1-day Crevasse Rescue Course - Stevens Pass 

Crevasse Rescue Course 1
Crevasse Rescue Practice

Course: 1-day Crevasse Rescue

2023 Dates: April - June
  • May 7, 2023 (2 spots)

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Cost: $315 per participant

Cost Includes
Guide fee, all group climbing equipment including a climbing rack, snow anchors, climbing ropes.
Cost Does Not Include
Transportation to/from course area, personal food, water, and clothing.

This is a one-day, crevasse rescue course within a short drive of Seattle, WA. We cover all of the basic skills required to arrest a fall, build a solid snow anchor, and then extricate a climber from a crevasse. The course focuses on the elements of technical rescue and touches briefly on self arrest. We will also discuss strategies for single rescuer crevasse rescue and teach methods using both simple rescue gear such as prussic cord, slings, and cordelette and more advanced tools such as auto-locking belay devices, mini traxions, and other devices using some form of camming.

Many take this as a review in preparation for a climb involving glacier travel, but the course is suitable for people without previous crevasse rescue experience. This is taught in snow, but we intentionally do not use a real crevasse as the hike to/from the crevasse would use much of the training time. If interested in practicing on a real crevasse consider one of our overnight mountaineering courses.

Skills Covered in Crevasse Rescue Course 

  • Pre-rigging
  • Chest Harnesses
  • Knots & Hitches: prussic, klemheist, autoblock, clove, figure 8 family
  • Stopping Crevasse Falls: self arrest, knotted climbing rope
  • Snow & Ice Anchors: pickets, deadman & t-slots, snow & ice bollards
  • Elements of an ERNEST Anchor
  • Escaping the Belay
  • Securing the Load Strand: rope & sling vs. mechanical device
  • Rappelling into Crevasse w/ a Backup
  • Securing Victim
  • Climbing out of Crevasse: simple & mechanical systems
  • Raising Systems: surface C (2:1), drop C (2:1), Z (3:1), 5:1 & 6:1
  • Calculating Load: toward victim & toward anchor
  • Lowering w/ a backup
  • Use of Ditch Loops on Heavy Packs

Typical Day 

8am: Meet instructor at Stevens Pass - group introductions and review gear to be used during the course.

8:30am - 10:30am: Knot and hitch review, snow and ice anchors, equalizing anchors.

10:30am - 11:30am: Students build ERNEST anchors and test anchor strength.

11:30am - 12:45pm: Demonstrate and practice basic crevasse rescue systems with focus on perfecting c systems, z systems, and simple scenarios. Learn to calculate loads.

12:45PM - 2:00PM: Adding mechanical advantage to reach 5:1 and 6:1 and strategies for single rescuer scenarios.

2:00pm - 4:00pm: Break into groups to practice full scenarios.

Prerequisite Skills 

You do not need any previous crevasse rescue training to take this course. The more you know coming into the course, the more you will get from it. It is worthwhile to review some of the basic knots and hitches listed above. We will not do any in depth training in basic rope travel or self-arrest, but we will review proper anchor position and talk about different ways you can rope up to set yourself up for an effective crevasse rescue.

Course location 

We utilize a variety of sites along US highway 2 that provide a good, steep snow bank for practicing crevasse rescue. All feature very short approaches to maximize training time.

This program takes place on US Forest Service lands under a commercial-outfitter and guide permit. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs & activities and is an equal opportunity provider and employer.