What Would You Do? Solving Realistic Canyon Scenarios. Stuck Rope: Part 1
WFR scenarios are medical scenarios in the backcountry that anyone who has taken a wilderness medical course is familiar with. My next series of blog posts is going to be posing realistic scenarios. Remember, this is not a “what would you have done differently before this happened” scenario. The only things that you are allowed to utilize are in your canyon bag on every trip. Bonus points if it lives full time in your bag. I will share my personal solution and philosophy to this scenario, but I am also interested in learning from what others have to say.
Canyoneering is a fun and adventurous sport that requires a low level of investment in skill development and equipment to get started.
However, even though it is an easy sport to get into, even the most experienced canyoneers can encounter unexpected scenarios which are hard to get out of.
In this post, we’ll discuss a scenario you may encounter while canyoneering. Give them some thoughts before reading the comments and ask yourself; “What would I do?”
Scenario: Casual Canyon day with a few friends.
Imagine you are on a casual day out in a local canyon with friends. The canyon is beautiful, but not particularly challenging. Throughout the canyon there are four 40m rappels. Your party is carrying 2x 40 meter ropes, just enough to get down each rappel.
As you finish the second rappel and begin to pull your rope you notice that the rope starts to pull with a lot of friction.
About 15 meters into the pull, the rope gets stuck, and you cannot pull it any further. The canyon is deep and steep with no established escape routes from your position.
You now have 15m of rope you have been able to pull down, a knife, and the standard canyoning kit, which includes 15m of webbing.
What do you do?
First Solution: You try pulling the rope from various different angles, you try setting up various mechanical advantage systems, get your friends involved in the pull, and try everything possible, but the rope does not budge.
It’s starting to get dark, you are cold, the canyon is wet, and so are you. The temperature is dropping, it may not freeze tonight, but you are getting cold and are wet in a wet environment. Your friends are starting to worry.
What do you do?
Skill Check: Do you know how to build mechanical advantage systems? If not then should you take friends canyoneering with you in a leadership role?
Remember! The only things that you are allowed to utilize are in your canyon bag on every trip. Bonus points if they live full time in your bag.
What do you do?!