Every other year we have the pleasure of returning to Acadia National Park to train with personnel from across the Great State of Maine. The seminars are arranged as open enrollment events to teams across Maine who are responsible for rope rescue response in their respective jurisdictions. It ends up being a terrific team-building week as many of these practitioners frequently work with each other on larger agency assist calls. Familiarity with each other’s systems is critical to mission success on mutual aid calls.

The host team for the training week is MDI SAR.  MDI works closely with the NPS rangers in Acadia to provide mutual aid response to incidents in the Park. Acadia has some excellent sea cliff rock climbing that generates occasional rescue incidents. Additionally, there is an abundance of opportunity to find oneself in trouble from scrambling on the various granite features encircling Mount Desert Island.

In addition to the Fundamentals, we also covered some more technically challenging scenarios utilizing artificial high directional devices as well as a Cross-Haul 4-rope system for spanning high hazard terrain (in this case, the North Atlantic). The Braced Sideways A-Frame technique proved to be tailor made for this particular escarpment given the absence of a guying option on the ocean side of the AHD.

Cross-haul technique

BC Pickoff in Acadia National Park

Braced Sideways A-Frame with Cross-Haul

Braced Sideways A-Frame with Vortex 1.0

Cross-Haul across open water