>don’t drink and climb (or… don’t be dumb with ropes and cliffs)

>Years ago I was a nominal member of the local mountain rescue group. I never had the chance to actually go on a rescue, but I did do some training with them. A couple of times we practiced rescue techniques for lowering an incapacitated climber down a sheer cliff. The technique is a lot more complicated than one might think, and the rescuers have to keep themselves safe too while doing the rescue. With that in my background I find the following rescue video clips interesting.

The notes on the video say the climber was drunk, though he says we wasn’t in the video. I don’t know if the climber was being truthful, but I would say it is probably a good decision to choose not to drink and climb. As with any rescue the process is slow and laborious, so it takes a while to get through these two clips, but I find it fascinating, especially since it’s basically raw video.

For how scary and obviously painful this was for the fallen climber, I also find it comical. He reminds me of so many individuals I knew in college. What’s interesting to note is that no matter how idiotic a climber may have been, the rescue people come to help and take it seriously. The rescuer who jumars up the rope to the stranded climber is putting his life at risk because he does not know how secure the rope is the stranded climber and his buddies are using. But he has to trust that rope and hope it is secure enough to hold both the climber’s and his own weight.

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