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Thread: Emergency high angle rescue kit.

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    Member LOCALAK907's Avatar
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    Default Emergency high angle rescue kit.

    Looking for suggestions for an emergency high angle rescue kit for mtn goat and sheep hunting here in Ak. This kit would be a high angle bare bones kit. Looking for rope length, hardware, webbing suggestions. Willing to spend for quality because this kit needs to work when called into service.

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    What kind of rescue are you anticipating? Self rescue, partner rescue, crevasse rescue, or just something you might want in case you get stuck on a ledge and need to rappell down?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    More important than the equipment is the training to use it properly. I'd say most climbers even if they have equipment that could be used for high angle rescue don't have the proper skills nor the appreciation for the loads and issues of a rescue to implement them. Not to mention that is heavy gear to be taking on a sheep hunt.

    I'd put the time into learning how to travel safely in the mountains vs. carying rescue gear. It may seem like a paradox, but often the safest people in the mountains carry a minimal amount of gear so that they can move quickly vs, the overgeared slow poke that gets themselves in trouble.

    When you say rescue equipment are you talking about being able to lower an injured partner off of a mountain? Or are you talking about getting yourself into a position you can't get out of and needing to be able to say rappel out of it?
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    More important than the equipment is the training to use it properly. I'd say most climbers even if they have equipment that could be used for high angle rescue don't have the proper skills nor the appreciation for the loads and issues of a rescue to implement them. Not to mention that is heavy gear to be taking on a sheep hunt.

    I'd put the time into learning how to travel safely in the mountains vs. carying rescue gear. It may seem like a paradox, but often the safest people in the mountains carry a minimal amount of gear so that they can move quickly vs, the overgeared slow poke that gets themselves in trouble.

    When you say rescue equipment are you talking about being able to lower an injured partner off of a mountain? Or are you talking about getting yourself into a position you can't get out of and needing to be able to say rappel out of it?

    Excellent posting Paul.
    Proud to be an American!

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    Moderator Snyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    ...I'd put the time into learning how to travel safely in the mountains vs. carying rescue gear. It may seem like a paradox, but often the safest people in the mountains carry a minimal amount of gear so that they can move quickly vs, the overgeared slow poke that gets themselves in trouble....
    Great points. I'd like to add in another thought/perspective.

    Several years ago there was a father/son in the Wrangells sheep hunting. The father watched the son climb up into the craigs and shoot a ram. He also watched his son fall as he tried to get to the ram. The son suffered serious head/brain trauma. I think ADN has the whole story in it's archives. A google turned up this Field and Stream write up of the account

    After coming home and hearing about that accident it got me thinking about the use of a climbing helmet in steep sheep country. The evening of that accident, my partner and I were on our trek out of DCUA with two rams, safe and sound cooking tenderloins over the fire. I started this thread Sheep/Goat Hunting and Helmets back then but must admit I have never used a helmet on a sheep hunt. Anyway, it's someting to consider and certainly worth talking about. You know what they say.... "Prevention is the best medicine"
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    I would agree with prevention..Snyd the helmet is not a bad idea at all. I was on a sheep hunt several years ago and I was climbing a face,nothing serious or anything and had a rock give way,I fell about 15 feet and cracked my head open a bit and broke a finger and busted up a bunck of gear,nothing serious but it could of been and a helmet in that situation would of save me a world of hurt...

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    Moderator Snyd's Avatar
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    Wow. Sounds like you had Someone watching over you. I know I did once...

    Years ago I accompanied a buddy on his DCUA walkin hunt. We were about 25 miles in. He killed a ram two drainages from our tent. We packed sheep in the dark over some pretty steep rocky terrain, we were on our final ascent up to where our tent was scrambling up through a maze/pile of rocks which made up the whole side of the mtn. More "4 footed" scrambling than 2 footed walking. My partner was ahead of me. I took a step up and fell over backwards down the mtn. doing a backwards somersault and landed on my feet facing up hill. Wow....close call. It happened before I knew it. I was using a Barneys pack with the frame extender on it sticking up above my head. I think it acted like a roll bar and protected my noggin. And fortunately is was only one somersault instead of a ragdoll down the mtn.

    My buddy had no idea until I told him after we were back to the tent at about 1am. I'm not sure he'd have been able to find me in that maze of rock in the dark once he realized I was missing. It was darkish but I was not using a head lamp yet because it really didn't help much. He wouldn't have been able to see me.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Member LOCALAK907's Avatar
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    I would say I have basic working knowledge and intermediate to advanced knowledge of gear and application of gear. I don't get to climb or practice high angle rescue much any more. I used to sell fall protection equip. And was a certified competent person to inspect and repair gear and devices. I also have a ff1 cert. and took an intermediate high angle rescue course while in collage for my fire service administration degree. Just looking for opinions on what's out there now for gear and how you think it performs. All thoughts greatly appreciated. P.s won't be using it in the field till I become familiar in a safe environment with someone who is up to speed

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    Quote Originally Posted by LOCALAK907 View Post
    I would say I have basic working knowledge and intermediate to advanced knowledge of gear and application of gear. I don't get to climb or practice high angle rescue much any more. I used to sell fall protection equip. And was a certified competent person to inspect and repair gear and devices. I also have a ff1 cert. and took an intermediate high angle rescue course while in collage for my fire service administration degree. Just looking for opinions on what's out there now for gear and how you think it performs. All thoughts greatly appreciated. P.s won't be using it in the field till I become familiar in a safe environment with someone who is up to speed
    Understand that with sheep hunting, if you don't think you'll need that top button on your shirt you may as well pull it off cause you don't need that extra weight hangin' on you....lol. Climbing gear would be the last thing I would want to take on an extended sheep hunt for sure. It's not that it's a bad idea to have with you, but all that extra weight would be a killer....imo. What if you have to pack out a ram on your way out as well? Why not just carry something like a S.P.O.T on you and be extra careful...???

