Self Rescue I - Seattle - 2022

Climbing Course

Self Rescue I

Getting yourself and an injured follower off of a route.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

Please see registration requirements below before signing up for the course.

Welcome to Self Rescue I

What would happen if your climbing partner was seriously injured half-way up a multi-pitch climb and needed to be evacuated?  Are you prepared to carry out a rescue with the limited resources you typically carry on an alpine rock climb?  This course will teach you the technical skills needed to rescue an injured follower, including belay escapes, counterbalance and tandem rappels, and haul systems.

Registration Requirements

While there is no formal application for Self Rescue I, it is expected that you have experience leading on bolted single pitch climbs. Multipitch experience is a plus, but is not required.

Course Structure

The skills of Self Rescue I are delivered through a specific rescue scenario: rescuing a follower from mid pitch on a multipitch climb and getting both of you to safety. By the end of the course, not only will you be able to fully perform this type of rescue, but you will have a bunch of new tools in your climbing toolbox that have a multitude of applications, even outside of a rescue situation. The course is composed of the following events:

Skills Review

A single evening session that will introduce all the required skills to be successful in the course. You only have to attend one skills review session

Ground School

To keep the focus on the skills to start with, we keep the vertical aspect of the rescue scenario out of the equation for your first day running through it. We will work through the component steps of the follower rescue on the ground. Each step will be demoed first, followed by time for you to practice. This is a full day at the Seattle Program Center. You only have to attend one ground school session

Practice Night (optional)

Between the ground school sessions and the vertical scenario day, there will be a few optional practice nights. These will be super informal, and are just an extra opportunity for you to run through the rescue and ask questions. They are also a great opportunity for you to try out different methods or gear.

Vertical Scenario Day

Time to take your newfound rescue skills into the vertical world! We will spend some time practicing the scenario on the wall with instructors available to help. By the end of the day, the goal is for you to run through the full rescue without any safety issues or instructor help. We will wrap up the day by looking at some other rescue tools and how and when they can be applied.

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment
  • Guide Mode capable belay device (such as the Black Diamond ATC Guide or Petzl Reverso)
  • At least two cordelettes 
  • A couple alpine draws (both single length and double length)
  • Rappel backup 
  • At least 4 lockers plus one larger locker. More definitely won’t hurt!
  • Any extra carabiners you need for keeping your gear organized on your harness. If you drop something, it's gone and you will have to puzzle things out without it!
  • Harness
  • Your preferred rappel extension method
  • Helmet
  • Rescue loop or autoblock
  • A prusik loop or two
Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.