Two Tension or Not to Tension

Much Ado About 4 Meters


Technical rope rescue has had a long, rich history of healthy debate and disagreement regarding device selection as well as techniques. A current debate that generates robust discussion involves the similarities and differences between Dual Capability Two Tensioned Rope Systems (DCTTRS) and Single Main, Separate Belay (SMSB) rope management approaches. Our intention here is to employ a Systems Analysis approach to evaluating these systems. We will offer detailed critical analysis, citations from testing and other literature, and personal observations as trainers and rope rescue practitioners.

We will demonstrate and anticipate that the reader will agree that:
• The differences between DCTTRS and SMSB are minor, albeit still important
• The similarities are numerous

Additionally, we will provide a summary of the key catalysts that drive decision making for choosing one approach versus the other. Our rope rescue training seminars are well regarded for their depth and breadth of inquiry. We cover this topic in great detail in nearly every one of our training events – but you have to be in attendance to benefit. Due to the large number of email and phone-based inquiries for clarification on the key talking points of the debate, we felt that it was time we provided a written position on the subject matter.

Ultimately, we seek to provide you with some critical analysis and clear methods to better answer the question: Two Tension or Not To Tension? And we intend to demonstrate that the ongoing debate in the rope rescue community between DCTTRS and SMSB is truly Much Ado About 4 Meters.

View RfR Two Tension or Not to Tension Paper
View EMBC report