Rigging & Rescue
The popularity of Via Ferrata recreational climbing routes has exploded in recent years, and courses are now being built on cliff faces and at ski resorts all over the country. This surge in popularity has left a lot of first responders, ski patrollers and Via Ferrata guides scratching their heads when it comes to the possibility of executing the rescue of a stranded/injured climber from a Via Ferrata route.
But just what is a Via Ferrata? Italian for “iron road,” Via Ferratas consist of pre-installed steel rungs, ladders, suspension bridges and cables anchored into the rock.
This unique course, taking place at the spectacular Royal Gorge Bridge & Park Via Ferrata routes in Canon City, Colorado, will focus on the challenges of planning and executing various Via Ferrata rescue scenarios. Students will then have the opportunity to climb the routes for familiarization before tackling the rescue scenarios. We’ll cover high angle rescue rigging theory and best practices, the use of Artificial High Directionals (AHDs), winches versus mechanical advantage hauling, load sharing anchors, bolt placement and litter packaging/movement. On the final day of the class, we’ll bring it all together for an epic Mock Rescue scenario.
Join us for this three-day, hands-on course that will be sure to challenge all attendees while they enjoy the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains under the watchful eyes of the Elevated Safety and RGB&P staff.
- Via Ferrata history and course construction
- Artificial High Directional (AHD) anchors, winches versus mechanical advantage systems for raising and lowering
- Via Ferrata climbing equipment and techniques, vertical mobility for rescuers, litter packaging and movement
- Maybe a highline or two
Along with the ability to climb and carry out vertical rescues at around 6000 feet of elevation, students will also need to be able to handle exposure (some of the routes at RGB&P are VERY exposed at about 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River).
What To Bring
- Appropriate clothing
- Class III full body harness or UIAA seat harness
- Appropriate footwear (e.g. approach shoes) for accessing and climbing the Via Ferrata
- Face covering
- Rope gloves
- Small backpack
- Eye protection
- Personal descender
- 6 locking carabiners
- Rope ascending system (optional)
- Rope grab (mechanical or prussic).
Weather: Average temps range from low 30s to low 60s, typically dry, expect gusty conditions in the canyon.
We will provide a RGB&P pass each day, lunch each day, rope and rigging gear.
Paid and non-paid professional rope rescuers, mountain rescuers, search and rescue personnel, Via Ferrata guides or anyone who might respond for the rescue of a stranded/injured rock climber. Anyone who might respond for the rescue of a stranded/injured climber or worker.