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Single Rope Technique and High Angle Rescue Workshop

Sweetie Pam and Faye

As mountaineers and adventurers, it is vital to know the basics of SRT (Single Rope Technique) and rescue. So when Sir Fred Ygnacio of Innove Tower offered to teach us the basics of SRT and High Angle Rescue (HAR) last April 29, 2012, we readily agreed to participate.

Twelve enthusiastic climbers, mountaineers and adventurers showed up at the workshop, and everyone learned a lot from Sir Fred. During the 7 hour course, all participants learned a lot of things, including:

1) Safety Rules in HAR, SRT, Climbing and rapelling
2) Basic Rescue and Anchor Knots
3) HAR equipment use and care
4) Emergency seat and body harness construction
5) Basic Abseiling Techniques using carabiner, rescue 8, and belay devices
6) Basic Ascending Techniques using prusik knots, handheld and chest ascender, and pulley and ascender or belay device

After the morning classroom instruction, participants rapelled 160 feet down the building (total of 14 floors) all afternoon.

Busy intersection below us….waaay below us!

Cebu Ayala

A view of Cebu City up there. The fast progress of the city to a very developed metropolis is undeniable. That’s Waterfront Hotel and Casino and Asiatown IT Park.

Cebu City

That’s Sir Fred. He is a professional trainer for rescue operations.

Sir Fred SRT workshop

Pulley’s, carabiners, ascenders, and other assorted stuff for rescue operations. These are awfully expensive.

equipment for rescue operations

Learning the knots. See the intense concentration of the participants? Listen well, guys and gals. With such information, you can save someone’s life out in the wild.

learn knot works

More knot-work. A huge variety of knots exist, and each has its own purpose.

knot work

Lots and lots of rope. We bet that even the most suicidal maniac would think twice of hanging himself when he sees Sir Fred’s office, which is chock full of ropes.

ropes for rescue operation

Now that the demonstration is over, let’s see how you do those knots. Practical exam time, everyone! We bet you won’t know which end goes where. Hehehe! You can feel their frustration by just looking at their faces.

knot tying

“How the heck did you do that?” “Can you do that again?” “Can you do it really slowly?” Where does this end go?” “Are you sure this emergency harness is safe?” Those were just some of the hundred questions we asked during the workshop.

learning the knots

Am I doing this right?

Nina on rope works

After learning a few knots, it was time to learn basic ascending techniques using aid climbing tools. Aid climbing is a climbing discipline wherein one stands or pulls himself or herself upward using an assortment of devices. Compare that to free climbing (the style of climbing Sweetie and I practice) in which devices such as rope and equipment are used merely to catch a climber in a fall, not to aid a climber in his or her ascent. Aid climbing is one of several approaches used in Single Rope Technique (SRT), a set of methods used to ascend or descend using a single rope.

Sir Fred demonstrated how to ascend the rope with a couple of aid climbing devices.

how to ascend the rope

Sweetie and her friend Faye were the first in line to ascend a 15-foot aerial boom.

learning to ascend

Listening intently to Sir Fred’s instructions. Sweetie and her friend Faye were using single pulleys (purple devices) to feed the rope, ascenders (blue and gold devices) to go up the rope and lock yourself as you go up, and Gri-gris (the orange devices attached to their harnesses) to stop yourself from descending or to control your descent.

Sweetie and Faye so serious

Starting position.

SRT training

And up Faye went.

Faye

And sweetie went up as well. What’s the matter, sweetie?

Faye

“I love it high up here!” Sweetie exclaimed.

sweetie ascending

Mitch at the top of the world . . . errr . . . boom.

ascending

Botchok, our wonderful photographer, at the top of the . . . boom!

abseiling

Nina and Pam, tough girls!

Nina and Pam

Go, Nina, go!

Faye

Work it out, Pam! Go go go!

Pam on SRT

Awesome ladies! These are the girls who eat heights for breakfast.

Sweetie Pam and Faye

Demonstrating how to use prusik knots as étriers, or steps, to ascend a rope.

single rope technique

A very welcome lunch break after a grueling morning of training.

lunchtime

After lunch, it was time to practice good rapelling techniques. Since it was very hot outside, we decided to set up anchor inside one of Innove’s fire exits. Now, don’t think that just because it is indoor, rapelling is a piece of cake. Nope, nope! Rapelling inside confined spaces has its own challenges too, particularly, avoiding yourself bumping on the walls. That’s our anchor.

anchor

Do you have the courage to rappel 14 stories down into a bottom so deep that you can’t see it?

stairwell

Preparing to descend by properly setting up the figure-8.

Gian to rapel first

A close-up of a properly threaded figure-8, which is a common friction brake. The bends make contact with the steel, creating friction which slows down or stops your descent.

figure 8

Preparing to go down the dark abyss. When Sir Fred takes out that blue carabiner, I’m on my own.

rapel

Going down! See you!

rapel

After I touched ground, it was Sweetie’s turn.

ready to rapel

Sweetie prepared to lower down.

rapel

Sweetie, are you nervous or happy?

rapelling

Jumper down!

going down

Pam going over the fire exit to prepare to rappel.

rapel

Uhuh!

Pam-on-rapel

Are you sure this is safe?

Nina ready to rapel

Faye’s turn.

Faye to abseil

Amazing!

Faye to abseil

Mitch is pretty excited to rappel down . . . or get this over with.

Mitch rapel

Botchok with an emergency harness made out of webbing.

Botchok ready to rapel

The fun-loving Visayan Trekkers Team.

SRT training group

Photos courtesy of Prince Christian Toyugan, Sir Fred Ygnacio, and Faye Arong.

Tips:

* Single Rope Technique and High Angle Rescue are extremely important if you’re planning to venture into adventuring. It is highly recommended that you enroll in some sort of workshop for SRT and HAR.

* Sir Fred Ygnacio is the best man for the job. A licensed full property management service officer in Innove Tower, Cebu Business Park, he is fully armed with core competencies ranging from certified security professional, safety practioneer, accredited pollution control officer, CPR, advanced first aid and SRT/HAR training instructor. Send us an email if you want to get in touch with him.

* Remember this is Sir Fred’s advocacy. Spread the word.

* Wear something light and comfortable during the workshop. Make sure your clothes do not hamper you in any way. Rashguards, tank tops, shorts, and jogging pants make excellent SRT/HAR attire.

* You will be hot and sweaty during the workshop. Be sure to bring an extra set of clothes and plenty of drinks.

* To maximize your time, take your lunch at the venue. Obviously, you need to bring a packed lunch to Innove.

Suggested Itinerary:

7:00 AM – meetup at Innove/Registration
8:00 AM – start of workshop proper (Agenda depends on Sir Fred)
12:00 PM – lunch break
1:00 PM – practical rapelling/ascending
4:00 PM – debriefing

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About Adrenaline Romance

Rock climbers. Mountaineers. Sweethearts on adventure. Adrenaline Romance is a photoblog that belongs to a loving couple who has an eternal lust for adventure. The blog contains experiences, tips, itineraries, and other useful information regarding adventuring in the Philippines and beyond.

2 comments on “Single Rope Technique and High Angle Rescue Workshop

  1. hello, im from canada and i saw ur web page i was just wondering why you were not advocating the use of a prussik when rapelling?

    • Hi Agustin,

      Thanks for the observation. Actually, the use of the prussik was definitely discussed and advocated during the seminar.

      It’s just that there was a guide at the bottom of the rope. He only needed to pull the rope to halt the jumper if he loses control of the rope.

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