The month of May had Rigging for Rescue visiting numerous ports of call around the country including Bend, Oregon to work with Deschutes County SAR (DCSAR). Our first seminar on contract with DCSAR was 2005 and we have been back every 2-3 years since that time. DCSAR covers Smith Rock State Park, as well as the high alpine Cascade peaks in the vicinity, including the Three Sisters and Broken Top.
The geology around Deschutes County includes a lot of columnar basalt, which tends to present with abrupt 90-degree edge transitions. On our pickoff day we covered seated edge transitions, similar in principle to how you would transition over the parapet wall of a building. There is little to be gained (and much to be risked) with a standing edge transition, given the abruptness of the transition and little to no high directional help at the edge.
Pike ‘n Pivot technique is also a staple of any Rigging for Rescue training with DCSAR. It is the right technique for the abrupt edge transitions that are so abundant to the area. Dual tension systems, Main/Belay systems, the Petzl Maestro, CMC Clutch, Arizona Vortex, and VT Prusiks were all included in the seminar content.