San Juan Pickoff: a lowering based pickoff with a self-managed belay

Approaching a station on a multi-pitch lower

Vertical litter orientation is commonly utilized for patient safety on waterfall ice terrain

The Attendant adjusts to the foot end of the litter for steep ice


The 58th RQS USAF PJs recently joined us in Ouray for an ice climbing and rescue workshop. The PJs were training with Rigging for Rescue instructor/owner Mike Gibbs as well as senior instructor Jared Vilhauer. The workshop content included efficient movement on steep ice as well as various specialized rescue techniques germane to the waterfall ice medium and small team approaches. The program culminated in a team rescue on a multi-pitch ice route involving lead climbing, station transitions, knot passes, and egress via v-thread anchors. Team members worked together to lower an “injured climber” down a 3-pitch route in a stretcher. Ice conditions were outstanding for the duration of the workshop.

Ouray, Colorado is a one-of-a-kind venue for instructing these high angle waterfall ice workshops. Terrain options include the world renown Ouray Ice Park as well as high quality backcountry ice climbs. There is still some room in the February 17-22 Waterfall Ice Climbing & Rescue Workshop and registration is available on our website. In addition, Rigging for Rescue can provide custom courses to fit your specific needs. Please contact us for additional information.