The latest innovation in rope rescue is the mirrored rigging system. Olympic Mountain Rescue is using the CMC Rescue MPD,Â Multi-Purpose Device, as part of their mirrored system in the snow for a low angle practice evacuation. The MPD incorporates a highÂ efficiency pulley with an integral rope locking mechanism, or ratchet, for a haul system. This single device functions as both aÂ lowering brake and as a ratcheting pulley for raising. The MPD contains a variable friction descent control device for rescue systemsÂ and rappels. The built in becket allows cleaner rigging by allowing fewer components when adding pulley systems. It also allowsÂ a rescue team to go from lowering to raising without a change in hardware.
Here the team is conducting a practice pick-off and evacuation of an injured climber on the rocks above a lake. The gear is packed andÂ the team starts heading up. The team is setting up a high directional on the main line, again using the MPD, this time as part of an integrated lowering and raising system. The MPD is ideal for setting up a mirrored rope system in which each rope is concurrently Â capable of acting both as the main and the belay. This minimizes rope stretch and reduces peak force in case one of the rope systems fails. It also helps to manage the danger of rock fall. The team shifts quickly from a 3:1 to a 5:1 and then to a 7:1 mechanicalÂ advantage system. During the edge transition the main line takes the load and the belay is only hand tight. This reduces the risk inÂ case the litter attendant should stumble. If the load falls sideways the untentioned belay is less prone to damage during anÂ uncontrolled pendulum on an unprotected sharp edge.
Rescue in a remote mountain environment requires a high level of skill, coordination and the best available equipment to do the jobÂ efficiently and safely. Use of the MPD in a wilderness setting has been steadily growing as teams recognize that it increases userÂ safety with reduced weight, fewer components, faster rigging and simplified training.