Crevasse Rescue School

June 19,22-23, 2002

Crevasse rescue is a popular topic this year; with the recent accidents on Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier, it was not too much of a surprise that we ended up with a waiting list of people interested in attending the practice session. We spent an evening at the Obsidian Lodge doing a dry run of the setup of crevasse rescue systems, practicing prusik techniques, and covering the basics of glacier travel and how to avoid getting into crevasse difficulties. Then we met early on Saturday morning to go to Mt. Hood and practice the skills we had covered at the Lodge.

The first day was spent on a snowfield not far from Timberline Lodge, going over the basics of setting and testing snow anchors, belay techniques for snow, and prusik practice up a 20 ft snow wall. We reviewed the basic techniques of crevasse rescue on a snowfield, and walked everyone through the procedure for setting up a Z pulley system. We then did multiple practice sessions on the snowfield, rotating people through the different positions they might be in on a rope, and practiced the techniques needed to pull someone out of a crevasse.

Saturday evening was spent camping near Trillium Lake; we broke out the stoves and camp chairs, and then built a bonfire and pulled the camp chairs around it for some socializing before bed.

On Sunday we were up at Timberline a little after 6 AM and on the trail by 7. We headed up to about 7700 ft, and found a way to get onto the White Glacier, down a steep snow slope. We roped up and moved out onto the glacier, and found a nice series of crevasses in the middle of the glacier. We rigged up belays for the “victims” and took turns dropping people into the crevasses, then rigged up pulley systems to pull out each victim. About half the people had the opportunity to experience what the inside of a crevasse is like. Participating were Robert Mason, Mike Telafici, Cindy Thieman, Wayne Deeter, Lori Tierney, Mary D’Aversa, Dan Hagen, Dallas Hemphill, James Wright, Kathy Jensen, Chris Jensen, Sherill Blodget, Erik Bonnet, Gertchen Farrar, Bill Streck, Patrice Dirksen and instructors Steve Still, John Mowat, Wayne Anderson, Sue Sullivan, and George Baitinger.

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