabiner.  This locking carabiner will thus
be designated the "master carabiner."  This first piece of snow protection must be extremely good.  If it is not,
both the victim and the rescuer will be in serious danger.
3)  Attach your foot prussiks to the master carabiner.
Lock the carabiner and NEVER OPEN THE MASTER
4)  Keeping your ice-axe handy, slowly allow the victim's body to weight the anchor.  Be sure to keep your
ice-axe within reach until the anchor is complete.  If that first piece of protection blows out, you will need to
arrest again.
5)  Take the rescue coils off of your shoulder and slowly unwrap them.  Be sure not to panic as the
mountaineers coil is easily tangled.
6)  Estimate the distance up to the master carabiner, then estimate the distance from the carabiner to the
crevasse.  Add these two figures together and then tie a figure-eight knot in the rope at this length.  If there is a
large amount of crevasse danger in the area, you may have to tie this knot significantly closer to yourself in
order to protect yourself.
7)  Clear one of the two locking carabiners that you are tied into the rope with of all items.  Clip the new
figure-eight knot into this carabiner.  Clear the second carabiner of everything.  Leave your waist prussik on
the rope.
8)  Work your way up to the master carabiner.  Tie a figure-eight knot into the rope that is being held by your
foot prussik.  Using a locking carabiner, clip this into the master carabiner and lock it.  This will back-up the
prussik which is currently holding the victim's weight.
9)  Step nine is where you will back-up the first piece of protection.  It is important not to disturb this piece of
protection while placing the second piece or all will be lost.  Measure the distance from the master carabiner to
your second placement.  Be sure that when you place the second piece, you consider the length of the sling or
cordellete with the carabiners on them.  You want this second piece to be as equalized as possible.  Beginner
level students will stretch a sling as tightly as possible from the master carabiner to the second piece, where
advanced students may use the block and tackle with a cordellete. Once you complete this, the Anchor is
See Photo

1)  Take your pack-prussik or a shoulder-length sling and girth-hitch it to your waist prussik which is still on
the tensioned rope.  If you are wearing crampons, be very careful not to step on the rope.  Clip this extension
to the unused locking carabiner at the tie-in point on your harness.
2)  Work your way toward the crevasse while probing for additional crevasses with your ice-axe.  You may
have to re-tie your safety knot to reach the crevasse.  Re-tie this knot whenever it is necessary.
3)  Once you reach the lip, confirm that your partner is conscious and needs to be pulled out of the crevasse.  
If he or she does not answer, you will have to rappel down into the crevasse to see what is wrong.  To climb
back out of the crevasse it is possible to use your partner's prussik cords.  Pad and clear the lip before
4)  If your partner answers and says that he or she needs to be pulled out, clear the lip of all snow.  Warn your
partner before you start to kick snow down on top of them.  The entire rope should be visible at the lip of the
crevasse before you are finished.
5)  Slide your ice-axe under the rope at the lip in order to pad it.  Place the pick into the snow in order to
secure it.  Clip the axe to the rope so that it does not fall down into the hole.
6)  Unclip the extension attached to your harness.  Take the pack prussik off of your waist prussik.  You
should still be relatively close to the lip of the crevasse when this takes place.
7)  Clip a pulley to the waist prussik.  Run the rope coming from the master carabiner through this pulley.   
The waist prussik may also be reffered to as the "tractor."
8)  Walk back up to the master carabiner.  Clip a second pulley into the master carabiner and run the rope that
is clipped to the locking carabiner on the master carabiner through the pulley.  It doesn't matter which side of
the knot you attach the pulley too.
9)  Untie the knot next to the pulley, but leave the locking carabiner attached to the master carabiner.
10)  Pull on the line that you are tied too.  Haul the vicitm up approximately a foot.
11)  Untie the knot between the pulley attached to the master carabiner and the foot prussik.  The foot prussik
may be reffered to as the "ratchet."
12)  You may now haul the victim on a 3:1 system.  Remeber to mind the foot prussik (ratchet) while hauling,
and be aware that for every three feet you pull, the victim will only rise one foot.  You have now completed the
See Photo
Crevasse Rescue Continued
Crevasse Rescue Photos
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