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  1. #1
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    Default Age Old Issue..Edge Transitions w/ No AHD

    Just wondering if any of you have any old tricks up your sleevs on dealing with edge transitions without the use of an AHD. I know the importance of an AHD, and understand that it's a required skill outlined for the technician level rope practicioner. However, there comes a time when you just don't have the luxury. As a young rope student, it seems like very little emphasis is placed in training on mitigating the edge without an AHD. I'd just love to absorb some of your knowledge on this. I'm fairly familiar with the pike and pivot (or v-strap) technique, but any more tricks out there? As far as that, how creative have you got on improvising to rig some type of high help? Thanks


  2. #2
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    Default

    The v starp you mentioned is a great one. For a long time we went with the "Strong Back, Weak Mind" method... You should see where the nose of our training mannequin used to be; ground into the training tower!

    A standard tripod rigged back a bit from the edge will also help deal with the forces generated during an edge transition.
    Weekly updates on the world of rope:

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  3. #3
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    We've dabbled with deflected AHDs (Lipke field guide page 101).

    On one occasion an anchor was available far back from the edge and at an elevation quite a bit higher than the edge:

    The scene was a road with a 70 degree slope below it and a 45 degree slope above it. The patient was near the bottom of the 70 degree slope. We rigged the main line station on the road, brought the main line up to a tree AHD high on the 45 degree slope, and then back down to the edge transition above the 70 degree slope.

    Not really ideal, but when loaded the main line cleared the edge by a good 4-5 feet and the attendant was able to walk himself down over the edge without too much teeth gnashing. The transition on the raise was also not too bad with the help of two edge attendants.

    Clearly a special case, but worth sharing.
    Last edited by servantleader; 08-24-2011 at 12:20 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by servantleader View Post
    We've dabbled with deflected AHDs (Lipke field guide page 101).

    On one occasion an anchor was available far back from the edge and at an elevation quite a bit higher than the edge:

    The scene was a road with a 70 degree slope below it and a 45 degree slope above it. The patient was near the bottom of the 70 degree slope. We rigged the main line station on the road, brought the main line up to a tree AHD high on the 45 degree slope, and then back down to the edge transition above the 70 degree slope.

    Not really ideal, but when loaded the main line cleared the edge by a good 4-5 feet and the attendant was able to walk himself down over the edge without too much teeth gnashing. The transition on the raise was also not too bad with the help of two edge attendants.

    Clearly a special case, but worth sharing.
    ...and a good example of go with what you've got available.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies. The information is very helpful, and I'll store all those thoughts back in the "toolbox." I should've been a little more specific, however. I'm battling the issue mostly in elevated structures, such as an industrial settings, or even from atop a building. I'm thinking in such a case where the transition would be a complete 90 degree change. Any thoughts?
    Last edited by Squad1FF; 08-25-2011 at 11:28 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Edge transition

    We use a very simple, very safe technique to get the litter over the edge when no overhead anchor point is available. We mostly work in industrial settings and frequently have handrails available protecting the edge although this technique works from a flat roof/no rails scenario too.

    Rig the basket for a feet first vertical lower. Main line goes from bridle back to whatever lowering device you use (rack, MPD, etc.). Belay line attaches to the bridle and goes back to the tandem prusiks, 540, MPD, etc.

    Attach a 20-25 ft length of tubular webbing on each side of the basket near the knees. Run the webbing from the litter under the top hand rail and back towards the main line anchor point (make 2 wraps of webbing around the hand rail). Team of firefighters picks up the litter and rests it on top ofthe hand rail (this now makes a 3rd wrap of the webbing around the hand rail).

    Keep belay line snug and main line slack. Push basket over the edge to the level of the patient's hips. One rescuer on each length of tubular webbing controls the lower. Push up on head of basket as webbing control lines begin gently lowering the basket. Lower until basket is vertical and litter rigging is approaching the hand rail. Belay line still snug, main line still slack.

    Pass a prusik cord under the bridle and lift it up and over the hand rail. KEEP FINGERS OUT FROM BETWEEN ROPE/RIGGING AND HAND RAIL. Mash prusiks, not fingers.

    Once rigging and knots are clear of the edge lock off the main line and continue lowering with the webbing until main line has all the weight. Unwrap the webbing from the rail and either drop it over the side to become tag lines on a short (20-30 ft) lower or quickly tie them off around the main line to prevent snagging.

    Unlock the main line lowering device and send the litter to the ground under control.

    The triple wrap of the webbing around the hand rails provides fingertip control, no brute strength needed.

