As stated in the past, we love Mike Barter's videos. The Canadian guide is currently doing perhaps the best job at creating instructional videos for climbing...and usually they're pretty funny too!
Mike posted a video on ratchets for rescue. One major component of any
hauling system in a crevasse or rock rescue scenario is the ratchet.
This is essentially the element of the system that allows the rescuer to
retain any advantage that he has gained in the rescue.
video discusses four different types of ratchets:
Examples of autoblocking devices include the Petzel
Reverso, the Black Diamond Guide ATC, the Trango GiGi and the B52. Each
of these devices allows one to pull rope up through the device, but
won't allow the load line to release without a few shenanigans...more on
the shenanigans in a different post.
2) Garda Hitch
known as the alpine clutch, this quick system is very effective.
However, it is extremely important to check that the hitch has been tied
properly before using it in a rescue scenario.
If you have taken a basic course from the American Alpine
Institute, you know that we don't usually teach a means to create a
self-minding prussik hitch. In the system that we teach, we leave the
prussik cord a bit longer so that the rescuer can mind it himself. This
is not quite as effective as either having a pulley that is designed to
mind the prussik or a tube-style belay device that will operate the
In the video, Mike also quickly demonstrates a way to
make this prussik load-releasable by adding a munter-mule into the
shelf. A load-releasable system is desirable in all rescue
The Petzl GriGri and the Trango
Cinch are both highly underutilized tools for rescue. In part, it's
because they are heavy, so a lot of climbers don't take them on long
routes or into the alpine, but they are very effective. They work as
both a pulley and a ratchet simultaneously and are -- by their very
nature -- load releasable.
imperative that anyone going into the mountains has a rudimentary
understanding of ratcheting in rescue. If you haven't had the
opportunity to take a class, it might be very valuable to watch this
video a few times over and to practice each of the skills shown...