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Nov 27, 2012
I am a senior in the Mountain Recreation department at Lyndon State College. I am doing a senior research project that is dealing with how prepared recreational rock climbers are for rescue scenarios focusing solely on gear carried and medical certifications. If anyone would like take my survey it would be greatly appreciated. If you have no medical training please enter none in the "other" category. Thanks!
Joey Croft
From Lyndonville, Vt
Joined Nov 15, 2010
1 points
Nov 27, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
Joey, just a couple things. You didn't ask about medical training, only certification. While certifications certainly are indicative of training, you can be trained without having certifications as well.

Also, your survey completely omitted rescue techniques- some of the simplest being getting a rope unstuck and ascending a rope. Your survey will likely be very skewed. I'm not trying to bash you, I'm just saying with what you've asked, the results you get will be largely inconclusive with regard to "how prepared recreational rock climbers are for rescue scenarios". How prepared you are has a lot to do with how much you know and how efficiently you can employ it in a stressful situation. If you really know your shit, you can do a lot with a little.

You can be trained without being certified. Ask any former Army Medic or Navy Corpsman that has let their certs lapse. Also, I don't care if you carry the kitchen sink with you, if you don't know how to employ the gear, it's useless. Knowing how many people carry what with them will shed little light on if they are capable or not of managing a shitshow and minimizing catastrophe.

Good luck with your project, and please don't take my words as an attack; they are not intended that way.
Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Joined Jul 30, 2011
1,217 points
Nov 27, 2012
Jake makes some good points, I'd also add that the way you phrased some of the gear can be misleading. For instance, I don't carry "extra" cord or "leaver" biners or "extra" lockers, but I carry enough, and am capable of putting them to good use in a wide variety of rescue scenarios, and willing to leave them behind if necessary.

Also curious how you came up with your list of gear - was surprised to see a lighter on there and not, say, a headlamp.

Good luck with your project!
Em Cos
From Boulder, CO
Joined Apr 21, 2010
11 points
Nov 27, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks
I looked at the survey and decided that it wasn't flexible enough for me to even answer. First question was fine but without some kind of frequecy doesn't tell very much, second question only allows you to choose one answer but I climb an equal amount of trad and sport, third question was fine, but again you can be certified with little to no training, and you can be well trained with no certification, so who knows how much info it will give, and the final question is completely situation dependent, I don't know if it means do I ever bring these items with me, or do I normally bring them with me or what. Come up with a better survey and I'll be happy to take it. kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Joined Aug 12, 2010
2,057 points
Nov 27, 2012
Hey Joey! First of all, I would like to wish you the best of luck with your senior research project. After completing your survey and analyzing the questions you posed, I felt it might be helpful to offer some feedback in regards to preparedness that is not covered in the questionnaire. Hopefully other MP users will do the same. The best information you will gather for your project will be by talking to rock climbers via this thread and in person.

I will do my best to share with you what I have learned about being a proficient rock climber. First and foremost, the biggest thing that I have learned about rock rescue and preparedness is not necessarily what gear you choose to bring with you, but what skill sets you have for taking on an array of scenarios. Being prepared with gear and certification is one thing, but having the confidence and knowledge to rescue a partner or yourself is a whole different level of preparedness. The preparedness that I am resonating on has more to do with experience and analyzing mistakes made by others.

I see that your research project is attempting to shed light on the gear and certification climbers carry, but I feel that the more you research the topic the more you will find that climbers rely very little on these things out on the wall. From personal experience I have found that avoiding rock rescue scenarios has a lot to do with climbing with competent partners and traveling efficiently over the rock. Communication is key in the mountains. One specific scenario that I was involved in comes to mind where all of these things lapsed and I was forced to rescue my partner. My partner failed to communicate that he was running out the pitch in a squeeze chimney (i was out of sight) and he became stuck. When I trad climb I don't carry specialized equipment for rescue, I.e. rescue pulleys, a rescue 8, ascenders, extra ropes, etc. I opt for informing myself on the abilities of my climbing gear. In the situation I mentioned an extra rope might have been helpful, but knowing how to safely get to my partner with what I had was paramount. Being capable of self belaying with the other end of the rope and shifting belay anchors quickly helped to save my partner's ass.

