How to Anchor Rescue Rope

How to Anchor Rescue Rope
The number-one principle when conducting a rescue operation is to preserve the safety of the rescuers above all else. In following with this principle, you should use the same principles to construct a rescue anchor that you would use for any other rock anchor: It should be SRENE, which stands for Secure, Redundant, Equalized---which means that all parts of the anchor are weighted equally no matter which direction the pull comes from---and No Extension, which means that if one point of the anchor fails, it should be set up in such a way so that the master point where force is focused doesn't extend or move as a result of the failure.

Instructions

Difficulty: Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1-inch webbing Carabiners
  • 1-inch webbing
  • Carabiners
Step 1
Build the anchor for a rescue rope as close to the fallen climber as is realistically possible---this allows more rope for the rescue operation.
Step 2
Select at least three solid points for building your anchor. These may be large live trees with deep root systems; large boulders that are clearly immovable, even under extreme forces (check to make sure they're not poised to roll at the slightest tug); bolts drilled into the rock; rock outcroppings that can be slung; or traditional rock-climbing equipment like cams and nuts that have been placed in appropriate rock features.
Step 3
Use a locking carabiner, or two nonlocking carabiners with the gates reserved and opposed, to secure a length of 1-inch webbing to each anchor point. Tie each piece of webbing into a loop with an overhand knot so that, when fully extended, each loop comes together in the same center location below the anchor. The anchor points should be close enough together, and the webbing loops long enough, so that looking up from the master point---where the loops all come together--- all anchor points are contained within the spread of a 40-degree angle.
Step 4
Secure a heavy-duty locking carabiner through all loops of webbing at the anchor point. You can also use two nonlocking carabiners, gates reversed and opposed.

Tips & Warnings

 
Make sure that no element of the anchor runs across sharp edges that might cut the webbing or rough edges that may abrade it when the anchor is weighted; if it does, use duct tape to pad the edge or relocate the anchor to avoid the risk of damaging it.
 
Rock climbing is extremely dangerous, and because of the frequently uncontrolled conditions, conducting a rescue can be even more dangerous. Always preserve the rescuers' safety above all else; otherwise there's no hope of rescuing the fallen climber. Make sure the material you're using---from webbing to carabiners, climbing rope, and anything else---is designed to withstand the high forces exerted by climbing-and-rescue operations. Don't use vehicle seat belts, key chain carabiners or other imitation products.
 
Rock climbing is extremely dangerous, and because of the frequently uncontrolled conditions, conducting a rescue can be even more dangerous. Always preserve the rescuers' safety above all else; otherwise there's no hope of rescuing the fallen climber.
 
Make sure the material you're using---from webbing to carabiners, climbing rope, and anything else---is designed to withstand the high forces exerted by climbing-and-rescue operations. Don't use vehicle seat belts, key chain carabiners or other imitation products.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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