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10 December, 2003

Snow Craft II Class

In order to be better prepared for our upcoming traverse the "Yeastie Boyz" team spent the day in school. The course: Snow Craft II. While snow craft I (AKA: Happy camper school) teaches you the basic survival skills, the second course focuses on self-arrest and crevasse rescue. I must admit I was a little intimated of having to take the class, but it turned out to be a great team building exercise, a confidence builder, and a whole lot of fun.

Our instructor, Brian, began the day with an overview of the basic gear: crampons, ropes, webbing, carabiners, harnesses, and ice axes. Next we moved on to knot tying. In about fifteen minutes we became proficient in tying prussic , water , figure eight , and double fisherman/barrel knots. Knowing how to tie these knots could be key to rescuing a team member who fell into a crevasse.

We then applied this knowledge for some hands on practice out in the field. While there, we climbed up a rope using harnesses and a foot and waist prussic, walked up a steep incline using crampons, learned how to stop a fall with an ice axe, and used the a variety of knots and a z pulley system to pull each other out of a crevasse.


1. Just Hanging Around. We used a harness, a few carabiners (clips) and attached two prussic knots to climb up this rope.

2. Dr. Connell properly folding the rope. “Rope Management” is important when working with long pieces of rope.

3. This attachment to my bunny boot is called a crampon. How would this devise be helpful when walking up a steep, snowy incline?

4. Dr. Connell using an ice axe to stop herself from sliding down the hill. We had to do this from four positions: feet first on our back, feet first on our stomach, head first on our stomach, and head first on our back.

5. Brian teaches us how to create an anchor in the snow. This will be used to support the pulley system used to rescue a fallen team member.

6. Using our knots and a pulley system to start some crevasse rescues.

7. Scott Craig uses his prussic knots to get himself out of the crevasse, while the team uses the pulley system to pull me out.

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