So, in an attempt to speak for myself and the others that i have climbed with, I would say that most climbers leave all of the dead weight in rescue gear at home and turn to what they know. (because at some point you realize that you can only carry so much with you before it starts to slow you down and get in the way)

Hope this is helpful! Once again, best of luck! Sounds like a rad research project!
Clayton James
From SLC
Joined May 23, 2011
32 points
Nov 27, 2012
I realize there is way more that I could have delved into with this project. I had a much longer survey that I had prepared but was advised by my professor to focus initially on the specifics that I covered. I figured certifications would be the best way to gauge medical training in this case as they are way easier to use when breaking down the data. It would be great to hear about everyone's experiences but part of the project is entering information into excel and using functions to analyze the data. As for the gear list I went off of professors recommendations as well as gear listed in Freedom of the Hills. The lack of a headlamp on the list was an over site on my part and should have made the list.

I hope with this study that I will be able to give future students in the program a chance to expand upon my findings and part of my final paper will go over exactly how to move forward with this study. I will be able to use some information that people post here however it just isn't feasible to enter this information as data points in excel, just things to mention in other parts of my project.

Thanks everyone for the feedback! It is much appreciated! I hope I was able to clear up some of the grey areas surrounding this survey for you all
Joey Croft
From Lyndonville, Vt
Joined Nov 15, 2010
1 points
Nov 27, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: me
Best of luck man! I really dig the topic of your research project. I know how difficult it can be to come up with quantitative questions without restricting the scope of the question. Although it is more qualitative, would it be useful to inquire about previous involvement with outdoor rescue situations? MattL
From Boulder, CO
Joined Sep 4, 2008
338 points
Nov 27, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: enjoying the static, grappel and a smoke on Dana.....
took the survey, and I agree with what was mentioned above by other posters about content, specifics, and so on. Good luck!...I didn't read what everyone wrote super in depth but you can also learn rescue techniques and forget them...Similar to the being trained and not certified and vise-versa. Awesome idea for a project! erik kapec
From prescott, az
Joined Mar 3, 2010
221 points
Nov 27, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3
you left out alpine climbing.

Climbing rock in the backcountry is porbably the most important group of people to know self rescue techniques as help is usually not readily avaiable. aka, arent just at the crag. I know this could technically fall under trad, but I feel it should be differentiated out.
From West Hartford, CT
Joined Aug 23, 2011
31 points
Nov 27, 2012
Joey, good luck with your project. At the very least, I’m sure you are trying to get this done by the end of the semester, and probably do not care too much about how perfect the survey is, or how perfect the results actually demonstrate the preparedness of climbers. I’m a master level graduate student, and as such, I know it’s sometimes hard to get the details right unless you are very experienced, or even expert, in a field.

As other mentioned already, it’s hard to see how your survey will show too much about "how prepared recreational rock climbers are for rescue scenarios….”

If you do more with this line of research in the future, here are some recommendations:

1. The foundation of your survey may be more appropriate for multi-pitch climbing rather than single pitch. Perhaps asking if survey takers are involved in big wall climbing, multi-pitch climbing, alpine climbing, or mountaineering is better than bouldering or sport climbing. Boulderers don’t really fit in this survey, and if somebody actually selected that option it would possibly disqualify them from the rest of the survey! And single pitch climbing is infrequently as much of a rescue event as multi-pitch.

2. Being prepared for rescue scenarios probably doesn’t have much to do with medical training or certifications so much as rescue training or certifications. Medical does help, but as an EMT, I’m not sure how much I could do in a rescue situation on a rock wall without also having additional skills in rescue techniques.

3. Think out survey questions longer before publishing. Your questions about “extra” gear are misleading, as having extra gear is different than having your normal gear but being able to use it for rescue or leave it behind if necessary. Many climbers don’t have extra gear but are perfectly capable of using the gear they do have in rescue situations.

By the way, if somebody has 8mm or 10mm two-foot shoulder length slings, they have a prussik on hand whether they brought “special” cord for prussic loops or not. Depending on the size of the rope, even 12mm slings may work for prussiking. Knowing that you don't necessarily need "prussik loops" is also being prepared (along with other details), don't ya think?
J. Hickok
Joined Sep 20, 2001
680 points

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