    Mike

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    Default

    Thanks guys for the input. This post has grown cold, so I'm going to attempt to 'rebirth' this thread. And thanks DCFD & Rsqman for the input-very valuable and appreciated.

    My true concern is in a lowering operation, where there is no HD. I'm leaning heavily on the V-strap or pike and pivot technique. I've used this in training, but always for a raising application. I'm sure it would work just the same for lowering. However, I'm sure there would need to be a little more thought as far as measurements of the system the v-strap is rigged to vs the mainline knot, etc. In a raise, it's as simple as ganging on a mini haul to the mainline. What have you found successful for the lowering? Any pics or videos would be helpful.

    Rsqman, any pics of what you are describing would be great also.

  8. #8
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    using a mini-haul or a munter on a seperate anchor works real good for lowering the V strap.
    Last edited by TRT24; 10-21-2011 at 03:44 PM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
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    Default Pics

    Rsqman, any pics of what you are describing would be great also.
    Let me see what I can do. I'll be teaching a high angle/confined space rescue class next week for an industrial client. This is one of the techniques we will be using but most industries are very camera shy. If I can get one of them to take some pics for me I'll post them here.

  10. #10
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    Default

    I prefer using an edge attendant on a seperate line using SRT. That way he or she can manipulate the basket really well and help ease the patient off the edge. Works really well with two edge guys and lowering feet first vertically.

  11. #11
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    Default Vertical stretcher with webbing

    Resqman,
    I think this is what you were describing? We use a munter hitch in the webbing for control.
    Name:  Vert Lower 1.jpg
Views: 655
Size:  31.1 KB

  12. #12
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    Default Edge transition

    Quote Originally Posted by Richardl View Post
    Resqman,
    I think this is what you were describing? We use a munter hitch in the webbing for control.
    Attachment 21291
    Yes,

    That looks like the technique I was trying to describe. The only difference is we use 3 wraps of webbing around the handrail for fingertip control instead of a munter hitch.

    Mike

  13. #13
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    Default

    An easy way to quickly send a rescuer over the side is to vector the mainline. Place two people on either side of the mainline about three feet or so back from the edge. They place the mainline on their shoulder and hold on to it with both hands. Rescuer is on an active belay and stands at the edge ready to walk the transition. When ready, the command for vector down is given and the edge guys lower the mainline. The rescuer walks the transition until the mainline is back on the deck. Then down as usual. It's quite easy for the two vector guys to manage the weight of the rescuer while holding the vector. The key is a controlled lower of the vector and an active belay. Your vector guys should be on travel restraint as well. Or you could always measure your mainline connection to the edge and add a few inches then tie in and belly flop over the side. Just need to make sure your knot or device clears the edge. For stokes without an AHD, the above posts give you some good options. Make sure your stokes is rigged to prevent the person from slidding down in the stokes while hanging vertical. Also, a vertical stokes is a poor choice on some types of injuries. But it's always good to have options.

  14. #14
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    +1 for the human vector. Definitely works but fails on sexy technology points!

    Also +1 for DCFD's response. We have a location that gets regular rescue activity (cliff diving) where we've got natural (BFTs) anchors pre-selected that give us the AHD that makes the edge transition clean and simple.

    Not sure if I have any pictures....

  15. #15
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    Something similar to what MtnRsq described (I think): We recently trained at rock climbing area with two tiers of basalt columns. The columns are at the top of a moderate slope. At the bottom of the moderate slope is a vertical drop-off (the edge transition) to a road. The basalt columns are a good 30-40 ft in elevation above the edge transition. We rigged at the basalt columns (rock anchors) and did lowers/raises down the vertical section below the bottom of the slope. To my surprise, the elevation difference between the edge and the anchors made the edge transition almost seamless.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by servantleader View Post
    Something similar to what MtnRsq described (I think): We recently trained at rock climbing area with two tiers of basalt columns. The columns are at the top of a moderate slope. At the bottom of the moderate slope is a vertical drop-off (the edge transition) to a road. The basalt columns are a good 30-40 ft in elevation above the edge transition. We rigged at the basalt columns (rock anchors) and did lowers/raises down the vertical section below the bottom of the slope. To my surprise, the elevation difference between the edge and the anchors made the edge transition almost seamless.
    Sounds very similar to what we have although we're using trees vs. rock pro in this location. I don't have any pictures unfortunately. I'll see about taking some pix sometime when we've got this rigged.

    Our natural tendency seems to be to focus very narrowly on a small working area near the edge. We've tried to help people take a big picture look and extend anchors, use changes of direction, etc. to overcome problems. Avoiding over engineered solutions is sometimes a challenge, but this approach often helps us create a simpler solution although it does use more rope.

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