This page covers the skills required for roped mountaineering. Follow the steps in order with a partner to revise all of the knots and techniques together with their application.
Scenario: imagine that you are first roping up for glacier travel to walk across the glacier towards the mountain. Then you will start pitching your way up the mountain, but stay roped up with short coils to make the rope a practical length. At the top of your route you’ll transition into abseiling back down the route. On the way back across the glacier one of you falls into a crevasse and you’ll have to perform a crevasse rescue.
- Tie in to the ends of the rope with a Re-threaded Figure-8 knot.
- Rope up for glacier travel, re-tying back in with an Alpine butterfly knot.
- Rack yourselves up with appropriate set of Glacier travel equipment.
- For your pair, assign a leader and a seconder
- The leader makes an anchor. Practice making both a 2-piece anchor with a 120cm sling and a 3-piece anchor with a cordalette. (Improvise pieces of protection from table/chair legs, or attachment points in your garage.)
- The leader attaches themself to the anchor masterpoint with a clove hitch.
- The leader attaches their ATC-guide or Reverso belay device to the anchor and belays in the second climber.
- Once both at the anchor, the seconder attaches to the anchor masterpoint using a 120cm sling/tether/personal anchor system.
- Give the gear to the seconder, the seconder leads the next pitch while the first leader belays.
- Transition from climbing to abseiling – untie from the ropes, thread the rope equal lengths through the masterpoint, and rig yourself for an abseil one at at a time: How to abseil, and advanced abseiling techniques.
- Extra for experts: practice crevasse rescue in particular the hauling setup.
- For more alpine & rope techniques see here.