The 131st RQS Pararescue Team visited us in Ouray this past week for a waterfall ice rescue workshop. Ice climbing conditions in Ouray this winter have been as good as we have seen for many years.  The focus of the week was on a small team rescue approach coupled with considerable respect for the dynamic nature of the ice climbing medium.

The workshop progression worked through movement skills, companion rescue scenarios, and wrapped up with an ascent/descent of a mock patient on a backcountry ice climb. A number of the PJs had limited experience on waterfall ice prior to the training seminar. However, by the middle of the week everyone was moving well on the medium and executing the ropework scenarios in a secure and timely fashion.

Counter-balance rappel pickoff

Companion rescue

Fat ice in the Ouray Ice Park

Multi-pitch ice climbing in the backcountry