Rigging for Rescue’s Highlines and Guiding Lines is a specialized program focusing exclusively on aerial suspension systems. When properly rigged, aerial suspension systems are some of the most useful as well as safe systems for suspending the patient and attendant above hazardous terrain. However, there are a number of key considerations that need to be well understood in order to successfully rig and operate a Highline or Guiding Line. Seminar participants can expect great depth and breadth of content as it pertains to trackrope tensioning methods, set-up sequence, and scene size-up parameters.

These concepts and techniques will be incorporated into practical and realistic exercises under varying conditions, difficulties, and demands.  In addition to the skills themselves, this seminar provides insight to a number of physics principles, logistics sequences, and operational considerations that allow rescuers to operate at a higher caliber with better judgment, efficiency and safety. This seminar is equally applicable to rescuers operating in mountain, cave, swiftwater, urban, fire & industrial environments.

Our base of Ouray, Colorado affords us an abundance of outstanding terrain for training on aerial suspension systems. Options include slot canyons, long talus slopes, waterways, and the nearby Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

  • Kootenay Highline System (KHS) in a horizontal as well as sloping application
  • English Reeve and Norwegian Reeve variations on the KHS
  • A multiple trackrope highline for low clearance situations
  • Guiding Line over a talus-covered slope
  • Deflection Lines for altering the vertical plumb line
  • Practical applications of trigonometry for size-up considerations
  • Tensioning systems and best practices for maintaining clearance above hazards with robust safety margins
  • Line delivery strategies and sequences
  • Practical physics principles as they apply to rigging and operations
  • And commonly a larger project such as a long highline in the Black Canyon National Park

The above list is not exhaustive, nor is it a checklist. One of the hallmark traits of a Rigging for Rescue program is the flexible curriculum. Specific techniques & topics covered are influenced by the overall participant mix and their interests. Each Rigging for Rescue seminar or workshop is a custom experience. All field training scenarios will be in and around Ouray, Colorado.

Rigging for Rescue® Seminar – Personal Protective Equipment

Personal gear participants are expected to bring:

  • Note-taking supplies
  • Scientific Calculator with Trig Functions
  • Warm, rugged outdoor clothing
  • Hiking/climbing or work boots with grippy soles
  • 4 locking carabiners
  • 5 metres of 25 mm (or wider) nylon webbing (to construct a chest harness and connector strap)
  • 10 metres of 6mm nylon kernmantle cord (or a completed set of Purcell Prusiks)
  • 10 metres of 8mm nylon kernmantle cord (for edge restraint line)
  • Headlamp
  • Helmet
  • Leather gloves
  • Harness
  • Backpack
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Personal descent control device. Preferably, a device that includes a plaquette style auto- locking feature (e.g. Black Diamond ATC Guide, Kong GiGi, etc.).


Optional equipment:

  • Dyneema/Spectra runners
  • Specialty ropes or cord you would like to see used and/or evaluated
  • VT Prusik
  • Mini Prusik-minding-pulleys
  • Kootenay Carriage
  • Anything that has proved to be, is said to be, or could possibly be useful for rope rescue

We want to see what you use, how and why. We are looking for the best possible way to rescue and perhaps you have already identified that technique. Have you made modifications to existing equipment, designed and produced your own or have questions and concerns with equipment available commercially? Bring it along and we will share our findings and critical look so everyone can benefit. Printed materials, Power Points, video clips of trainings, training materials and favorite rescue books are all welcome additions to the seminar. Active participation is the best way to foster a rich and rewarding learning environment.

Highlines and Guiding Lines is 5 full days (45+ hours) and runs from 08:00 Monday to approximately 17:00 Friday. Each participant is responsible for their own transportation, personal equipment, food, and accommodation.

Fees: $1,325 US. A deposit of $250 US is required upon registration with final payment due two months prior to the workshop start date.