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    Member LOCALAK907's Avatar
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    A spot is a great idea also I'll see ic I can get a deal at the sportsman's show.

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    Local my advice would be to save yourself the money on all this gear and simply go buy a sat phone. You are only as strong as your weakest link so if you are hunting with a partner and you have a accident and he has no training this gear is worthless. I have guided a lot of sheephunts and know lots of sheep guides and have never seen the need for this gear hunting. Good common sense is what is needed when hunting in the mountains and most if not all bad situations can be avoided after all its just a sheep hunt it is not worth taking life threatening risks. As a guide I probably take more risks then most and still have never been in the a situation where I thought I would need rescue gear. Sure accidents happen I even had one but in that situation you have a sat phone that you or your partner can use to call for help and one thing for sure rescuers will have all the gear and training necessary. The problem I see with spot and epribs and such is they all have some sort of sos button or similar and some feelfree to correct me but I believe there is a hearty fine for accidental tripping for false alarms. Not usually a fine for calling a wrong number. All the best to ya
    Dave

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    Another thought would be to have a VHF aircraft band handheld. There are usually more than enough planes flying around during hunting season to be able to reach one with a small handheld. I recall somebody telling me that they knew of an instance where somebody contacted a jet airliner that was able to relay an emergency message.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Another thought would be to have a VHF aircraft band handheld. There are usually more than enough planes flying around during hunting season to be able to reach one with a small handheld. I recall somebody telling me that they knew of an instance where somebody contacted a jet airliner that was able to relay an emergency message.

    Until recently that's all I ever carried and I still do

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    I carried them when I was guiding as well.....

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    Member LOCALAK907's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the insight to my query. Maybe a can find a good deal on a sat phone at the sportsman's show.

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    Wow, and I mean WOW!
    A guy asks a question regarding self-rescue, and people suggest he should leave his "heavy" gear at home and rely on SPOT and Sat phone for an outside rescue instead?!
    What ever happened to the self sufficient mentality of most (?) Alaskans?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    What would you consider as sufficient gear for a high angle rescue on a sheep hunt? and then factor that against how it would affect his likely success on said hunt.

    At a minimum a climbing rope is 10#'s and a harness, small selection of anchors, runners and biners is an additional 10#'s. Given that most mountains that people are sheep hunting on are a combination of crumbling fractured rock, that minimal selection of anchors would be marginal at best for rappeling and completely inadequate for enacting a rescue. So he has an inadequate amount of gear that puts his own life in peril and then a SAR team is called in to rescue or retrieve two people. Or he bumps up his rescue gear to 40-50#'s. He could have that extra pack in camp, where it will likely do him no good, or he could pack it with him, in which case he is slowed down. The majority of accidents are due to making poor choices, and I'd wager a bet the majority of stupid moves in the mountains are born out of fatique. Packing that extra 40-50# will lead to fatigue and in hence will make him more likelyh to make a bad decision and get in trouble.

    #1 rule for rescuers is don't put your own life in peril.

    One of the things I've learned in 25+ years of climbing is that the guys that know what they are doing and move light and fast are less likely to get in trouble in the mountains. Those geared up for every eventuality either never get off the ground, or take too long on route and the best they can hope for is an unplanned bivouac.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    "What would you consider as sufficient gear for a high angle rescue on a sheep hunt?"
    Well, I guess you'll have to answer the question in my 2nd post, as that would dictate the gear or lack thereof.

    "Packing that extra 40-50# ..."
    Dude, you got to be kidding me - that's the weight of a pack for multi-day technical climb (including everything!), not a casual rescue kit!
    The gear has really gotten much lighter in the last 25+ years...

    "Those geared up for every eventuality either never get off the ground..."
    Well, we do agree here!

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKClimber View Post
    Wow, and I mean WOW!
    A guy asks a question regarding self-rescue, and people suggest he should leave his "heavy" gear at home and rely on SPOT and Sat phone for an outside rescue instead?!
    What ever happened to the self sufficient mentality of most (?) Alaskans?
    +1. Obviously it's an interesting question, but so far it hasn't been answered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKClimber View Post
    Wow, and I mean WOW!
    A guy asks a question regarding self-rescue, and people suggest he should leave his "heavy" gear at home and rely on SPOT and Sat phone for an outside rescue instead?!
    What ever happened to the self sufficient mentality of most (?) Alaskans?

    Hmmm what a constructive post to help the original poster. So let see the OP's original question was "Looking for suggestions for an emergency high angle rescue kit for mtn goat and sheep hunting here in Ak" So as a sheep hunting guide,goat hunter, and participating member of the Alaska hunting forum where a question was asked I offered my suggestion based on many years of sheep and goat hunting and the experience of multible hunting guides.I stated that based on said experience of myself and other professionals I do not see the need to carry this type of emergency gear on a typical sheep or goat hunt on top of a pack full of sleeping gear cloths tent food cooking gear water misc gear and if successful 100 plus pounds of meat,capes horns ect... So please tell me where my suggestion was wrong. The OP has the right to disagree with or dismiss my suggestion and I have no problem with that as we all have the right to make our own deciscions based on experience.I have never seen a need to carry this extra equipment since most bad situations can be avoided with a little common sense.Accidents do happen and people even get struck by lightning so does that mean I should carry a ground rod around.... In post number 2 you asked what accident to anticipate...any one of the four things you mentioned are possible so should he carry gear for all four...

    I am all for being self sufficent but also for being practical...

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